Moving house might be easier!
Written by Kate Ledger, Author and mum to Rori and Scarlett Buckey, 9
Hindsight, as we all know, is a very exact science, as was the scan that would change our lives forever. “How do you feel about two heartbeats?”, the sonographer said as she looked at my husband and me. My husband looked at me with brief confusion and wondered if she meant our baby had two hearts. Of course I knew immediately it was TWINS!
An incredibly amazing and complex roller-coaster ride had just begun. Raw emotion and panic set in. How on earth am I going to cope with two babies? Two sets of everything, two little human beings relying on us for everything. It was overwhelming, and just the thought of it made me want to lie down and bury my head. Our pregnancy was a surprise and I was unprepared for the enormity of what was to come. What I now know and appreciate is that what initially makes having twins or multiples especially hard in the beginning is the exact same thing that makes them easier later on. The same age and the same stage early on means doubling up on everything – and that in itself is exhausting. Just the sheer physicality of it all. There were many times when I would weigh up how badly I needed milk versus packing up two babies, a car and pram only to unpack them again five minutes later. If only Baby Bjorn would make a carrier with front and back pouches for twin mums!
When the girls were six months old, we took them away for Christmas. Our holiday destination was only hours’ drive from where we lived and yet I think a house move would have been easier. We definitely packed the kitchen sink! My flexibility was put to the test during our drive as I balanced between baby capsules, milk bottles in hand. There is a truly magical connection that exists between twins, and it is our privilege as parents to behold. Their unique language and twin empathy is awe-inspiring right from the start. They have a constant companion and never feel lonely. The comfort they provide each other is remarkable.
When major milestones are met, life takes a turn for the better; a more independent phase with less structure and more fun for the whole family. No more nappies, a twin buddy and a concentration span to boot, means suddenly all your singleton mum friends are envious! Especially if they want another child.
Learning to swim at the same time, sharing birthdays andtoys all help make up for the initial double trouble. In fact, learning to share right from the start is one of life’s most important lessons and that happens naturally with twins. The Kindy photographer thought my girls liked to share so much he only gave me one set of photos… of ONE twin – and we’re still trying to work out who it is!
Before you know it, they are growing up faster than you can imagine and you are left to ponder the forthcoming complexities and wondrous observations that come from parenting twins.
So bear in mind during those bleak moments when you feel as if you’re the only one in the world awake, that things with twins really DO get better. In fact, they get brilliant. I wish you all heaps of happy moments, lots of laughter and tons of twin delight.
Multiple Birth Awareness Week
Multiple Birth Awareness Week (MBAW) is a national campaign to raise awareness around, and draw attention to, the unique realities for multiple birth families in Australia – and how advocacy, positive education and engaged communities can contribute to enabling positive health outcomes for families with multiples.
For more information visit the Australian Multiple Birth Association website: www.amba.org.au