Surprise Early Twins and Parenting Through the First Year with Tyler Chesser – Podcast 285

Joe Rawlinson by Joe Rawlinson - March 21, 2024

Episode 285 of the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Show Notes

Today we continue our father of twins interview series with Tyler Chesser, father of boy/girl twins. Listen as we explore his twin parenting journey, including:

  • Early twin delivery after Mom’s water broke at 32 weeks
  • Twins’ time in the NICU before coming home
  • Adjusting to life with twins
  • Different twin personalities from the beginning
  • Breastfeeding twins – what worked and what didn’t
  • Day in the life of 13-month old twins
  • When twins crawl in different ways
  • Balancing being a business owner and sleepless nights
  • Finding a nanny for the twins
  • Looking at life with gratitude

Connect with Tyler via his Elevate Podcast or Real Estate Investing Firm.

Podcast Transcript

This is auto-generated so please forgive any mistakes.

[00:00:00] Today we are continuing our Father of Twins interview series with a father of boy/girl twins who just turned one year old. Additional proof that yes, you can survive the first year with twins. Welcome to the Dad Guide to Twins Podcast, the podcast that’ll help you survive and thrive as a father of twins.

[00:00:19] Now, here’s your host, the author of the book, the Dad’s Guide to Twins, Joe Rawlinson. Hey everybody. This is Joe Rawlinson. Welcome to the Dad’s Guide to Twins podcast. As always, you can find me online at dadsguidetotwins.com. Today we are having another chat with a fellow father of twins. But before we jump into that interview, I want to let you know that today’s show is brought to you by twintshirtcompany.com.

[00:00:43] Where you’ll find dozens of t-shirts designed specifically for you parents of twins. We have t-shirts for moms, dads, and the twins themselves. Head on over to twintshirtcompany.com. Today I’d like to welcome to the show Father of Twins, Tyler Chesser. Welcome to the show. Tyler. Joe, thank you so much for having me.

[00:01:01] Great to be here with you. Tyler. How old are your twins right now and what’s something exciting about this age? So they’re a little over a year. In fact, in a few days they’ll be, I guess, 13 months. And man, this, this age is really fun and exciting because every single day is they’re doing something new.

[00:01:18] And I know that it seems like that’s been the experience over the past almost 13 months. But, you know, now they’re, they’re just so curious and, you know, so full of energy. Getting into everything. They’re, they’re crawling around. So my son is crawling around. My daughter is scooting on her butt, you know, everywhere.

[00:01:32] It’s, it’s just funny to see the differences in their personalities and approach and, and growth, but they’re into everything. Like my, my son is, you know, currently he’s into carrying around his you know, a bottle of lotion everywhere he goes. And that’s the coolest thing in the world. And then my daughter in particular loves to.

[00:01:50] Move from one piece of furniture to the next. She’s, you know, holding onto everything to stand up, and then she’s moving onto the next and she just thinks it’s the funniest thing and greatest thing ever. And, you know, all the dances, dance moves and silliness and goofiness. So, you know, there’s, there’s a lot of fun things that are going on right now, but we’re, we’re certainly en enjoy enjoying the journey.

[00:02:09] That’s fantastic. Yeah. It’s fun to watch the little milestones, see how they’re progressing and growing and even how they’re very different. Like you mentioned, one’s a a scooter and the other one’s a crawler. Both of our girls were bump scooters. I think one of ’em figured it out first and then the other one just kind of followed.

[00:02:25] So who, who figured out what first between your son and daughter who figured out the crawling first? So my daughter, or I’m sorry, my son figured out crawling pretty early on, a few months back and we were surprised that our daughter didn’t pick it up soon thereafter, cuz you’d think that, well, they’re gonna watch each other and they’re just gonna, you know, pick up all these skills, you know, just simultaneously.

[00:02:45] And she still has never crawled. I don’t, we don’t really think that she will, we think that she’s just gonna go straight. To walking. We’re thinking that that may happen at any time soon. But he has been like all over the place and just super rambunctious, starting to climb on stuff. And, you know, she, she kind of watches and you know, a little bit, but she’s not, you know, she’s not in trying to do that herself, which is pretty interesting.

[00:03:07] Yeah. Our girls, they scooted on their bums and they never crawled in a traditional sense, so they went straight from that to crawl, to walking like, like you might see with your daughter too. So, It’s always fun because that was different than our, our singleton boys who just crawled, you know, normal army crawl.

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[00:03:20] Mm-hmm. . So I don’t know where they learned it. They just figured something out and res row and just ran with it. So , it is funny to see the difference in the personality just blows me away too. I mean, they couldn’t be more different. My son is just, you know, he doesn’t need to think about what he’s going into.

[00:03:36] He just goes, and my daughter is like, let me watch and see, let me strategize, let me think about this. And it’s just the total difference in personality, which is a beautiful. How early did you notice that difference in their personalities? You know, very early. It’s actually really interesting because when they were born, and as I’ve shared, you know, already, it’s a, it’s a boy and a girl and we, we, we noticed it very early on that she was very feminine.

[00:04:00] and he was kind of more masculine, if that makes sense. You know, just more kind of rambunctious and more just like a boy really from day one. And it was interesting because how could you know that, you know, from premature twins but it was almost like we could just feel it and just the way that they interacted, you know, she was just a little bit more dainty and soft and, and you know, like a little princess that she is.

[00:04:21] He’s just like, man, let’s, let’s go, let’s party, let’s you know, let’s get into it. So we noticed that really, really early on, and that personality has held true over the past almost 13 months. We noticed, at least my wife noticed, even when they were still during the pregnancy, like one of our girls was more active, bouncing around, moving in utero than the other.

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[00:04:41] And that kind of held true after birth as well. Well, same here actually. So our son, he, he, so in my wife’s stomach , he, his butt was in the air. Just, I mean, like, you could see it just a big lump in her stomach. And it was like, you know, just pushing out and just moving all over the place. And our daughter just, she stayed still.

[00:04:58] She was, you know, un she was on bottom and, you know, totally just like, I’m ready to go. I gotta get in position. I’ve been very thoughtful about this. And he was just like, rambunctious in the womb, which was super interesting. So I had not thought of that until you brought that up. I thought it was very interesting, like it’s consistent.

