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Mother of twins | ‘Always trust yourself and your own body’

“I used to dream about being a mum of twins and lying on that bed and being given the news I was having twins was an actual dream come true and I couldn’t believe it. I wished it so much it actually happened!”

Your family

My fiancé James and I met almost 5 years ago on a holiday in Croatia. He is from NZ and I am
Romanian but was living in London with my family. After a lot of long back and forth from London
to Auckland I decided to stay here and see where life would lead us. And here we are today,
engaged for the last couple of years and two beautiful 1 year old twin boys Blake and Elliott.
Family is very important to us and while James’s family lives close to us my own family still live in
London and are yet to hold these beautiful boys because of everything that’s been happening with
Covid over the last 2 years. Hopefully they will be joining us here soon now that the borders have
opened.

Journey to conceiving and pregnancy

Our boys were somewhat of a surprise, we weren’t actively trying to conceive but also were happy
if it did happen.

When I found out I was pregnant it was super exciting and nerve wrecking at the
same time. I went for a dating scan and they were able to see a single yolk sac but nothing else so
they couldn’t confirm viability of the pregnancy. I was asked to go back in a couple of weeks to
check viability. It was a very anxious wait and when the day finally came I wanted to go by myself
as I didn’t know what news I would get and if I had lost the baby I wanted to process the news
alone in my own time.

After the sonographer started scanning she seemed somewhat unsure so she asked me if it was OK to perform a vaginal ultrasound to get a better picture to which of course I agreed. Then she proceeded to show me not one little heart beat but two!! I was thrilled to say the least and had so many questions going though my head. The most special thing is that ever since I was a little girl I have always wanted to have twins, whenever I thought of myself pregnant, I always imagined it to be twins. I used to dream about being a mum of twins and lying on that bed and being given the news I was having twins was an actual dream come true and I couldn’t believe it. I wished it so much it actually happened! After my scan I called my fiancé and said ‘just wanted to let you know that the baby is okay and that his/hers brother or sister is too’ he was in complete shock and also so happy because him and his brother are fraternal twins as well.

How were your pregnancies?

I loved being pregnant and had no morning sickness at all, just nausea at times but nothing
terrible. I did have GD (Gestational diabetes) which I controlled with a balanced diet and I didn’t need any medication.

I didn’t love the constant anxiety of anything going wrong as pregnancies with identical twins
(sharing a placenta) are very high risk and things can go wrong very quickly. I had fortnightly
scan and fortnightly visits to my midwife on alternate weeks so that I could see or hear the
babies every week.

It was hard to be very excited until they reached viability at 23 weeks and after
that it became more real and we know that we have some hope of them making it closer to term
safely.

Birth story

It all was going great until about 28 weeks when my twin A started falling off his growth scale and
they said he had SIUGR (selective intra uterine growth retraction) and the blood flow through his
umbilical cord was slightly abnormal. This continued through to 31+4 when at this scan the sonographer sent me straight to the hospital as it had gotten much worse and baby wasn’t growing much at all.

From this point on I became an inpatient and it was a day to day situation hoping to keep them in
as long as possible.


I had reached 33 weeks exactly and it was a Friday night when I had only felt my baby A move only
twice all night. This was very unlike him as he was such a wriggler all the time. In the morning I
expressed my worry to the midwife that just came on shift on that Saturday morning and she
attached the ctg monitor to check on the babies.

twin-pregnancy-birth-mum-parenting

After over an hour there was some acceleration to baby A and I knew this wasn’t right so I informed the midwife. She proceeded to tell me my babies we “happy and fine” and moving around a lot. I then kept insisting they are fine. I asked for her to call the doctor. I waited and waited and was now worried and crying. She came back like nothing had happened and asked how I was. I asked her if she called the dr and she sad “no, it was a Saturday and they were busy.”

I completely lost it then and went full mode angry at her. I demanded again that she called the doctor. She then went away and came back with the nurse in charge and there they were both at at bottom of my bed telling me my babies were fine and moving around and I kept telling them they are wrong and baby A is not moving. I asked again for the dr. She finally called the dr. and thank god the dr on call was a lovely woman who I had seen before, and she was also a mother of identical twins herself.

She immediately rushed to see me and took me to a room to do a scan. She couldn’t believe that overnight baby A’s fluids dropped immensely and had barely any left and his dopplers were very abnormal. She got me back to my bed and got another dr to scan me again to confirm her findings. It took 30 mins for me to have my second scan and in that short time the doppler had become ever worse and now they were reversed too.


She then said to call my fiancé over as we were having the babies in the next couple of hours. This
dr switched surgeries with another so that she could be the one to deliver my twins.


I had a mostly uncomplicated C-section and the boys were born less than a minute apart. Baby A
(Blake) weighing 1.5kgs and baby b (Elliott) weighing 2.2 kgs. Blake was absolutely fine and was happy to be born I think, he was extremely alert with eyes wide open for about a while hour after he was born, it was quite funny he was looking around so much at everyone while he was being checked out by the nicu nurses.

Elliott wasn’t so happy to be born early and needed a bit of help with only general in nicu. They were both kept together at all times and were only in nicu for a day and a half after. They were then stepped down to scbu for growing and feeding.

After my C-section I was in recovery for about 30 minutes then asked to be taken to my
babies and spent some time with them there before they wanted to take me back to the ward for
monitoring. I wasn’t happy to be taken away from them but had to do it. Less than 12 hours after my
C-section I got myself out of bed and went to take a shower when the midwives spotted me
waddling around on the corridor and came offering pain relief. I was so determined to just go so I
took them and carried on with my day like I didn’t just have major surgery just hours before. I
wanted to walk to nicu to see my babies but they wouldn’t let me as it would have been too much
to do so soon so they got me a wheelchair and after taking me there I did not return for any pain
relief all day. When I went back towards the evening they gave me some paracetamol to take with
me as they knew I wouldn’t otherwise take anything. The second day I discharged myself from the
midwives and went to stay with my boys in scbu.

