The short version
Girl meets boy, boy and girl fall in love, get married, find out that girl might not be able to have children, decide to give it a go anyway, get pregnant on second month of ‘trying’, find out they are having non-identical twins, panic, have twin girls, cry lots, smile lots, find out that they are identical, freak out, muddle along together, become a crack parenting team, girl writes about it.
The longer version
I’m Jo. I’m 32 and live in London with my hubby (referred to throughout as Dh) and identical twin girls, Grace Harriet (G) and Ruth Elizabeth (R) who were born on 12th December 2007. We live in the House of Twins (HoT) with Lola the guinea pig and Goldie the fish.
Dh and I met at University and married relatively young. We got engaged when I was 21 and married when I was 24. We always planned to have a child (probably an only child) but were happy to wait until our thirties, when we assumed we would be proper grown-ups and ready for the responsibility of parenting. We were too busy enjoying life together in our glorious twenties. We lived in a tiny flat above a shop in the centre of Greenwich and took full advantage of our (reasonably) responsibility-free lifestyle. We were just starting out in our respective careers so had a disposable income for the first time. We love rugby and were season ticket holders at Harlequins and watched more England games and 7s tournaments than I can possibly remember. We also went on holiday, spent whole days in the cinema watching countless films, went to watch cricket and enjoyed eating (and drinking) out.
When I was 25 I was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries and was warned not to leave having children ‘into my thirties’. My periods were stupidly erratic with anywhere between 21 and 33 days between them) so it was virtually impossible to track a cycle and therefore work out ovulation dates. Armed with this news, we agreed to wait until our late twenties to start a family. I had no great maternal urges and was happy with the status quo.
On or around my 27th birthday, a massive internal shift took place, Suddenly I felt that something was missing from our lives. I was happy with dh but I felt that we were ready to take on something new. We spoke to my GP and she advised us to try for a year but, bearing in mind my (minor) medical issues, reckoned we might need a bit of ‘help’, but to enjoy the ride, basically.
Second month of ‘trying’ (God, I LOATHE that term) and one positive pregnancy test later….
We found out it was twins at the 12 week scan. I had a relatively trouble free pregnancy, aside from severe sickness and exhaustion for the first 20 weeks, a kidney infection that hospitalised me at 27 weeks and anaemia for the last 15 weeks of the pregnancy. Thankfully, I took the bullets and the girls were absolutely fine. They were born via elective c-section (R was transverse) at 39 (painful) weeks. I’m still stupidly chuffed to have carried twins to term.
I returned to work full-time when the girls were five months old. I’m a civil servant. Dh is a train driver and has the Coolest Job in the World. Dh and I share the childcare between us and I would describe us as ‘Joint primary carers’, as he knows as much about the girls as I do.
When I’m not taming twins, being a ‘career woman’ (ha!) and doing wifey stuff I love sport – especially rugby union, cricket, diving and track cycling – playing board games angrily, SingStar and other computer games drunkenly and am on an ongoing quest to bake the perfect chocolate cake.
HoT (2.0) is the story of R and G mainly, but I also manage to crowbar in my thoughts on parenting generally and the ridiculousness of supposedly being a responsible adult when you feel about 8 years old inside.