One of the things I hadn’t considered when preparing for the arrival of Edie and Mabel was a newborn twin photoshoot. Shortly after we got home from hospital, I had this sinking feeling that we hadn’t captured enough pictures whilst we were in. I was so poorly and though we had photos of our family with the girls, I had very few of me with them. So I couldn’t have been happier when I received a message on Instagram from the lovely Becy asking if we’d be interested in collaborating.
I’d followed Becy for a while because her photos of her weddings and little girl are heartbreakingly perfect. Her pictures really stir the emotions and that’s exactly the kind of photography I love.
The girls were four weeks old when Becy came to shoot our photos and it was brilliant timing. I’d just started to feel a little bit better about myself and a lot more confident in being a mum.
There are 137 photos in total, so far too many to share here. I’ve uploaded a few of my favourites though but I know I’ll treasure them all forever.
The past few weeks have gone by in a blur but one where I’ve tried to soak up as much as possible.
I think if it wasn’t for the pre-eclampsia and the worry I could go back into hospital at any moment, I’d feel a lot better. Overall though, we seem to be falling into a some kind of a routine, though I’m sure this will change when J goes back to work.
Although I’m a little nervous about been on my own, I’m thankful that we’re in a position where J was able to take longer off work than men usually get in the UK. Working for yourself does have some benefits!
We received our photos in the most beautiful wooden box, with a handwritten note from Becy and I might have shed a little tear when opening it. It was lovely having her with us and I am so incredibly happy with how the photos turned out. I’m having one framed for J’s office and no doubt they’ll be over the walls of our home before we know it. I can’t recommend or thank Becy enough for them.
Becy works across the UK and beyond taking natural fine art wedding and family photos, take a look at her website here.
Time is flying and the girls are getting so big so quickly – at their last weigh in the other day they’d both made 5lbs. They’re still so teeny but it’s miles away from what they were in hospital. Their legs are no longer skinny and they have little rolls and double chins (sorry girls you got that from me).
I’ve been snapping and filming away with my new Olympus PEN E-PL8 so I can remember everything. It doesn’t matter how hard the nights have been, I’ve tried my best to soak up all the little things and remember it all while they are still so young and small.
Life is so different to how it was before but I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m so lucky because we have a lot of help and now I’m feeling a bit better, I’m enjoying it more. It’s easy to see how if a twin parent didn’t have plenty of support, they could fall into postnatal depression.
Edie, our little twin one who was always the more active on our scans lives up to just that. She has a smaller head than Mabel but is chunkier and she feeds amazingly well – the girl loves her milk, clearly she takes after her Dad. She’s more curious than Mabel at the moment and has these big beautiful eyes… most of the time. Edie also inherited my frown and glare and she lets us know when she’s not happy about something. I shared the funniest video on Instagram Stories when we switched from pre-made milk to powdered during the day and her reaction caused so many laughs.
She hates been swaddled and likes to be free to move when she goes to sleep however we’ve realised she keeps startling and waking herself up. So this week we purchased what we keep joking is a straight jacket for her, a Woombie.We’ve only given it a try the once but she seemed to like it and it even seemed to improve her reflux. Edie also has the cutest hungry cry ever which Jay makes back at her.
Mabel, our tiny twin two is so laid back and lovely. She had a hospital appointment this week which took two hours and with a long car journey there and back, I had been expecting her to cry and twist but she sat calm and quiet the whole time. Jay used to play Ed Sheeran all the time in the car when I was pregnant and Mabel loves nothing better than listening to him.
She loves Edie and stares at her intently when we put them next to each other and she’s just this week started to react more to us. Unlike Edie, she loves to be swaddled and sleeps really well when she’s wrapped up. She also loves the rain and will lie on the changing mat listening to it on the conservatory roof all night if we let her. She makes the most adorable noise when she swallows her food but then sounds like a little old man when she’s been winded.
Things I want to remember about both of them:
- Our walks on the farm. We have bought a Bugaboo Donkey. This lives in the car but we also have a single Silver Cross Pram At the moment, while the girls are still small enough, we put them in together to take for walks in the fields. I’m wanting to get a sling for when they get too big, so I can carry one and push the other, any recommendations?
- How cute and soft their hair is and especially how long at the back it’s getting – it’s dark and thick just like mine and Jay’s.
- This week they’ve both finally been able to sit in their Baby Bjorn Bouncers (they were too small before), which is making life a little bit easier with their reflux as they’re more upright.
- Speaking of reflux both of them pull the funniest faces when faced with Infacol drops
- They sleep really well and go for 3.5 hours most of the time, however because of this reflux issue, it means we’re not getting much rest.
- How small they still are in their tiny baby outfits – Jay tried putting Edie in a newborn vest and we joked ‘she couldn’t go out like that’ because she was flashing. Newborn clothes are way too big still.
Things I’ve learnt these past couple of weeks:
- Accept all the help you can get, my mum, mother in law and sisters in law, even my brother have all been amazing help. From teaching me new tricks to staying over on a night for a couple of hours to cleaning my kitchen – it’s made my life so much easier and I’ve been able to enjoy the girls more. I honestly do not know how some twin mum’s manage, you all deserve medals and spa days!