[00:05:16] It’s not like they just change once they’re born. They were doing that, they were getting ready in utero. They gave us a hint. We didn’t know at the time that that’s what it was a hint of, but turns out that’s how it played out. So now that they’re 13 months, what’s a typical day in the life schedule? Like as far as eating, sleeping, all that kind of stuff?

[00:05:31] Yeah, so I’ll start with kind of the night before, cuz obviously as, as you know, and we all know, I mean, we learn, you know, whether it’s the easy way or the hard way, that it all starts with sleep. And, you know, thankfully we’re on a, a really good schedule now. They go to bed around between seven and seven 30 every night.

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[00:05:48] and we have a little bit of a, a routine to kind of get there. I mean, it’s a, it’s bath and it’s they’re still breastfeeding now and, and we’re starting that kind of weaning off part of that process. So, you know, they’re, they’re starting to eat food as well, but I’m kind of jumping around. But they will get a bath, they’ll have their kind of last meal of the day, and then we’ll do a little book reading.

[00:06:08] We read three to four books, you know, quickly there for, you know, five to 10 minutes or so. and then we lay ’em down. They go down around seven 30 or so, and they typically sleep about 12 to 13 hours, depending on, you know, the night. And so they’re up the next morning around 7:30 – 8:00 or so. And you know, from there it’s, you know, the day begins.

[00:06:31] It’s you know, diaper change and it’s their first meal and then it’s play. And lots of playtime there. And, you know, there’s, they’re into everything, like I said. And you know, they’re playing with toys, they’re reading books. They’re walking around with, you know, certain things that can hold ’em up, you know, whether it’s a, a little car or, you know, a train or other things that they can push around.

[00:06:53] So they’re doing all that kind of stuff. And then their first nap is probably about an hour and a half, two hours after they wake up in the morning. So they have a first nap. And then they, after they wake up from their second nap, it’s diaper change, it’s feed, all that kind of stuff. And you know, I think that that second nap, from what I understand from the more wise twin fathers will be going away here soon.

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[00:07:14] But currently we’re still on that second nap. And generally their naps are about an hour each. You know, for the first and second nap of the day and thereafter they’re up and playing and eating and doing the whole thing. And again, you know, really kind of ends at the, the, the night there at around 7, 7 30.

[00:07:29] So that’s generally what the days look like today. But we’ve gotten to a point now where they’re eating meals about three times a day. Literally like real food. And so that’s been a fun new part of this journey as. That’s great. Are, do you have any trouble getting them down to sleep for naps or are they in a good routine?

[00:07:45] It just depends. For the most part, I’d say 90 to 95% of the time, no. Because they’re, they’re generally ready to go down. But if they’re not feeling well, there’s times where we have to rock ’em a little bit more. There’s certainly times where, you know, like over the weekend I was actually out of town on a business trip and my wife let me know that our daughter.

[00:08:03] You know, a couple times on Saturday night, and she had a little bit rougher of a time the night before. And so, you know, it doesn’t, it’s never a hundred percent perfect. There’s, you know, they’re, they’re not machines of course, and it doesn’t always work like clockwork, but I’d say 90 to 95% of the time they’re on a great routine and schedule.

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[00:08:19] And I think that they really enjoy that and appreciate that. It gives them the boundaries that they need to then be creative and curious and all the beautiful things that little human beings. But in general, they’re pretty ready. I mean, you can start to see the, the tired cues, whether it’s for nap or sleep, you know, bedtime.

[00:08:36] And once we start to see that, I mean, it’s generally on par with the schedule, but we try to make sure we pay attention to that. . That’s good. Yeah. You’re, you’re constantly as an a parent kind of adapting, like, is this still working? Yes. Okay. Keep doing that. Is it, is it not working? Okay. What are we gonna try next?

[00:08:53] See if something else works for sure. Exactly. We had a it was a Saturday and they were giving us sleep cues pretty early in the day, and it was like, man, they were starting to get a little bit more fussy than normal. And we said, you know what? Maybe they’re just really tired and they went down at 6:00 PM and slept until.

[00:09:08] AM the next morning, and it was like they just needed it. They didn’t make a peep, you know, that night. So, you know, we, we certainly pay attention to that. What’s their, what’s their bedroom arrangement like? Are they in the same room together? They’re in the same room. They both have their own crib next to each other.

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[00:09:21] It’s almost, it’s kind of like perpendicular. They can see each other, but they’re not like side by side where they’re parallel. But they sleep in the same bedroom. And, you know, at one point we were thinking, oh, , you know what’s gonna happen if, you know, one wakes the other up, maybe one’s a little more fussy than the other.

[00:09:36] And you know, from time to time they can wake each other up. But it is pretty remarkable how they can sleep through the other’s crying. You know, pretty tremendously. It’s almost like if you lived in a house near a train station, you know, for a few days you hear it and it’s like, man, this is crazy.

[00:09:52] And then over time you don’t hear it ever. And maybe that’s what, how they’ve adapted with each other. Yeah, we were surprised by that too. They would ignore each other’s noises, their cries. Eventually they got to a age where they would wanna play with each other and keep each other awake. So I don’t know if you’ve come across that problem yet.

[00:10:10] Thankfully not. You know, it’s actually been interesting on the playing with each other because we thought that like as soon as they were not like, you know, just pure newborn infants, that they would just be all day, every day. Just like, oh, best friends playing with each other. And you know, it’s been really interesting.

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[00:10:26] It’s gradually grown and increased in terms of their recognition of each other. But they have not been like total buddy buddies. They almost. . It’s like they almost don’t even realize that the other one is there completely. Because maybe they’re just so used to each other. So they haven’t yet done that, but they’re starting to do it more and more where they’re, you know, they’ll give each other hugs or, you know, touch each other and kind of laugh at each other.

[00:10:48] But that’s, that has been one that has been pretty surprising and, and interesting. I’m sure it’ll, it’ll change, you know, over this next year dramatically. But that’ll, that’s been kind of a, an interesting observation that we’ve have over this first. , you mentioned that they’re still breastfeeding. What has that journey been like as far as your wife or how you’ve been able to help and the kids’ response to that?

