Our second Twinterview guest post is with the gorgeous Kat who writes over at the UK lifestyle blog ‘Beau Twins’. She’s given some brilliant, frank, answers to the questions all new mamas (and papas!) of twins would love to know.
OK, this is going to sound very odd to some readers but my head exploded because, for years, I have been saying I will have twin girls and will call them Freyja and Grace. Call it a sixth sense — whatever the reason behind it — my best friends of 16 years will vouch for me. So it was more of a welcome, happy, shock that I was right all those years ago; eight to be precise! I think a lot of people didn’t think I would settle down and have kids, although I was always told what a great mum I would make.
Which is lovely of course.
Did you have a straightforward pregnancy?
To a degree it was pretty straightforward, as twin pregnancies go. Lots of consultant appointments and lots of scans. My two were DCDA, which basically means two eggs — non identical — and each had their own sacs and placenta. So very low risk compared to an identical twin pregnancy.
Unfortunately I had some issues with my work place. They weren’t supportive of the appointments and I felt I couldn’t enjoy the first part of my pregnancy, as there was a lot of office politics going on. I also had lots of travel involved in my job, however, my doctor ordered that I couldn’t travel; which meant I had to miss out of trips to Singapore, Dubai and Norway.
I had SPD coupled with anaemia and became very exhausted. It was also through the piping hot summer of 2013, when I resembled a beached whale. Other than that, I loved it and I would do it all over again.
It was a very special time for me and one I may not experience again.
How was your birth experience?
The babies were transverse throughout, until the very end when Freyja turned and became breach.
I was booked in for a C-section — due to the way they were laying — and that there was no chance they would both turn to exactly where they needed to be. Having to deal with not having a vaginal birth — which I would have preferred — meant I had a small mental battle with myself. Realistically, it didn’t matter, as long as we were all safe. It did feel a little clinical, so you can imagine my delight when my waters broke 10 days before the booked C-section.
I know that must sound weird but I got to experience my waters breaking; so for me it was awesome. I will never forget it and the look on Matt’s face when I bellowed ‘my waters have broken’ from our bed, whilst he was getting ready for work that morning; shaving foam all over his face and a razor in hand! But all was text book and we had two beautiful baby girls; one weighing 5lb 11oz and the other weighing 5lb 12oz.
How did you cope with having twins in the early days?
How does anyone cope, I guess! You just do.
I was recovering from the C-section — we saw lots of family — and Matt was able to take three weeks off consecutively. Although the babies and I had to spend the first week in hospital, so we only really had two weeks at home with Matt, before he returned to work. Luckily, my amazing mum took the week off after to help out, which gave me lots of confidence. Unfortunately PND struck around five months in — around the same time Matt went to live and work away from Monday to Friday.
I am not going to lie, it’s been tough at times but you cope; you get through it and the love for your babies is what drives you. Leaning on people is also important. I saw it as failure and looking back I can’t believe I put that kind of pressure on myself.
Did/do you have an essential ‘must-have’ item and what is it?
I have a few but one thing I would highly recommend is a Sleepyhead.
We found that the babies didn’t like open space and loved being surrounded by blankets, however for obvious reasons it not safe. So the Sleepyheads were perfect as they cocooned the babies and secured them.
What is the best thing about being a parent of multiples?
The awesome fact you grew two babies at once — clever body!
They will (hopefully) be lifelong friends.
Watching them interact and care for each other, each day, as their bond grows and grows. Plus they always have company.
I am also VERY greedy – ha ha!
And the worst?
The questions — the silly darn questions, that people ask you — but that’s what happens with twins. I secretly love it really. I love the fact people remember you, because you’re the one with the twins! Just a lovely healthy reminder you have TWINS!!
Oh and I’m sure I’ve been deafened from 17 months of screaming in stereo!
And finally, what would your top tip be for any new — or soon to be —parent of twins?
Don’t panic buy and think you need two of everything, as you can’t use two Baby Bjorns at the same time; unless your partner is around a lot.
Development toys can be alternated between babies; they don’t need to be doing the same thing at once.
Really research your buggy; how and where you will use it?
Talk to other parents of multiples — via social media, twins clubs and contact associations.
I have actually created a ‘Where To Go Guide’ for expectant parents full of ideas where to get information.
Also I would try and buy everything you need in the first few months and haggle the price from the retailer.
Get organised; make it a military operation. Make sure everything in your home runs like a well oiled machine! We had changing bays in three places around the house in the very early days. Nappies, wipes and cream — it saved a lot of stressing out.
Also don’t feel pressured by what singleton mums are doing. An example of that would be my ideal to have gone down the cloth nappy route but I felt personally my nerves wouldn’t have lasted!
When people ask what to buy you ask for baby grows for the older months, vouchers, nappies and wipes! Baby grows for me are the essential outfits for babies! I only started dressing the girls in proper outfits all the time at 8/9 months. They had cute dresses in the summer to keep cool however lounge wear was the way forward. Nothing hard to dress them in; quick simple and easy!
If you’re a parent of multiples— twins, triplets or more — and would like to share your experiences, in a Twinterview, please get in touch I’d love to hear from you!
Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.