This week’s guest blog is from the marvellous Helen Bichard, mother of three. (One of those three is 18, two out of the three are five months old).
Pregnant with twins? Plenty of people tell you about the challenges. Here Helen talks very personally about the joys of motherhood second time round.
Putting the double ‘oo’ in motherhood.
Oh, it’s a that’s-the-third-cup-of-tea-today-that’s-gone-cold, possets-on-your-best-top, far-too-many-episodes-of-Jeremy-Kyle-USA-in-the-small-hours backache, motherhood, isn’t it…but sometimes, just sometimes, your heart melts right through your shoes. And with twins, well, double the trouble, but double the magic.
So how do I love thee, motherhood? Let me count the ways.
- Their little bald heads, all sleep toasty and smelling of apricot. And the way Romilly’s lost all her hair on top but, oddly, it’s about an inch long on the sides. And ginger. You could put a pair of glasses on her and she’d look like Andy in Little Britain.
- 4mm fingernails. Twenty of them. And the EXCELLENT discovery that, when they fall asleep halfway through a feed, a swift manicure is virtually guaranteed to wake them.
- They smile. At me. In the morning there are two tiny grinners, squiggling in their cot, just so brilliantly happy to see me. And I laugh back, and they’re trying so hard to laugh too, but at the moment it’s a smile and lots of squeals and actually I think that’s much better than a laugh because it is just pure, unadulterated joy.
- I love my baths. But not as much as they love theirs. Especially when you can kick your sister. Ace.
- Using the baby monitor to eavesdrop on them chuntering away to each other in their cot. I think they’re hatching a plot. Possibly to sneak out and fill in their red books from the doctors so that they magically have all their immunisations and don’t need any more of those nasty jabs.
- Stopping being selfish. I don’t believe I really think about me at all anymore. All those usual internal debates about careers, cushions and chardonnay…my world is made up of them, and I’m a better person for it. Decisions have become very easy.
- Nibbling their toes. They should be trademarked as a bar snack. Baby scratchings. Delish.
- Dressing them up and despite everything I said about not wanting to do the freaky twin matching outfits thing – putting them in freaky twin matching outfits.
- Becoming an instant celebrity. We went to Norfolk for the weekend and every single person we passed – every single one – stopped us to have a chat and a peek. One woman even screeched to a halt in a car. That may be a bit extreme…but when you think your babies are the best babies ever created, it’s nice to have proof. Although, especially when shopping, I have thought about getting a T shirt which says ‘yes, they’re twins, no they’re not identical, two girls, yes, Charlotte and Romilly, yes, Romilly, it’s R-O-M-I-L-L-Y, 38 weeks, yes, I did do well, not IVF, no, I have an exceptional partner, emergency C section, hospital messed up, every four hours, yes, through the night, last feed’s 10.30, we’re very lucky, I know…’,
- Other people cook for you. They bring you food. This has included macaroni cheese. With bacon. And I can have double portions because when breastfeeding twins you’re meant to eat 4000 calories a day. I love this fact. I might eat this fact.
- Imagining their future. They are such perfectly blank canvasses now. Rockpooling and canalboats and Nativity Plays and then the very first joint Prime Ministers.
Sarcasm aside, it makes you proud. You have so many people telling you how well you’re doing, they don’t know how they would cope, and you think, well, yay me. Until you meet triplet Mums. The annoying, overly capable cows
- Being incredibly proud of your partner and seeing them with new eyes. The gentleness, protectiveness, desire to provide and swaddle their daughters up away from the nasty world. And the fact he actually likes doing nappies. We actually have whole conversations about poos and their consistency and colouring. On the downside, he seems to believe this has given him license to burp and fart with gay abandon because apparently he is ‘encouraging them’ which is allegedly ‘for their own good’.
- They help me remember my son. I have an 18 year old Joe.. And you tend only to see your children in the here and now. But amidst UCAS forms and pickled onion Monster Munch and conversations about the state of bathrooms, I am seeing the gurgling toddler going in the paddling pool for the first time and remembering when he was warm and squidgy too.
- The way they schnuzzle into your neck when you’re carrying them.
- Having the most beautifullest babies, two of them for the price of one, and just being the luckiest person in the world, and a better, loved-up me.