The other week I wrote a post about ‘How to feel like yourself again postpartum’ and some lovely companies and people got in touch with me to offer their help and advice. I absolutely love reading people’s birth stories but there doesn’t seem to be a lot about what happens next. So I plan on making a little feature about this.
This also gave me an idea to share people’s postpartum stories… everyone’s experience is different and we all face different challenges but I truly believe by sharing these and knowing we’re not alone can help.
So let me introduce you to Kate, a fellow twin mum who runs one of my favourite Instagram accounts and the first person to contribute to my postpartum stories series. Her girls are a little bit younger than mine and are adorable. I read her story earlier this morning and shed a little tear because I can really relate to how she felt. It’s so good to know we can overcome it and there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Hi, I’m Kate, mum to non-identical twin girls, Lily and Rose! I find each personal story of motherhood really interesting to read and talk about, as it is so completely different to how I imagined!
I went into premature labour on the 28th August at 30 weeks. After a very positive delivery, our little girls arrived into the world weighing just over 3lb. We were so incredibly lucky that there were few complications considering how early they had arrived, and it was just a case of them getting plenty of rest and chubbing up!
After receiving brilliant support and care from the Trevor Mann Baby Unit for 5 weeks, we were allowed to take our teenie preemies home!
I would say that first two months following the birth were a blur of shock and excitement. It wasn’t until the start of November that the enormity of what had happened really hit home.
I started to feel completely overwhelmed with the responsibility of caring for two little people, who weighed about 4lbs at this stage! My main guilt was that I wasn’t able to soothe both babies at the same time, one always had to wait.
Anyone will tell you the cry of a newborn baby kicks in an instinct of love and care, but having that cry linger whilst I gave Twin 1 a bottle was crippling.
My health visitor was fabulous; years of experience, the perfect mix of motherly advice with motivational encouragement! She was the lady who made me realise, I needed more help.
I was keeping myself hidden away at home, for fear that I wouldn’t be able to handle the babies outside the safety of my four walls! I think there was a full week where I didn’t leave the house. Each day I was clock watching the long hours pass, each month, I was hoping for a baby smile or for things to just get *easier.*
Then came the new year. New year, new start! My mum suggested that my husband and I have a weekend away, which we agreed to with a guilty excitement. We were desperate for sleep! I’m sure it sounds completely alien to some mums reading this, but I knew that the time away would remind us just how far we had come, how lucky we were to have these amazingly strong babies and that things could only get better.
We went to Bath for a two night mini break and you guessed it, all we wanted to do was FaceTime the girls, we missed them like crazy! Coming home that week, we got the first smile from our girls, at just over four months old, two months corrected age. It was such an amazing moment, the long awaited gummy smile from a baby that realises you are Mama!
They say “it takes a village to raise a child” and that was something I found hard to accept at first. I wanted to be the super mum who could manage the housework, the cooking and juggle my twins at the same time.
All I would stress to new mums is that there is no shame in accepting support, whether that be from friends and family, NHS counselling or medication for anxiety and depression. It’s so important that we speak up when things are tough and keep an eye out for others who may be struggling through the craziness that is motherhood!
My girls are now 10 months old and are a force to be reckoned with! They are crawling, babbling and giving me toothy smiles all day. Things really do get better and better! There are still new challenges to overcome, but I have learnt to take each day as it comes.
If you’d like to guest post in my Postpartum Stories feature no matter how many babies you have, please get in touch!