This is Natalie (@twinniesplusone) She's an amazing mama of Twin 5 year old girls, plus another gorgeous 3 year old girl. Her girls are known around Instagram for being the most stylish little girls, always dressed to perfection.
Natalie has been a brand ambassador for us from the moment we started. She owns well over 100 Headbands, and has partnered along side us from the beginning. We love her, and you will too! Have a read...
A raw and honest tale on what I've learnt raising twins.
Five years ago, my identical twin girls were born. They are the best thing that could have ever happened to me and have taught me so much about life.
Something you never expect to hear when you go to have your first scan - "Oh, you're having twins!!" When we first found out (at 19 weeks pregnant!!) - there was a roller coaster of emotions running through me. A lot of people (me included) always dream of having twins.. But you never actually expect it to happen to you. I felt like we had won the pregnancy lottery.. But we would also need to win the lottery to afford the lifestyle we had envisioned.
As soon as the excitement had settled down, the self-doubt kicked in. How would I cope? I'm just a 21-year-old girl with no idea how to be a mum.. Especially to two! Will there be complications? Will my body be able to handle growing two little humans inside? Will they be healthy? Will I carry them to full term? Am I ever going to get a decent nights sleep again?
...But my worries were all soon washed away when I was holding two perfect little girls in my arms. My pregnancy couldn't have been any more perfect, I carried them until 37+6 weeks, with no major complications and the most important part was they were a healthy and perfect little duo. I was originally advised that we could be spending a decent amount of time in hospital after birth - but we were lucky to be on our way home after only 4 nights.
So we were home now, time to get into some kind of routine, right? Nope. A set routine never worked for us and still to this day it doesn't. We just take each day as it comes, because our days are so unpredictable. I learnt very quickly to survive on a few hours sleep, a lot of caffeine and an abundance of cuddles. Cuddles are what got me through most days - sometimes I would just hold them in my arms for hours on end, staring at them and reminding myself it won't always be this hard. The days are long but the months fly by. One day they will be too big to both be cradled in my arms and I'll wish I could go back to the sleepless nights, just to hold my tiny babies once again.
My top survival tips for getting through the first year:
1. If someone asks you if they can help in any way - SAY YES! Don't be afraid to accept help - even if it's just to have a few hours of uninterrupted sleep or some adult conversation.
2. Remind yourself that "It gets better!" Because it really does. Just hang in there and enjoy the roller-coaster ride.
3. Be prepared to be invaded with a million questions and remarks from strangers when out in public. "Are they twins?" "Were they conceived naturally?" "Are there twins in your family?" "Better you than me!" "You must have your hands full!" The list goes on. I just learnt to just smile and walk away. I'm sure they mean well, even if it does drive you crazy being stopped so many times.
4. Don't be hard on yourself if things don't go to plan - raising twins is a tough gig. Just do what is best for your little family, and forget about the rest. Enjoy the first year because it will fly by.
...And the years that follow will go by even faster. It's hard to believe my girls are now 5 and in their first year at school. They are currently going through that "bad gal attitude" phase - preparing me early for the teenage years it seems.
So all those hard times from the first year now seem so little in the grand scheme of things. There will always be tough periods but I can promise you it will always be worth it.