38 weeks and 4 days; that’s how long I cooked my little miracles for! And after that long, long journey I am proud to say that I was one lucky momma, with a vaginal, problem-free delivery of twin girls.
Then…the strangest feeling in the world. I found myself sitting on the delivery bed watching my husband tenderly and nervously dressing our twins. He looked scared as he put their nappies on and manoeuvred their tiny arms into baby-gro’s. This was our first experience as parents to twins and my heart was so full of love that I thought I may burst. I couldn’t help but smile.
Then, I was brought back down to earth with a bump as the midwife passed me a sanitary pad the size of a nappy and the most elegant net pants I have ever seen, NOT! Let the joys of childbirth reign.
Skip forward an hour or so and I am in a wheelchair with one bundle of joy cradled in each arm as my Husband pushes me into the lift to go to the hospital room.
We sit in silence, no words are needed as we just look at our new children in their see-through plastic crib, swaddled and snuggled in together, just as nature intended. Occasionally, they move, just a tiny bit, just enough to feel each other, the instinct that they have developed in my womb to be there for each other always; even from just minutes of age. You would think that the enormity of the situation would dawn on us and overwhelm, but it doesn’t. I thought to myself that every minute sat in that room after they were born felt like it went on forever, each second ticking away while we wait until those little girls need us, for whatever they want.
The First Night After My Twins Delivery
The nurses said that my husband could stay late into the night and so I took the opportunity to take a shower and have a sandwich and a drink. And let me tell you, that shower was like a religious experience, the most amazing feeling for my body to relax and be warm and comforted after the journey it had been on, followed by food that was so very ordinary but felt like I was eating a gourmet meal. When I think back I laugh because I must have looked like a ravenous person as I scoffed the food into my mouth like I hadn’t eaten for days.
Now, down to the nitty-gritty. The first time going to the loo!!! I sat on the toilet, desperate for a wee, but holding onto it for dear life, through fear and (let’s be honest) silliness over something so simple. Yes, it stings and yes you may swear or curse or even pray!!! But… the first wee is the worst so don’t be scared to just let it go ladies.
By 10 pm my poor husband was as tired as anyone could be and so I sent him home… “I’ve got this,” I said!
I dozed off soon afterward but awoke to a text message on my phone:
“Is it possible to fall in love with the same woman again and again? I hope so because I’ve done that tonight. What you have done is amazing and beyond words xx. Love you so much xx.”
Well, this was too much to take, the birth of our twins and then an outpouring of love from my Husband, all when I’m in such an emotional and hormonal state — geez!!! I sobbed great big tears of glorious happiness as I ate a box of chocolates sitting on the edge of my hospital bed, at 1 am.
But there wasn’t too much time to bathe in my happiness and delight. Georgia and Harriet started stirring and so it was time to spring into action as a mom again. My older children are teenagers and so I was way out of practice with everything, but it came flooding back. I scooped up one little twin and marveled at her size, but as small as she was, she was hungry. We snuggled on the bed and I breastfed her and as my eyes filled with tears of love I realized that I have, indeed, got this, just as I said to my husband. I fed Harriet straight afterward and then I wheeled their cot out into the hospital corridor to find a nurse. I had been advised to use a tiny cup, almost like the lid off a container, to feed my girls formula to top off their feeds as they only weighed 5lb 6oz and 5lb 3oz when born. As I studied the nurse showing me how to offer the cup to their little lips and watched, jaw dropped as they sipped at the formula, I felt happy and content that they were getting what they needed.
Once the twins were settled again, I set about going through my hospital bag, taking out the items I had brought with me. I checked the twins clothes to make sure we had enough for our stay; everything would be far too big for them! I pulled out my fluffy slippers and as I slipped them onto my feet I felt safe and secure, shut away in our hospital room, away from the rest of the world (for a few hours anyway.)
The rest of the night was made up of nurses visits (including me begging for more pain relief, ha ha ha!), feedings, nappy changes, and me trying to sleep but unable to do so because I was living on adrenaline after the birth and excitement over what was to come.
I sat on a chair at dawn, looking out of the window and watching as the world became light and the morning began. I remember thinking that millions of people would be starting their days, with the same routine in the same normal way, and my life and that of my family had been changed forever, in the most beautiful way possible.
The birth of a child is amazing…the birth of multiples is incredible.
My top 5 tips for the 1st night after delivery
- Take a snap-shot with your mind. Those first few moments after the delivery, when everything has calmed are amazing, make a mental note to remember the first moments of your childrens’ lives, forevermore.
- Take time for yourself; eat, shower, sleep, relax, put your slippers on!
- Have the people who are most important to you around; let them support you and be there for you both emotionally as well as in a practical way.
- If you need help, then ask. If you want advice, seek it from the medical staff. You can never ask too many questions.
- Chocolate! Keep plenty on hand.
Rachael Rodgers is married to Jay and a mother of four daughters aged 19 years, 16 years, and twin 2-year-old girls. Rachael lives in Nottingham, England.
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The rate of twin births has risen 79 percent over the last three decades, and continues to increase. A mom of fraternal twins and a national guru on having two, Natalie Diaz launched Twiniversity, a supportive website with advice from the twin-trenches.
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Accessible and informative, What to Do When You’re Having Two is the must-have manual for all parents of twins.