The girls have requested a letter just like I wrote for T last year. Thing is, I have found it hard to write. I’m not sure why, but I think their twinship has something to do with it. Anyway, I thought I would start with their story together, which is how they began their life.
T had been alive for approximately three months when we found out I was 8 weeks pregnant with the two of you. The very idea that we would be daddy and mummy to another couple of T’s blew us both away. We were so excited. I had severe pre-eclampsia with T, who had to be delivered early due to elevated blood pressures, so that and the fact you were twins meant I was very well looked after antenatally. I had not used pain relief for your brother because he was delivered in minutes rather than hours (I gave birth to him naturally). For you girls I wanted every pain relief going! So I opted for an epidural which I received when my waters broke at 35 weeks. Because it was a twin birth, we had about 678 people accompany us into labour (well, maybe not quite that many, but I’m certain it was close).
Little L, you were the first to be born. You just slithered out, without any effort whatsoever from me, as laid back then as you are now. You were wrapped and weighed by one of the midwives whilst the other 677 medical professionals got straight to the business of delivering your sister.
Little C, you came into the world under very dangerous circumstances. Your twin’s cord had caused your placenta to become partially detached. My uterus stopped contracting. You were left oxygen deprived and I was losing blood faster than the doctors could pump fluid in. Half an hour after L came into the world, you were safely delivered. I remember none of it. I had been without a recordable blood pressure twice and I needed multiple units of blood due to a massive placental hemorrhage. Every possible medical professional visited me in my hospital bed exclaiming how lucky I was to be alive and how lucky you were to be alive. At that moment I did not feel lucky. I had three babies under the age of one and was very anemic, very tired and very traumatised from the birth.
As time went on and I slowly recovered from the birth and a rather nasty infection I went home with, I still didn’t feel lucky. Luck implies some sort of randomness. To me there was nothing random about your births; nothing random about the fact we had all lived. No, I did not feel lucky, but I did feel blessed beyond believe. Just two short years previous, I had been told by the doctors that I would be unable to have children, and here I was, the proud mummy of three babies under a year. Each pregnancy had thrown the most ridiculous number of potential and real complications. It was clear that I was not a ‘mother nature’ type in terms of pregnancy and birthing. It was all hard. It was all dangerous. And it was all the biggest blessing God could ever gift me with.
I had got pregnant, stayed pregnant and given birth to three of the most beautiful human beings my eyes had ever seen. I knew deep down that God had made you all for a particular purpose.
You girls were such placid babies, content practically all of the time. You slept through from three weeks, napped whenever I put you down and happily ate each others toes when teething. Bottle fed due to my inability to breast-feed, Gary was able to be a hands on Daddy at night (not sure if he appreciated that much!) and I always smiled when it was his turn to take night duty and I found you in the wrong cots the next morning! Fortunately both T and I have always been able to tell you apart so we’re fairly certain C is C and L is L and you didn’t get changed permanently during one of Daddy’s feeding sessions!
We always likened our earlier parenting technique as conveyor belt parenting, and in those tiny baby days it really was. Feed, change, nap. Next baby. Feed, change, nap. Next Baby. And so on. The early days were about surviving and we did. Just.
It is sad, because times were so busy back then I don’t really remember much of your babyhood. My one lasting memory is of the laundry. So much laundry – which I would often ignore so I could sneak in just one more cuddle. I loved my cuddles with you and your brother. We would all clamber into our huge bed and snuggle, read books together or get some much-needed shut-eye. It wasn’t until we moved to Ireland that my memories kick back in, which was when you both turned three.
Tomorrow I will be sharing my letter with L13, my eldest twin, and on Wednesday my letter to my youngest twin. I think because they are twins I have found them particularly hard to write. I have started and stopped and written and erased more times than I can count. Girls, I hope my words do my feelings for you justice, because I love you both so very, very much.