Sitting in your obstetrician's consulting room. Calmly waiting for that joyful announcement. You take a deep breath as the big moment arrives. Then, the doctor routinely says: 'You're having twins.' 'No. It can't be true!' you blurt out. You politely urge the doctor to check again. Then, as the physical reality of twins rushes through your wife's body, she shouts: 'What have you done'? Finally, you see two blimps on the screen. Your life has not just changed forever, but has entered an alternate reality of parenthood. With twins, you know you will be twice as busy as parents of singletons. You will have less sleep, less social life and less money. You may have higher levels of stress and fewer overseas holidays, particularly if you have other young children. While recent research is divided on whether parents with multiples (twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc) are more likely to get divorced, it is true that they experience increased levels of anxiety, depression, sleep disorders and social isolation than parents of singletons. But, as the father of twin boys, I can say that all of these issues are manageable if couples work closely together and organise additional help. The old expression of 'double-the-trouble, but more than double-the-joy' can be the reality for everyone expecting twins. In practical terms, having twins effectively means you need double of everything. You will need twice the amount of nappies, milk formula (if not breastfeeding), clothes, cots/toddler beds, bathing supplies, baby food, nearly double the toys, and a durable double stroller. Later, you are facing twice the amount of money for school fees and outside activity classes. All parents of twins need help. As more than 50 per cent of twins are born prematurely, many require careful handling once they leave the hospital. If you have family in Hong Kong, then you should have some willing helpers. If not, then a conscientious domestic helper is a must. They must be good at their work and efficient with their time, as they will also be your second pair of hands. The challenges, however, start even before the twins are born. The goal for all expecting parents of twins is to get to the 36th week. Pre-term labour may be experienced and bed rest prescribed. Mobility may become difficult with the additional weight and size of twins. Delivery through caesarean section is usually recommended, as the risks to the second twin delivered increases dramatically. Once at home, then it becomes a matter of doing almost everything twice - feeding, bathing, changing. Night feeds and nappy changing should be done for both babies at one time. So, if only one wakes up, the other should be woken up. Once on solid food, feeding time can get particularly messy, so it pays not to be too house proud. Living in apartments makes managing routine sicknesses difficult. Once one becomes sick, the other usually follows. And, if there are other young children in the family, then the idea of taking turns can take on a whole new meaning. Child-proofing your apartment becomes doubly important, as you need to keep your eyes on two little mobile explorers, not one. Skill transfer can be lightning fast. Once one discovers his climbing skills, the other catches on almost instantly. Fencing off a large area of the living room as a safe play area is helpful. To get around the streets of Hong Kong, you need an extra-sturdy double stroller with a big storage basket for your baby supplies and for when it doubles as a small shopping trolley. Side-by-side versions are the most popular. A routine trip to the supermarket can take longer than you expect with the number of curious people wanting to stop you to ask: 'Are they twins'? But throughout all the busyness of parenting twins, you are regularly reminded that you are indeed blessed. Your heart melts at the sight of one twin taking the other's hand and walking to the bathroom together for their bath, or when one is upset and the other offers them their favourite toy. Through witnessing the vibrancy of their 'twin language' - a system of sounds and gestures that only they can understand - then you have a strong sense of the special relationship they will both share for the rest of their lives.