Tuesday, 30 November 2010

It still takes me by surprise...

That I'm a mother, it all sounds so grown up and sophisticated doesn't it, yet I'm still watching Hollyoaks, reading Heat magazine and get excited whenever I go down the sweetie aisle in the supermarket!

I got asked for id a couple of weeks ago and at first (as you do when it happens) I was rather smug about people thinking I looked about 16 and then a few moments later I realised that its not because of my face its because I still dress the way I did when I was 15 years old!

But now I'm a mum, yes I know that biologically I could've been one by the age of 12 , but I think it means different things to you depending on your age. I think the younger you are the less aware you are of the responsibilities that come with being a parent. Maybe innocence and ignorance of youth is a good thing as they are so blase about the well being of their child.

On the surface, I feel like mother nature and I'm floating a long, but in the pit of my stomach and and behind those locked doors of my mind are the greatest of fears. I'm doing well to keep them at bay, but they are always there bubbling underneath the surface. I've had to stop myself watching any thing to do with hospitals as you can guarantee that there is going to be a story about a sick child and I'll watch it thinking - what if that happens to me. It's too painful to event think about.

Lets lighten things up a bit - I'm proud to be a mum, for the first time in my life I can honestly feel like I'm doing the best that I can do. Throughout my working life I constantly felt that I was never good enough, beating myself up mentally about things that I didn't achieve. But as a mum I never question myself or my ability to look after my twins. It's almost been a cathartic process, a cleanser and revitaliser.

I have to prepare myself that one day I will have sulky teenagers who will tut and moan and most of the things I say, so right now I'm making the most of my kids who make me feel like a queen er no make that princess (she's younger) everyday.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

I survived

Well it was just me and the twins this weekend as Rick headed off on his annual pilgrimage to Amsterdam with his friends.
He left very early on Friday morning so for three days I've been chief, cook and bottle washer all on my lonesome. Don't feel too sorry for me though as the twins were actually a dream, in fact, I think they were the most well behaved that they've ever been!

Do you think that they sensed that their poor mum was on her own or were they so bored of seeing my face that they just resigned themselves to the fact that I was the best that they were going to get all weekend?

I guess the only way to describe this weekend is like going for a swim in a mildly warm pool of water. You dip your toe in and at first its freezing and you think, there's no way I can get in there. But then you go for the whole foot, then a leg and then you think, sod it and just throw your whole self in and quite quickly, your body adapts to the shock and then you swim becomes enjoyable.

That's how my weekend went. I love my kids to bit but I did have a slight interpretation as to how I was going to deal with two on my own. So Friday morning was my little toe, then Friday night I had gradually increased to a leg and by Saturday afternoon I was pretty much doing laps!!

I think I just realised that the fact that it was only me that had to make the decisions and it was only me to answer to, so do as I feel and if it doesn't work or goes a bit tits up then you amend, comfort , clean and try again. Ultimately, it was about lying on my back and trusting the water (yes back to the pool analogy again!!) It was a case of sink or swim and I chose to swim - or at least keep my head above the water.

All my life I have been the most unorganised person I know, I tried to keep a diary but it was useless because I never wrote any of the dates for my meetings, doc appointments etc in it! I got to places late and would often write things down on bits of paper and then misplace it somewhere. My coat pockets are still my purse so I'm constantly digging out receipts, chewing gum and coppers from the bottom of them.

However when it comes to the twins, I have suddenly become extremely efficient in organising for them and I think that's what's helped me get through this weekend. I stuck to a routine and made an effort to arrange food, nappies, sleep stuff all ahead of time so everything was within hands reach and easy to put together.

I felt like I had a halo as big as a hula hoop (not the crisps!) all weekend and now as I sit here polishing it on Sunday night I look back at the weekend and feel not just proud of myself but also of the kids. Even though they don't know it or realise what they did, they actually looked after me. I found great comfort in their smiles, laughs, giggles - even their individual smells. In return for my hard work, they rewarded me with lots of cuddles, easy feedings and no (well not many) tears at bedtime.

