There were still some items remaining on Andrea Katz's "twins to-do list" on the last day of week 32 of her pregnancy. She knew the babies might arrive on the early side, since multiples usually do, but she figured she had plenty of time left to wash their clothes and help her husband, Aaron, put the finishing touches on the nursery. Her daughter and son had other plans, though.
Born via C-section at 33 weeks and one day at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in Boston, they were considered premature and needed to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) -- Elsie for three weeks, Owen for five. Although it pained the parents to leave their babies in the hospital for so long, it did give them extra time to get those chores done. Today, the babies are doing well. "Everything worked out, just not the way we thought it would," says Andrea.
The Katzes' experience is pretty typical for parents of twins. While you may not be able to count on things going according to schedule when you're carrying multiples, knowing what to expect during pregnancy, labor, and beyond can help make the journey feel like a double (or triple) blessing. "It's comforting to know that most multiple pregnancies do proceed smoothly and the babies have a good outcome," says pediatrician Shelly Vaziri Flais, M.D. (She should know: She is the mother of 6-year-old twins and the author of Raising Twins: From Pregnancy to Preschool.) Turn the page for more facts and advice from the experts.