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    Life With Twins: Amanda Gifford's Story

    continued...

    It is really hard to deliver your babies prematurely and not being able to bring them home from the hospital. There's just a lot of hardness to go through with having premature babies that people just don't realize.

    Go find out what it's like to have a preterm baby and decide if that's something you can risk, because it's a lot of heartache.

    Mentally and emotionally, it was very difficult. I had either posttraumatic stress or postpartum depression after they were born. ... Even if you're perfectly healthy, perfectly fine, it really takes its toll on you to go through that. Physically, being on bed rest weakens you, but I got my strength back pretty quick.

    Apart from being behind on their gross motor skills because of their premature birth, Ethan and Abigail are doing "pretty well," Amanda says.

    But as a parent, you just constantly worry -- what if they have long-term complications?

    Of course, you can't avoid everything that's bad, so I don't know that I would necessarily tell somebody to do anything different than what I did. Just know what could be coming, because I was so blindsided by it.

    It's interesting, talking to moms who have one [baby]. Their definition of being up all night is so different than mine [she laughs]. ... They've been up a couple times, and for me, it's literally I got one hour of sleep last night.

    It's definitely a challenge feeding two -- I breastfed mine, so if you want to do that, that's a huge challenge, trying to do two at one time.

    The infant stage is probably the hardest because they're so needy and trying to divide yourself.

    But honestly, as they're getting older, it's kind of easier, because they play with each other. So I think there's good and bad to having twins, and not everybody is meant to be a twin parent.

    To somebody thinking about going through [IVF], I still recommend it. We wouldn't have our kids without it. Despite what we've been through, I still wouldn't do anything differently if I could do it again.

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    Reviewed on March 23, 2009

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