When I was pregnant with twins I didn’t know what to expect when they arrived. I had no baby experience and wanted reassurance that everything would be ok. I just needed someone to say those magic words, “relax, everything’s going to be alright.”
The more I spoke to other parents, the more I ended up feeling terrified about what to expect.
Every time I announced my pregnancy, people would literally recoil.
Woah. Get ready to NEVER sleep again.
Do you have family nearby? No? Oh wow.
You’re going to need HELP.
Rather you than me.
Twins? That’s my worst nightmare.
Then there was the woman in the waiting room at the hospital who told me that she literally prayed that she wouldn’t have twins. Like prayed. To God. Not to have twins.
Of ALL the things you could pray to God for. She smugly told me that she was now only expecting one baby. Why didn’t she pray for world peace instead?
Thinking back on it all now, now that I’ve met my babies and got into the swing of this baby twin thing, it makes me angry that all these people felt like they could project their negativity onto my multiple pregnancy.
I really feel for mummies who are expecting triplets or more because there’s usually an element of horror in everyone’s reactions to your news, rather than joy or amazement at the fact your body is creating, nurturing and growing multiple babies.
Babies are SUCH a blessing and anyone who has had the slightest issue trying to conceive will tell you that.
When you’re pregnant, especially when it’s the first time, it’s such a special time in your life and no one should make you feel anything other than good about yourself. Rather than respect the fact your body is doing twice the work, the reaction is often negative when you announce you’ve got multiple babies on the way.
Only occasionally would someone (usually taxi drivers actually) tell me what a blessing it was to have twins.
And it truly is.
I find it frustrating how often the focus is on the downside when it comes to caring for newborns. Yes it is a big life change. Yes it is demanding and requires all of your attention – especially with twins – but it’s all fairly instinctual and obvious. Of course you’re no longer the focal point in your life now that you have a baby/babies to care for. But you can and you will be ok. While the outside world may make you feel like your life is about to be over, the fun is actually only just beginning.
Somewhere along the way, the joyful part of parenting gets lost in all the complaints about sleeplessness. No one talks about the sheer happiness that twin parenting can bring you. The double cuddles, the double smiles, it really is double the love. If having one baby floods you full of happy mum hormones then having two gives you twice as many. I’m sure that’s how I’m surviving!
But honestly, if you’re expecting twins, please don’t despair.
The truth is, it does challenge you. You will be tired. You will need some help just so that you and your other half can get some sleep at some points. We were lucky enough that my mum came to stay with us during my first week in hospital so she could help look after me and the babies (I’d had a serious PPH so was bedbound) and allow my husband to go home to sleep every other night.
Those early days are hardcore, but you cope. And they go so quickly. And your confidence grows. And soon you’re getting out of the house with the twins. Soon, you’re going out alone with the twins and not panicking about being left at home while your husband is back at work. Soon you get into a routine of sorts. Everyday you get to know your babies better. Everyday your instinct as a new mum grows and your ability to cope grows. Everyday you discover more things about your babies to love. And the love grows every single day.
Have faith in yourself – being a mum is the most work you’ll ever take on – but it’s by far the most rewarding. You’ve been chosen to be a twin mum for the very reason that you’re already equipped to be able to do it.