My tears had halted momentarily, had I heard right? Was she saying that to me? I looked over at Paul who was still holding my hand as tightly, I could see the excitement, disbelief, incredulity under his skin, his face was twitching ever so slightly and he looked as if he was about to boil over with joy.

*****

As I lay down on the bed and lifted my top exposing my bare tummy to the scanologist (sorry can’t think of the right name for the lady scanner!) I went into panic mode. I was 8 weeks pregnant and the last two times I had reached this stage I had then discovered they were blighted ovums, where the baby had never formed in the sac or had been reabsorbed early on and therefore ending in miscarriage. I was shaking, in my heart I knew this was our last attempt. There was no way I could keep on putting myself through the agony of  joy-hope-failure. The scanning room for me held bad memories and I wasn’t feeling comfortable. In a desperate attempt to reassure myself, I surrepstitiously squeezed my boobs ‘Ouch!’ Good they were still painful and that meant pregnancy hormones were still in my body. I told the woman my history, a devastating loss at 5 months when we lost our little girl followed by two blighted ovums.

‘Thank you for telling me that.’ I’m sure I detected an Australian accent and then the room fell silent as she started to move the contraption over the gel on my tummy, the air heavy around me with suspense. Paul’s breathing was faster and our hands were held in a tight grip. I couldn’t bare him to go through the disappointment again and I was alreadystarting to feel a failure, my heart bomb diving into a black abyss. May Day! May Day!

I watched the lady looking intent at the screen moving the scan back and forth across my midriff. My bad voice piped up matter of factly ‘Nothing there again.’ and the tears started. Very slowly, very silently and I gripped Paul’s hand even harder trying desperately to make everything ok and hold on to positivity.

‘I’m so sorry to keep you waiting,’ she said. ‘I was just checking there aren’t three in there!’

‘Three?’ (I know! I’m so slow to get stuff – it had never dawned on me that I could possibly be a mother of twins even if Paul is a twin, I’d only ever asked for one!)

‘Yes!’ she exclaimed gleefully, relieved herself that her news was so good for us.’You’re expecting twins.’

‘How are their heartbeats?’ I immediately went into concerned mode wanting to cross all the T’s and dot the i’s.

‘Wonderfully strong heartbeats.’ Everything looks to be absolutely perfect.’

‘Can’t be!’ – that was the bad voice picking up again trying to ruin the moment but I was so shocked and utterly stunned I took no notice of it for once focusing on the good TWO WONDERFULLY STRONG HEARTBEATS. More tears fell but this time they were warm and tears of joy, the lady handed me some paper to wipe away the gel put I couldn’t care less about the gel I was pregnant and what’s more I was expecting twins, Paul took the paper and cleaned my tummy for me as we waited for the print out and our photos.

She gave us more photos than she should have done for our £4.00, I imagine she was very relieved to have been able to pass on our wonderful news and felt generous, after all who would find out her crime? I certainly wouldn’t have told a soul and these images I treasured for the following 8 months whilst I waited in angst until my beautiful little girls entered the world safe and sound.

This is my Flashback Friday for this week inspired very much by Karin at Cafe Bebe who is expecting and asked when I first found out I was expecting twins. Many women in pregnancy often get a thought ‘Maybe it’s twins?’ during the first months until the first scan can verify who and how many are inside. That thought comes from no where. Thrown at you casually from the universe to leave you wondering for weeks. I did get one of those thoughts but I was so anxious and so focused on just having ONE healthy baby I ignored it and let it go so it was a massive surprise that day to be told. In fact that day we both walked around stunned. Even the following few nights I would wake in the early hours and just ask Two? and reply Two! and fall back to sleep again in disbelief.

I kept a dairy throughout that pregnancy it was an online diary which also talks of many other things happening in my life during that period (teenage daughter living at home anyone?) I’m currently going through it and making it readable and focusing on the twin pregnancy and then I will post it for any other pregnant mum who may want to read it.

Now head over and see all the other Flashbacks over at Cafe Bebe

How does the look and feel of that word make you feel?

As I sat down to lunch with the girls, they were happily eating their pasta, Bessie chasing hers around the plate muttering ‘Come here!’ under her breath as she hasn’t quite mastered the prodding action of her fork, Alice looked at me directly, a beautiful sunny smile on her face and said ‘I’m stupid mummy.’

