Multiple Birth Awareness Week - Life as a mum of twins

It's Multiple Birth Awareness Week

When hubby and I first saw our TWINS on screen during an ultrasound at around seven weeks gestation, we were shocked, amazed, excited and scared.
We already had a 2yo & 1yo at that stage and knew life was about to become preeety chaotic.

I joined the Gold Coast Multiple Club on Facebook when I was about 12 weeks (really had to contain my excitement and wait til then in case it showed up in my Facebook feed to friends who had not yet been informed of our exciting news).
I researched high and low for all things relating to twins, and even sat through a bunch of You Tube clips with demonstrations of how to tandem breastfeed twins (as I had successfully breastfed my older two so was determined to do the same with my twins).

Thankfully I had a smooth pregnancy - other than Gestational Diabetes that was controlled by diet & exercise. I felt well, though some usual pelvic pain right at the end, but was up and about, chasing after my toddlers and continued working part time (in the office) til 36 weeks. 
I was feeling pretty good - amazing considering I had two bubs in there 2.9kg & 2.7kg!




Our twins were DCDA twins - separate sacs and separate placentas (but, as we learned thanks to great information provided to us, still a 30% chance of them being identical if the egg split within the first three days of conception. Whereas many people assume twins in separate sacs and separate placentas must be fraternal when in fact fraternal means two separate eggs were fertilised, or something along those lines).

During my twin pregnancy I did shared care with the Gold Coast University Hospital and the fab Dr Drew Moffrey at Pindara Hospital who I saw for many of my antenatal appointments (a great Ob/Gyn who was so friendly and informative & saved hubby & I soooo much time rather than waiting for hours and hours at the GCUH's antenatal clinic.)
With Dr Moffrey, he was always running on time and we never felt rushed - he was always happy to answer our million questions & he was great at ensuring all my records were kept up to date with the hospital, being shared care, and booked me in for any required blood tests/ ultrasounds etc. 
He also was really helpful by putting me in touch with a Diabetes Educator when I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes & helping me keep it under control.


((With Dr Drew Moffrey who we saw for most of our antenatal appointments at Pindara.))


At around 25 weeks pregnant I attended an Expectant Parent Evening held by Gold Coast Multiples where I was able to hear from a couple of other twin mums, borrow some twin-related books and meet a couple of mums with twins on the way (one of whom I've stayed in touch with and we catch up often with our little ones).

I was induced at 37+1 (but could have happily gone another week) at the new Gold Coast University Hospital (had a great experience though my epidural wasn't so great/ didn't really work as much as we had all hoped especially facing a twin 2 breech delivery - aaargghhh).

Our twin girls, Natalia and Victoria arrived 13 minutes apart in a vaginal delivery with twin B born footling breech.
We were home after three days and the girls have thrived despite feeding/latch issues to do with tongue ties which we had snipped at 4-weeks, colic, silent reflux, oh and a bout of mastitis which saw me bed ridden for a few days.

It was really tough from about week 3 to week 10. Our twins barely slept, didn't like the car or pram & were constantly feeding (to soothe their throats apparently - to do with the silent reflux).



Through the Gold Coast Multiples Club, I'm hiring a twin breastfeeding pillow which has been my saviour & became aware of a Sleep Settling Session put on by a couple of members of the club which hubby and I took our girls along to when they were almost two weeks old. Even though we already had two toddlers and thought we knew what we were doing, it was a great chance to hear the twin-specific tips and tricks.




I'll be honest, it has been a very challenging four months. Life with one newborn is hectic enough, let alone two precious newborns, oh and two toddlers the mix too.

My hubby is a star. He's a modern man thankfully(!), right there cooking dinner, changing nappies or reading bedtime stories to our toddlers & putting them to bed when I'm busy feeding the twins.

When people ask how do we do it. It's simple, we have to. There's no alternative.
Some days, when in my own, I've been tearing my hair out as I prioritise screaming baby Vs 2yo needing a nappy change or pouring his cup of water all over the floor & a 3yo upset as she can't find her Barbie's tiara. I have had to let some things slide.

Even though I was a positive, optimistic, can-do person, I found myself upset at things beyond my control & I've had to swallow my pride and ask for help upon the realisation that I really can't do it all with four small children under four (especially when on my own during the day while hubby at work). 
I simply don't have enough arms to feed babies, wipe bums, feed mouths, give cuddles, entertain and stimulate (usually all at the same time).
So have had to turn to a couple of close family members to come to the rescue on numerous occasions, and we've had some hired help via an inhome educator who, while not in our budget, is a huge help for us at this time, three days a week.

Thankfully, the other twin mum friends I have made since joining the world of multiples have also helped put my mind at ease, and have been great sources of support and advice (as well as my hubby & my family & friends too of course).

I've found the Australian Multiple Birth Association and its Facebook page to be a great source of information as well as a couple of other twin-related forums.

As a member of the Gold Coast Multiples Club, I've attended various play dates/ catch ups and the Christmas party and have made some great friends.
It's so great when you're catching up with other twin mums as we're all willing to help each other out, whether it's hold a crying baby while its twin is having its nappy changed or if mum has her hands full. We all understand what each other is experiencing.

Being out in public with my twin daughters is an interesting experience. It's beautiful when people are looking at my precious bundles adoringly.
I've heard Double Trouble more than anyone would need to hear it, but usually respond with 'no no it's a double delight', or 'twice as nice'.

As we're yet to have our twins' DNA tested to see if they are identical, it's always interesting hearing other peoples' opinions (most agree that they might be).




My hubby and I feel truly blessed to have our beautiful baby girls, in addition to our 2yo son and 3yo daughter. And we're so excited about what the future holds for our family.





At this stage, our twin girls seem to have mastered sleeping through, so now hubby and I are just (dreading) kind of not looking forward to when our twins become more mobile and we'll have to juggle when they're each going in different directions lol.

My hat goes off to all the other twin and HOM parents & care givers. It truly is an amazing experience.
And a big thanks to all the Gold Coast Multiples & AMBA members/volunteers for all the great work they do.

Teddy Bear's Picnic THIS Saturday 10am-1pm at Laguna Park, Palm Beach to celebrate Multiple Birth Awareness Week.
Fenced playground, Laguna Ave, Palm Beach. 10am-1pm. Gold Coast Multiples will supply tea, coffee & teddy bear biscuits. Please BYO teddy bears & food if you're planning to be there for lunch. 
Look for the GCMBA banner. 
Hope to see you there! 

Did you hear about the time all 6 of us went into the studio for a radio interview on ABC Gold Coast? Want to hear the clip?
http://www.goldcoastmum.com/2014/03/multiple-birth-awareness-week-radio.html

JOIN:





3 comments

  1. Your family is absolutely adorable. My hat goes off to you, it really does. I think it's a great idea to belong to groups where other parents know exactly what you're experiencing. I can't believe you had a total weight of 5.6kg! You looked great pregnant. That must have been such an exhausting couple of months for you when the twins hardly slept, physically and emotionally. That must have just been the most incredible experience giving birth to twins vaginally. What a trooper you are! xx

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  2. My friend has just had twins four months ago and she seems like she has it together so well. I don't know how she does it, but she says its definitely easier because they didn't come first. Apparently wrangling the misbehaving 3 yr old is harder than looking after the babies. She keeps getting asked if they are identical even though they are boy/girl twins!

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  3. Nice to read how things have been going for you, busy busy busy. I'm intrigued to know whether they are identical. Visually they do but I suppose it's hard to know by looking. My ob, Tim O'Dowd at Pindara, has been through all my pregnancies, love him! You're doing a fab job hun, just keep swimming x Em

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