The most dramatic thing that happened this weekend was that it was the first time I drove the twins by myself. Not the best weekend to choose as we experienced our first snow storm of the winter!! I do apologise for anyone that was driving along Kirkstall Road in Leeds at about 11am this morning in a tail back - the driver at the front would've been me going at about 10mph!

Throughout this whole process of being pregnant and then having the twins and being their mum I have actually been the most relaxed about myself and my life since I was about 12. Before this, everything I did in life, I would always think of the consequences, worry about whether I was doing things the right way - and try to please people all to my own detriment. Now, whilst I get a little niggle from time to time, I know that by the look on my children's face every morning, I'm must be doing something right.

Friday, 26 November 2010

I'm in love with a childrens programme

This programme is my lifeline

For 25 mins of the day complete silence spreads across the living room as my two little angels become entranced by these weird little creatures in the land of Waybuloo

Occasionally the silence is broken with a little squeal of delight from Beau or Olivia as one of these adorable little things flies right up to the screen and flutters their huge doe eyes right at my kids.

The opening theme tune is so calming and gentle that I wish I could bottle it and play it to them when we put them to bed, in fact I want to play it to myself when I go to bed

Waybuloo theme tune

Now, I remember saying that I was adamant that I would not resort to TV to distract the twins, however, there are so many things that I said I wasn't going to do (dummies /  buy shoes when they can't walk / dress them in blue and pink ) so I'm just going to go with the flow and enjoy watching my children watching the Waybuloo with their eyes sparkling and little faces glowing.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

The empowerment of motherhood

I honestly can say nothing is more empowering than becoming a mum - I don't mean just because I've had twins, I think motherhood as a whole. For the first time in many many years I have found a confidence and sense of serenity in myself.

It's not just about coping with all the things that come with the joys of motherhood - tiredness / tears / dirty nappies etc etc, yes that in itself women should get a gold medal for, but more so for the fact that those little babies look at you with a genuine love, happiness and acceptance. It's a beautiful, unconditional form of love that you will never receive from any other relationship.

I feel that this new bond has enabled me to start a fresh, like cleaning off all the dirt, decay and rot to find something gleaming underneath that's actually worth keeping rather than throwing away.

I now look to the future with a new found enthusiasm, with a feeling that my path has only just begun.

I feel like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz in my very own quest to find who I really am and where I belong - i just have to decide which character Rick is, the scarecrow, tin man or lion (poor thing!!)

Facts about Twins

Ok, I know this is cheating and not really writing my own piece but I thought it might be a bit interesting

•The scientific study of twins is known as "gemellology." The word twin is probably derived from an ancient German word twine. which means 'two together.'
•Worldwide there are at least 125 million living multiples.
•The average time between the delivery of the first and second twin is 17 minutes (mine was 9 mins!!)

•Nigeria has the highest rates of multiples with more identical twins than fraternal. while China has one of the lowest with multiple births occurring one in 300 births.
•The largest surviving complete set is of septuplets (in US). Three complete sets of sextuplets survive in the UK (6 girls in 1983. 3 boys and 3 girls in 1986 and 1 boy and 5 girls in 1993).
 •Incredible fact: In 1853. a peasant named Kirilow was presented to the empress of Russia as he had been married twice and his wives gave birth to 72 children including 4 sets of quads. 8 sets of triplets and 8 sets of twins ! (was he on benefits!!)

•The Yoruba tribe of Nigeria have the highest twinning rate in the entire world (3 sets of twins in every 19 births). The Nigerian people attribute it to their population's consumption of a specific type of yam. Scientists have discovered that these colourful vegetables contain a high level of a substance that is similar to the hormone oestrogen. which could bring on multiple ovulation. Chief Adeyemisays "It's an honour to be so-called Baba or Iya Ibeji Father or mother of twins because they are a special breed from God." (do you think they'll prescribe it on the NHS)
 •Multiple births in UK has been on the rise: birth of twins has risen almost 50% from 1984 - 2004 (latest data).

Celebrities who have had Twins

Dennis Quaid

P Diddy, aka Sean Combes

Nancy Sorrell and Vic Reeves.

