The most amazing thing to happen to me lately is finding out that I am going to be the dad of twins.
Currently I find myself in the “code red” area of my wife’s pregnancy, in that the births could happen any minute, or we could be waiting up to five weeks for the arrival.
It has been a bit difficult to explain this to people. With most pregnancies, the due day is set and the parents patiently wait.
With twins, a due date is also set, but you are simply told that it will not go that far.
Our official due date is June 30, but we have been told that doctors will induce the labour by mid-June at the latest, if it goes that far. This is presumably to protect the babies as they become short of space in the mother’s tummy.
My wife (pictured here this week, at 34 weeks) has had a difficult pregnancy to date. She has vomited every day with morning sickness, on the worst days up to ten times throughout the whole day, and suffered horrendous heartburn. She has actually lost weight. We are aware that this is not the normal experience of mums-to-be, who have cravings or enjoy the excuse for a few extra calories. It has been a long grind for her and I have felt a bit helpless, standing by and watching as she suffers her daily round of sickness on top of the usual aches and pains associated with pregnancy. All I can say is that I have done my best to be sympathetic to something that is pretty hard to imagine someone suffering day after day. So far I have made only few sacrifices, the notable ones being knocking my frequent trips to watch football on the head, and drinking less at weekends, if I go out, just in case its action stations.
To learn more about the birthing process I recently attended a special ante-natal class for twins at Leicester Royal Infirmary. One of the midwives talked us through all the likely outcomes, a glossary of terms and a blow-by-blow explanation of what is available to you and how the big day will unfold.
It included the pros and cons of natural birth versus a Caesarean section. The main thing I learned is that there is no easy way of getting them out. Men just need a bit of patience and calm. The women need an epidural.
After the class I felt fairly uneasy about what I had heard. I felt a bit uncomfortable with the idea of just standing there as my wife went through the agony of childbirth. My male friends say as a man you do feel incredibly vulnerable, but let’s not forget all we have to do is stand there and be supportive.
So far, the most frustrating thing about my wife being pregnant with twins is that people do not know what to say when they hear the news. Well, they do know what to say, but it is usually positively negative. By this I mean stuff like: “That’s wonderful, get your sleep while you can” or “That’s fantastic news, you are going to have your hands full” or “Congratulations, your life is over.” Why can’t people simply say “that is great news”. That would do. I know my life will change beyond recognition, I know there will be two babies in a few weeks.
Frankly I am looking forward to it so much that I now find the idea of having a single baby a bit boring!