AMA! Mom blogging, raising twin survivors of TTTS, returning to school for Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy

Laura Binder
Dec 5, 2017

Hi! My name is Laura. I'm raising my twin 10-month-old identical girls who survived twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. I'm returning to graduate school to finish my Masters and preparing to intern for Marriage & Family Therapy. I started blogging to share our story after suffering two miscarriages, a harsh twin pregnancy where we could have lost our twins a couple of times, and now, learning to live life anew with them. Ask me anything!

www.twinrainbowbubbles.com; www.facebook.com/twinrainbowbubbles/; pin.it/y6rzbrg2lhzcpd

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Conversation (38)

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Any advise you can give about time management for moms having to study and build a career while raising a family?

Dec 8, 8:26PM EST0

So sorry for the delay!

This one is still a work-in-progress, honestly. I'm a little scared about how it will all work out. My classes resume in March and I have taken about two years off before getting to this point.

I know, without a doubt, I won't be able to get it done without my husband. His support is really what is pushing me forward to finish and without it, I'd honestly have given up already.

I know it's going to be difficult. I've gotten so used to being the one the girls pretty much solely depend on and to give that up, even temporarily, to concentrate on school has me depressed already.

I am definitely going to be seeking out time-management assistance and possibly part time daycare, otherwise I'm sure I don't know how I will survive.

I wish I had a better answer for you! Thank you for your question! ❤️

Dec 11, 9:31PM EST0

What would you suggest to young women today who are facing miscarriage, on what exactly they should be more focused? 

Last edited @ Dec 6, 11:41AM EST.
Dec 6, 11:40AM EST0

I could never presume to tell someone facing miscarriage that they should be more focused on anything. It can truly be a very life-altering event and everyone handles it differently. 

For many women, it is no different than the death of a loved one. For others, the death of a dream. For me, it was the death of both. I was already in love with my children the moment I found out that they existed. In that moment flooded all of the dreams of everything that I wished for my children and more, who I hoped they would be someday, what kind of people I wanted to raise them to be, everything. 

I think the only real advice that I would be able to give is to tell the mother to take her time. No one that I know is heartless enough to tell a mother who has lost a baby (my niece lost her baby at 4 months old) to "get over it" or ask them when they'll "return to normal" again. I truly feel the same rules should apply to a mother who has lost her baby to miscarriage. Nothing hurts more than being told that we were young and we could try again and that we should just get over the loss because it wasn't really a baby yet anyways... These are by far the WRONG things to say to a grieving mother, in my opinion.

However, I would also tell the grieving mother to not allow herself to be alone in this. No, I don't necessarily mean to never have time physically to herself, what I mean is to never feel like she is the only one going through this and to never feel like she has nothing to live for now. 

Thank you so much for your question!

Dec 6, 1:57PM EST0

Who do you see yourself in 10 years from now?

Dec 5, 6:53PM EST0

In 10 years, I hope and pray that I am a successful marriage and family therapist. The definition of success for me in this face is to be able to make enough money to not only provide for my family but be able to easily save for my children's college tuition. 

With the way that I world was gone, I think it would be absolutely grand to become a therapist online so that I can work from home helping others as well as be there for my children. But then my children will be almost 11 years old, probably in 5th grade. ☺️

Dec 6, 9:11AM EST0

What is your profession? How do you make a living?

Dec 5, 5:29PM EST0

Right now I am a stay-at-home mom. I am only able to do this because of my wonderful, hard-working husband.

I am, however, finishing my degree to become a marriage and family therapist. I should be finished with my classes by this summer and hopefully finish with my internship by next summer. After that, I should be able to join the workforce as a full-fledged therapist. ☺️☺️

Dec 5, 5:32PM EST0

What is your dream? What have you already done to achieve what you want?

Dec 5, 12:06PM EST0

This is actually a tough one for me to answer. I've always had two dreams. 1. To be a mom (preferably a SAHM or a very involved/engaged mother) and 2. To be a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) to help families with children.

So far (thanks to my amazing husband), I am the SAHM I always wanted to be, but he is so stressed out with money being tight, I know it won't last forever.

I am almost finished with my Masters degree for MFT, but classes had been put on hold while the girls were young. I will be continuing classes this coming March, however, and by then they will be almost 14 months old. I never thought we'd be financially stable enough for me to stay at home for this long, so I am VERY thankful for this time with them! ❤️❤️

Dec 5, 2:09PM EST0

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have a hobby?

