Two in There!

on becoming an aunt
September 14, 2009, 3:29 pm
Filed under: babies, parenting, pregnancy


12 weeks ago I became an Auntie for the very first time, to a beautiful little girl, Olivia Grace. I’d long been looking forward to her arrival, being absolutely overjoyed when my sister-in-law announced she was expecting last December, but I never could have anticipated how special it would be to finally have her here.  As the oldest of three girls, and the first to have children, I had yet to experience what it was like assume the role of doting aunt, where as my two sisters and Dave’s sister have had 2 and a half  years of it with my own daughter.  Seeing how much they truly love Heidi, and how happy they make her, I just couldn’t wait to say hello to my niece. I felt compelled to get the knitting needles out, the way I have with my own babies, and took great pleasure in making beautiful things for her! Auntie Siobhan; makes me so proud to be called that. I have to say, it’s just absolutely wonderful beyond words. (and, it has been a brilliant excuse to get camera-happy as you can see!)

Who would have thought it possible to instantly love a baby so much that isn’t your own? The first time we went to see her at the hospital, I was just overcome with how much I felt for her. Doubly special was seeing how much my own little one loves her new cousin. I’m so excited about being a part of her life, and of course, having another little girl to spoil! I hope that I can be there to share in all of her milestones, and be there for her whenever she needs a hug or eventually, a shoulder to cry on.

I’m very fortunate to have a large, close-knit family, and the bond I have with my Aunts and Uncles is particularly strong; becoming an Auntie myself has pushed me to reflect on my own relationships with them.  Even now as a grown woman, with children of my own, I still care deeply about them, and and so grateful for everything they’ve given me over the course of my life so far. It’s a special kind of love that I hope one day Olivia will have for me, David and her cousins, and that she’ll enjoy spending time with us as much as we will with her.

Particularly lovely has been the opportunity to really bond with my sister-in-law. I’ve always gotten on famously with Karen, though there’s something unspeakable that connects two women as mothers. It’s been brilliant to share our pregnancy woes, and to be asked advice and to feel like I can actually be of use! I’m amazed at how quickly and effortlessly she has slipped into motherhood, and all of it’s trials so far (12 weeks with a colicky baby!) and seeing how proud she’s made her own parents. It’s lovely watching her with Olivia, and knowing how much she adores Heidi,  I’m so happy that she’s now a mummy herself, and can lavish all that love and attention on her gorgeous little girl.

She’s just absolutely cute as a button, and we all love her to pieces. There.

I think that’s all the gooey-hormonal pregnant lady chat anyone needs to hear today!


will you dress them alike?
September 8, 2009, 8:32 pm
Filed under: babies, parenting, pregnancy, twins


I’m surprised at how often I’ve been asked this question considering these two are still tucked up and cooking nicely. In all honesty, I can say that it’s something that I hadn’t given much thought to until other people started bringing it up. Convinced that I’d be having at least one more girl (until I found out at 22 weeks that there were two sets of boys bits in there),  all I’d really thought of in that regard was , “oh I’ll get to use all those lovely things I’d kept of Heidi’s”. Additionally, when I found out I was having boys, funnily enough, what to dress them in just didn’t really factor into my thoughts. Probably why I didn’t start buying things until about 26 weeks this time. The urge to buy dozens of little corduroy dresses, with rainbow coloured woolen tights and matching crochet beanies, was entirely absent. Beautiful clothing had always seemed an entirely feminine indulgence to me.

To answer my intial question, after much pondering on the matter; no, I don’t think I will. Yes, I’m having same-sex twins, but does that mean I should indulge the stereotypes we’ve all come to expect? Before I was a multiple-mum-to-be, I found the idea of twins in matching outfits ‘cute’ and even ‘adorable’, though now it just saddens me to think that it’s almost expected. I can understand the odd outfit, worn to please well-meaning grandparents etc, but to consciously make the effort to have them the same, seems just bizarre, not to mention a lot of unecessary time and effort!