[00:11:08] So that has been a, an amazing journey. First of all, big shout out to my wife for committing to that, and that was something that was important to both of us. And, you know, we, we looked into the, the science of how, how powerful breastfeeding can be for your children. And, you know, of course not everybody’s blessed to be able to do this, especially for over a year.

[00:11:27] But early on, you know, it was a bit of a challenge just because our kids came early and they came at 33 weeks. And of course just the prematurity you know, made it challenging for them to eat orally immediately. And obviously being in the NICU, there was a point in time where they were feeding via the tube for you know, two, two and a half, three weeks.

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[00:11:46] And as we started to kind of work with a, a lactation consultant to. Help, you know, latch on and, and, and learn that whole process. You know, it’s a, it’s a process for mom and babies to, to understand really how that works. I mean, there’s a lot of natural instincts involved. But our daughter, we had to get she had a, a bit of a tongue tie.

[00:12:05] We had to get that lasered early on when she got that laser taken care of. She, she really. Brought was brought up to speed very quickly in terms of her ability to, to feed at the breast. And my son, he was, he was always really adept to be able to breastfeed from, from a very, very early time. And so during that first, you know, those first few weeks in the NICU, There was a big learning curve for my wife and we had a lot of support from the lactation consultants and the nurses.

[00:12:33] And then when we came home, there was a little bit of a regression in some ways, and we had another lactation consultant come to our house to help out. And there was, you know, some new techniques that we were. We, we were you know, learned or we learned through that process and that was super, super helpful.

[00:12:49] So, you know, it’s just, it’s, it’s really become second nature at this point. And you know, the big challenge now is to kind of wean off of that effectively and appropriately. So that’s kind of the, the stage that we’re at now. Yeah, our girls were tongue tied too. They had to have a little procedure and it was frustrating for us cuz we, they just couldn’t get a latch.

[00:13:08] We didn’t know what was going on. And then it’s like, oh, by the way, they have this physical thing wrong with their mouth that they, it’s so we’re like, oh, well that’s what it was. I know. Yeah. It was a, it was an interesting realization when that happened. It was just almost immediate that she, you know, she really caught on very quickly.

[00:13:24] Okay. So you mentioned premature babies and stuff. So let’s rewind back to when during the pregnancy, like when you, you found out you were having twins. You know, what was your reaction in your situation like at that time? So, it’s so interesting because when we found out we were pregnant, you know, of course my wife did the whole thing where she got me a book that, you know, was basically a baby book and said, you know, I love you daddy.

[00:13:43] And I remember seeing, I was like, oh, I was in shock that we were pregnant. And of course at that time we didn’t know that it would be twins and, you know, it was, it was a great, joyful experience that we share with all of our, our family that we were pregnant. and we actually had a little bit of travel in the middle of that, between that time of learning our pregnancy to our 20 week ultrasound.

[00:14:04] And during that time, you know, we were kind of just having conversations, just being so excited about being pregnant. And my wife had always talked about. How she knew she was gonna have twins. She just knew it. She was certain that we were gonna have twins and our, our, our pregnancy was natural and there was really no reason for us to think that we would, other than just this feeling that she had her whole life, that she was always gonna have twins.

[00:14:28] And so I remember we were coming back from a, we were actually on a vacation. We were coming back and we were, it was the day before our 20 week ultrasound, and she said, you know what, tomorrow is where we find out if there’s two in. . And it was funny we were having this conversation because, you know, again, it was almost like I remember having this conversation being like, you know what?

[00:14:46] That would be really surprising, but for some reason I wouldn’t be shocked. And so we get back in town and we go to the doctor the next day to do the ultrasound, and immediately she says, There’s two in there and we just look at each other and just start cracking up laughing cuz it’s like, are you kidding me?

[00:15:03] How is this actually coming to be our reality? And so obviously that was a very, very joyful day and we shared with all our family members, and by the way, it’s exciting to tell your family that you’re pregnant, but it’s way more over the top, like unbelievable to tell your family that you’re having twins.

[00:15:18] Like people were just like, our family members were absolutely blown away. . And that was really, really fun experience. I mean, people were like, jaw dropped. You know, and it’s, it’s a, it’s, you know, we’re all living in this twin world now, and it’s us, it’s second nature. But before that, you know, it’s, it’s a very shocking type of thing.

[00:15:34] But we were very excited and moving along through the pregnancy, she had a great pregnancy. It was like, you know, she was really active and things were going well. She felt good. There were certainly times where she was feeling, you know, nauseous and, and things like that. And just going through that.

[00:15:49] Experience. But then when we reached third trimester, started to get a little bit more challenging. She started to get a little bit more limited in her mobi, mobility and energy levels and things like that. As, as you can all, as we can all understand as, as dads, you know, it’s you know, you try to empathize and support as much as you can.

[00:16:05] But things were going really well by the way. We were actually due on 2 22 22 with twins on a Tuesday. And we were like, oh my gosh. Like this is divine intervention. Like it’s going to happen. We’re going to have these kids on 2 22 22. And so that was, you know, really the intention and, and really, you know, we were excited about that.

[00:16:24] Cause that was like, wow, this is so amazing and remarkable. And ultimately as we kind of got closer to that date, you know, things were still going really well. She came home from work one night and she was like, you know, just not really feeling great, you know, not feeling my best. And, and she had taken her shoes off and I’m like, man, your feet are really swollen.

[00:16:43] Like, I think you should sit down and kind of. Lay your feet up or, and put ’em on the ottoman or something. And so we sat there, we’re watching a basketball game, and I actually had a business trip the next day that I was going on, and I was gonna be gone for a week. And she was getting pretty anxious about that.

[00:16:57] And she was actually getting pretty emotional about it. And I kind of chalked it up to, hey, she’s, she’s going through, you know, all of the, the hormones of being in this part of the pregnancy. And I totally understand that. And, you know, I, I was feeling a little bit anxious, believe it or not you know, to go on this trip as well.