- If you don’t laugh, you will cry. It’s hard work, I’m not going to lie and dress it up but when it’s all going tits up, I’ve found the best thing to do is laugh. Sometimes it even confuses the twins why I’m doing it and they stop twisting!
- There is a whole host of tutorials on Youtube… if you need more confidence tandem feeding or new tricks for getting wind up, youtube it!
- Learn when to say no. I never wanted to be a ‘clingy mum’ and I want my girls to be used to being picked up and soothed by different people so they don’t rely purely on me and Jay but we’ve fast learnt that if an influx of visitors turn up and it’s bath and bedtime, for now it just needs to be family or they will refuse to settle.
- An endless supply of chocolate, biscuits, snacks, pop etc to hand is an absolute must. I wish I was as organised as to freeze meals while pregnant to defrost now but I’m not and also who wants to eat frozen lasagna at 3am – pass me the Dairy Milk!
- Buy more than 8 bottles – you will feel like you spend your life sterilising and may break down crying into your fairy liquid filled sink with only a bottle brush for company.
Wow… How my life has changed in just a couple of posts! Things had been going so smoothly all the way through my pregnancy – it really did seem too good to be true! And I guess it really was.
Shortly after writing my 35 week post where I mentioned I’d been feeling pretty rubbish and swollen, I went into hospital for a routine check. We were meant to be in and out within thirty minutes but we were ushered along to one of the private rooms and I was told I had third stage pre-eclampsia and wouldn’t be leaving the hospital until I’d had the twins. Things escalated quickly and before I knew it, we were headed to the labour ward where I was told the babies would be delivered that evening! It did however get pretty scary for Jay as I had a reaction to some of the medication and lost consciousness and from then on, the first few days are a bit of a blur.
I’ll save all the details for my birth story post but the good news is, I’m finally on the mend. Time has absolutely flown by and I can’t believe how much they’ve grown and changed already. Everyday I look at them and notice something new and different.
So honestly, what’s it like with newborn identical twins? It’s the hardest job I’ve ever done but the easiest at the same time. I’m not going to lie, I’ve had a couple of meltdowns… mostly towards the end of the end of the day when the sleep depravation gets the better of me and I realise I’m not going to get a nice solid straight eight hours again. Speaking of which, the girls sleep really well BUT no one told me how noisy newborns (especially preemies) are. They sound like little french bulldogs, snoring away and then they cough up fluid because they were section babies and then they dream and make random cries which ultimately results in one paranoid mum checking them all the time. I never switch off. That makes recovering from a section and eclampsia really hard but I wouldn’t change any of it for a second.
It’s fascinating watching them grow from babies into little people. They are already developing their little personalities and although we’re not sleeping through the night, we’re in a good routine right now.
There’s a few things that nobody told me which I’ve learnt since becoming a Mum to our twins and wanted to share for other soon to be twin mums. So in no particular order:
- Tommee Tippee Bottles aren’t always best!
Everyone I spoke to recommended them until I got to the hospital and our girls couldn’t manage the teats. We used the hospital bottles and teats from then on but once we were home we ended up spending a small fortune hunting down teats which both of them could manage. We’re now using these MAM Anti-Colic Self-Sterilising Bottles which are much better for little mouths.
- Newborns are noisy!
As mentioned above, not all babies sleep silently like you’d imagine. There’s a number of noises and these are amplified times two with twins. They snore, cough, let out little cries and talk to each other in their sleep which makes for one very tired Mum. I cried on my midwife around about the third day we’d spent at home as I’d had no sleep at all and she assured me the babies would turn their heads if something was wrong and I’d get used to the noises. She was right – I’ve now started to work out what all the different squeaks, grunts and groans mean and though I hear them, I don’t react to them all now. If I’d known this before, I would have felt much better.
- You know your body!
I’d had such an easy pregnancy and I carried very small. Everyone kept telling me you’ll get really big at the end and this put me off complaining to the midwives and doctors when I did. I felt different in those last couple of weeks… my face felt squishy, my legs had no shape and when everyone said ‘it’s twins your carrying, it will be hard’ I believed them. I shouldn’t have because I’ve since learnt how serious pre-eclampsia and eclampsia are and though the girls were fine, I put my life at risk by waiting for my appointment and not ringing my GP or midwife and I missed out on a lot of the first few days of the girls because I was so poorly. You know your body and if you feel something isn’t right, don’t listen to anyone else and call your pregnancy unit. It’s much better to be safe than sorry.
If you follow me on Instagram, you will already have seen our news. Two days after my last post, our beautiful identical twin girls, Edie Caroline Tate and Mabel Alice Tate unexpectedly arrived into the world via an emergency c-section at 9.02 and 9.03pm on June 22nd.
Though my pregnancy had been rather smooth running, there were a few complications in the last couple of days and though both the girls were perfect weighing 4 lbs 2 and 3 lbs 7, my recovery has been a little bit harder than expected. I will of course be writing about their birth story at some point but for the moment, we’re enjoying our first week at home spending time as a family of four. We are so incredibly in love with them and feel so lucky that we made it to 35 weeks.