Today my girls are nine years old.
It is hard to believe it has been nine years already.
Nine years sounds like a long time, well it actually is.
However, it only feels like yesterday that my twin girls were babies. Only yesterday when I had them and they were so tiny that they had to be in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).
Everyone said that having twins would be hard. It has had its challenges and also has not been as hard as I thought it was going to be.
I think the birth and hospital stay was the worst really for me. The twins got treated very nicely in the NICU but during birth and before it was not great for me.
About the birth of the twins
Firstly my water broke at 33 weeks and a few days. It was Father’s Day of 2008 when this happened, and it occurred at 4am at home. I did my constant pilgrimage to the toilet and then realsied that it had happened, game on by membranes rupturing naturally. We went off to the local hospital to then be told that I had to be ambulanced to Nepean due to being very early and of course pregnant with twins. Katoomba hospital does not have the facilities for intensive care of babies this little.
Now for one of the weirdest things that happened, the ambos were concerned that I might go into labour on the drive to Nepean. To get to this hospital there is only one road there and one road back home. So if there was a delay, accident or if I did indeed go into labour and have the babies it would have been a road side birth in the back of the ambulance.
The doctor thought it was best to check me out to confirm that a roadside delivery with twins was not immediate and this was done with the aid of a dolphin torch and a doctor who still had his beanie on. It was confirmed that labour and babies was ages away and it was safe to transport me to the other hospital and made the ambos happy knowing that there would be no emergency birthing issue roadside.
I was finally at the hospital and then had to be placed in a delivery suite until a room was made available. I stayed there for most of the day and night and then at some point Sunday evening went to my room in antenantal.
During my stay I had nurses thinking I had the babies, thinking that I was only having one baby, and after I had them trying to give me medicine that I did not need.
One medicine that I was given was meant to stop contractions and make labour not happen. This drug was a very tiny pill and the side effects made me dizzy and my skin all red hot and bothered. Yes I had the sweats… just perfect and what every woman wants while they wait to give birth.
I stopped taking this pill Wednesday night and at 2.30am Thursday morning it all started. I found I wanted to go to the toliet and more importantly felt the need to poo, but nothing happened. I wanted to push. My legs at this stage were like jelly and I was finding it very hard to walk. I was in a lot of pain and in tears.
Since I kept on having the urge to go to the toilet I decided to go and stay there. There was an emergency buzzer in there so I buzzed it for help. No help came for over 30 mins. Finally a nurse came and I told her in between tears and pain what has been happening and how painful it was. Mind you it was not in my belly and all in my lower back.
This nurse said that they had a few emergencies so were very busy and someone will be back soon. She also told me that it sounded like I was constipated and that she can help me if this is the case with equipment. Equipment? Really I don’t think so! I’m having the babies. Mind you by this stage I had been in hospital for five days waiting to have the twins and my water broke days ago, so they were ready to come.
When someone finally came back they told me they could not give me painkillers, which sucked big time.
I asked if they could check to see how far along I was and they didn’t. Instead they hooked me up to a machine to see if I was having a contraction or not. They then asked me and I said I didn’t know and told them I had intense to horrific pelvic and lower back pain. It was like my pelvis would crack open and be in two different parts. It was horrible. They only seemed interested about any pains on my belly. I kept on telling them that I did not have them, just extreme bad pelvic and back pain.
After being on this machine for most of the day and night I finally got someone to look at me. It was estimated that I was about 3cms dilated and that I would need to be moved to the delivery suite downstairs. By this time it was after 8pm at night. I rang hubby so he could come to the hospital as he was home at the time.
I started at the delivery suite Thursday the 11th of September at about 8 pm, then I had the worst midwife.
She did not believe me when I told her that I still felt like I had to push and needed to go to the bathroom. She kept on asking about contractions on my belly and told her that it was all in back. She got annoyed that I was not presenting like a text book case and gave me Pethidine and left hubby and I.
During me being out of it on Pethidine I still went back and forth to the bathroom and was very upset. Hubby was in and out of sleep on a mattress on the floor. Typical that hubby manged to get some sleep.