[00:17:12] Just because leaving her for a week, you know, during that stage of the pregnancy was risky. And I was, but I was also very hopeful and, and optimistic that things would, would play out and work out and you know, we would just go forward to this 2 22 22 date. And as we sat there, you know, we’re sitting there watching the basketball game.

[00:17:31] And all of a sudden she’s like, oh my gosh, oh my gosh. I’m like, my, I’m wet. Like, what? What’s going on? And so I look over and she stands up and like she’s pouring water. It’s like her water had broken and we’re like, oh my goodness. This was the day of our 32nd week. And it was like out of the middle of nowhere.

[00:17:49] Cause we had this perfect pregnancy, it was, everything was going well, and all of a sudden her water breaks. And I’m looking at her like, whoa, what? Like I wasn’t anticipating this, you know? And so, but it’s like, okay, let’s stay calm. You know? You never know. But at the same time, every time I’ve heard of someone’s water breaking, I’m thinking, look, we’re having babies now.

[00:18:07] Like this is happening and. So we get our stuff and we go to the hospital. And of course, you know, she and I are both kind of, you know, shook, shook from this experience you know, at that point in time. And so we get to the hospital. And we get checked in and we’re, I guess we’re in the antipartum, I believe is where we arrived.

[00:18:24] I, you know, you’ll have to forgive me cause some of this stuff is kind of running together, but as we get there, you know, they’re checking her and they’re like, you know, you’re, you’re a little bit dilated. Your water has broken. But we’re gonna, you know, we’re gonna check you in and, you know, it could either be tonight or it could be weeks from now when you have these babies.

[00:18:39] And we’re like, what do you mean? Like, how could this be weeks from now? And so what had happened? Our son, he was placing so much pressure on our daughter that her her sack broke and it was leaking fluid. But they could still remain in the womb. And that’s the doctors recommended if we’re able to, to keep the babies in the womb as much as possible.

[00:18:59] Because there’s, you know, the stage of development was so critical at that point in time. And so at that point we said, okay, well, you know, here’s where we are. And she was admitted to the hospital and stayed on bedrest. And we’re thinking, all right, 2 22 22. Like, we’re gonna be in here for however long we need to be to get there.

[00:19:15] And you know, a few days pass and. You know, we get our ultrasounds and all that kind of stuff. And, you know, the goal of the day from the nurse was, Hey, stay pregnant today. And as we con continue to go through you know, I would go up there during the day and work from the hospital and, you know, support her and be a part of those ultrasounds and things like that.

[00:19:34] And, you know, things were going well, and as we continued forward, it was like, all right, let’s just, our goal is another day. And as we got closer, it was like, wow, you know, we got feedback from some of the doctors that, hey, it’s pretty unlikely that you’re gonna make it to 2 20, 2 22, but you never know how long you can make it.

[00:19:50] So then we’re like, how about 2, 2 22? And you know, so as we continued forward one day, actually one week later, she ultimately went into labor and the babies came. So they came at 33 weeks. So anyway, that’s my long story of our entire pregnancy, experience. Ending with a surprise there for sure. Wow.

[00:20:11] So you, so you had to, I mean, you both had jobs, business stuff you had to immediately rearrange cuz the twins came way early. Right? Tell us about that. Yeah. Yeah. So I was, believe it or not, I had two conferences that I was attending. Within a one week period I was gonna be heading out to Utah and then from Utah to Florida and then back home.

[00:20:30] And ultimately I canceled my attendance at both of those conferences Immediate. My wife Katie, is a nurse practitioner, so she immediately notified her work that she was no longer going to be, you know, obviously be able to attend work until until the babies came, until, you know, thereafter. And so she was able to attend to those fairs and her, her work was super supportive of her and, you know, that unexpected timing of that experience.

[00:20:56] In terms of my work, I’m an entrepreneur, a real estate investor, and we run a, a private equity real estate company. And so we invest in large multi-family communities across the region and Midwest and Southeast. And so my company and, and my, my efforts, you know, really are not necessarily paused during this type of experience.

[00:21:14] And so, you know, it was just, Hey, let’s just figure it out. Roll with the punches. I mean, that’s half the battle being an entrepreneur, but. In this type of experience with twins in a twin pregnancy, it’s, it’s totally unpredictable. And during this period it was like, Hey, look, this, this is what it is. This is the highest priority, so let’s just figure it out.

[00:21:32] And my partners and and colleagues have been super supportive of me throughout this entire experience. But, you know, it was just letting everyone know, Hey, here’s what’s going on. And, and most people were super excited to hear what was going on in my life. So that was, it was fun to just have that level of support in business, personal life, and and so on and so forth.

[00:21:51] That’s good that you had some flexibility there. Usually twins are, is kind of like the, I win the win I win card, right? You’re like, Hey, I got twins. They’re like, oh, okay. Glad it’s you on me. Yeah, whatever you need. We’ll give you a break. We’ll reschedule stuff like that. So, So true, so true. And it was fun to just have everybody really supporting you and just be pull in for you.

[00:22:10] But you know, that just the unpredictability of it, that was almost the first lesson of being a dad of twins is that like, Hey, your plan of 2 22 22, it’s really cute and nice and it fits in this really awesome box, but like, how about this way better experience and like surprising experience that like you’re not in control.

[00:22:28] but you’re just gonna have to adapt and evolve and roll with the punches. That was like the first great lesson of this entire experience. Yeah. You got it really soon, really early. So tell us about the birth. Was it you said your wife went into labor. Did it end up with c-section vaginal birth? How did that play out?

[00:22:44] Yeah, so she went into labor and it was a, it was a C-section and we’re, we’re very thankful that it was, that was, she made that decision. It was kind of on her heart that week between 32 and 33. She had always wanted to, to do a vaginal birth. But that week when everything had gone down and just consulting with our doctors, she decided and we collectively decided based on, you know, all of these different factors that the c-section was the most app.

[00:23:09] You know, approach just because of how our son was laying. He was kind of laying perpendicular in her stomach and, and our daughter was and I, I forget the, the, the medical terminology of, of the, the positions that they were laying. But it just made more sense for us because there, there was a possibility that.

