I’ve got a surprise for you…

I found out I was having twins a year a go today. I realised I’d never written an account of how it happened so I decided to write it now!

I was just over 13 weeks pregnant. Our scan was on a Friday morning, so Josh and I decided to go for breakfast beforehand – my morning sickness was starting to ebb away by this point and I could actually keep some food down. As I’ve written about before, finding out about our pregnancy was a struggle. It took me almost three months  to begin coming to terms with the fact that we were going to have a squishy little baby. It was going to be hard work but it was doable. We had planned on taking our little baby on adventures and moulding it in to a mini adventurer. I was convinced we were having a boy!

We walked in to the room where we spoke to a really nice lady. I was desperate for a wee as you have to make sure you drink lots of water beforehand! I lay down on the chair and she squeezed the jelly on to my stomach, it wasn’t cold. I was expecting it to be very cold but they apparently warm it before now! It was dark and Josh and I sat holding hands. The lady turned the screen around to us and put the monitor on my stomach. We saw our baby, she showed us its head, heartbeat and umbilical chord. We looked at each other and tears started to fill our eyes. This little baby was growing inside my tummy! I wasn’t even showing yet and yet there it was kicking and squirming around. The sonographer turned the screen around and started doing lots of clicking and typing. At first we thought it was normal and she was just doing checks, then we started to worry. We started to worry that maybe there was something wrong with the baby and were looking at each other nervously.

After what felt like ages she broke the silence and said “I’ve got a surprise for you….” my heart sank, I suddenly felt this rush of love and nerves all at once. She turned the screen around and said “its twins!”. My reply was “oh sh*t!” – I think that is one of those times when swear words are the only things that are appropriate! We started at each other and laughed in disbelief and the sonographer then began showing us the other baby’s little heartbeat etc. and we were just so shocked! After a little while we walked back in to the waiting room and all we could say was “I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it!”. She brought us out our photos and then we walked out of the hospital in a complete daze, we rang our families and they were so excited and happy! Of course everyone was completely shocked but that was natural.

I’m so thankful for that wonderful day now! Being a twin mum is amazing, crazy, hard, wonderful, incredible!

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Kate-Sig-1

 

Being mum: 4-6 months

So the girls are now half a year old. It seems as though its been so slow and fast at the same time. In my last update I spoke about my fears of 4 month sleep regression – let me tell you it hit us hard! We struggled for weeks and weeks and the sleep deprivation really got to us but eventually we got through it!

People also told us at the 4 month mark it would get easier and really it actually did. One of the things that made things slightly easier was buying a jumperoo second hand. Margot had really been struggling being independent and she absolutely loved playing in it which gave her more independence! The girls have also started going around 2.5 – 3 hours between milk feeds now which has definitely made it easier for me. They have also started on solid foods and we are doing baby led weaning which is fun but very messy! We have been getting out to more groups and tend to get out almost every day and we have started to walk to town and to tesco. We are getting so much more out of the girls now and their personalities are really starting to shine. They are so different to one another which is really interesting.

Being their mum in this time has been a complete and utter joy. Yes, it’s been difficult still. I’m not sure being a mum is ever going to be easy – especially being a mum of twins! The days are long but I’m trying to soak in every last moment because one day they won’t be all small and squishy anymore and I’ll be desperate for these times back!

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Our little Dotty is 5 months old today. I can’t believe how much she has developed in the last month… unfortunately she’s had a cold for the whole of it and is becoming known as “snotty Dotty” 🙊. Her favourite toy is still her hands and she also is partial to playing with a muslin cloth.. no matter how much mummy tries to persuade her to play with actual toys! She’s still very content to sit in her chair and spectate and this was what she did during her Christmas dinner! She has a really soft, sweet little voice and loves talking to people. She seems to have been teething for a while and constantly chewing her fingers though we have no teeth yet. Night times are hard with Dotty as she wakes up and is hard to settle back to sleep. She often ends up in mummy and daddy’s bed! She’s had her first time on an aeroplane and laughed the whole time. She’s starting to get a bit anxious around people she doesn’t know and she really likes holding her mummy and daddy’s hands. This month she also went to work with daddy and met all the people there! She has waved and rolled over from front to back and tummy time is now easy peasy for her. She is such a delight and we are so blessed to have her lovely little self!

