Esme and Alfie

Finding out you are having multiples

When my husband Ben 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 in. 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.

Heather from Honor Oak, mum of Esme and Alfie, 19 months

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Dulwich and District Twins Club monkeys