[00:23:25] Our daughter would’ve been born naturally or vaginally, and then they still would’ve had to do a c-section. It would’ve just been a, a big, big challenge. So yeah, the birth was great and our daughter came out first and about a minute later then our son came out and we couldn’t have been more, you know, excited and thankful and, you know, still naive at that point in time.

[00:23:44] But you know, a, an amazing, amazing birth experience. You mentioned some time in the NICU, so did they take the babies away right away? Was there immediate issues that they had to take? So they were actually doing well. They didn’t have like any oxygen issues or any really issues other than just being premature.

[00:24:01] At least at that time. There were some minor complications that we did experience, but we did go immediately myself and the two babies to the NICU there right after the birth. And I kind of. You know, went with them and got ’em all, you know, was there for them to get checked in and all the nurses to kind of hook ’em up and do all that kind of stuff.

[00:24:19] So that was quite a whirlwind of an experience and you know, again, I had no idea what to expect there after, you know, for the next month or so. But my expectation was, Hey, you know, we’re gonna be in here for a few days and, you know, everything’s gonna be great. And it, you know, it was a very, very long and trying and challenging next month that we had to experience there in the NICU.

[00:24:39] It’s, it’s a grind, but that’s, that’s kind of how, how it started. Were you always expecting like, okay, tomorrow’s the day, or was there, did the medical staff say, okay, that’s not really gonna happen? So we had, we actually had a meeting with one of the NICU docs before we gave birth, and this is when our thoughts were, Hey, 2 20, 2 22, like that’s, you know, it was a few weeks away.

[00:25:01] And you know, then we started to revise our thoughts to 2, 2 22. Just because that was a still a, a pretty interesting date for twins to be born. And we still had, we had a doctor come into to our room and talk to us about NICU and he was very, very detailed and, and helpful and understand helping us understand what a NICU experience would look like.

[00:25:20] And we still thought, Hey, that’s not gonna happen to us. You know, we’re, we’re not gonna go to NICU because we’ve had. Pregnancy. Just because we’re on bedrest doesn’t mean we’re now gonna give birth to these babies. Cuz that shocking water breaking experience to them being educated that hey, they’re not necessarily coming right now, was quite a chasm to cross.

[00:25:39] And once we recognize that, we’re thinking, okay, well let’s remain committed to, you know, keeping those babies in the womb as long as possible. And so we, we listened intently and we, we learned about what we could expect with birth or a NICU experience and, you know, with a premature set of babies, but we didn’t really internalize it, I think, and when the babies did officially come at 33 weeks at that point, then it was okay.

[00:26:03] You know, the, the. Expectation is that you will then take the babies home when they’re about 38 weeks gestational age or closer to their due date. And so that almost felt like, well, but maybe that’s how it works for most people, but probably not us. You know, it’s cuz we, we just had this positive thought process that, you know, hey, it’s, it’s, you know, they’re, they’re giving us a, they’re trying to over or underpromise over-deliver, kind of.

[00:26:28] And as we got closer and closer, you know, a couple weeks in we’re thinking, all right, well maybe we’re getting close. Cuz you know, they’re not having any medical complications. You know, I get it. They’re telling most people that. But you know, as the weeks kind of, the days kind of led on, we’re thinking, wait a minute, this, this really might.

[00:26:44] End up being closer to their due date before we get home. And it was a very long experience. I mean, because you know, I’m managing the business, you know, she’s breastfeeding, going back and forth from home to the hospital. Of course she’s got postpartum, you know, all of the experience there. You know, obviously all this surgery, you know, tongue ties, babies, you know, just that whole experience is a very emotion.

[00:27:07] Experience and very challenging just from a practical perspective, but also an emotional perspective. So it was it was a grind, big time grind and something that I don’t think anybody can really be prepared for. But I mean, this podcast is probably helpful in your books are helpful because it is helpful to just understand that that is a possibility.

[00:27:24] But you know, I think just being prepared for anything is one of the biggest lessons that, that I learned through that experience. So it sounds like they didn’t. Serious complications. They just needed more time to just to grow, to be kind of self-sufficient so that they can be released into the wild, as it were.

[00:27:43] Yeah, it was, the big thing was, you know, feeding orally because from what we understood, premature babies are just, there weren’t developed to a point where they could really. Feed orally so that they could properly develop, you know, their, their lungs, their brains, all the different organs. And so there was, there was a part of the process that, you know, obviously a mom’s body is optimal for in terms of that type of development.

[00:28:05] And so, you know, looking back, it’s, it’s important to have the expectation and set the, and have the understanding that, you know, the hospital has your best interest at heart. But there was a point in time where it felt. Man, it’s almost like we gotta check the box so we can get outta here. They gotta feed for this amount of time or these, this many times for, for this length of a time before we can actually get outta here.

[00:28:26] Cause we felt like they were ready to go, but, you know, we’re, we’re not the the professionals in this sense. So, you know, it was, it was quite the experience. So as, as the dad, how, like, how much time were you able to spend with them on any given day when they were in the. So I would typically, as the dad, I would go up there in the morning and in the evenings and like every day.

[00:28:47] And my wife was typically there all day. Like we, we would go up in the morning together. She would stay until the evening time and, and I would go up. She would typically go home and, and I’d be there and I’d do like skin to skin in the very early times when I could and, you know, help feed with the bottles or, or do baths you know, with the nurse or, or with, with my wife.

[00:29:07] And so yeah, it was, it was a lot. I mean, going back and forth to hospital, hospital is about 20 minutes or so from our house. So, I mean, you know, you’re doing a couple trips, that’s a 40 minute round trip plus how long you’re gonna be there and you know, you still have other responsibilities whether.

[00:29:20] You know, taking care of the dog or the cat at home and you know, all the other responsibilities and, you know, in professional sense as well. So it was, it was definitely a lot to handle for both of us, but of course more for my wife. But that was really my involvement through the NICU process and really being there as much as I could when the doctors were going to, to come and give us an update on what they’re seeing from that day in terms of their growth and, you know you know, just their evaluation.

