Finn was about 2 years 9 months when we found out we were expecting another baby. We were excited to think he might have a new brother or sister, and everything seemed to be jogging along just as it had with him. Bit of morning sickness, nothing major, 12 weeks came and went then on the 13th week it was scan time. We hadn't discussed if we'd find out its sex, we hadn't really discussed much at all. But then life really did change!
There’s no turning back
The radiographer seemed to take her time, I thought perhaps there was nothing there, maybe a phantom pregnancy… Then she suddenly announced "there's one" and then swiping across my lubed tummy, "there's the other one!” I asked her, "what on earth do you mean?” And she exclaimed "it’s twins my dear!" Nothing had prepared us or forewarned us, despite the fact I was now 38 and heading at great speed to my 39th birthday. Dickie didn't (translate to couldn't) speak, his mouth just dropped open. I reached out my hand and said "talk to me" and he replied "we didn't plan for that, how the hell are we going to afford twins?” The shock was huge, there was no history of twins and my first thoughts were how on earth will I cope, a toddler and baby twins.
Time to think, plan, panic and gather some helping hands
Once out of the scan and heading back to the car, we were both in shock but then I think a little excited. Emergency phone calls were made to our parents, who equally we had to warn them to sit down first! I'm sure my mum nearly passed out! The pregnancy itself for me was really very normal, luckily, no different really to that of my eldest, except of course for the multiple scan visits (think I had 10 in all) monitoring for TTTS and all the other risks when carrying twins. However, we were lucky. Towards the final weeks the babies were in the breech position and at about 34 weeks I elected for a caesarean, they gave me a date as long as the babies hadn't turned. There was no change, and being really uncomfortable due to their position and my size, gosh front to back I felt 3 feet deep.
I went in on 23rd May (37 weeks + 5 days). My mum stayed over the night before so she could look after Finn and at 7.30 that morning we arrived at Frimley. The staff were amazing, and my little bundles arrived unscathed at 11.25am and 11.27am. Daniel (6lb 6oz) first followed by Teddy (7lb), quite big boys I thought for twins. I cradled them both and cried, they were perfect we were so lucky! Those first few days were traumatic, the recovery from the c-section, managing 2 babies, my eldest visiting and wondering how he'd cope, it was all quite overwhelming. Frimley were great, I decided from the outset that I wouldn't breastfeed, my personal choice, it hadn't gone well with Finn and the thought of feeding 2 did fill me with dread. They took to the formula straight away. My mum came to visit immediately and bought in Finn, he was very excited to meet his brothers, though at 3 1/4 a little bemused by them!
We went home after about 3 days and though desperate to go home, once home it was really scary, I'd done it before with Finn but this felt different. Two babies totally dependent and two crying, hungry, needing changing, sleeping ...not sleeping ....ah it's a blur! The early days were hard, c-section recovery and its limitations but I received loads of help. Lovely friends and family came to visit, my mum was absolutely amazing... couldn't have done it without her. She'd come up from Andover most days. My husband runs his own company so only had the day of their birth at home, we just had to get on with it. Finn went to nursery a few mornings a week, which gave him some normality, because home was quite different. We tried to spend lots of 1-2-1 time with him, which was so important! He loved helping us with the babies and would enjoy cuddles but then have enough!
Routine is Key
Routine was so important for me. I had to get into a routine for the babies and my sanity. I won't lie it was hard, but you have to persevere and stick to your guns. I think we were lucky. The boys pretty much did everything in tandem, they'd feed together, poo at the same time (near enough) and sleep together. The nights were hard. I did share feeds with my husband but sometimes he was off early working so I'd do the double, so the sleep deprivation was difficult and draining. Back in those days I used to prepare my formula in advance so it was sterilised, prepped and ready for the next day, not sure if you can do that now but worked for me and boys had no health issues!
Accepting Offered Help
My mum saved my life by arranging for a friend's 18 year old daughter, Susannah, to come and help me a few days a week during the July and August. Susannah is a twin herself and she would help with feeds and changing and be company for me in the day. As well as letting me do other jobs round the house. Plus, allow me to do the nursery run without having to pack up the babies! It's impossible to just 'pop out' with 2 babies. Her help was invaluable! We took the babies out and had fun!
Get out and Meet other new mums
When the boys were 9 weeks old, I joined a Twins & Triplets Club. This was recommended by a friend's friend (Annette) that I'd met just before having the boys who had 6 month old twin girls. I plucked up the courage to go and met Annette there, along with other twin mummies including my now great friend Gill, who my mum had accosted in Frimley when she was pushing my babies up and down the hospital corridor and so was she. We exchanged numbers and became firm friends! At Twins Club everyone was in the same boat, it's a place to share ideas, successes and woes! And a place to meet the best of friends. Annette, Diane, Vanessa, Lisa and Gill are all twin mummies I met at that club - our friendship means the world and will last a lifetime. It's one of the most important things to be able to share your ups and downs with someone that knows, I would recommend joining a local club to anyone! All that first year does feel like a blur when I look back, we survived it and have some happy stories and remember some tough times, but oh so worth it.
Love Every Second
My boys are growing up fast. Finn is now 13 and Ted and Dan are 10. I can't believe where the time is going, but am so proud of my gorgeous boys and the kind and sensitive young men they are turning into. Life with a multiple is hard but it is also possible and it is so very rewarding! My main tips are to get into a routine, accept the offers of help when given, join a Twins Club and just take each day at a time, oh and have a sense of humour.
Author Sasha x
What are your experiences, we’d love to hear your story!