By guest blogger and mum of Three, Emma Sargeant
I am an organised person who likes to plan everything in my life, from the small day to day things to the bigger more important things including what age gap I wanted between my children.
I decided that I wanted 3 years between my children so that when my second was born my eldest son would be settled at preschool and I would have an opportunity to have some one to one time with the new baby.
With all this in mind when Jake was around 2 years old we started trying for a baby. I was very lucky and fell pregnant quickly.
I went for my 12 week scan just before Christmas 2006, the sonographer pointed out the healthy heartbeat and in the same breath, with no build up, she pointed out the second healthy heartbeat.
At this stage I think I went into shock, twins were not in my long term plan! After leaving the hospital I was on a verge of hysterical laughter one moment and crying the next!
Over the next few days I was very up and down, suddenly there was so much to think about. Firstly we were going to go from a family of 3 to 5, our house was not big enough, our car was not big enough, we would have to double up on everything, how would Jake feel going from being an only child for 3 years to having 2 siblings.
Then there was the worrying about the pregnancy, would both the babies be ok, would they be born early, would it be a difficult pregnancy?
These worries carried on throughout the pregnancy and I was very up and down, we had to have building work done at home to make more room, we had to sell our car and buy a bigger one, I was very sick and felt very tired. Having a 2 year old to look after I didn’t get much time to rest!
At our 20 week scan we found out I was having a girl and boy, it now felt very real and for the first time I started to feel excited and looking forward to meeting my babies.
At 30 weeks I packed my hospital bag as I was told that the twins could come early, especially as both babies were the size of a singleton baby.
I was booked in for a c-section at 37 weeks, this was because I had an emergency one with Jake so had been advised this would be for the best and I was quite happy with this, having had a 26hr labour the first time followed by a caesarean!
I honestly thought I wouldn’t get to 37 weeks though as I was getting bigger and bigger and eventually had to have a prescription cream for my tummy as the skin was so sore as it stretched so much and I could hardly walk!
By 35 weeks I was very fed up. The date for my C-section arrived with no sign of the babies getting ready to make an appearance.
Billy and Grace were born on the 12th June 1 minute apart, Billy weighed 8lbs 1 and Grace 6lbs 14!
Good healthy weights for a single baby – enormous for twins! I stayed in hospital for 2 nights and I was on such a high for the following couple of weeks. My babies were amazing and having two of them was so special, however once real life kicked in there were times when I felt very low.
Having 2 is very special but it means double everything. I would get one baby asleep and the other would wake up. I wanted to breastfeed as I had done with Jake but I seemed to be feeding all the time. I was also worried about not having enough time with Jake. The problems all seemed to mount up.
Due to being a qualified nursery nurse and experienced nanny I wanted to prove to everybody that I could cope and didn’t want to ask for help from anyone, looking back maybe if I had I would of enjoyed the first few months more.
The health visitor – who was and still is brilliant – came to visit when they were a few weeks old and I told her that I felt that I couldn’t go on feeding them myself. She said to do what I felt was best for me and the whole family, not just the twins.
t that point I decided to stop breastfeeding and start them on formula. They took the formula well but now there were new problems as they had a dairy intolerance. My health visitor prescribed them a prescription formula. Within days they were feeling a lot better, after their reaction to cow’s milk, and I was able to get them in a 4 hour routine, which made life a lot easier.
Over the first few months I had a lot of down days, but as they got older the good days started to outweigh the bad, then the bad days got less and less and now we don’t have any bad days, a few difficult ones maybe but nothing like in the beginning.
When the twins were young I did feel resentful at times, I didn’t want to be without either of them but I often wished they had been born at separate times. It was difficult to go to my NCT coffee group in the beginning as I felt that my experiences were quite different to the others and I felt that I didn’t really belong. Now I regularly attend and have made some good friends.
I love being a mother to twins now, it is very special, seeing the two of them together and hearing them chat to each other can be magical.
It just goes to show you cant always plan things in life and I am glad, because if we could I wouldn’t have planned for this and I would of missed out on this wonderful experience!