[00:29:44] That was important. And it was just a, a constant, a constant communication. Were both of your children released at the same time or were they kind of staggered? Thankfully they were, and we understand that some and many have, you know, one baby come home before the other. And, and that I can imagine is a very big challenge just from a logistical and practical perspective and emotional.

[00:30:06] But both of ours were discharged on the same day. And I remember, you know, there were certainly certain boxes that, boxes that we needed to check for them to be able to do that. Not only the, the feeding issue that I just described. , but also the, you know, the, the car seat test. You know, whether or not they could hold their head up and, and breathe properly in the car seat without having any sort of oxygen concerns.

[00:30:26] And so we were very excited to kind of go through that process so that we could hopefully get ’em both home at the same time. But they both came home at the same time, same day. And how was your wife’s recovery from the C-section? It was good for the most part. I mean, it, you know I think it, I think I, from what I understand, she recovered as, as expected.

[00:30:46] I mean, you know, it was just a big time emotional experience for her. Just a postpartum and just dealing with all the practical. Sort of barriers that we went through. I think those were more significant than the recovery from a surgical perspective. But that was, you know, just another sort of part of it.

[00:31:03] But she really rose to the occasion. I mean, that was the, the cool thing to really watch from her was like, she was born to be a mom. She was born to be a mom of twins. And like, she just didn’t, she didn’t let that slow her down at all. And she just kept doing what was necessary to give them the, the, the nutrition, the care that they needed.

[00:31:21] And so it was almost. You’re probably sensing a little bit of, Hey, you know, do I recall much of the recovery from the C-section because I, I, I don’t recover or I don’t recall much because it really wasn’t a huge concern for us because it seemed to be going as well as it could have been, if that makes sense.

[00:31:38] That’s good. Yeah, that’s good. That was a good smooth recovery because cuz people hear about C-sections and they’re like, oh, they just, how they just live for the baby’s no big deal, but it’s like major abdominal surgery, you know? I mean, they’re literally cutting through multiple layers to get down to the babies and that can be a little overwhelming.

[00:31:53] Yeah, she certainly had some pain, you know, and, and you know, some of the things that we had to do and some of the challenges and barriers that she had to experience through that time was, you know, not only doing the breastfeeding, but when she was not near the babies. Like if we slept at home, which we would sleep at home.

[00:32:08] And then she’d go back in the morning. She still had to get up every couple hours and, and pump. And that was a challenge. And you know, going through the recovery while pumping with hospital grade pumps, you know, and experiencing engorgement issues and things like that. I mean, that was a huge challenge for her in terms of just that acclimation.

[00:32:28] So, you know, there was a lot going on and you know, again, like for all of us dads, all of us twin dads out there, it’s just like, just do our best to, you know, support and just try to empathize and understand. It’s not, it is much easier said than done. It’s much easier than being on a podcast and talking about it like this.

[00:32:44] But that’s all I tried to do. I’m sure I’ve failed in many regards. But that’s, you know, when I reflect back on that experience, it was. Just going back and forth and trying to make sure that you got the, the milk supply to where it needed to s you know, to support these babies was like a practical and logistical challenge, but one that, you know, we were able to overcome.

[00:33:06] How was your transition to life at home when you brought the babies home and cuz you, you were just getting used to life in the nicu right? And, and the logistics there. How was the switch back to home? Yeah. Cuz we went from zero to two, so we didn’t have any kids at the time and we went from zero to two.

[00:33:19] So we were diving into the deep end and while we were at the NICU, you know, we’re dealing with all these logistical challenges that I’ve explained and, you know, we’re, we’re almost kind of like easing into parent. , you know, because it’s like, well, you go home and it’s like they’re not there, you know? It’s like, but you feel like, well, we’re parents, but you know, but they’re not here with us at home.

[00:33:38] They’re not here with us in the real world and. As we finally did get released, and by the way, we learned that we were gonna get released like the day of that we did. And it was like, oh my gosh. So we then chose to sleep overnight at the hospital in one of the, the rooms there that they set aside to kind of get acclimated and, you know, the nurses to support us in terms of feeding overnight and all that kind of stuff.

[00:34:00] And that was, that was wild. I mean, we got like maybe 10 minutes of sleep that night. It was like insane cuz it felt like, you know, they were all right. The, the nurses back in, they’re ready to feed and you know, we’re doing bottles and all that kind of stuff. And so as we were going through that experience, then we got discharged.

[00:34:17] The next day we go home and it was like pouring down rain that day. It was cold, and we got home and we sat ’em in their, their car seats there on the, kind of the, the living room floor next to us in the, in like the kitchen area. And we like looked down and we’re like, Oh my gosh. Like, they’re here. You know, this is, this is wild.

[00:34:34] And so then it, like the madness truly began, you know, because the NICU experience had its own set of challenges and just, you know, obviously tremendous amount of joy and, and an amazing experience because you know, you’re doing your first bath and all of these things that, all these first, you know, the first clothes and all these things.

[00:34:52] And now that we came. . It was like the real, the real twin parenting experience then began and it was like, we gotta feed every two hours. And it’s not two hours from the end of the feeding, but it’s two hours from the beginning of the feeding and it’s like, oh my gosh. Like I guess the nurses really have gotten us on that schedule, which has been great.

[00:35:10] The nurses and the doctors and the whole staff and the NICU, and that was a helpful thing. But then it was, we were running it and, you know, it was just a tremendous you know, immersion of this like challenge and experience. Obviously it’s mixed with joy and love and immense, like unconditional love. But it was, it was a grind.

[00:35:26] And you know, that that first day and like the first week and really the first month was, you know, I’m sure we all say this, but just a blur beyond. Yes. Very, very blurry. Yeah. It’s like you bring the kids home and you’re like, uh oh I’m in charge now. Like, I have to make sure these kiddos survive. You know?

[00:35:44] I used to have the crutches of the nurses and the doctors at the hospital. It’s quite, it’s quite jarring. So was it just you and your wife, or did you have, you know, in-laws or grandparents come over to help? Yeah, we had grandparents, so both sides of the grandparents are in town and so we had a lot of help from them.

