Thursday, August 30, 2012

4 years in the saddle with Twins......

A busy couple of weeks here at the Farmlet with 3 of the Kidlets celebrating their birthdays in the one week.

Oh my goodness, my babies turned 4!!!

One requested a pink heart cake and the other a blue star cake. 

For them, their day was all about opening gifts at the crack of dawn, having a little party at home in the afternoon with some friends and blowing out their 4 candles.

For me, however, their Birthday always makes me feel a little teary and nostalgic as I reminisce about my journey with them over the last 4 years.

I've been a bit reluctant to write about my births in any great detail as it sadly seems to be one of those topics that divides women into either the natural birth versus caesarean camps, whereas all we should be doing is rejoicing in the birth of a healthy baby. At the same time, I really want to document some of the details as I don't want to forget them so bear with me over the next couple of Posts as I do a bit of reminiscing.

I always hoped to have a natural births but have never actually had one of those birth plans. What do I know? I had enough friends before me have children to know that there are no guarantees during the birth process. Despite wanting a particular experience, sometimes things just don't go plan. I honestly went into the births without any expectations other than a hope for a healthy baby at the end of the process. I had a positive frame of mind, hoping for as little intervention as possible but grateful to be living in a time where modern medicine with all its life-saving advances are on stand-by.

 In the end, I had "uneventful" pregnancies and positive, natural drug-free births for which I am very grateful. They were relative quick births though so who knows what cocktail of drugs I would have been asking for if they went any longer than they did! The first birth was 8 hours, the second was 3 hours and the Twins were just 2 hours. 

I thought my experience was fairly standard until I had my first baby and entered the world of "The New Mother". I was the one in the Mothers Group that had a positive experience but chose to stay quiet about my own birth as I listened to some of the new Mums absolutely devastated that their birth didn't go "to plan" and how traumatic it was. There they were with their beautiful babies but couldn't get past their birth experience. Why so much pressure? Was it judgement from others or themselves? In my experience, although the topic of birth is high on the agenda in the first year or 2 of having a baby, by the time your child gets to school, not a single person asks this question. It doesn't matter. 

Unless of course you have Twins. 

If you are seen with Twins, then you will still be asked intimate questions about your Twin Pregnancy and birth 4 years on, and almost on a daily basis.

The conversation always seems to be the same and I am usually interrupted with the following questions in the personal hygiene aisle of the supermarket as I try in vain to choose a toothpaste:

"Oh wow, Twins?!?"


"Are they identical?"


"Are you sure?"


"My best friend's cousin's sister's neighbour has boy and girl Twins and they are the most identical twins I have ever seen"

Hmm...(This is actually an impossibility)

"Are they IVF or conceived naturally?"

Naturally. Identical Twins are actually completely random. One egg splitting into 2 is a complete freak of nature and can happen to anyone.

"But there are Twins everywhere nowadays!"

Yes, the incidence of non-identical (fraternal) Twins has grown exponentially in recent decades - due  to an overall increase in the use of fertility drugs, IVF, being an "older" mother, being a slightly bigger build, being an African-American woman, and having a family history of having non-identical Twins.

The incidence of identical Twins has remained the same for the last 100 years.

"How old are you if you don't mind me asking?"

Hmm.....I was 30 when I fell pregnant with Twins (if you really must know) but age is not a factor in identical twins.

"Did you find out what you're having?"


"Did you have them naturally or via Caesarean section?"


"Did you breastfeed them?"

Yes. For 12 months.

"At the same time?"

Yes, the first 6 weeks with the big twin feeding pillow and yes I felt like a cow. After 6 weeks I could feed them one after the other without the other one crying.

"Do you have Twins in the family?"

No. Identical Twins are not hereditary.

"My husband has Twins in the family so we might have Twins down the track."

Hmm...(actually, your Partner has absolutely no bearing on whether YOU will release 2 eggs at once and have non-identical twins, although he may pass the "hyper ovulation gene onto any daughter you may have.  Your odds of having identical twins are the same as everyone else's).

You won't be having any more then?

Actually I have two older ones at school and now another on the way (I either get a lovely "you are so lucky" response or a look of sheer horror) 

"You must have had your hands full, how did you cope?"

Hmm...strong coffee in the morning and a glass of wine at night. When things got too much, I opened the doors and windows, turned the music up loud and chopped the heads off the Agapanthas. But tell me, what toothpaste do you use because I'm struggling to decide between the Minty Fresh and the Maximum Cavity Protection......

Happy Birthday Boys :-)


  1. Gorgeous pics of your boys and their cakes (love that George chose a pink heart)....imagine how many questions the mums of triplets get!

