27 November 2023

Kate had newborn twins to care for while battling serious medical complications following a major injury sustained during her C-Section, as well as the pain from the aftermath of having a C-section and a second emergency surgery.

With her mother providing the main support, Kate knew she needed more help to get her through the early days.

Kate's mum and friends rallied round - even sleeping on hospital floors - taking turns supporting her and getting the twins through their first five weeks of life living on a hospital ward. Kate remained unable to lift her own babies.

Kate and Gemma play with twins on a floor play mat

Doctors told Kate that her recovery would take several months. As a new mother, she faced a situation where she couldn't even cuddle her own babies.

Kate was discharged from hospital but found herself quickly readmitted when her symptoms escalated. Her mother and friends continued to care for the twins.

Kate's friend called Twins Trust; support was needed. Twins Trust was able to send Gemma, the charity's family crisis lead, to be a lifeline for the family when they needed it most. A Twins Trust volunteer was also able to provide support.

Speaking about the help that was provided, Kate said: "It made a huge difference to me - honestly, I don't know how I would have survived without it. It was such a relief to have the help, and both of them [Gemma and the volunteer] were amazing - kind, professional and very competent. I feel that I learned a lot from them and they provided incredible reassurance at what was the worst time of my life - when it should have been the best. I am so grateful for their help and kindness."

On Gemma's first visit, she supported Kate's mother with the care of the babies, discussing their feeding schedule, safe sleep options, sterilising bottles and using the pram to get out and about. Gemma also helped to take the babies to hospital to visit their mother.

Gemma plays with a baby on a floor play mat

The Twins Trust team provided a variety of support for Kate and her mother in those early days, including respite care, support for Kate with bottle feeding and some play ideas. Twins Trust provided the family with a bouncy chair to make caring for the girls easier, especially when Kate was preparing to parent them solo. Gemma helped support Kate with skin-to-skin with her babies, as well as taking them for routine vaccinations.

That's the essence of what Gemma does, leading the family crisis service at Twins Trust; she provides hands-on, practical support, as well as empowering people in crisis to get back on their feet.

Gemma and the Twins Trust volunteer provided a lifeline for Kate. You can help to support this service that Twins Trust provides by donating to our Giving Tuesday appeal.

Donate now