Holly Hunter
 Al Pacino

Television sport presenter Gabby Logan and former Scotland rugby star husband Kenny

Four Weddings and a Funeral and Sliding Doors star John Hannah

Geena Davis

Julia Roberts

Judy Finnegan

Cybil Shepherd

Jane Seymour

Muhammad Ali

Robert De Niro

Michael J. Fox

William Shakespeare

Mel Gibson

Margaret Thatcher

George W. Bush

Nat King Cole

Mia Farrow

Julio Iglesias

Tony Curtis

Alex Ferguson

Donald Sutherland

Denzel Washington

Ben Elton

Jack Dee


Paul Merson (footballer)

Gordon Ramsay

Fern Britton

Dean Gaffney

Ron Howard

Celebrities/famous people from history who ARE a twin/triplet:

Alanis Morissette

Ashton Kutcher

David Jason had a twin brother who died at birth

Duffy, Welsh soul singer (twin sister Katy)

Elvis Presley, (twin brother Jesse Garon died at birth)

Gisele Bündchen, supermodel has a fraternal twin sister Patrícia

Henry Cooper, British boxer (twin brother George)

Jason Orange, member of Take That (twin brother Justin)

Jay Kay, singer (twin brother died at birth)

Jerry Hall, American model and actress (twin sister, Terry)

Jim Broadbent, actor (twin sister died at birth)

Joseph Fiennes, actor (twin brother, Jacob)

Justin Timberlake is a twin - he had a twin sister, Laura Katherine, who died minutes after birth. He mentions her sometimes in the liner notes of *NSYNC albums.

Karen Elson, supermodel (fraternal twin sister Kate)

Kate Lawler, BB3 winner and TV presenter has a twin sister Karen

Kiefer Sutherland, actor (twin sister Rachel)

Keith Chegwin, TV presenter has a twin brother, Jeff

Linda Hamilton, actress (id sister Leslie, who played the "T-1000 Sarah" in Terminator 2)

Martin and Gary Kemp, actors and former Spandau Ballet members

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, actors

Matt and Luke Goss - 80's pop idols Bros

Maurice and Robin Gibb, The Bee Gees, (Maurice died 2003)

Ronnie and Reggie Kray (notorious gangsters)

Scarlett Johansson, actress (twin brother Hunter)

Shayne Ward, Singer & X-Factor winner has a twin sister Emma

Vin Diesel, actor (fraternal twin brother Paul Vincent)

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

I've turned

Ok, I'm now officially in the L-LA land of mumsville - I have only gone and bought my kids shoes!! They can't even roll over yet, never mind walk!! Although Beau loves to stand up for a couple of seconds at a time.

But really, I've slid down the slippery slopes in to the world of mummy mania. I was determined not to become part of the mums brigade but I think that along with the natural instinct to cuddle and kiss is the urge to dress your children in better quality clothes than myself even though most things are whipped off within 5mins due to regurgitated milk or a leaky nappy.

I have, you'll be pleased to hear, resisted the urge to put on form of hair accessories on my daughters mainly bald head even though she is constantly mistaken for a boy wherever we go if I don't go over the top in dressing her in PINK.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Life changer

It was a year ago this week that I discovered that I was pregnant. The moment that I read that little 'pregnant' sign on the clear blue tester it felt like I had left one world and jumped into another - all changed. I felt like my body no longer belonged to me but was more like a hatching pod.

So along with all they joy that comes with being pregnant there comes a scary feeling of responsibility, like being the person that holds the rope at the top of a mountain and if you let slip then whoever is below falls.

Before I got pregnant, I was an exercise addict, sometimes spending up to 3hrs a day exercising. Part of the reason I had to have treatment to help me get pregnant was because my body was not producing enough female hormones and it is highly likely because of the amount of exercise I was doing.

Obviously things had to change, but it was hard. From my teenage battle with anorexia I have had a constant battle in my head, almost like two little voices sitting on each shoulder, one being more reasonable and sane and the other trying to lead me back into dark places. So (dramatic as this sounds) I was starting a new fight, but this time it was not just for my own self it was for another little life inside me (didn't know it was twins then).

