Mouths of Mums: What it's really like having twins April 02 2015 2 Comments

During "Multiple Birth Awareness Week" 2015, my thoughts on having twins and the impact on our family were published by the amazing website Mouths of Mums.

Read my thoughts by clicking this link to their site:

http://www.mouthsofmums.com.au/what-its-really-like-having-twins/

Or see the transcript below.

 

How having twins made me a better person

When you have twins everything is tested. Your patience, resilience, relationships…but most of all your physical and mental strength. For most, the road to a multiple pregnancy is not straightforward. For many it involves fertility issues that may have stretched over many stressful years. The delight of successfully carrying multiple babies is very often followed by caution and paranoia. All you want is for the pregnancy to follow a traditional path and that all of your babies will thrive equally. I have not heard of many straight forward multiple pregnancies. 

Physically I was bowled over only 5 weeks into my twin pregnancy with extreme tiredness, nausea and a host of other physical side effects. Most of my symptoms lasted the majority of the pregnancy, except the tiredness. Oh the tiredness, that has only seemed to subside now our twins are three years old. Sounding negative? No, twins were the best thing that has ever happened to me. To us. The greatest surprise that the universe could have delivered. I feel so lucky. Many many nights I have not felt so lucky. Caring for more than one baby, whilst trying to treat them as individuals, at the same time as maintaining a consistent routine, is exhausting. Relentless. I really know the definition of relentless. 

Our family has gained an extra child that perhaps may not have been proactively conceived. You see our little twin boys already had two older brothers before them. When I say older, they were only two and four when I discovered I was pregnant with twins. What a day that was. We now have four delightful, delicious little boys that we get the privilege to raise. The older brothers were perhaps asked to do more, to be more patient, to be less jealous than they would have liked. Than they would have had to be, had it not been for the twins arrival. 

But now they each have three brothers to fight with, to laugh with, to discover with and hopefully to protect them through life. It makes me feel fantastic that I have given them this gift. In time, I hope they all realise it was their greatest gift too. 

My friendships have been tested and I have seen another side to people that I would not have otherwise. I know what a fair weather friend is now. I really know who the people are that I can count on. This will stand us all in good stead for the years ahead. Looking back on the last three years of mayhem, sleeplessness, forgetfulness and anti sociability, I can reflect on all of the hard work our little team has put in. As individual gestures, all of the ‘favours’ my beautiful friends and family have done for us seem small. We could not have survived so well without them. They rose to the challenge with us and when you look back on life, that is what is important. Having twins gave us that unity. 

The extra stress that raising multiples puts on a relationship is well documented. Who has done the most night shifts and who has left the house the least, become the daily battleground. Mums of multiples can resent their partner as they seem to skip out of the house each morning into the fresh air of their day unfolding. Their day when they only have themselves to think about and they can eat, socialise and even go to the toilet alone. When you are surrounded by children and an endless list of daily chores, it is really hard not to resent the life that they lead away from your home. 

A rainy day stuck inside with twin toddlers teaches you patience. 48 hours straight caring for sick twins teaches you resilience. Constantly doing boring things for other people teaches you humility. Having multiples in your family teaches you gratitude. For any parent, they understand the pure joy they receive from watching their children thrive. With twins, it really is more than double the love. It has to be, no Multiple Mummy would survive without it. 

So for all of those horrendous nights, those thousands of dirty nappy changes, the never-ending feeds, the unrelenting washing pile, the fights, the missed weddings, the loss of time with my other children, I really have gained. I am different to before. Not in a way that most can see, but in a way that is far more important than that.