 

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5 months of Margot. This month Margot has become quite the chatterbox and her vocabulary has now come to include screaming and shrieking (in joy)! She wakes up in such a good mood and is so happy to see her family! She’s finally starting to go 2 hours between feeds (only 3 months late!!) however she’s recently started being more wakeful in the night! She’s also becoming more independent thanks to the jumperoo which she loves and she also loves grabbing things and putting them in her mouth! She can now sit up on her own but flops down after a few seconds! She loves being played with and enjoys splashing in the bath! She has recently started to cry every time you put her down to sleep but soon settles. She now has 2-3 shorter naps during the day rather than one long one and she’s much less cranky! Margot is becoming even more of a joy to be around and we love watching her grow

 

 

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Half a year old! Dotty has come on in leaps and bounds this month … she can sit up for a few seconds at a time and as she still dislikes tummy time she will roll over on to her back straight away! She is either an absolute joy to be around or a right whinge bag! She is definitely a mummy’s girl and does not like it if mummy is not in her line of sight! She likes food too but can take or leave it… she gets very frustrated when she can’t get it in to her mouth and flaps her arm around in anger! She also enjoys clawing at faces and hair! She loves holding fabric either muslin cloths or blankets and has to sleep with her comforter over her face (meaning I’m constantly checking she’s not suffocating 😂). She loves playing with her daddy but he also knows exactly how to wind her up! She accidently said her first word “wiggle” this month and when she has her dummy in she constantly says “wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle”! They have both started sleeping in their own room and in separate cots but they’re pushed together so they can still be close! She’s quite laid back and a little lazy which is why she’s not usually the first to do things! Happy half birthday Dotty we love you so much

 

20170214_112150Happy half birthday my little nugget! (It was actually on Saturday but we were away and I did think to bring their cards!). Margot has now been abroad and is becoming a good little traveller, she is happy to sleep anywhere as long as she’s on her tummy! When she wakes up she does a little baby push up and looks around and once she spots you she has the most smiley face! This month she has suddenly started using a dummy and is kind of sleeping through the night but she stirs a lot for comfort. The loves grabbing and clawing at faces and shoving whatever she can in her mouth! She’s in love with food and will devour it within seconds (mostly smushing it all over her face). She loves playing with Daddy and he can make her giggle the most. She is still a milk fiend but can go longer between feeds if necessary. Margot loves chatting and discovering different pitches and decibels! She can sit up on her own for a few seconds and is desperately trying to crawl but she’s not quite there yet. She’s in 6-9 month clothing but it’s still quite baggy. We are so in love with you Margot!

 

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Travelling with babies

Our twins are now six months old. By this point they have already been on four flights, we have had a trip to the Lake District, we spent Christmas in Cornwall, have been abroad to Barcelona and have had trips to Essex and Kent as well. We have also got more trips planned for this year and so we know quite a lot about travelling with babies!

When we found out I was pregnant we were so scared that we would have to let our dreams of travelling go and when we found out it was twins we were even more afraid! However, with a lot of hard work and determination it can be done!

So whether you have one baby, twins or babies of different ages here are some tips for how to make travel a reality!

1. Pack lightly!

This was a difficult one for me, I love clothes and make up and beauty products and I want to take it all away with me! But sacrifices must be made and its important to take the bare minimum of stuff – for me that was minimal make up, one skirt and a few changes of tops. I brought face wipes instead of my full cleansing routine as I just figured that a few days with wipes wouldn’t ruin my skin! Toiletries wise, I decant my shampoo, conditioner and shower gel in to smaller containers for extra space.

With babies its almost impossible to pack lightly but what I would say is unless you are going to a third world country you will be able to pick up nappies, wipes and even formula if you use it wherever you go. So just make sure you have enough for the flight and a few extra and grab the rest when you get there. Travel size sterilisers are fantastic, we have one that can just pop in to any microwave but you are also able to get cold water sterilising tablets and that’s something I would probably pick up next time as I was away recently with no access to a microwave!

Sleepsuits are key! I love dressing my girls in all different types of outfits but for the sake of being away and packing lightly they stayed in sleepsuits all day. It was so much easier not to have to get them changed a lot and also just saved on packing! So if you want to make sure your babies are looking fabulous still just make sure you pack their best pjs!

