I’m one of those….

….bloggers who disappear once their babies arrive. Yep, that’s me. If it makes you feel any better I haven’t been able to spend more than 3 minutes in the bathroom for the last  37 days though, and I currently have baby sick in my hair, on my jeans and on my shoulder. So yes..this blog has suffered accordingly.

I’m going to write a proper post soon. The twins are lovely, healthy and growing. Me on the other hand – well, I’ve been a bit of a wreck. The ‘baby blues’ hit me pretty hard in the first few weeks and I’ve been struggling with depression since the babies arrived. I’ve been to the doctor and am now on the loony pills – they are helping. Looking after twins is incredibly hard and it took me a while to work out that I was suffering from something more serious than tiredness. Anyway, things are improving and I’m doing ok. Crazy. Years of trying to conceive and now I’m like….WTF. Life, eh?! More to follow. In the meantime, a couple of pics.

Welcome to the world…

Heading home

Just born

Ready for action

Alice Tui (5lb 2) and Cecilia Kiri (5lb 12), born Monday 15 August by c section at 37 weeks.

They are perfect and we are completely in love. More to follow later – we’ve just made it home from the hospital. Happy days X

35+4 weeks – the Cautious Countdown Commences


So here I am….amazingly still pregnant. If all goes to plan these babies will arrive by C-section on 15th August, just 10 days from now. I’m nervous, grateful and excited all rolled into one. It has been a long, long road to get here.

There’s something about an IVF pregnancy that makes you doubly, trebly, quadrupully anxious. I’m scared of the ‘jinx’. I’ve avoided talking about these babies too much – at least in real life, not on this blog. I’ve been waiting for the next thing to go wrong. I’ve been expecting a big ‘yahh boo’ from the universe in return for getting my hopes up. And yet here we are, nearly at the end. And I’m still worried something will go awry.

I read sad news from fellow blogger The EcoFeminist this morning. I’ve been in her shoes and it is a hateful, angry, lonely place. There’s really nothing anyone can say or do to make it better. ‘Don’t give up’ is not good advice. Quite frankly many people do give up and it’s the right thing to do. Infertility is all consuming; it’s like a black hole of relationships, hope and money. Sometimes there is a happy ending – oftentimes there is not. Obviously I’m glad  we decided to keep trying but I’m not sure how I would have coped with another loss. You put your mental health and happiness on the line every time you have another spin on the wheel of fortune.

So, in a nutshell, this incredible twin pregnancy is a result of:

  • 2 years of ‘trying naturally’ with OPKs
  • 5 back to back cycles of own-egg IVF
  • 1 frozen egg cycle
  • 2 miscarriages
  • 1 donor egg cycle in Spain
  • 1 hideous first trimester of heavy bleeding
  • 1 very short cervix and 1 magical rubber pessary
  • Thousands of £ sterling
  • Many, many hours of tears, terror and hopefulness

And we’re almost there. I will say no more! I don’t want to jinx it (even though ‘jinx’ is a silly, childish concept). I just can’t wait to see these much-wished for babies in my husband’s arms on 15th August. Wish us luck.






32+ 4 weeks bumpity bump

Can’t quite believe we’ve made it to 32 weeks but here we are…all three of us squeezed inside one body. Isn’t nature amazing?

Baby one (formerly known as Richie McCaw) is currently feet down, head up in the bottom left hand section of my bump. Baby two (Big Val) is lying horizontally under my right boob, wedged against my poor diaphragm. So….one breech baby, one ‘transverse’. It’s a good thing they are both coming out the sunroof as neither is in the right position for a ‘regular’ birth and they are unlikely to move now. Not much room left in there. Both are around 3lbs 11oz.

So anyway – I’m still feeling pretty good! I’m enjoying life, I’m enjoying the bump and I’m even enjoying work. Our C section is scheduled for 15 August and I’m  planning to work until the 8th or thereabouts. That gives me a few days to relax (ie, furiously clean the flat like a mad woman) before the babies arrive. Not that our flat needs cleaning…I’ve just heard that’s what you do when babies are imminent. We’ll see.

There’s a very good chance they may arrive early of course. Our doctor is very vague. He keeps mentioning that he doesn’t think we’ll make it to week 37. Why? I don’t really know. Possibly my mediocre cervix. Possibly because it’s twins and they are heavy. He’s told us to be vigilant and watch out for labour signs, then call him straight away. Rather exciting! I think he means proper labour signs though. Not my current minor ailments, which include sausage feet and cankles. ALL HAIL THE BIRKENSTOCK SANDAL.

A total stranger touched my bump today – a lady on the checkout at Marks and Spencer (middle class British food store – nice biscuits). It’s the first time anyone has asked, and I was so surprised that when she held out her hands and said ‘may I?’I just nodded yes. Rather bizarre. She’d already asked when I was due, and what I was expecting. She then said she had never ‘felt twins’ before and asked me exactly where they were so she could feel. Mad, right?! She was really happy. I just felt….weird. And happy that I’d made her happy. And then I walked away and couldn’t believe that I’d just let a random woman rub my belly like a lucky Buddha. Pregnancy hormones,ladies….makes you do some funny things.

