(Major SIDE NOTE here ladies! This post shows a photo of me tandem breastfeeding the twins soon after their birth. I’ve never shown this photo before as it’s very personal. Please feel free to skip this post if the whole boobie/breastfeeding thing isn’t your cuppa tea!)
As we approached our daughter’s first birthday, my husband and I were reminiscing one night on how quickly that first 12 months had gone and how much had happened and our lives had changed. We discussed that we would soon be ready to start trying for our next baby. The next week, I was pregnant. Eek! I had morning sickness at my daughter’s first birthday party. Then and there, I knew something was different about the pregnancy. I was convinced that I must be having a boy because the associated sickness was just terrible. I was concerned that my then 12-month old little girl might think it was normal to run to the bathroom every half an hour and be sick. She would stand beside me with a look of fascination at first, but then it was just the norm for almost 18 weeks and she would grab a book and sit beside me on the bathroom floor. Mother of the Year Award questionable here. Around 10 weeks into my pregnancy I had a dream that I was having twins and cried my eyes out during a scan. I woke up feeling a little flustered and put it down to crazy hormones and lack of sleep. Two weeks later, that’s exactly what happened.
I was laying down for my 12 week scan with my husband beside me and the sonographer said ‘right, the reason for the terrible morning sickness is because’ and my husband butted in – ‘there’s TWO IN THERE!!!!” He has an eye for detail. I can’t tell a foetus from a knee cap. We looked at each other in silence and then, I cried. It wasn’t a sad or happy cry at that stage, it was a cry of feeling completely out of my depth and overwhelmed.
We got back in our car and as we exited the carpark, my husband nearly had a head on crash with a cement pylon. Awesome. We drove home in an almost eery stillness, with the only words occasionally being Oh My God. I went straight to my mum, who is my rock and best friend and showed her the tiny photo that presented two foetuses. She also cried, apparently a happy cry (!) and said, Oh My God.
What were we going to do? How the hell did I know? Yeah, i had done it once before and it was friggin hard work. How was I going to do it with two and with a 19 month toddler as well? Become an alcoholic in my early thirties? Never leave my house again? Spend all day in my cow print flannelette pajama pants and literally be milked like daisy the cow? I cried some more.
After the initial shock, the anxiety of the thought turned into god damn excitement. It was like a switch flicked within me and I suddenly became obsessed with the fact that I was so totally blessed to be given this chance to carry two souls within my body. Even if they were going to give me elephant ankles and veins where I never knew veins existed. I’ll talk more about my pregnancies in another post.
The twins were born at 36 weeks by C-Section and luckily enough, didn’t require any time in the Special Care Unit. They were just over 4pound (2kg) each and I thank my lucky stars each day that they are both healthy and happy little beings. We spent just over a week in hospital where I learnt how to tandem breastfeed (yes, two a time!) and sort out our new little production line routine. For the next few months life was all about changing over 20 nappies per day, allowing my body to produce 1.5 litres of milk per day, bathing babies and feeding and playing with my darling 19 month old. I surrendered to the fact that for the time being, my priority on my down time was to eat and sleep. My mother, mother in law and my sisters got us through those first three months (and still come to my rescue now!). I am forever thankful and grateful. I hope to one day repay the favour.
It has certainly had its challenges being a twin mum, but one word I don’t like being referred to, is a Super Mum. Every single mother in the world is a Super Mum. Whether you have one baby or eight, we do the same things and face the same challenges, sometimes mine just take a little longer.
I didn’t start exercising until my babies were four months old. And even then, it was light walking. Having a C-Section definitely takes a lot longer recovery. My first birth was completely natural and I was back running 6 weeks later. Whatever your circumstance, you’ll be guided by your doctor or midwife as to when to undertake physical activity after childbirth. For me, it was about 4-5 months after having the twins. It’s absolutely all about listening to your body, gently gaining back strength and allowing your fitness to resurface at a comfortable pace.
Here is a pic of me breastfeeding my twins soon after their birth. It was certainly a juggling act, but i managed to feed them both for 8 months.