Dec 5, 11:12AM EST0

I have a bunch of hobbies that have been left on the back burner since having the girls.  I am totally ok with it though, since most of them will be awesome to do with them someday. 😊

I love to bake (mostly cakes), draw, paint, crochet, read, write, you name it! Mostly geeky/crafty hobbies, but I love them! They help me relax. 

For now, I listen to audiobooks with the girls, still attempt to bake (though it's mostly been homemade teething biscuits or the like), and of course, work on my blog to still have outlets to enjoy. 😊

Dec 5, 2:05PM EST0

Who was the person most supportive of you in a difficult moment?

Dec 5, 9:12AM EST0

Definitely my husband. 😊 We've been through everything together. Our first miscarriage opened his eyes to how badly he wanted a child and we had talked forever about wanting twins before we got pregnant with them. ❤️❤️ He made sure he was at every ultrasound (except for when I was on bedrest) and was very invested in everything that went on with the pregnancy.

Dec 5, 1:57PM EST0

How long did your twins spend in the hospital? Have you been with them all this time?

Dec 5, 4:37AM EST0

My twins were born 9 weeks early and one was born needing a lot of help breathing.  They both spent 5 days in the NICU before being moved to the SCAN (Special Care Nursery). By discharge, my Little needing the O2 spent 7 weeks in the hospital, the other only 5. ❤️❤️ 

We came home with the O2. Thankfully that was an option because she needed it until they were 5 months old! I can't imagine what life would have been like if she needed to remain in the hospital that long! 

I went back to work for 2 1/2 months after my maternity leave was up. My husband wanted to yet there SAHD track since there is no way we can afford daycare for 2 right now but decided it wasn't for him. Once he found a new job, I was fortunate enough (Thank you SO MUCH, Babe! ❤️❤️) to be able to stay at home with them.

Last edited @ Dec 5, 4:51AM EST.
Dec 5, 4:51AM EST0

You are a very strong woman. How do you manage to cope with the stress?

Dec 5, 3:43AM EST0

Wow, thank you for the compliment! ❤️❤️

I definitely don't cope too much on my own. I pray a LOT! I have an amazing support system between my friends and family and everyone is willing to help out where they can! In the beginning, what I needed most was sleep, so friends would come when they could to let me get a nap (or a shower!) in once in a while. Now that my girls are getting older, it's still difficult getting enough sleep, but it is now due to the extras on my plate and less to do with learning the ropes and making sure they get enough to eat, etc.

But realistically, LOTS of prayer goes along with my daily activity. Otherwise, I have no idea how I can get it all done.

Dec 5, 4:11AM EST0

How often do you post new stories on your blog?

Dec 5, 3:26AM EST0

I post weekly. I preschedule my posts for every Monday before 9 am.

I know a lot of bloggers who make it a point to post 2-3 times a week. If they can, more power to them! I definitely wish I had that kind of time 😂

Dec 5, 4:05AM EST0

Can you say that keeping your blog is a kind of therapy for you?

Dec 4, 11:01PM EST0

Oh, definitely!! 

I have never been one for journaling because it didn't make sense to me to write down my life if it wasn't going to do anyone else any good. I started my blog to share our experiences in the hopes that others will know they are not alone. Now, it's becoming an outlet for all of my random thoughts to have a place to collect and bear fruit. 

Dec 5, 4:03AM EST0

What is the reaction of your subscribers to your blog? Do you have any negative ones?

Dec 4, 10:11PM EST0

So far, thankfully, no negative feedback! ☺️ A really nice feature of most comment sections in blog sites is that the moderator (the author) can review the feedback before allowing it to remain on the page. That way, no inappropriate or argument-inducing feedback can fall through the cracks and remain on any posts.

I am, however, open to constructive criticism and am nervously waiting for such comments. 😆 LOL

Dec 5, 3:04AM EST0

What does TTT syndrome mean? How is it treated in hospitals?

Dec 4, 6:17PM EST0

TTTS is twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. A condition that can only affect twins still in the womb if they share a placenta (and are therefore identical).

This syndrome develops when the fetuses do not share a blood supply very well, as in one twin does not receive much blood supply at all while the other twin receives all of the blood supply that is left.

