Tuesday, 5 July 2011

6 months in- it's twins, triplets and more week!

So, for the first time ever I became aware that it's twins, triplets and more week,  a recent documentary on multiples recently described twins as now being "a penny to the dime" (I think that basically means "two a penny") and that's probably the main thing I've made myself remember since becoming a mum to twins.

Mari's World has invited mums of multiples to link up a post for the carnival week being held over on her blog. Being new to this blogging thing I don't have many to reflect on, so thought instead I'd write my first review, the product is self-centred- a review of a twin mum- six months in!

Being a mum to twins hasn't been so different to being a first-time mum- both unpredictable, difficult, emotional and thoroughly enjoyable.
The biggest revelation is that it is not unique to you, you have got it easy- because no matter how difficult you are finding it there is someone who is stronger than you could ever imagine being.

I have found so much support in these six months from TAMBA where not only does amazing literature and research get produced to support parents of multiples but also there is a fantastic forum where people can share their experiences. At times when I have found it most difficult there have been people there to talk you through it, but more so most parents have been in similar if not far more difficult situations which leave you in awe.

When I have been struggling with a toddler and two babies, other parents have multiples with larger families or younger siblings, where support networks seem too far away to me others are coping with families on other continents. It is by no means a competition, but the message is clear- multiple mums are not alone, and there are mums who will listen to the rants, the tears, the tantrums and the amazing stories of love, they will offer support, advice and guidance, and to my knowledge never judge.

The key thing for me has been to enjoy every moment, even though sleep deprivation dictates otherwise. No matter how much you can't bring yourself to believe it, it does get easier, the milestones where sleep increases, the feeds decrease... and then you realise you may have wished it away, that the six month baby gurgling at you is no where near as tiny as the newborn you had the privilege to cwtch at the weekend. That your babies are growing big and strong and that's an achievement- sleep deprivation has been worth it.

My journey as a twin mum started well, the shock of motherhood had been absorbed with my daughter, the twins were- in the main- going to have to fit in with the lifestyle of a toddler. And in my world we did well, my husband was told to write off the first six weeks while we adapted as a family, but we did better than that- at four weeks old the twins had their first trip to Eureka! and we were managing to get lots of trips out (even if we never managed to leave the house before 11).

At six weeks the optimism reduced and continued to do so, at a time when the feeding time should reduce we were increasing, the energy which got me through the first six weeks was fast depreciating and two hours feeds were taking their toll, the fear of going out to do a feed was ruling our lives- when Tiny wasn't feeding he was projectile vomiting and there was no way of controlling it, activities were created for Squeaks in the house or garden and a new routine emerged.

At 10 weeks Tom was admitted to hospital and had keyhole surgery, and as his mum I went to pieces, but it was hard not to be strong, surrounded by parents who have coped with neonatal care and other illnesses, Tom had something which could be sorted with this procedure.

We took a while to regain the confidence in getting out and about but nonetheless we are getting there. I have realised that multiple mums and twin groups are a must do which I have not been involved in as much as I should. That some parents of singletons have the ability to knock your confidence with one statement. That people can make the most random comments, some verge on unthoughtful. That all mums have it difficult but support can boost anyone. That no matter how 'on the ball' some people are, every parent has some concern about their baby. Lots of people have similar experiences to you and have come out the other side.

We're not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, Seren still hasn't reverted back to sleeping through, she still cries if she doesn't get the attention she deserves, but on the other hand the babies sleep through, feed four times a day and it takes on average 30 minutes.
My health visitor once told me when I was feeling like a rubbish parent that people will always tell you what they or their children are doing well but don't mention their concerns or bad habits.
For me, I know my daughter is verging on spoilt- what can I say she was our first we didn't know any better, we have learned and the twins are in a fantastic routine- but therein lies the biggest joy of twins- they have each other!- they communicate, they pacify and they soothe- and as a result sleep 13 hours a night.

What have I learned in the last six months?
  • I forgot that babies need more than four feeds a day.
  • March 2009 was longer ago than I thought.
  • Sleep deprivation and constant feeding is a phase.
  • Which serves to prepare you for the next one.
  • Project management skills are just as useful outside of work.
  • Time management is best served doing things in tandem rather than twice.
  • My mum is the best, I have no clue how she brought us up (and neither it seems does she).
  • Other mums are like swans- graceful and elegant, and paddling like mad to keep it all together.
  • I should have listened to my ballet teacher about appearing graceful and elegant.
  • Big sisters are very useful distractions to crying babies.
  • Crying babies are great material for a toddlers first impression.
  • Men are good cooks.
  • Being a mum to twins isn't something you can choose but it's the best surprise ever.


    1. hello, found your blog through the multiples mayhem linky on maris world, i have 6 month old twin girls.i totally agree,it is the best suprise evr, i think it is such a blessing being a twin mama. we take them out on day trips too, although you have to have a good hour spare for everyone that wants to stop and chat about them, they draw so much attention dont they!
      nikki xo

    2. Hello! Thank you so much for joining in with this fabulous piece, it's lovely to 'meet' you and I hope our paths cross more often.
      It's funny but my girls are 3 next week and it's amazing how quickly you can forget everything and move on to the next stage, so write it down as it will most definitely come in handy to someone else later


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