I was horrified. I have NEVER referred to either of them as stupid before and I immediately set to with ‘No Alice, you’re not stupid? to which her reply was again ‘I’m stupid mummy’ angelic smile on her face. Needless to say Bessie saw all the commotion, left chasing her pasta for a minute and tried the word for herself ‘My stupid too!’ she piped up enormous grin stretching from ear to ear.

It was clear they had a new word to try out and try it they did but once the novelty had died down they forgot about it..until next time that is.

I can’t remember ever using that word in front of them in such a context, ie calling someone stupid, not even my other half when he clearly has been… I only do that when they are in bed :) So I imagine they picked it up playing at one of the toddler groups we go to, where they have loads of fun and I wouldn’t dream of not taking them for such an incidence but it does go to show that by mixing with other children, some of whom have older brothers or sisters, some of whom have started pre-school we are opening ourselves up for a whole new vocabulary here. Don’t get me wrong, contrary to popular belief I am not an angel and every now and then I have been known to come out with some unsavoury words myself and I cross all fingers on both hands, eyes pleading the clouds and pray the girls didn’t catch the word. It does happen and I immediately regret my slip of good-mummyness but like it or not we shall be mixing with loads of new children as of September at pre-school and our lives are going to be filled with a whole new load of experiences as we follow our ‘babies’ on their new path.

It is quite worrying, they are good girls. They aren’t aggressive and they’re bound to come across some aggressive behaviour at school. They are well-behaved, and they’re bound to come across bad manners, answering back, general misbehaviour too which will make our parenting all the more challenging I can only imagine. I don’t think it’s gender related and I don’t believe it’s ‘class’ related either as much as I hate to use that word in such a context but sadly it exists. There is a huge part of my heart that would like to keep them close and ‘safe’ from the bad society but that is not conducive to growing up and learning to accept others, learning to live with others and interact with them.

I was blessed when bringing my older two up as we lived in a small community, everyone knew everyone, there was the ‘rule’ of the village and we all looked out for each other and kept an eye on all the kids as a whole. It was a good system and I can see quite clearly via Facebook that most of the then children are still all friends today but that clearly won’t work here in the UK. I realise I’m going to have to play this one – one day at a time and trust my girls to recognise good from bad as they start their journey through life.

How did you survive or how are you coping now?

Photo credit – Matze_ott

As the 2nd birthday starts to loom in the distance and people ask ‘How old is he/she/they?’ on hearing they are about to enter toddlerdom the overall response is ‘Oh the terrible twos’ – you’re in for some fun and a rocky ride.’

Yeah? cheers for that!

And on you go on your merry way thinking, ‘Surely it can’t be that bad?’ The 2nd birthday comes and goes and there is the odd meltdown which you can usually pass off for tiredness, hunger or teething and then you encounter your first major tantrum……

It comes out of nowhere when you’re least expecting it and the first sign is the immense noise, a screaming so intense it shakes the foundations of the building be it yours or the local supermarkets.

Your beautiful, previously adorable, child is bright red in the face, tears streaming down both cheeks and swelling with rage.

WTF?

First action, you try the passive, gentle, sweet voice ‘Darling, what is it? Tell mummy’ and in reply you get a vicious attack of undecipherable verbal abuse in the form of ear drum smashing noise. ‘No, mummy No!’

Second action, if in public to whip the child up in your arms and retreat to a more private area, if at home, to pick up the child and cuddle. The response? Kicking, wriggling, fighting and the noise goes off the current decibel measuring scale plus a lot more ‘No’s’

Uh-oh. What now?

I have been known to try screaming over the top of the noise – don’t bother it’s useless and the response is the child gets even more upset, tears come tumbling bigger and faster and we’re on the verge of a human tsunami.

For some unfathomable reason this may pass as quickly as it came, you pop the child in his/her cot and on waking later you are represented with a little angel again.

Phew! …. until next time because there will be a next time I promise you.

Hard work isn’t it? And any twin mum will tell you there is a lot of copying going on between twins so frequently twin 2 will copy twin 1 and get them in an equal if not more intense state than the sibling.

