How did I feel when I found out it was twins?

A friend is helping to put together an information pack for expectant parents of multiples, and she asked me to write something for her about how I felt when I discovered I was expecting twins. Here’s what I’ve written…

Hours before meeting Ez and Fonz for the first time

When Young Daddy and I did the TAMBA antenatal class, one of the first things we were asked to do was to choose some words off a table that best described how we felt when we found out we had twins on the way. Most of the other parents chose words such as ‘happy’, ‘thrilled’, ‘excited’ and ‘over the moon’, but Ben and I found ourselves with ‘shocked’ and ‘scared’, and felt self-conscious about our somewhat negative (but very honest) choices.

Our initial reaction had been one of relief. We were having a scan in the early pregnancy unit and we thought we were losing, or had already lost our baby. Fast forward 24 hours and the shock of the news was wearing off and other feelings had set it. We had been actively trying to get pregnant for over six months, and in that time I had built up a picture of my life as a mother.

It was fantasy stuff – long lunches with friends, trips to museums, the breastfeeding bond – but it was a fantasy that felt taken away from me when I found out I was having twins. Suddenly all those things seemed impossible, and I mourned the loss of my fantasy life. I also grieved the loss of the singleton child I’d dreamed of having. It felt like I’d been cheated, and I shed some tears and bid farewell to that particular dream.

From that moment on, my mantra was ‘no expectations’. After the twins were born people would ask if being a mum was how I expected it to be. Because I had no expectations, realistic or otherwise, I was never disappointed.

11 comments to How did I feel when I found out it was twins?

  • I too was shocked and scared and we were both really upset and full of dread – we did want another baby but to get an extra one thrown in, was something we hadn’t budgeted for. Financially all our savings have been wiped out due to hiring a night nurse to support us for the first 3 months they were out of hospital. I mourned terribly the loss of a solo baby and felt so under prepared to handle two at once – having had one was hard enough and she was hitting the terrible 2 stage (great timing!). But now nearly 2 years on, we’ve turned a corner, life is tough, no holidays, no breaks, no rest (unless I am at work) but the boys are lovely, happy and healthy. I shall give them a lot of grief when they get older about how much trouble they caused us. PS Toddler Wild thing some how managed to climb out of his cot bed and escape his bedroom. His brother won’t be far behind learning that skill!

    • Young Mummy

      I enjoy my two so much, and feel like we’re just starting to reap the benefits of having two – they are beginning to enjoy each other’s company and seeing them play together makes my heart sing!

      Toddler escaping from his cot? Uh oh… I see trouble ahead!

  • I have “virtual” twins separated by a few months and I’ll say my reaction was desperate joy. And complete denial. The relief at finally having a light at the end of a very long and painful tunnel didn’t allow even the slightest inkling of reality. We just went with “what’s one more?!” Now I know. But I wouldn’t change it for the world, watching the two of them together. They love each other so much and will never know being alone.

    • Young Mummy

      They will definitely have a bond that is unique and special, and that’s something that brings me incredible joy. Despite my initial feelings, there isn’t a moment when I would want it any differently.

  • I put a brave face on for the whole of the pregnancy… when deep inside I was full of fear and dread. I assumed people wouldn’t want to know my feelings when everyone was so overjoyed at the news.

    Obviously I wouldn’t change it for the world now, I couldn’t imagine things any differently :)

    • Young Mummy

      I found when telling people who didn’t have children, they would be all like ‘oh I’ve ALWAYS wanted twins!’. People who did have children would just look at me with those ‘Oh my god’ eyes! Obviously I wouldn’t even think of changing things now. What an incredible journey.

  • We were in complete shock. I think we spent the first week after the scan going “f*ck! twins!” and “Twins! F*ck!” at each other. I’d been very jealous when my sister-in-law told us they were expecting twins when we were expecting L as I’d always sort of wanted twins, but then I watched her coping with new twins and a 3 year old and I changed my mind. In fact the morning of the scan I actually said to B “Just as long as it’s not twins”…

    And then it was and L was barely 1 and would only be 19 months when they were born. And they said – it was an early scan at 9 weeks as B was going to be away for work for the normal 12 week one, and I didn’t want to find out anything awful when he wasn’t there – “Oh, of course, one could still vanish. Don’t go assuming you’ll definitely have twins until after the 12 week scan. You won’t even know, because there’ll be no bleeding or anything”.

    So I sat there at the 12 week scan with my mother and she said “You know, the funny thing is although in many ways it would be a good thing if one of them has vanished, I really really hope they’re both still there.” And I knew exactly how she felt. I was terrified of the practicalities and the realities, but I wanted both those babies, desperately. The relief when they were both there and both ok was indescribable. I’ve never even thought of wishing one of them away. (although of course now we’re potty training….)

    • Young Mummy

      We were told that too about ‘vanishing twin syndrome’, so I spent six weeks (from when we first found ou until our 12 week scan) wondering. And I also realised that I absolutely wanted both of those babies. x

  • All those women in the class didn’t mention shocked? My husband and I wandered around for weeks looking like deer in headlights. When my doctor said, “And there’s the other one.” I had about two breaths worth of “Yes! I have 4 kids!” before reality hit me.

    • Young Mummy

      To be fair, the other women in the group had all been through IVF, so their experience was completely different to ours. No-one mentioned shocked, but I have always wondered if we were the only couple that were 100% honest about our feelings. We had “I can see two, I’m just checking there aren’t any more!” That was enough to shock us for about 48 hours!

  • I was one of those people who thought twins would be lovely. You get your family all sorted out with just one pregnancy – what’s not to love?

    But now I have two (non-twin) children I’m even more in awe of Multiple Mums. It’s hard work – and that’s with Big Sis being old enough to help me out a little bit (dressing herself, fetching me things, etc).

    Where we used to have two adults looking after one kid, we now have one adult looking after two (as my partner has to work longer hours to make sure the bills are covered). At times it’s overwhelming, but mostly it’s amazing.

    Imagine being Octomum Nadia Suleman – eight kids, and no hubby!!!!!! Now there’s a brave (crazy?) lady!!! xx

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