Add to this the idea of fostering individuality, and the idea computes even less. I’m having twins, but more often than not as well as rejoicing in the uniqueness of having multiples, I look forward to getting to know my two sons, and get quite excited over what the future will hold for both of them. It may sound unbelievable to others, but they already have very different personalities, so to try and ‘lump’ them together for cuteness’ sake seems, well, just plain daft, really.

We’re already having the “oh my god, how on earth will we tell them apart panic?” and it would be mad to add to that anxiety, having already discussed various indentification methodologies (keeping on hospital bands, painting a toenail on each twin a different colour, Dave has even suggested branding, but I fear that taking things too far).

I guess that I hope by dressing them in their own outfits, that I might be setting the ball rolling for other people to appreciate their individuality. I hope that they get to enjoy opening their own birthday and christmas cards, that they recieve their own presents and that they’re valued for who each of them are, rather than just being ‘the twins’. While it’s going to be wonderful for them to enjoy being part of a unique group of people, brought into the world as multiples, I don’t want to hinder their personal growth in anyway by restricting them to that label.

turn, baby, turn
September 6, 2009, 7:21 pm
Filed under: babies

I’m 31 weeks and 3 days with the boys now, and I have my 32 week growth scan and consultant appointment tomorrow, when I will find out if my little transverse monkey has performed a miracle act of spatial manoeuvrability and turned head down like a good little baby. Given his previous for mooning us during scans, chilling with his feet up by his ears and evading all attempts at foetal monitoring (and about giving his poor mother a heart attack in the process), I’m not getting my hopes up. I think he’s probably still quite happily lounging in his little uterine hammock, blissfully unaware that he’s setting himself up to be rather impolitely yanked out of his bubble in a matter of weeks. Boys will be boys!

After my previous consultant appointment I’d pretty much resigned myself to the inevitability of the boys coming out of the sunroof, but in the past week or so I’ve found myself challenging that idea somewhat; I shan’t give in to the slice and dice until I have exhausted every trick in the book!

Well, every trick that doesn’t sound deeply unpleasant to a woman nearing the size of a beluga, that is. Standing on my head in a swimming pool? Are you having a giraffe? Have you seen the size of me lately? If you think this 12 stone, immobile lump of woman is going in any direction other than forward, you’re clearly mental. Thanks for that nugget of wisdom, spinningbabies! Additionally, the idea of having what can only be described as hot, odourless joss sticks held at close-range to my pinky toes, while some pins are stuck in me, doesn’t fill me with glee. I’ve been going down the route of ‘bum higher than hips’ and ‘spine neutral or forward’, coupled with lots of crawling about like a pregnant pony, with a nip of bum wiggling and pelvic thrusts thrown in for good measure. Have also been giving my boy a bit of a pep talk (pleading with him in the middle of the night while he uses my hips as bouncy toys), and so if that doesn’t work, I’ll officially give up, cast aside my clothes and underwear (bye-bye dignity!) don my gown and walk bare-arsed into the theatre myself.

Having become quite accustomed to the notion of waltzing into theatre and having my two promptly and efficiently whisked into the world with minimum effort on my part, not so much as a pant or a puff (one does start looking for the positives in major abdominal surgery!), I’ve discovered a renewed desire for a natural, faff-free birth. I know that probably sounds mad to some; the notion of actually wanting to endure another labour and push not one, but two little people out of my unsuspecting ladybits in not-necessarily quick succession; it’s probably enough to make you cross your legs at the thought. I know I certainly have at points over the last 8 months. Though somehow I find myself typing this on all fours, leaning across my coffee table,  hoping gravity will come to my aid and flip this little boy around, so we can do this in all it’s natural, sweaty, lengthy, pooing-on-the-floor-in-front-of-strangers glory. I’ve suddenly come over all protective of my innards, and I’d rather they weren’t being fiddled with. Of course if he hasn’t obliged his mother dear, then I will be having a cesarean, and there’s sod all I can do about it. I shouldn’t grumble, it’s all about what is safest for my babies, though I can’t help coming over all lachrymose at the thought of being denied a chance to do as my body was made to.