I am not sure about all of the procedures that could have been done. However, for us, a tiny camera and laser were inserted into the womb through a small incision in my belly. They used the laser to cauterize strategic blood vessels that allowed each fetus her own blood supply. 

It was not very invasive for me, but obviously was for the babies, so very risky. We were not given a very high chance for success but it was better than a 100% chance for fatality if we did nothing.

Dec 4, 6:31PM EST0

How much time per day do you spend managing your blog?

Dec 4, 2:05PM EST0

Good question! The best thing about blogging, is that it works around my schedule and I can spend as little or as much time on it as I want. Most days, I don't get a whole lot of time because twin 10-month-old girls can be very demanding, especially when they don't nap at the same time. LOL

I do do my very best to make sure that I spend at least an hour or two accumulated per week so that I can get my post out every week. Does your weeks I spend less, but other weeks I spend more and try to pre-schedule my posts out far enough to make up for the super busy weeks.

As a matter of fact, I spend much more time promoting my blog than I do working on my actual posts. I am unsure if that's how it's supposed to work, but I am learning something new about blogging every day!

Last edited @ Dec 4, 9:56PM EST.
Dec 4, 2:22PM EST0

Do you bring any income from your blog? What do you think about advertising in your blog?

Dec 4, 2:01PM EST0

I do not as of yet, no. I started my blog before I learned you could make money with it. I am still learning the ins-and-outs to affiliate marketing, ads, and other ways of promoting it. I do not sell a service or Goods of any kind, it is only a lifestyle blog. That means it honestly has a lot of potential for marketing, but it would be mostly through affiliates, such as Amazon or any company that I might promote the use of their goods.

I actually posted this morning about some of the first foods that I made it home for my daughters using a Munchkin food processor. I generally use Munchkin or Cuisinart products, so I have been promoting those so far, but I intend to branch out with children's clothing lines, crafting/DIY products, child-friendly cooking/baking products, etc. when my daughters are a little older and I am more knowledgeable about what quality products I have used and am willing to promote. ☺️

Dec 4, 2:14PM EST0

Do you maintain a video blog about how your children grow up and spend their time?

Dec 4, 1:51PM EST0

That is one thing I have yet to learn how to do. I am not very tech-savvy, unfortunately, but it is definitely something that I may look into in the future, especially when my daughters are old enough to assist me in cooking and crafting. ❤️

Dec 4, 2:09PM EST0

Are there risks of re-development of this syndrome in the future for people who have undergone it?

Dec 4, 1:42PM EST0

Thank you for your question! There is not. ☺️ Twin-to-Twin transfusion syndrome can only affect twins still in the womb.

What happens is this: identical twins share a blood supply within a single placenta. This syndrome develops when they do not share very well, as in one twin does not receive much blood supply at all while the other twin receives all of the blood supply that is left.

The donor twin that does not receive enough blood will die for obvious reasons. For the recipient twin who receives all of the blood, it is equally as deadly because her heart will thicken and enlarge, resulting in premature heart failure. 

The syndrome can only be treated buy a very small number of procedures that the surgeon must perform within the womb. We were only given a 60 to 70% chance that one twin would survive the procedure, and less than a 50% chance that both would. However, it was a 100% chance of fatality if we did nothing... We were one of the lucky families. ❤️

Dec 4, 2:08PM EST0

How do you feel about other social media? Do you have a page in the Instagram?

Dec 4, 1:42PM EST0

As it turns out, social media really seems to be the lifeblood of blogging. I mainly focus on Facebook, however, since I am not very tech-savvy and I have yet to learn how to use other outlets. I do have an Instagram account (lbinder_twin_mama under Twin Rainbow Bubbles) but there is not yet much on it and I have yet to learn how to use it to build my blog.

Dec 4, 2:40PM EST0

How long have you been blogging? How many subscribers does your blog have?

Dec 4, 1:40PM EST0

I am an extremely new blogger. I posted my first blog post on August 1st of this year and have slowly been sharing our story. I only have a small handful of subscribers, but I have a lot more followers on Facebook and Pinterest. ☺️ Social media seems to be where the most blog traffic and demand is currently. 

Thank you for your question!

Last edited @ Dec 4, 2:41PM EST.
Dec 4, 2:00PM EST0
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