After 4 long weeks of being there establishing feeding and growing we were discharged to botany
birthing center where we only stayed 1 day because we didn’t really need to be there as everyone

there said we were fine to go home. Finally last year on mother’s day I got to take my boys home
and the real hard work and wonderful times started.

Your little ones

How did you choose your children’s names and do they have a meaning to you?

My partner and I each chose one of the boy’s names. I chose Elliott John because I always liked the
name Elliott and John is my dad’s name. And my partner chose Blake Philip because Sir Peter Blake is
one of his hero’s and Philip is his dad’s name. The boys have a hyphenated surname Pal-King both
mine and my fiancé’s as it was important to me to also carry through my family name and history
throughout further generations.

Tell us about the first few weeks with your baby

Since we were in hospital with preemie babies I was very strict about visiting. I don’t think we had
any visitors in the first 2 weeks and then we allowed James’s mum to visit in the third week when
Elliott was out of his incubator and was wearing clothes. There was strictly no face touching or
kissing as they were so fragile we didn’t want to risk anything. In the last week we have allowed
some more of his family to come visit but again the same rules applied. I did feel pressured to let
people cuddle the babies but stuck to my guns and did what was best for the babies.

How did you find the fourth trimester?

Adjusting with 2 little babies at home was a whole different world to us. Nothing was the same and life was all feeding, sleeping, changing and sooo many nappies. But it was a dream come true
and I loved every minute of it. The boys cried a lot and had lots of problems with their tummies. We
kept being told it was just colic and we struggled a lot for the first couple of months. I kept being
sent away with it’s either colic, or just reflux and to try other formula…until I had enough and
demanded they do allergy tests. Which of course, not to my surprise came back with them both being
allergic to cow’s milk protein and soy. I refused to leave the go without a prescription for dairy and
soy free formula.

After they started on the new formula they were like different babies, happy and
growing with no more sore tummies. I wish it would have been solved sooner rather than being
made to run around in circles for 2 months with babies with constant sore tummies.

What were your must-have items, and what others were a waste of time/overrated?

Must haves for us especially in those early months were

  • Lots of burp cloths and stretchy swaddles.
  • Double pram was a must have.
  • Good car seats – we had the Cybex clod q ones which we could recline flat. It was great not having to wake babies if they fell asleep in the car and we could just take the capsules inside and recline them flat until the boys woke up. These were also fantastic when walking with the pram as they could go from the car to being clipped on the pram and reclined again as we knew it isn’t safe for the babies to be in most car seats scrunched up for too long.

Overrated items were

  • We got a Nuna leaf and that was a waste of money as neither of my boys cared for it whatsoever.
  • Another waste of money were velcro swaddles. The velcro was loud and would startle them every single time and there was no way of doing any stealthy nappy changes. So we gave up on those very quickly.

Is your parenting different to how you thought it would be?

So far I am happy with my parenting from before they were born to now, I feel I do my best to
always advocate for them and make sure they have everything they need.


My boys do watch TV- they love moana, frozen and bluey. I always thought I wouldn’t let my children
watch TV this early but a little here and there is just fine. I also said I wouldn’t be the twin parent who always dresses their babies the same and omg that’s all I do now, I just can’t help it. They look so adorable in matching outfits.

How does your typical day look? Are you a stay at home parent/juggling work/kindy?

I am a stay at home mum. Our days are pretty full on from waking up to going to bed. Lots of playing and
learning new things. They are currently learning to walk which is adorable to see them waddling
around. There’s a lot of sibling rivalry at times when one just wants me for himself and then they
both have a wee cry because I have to give them both my affection, but most of the time they get
along like a house of fire and play together and giggle at eachother. I often look at them playing
together and I still can’t believe they are mine.

Relationship

How has having children affected your relationship, what challenges has it brought?

Having children had somewhat affected our relationship. We are both super busy with 2 babies now.
We both do our best to work together as a team. It was an adjustment for both of us as we have
little time for just ourselves now. We are continuously working at it and just doing our best to keep
adjusting to our life with kids now.

Tips & advice

What would your top 3/5 parenting tips be for a new parent?

  • Don’t worry about doing the house work as much- enjoy spending time with your babies and be
    present.
  • Don’t stress about buying your babies all of the gadgets/toys or latest trends- they just need you and that’s all.
  • Try to make some time for yourself when you can.
  • Ask your partner for help whenever you need it. A father is just as much responsible for the baby as a mother is.

What is the most helpful advice you can offer to other parents and what advice has someone passed down to you that you’ll always remember?

The most important thing I want anyone to take from my birth story and experience is always trust
yourself and your own body. If anything feels wrong speak up no matter how small it is. If anyone is ignoring your concerns, challenge them and do not trust their judgements. You know best.

To this day I think back on my birth and I have such anger towards that midwife. I can not express how her carelessness and ignorance could have cost me the life of my baby. I always hate to think what if I had listened to her and was satisfied with her saying the babies were “happy and moving around”. How long would it have been until I would have lost my baby A. Please always trust yourself first and never be afraid on inconveniencing any medical staff if you feel what they say is not right.

If this has helped you, would you consider sharing your story to help others too? Please submit your details through this form. Whether your story is about trying to conceive, pregnancy, surrogacy, loss or parenthood, we would love to hear from you.

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