So, if you could all send your best flippy thoughts to monkey number 1, it would be much appreciated! Roll on 10:30am when I’ll find out if it’s labour or lay back!

a long overdue doodle
September 6, 2009, 5:12 pm
Filed under: babies

It’s really cool when you can be inspired by a friend. After seeing all the lovely pure ink drawings my good mate Dave has been doing as of late, I decided to delve into a long unused medium and do a little portrait. Forgot how nice it is to just work with nibs and ink, though also forgot how messy it can be an ended up with a fair bit of smudging and bleeding. Quite pleased with the outcome though


our birth plan
September 5, 2009, 5:06 pm
Filed under: babies

At this moment in time, I am preparing for a caesarean due to the presenting twin being transverse, but doing everything possible to try and get him to turn, so though I might as well be thoroughly prepared for if I do get to have a natural birth


Our Wishes for Childbirth

Due Date: 05/11/2009
Patient of Dr. E.S. Cooper
Scheduled to deliver at Simpson’s Maternity Unit


Dear Caregivers
We are looking forward to sharing our birth experience with you and so have created this birth plan in order to outline some of our preferences for birth. We would appreciate you reviewing this plan, and would be happy to do so with you. We understand that there may be situations in which our choices may not be possible, but we hope that you will help us to move toward our goals as much as possible and to make this day a great and memorable experience, for all the right reasons. We do not want to replace the medical personnel or compromise the safety of our babies, but instead want to be informed of any procedures in advance, and to be allowed the chance to give informed consent. Please feel free to ask if you have any questions or comments. Thank you!

Siobhan & David


* I would like to be free to walk around during labour.
* I wish to be able to move around and change position at will throughout labour.
* I would like to be able to have fluids by mouth throughout the first stage of labour.
* I will be bringing my own music to play during labour.
* I would like the environment to be kept as quiet as possible.
* I would like the lights in the room to be kept low during my labour.
* I would prefer to keep the number of vaginal exams to a minimum.
* I do not want an IV unless I become dehydrated.
* I would like to be able to bathe/shower as I wish, if possible


* I do not wish to have continuous foetal monitoring unless it is required by the condition of our babies.
* I do not want an internal monitor unless our babies have shown some sign of distress.

Labour Augmentation/Induction

* I do not wish to have the amniotic membrane ruptured artificially unless signs of foetal distress require internal monitoring.
* If labour is not progressing, I would like to have the amniotic membrane ruptured before other methods are used to augment labour.
* I would prefer to be allowed to try changing position and other natural methods (walking, nipple stimulation) before Pitocin is administered.

Anaesthesia/Pain Relief

* I realize that many pain medications exist. I’ll ask for them if I need them.
* Before considering an epidural, and if the situation warrants, I would like to try an injection of narcotic pain relief.
* I would like to manage my labour using breathing and visualization techniques for as long as I feel able


* Unless absolutely necessary, I would like to avoid a Caesarean.
* If a Caesarean delivery is indicated, I would like to be fully informed and to participate in the decision-making process.
* I would like David present at all times if our babies require a Caesarean delivery.
* I wish to have an epidural for anaesthesia if this circumstance arises.
* So I can view the birth, I would like the screen lowered just before delivery of our babies.
* If our babies is not in distress, our babies should be given to David and I immediately after birth.
* If I am unable to do so, I would like David to have skin to skin contact with both babies, if everything has been straightforward
* We would like to have some music playing during the procedure if possible
* I would like to use some essential oils during the procedure to help aid my relaxation and make the experience more pleasant
* I would like to be talked through my surgery so I am aware of what is happening at each moment, and at what point my babies are being born
* If possible, I would like David and I to be able to hold our babies during the repair work
* If possible I would like to wear my own clothes and bring my own pillow


