Twin boys. Identical twin boys.
When you found out you were expecting do you remember, deep down, amongst all the the excitement, just how scared you were?
When the midwife asked you if twins ran in the family do you remember just how terrified you were?
After almost getting your head around the 'double trouble' business- do you remember your face when at 18 weeks the two pink bundles of joy that you'd been craving since you were a little girl were confirmed to be blue? Your face was a picture!
What were YOU going to do with boys? Twin boys. Identical twin boys.
You never do anything by halves do you? You became quite the regular at the hospital, the lady whose feet had ballooned from a size 6 to a size 9 and was carrying so much additional water you supported at least 16 chins- it was a case of wearing flip flops throughout winter and responding to an offer to join the circus!
Apart from the cankles, inability to eat meat and addiction to ice pops everything was running smoothly, that was until time stopped at 21 weeks.
The world slowly began to fall apart, faced with the reality that one of the boys had been diagnosed with ventricularmegely (water on the brain) you found yourself mourning for the babies before listening to those around you.
Don't Google it Mama. At this point the internet is not your friend, listen to the professionals.
You stopped talking to them, ignored the kicks and the flutters, refused to speak to your husband and couldn't bring yourself to see friends or family.
In your mind you prepared yourself for a late abortion, knowing that if one ID twin was sick, the other would be too. From literature, your understanding was that there would be no quality of life for either child.
You resided yourself to the fact that if this was to happen then you would never go through pregnancy again.
After the longest 2 weeks of your life and a full body MRI scan (goodness knows how you fit in!) it was revealed that by an act of God the boys were perfect.
Do you remember locking lips with the consultant? Yes Mama! That was you.
After that moment you embraced every bit of pregnancy with a smile- sciatica, carpel tunnel...a split pelvis! You were loving life.
As the days up to the elected c section ticked along you started to get obsessed with the single baby mothers of Facebook, bragging of their one baby sleeping through the night, breastfeeding all over the place, strapping their babies to their chests when doing the house work, using the "one click and we're off" push chair without a care in the word. Was life going to be like that for you? Could life be like that for you?
Oh no Mama. Never. It would never be like that...but you had to find your own way - your own kind of normal.
Never compare yourself or your babies to anybody else.
Those first few trips to the supermarket were the best....
"Are they twins?" - "Nope! Triplets, have you seen the other one?"
"My Mums son's auntie's god mother's friend has twins....." - wow.
"Which one is your favourite?" - "That depends how much sleep I've had!"
"Did you conceive naturally?" - "Did you really just say that out loud?"
"Are they IVF babies?" - "Sorry do I know you?"
Ooooh and twin Mama! Whatever you do NEVER forget your lipstick, no word of a lie people will ask to take your picture and push your double push chair because they never have before! Embrace it! Smile and relax. You're a celebrity - in China you'd be deemed a Goddess! Never forget just how lucky you are.
There will always be people who pass judgement;
"Rather you than me!"
"Oh I'd hate to have twins!"
"Unlucky! Couldn't you send one back?"
Pah! Mama! Poor you? Poor you?!? No! Poor them!
You have double the love right there!
Yes you have double the hard work, sleepless nights, worry, nappies to change, sick to clean up, teething to contend with but you have found true love in the eyes of not one but two young men.
Lots of things have changed Mama, every day is challenging and three years later you're now embracing a new journey - a new kind of normal, just you and your boys.
Just remember Mama, you've got this.
Always brush your hair, put your lippy on and wear a smile every day. You may be struggling but you have two little boys looking up to you.
When it gets hard Mama, remember that moment....the one where at 7am your boys are joining forces and tackling that awkward zip on your dress - for you Mama, because they love you and you are bringing them up to be real men.
Don't be too hard on yourself.....and don't be scared to love too much for it is impossible.