6 September 2022

On the day of my final scan, which was exactly one week before my planned Caesarean at 37 weeks I was told that I would have to stay in and they would be operating imminently. Twin 1 had stopped growing and needed to get out. I had known this for a while as I was on the phone almost daily explaining that I wasn't feeling them move, but each time I was checked and sent home as the heart beat was still normal. 

My partner drove the 66-mile round trip to go and collect my things and I sat in anticipation in a room with three other ladies. When my partner returned, we were then told that the operation would now be first thing in the morning. After not much sleep at all in the morning we waited and waited until finally around 2pm we were taken in. The twins were delivered and twin 1 was shown to me, but twin 2 was whisked away before I had even seen them. 

I was taken to a private room where twin 1 and I had some skin-to-skin and attempted to feed. Sadly, however, the energy it was taking them to feed by themselves was too much and only a few hours later twin 1 was also whisked away also into neonatal care. 

I was then moved onto a ward and into a private room, which I had hoped my partner would be allowed to stay with me, but he was not allowed to stay at all. It was extremely lonely, having just given birth to twins and being with neither. That evening around midnight, twin 2 was brought down to me and we had out first proper skin to skin and feed. It felt so good to be reunited, but also a bitter sweet to only have the one with me. 

The next day we were allowed to visit twin 1. I was wheeled upstairs and we were allowed to hold them both for our first family photo. The visits were short and sweet, but I was so happy to have finally had them both so close to me. The next few days were much the same with me attempting to express colostrum and sending up as much of my milk as I could. We were all like this for five days and then finally twin 1 was returned to us all. Finally I had them both with me. Now the tandem feeding would begin! 

Expressing milk

This is certainly not as easy as some of the photos make out, particularly whilst using a bulky feeding cushion on a slim hospital bed. There were some near misses for sure. However, we muddled through for another few days and in total were on the ward for ten days, which really is nothing compared to others, but having never been hospitalised as an adult before, it really took some getting used to. 

Breastfeeding twins

It is very institutionalised and I didn't enjoy walking along the corridors to the canteen only to be greeted by sad-looking mums sitting alone and picking at the terrible food! I would often just sob along the five-minute walk between there and my room. It was quite an adjustment for me, both physically and emotionally and even a few years on, I still can't quite believe I have them. 

Hannah with partner and newborn twins