I'd been used to pushing my body to its limit and thrived on that, so how was I going to deal with this??!!
I'll be honest and say things didn't change immediately, I still tried to take myself through tough workouts, but was unprepared for the extreme tiredness that comes along with the first term in pregnancy. Fortunately I didn't get morning sickness which is a bonus seeing as I'm vomit phobic!!

The first few weeks of pregnancy is like walking on very thin glass that could crack at any time. Every little niggle, twinge or cramp is magnified and dwelt on for days. Whenever I went to the toilet my heart would beat fast with the fear of looking down and seeing blood.

One night, I think I was about 10 weeks gone ( I knew it was twins by then), that fear came to light as I found I was bleeding. I felt more anger than worry, anger that possibly my body had failed at doing its job, that I'd failed.

Rick took me to A&E, and after 4hrs of waiting, without doing a scan or any checks I was told to go home, book an appointment with the prenatal unit and wait it out. That night when I got home I admit I got on my knees and I prayed. The one time in my life when I really wanted or needed to believe that someone or something was watching over me.

The next morning, I managed to get in for a scan and I was ready to be told that there was no baby. Lying back on the hospital bench, my knees started to tremble uncontrollably, I didn't even look at the screen until I heard the words "I see two heartbeats". It was like my heart had been given a shot of adrenalin and I was almost sick with relief.

I realised then that this was the biggest undertaking of my life and that it was no longer just about thinking what was good for myself but what was good for all three of us.

I carried on exercising throughout my pregnancy but at a much more steadier level and I began to embrace my ever changing size. Yes I was getting big, but it was for a reason. I felt beautiful - something that I hadn't felt if ever. For the first time in 18 years I was looking in the mirror and willing my tummy to grow. I felt a certain kind of liberation by being pregnant, I was so much more relaxed and happy.

People say to me that I won't have to get pregnant again because of the twins, but you know what, I would happily do it all over again..and why wouldn't I when I could have another gorgeous little one just like these two......


Monday, 22 November 2010

Enough about me - what about the twins

I feel like I've been talking more about myself than actually telling you about the twins and I think they deserve an introduction.

Meet Beau

And Olivia

Together they are BOLIVIA

They spend a lot of their time

or watching TV

But most of all they love hanging out with their mum

Beau is definitely a boys boy, a little bruiser who is dying to get on his feet, in fact he's already found them and is constantly standing up (with a little help of course) He has a big gummy grin and likes nothing more than being the centre of attention. His favourite things are food (obviously) sleep and the TV programme Waybuloo but what he really loves is snuggles and playtime with his mum and dad.

Olivia is a little bit more independent and is happy to be left on her own for a while

She does have the tendency to be a little bit grumpy from time to time

But not when she's sleeping on her daddy's chest

I feel fortunate to say (touch wood) that at this moment we have two little happy and content babies who give us much joy and pleasure to be around. Yes, they are demanding - but only of attention.

Funniest things have been watching them discover their hands with a look of wonder and awe. Their little sneezes. Hearing them chuckle and their ability to fart, cough and burp all in one go!!

I know things are going to get a little tougher as they start to wriggle, toddle and walk but we'll cross that huge bridge when we get to it. I'm sure it will be a very rickety bridge but we'll tread very carefully.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

The emotions and feelings

When my mum died I never thought I'd feel any pain like it. I felt like someone had cannon balled me in the stomach and pulled out my heart and stamped on it and then sucked all the air out of my lungs so I couldn't breathe.

13 years along the line and I actually have had that same feeling sitting with my babies and imagining ( God forbid) not just my life without them but also if something was to happen to me and I could not be there for them. My whole self suddenly regressed back to the night that I saw the police car pull up to our house and my dad walking in, saying nothing but just holding out my mum's hair clip in his hand - wallop. This time I didn't scream out but my body prickled all over and I felt sick.

I guess what I'm really trying to say is that intensity of love that I feel for my children seems as painful and overwhelming as losing my mum but I don't mean it to sound like a bad thing, maybe I've explained it wrong.

Ok lets try again - for those of you that are prepared to admit that you've tried Ecstasy - think back to the best trip you've ever had and multiply it by a million - but then also think about that bit before you come up and there's that stomach churning 30 mins or so

Sure my belly's tingling a bit, summat's happening im sure.