30+4 week update

Well, it’s been rather an eventful week here in the country formerly known as the United Kingdom. Every time you think things can’t get any worse….they do. Today Boris Johnson, one of the chief engineers of this mess, decided he didn’t want to be PM after all and would rather stick to his day job as a bumbling toff comedy baby. Michael Gove (aka the Prince of Darkness), is positioning himself for top job instead. Who knows what will happen tomorrow. Nobody has a plan. It’s like Game of Thrones on acid. I’ve officially retired from reading the news…it’s bad for my blood pressure.

Anyway, the local news (ie, news from my uterus) is pretty good. Twins are merrily kicking away – both are now in a head up, feet down position and unlikely to move much. This would not be good news if I were planning a vaginal birth but it’s fine as they will both be coming out of the sun roof. One is wedged under my ribs a bit, giving me heart burn/acid reflux. Never had this before….it’s nasty and causing me to burp in a rather unladylike manner. Any tips?

My trusty cervical rubber ring is doing its thing. My cervix is still short – between 19mm and 21mm – but appears to be stable and my FFN (fetal fibronectin number) is low. I’m having a scan every couple of weeks to keep an eye on things but the docs are relatively happy. They don’t really believe in bed rest so I’m going about my normal life, which mainly involves walking rather a lot interspersed by sitting behind a desk.  My cervix and I are both staying positive.

What else? Well – I’m still determined to make it to 37 weeks. Our doc is pretty sure they’ll arrive before then (mainly due to cervix situation). Not yet please! Ive got things to do – husband and I created a pre-baby ‘bucket’ list. We’ve been making the most of our British Museum membership. We went to the IMAX cinema for the first time ever (16 years in London…!). We’re going out for a fancy dinner tomorrow night. I’m booking tickets for the theatre and a concert. We’re seeing friends. And…I’ve got loads of work stuff to sort out. Please stay put for a while kiddos.

28 + 5 weeks – smile for the camera

Got a lovely surprise at the 28 week scan this week – the sonographer flicked the switch to 4D and got a great pic of twin 2 (‘Big Val’) smiling for the camera! Isn’t technology amazing? Isn’t nature amazing for that matter….I have somehow managed to grow this little person inside me for the last 7 months. Anyway, there she is – nose, smile and all. She’s currently horizontal under my ribcage which is apparently a good place for pics.

Twin 1 remains shy and mysterious – we got a blurry pic of her too, see below. She’s head up, bum down, somewhere where my uterus used to be before it got massive:

Anyway it’s very exciting and getting ‘real’ now. 28 weeks is the viability point for twins so Im starting to feel a bit more relaxed about my vertically challenged (ie short) cervix. Hopefully I can keep them cooking until week 37 or thereabouts.

What else is going on? Well, I look like I’m smuggling a national supply of tea and scones for the queen’s birthday under my dress:

I’m still feeling pretty good really. Having spoken with a few other mums to be I’ve decided that I am either A. having it quite easy or B. not a hypochondriac. Maybe a combination of the two. Sleep is a bit of a ball ache (can’t get comfortable and need to pee all the time) and by around 6pm, when leaving the office, I have cankles and sausage feet. Aside from that though – nada. 10 more weeks? Bring it on!

‘Fitmom’ versus ‘slummy mummy’

I found out this week that hashtag ‘#fitmom’ is a thing. Far and wide across Instagram you can find photos of mini bumps, six packs, women working out the morning they give birth, and post pregnancy snaps of ‘bikini ready’ bodies.

#slummymummy is also a thing. You’ll find photos of women shopping in their pyjama bottoms, women drinking wine  and women 6 months post-partum who weigh exactly the same as they did 40 weeks pregnant.

These hashtags offer the world a chance to critique pregnant bodies of all shapes and sizes. Behind the anonymity of a computer screen people can comment on women’s lifestyle choices and body shapes. ‘Fitmoms’ are deemed vapid show offs. Slummy mummies are fat slobs with no self control. It’s all part of the same modern shame culture which aims to define how women should look, act and think.

Pregnant bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Isn’t body shaming utterly depressing? The internet makes it so easy.  I can’t remember ever feeling concerned about my shape and size  growing up in the 80s and early 90s. I wonder how girls these days cope with it all. My single mum brought me up to be confident and strong – I didn’t have anyone telling me I was too fat/too thin/too lazy/too fit.Photographs were few and far between and likely to be a group shot of me and my friends in baggy Soundgarden t shirts. I wasn’t photographing my ‘thigh gap’, ‘muffin top’ or ‘hot dog legs’ and inviting the world to comment. I worry about the 2 girls I’m currently growing. Will they be Youtubing their hair straightening adventures in 15 years time?

So, there’s no escape  during pregnancy. I hereby declare that whatever women decide to do with their pregnant bodies is their own choice. If you want to sit around and eat doughnuts, fine. If you want to go to the gym and use your babies as handweights, that’s also fine. Let’s just stop judging one another’s choices.