Dear Mama-to-be,

I heard you’re expecting twins. Congratulations! Everyone will tell you that you are blessed and that this is a wonderful and exciting time in your life. I’ve got a few things to tell you, and they’re a little more on the practical side.

First and foremost: get help. You’re going to need all the help you can find. Help with feeding yourself, help with feeding them. Help with dishes and laundry. It’s going to be really hard. People will tell you that, but it will sink in pretty quickly once they’re here. Lean on people, and don’t feel bad about it. You can pay them back somehow later in life, or pay it forward by helping another new mom. It will get easier around six months of age. Not easy, but easier.

Definitely have a few options of places to put them down. This is so much more essential for twin moms because there’s always one in your arms. Swings, bouncy chairs, play yards, they’re all great. Get to know them and love them. Buy second hand, ask for hand-me-downs, and don’t waste your money on silly clothing. Everything will be used for a heartbeat and diapers are expensive. Things don’t have to match.

It’s going to hurt and feel awful when you are alone with two crying babies and have to choose which one to soothe. You’ll come up with a bunch of funny solutions to this, or figure out how to tandem nurse, or maybe one will just cry for a while. Whatever happens, know that, as dark as this sounds, no baby ever died from crying. Just do your best, that’s what counts.

It’s natural to wish that you could give your babies more undivided attention. Know that every time you pull on a tiny sock, or wash a grungy neck, you are showing your little ones that you care. They need more than cuddles and kisses; they also need practical things. And it’s ok to consider mashing up frozen peas with a fork an act of love.

Really try to savour your last few moments before they are born. Don’t wish away the time, because the luxurious hours of sleep you’re getting are going to be the last good ones you’ll have for a very long time.

Find your village. Connect with other mamas, especially twin mamas. Join a support group, even if it’s just online. Twin moms will teach you so much, because they too are paying forward the help they had along the way.

Everyone saying you are blessed is right. You are blessed. Two babies is twice as miraculous as one baby. Don’t forget that when you’re feeling defeated about long nights and dreading the next diaper change. It’s ok to feel it, but think hard before you complain aloud. A lot of potential mamas out there are still waiting for their blessing.

Know in your heart that the hardest day will fade from memory quickly. It will melt away as you watch your toddler twins giggle together for the first time over a shared in-joke. It’s then you’ll truly understand the blessing you’ve received.