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Planning for twins

July 4th, 2009 at 08:41 am

We had the 18 week level 2 ultrasound this week, and I'm excited to announce that the babies are both girls! It was extremely cool to see the babies' hearts -- you could clearly see all four chambers and watch the valves moving as the heart pumped. They took measurements of all kinds of organs and bones, and so far everything looks healthy.

I'm really getting into the planning mode, both financially and otherwise. My due date is Nov 28, but on average twins come 3-4 weeks early so it will likely be early November. When I gave my boss the news, he was very complimentary about my work and said he was willing to hold my positon for 6 months or so. (I'm a software contractor for a tiny consulting firm, so there is no legal obligation to do so.) I've decided to take at least a year off, maybe more. I stayed home full time for 2 years after DS was born. I think I've made a good impression in the last two years and have an excellent chance of being rehired by him when I'm ready. I set a drop-dead date of quitting work by Oct 1 so that I won't have to work during the most uncomfortable part of the pregnancy, although I hope to start cutting back on hours sometime in September. With twins it's quite common to go on bedrest at some point, so plans could change at any time. While I could do my work while lying on the couch, it's not the most comfortable position for typing.

I woke up early this morning and wanted to do some budgeting, but can't get started until DH wakes up. Darn online paystubs! DH has gotten a small pay raise since the last time he printed one out for me, so I don't have the numbers I need to work with. Paycheckcity.com never seems to come out with the right numbers, but if he logs on to his work website they have a similar program that will calculate how your paycheck will change if you change your withholding and deductions.

It's going to be tough to figure out how much to change the W-4. We're paying estimated taxes this year, but I'll have at least 3 months less income, and we'll get deductions for two more children. DH's work gave large bonuses last year, but there will be none this year, so his income will be less as well. I have no idea what the dividends and capital gains will be like this year since the market is down -- it the past it's been as high as $30k, but for 2008 it was only $12k. Maybe I should consider asking an accountant to help us figure it out.

We have a four bedroom house, so in theory each kid could have his or her own room, but I'm strangely reluctant to turn the office into a bedroom. The wall adjoining the upstairs hallway is almost all windows -- french doors plus a third oversize window -- so it is very open and light. If it were a bedroom I'd have to cover them with blinds and it would feel much more closed up there. The closet isn't framed, and my desk currently sits in that space. I figure the twins can definitely share a room for the first couple of years, but eventually we're going to want a larger house.

The twins future room is currently a guest room with a queen bed. While the office is 10x10 and the bed could certainly fit in there, I think it would feel very crowded with the bookshelves, desk, printer, and other office stuff. (We don't have a basement, so storing the bed is not really an option.) Currently I'm thinking of keeping the queen bed in the twins room, but putting it flush against a corner. I need to take some measurements to see if two cribs will fit. DS didn't really play in his room until he was almost 3, so they won't need space for anything other than sleeping for awhile. Maybe the office can double as a playroom eventually.

To complicate matters, my inlaws will likely come visit from overseas for 3-4 weeks at Christmas, so I can't set up the twins room until after their visit. I'm planning on using a pack-n-play in our room for the first couple of months, plus temporarily putting a crib in the office for naps.

A local moms club organizes a swap meet twice a year to buy and sell used baby stuff. It's huge -- there are probably at least 100 stalls, and a couple thousand people attend. For about $150, I picked up a Pali crib with mattress (they run about $500 new), 2 bouncy seats, 2 swings, a baby bjorn, and enough baby toys, maternity clothes, and baby clothes to fill 3 grocery bags. I friend who has twins gave me her double nursing pillow and 3 HUGE tubs of maternity clothes that have been passed among her friends. A neighbor has offered a jumperoo and first pick of anything she is thinking of giving to goodwill. I joined a twins club, and someone was offering a free double snap-n-go stroller. So I've already saved a ton of money on equipment. I still need to get: 1 snap-n-go carseat, a pack-n-play with bassinet, and a double jogger. I may buy the pack-n-play new so that I can get the exact size that I want, and I'll get the jogger off Craig's List. I have my heart set on a Phil and Teds -- I've seen them used for about $300.

Although my fried was very generous with the maternity clothes, a lot of them don't fit or are very faded and stretched. Lots of size small, where I'm currently taking a medium and will need large (or even XL!) by the end. So I've splurged at the local Motherhood store and picked up a bunch of tops that have bright colors and patterns and fabric that feels really good. I stuck to sale items ($10-$20) except for one top, and even picked up a maternity jacket for only $10. I've probably spent about $250 altogether.

Many people on the twins forum I've joined recommend getting a night nanny once or twice a week because it is so tough the first few months. My mom lives about 5 minutes away. I'm extremely luck that she is so close, and is young and active and doesn't have to work. In the first few months, she's planning to come over every morning to help with the babies. She might even stay overnight sometimes so I can get more sleep. Night nannies run $25/hr in my area, so if we can avoid that expense it will be a huge savings!

I found a preschool that I like that offers an afternoon session, so I have switched DS there. At 3.5 years, he's ready to spend more time playing with other kids instead of with a nanny, so he's going half days five days a week. If I go on bedrest we can add mornings, too. They're very flexible with the scheduling. We'll just have to see how much preschool we can afford when I stop working, and how much time is right for him when the new babies are here.

5 Responses to “Planning for twins”

  1. Analise Says:

    Congratulations on your news! I am a mother of identical twin daughters and from my experience, I definitely advise getting all the help you can in the first few months, even though it may be expensive (e.g., a night nanny). If I could go back, this is what I wish I would have done. Joining a Mothers of Twins Club was a great source of support for me. I have always been very delighted to have twins... it is so much fun.

  2. NJDebbie Says:

    Wow, congrats! You seem to have a handle on things and you are planning ahead. Take care of yourself and hope that you have a blissful pregnancy!

  3. gamecock43 Says:

    so much fun! Such a lifestyle change. you have been thinking about things I have never had to think about.

  4. Ima saver Says:

    Congratulations!!

  5. Broken Arrow Says:

    Wow twins! Congrats!

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