Shift changed for the nurses and Friday morning we had a lovely midwife and trainee midwife as well. I told them what had been happening and she was upset that no one had checked me. I told her that the other lady said that if she checks to many times I might get an infection. Well she never checked me during the whole shift at all.
The midwife who I think was called Janet finally looked at me and said I was about 5 cms and like it or not I was having the babies. I asked if my chance to have drugs to help was over? I was worried I might have missed the window. She said no and got the person who did the Epidural. However I did not know at the time they did it that it would not work. It must have been put in the wrong position and I felt everything and it was horrible! It was like someone was killing me and I could not move.
The epidural ended up parlising my legs and allowed me to feel the pain. Really not the point of it. However I never realised why the doctors were looking so concerned until after the birth of my third baby. During the birth of Alexander I had an epidural where I felt no pain for a long while, I even managed to fall asleep and I could move my legs.
Thinking back to the birth of the twins I think they thought they paralized me. I am so grateful this did not happen, but it was annoying as they kept on asking me to move my legs and I kept on telling them I couldn’t.
On the Friday night I had two doctors come and do rounds. I had never seen these doctors before. They then told me that if I could just hold off until I was 36-38 weeks that would be great.
I asked them who they were. They told me that they were doctors. I then said that I don’t think you are. My water broke nearly a week ago, I am in a delivery suite and very clearly in labour with twins. I also told them that I was over 5cm dilated so stopping this birth is not an option, so telling me to just wait till I am further along was bullshit.
During the birth I had a full room of what looked like 30-50 people. There were two doctors for the babies, two humdicribs, nurses, support staff and a whole lot of trainee doctors just observing. It was packed. Hubby ended up in the corner of the room behind a machine (I don’t know if this was the machine that goes bing) but it was a packed room. The doctor had to yell for the husband and finally people moved out of his way so he could be next to me.
Finally on Saturday the 13th of September after over 30 hours of labour and nonsense from the doctors and staff the girls were born.
- Julia (Twin A) – 2:55am, weighed in at 2.1kgs, just over 4 pounds.
- Lillian (Twin B) – 3:07am, weight in at 1938 grams, just over 4 pounds.
When the girls were babies I got them into a routine early on and that helped immensely. I woke the sleeping baby up so that they both could feed at the same time. I know waking a sleeping baby is not a good thing but you don’t want to be feeding babies all day and night either. Having them feeding and sleeping at the same time meant that I could go out and do things, like playgroup, shopping and have some downtime for me.
When the girls were older
I did not think the two’s were troubling but found when the girls turn three to be even harder. They had an opinion about the clothes they would wear and everything really. Things took longer to do due to the girls deciding that they preferred the pink one or the purple one and god help us if we could not get those colours when they were younger.
The girls were always on the smaller scale for their weight and maybe height. More so their weight. They were only 8kgs at one years of age and during the years of being two and three gained and constantly lost weight too. I think in a whole year they only gained a kilo. From memory at about 3 years they were about 10kgs or just a little bit over. So they were tiny.
The girls were and still are very active. Running, jumping, swimming and exploring the outdoors.
I have found that the girls are very stubborn and headstrong. These are great traits to have but does annoy me as a parent when they don’t do as they are told. They have always thought they know best and still do.
- When the girls were babies about 4-5 months old. One kid was screaming and crying but never woke up. I then checked her sister and she was wet and cold. Her sister was telling me something was wrong and I had to come and change her nappy and clothes and then bedding.
- The girls seem to be able to sense each other. When Lillian was 18 months old she had to be hospitalised for a bad UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). When Julia and hubby came to visit Lillian could sense they were near and said to me Julia is here and so is daddy. They are coming to visit now mummy. I knew they were coming but had no idea of the time. Then seconds after she said they were here I heard them come down the corridor of the hospital. She just knew.
- The girls seem to have to hurt themselves in the same spot. One could hurt their knee falling down stairs and then the other does it somewhere else but manages to do the same injury to the same knee. This has happened to the girls with hurting other body parts but it could be minutes or hours apart but it will happen.