[00:35:59] You know, just in terms of, hey, like in that first little bit, like the first few weeks, it’s like, you know, we would have grandparents come over from time to time to, Hey, you guys sleep a little bit. Go, go have a nap, and we’ll, we’ll take over for the next few hours. Or we’ll help clean the house or we’ll help do some chores or, you know, we’ll bring over some, some meals and things like that.

[00:36:18] So that was super helpful in terms of that early part of the experience. And my wife took off her work. I think she was off for three and a half or four months or so. So she was, you know, fully immersed in you know, those, that ear those early days. And I was getting up with her every, you know, every night for really the first probably four or five, six months where we were getting up every few hours.

[00:36:42] And so that, that is something that obviously just, you know, it weighs on you after a a period of time. I mean, really do that for a week and it’s gonna weigh on you. You know, over time it’s like you almost feel like a zombie. And you know, that, that whole experience, I mean, just the support of family and close friends was really helpful.

[00:36:59] I continued to work throughout that entire experience just because as a business owner, it’s, it’s challenging to, to not do so. But it also gave me the flexibility to be present. You know, if I, if we were up all night, it’s like I could start my day kind of a little bit later. You know, I could work when it made sense too.

[00:37:16] So that was helpful. But then as my wife went back to work, she actually went back part-time instead of full-time. And so she’s only working a couple days a week and during those couple of days we have a nanny that comes over and, and helps. So it’s it’s a good balance for us. Now, tell us about finding a nanny and.

[00:37:33] How, how that process worked and how you found a good match for your family. So we are absolutely blessed with our nanny. She is unbelievable. We would’ve never exp, we would never have expected to, to find the nanny that we found. I mean, she’s just in perfect alignment with our values and, and just the type of children that we, we wanna raise and the love that we wanna show them.

[00:37:54] We found her I believe it was through care.com. And she was, you know, just an individual on there. And we, we had in interviewed three or four different candidates and we were actually planning on, on hiring another one. And some, somehow it just didn’t work out. There was some misalignment with expectations on, on either side, and I don’t remember exactly why.

[00:38:17] This other individual wasn’t the one that we were going after. But somehow it worked out that she was going to, to to work with us. And it’s just been a perfect match ever since. And, you know, we’ve, we actually have kind of treated this like we would a, a traditional employee or somebody that we really care for.

[00:38:34] It’s like, Hey, you know, here are our expectations and here’s what success would look like and, you know, to treat it professionally. And we ended up kind of, you know, meeting with her, you know, the first 30 days for 60 days, first 90 days to kind of look back and say, Hey, what’s working? What’s not working?

[00:38:50] And thankfully we’ve had all positive news with her. Hey, this is all going great. How can we even do better, you know, together? And how can we support their needs at this stage of their. and so while she’s been, you know, two to two and a half days a week, depending on the week it’s just been a perfect arrangement.

[00:39:07] So that’s kinda how we found her. But, you know, we’re, we’re definitely blessed and we’ve, we’ve seen others that have had, you know, less than optimal experiences. So we’re, we’re very grateful to, to have the experience that we have. Is the arrangement with a nanny, do you pay her by the hour? Is it like a monthly kind of salary?

[00:39:24] How’s. Yeah, we pay her by the hour and we do pay her weekly as well. And through care.com there is an arrangement where you pay, you know, withholding taxes and, and things like that. Local municipality taxes. So that’s all kind of taken out of the, the paycheck and, and arranged through the weekly paycheck.

[00:39:42] But we do pay her weekly and it is by the hour. And what we do is we have her, when she, when she arrives, we have like a, a sheet that basically gives us a tally and kind of a, a rundown of the day in terms of you know, bowel movements or, you know, did they pee and, and what were their feedings like and all that kind of stuff.

[00:40:00] But it also includes, hey, when did you arrive and, and when did you end? But typically the, the work time is the same hours, you know, each, each week. But it is paid by. That’s good. Yeah, I’ve heard, I mean, usually a nanny arrangement, it’s very customized to what you as the parents are looking for. So that’s great that you found a good match and it kind of works around the schedule that you have with, with your wife working part-time.

[00:40:21] So, It’s been great and she’s given us great suggestions on like development and things. Like, there was like one example we were asking her like, Hey, how can we do things better? And, and she was like, Hey, I, you know, I think they’re kind of getting bored with the toys that we have. And she suggested a, a company called Love, love Every, or Love Free, and I don’t know if you’ve heard of that, but it’s a, a company that, it’s kind of like a Montessori type of program where each month they send you like a box of.

[00:40:47] of, you know, certain toys and things that are perfect for that stage of the development. And it’s been great because, you know, it’s allowed us to really, you know, tap, tap in some sort of developmental science with where they are. And they’ve really enjoyed the curiosity of playing with those type of toys.

[00:41:03] And I don’t even know if you’ve really described ’em as toys, but that was just one example of like, The additional value that we receive beyond just, hey, like, be a babysitter for us. So mm-hmm. , I would challenge any of the dads to think about, you know, if you’re, if you’re going to utilize this type of resource in your family, you know, how can you, how can they also add value beyond just, you know, helping kind of support the, the day-to-day logistics?

[00:41:26] Yeah, actually talked with the dad, the founder of Love Every is a twin dad himself, so, oh, is he really? Yeah. So if listeners wanna go check out that interview with him, it’s back in the archives of the podcast. But yeah, it’s a kinda small world. There’s twin dads everywhere doing good stuff. Love it. So, Tyler, as you look back now on like this first 13 months with your twins, like what are, what are some other lessons learned or takeaways that, that if you had a friend who was gonna be having twins, what’s the one thing you’d say, Hey, don’t forget.

[00:41:54] I mean, the big thing is just living gratitude because you’ve been blessed beyond measure in terms of being a, a, a dad of twins because you could look at this and say, oh my gosh. Cuz I remember early on we were like, we’re having twins or, or we have twins. And people would say, oh, I’m sorry, I’m sorry to hear that.