This is only one aspect of the Terrible Twos and luckily for us Shanta Everton writer and editor has put her thinking cap on and come up with a book to guide us frazzled parents through this next tricky stage.

Shanta contacted many parents of two year olds to get ‘real’ case material to add and strengthen the points she puts forwards and we (me, Alice and Bessie) are quoted in one of her chapters on food – another claim to fame!

The book, The Terrible Twos – A Parents Guide, is out now by Need2know and for the entire month she is doing a blog tour passing through Mari’s World on the 18th when I shall be interviewing her. You can find my answers to her questions on her blog the same day :)

I’ve already earmarked a copy and can’t wait for it to arrive, maybe you’d like to investigate a little further and see if it could be something that could be a valuable tool over the coming months?

Since having the girls there has been a teeny tiny part of me that yearned for another child. (Yes,I know it’s complete madness and I put it down to raging hormones)

At times this broodiness was so strong that I would wait for my monthly cycle with both fingers crossed and be quite disappointed when it did arrive. I wouldn’t get rid of my maternity gear, books, breastfeeding cushion and untold other bits and bobs that go along with neo-mammas.

However I am cured! Hoorah!

After 5 days with 3 baby girls in the house, admittedly my two have swopped a bug back and forth between them and Gracey seems to be cutting her top teeth, I have gone totally off the idea and won’t be revisiting it again any time soon.

We have had 5 days of tantrums (My two, especially when I cuddle Gracey) tears (whenever Gracey goes for a toy) and goddamn hard work. I am totally bushed. My nights have been broken for 10 days now and my days have been full of screams and whines. I’m at the end of my tether.

My two are very suspicious of this other little person crawling around and pulling herself up all over the place and should she, God forbid, touch one of them the answer is a loud noise setting Gracey off in tears followed by all three of them moaning.

Arrrrggghhhhh!

Yes, it is so much hard work that any idea of another sweet little baby to love and cuddle has gone totally out of the window to return no longer. My exhaustion has put right that silly notion.

As hard as it is I want you to know that I am loving this moment and wouldn’t give it up for the world. I’ll be very sad to see them leave but also pleased when peace and tranquillity are restored once again. I look forward to the days when the toddler jealousy is a thing of the past and these three little ladies can get down and enjoy each others company. In the meantime patience in abundance is needed, please send your extra over here :)

I have been sent appointments for my 18 month twin girls to have their Norovirus Vaccines on Wednesday 20th Jan and ever since opening the letter I have been in a turmoil…do them or not?

Of course the final decision is left to the parents it is merely offered by the state as a precaution. Now I have heard accounts of children suffering terribly from this particularly nasty strain of flu and I have also read articles saying some children have had such a mild attack that they weren’t even aware they’d had it.

Which brings me to the point… have my girls already had it? We did have a dreadful December, from the 4th onwards we didn’t get a decent night’s sleep till the 25th quite ruining the exciting run up to Christmas. Was that teething,  a bad cold or Swine Flu?

Even the media seem to have changed their opinion, whereas at the beginning we were counting cases by the day and experts were drumming up statistics at one point reaching 50, 000 new cases per week, I was expecting ‘The End Of The World” and should someone sneeze in public, was it the case to run for shelter and desperately sanitise EVERYTHING?

Even a recent report on the BBC mentioned how it had been hyped up and overdone and the flu is quietly petering out.

On the other hand, will it make a major come back once the temperatures start to rise? Is there a mean and nasty bug  just waiting out there and I will kick myself for not having done it? I think that would be worse.

Mums are worried about the lack of tests done on this vaccine and therefore choosing not to go ahead and have their children injected but surely it’s a flu jab? Like those our OAP’s have been having for years? If it was dangerous they wouldn’t offer it to our children. Right?

Basically from what I can gather from my Facebook status update requesting opinions from my friends, those mums who have had the virus themselves or in their family are shouting out, Yes – have it done. Whereas those who have had no threat aren’t bothering.

I think finally Dr Hilary on GMTV has given the nod to it being the wise thing to do and so has Dr Rosemary on BBC breakfast, so that kind of sways me towards the yes, have it done argument.

What are you doing about it?