I wanted to write about something that I find really hard especially on two occasions recently.
My pregnancy has been pretty obvious to all from quite early on (as you can probably imagine, being pregnant with twins twice in a year does nothing for your abs/figure!) So, in the past month I've been looking pregnant enough for people that I don't really know to start commenting and asking questions... innocent enough.. but sometimes hard to answer.
Is "it" your first?
I know many bereaved mothers who are pregnant again find this one hard, in fact I nicked my stock response from a friend from university whose baby boy was stillborn. I usually say "We lost our first twins, but we are really hopeful about these ones." I cannot ever bring myself to say "yes they are" because I feel like I always have to honour Oliver and Matthew's existence... They are my boys and I'll always be proud of them! People tend to react in one of three ways - all of which are totally fine: Mumble and not ask anything else, share with you their own/ their friends'/parents' stories of loss/fertility issues or (my favourite!) just say something along the lines of "I'm really sorry, I wish you all the best!"
When are they due?
For me that is the million dollar question. Matthew and Oliver were born in October and due in January! Technically these 2 are due in October but will be induced by mid-September if I get that far. Usually I say "Oh late summer early Autumn." I feel that should cover it hopefully!
I'd love to have twins!
Tricky one. It is an amazing gift to have twins, it is wonderful to see two little ones kicking each other on a scan. Seeing your 2 babies and how alike (or not) they are to each other is fascinating but twins are risky! A not very helpful consultant (not mine, mine is lovely!) said to someone I know "The womb is not built for 2." Very true but when 2 have ended up in there naturally there isn't much you can do about it! The risk of stillbirth is 3 times higher in multiple pregnancies than single ones.. the risk of complications much higher. Having twins is wonderful, but it is also scary!
Recently, these questions have come up twice in different situations.
Firstly, we went to a friend's wedding. It was great and we had a fab time but plenty of people there didn't really know us so there were lots of the normal pregnancy type questions. Someone said "Twins, eh, that will change your life!" "In ways you can't even start to imagine," I thought.
We also started our twins antenatal classes. This was a a tricky one because everyone introduced themselves and mentioned other children they had or if their twins were their first pregnancy or they had had IVF etc. When it got to me I had to mention Oliver and Matthew. I felt a bit guilty. I didn't really want to freak out a big bunch of couples expecting twins. But they are our sons, I gave birth to them and I feel that they are too big a part of our lives to be missed out. Also, if nothing else, our story lets people expecting twins know to listen to their bodies and be hyper vigilant! Fortunately, I think it was received well. I had spoken to the midwife who runs it at the start and she thought I was very brave. Clearly she couldn't see the sweat on my brow!