Clothes consignment

Since 2013, I have consigned over $600 of clothing on ThredUP. It is a great way to earn a few bucks for gently used moderately priced brands (J. Crew, Gap, etc.). Here’s a list of brands they accept. I’ve sent my clothes, maternity clothes, baby clothes, old purses, etc.

Just signup for an account and order a “CLEAN OUT” kit. thredup.png

  • You’ll receive a bag in the mail.
  • Fill it with any gently used, recent items.
  • Add the prepaid return label.
  • And send back via USPS.
  • Note: they now charge a small fee per bag of $9.99 and you can choose whether you’d like to donate your payout or receive cash.

I tried several online consignment shops (Twice, ThredUP, etc) and more recently Swap.com. ThredUP is the easiest to use. And any items they don’t accept are donated to local charities.

 

Why I use ThredUP?

I hate throwing things away, especially things that are in good condition. With ThredUP, I know someone else is using these items and they’re not going directly into a landfill.

It’s also so easy to get a bag in the mail. My twins are outgrowing clothes at a rapid clip and it makes it easy for me to declutter especially at the start and end of each season.

Newborn photography

Don’t forget to book your newborn photography in advance! To get the adorable sleeping baby photos, you want the photography session to happen right away. My photographer suggested photographing newborns when they are 4-10 days old.

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Photography by Asiya

 

How do I read this pregnancy test?

I remember staring at the pregnancy tests trying to figure out whether I could see a faint line. Then I googled it and learned about the “evap line”that develops when the urine on the test area begins to dry, leaving a faint, colorless line.

And later I found this gem of a website Countdown to Pregnancy where women share photos of their pregnancy tests and other women vote on whether they think it is +/-. Just looking at the photos was helpful for knowing what to expect (or hope for!).

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-10-31-22-pm

Source: Countdown to Pregnancy

Top 10 list for surviving a twin pregnancy

Here’s my list of top tips for surviving a twin pregnancy and life with twins.

I basically approached the twin thing like it was my job — I read every book I could find on twin pregnancy and caring for infant twins, joined the Manhattan Twins Club, and tested a ton of baby products and apps to find the best ones. 

 

1) Keep your babies on a schedule in order to maintain your sanity. “12 hours by 12 weeks” is the single most useful book I’ve read for raising twins. It gives you specific advice to get your kids eating and sleeping on a schedule. 

Twelve Hours’ Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old: A Step-by-Step Plan for Baby Sleep Success

 2) Watch the DVD “Happiest Baby on the Block“. It’s ~30 minutes and gives you 4 foolproof methods (known as the 4 S’s) for soothing a crying baby. 4 S’s = swaddle, side, shhh, and swing. It works like magic!

The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer

 3) Use the app “Babyconnect” to keep track of your twins’ feedings, diapers, growth, etc. it is a lifesaver in the first 6 weeks when you’re so sleep deprived and need to keep track of things to make sure your babies are getting enough to eat. Bonus – it allows you to add unlimited caregivers to the same account. 

Baby Connect (Activity Logger) by Seacloud Software LLC

https://appsto.re/us/lfYDt.i

4) Download “Sound Sleeper” baby sound machine app for your phone. When your baby is tired but can’t fall asleep, the soothing noises help to guide the babies to sleep. (Works for tired parents too). 

Sound Sleeper – relaxing sounds of nature and white noise for calming your baby to sleep by Michael Feigenson

https://appsto.re/us/FJa-D.i

5) Get the twin Z pillow — it’s the most useful invention for twins. Our kids used it up until 11mos old. 

THE TWIN Z PILLOW- LIGHT GREEN -The Only 6 in 1 Twin Pillow Breastfeeding, Bottlefeeding, Tummy Time & Support! A Must Have for Twins! – LIGHT GREEN

6) buy two fisher price rock and plays. Best overall baby invention. Our kids slept in these exclusively for the first 5 months. Then we transitioned them into their own cribs. A lot of people use them during the day when they have their kids out in the living room. 

Fisher-Price Newborn Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, Aqua Stone Fashion

 7) I’d recommend having a high risk Doctor that specializes in multiples rather than an OB/GYN. As I’m sure you know, twin pregnancies often have complications and these doctors are more comfortable and experienced in these situations. 

8) Make sure your Doctor is affiliated with a hospital that has at least a level 3 NICU. If your babies come early or have complications,  babies will need to be relocated to a level 3 NICU if your hospital doesn’t have one. I read horror stories online of a mom being in one hospital and babies in another. 

9) Make sure you know the signs of pre-term labor. It is a very common complication of twin pregnancies. If you catch it early, you can go to the hospital and take medicine to try to halt the labor. (This happened to me at 32 weeks. I spent 5 days in the hospital and then went home until babies were born at 34 weeks 6 days). 

 10) Formula feeding is a lot easier than breastfeeding. I breastfed for 7 weeks and it was a horrible experience for everyone. My babies weren’t getting enough milk and I wasn’t getting any sleep since I had to feed them every 2.5 hours 24 hours a day. I felt a lot of pressure to breastfeed and I wish I had just formula fed. Once I stopped breastfeeding and started formula feeding life was so much better. My kids were eating more and able to sleep longer periods at a time. I was able to sleep through the night. And other people (not just me) could help feed the babies. 

When to tell people you’re pregnant?

I’d like to share some data that can aid in your decision.

(1) Understand what your miscarriage risk profile looks like

Miscarriage rates increase with maternal (and paternal) age and are also different for IVF than natural conception. Read this comprehensive article on miscarriage rates for more info.

For couples who have conceived naturally, miscarriage rates drop dramatically after 8 weeks.

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 2.55.06 PM

Source: Analysis based on Wilcox AJ, Baird DD, Weinberg CR (1999). “Time of implantation of the conceptus and loss of pregnancy.” and Wang X, Chen C, Wang L, Chen D, Guang W, French J (2003). “Conception, early pregnancy loss, and time to clinical pregnancy: a population-based prospective study.”

For IVF/ISCI candidates, miscarriage rates drop significantly in first 7 weeks and plateau after about 11 weeks.

Figure 1. Risk of spontaneous abortion per fetal sac in relation to gestational age (comparison of twin pregnancies versus singleton pregnancies). +FHR = positive fetal heart rate.

miscarriage rates IVF.gif

Source: Risk of spontaneous abortion in singleton and twin pregnancies after IVF/ICSI. Authors: Philippe TummersPaul De Sutter and Marc Dhont. 

(2) Wait for a Fetal Heartbeat

Risk of miscarriage goes down significantly when a fetal heartbeat is found during an ultrasound around 6-8 weeks. Higher heart rates seem to predict better outcomes. Ask your OB/GYN to tell you the heart rate of the fetus.

Up to 6 weeks 2 days gestation:

screen-shot-2015-07-27-at-1-46-32-pmSource: Data from Doubilet & Benson (1994) Embryonic Heart Rate in the First Trimester: What Is Normal? Journal of Ultrasound Medicine.

Between 6 weeks 3 days and 7 weeks 0 days:

screen-shot-2015-07-27-at-2-58-29-pmSource: Data from Doubilet & Benson (1994) Embryonic Heart Rate in the First Trimester: What Is Normal? Journal of Ultrasound Medicine.