My obsession with finding the right products for our life with twins probably began in the hospital recovery room.
I had a planned C-section. We spent two years and three rounds of IVF, so the last thing I wanted was an emergency to occur, so chose a birthing method that gave me the most comfort. It turns out that both were both breech, so it was a good choice!
Ottilie was first out weighing in at 4.7 and a few minutes later, Livia arrived at a healthier 5.11. They were very small and needed feeding right away, especially Ottilie who was apparently about 2 ounces away from NICU.
But I had a complication during the birth, missed skin to skin contact and was back in surgery on a second epidural. I was drugged to the teeth, lethargic and unable to stay awake, so my husband took over for the first day to slowly feed them formula sipped from tiny cups.
I finally woke up to take in the vision of my two gorgeous daughters with their swollen eyes and wrinkly, rosy faces. I was tired and in complete bliss and got straight on with getting to know my long awaited duo.
The rest of our stay in the hospital was relatively straight forward, except for the fact that the entire experience was not what I had expected...
Not only had I been in some real danger myself so was unable to care for them initially, but to add insult to my birthing experience, I bought and packed all the wrong things for us. We hadn't expected to need formula, I was going to be breastfeeding, of course. So, nervously, quickly and with zero experience, the husband ran out to the absolute nearest shop and brought back enough Aptamil formula to keep us going for weeks. The newborn baby grows were ginormous, flopped all over the place and fastened in the back, all making it hard for the midwives to do their jobs. I didn't really see the need for the tiny gloves, so brought none. They were needed. The newborn nappies I brought didn't fit for two months so the grandmas ran out to get some more suitable 'premature' fasten in the front suits, tiny gloves and nappies.
Thinking back on the birth experience, I realised my confidence as a new mother was partially bound up with how well the birth went (not well for me, but fine for them, luckily) and how well I had prepared.
Even though I did a ton of research, I didn't have the right stuff with me. The whole thing made me feel just slightly less adequate at the job and not what I had envisioned for those first few days. I couldn't wait to leave the hospital and start over at home.
I've since spent endless hours trying to get the balance right and have looked for clever products that are not only in tune with the experience that our family is having but are beautiful objects that we're happy to have in our very adult household. Things I have scoured the earth trying to find:
- Economies of scale when buying more
- Matching but not the same clothes
- Economic (foldable) and multiple use furniture
- Products to distract
- Products to keep them contained
- Ways to avoid buying two of everything
- Amazing twin parent hacks
Otti & Liv was born out of a desire to do the work to bring together the best of the inventive and everyday products and brands that I found along my journey or ended up creating myself.
We're still in the early days of the shop. So far I feature a product range I have developed, but will soon have more tips on where to find more good stuff that suits the special, chaotic needs of twins.
I hope you enjoy!