Having a newborn is tough. No one can argue with that. However, what if you had two? Twice the feeds. Twice the tears. Twice the work. Twice the love!
I was lucky enough recently to speak with local superstar mum, Peta Sykes. She has a beautiful three year old daughter Deearna (Dee) as well as the most gorgeous seven-month-old twins, Lochlon and Chloe.
I asked Peta (aged 32) to tell us a little bit about her life with twins.
Congratulations on your beautiful babies. Please tell us a little about your pregnancy?
Two months into my pregnancy I suffered extreme morning sickness that lasted all day (and for months!). I had to stop working as I couldn’t physically deal with feeling so ill all day. The middle of the pregnancy was fine until the end. It was summer and I was very heavy and extremely uncomfortable.
Were you expecting to have multiples? Were your babies conceived naturally or through IVF?
I conceived my twins naturally. I had a family history of twins including my paternal grandmother who had boy-girl twins as well as my paternal aunt who also had boy-girl twins.
Did you have your babies at full term or did they arrive early?:
At 38 weeks, my doctor recommended that I should be induced around 21 December 2012. A few hours into my initial visit I was advised that as it was nearly Christmas there weren’t enough staff rostered on and there were no beds available. So I was sent me home.
On the second day they sent me home again.
On 23 December 2012 I was told to come back on Christmas Eve to be induced as there would be enough staff and beds available for my delivery. The induction was unsuccessful and as it was Christmas Day the next day and very limited staff I decided to go ahead with a caesarean. My babies were born 7 and 6 pounds each.
How was the delivery? Were you able to have your babies in the Central West?
I had my caesarean at Bathurst Base Hospital which was lovely. Even though I was unable to spend Christmas at home, my family were able to come and visit us at hospital.
What would you say is the best thing about having twins?:
I don’t think I could pick one thing. They are just so interesting. They do so many funny twin things and just watching them interact with one another is divine.
They are so similar in features and things that they do but I have already started to notice that they are developing their own little personalities. That really is lovely to watch. Dee also gets the best of both worlds, a little brother and a little sister.
What is the hardest thing about having twins?:
I find the hardest thing is trying to get them to do the same thing at the same time. For example, getting them to go to sleep at the same time. Having two babies you want them to be able to do everything together so that you can focus on other things that need to be done, and also so I am able to spend time with Dee.
I remind myself that they are two separate little beings and that this is not always going to work. It is a lot of work but it is definitely worth it.
Do you notice any special/remarkable bonds between them?:
They are always looking for the other especially at bed time. Lochlon always checks that Chloe is in her cot and vice versa. I think they just need that reassurance that the other is okay. If one is upset the other one tends to get upset too and it works both ways if one starts laughing the other one likes to join in. They are very aware of what the other is doing and if they aren’t involved, they want to be.
What support do you have/use? Do you believe the Central West has enough support for parents of multiples?:
I have amazing family support and some beautiful friends who are always visiting and checking in with us. I have the most supportive mother. I don’t know how I would have survived this long without her.
There is a lot of support in the Central West. The Community Health Service at the hospital is the one that I personally use. The midwives are beautiful people and so willing to help.
When I discovered that that I was having twins, I did try to source out help specifically dealing with multiples and while I was pregnant there was nothing locally. Since having my twins I have met some twin mums and a few of us have started a Multiple Birth Group. It’s still in its early stages but the parents and carers I have met have been a great help to me. I believe that it will be a fabulous community support group for future parents and carers of multiples. You can find us on Facebook simply by typing in Bathurst Multiple Birth Association (BXMBA) (or click on this link -> BXMBA Facebook).
We plan to have lots of social get-togethers as well as a monthly play group that will be held at the Baptist Church. We have appointed committee members of the association which will be responsible for different support resources including support for school aged multiples, special needs help with breast-feeding and also support for fathers just to name a few. It will be a great community support for Bathurst families and I’ve been blessed to be a part of it so far.
The Central Nest thanks Peta for taking the time to provide this wonderful insight into her life and that of her gorgeous little babies.
If you are able to help the Bathurst Multiple Birth Association with donations of any resources please contact them through their Facebook page. Or alternatively contact the Central Nest and we can pass your details forward.