  2. Good for you. I was going to write, as soon as I saw your photos and had not yet read your text, that I love seeing a blog where there are four children, because I know you know what it's like. You don't follow a book or a blog and you give them what colour cake they want.

    I never ask anyone about their 'birth story' or their babies. I actually couldn't give a fat mouse's bottom. That is someone's personal information.

    I'm also sick of the 'how do you cope?' questions. I feel like saying, "I just do. It's no big deal. We just get on with things the way we do."

    Enjoy the fifth. Soak him or her up, and soak up the older children's adoration of their baby brother or sister. You have four little helpers there.

    PS I'm for all for surgical intervention. It's all over in 45 minutes, and it's the doctor's fault if anything goes wrong.

  3. Just shows how curious people naturally are! I do wonder how long it takes them to cotton on that you're not exactly thrilled about their '20 questions' conversation though.

  4. Your twins look like great buddies. My twins recently turned four, too. The questions while out in the street/shops have reduced in number since they've been out of the double pram. We used to get asked all the time if they are identical. They are boy/girl twins.

  5. Goes to show how little I know about twins. Thanks for the quick lesson, and happy four years to you all!

    1. PS My husband is akways hoping for Twins, he says that brings him closer to his "basketball team" twice as quickly... 8 boys? I then ask him if he is planning to practice poligamy.

  6. Happy birthday to your boys, the cakes look yummy!In answer to your question on my blog - tell them there's no such thing as cricket, it's made up nonsense!! ;)

  7. I remember those questions and they were always in personal hygiene or the baby care aisle. It always surprised that people didn't think it a little personal to ask if they were 'natural' or not. I always wanted to say that they were in fact supernatural. They stopped asking when the other three turned up? Four is a lovely time. Now mine are thirteen and all knees and skateboards and I pods but they still make dams in the creek and tell their mum they love her!

  8. What a gorgeous looking family. Happy birthday to the twins. It's funny how people, many times strangers, ask such personal questions but the thing to remember is - we don't have to answer! If I'm asked a personal question, I ask the same back to them. How old am I? 'Well, how old are you?' Were my children conceived naturally?' Were yours?'

  9. Happy birthday to your beautiful boys. Can't wait to meet No. 5.

  10. Happy Birthday to your boys. This post made me smile. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels like that when it comes to birth plans. When it all comes down to it, the only thing that matters is a healthy baby and mother at the end. Why do we have to compete for who has the best/most natural/drug-free/ birth. It's sad isn't it.

  11. Congrats on the fourth birthday, it is a beautiful age and your boys look so happy! Hmm birth stories......surely you do what you have to do? I had complications and had caesareans and 4 healthy babies.....100 years ago I probably wouldn't have survived my first birth. Have been at a party when someone truly told me that I'm not a real woman for not experiencing natural labour! I think I am! Have a lovely weekend. Rx

  12. Happy Birthday to your gorgeous boys! I love their cakes! I am another that possibly wouldn't be here if not for the marvels of modern medicine. x

  13. What a beautiful & witty post Mel, loved it! Happy Birthday to your gorgeous duo, they are adorable boys. Fab cakes too by the way. I really admire you Mel, such a fabulous Mama, woman & role model xoxo

  14. Oh Mel. I love your mothering. Not to mention your wicked sense of humour. Your boys are so lucky to have you as their mama. J x

  15. I am glad I was one of five growing up and sometimes feel sad that mine only have each other. Here in Samoa they ask if I am my boys grandmother, they have them young here and presume everyone does, they also ask where are my other children. Your kids are beautiful.

  16. Oh happy birthday boys! So exciting (and while I would never ask about your birthing story I am suitably impressed with your natural delivery!). We mark this milestone in a few months with our twins. Enjoy this special time with your gorgeous little men x

  17. Happy belated birthday to your very cute junior boys.
    I think you deserve a medal for tolerating the million questions from the curious shopper, who clearly thought they already knew everything.

  18. Your boys are just delightful and this post hilarious, love it! x

  19. Ha ha ha, yes, all those questions. I do love it when people argue that boy girl twins are identical, HOW?? I was 26 when i had my twins & the questions, LORDY, even one stage my 3 year old said "they were delivered vaginally" to a complete stranger as she'd heard it asked so many times. Breastfeeding for 18 months was the only time i sat down, i loved it, twin fed, i was lucky!!
    Absolutely gorgeous cakes, love a boy who isn't afraid to ask for a pink love heart cake, my boy is like that too!! Congratulations boys, you scored the lottery when you were split & born into this fantastic family!! Love Posie