- They need to be together. Both kids want to still sleep in the same bed.
- Even though they want to be different they still like dressing the same.
The girls are very competitive and get upset when one does something better or before the other. I know this happens with siblings but it is more intense with the girls.
They need to do everything at the same time and like the other. If they were sisters who were 2 years apart then this might be upsetting but maybe not with such hysterical meltdowns and angst.
I have found the last few years to be rather hectic. It is due to the frenetic activity, headstrong attitudes and surging independence.
The twins really want to do more on their own and I am trying to accommodate these requests. The girls like to take the bus home some afternoons, and walk to school when I park further away. When they do walk to school they really love crossing the road at the zebra crossing outside the school on their own as they feel like big girls when they do.
Lately there have been many meltdowns. I have found that they are trivial and just reactions to things that really don’t matter in the long run. However, they are super important to the twins. If they cannot listen to music of their choice, watch videos on YouTube or on the iPad or even on the television they are very grumpy and rude individuals. In fact when things don’t go their way and they cannot listen to what mummy or daddy is saying they are just plain horrible really.
I have been told it is the age. Many parents of kids that are 9 or 10 are saying the same thing.
Trying to get them to have more responsibility around the home and looking after their things is a challenge too.
I’m getting told by the girls when I ask them to pick up their rubbish or clothes, “It’s not mine!” so they leave it and promptly fall over it.
My response then is it’s not mine either and most of the things in this house that get taken care of and put away are not mine as well. Maybe I should just leave it all as it is not mine!
It is like they are grumpy teenagers all ready.
I have been told that this is the precursor to pre-teen years. Yep, hormones changing, bodies growing. Annoyed and more grumpy people to come.
Jeez I hope it gets better. However I think it won’t. Maybe they will slowly understand that having a clean room might be a good idea.
Being a Twin Mum
I never thought that I would have twins and thought that I was having one baby so it was a huge surprise.
Having twins that are now 9 is a shock as I think that they are so grown up at times and at others still babies that are learning.
It is hard as I think that the kids are in between being little and being so grown up, I do struggle with what to purchase them now. I don’t want them to be babied but I would not want them to be fast tracked into being a teenager and an adult as well.
For their birthday I did a mix of toys and some more grown up items that will grow with them, oh and also a pair of shoes that are awesome (well I think so, I just hope the kids love them too).
Having twins as my first children has made me feel that I can do anything, but now I just need the time to do them.
Doing two kids at once was really hard and difficult with no sleep when they were babies but it was doable. I find that others cannot understand how you can cope, but you just deal with what you are faced with and are used to. For me this was two babies as my first children.
Sometimes it is hard when you find that you make appointments or do things and they only make one appointment or they think it is one gift for one child. I find that I am constantly explaining why my kids have the same birthday and for some people it doesn’t occur to them first off that they are twins.
Twins first has made me stronger, and able to take on more in life. I’m the primary caregiver for the girls so therefore I take them everywhere, school, activities, when little daycare, preschool, parks, outings, swimming, play-dates, parties and more. It is a huge responsibility and one that I managed mostly on my own. Hubby is with me during the evenings and weekends and helps then, but if something has to happen during the week or if he is working it is all up to me.
I’m sure that this is not unlike other families with kids and something that you just deal with and manage.
However I do drool over having a nanny and some help. Maybe a housekeeper???
Now I am not only a twin mum I am a mum to a little boy, three kids keep me very busy and help would not go astray.
I do love being a mum to my twin girls and watching all their development milestones. It was great to see them walk, talk, and much more. Hubby and I once took the kids to their 6 month check up, but happened at 9 months due to the doctor being on holiday. During this check up the twins were having a conversation in their own language and laughing and having a great time. The doctor was in awe as he had never witnessed this before. We told them that the girls did this regularly and sometimes one ended up crying and yelling at the the other one and then sometimes they laughed at supposedly and inside joke. Once the kids got the real words for things they substituted and lost their made up language.
Are you a twin mum?
What have you noticed about yourself that has made you stronger since being a mum to twins?
How have your twins changed since babies?
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