For twins or more than one baby – KOODI travel cotWe originally bought a standard travel cot off Amazon which we used once. When the girls could fit in one cot it would have been okay because we only had to bring one and that kind of travel cot would be great to keep at grandparents’ house. However, as we are planning on doing a lot of travel with the girls we decided to get the pop-up travel cot from Koodi, it is so unbelievably light and so it won’t make your suitcase really heavy. There are positives and negatives to these so I think I am going to do a separate post reviewing them at some point!

When you travel with an infant you are allocated 2 baby items (a car seat/ pram/ travel cot etc.)  checked for free. We already had 2 prams and 2 car seats so it was better for us to put our cots in our suitcase. Also standard travel cots are so heavy that they are hard to lug up stairs etc. of apartments!

2. AirBnb or something similar

We have used AirBnb loads and I cannot recommend it enough! When you book your property you can check what amenities they have. For example we wanted to make sure there was a full kitchen as we knew that we would probably need to be able to cook our own stuff, we also needed a microwave for the steriliser and there was also a washing machine which was really good. We didn’t end up using it but it would have been good if there had been an emergency poo explosion type situation!

Also, its important if you are travelling with kids to have a nice space to relax in. The likelihood is that you will be spending quite a lot of time at your accommodation. Especially if, like us, your babies are extremely regimented with their bedtime routine! You want to feel as though you can enjoy being in your own space and also make sure there is a separate room for the babies to sleep and you to sit and watch telly / read/ whatever you want to do. AirBnb is also a lot cheaper than a hotel and you get to meet local people so its win win in my opinion! Make sure you read reviews thoroughly!

3. Compromise is key 

You are probably not going to do or see as much as if it was you on your own or just you and your partner. The fact is, babies slow you down. They have needs and a schedule that you have to adhere to. So, make a list of the places and things you DEFINITELY want to do and don’t overload yourself. Remember, if you love the place the chances are you can come back in the future when the kids are a bit older and see it again.

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4. Single Prams

If you have twins or more than one baby then its a good idea to get two single prams – borrow or buy second hand! Double buggies are difficult to cart around at the best of times and its just easier to each take one! Also, we have the Bugaboo Donkey and that is one expensive piece of equipment! I have seen the way they chuck those buggies around when putting them in the hold and I do not want my Bugaboo getting ruined-  spare parts are damn expensive!! Even if you only have one baby its a good idea to get more of a lightweight buggy so its easier to carry up stairs and what not!

5. Pack your carry-on meticulously!

When we went on the girls’ first flight we made a few mistakes with our carry-on and we ended up getting everything pulled out, whilst trying to carry two babies! It’s a pretty obvious one but definitely good to remember! Getting through security is stressful but there is a separate line for families so take full advantage!

6. Keep to your own time-zone

I guess this applies to travelling within a 3 hour time difference but its probably best to keep the babas on their routine – especially if like us you are only travelling for a few days. We were an hour ahead in Barcelona and we just stayed on English time so us not to disrupt their schedule. As I’ve not done longer haul with the girls just yet I can’t advise on anything other than that!

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7. More space!

On a longer haul flight I would probably book an extra seat in between us but more than likely the person next to you will ask to move (LOL). When you get on to the flight ask an attendant if they have any spare seats and they will more than likely look at you and your twins and feel sorry for you!

8. You may not get to sit together

Typically, there are only a certain number of oxygen masks per row – usually just four. This means when travelling with twins they will want to separate you so you all have a mask and also they occasionally have issues with life jackets. They usually wait until the plane is full which is a bit annoying as you can’t get settled but more often than not you will end up getting a row to yourself.

9. BREASTFEEDING

Breastfeeding makes flying so much more simple – just pop them on. No issue at all. It can be a bit awkward thinking about people around you but really nobody can usually see anything so don’t worry too much

10. Don’t let people rush you

You are not holding up the plane! Just take your time – don’t get stressed. I ended up leaving my phone on the plane as I was so stressed and trying to get off the plane quickly. That caused me way more stress in the long run so just don’t do it!