And im thinkin'...
(Lights are blinding my eyes)
Maybe i shouldnt have done the second one, i feel all fidgety and warm...
(People pushin' by, then walkin' off into the night)
Whoa, everything in the room is spinning, i think i'm going to fall down,
My heart's beating too quick, i'm fucking tripping out.
 -Blinded by the Lights (The Streets)

What ever way you want to look at it good or bad, to become a parent just takes your mind to places that have been locked away waiting for you to have a child. These new thoughts and feelings come rushing in and force everything else aside. To feel for one child is powerful enough but for two, I feel is mind blowing.

Sometimes I worry that my heart and head does not have the capacity to love my babies the same amount - can I give enough of myself. I wish I could have two hearts, two heads and four arms. But what I do know is with the heart I have I will give all of the love that is inside to them, with the head I have I will use it to be their guide and teacher, and with the arms I have I will provide comfort and warmth whenever they need it.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

on my own

Well, Rick has gone away to Germany so it was just me and the twins yesterday. I have to admit I was little scared at first - what would I do if something happened, how will entertain them both, will they go to sleep or will I be up all night. But you know what I think I sailed through, the kids were good as gold and they're a little bit like their mum in that sometimes they just want to be left alone to sit by themselves (and watch TV).

Don't get me wrong I'm no supermum, I think I just lucked out - took a few deep breaths and reminded myself that there is no right or wrong in bringing up your kids and if it works for me then carry on doing it. It's not always going to go to plan but I'm less stressed because I don't second guess myself , I don't worry if it's the best way to do it - I just do it.

I'm over reading those "how to" books now, every time I read them, that's when I panic. These books are so forthright in trying to get you to follow a certain path, but have the people who wrote these books had children themselves, and more than one child - if so, did they not see that each child was different??!! I've also found that no book gave you any real surprises or different advice, it was just the same crap written in a slightly different way - some were more gentle and mummsy whilst others were more matronly and medical, but still every one - breast is best and let your house become a shit hole because you shouldn't clean or try to do anything but sit and watch your baby. Now as much as I love my children they are 5 months now and

1, they have the attention span of goldfish
2, they actually get pissed off with me if I invade their space for too long

So in the mean time, I will clean my house and do some washing and also write this blog. I'm long over the breast feeding as that was probably the most stressful time for all three of us - a vicious 3 hour circle of tension - not latching on - tears - little milk - screaming. I decided to let it go and let myself know that just because I don't breast feed, it didn't make me a bad mother and it didn't make me bond with my children any less, in fact I would so I bonded more as I was much more relaxed, comfortable and confident.

As I said at the beginning of this blog, things aren't always going to go to plan but you just have to tell yourself that you are doing the best you can and that as long as you see your children smiling and happy then that's all that matters

Thursday, 18 November 2010

If I could have a pound for every time...

Having twins some times makes you feel like you're part of a freak show. Ok I admit that it's hard to miss my pram - it's the size of a mini bus, but surely now there are enough twins in this world that people don't need to stare point and poke their heads right into the kids cots! Now my trips out take twice as long as I fend off the same circle of questions

1, Are they boy, girl, boy, boy etc.
2, Are they identical
3, Do twins run in the family
4, Do they wake each other up in the night

And it's not just the questions, I also have to laugh along with the obvious comments - "oo one of each, you'll never have to do that again", "Bet you've got your hands full", "you must'nt be getting much sleep". Well actually in response - yep I would do it again - I get 8 hrs sleep a night and my hands are full but there's still room to fit the shopping on!

Don't get me wrong, I feel so so so blessed to have my little twins but not the attention that can come with it. Now I know what it must be like to be a celebrity - well ok, maybe not but you know what I mean.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

An intro to me


I'm 32 years old and I am the mother of twins Beau and Olivia. They are 5months old right now and every day they grow and change in many amazing ways, but with that comes hard work, enjoyable - yes, but also tiring and sometimes frustrating.

I need an outlet to vent my thoughts, feelings and emotions on this wonderful and fortunate journey I have been able to undertake - so I thought why not start a blog, so here goes...