[00:42:10] Like, that’s awful. Like, that’s terrible. And so you could either look at it and say, Yeah, this is awful. And like I’m overwhelmed. Or you can be grateful and say, wow, what an amazing experience. And so that’s one of the things. And like I can’t say, Hey, I’m perfect at this, but if I were to give myself advice, it would be even in the times of like sleeplessness and like overwhelm, like kind of the feelings of overwhelm is to just be grateful and you know, try to live in the moment.

[00:42:37] Try to live day by day and just. Just be open to learning. I can say that, you know, one thing I’m really passionate about is just personal development and, you know, trying to be the best version of myself, but this is the best personal development journey I’ve ever been on, is going from no kids to two kids and just.

[00:42:55] Being humble and just like, Hey, you can read all the books and you should, by the way, you should read all the books. Like if you, if you get ’em, like get Joe’s books, like they’re great and they’re helpful because there’s strategies that work. You can model success and you can do the things that have worked for so many others instead of just figuring it all out.

[00:43:13] Like go out and do what already works and what people are telling you to do, and. Be flexible, be nimble, because your experience is going to be totally unique from anybody else’s. You know, I listened to a lot of these podcasts before our twins came, and I was like, oh, that’s a good idea. Like, that’s a unique experience.

[00:43:29] Like, I heard other people talking about their NICU journey and I never expected that it would happen to me. But then when it did, it was, oh, well, what, you know, what joy are should we be experiencing from this? Growth, you know, should we be experiencing from this? So those are just some of the advices that I might give to myself.

[00:43:45] But I think ultimately it’s just love your kids, love your wife, you know, give them the support they need and just try to, you know, listen and observe and just, you know, see what it is that they need. Because I think that’s what a dad is here to do. But a dad is also here to, you know, not only to kind of be in the, in the weeds or in the trenches, but also.

[00:44:03] Kind of think big for your family and think about how can we be strategic about where do we want to go? Like what type of life do we wanna live? And you know, thinking about, hey, well you know, what, what type of kids, you know, can we raise? And some of the things that I’ve realized is that. You know, it’s never gonna be, we’re not gonna create human beings.

[00:44:22] They are who they are and they are like, they’re their own unique person. So give them the opportunity of becoming that. And just like if they’re showing interest in serve something, let them go, let them explore that. And I’m, I’m still learning all this, but those are some of the pieces of advice that I might give myself or someone else.

[00:44:41] Well, that is great advice. That’s a great perspective to have. And. Living in, in gratitude, living in the moment, cherishing those moments we have with our kids and not, I love how what you said about they are individuals and they have their own personalities and quirks and everything and encouraging and help building them up in their strength.

[00:45:00] You know where they are. And that evolves over time. You know, when they’re really little, it’s very different than when they become teenagers, like, like I’ve got, but the principals are the same. Right? You’re still enjoying the journey, loving them, taking care of ’em, and helping them along that path to whatever they turn out to be.

[00:45:15] You know, they’re not gonna necessarily end up like me or, or, or my wife, right? I know, and my, my wife and I think I, I think we’ve done a pretty good job of this, but it’s been something that we’ve been intentional on is, is just creating a family culture of like, you know, for us it’s, it’s all about love.

[00:45:30] It’s all about adventure, curiosity, and strength and, and respecting yourself. And so we’ve, we’ve developed principles that we think are important for any human being to integrate within their own life, especially our family. But that allows them to, Anybody that they want to be, but also follow timeless wisdom.

[00:45:48] And so we’ve, we’ve been sort of intentional about designing a family culture and, you know, core values and, you know, a bigger picture of the mission of that our, that our family family’s on. And so whatever type of individuals our kids become, You know, they can align with timeless wisdom. And so that’s, that’s another thing that we’ve been thoughtful about creating.

[00:46:07] And so we’re, we’re trying to, you know, be intentional about creating that in our day-to-day life as they grow up too. That’s a fantastic approach. I love that. So, Tyler, as we wrap up today, if listeners want to connect with you or learn more about what you’re working on, how can they reach out? Well, Joe this has been super fun.

[00:46:20] Thank you so much for having me. I’m, I’m also a podcaster. I, I have a podcast, it’s called Elevate Podcast, and it’s all about mindset, mind expansion, and personal development for high performing real estate investors. So if any of your listeners are a real estate investor or somebody that wants to get involved in real estate, you can check that out on anywhere that they listen to podcasts, whether it’s Apple, Spotify, you name it all over the place.

[00:46:41] So you can check that out. If you’re a podcast listener, you might enjoy that. We talked to pretty interesting people, whether they’re in real estate or outside of real estate. And really it kind of comes down to thinking big and expanding your horizons and, and elevating your lifestyle and performance.

[00:46:54] So that’s really what that podcast is all about. So people can check that out. Or my company is CF Capital. So we’re a private equity real estate investment firm. We invest in multi-family communities across the Midwest and Southeast. If your listeners are interested in learning more, They can just go to cfcapllc.com.

[00:47:11] Of course, I build long-term relationships with our investors and partners and really that’s what it’s all about. And it’s all about the long-term and thinking big. So yeah, that’s that’s where the listeners can find me. Excellent, Tyler, thank you. And we’ll link up to those in the show notes for listeners.

[00:47:25] I wanna check those things out. Once again, thank you so much for sharing your story with us today. We really appreciate it. Thanks, Joe. I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Tyler about his journey as a father of. From the surprise, early arrival of his twins to making it through that first year and the great positive mindset he has in his twin parenting journey.

[00:47:46] If you wanted to connect with Tyler and some of those With his podcast or his business that he mentioned. I’ll link him to that in the show notes over at twindadpodcast.com. Again, today’s show is brought to you by twintshirtcompany.com, where you’ll find dozens of t-shirts designed specifically for fathers of twins, mothers of twins, and the twins themselves.

[00:48:03] Pick up a shirt for you and gifts for your friends and family at twintshirtcompany.com. If you would like to share your story like Tyler did today, I would love to hear from you and have you on the podcast. Go ahead and reach out to me. You can email me, [email protected], or reach out to me on Instagram or Twitter @twindadjoe, and I would love to hear from you.

[00:48:24] Thank you so much for listening, and I’ll see you next time.

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Dad's Guide to Raising Twins book
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