Double trouble in half the time! A new mum’s experience of life with twins

Double trouble in half the time! A new mum’s experience of life with twins

I was quite nervous with both of my pregnancies that there was even the smallest possibility of us having twins. As I’ve said before, finding out I was pregnant the first-time round was enough of a shock for me! 

But I’ve always loved the idea of twins. Doesn’t everyone? It seems to spark almost an instant celebrity status, for mumma and babies! Attention everywhere, questions, advice – not all of it what you want to hear, or indeed, very helpful!

So, I thought I’d get some insight from a friend of a friend, who has just brought two of the most beautiful twin girls into our world. I’ve found out how it’s been for her, and she’s happy to share some of her journey, which all ends happily I might add.

Twins in the Pandemic

Lucy and her husband had wanted to start a family for a few years when she found out they were expecting. And same as many of us, she’s gone through the pandemic pregnancy.

As if pregnancy shock and anxiety weren’t enough, Lucy is also a midwife. So, she went from a low-risk pregnancy category, being young, fit, and healthy, to very high risk literally in the space of one scan (well, obviously before the scan. But the scan confirmed her new status!)

Working in healthcare, in the middle of a pandemic. And now with two babies on the way. Lucy and her husband had to quickly get used to the change that was coming. There would be more appointments than with a single birth. A Consultant-led birthing plan. More tests and examinations than they had expected.

But she had seen it all from the other side as a midwife, so felt mentally prepared.

The first scan was the perfect opportunity for her to joke about having twins. Especially as her husband couldn’t be with her because of the COVID restrictions.

They’d only had the conversation the night before about how funny it would be to have their dream family all in the one go, after waiting so long. Small house. First time parents. And her brother’s first baby had arrived not long before, so she would ‘outdo’ him!

No surprise then, with her amazing manifestation skills, there was one little heartbeat. And then another.

They both laughed when Lucy called her husband straight afterwards. He was still convinced she was joking - and then she sent him the picture!

Great news was, both little babies were developing perfectly. So, this really was it. The journey from two of them and their dog, very quickly to a family of four (plus four paws!)  

A mother’s instinct

Ridiculously lucky with the pregnancy, possibly because she had wanted a family so much, and felt so grateful, Lucy had no problems other than the tiniest of headaches. And she carried on working as long as she could. Helping bring more babies into the world along the way.

33 weeks and 6 days in, and suddenly she felt a twinge. That familiar big ‘pop’ and her waters had broken.

Luckily, she’d bought a mattress protector for their new Super King Size bed in their new house. Oh, I forgot to mention that they’d moved into a bigger house during the last few weeks too! She’d put it on the bed without her husband knowing, as he’d moaned it would make the bed uncomfortable and too hot.

Good job she trusted her instinct on that one!

Being premature, it was straight to hospital to see if the midwife and Consultant would slow things down or whether her body had other plans.

As it happened, the twins were ready, and she had gone into labour spontaneously, so it was just a case of waiting. But, by the following morning, she felt concerned about the babies’ movements.

During the pregnancy, she had become aware of each of the girls’ little ways and sensed which one was shuffling around. But she knew this felt different.

A scan revealed the waters around the babies hadn’t naturally replenished. Her infection markers were rising. And her natural gut instinct was right again.

The team decided to induce at that point.  

We all know how painful those stomach cramps can be. So, I can only imagine what it must have been like with two little monkeys wriggling around.

And again, Lucy was right – one of the babies was coming face first. A Caesarean birth then. Baby #1 was born but then whisked off within minutes. Baby #2 was born in the sac, which is supposed to be a sign of good luck.

Lots of toing and froing in theatre. And the most frightening and heart wrenching moments, as naturally you want to see your babies straight away.

It was six hours before she got to see them!

The one thing she can remember, even through the pain relief wearing off, was this unbelievable sudden surge and rush of love as soon as she saw the girls. That feeling of being so in love with these tiny and vulnerable, yet perfect, babies.

“Girls, we’ve got this.”  

A new life with twins – Lucy answers the frequently asked questions!

For Lucy and her husband, life with their girls started with 19 days in the Special Care Baby Unit. Mummy desperate to breastfeed, but unable to, and leaving them to come home to an empty house. But then …  

How did you feel bringing them home?

The best feeling ever. I'm sure it's the same with any new parents, that overwhelming emotion of suddenly being on our own with the girls. Excited about our new life. I was in a daze. And that was before we started the new (non) sleeping patterns!

It's all worthwhile though. Planning goes out of the window, and just trying to get into a routine of any kind helps. Getting us all up and dressed before 9am was the first massive achievement!

Are they identical?

No, one of the girls is already so much bigger than the other. Although I want them to have their own identities and personalities, I love dressing them the same. I think that’s what we all love about twins!

Do they wake up and want feeding at the same time?

Oh yes! A twin cushion has been a life saver. I can’t breastfeed still, so it helps feeding them from the bottle. And daddy can help too. Otherwise, it’s the three of us, cosy together. Don’t assume that because you’re feeding one, it’s just as easy to double up. That’s what so many people have said. If you think that, try changing two at the same time!

Do twins run in the family?

Not either of our immediate families. Although we traced twins back to grandparents. And they say twins can skip a generation, so be careful!

Did you worry about not giving them both the same amount of attention?

Of course. But as soon as I saw them, their tiny eye lashes and tiny fingernails, there was never any doubt we would love them both the same. I was made for having twins. And their daddy keeps looking at them, saying “Look what I’ve created!” Every time he looks at them, he is so overwhelmed. We are blessed with such a beautiful family!

You’ve got the love …

So, there you have it. A little bit different this time, I know. And for all you twin mummies out there, I am sure you can resonate with this, and I hope you’re coping.

Although our boys were born a couple of years apart, I’ve realised that being able to find the love inside to share with all our babies is nothing to worry about. So, double the trouble, or double the love, we find the love from deep inside us and will do anything to protect them.

With much love, from Team DB x