* I would prefer not to have an episiotomy unless absolutely required for our babies’s safety.
* I am hoping to protect the perineum. I am practicing ahead of time by squatting, doing Kegel exercises and perineal massage.
* If possible, I would like to use perineal massage to help avoid the need for an episiotomy.
* I would like to breathe my babies down, and assume a position that facilitates this and minimizes the chance of tearing


* I would like to be allowed to choose the position in which I give birth, including squatting.
* I would like David and/or nurses to support me and my legs as necessary during the pushing stage.
* I would like to try to deliver in a squatting position, using David or a squatting bar for support.
* I would like a mirror available so I can see our babies’s heads when they crown.
* I would like the chance to touch our babies’s heads as they crown
* Even if I am fully dilated, and assuming our babies is not in distress, I would like to try to wait until I feel the urge to push before beginning the pushing phase.
* I would appreciate having the room lights turned low for the actual delivery.
* I would appreciate having the room as quiet as possible when our babies is born.
* I would like to have our babies placed on my stomach/chest immediately after delivery.

Immediately After Birth

* I would like to have David cut the cords.
* I would prefer that the umbilical cords stop pulsating before it is cut.
* I would like to hold our babies while I deliver the placenta and any tissue repairs are made.
* I would like to have our babies evaluated and bathed in my presence.
* I plan to keep our babies near me following birth and would appreciate if the evaluation of our babies can be done with our babies on my abdomen, with both of us covered by a warm blanket, unless there is an unusual situation.
* If our babies must be taken from me to receive medical treatment, David or some other person I designate will accompany our babies at all times.
* I would prefer to hold our babies rather than have them placed under heat lamps, unless absolutely necessary.
* I would like to see the placentas after they are delivered.


* I would like a private room, if available.
* Unless required for health reasons, I do not wish to be separated from my babies.
* I would like to have our babies “room in” and be with me at all times.


* I would like to meet with a lactation consultant.
* Due to previous problems, I would like to supplement with formula from birth


* I would like to take still photographs during labour and the birth.
* I would like to make a videorecording of labour and/or the birth.

31 weeks with twin boys
September 4, 2009, 7:58 pm
Filed under: babies
31 weeks with twin boys

31 weeks with twin boys

unbelievably crap day
September 4, 2009, 5:05 pm
Filed under: babies

Today has just been one of those days that was a complete write-off, you know, the one’s where you want to just go back to bed, press the reset button and start over? What should have been a really nice time with my daughter, my sister and my mum was ruined by a complete idiot on the road. Thought I’d pop it in a journal since I’ve not been able to post in the usual dailies etc from the various groups I belong to, and this way everyone can see it. Apologies, I’ve not read anything that’s going on today, so I’ll do a big catch up tomorrow.

Well, I was driving up the road near my house, heading over to my mum’s in Dunfermline, about a 20 minute drive from Edinburgh. My sister had an appointment through there, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to spend some quality time with my mum. 5 minutes from the house a big single decker bus drives into my car on the side that Heidi was sitting on. I pull over to one side, switch on the hazards and check she’s ok, which thank god she was, and then get out to inspect the damage and talk to the driver. I’m in bits at this point. Then, before I get a chance to get any details, not even a service number or a registration, the bus drives away up the road. He didn’t even stop to get out and see if we were ok, when he’d clearly seen that he’d collided with a car containing a car and a heavily pregnant woman.

Unable to do anything since the idiot drove on, I got in the car and kept going. Was a nervous wreck all the way to dunfermline, and I just cried the whole day, though thankfully my mum was in town waiting for my with a cup of tea. She took me for my lunch and made sure I ate and had a good sit down. After that, she drove my car home for my, with H and I, and my stepdad came to collect her, she ordered me into my jammies, and took H to my mother-in-laws. Have been having lots of painful braxton hicks, so have been resting up and they seem to have stopped. Think the stress levels aren’t helping matters. Thankfully both monkeys have been wriggling away good style.

Have made it to 31 weeks, this is the last thing I need on my plate at the moment!

Particularly sad about the state of my little car, which I’m particularly fond of. Poor little bashed up star mobile 😦