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Trish Regan: The thrill (and the challenges) of preparing for twins

From Trish Regan, CNBC It may sound like a cliché, but the day my husband and I learned we were pregnant -- with two babies -- was truly one of the happiest in our lives. Our doctor played each of their heartbeats for us (they sounded like a little marching band when we heard them together), and it hit us that not only were we pregnant but we were expecting twins. We were thrilled! When we be

From Trish Regan, CNBC It may sound like a cliché, but the day my husband and I learned we were pregnant -- with two babies -- was truly one of the happiest in our lives. Our doctor played each of their heartbeats for us (they sounded like a little marching band when we heard them together), and it hit us that not only were we pregnant but we were expecting twins. We were thrilled! When we began telling people we were expecting twins, all of our friends and family were excited for us because they knew how much we wanted children. But, we also noticed that many of our friends would smile and tell us we had no idea how much work we were in for and how much our lives would change by becoming parents, let alone parents of twins. I guess this is probably true -- but for us, having two will be all we know so, however much work it is will be well worth it. Getting ready for the babies has been a big priority. For me, knowing what to expect is critical. I've been fortunate to be able to tap into my friends and colleagues that have gone through the twin experience and they've been a huge resource. They've filled me in on everything from what to expect in the hospital, to what kind of stroller to get (living in NYC, knowing whether a double stroller can actually make it into an elevator is pretty valuable information), to what to look for in a pediatrician. I've been lucky to know so many mothers of twins. One of the biggest questions my husband and I have pondered is this: how do you ensure that each child is treated as an individual? It's an issue that affects everyday decisions -- little things from what the babies wear, to whether or not they should have separate birthday cakes or share one (something I had never even thought about!) to bigger issues like, how do you ensure that they get equal attention? One thing I've already made an effort to do is not refer to them as "the twins". I also decided early on that I wouldn't dress them alike -- but I've got to tell you, this is easier said than done -- especially when you find an outfit that's so cute, you just want two of them! So, I've relaxed my rule on that one, at least for when they're babies. As for birthday cakes, we've decided they should each have their own. Growing up, birthdays were something I looked forward to as my own special day. I want my children to know how special that day is for each of them. Then, there are the bigger issues. How do you ensure that both children will get all the opportunities they can? How can you prevent one from dominating the other? How can you make sure they each develop as an individual? These are the challenges I'll face in the coming years, and I know I'll be turning to other mothers of twins for as much advice as I can possibly get. One of my friends, a mother of two girls, told me these are questions she confronts on a regular basis. The good news, she said, is that her girls have distinctly different personalities and each of her girls have their strengths. She has taught her daughters to value their differences and to learn from each other. This way, my friend explained, they're working together as a team and they're helping each other to grow while respecting each other's differences. We recently found out that we are having two little girls – and we can’t wait!