Finding out that I was expecting twins initially was exciting – waiting to see our parent’s reaction, then the following day panic set in and the thoughts of:
· How are we going to finance this?
· Can I manage 2 babies?
· Am I going to be able to return to work?
· Who’s going to look after them to allow me to work again?
· Is my body going to cope carrying 2 babies?
· Are they going to be ok?
But once these thoughts and feelings were shared and people were informed of my pregnancy everyone was very happy and supportive of our future arrivals.
My pregnancy went very well and I kept fit and healthy throughout, working up to my 36th week of pregnancy. I attended more scans than a singleton pregnancy which actually made me feel extra special as I got to see my babies developing more than most would. I was informed that they don’t let a multiple pregnancy go past 38 weeks and as I was approaching my due date I was told that the option of an elective caesarean or natural birth, which I found it was a difficult decision to make but opted for a natural birth, with multiple pregnancies as epidural is given in case of any difficulties arising which I found to be reassuring. I was booked to get induced and everything was progressing well but I ended up having to have an emergency caesarean – Twin 1 born at 11.22am and Twin 2 at 11.24. Twin 2 was having problems breathing as the cord was around her neck and we didn’t see her for about 10 mins after birth but it seemed so much longer. She was reunited with us and that was short lived to be taken to SCBU 18 hours later when the found her to be having problems co-ordinating her breathing/sucking and swallowing and there she remained for 3 days. During this time I was in a side room with Twin 1 and found it difficult bonding with her. We were meant to be getting discharged which was making for an uncomfortable feeling however the Midwife allowed us to stay until Twin 2 was ready to be discharged also.
Once we were home my Midwife encouraged me to feed the babies on demand to which I found very tying as we didn’t know when each baby would feed and felt as though we couldn’t go out, but once we changed to a Health Visitor she suggested feeding them every four hours which worked out so much better and allowed a bit more freedom to get out and about. I received lots of support from close family and was lucky enough to have the grandparents help every weekday which allowed me to rest knowing the twins needs were being met.
During the twins 1st year I had regular home visits from the Health Visitor which was led by myself. I enjoyed these visits as it gave me reassurance that the twins were developing and thriving at the appropriate rate.
As they have grown up over the past 3 years they have developed different personalities. They have different preferences of food and drink, enjoy spending time together and time apart but will look for each other after a short period of time. Twin 2 has always been the more dominant one. They have each other for company which I think has allowed them to be content and they settled very quickly at Pre-school.
My twins are non-identical and people will ask if they are twins so I like to keep them wearing the same clothes as I think that it is special to be a twin. They know they are twins and will introduce themselves or each other as a twin.
Having twins always attracts the publics attention, more so when they were babies which was nice, but this can also be initially negative comments. When I react to these comments with a positive attitude people quickly change their manner with a laugh and a smile.
By Susan Hughes
Photos By Donnie Ray Jones