11. Be smart with your travel times

Don’t get a 3am flight because you will not want to get your baby awake at that time! When we travelled to Kent, we fed the girls their bedtime bottle and popped them in their car seats. It made it so much easier as they just slept the entire way down – even though we were exhausted. Long car journeys are uncomfortable and not enjoyable for anyone – its easier to do it when they’re gonna be asleep for a longer period of time! We had to get the girls up at 5am English time when we left Barcelona and that was a bit of a pain because they woke up really early for the next couple of days!

12. Backpacks!

Pretty simple one – use backpacks. Its soo much easier to have your hands free and they are just great for space anyway.

 

I hope those tips help some people! Travelling with twins is definitely no easy feat and we struggled a bit however it is so worth it. I want to encourage you to do it even if you don’t think you can because you will surprise yourselves! The girls were so fantastic and we can’t wait to do more with them – of course we would like to do some travel of our own from time to time but it is amazing seeing everything through their eyes. Language barriers don’t matter to them and their smiles are able to melt the hearts of anyone! I know each different stage will bring its own challenges but we will not let it stop us.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Kate-Sig-1

Barcelona with babies part 2

Day 3 was Sunday, we woke up early after a difficult with Margot and we decided that I would feed one of the girls and we would feed the other a bottle so we could get the show on the road a lot quicker!

After I’d fed and showered I headed to the bakery round the corner in the hopes of finding some churros. However, when I got to the bakery I realised there was no churros, so instead we tried a few different pastries.

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After this we knew the girls would be due for another feed fairly soon and instead of getting stuck at the apartment for another hour we decided to feed them in the park which was around 10 minutes from us called “Parc de la Ciutadella”. There was so much going on in the park with loads of street performers and a large fountain. We sat in the sunshine whilst I fed the girls and soaked it all in, we loved it!

After this we walked in to the city centre and to La Rambla, a famous street in Barcelona. At this point we were desperate for food ourselves so we found a restaurant called Ultramarinos. The food was amazing, I’d definitely recommend it! We then decided to go back to the apartment and get ourselves sorted to head over to the beach.

We then went over to the beach, it was really cold by this point but it was totally worth it! It was beautiful and a really lovely atmosphere!

Next up it was time for the finale – the Magic Fountain! We went over on the metro with the carriers. Unfortunately when we got there it was switched off! We found out that in winter the showtimes were only Friday and Saturday nights! We were so gutted and by the time we got back it was way past the girls’ bedtime and they were knackered.

The next morning it was time to go home! We had a lot of stress trying to get my phone back and getting everything sorted but thankfully we made it through check in by the skin of our teeth!

What an amazing trip! We had such a fantastic time… it was really hard work with the girls and not the travelling we were used to before the babies. We loved it though and we were so proud of how the girls were! We definitely realised that we want to carry on travelling!

I’m thinking of doing a post about tips for travelling with a baby (or 2!), let me know if you’d like that!

Kate-Sig-1

Barcelona with the babies

Last weekend we took the girlies on their first trip abroad! On Friday morning we headed over to Manchester airport and flew to Barcelona, Spain.

As we’d already travelled to Cornwall on a plane we had some idea as to how the airport would go and we were a bit more prepared!

I’m thinking of writing a blog on some tips about travelling with a baby/ babies/ twins and how we managed it. Let me know if you would like to read it!

We arrived at Barcelona and I foolishly was rushing to get off the plane and left my phone in the seat pocket! Thankfully I managed to get it back on our way home!

We eventually got a taxi and headed to our Air BnB. We were met by our host and we had a look round our apartment – we loved it. Josh headed out to get some supplies and by that time it was the girls’ bedtime so we settled in for the night.

The next morning we had a lazy morning with the girls, unfortunately it took us ages to get out of the apartment! Eventually we got out and went to La Sagrada Familia and did a bit of exploring round the area. Then we went and got a bit of food and headed back to the apartment to top the girls’ bellies up!

By this point we desperately wanted to see more sights but we had yet to have lunch and it was really late in the day. We decided to walk in to the centre via the Arc de Triomf to find a restaurant but after a lot of searching we just couldn’t find it! We ended up in a rubbish all you can eat place which we weren’t really happy with but by that time we were just so hungry! After that we headed back to the apartment to get the girls to bed.

So that’s the first two days of our trip! I’m going to write a separate post for days 3 & 4!

Hope you enjoyed it.

 

Kate-Sig-1