As a young girl I always thought I would get married and have children – I imagined two, usually a girl and a boy. As a teenager I thought I would never marry or have any children, it didn’t seem as appealing at fourteen. When I met the man who would become my husband I knew eventually I would want to do it all, to get married, to have a family with him. We both always wanted children and although we would talk about it I don’t think we’d ever really known just what it meant to become parents. After I gave birth to Lucas I immediately told my husband no more – much to the amusement of the midwife, I guess they hear that a lot! Only a few months later I knew I would want more, at least one more and maybe two. However, I never thought we would have twins. It was never part of the plan, it was totally unexpected.
I remember when we started to think of having a second baby. We weren’t sure it was the right time but if we hadn’t done it then I’m not sure the right time would have ever come along, we went with our hearts. I’ll never forget taking that pregnancy test, feeling excited and nervous. I remember waiting for the result with my husband, realising I was pregnant again and I’ll admit we were a little stunned. I guess we were still unsure of the timing, worried about the practicalities but at the same time feeling ready to add to our family.
Those first twelve weeks I started to think about the baby brother or sister we were going to give Lucas. I wondered if they would look like him, I wondered how he would cope with another little one in the house. At some point when I was looking up morning sickness remedies I spotted that having twins could give you worse morning sickness symptoms. I kind of laughed in a ‘wouldn’t that be funny’ way, I thought about it for maybe 30 seconds and then it went right of my head. I didn’t even consider it again, right up to the point where I was lying in the ultrasound room. Within minutes of starting the scan the sonographer turned to us and uttered the words, ‘Well, I have some news’. As soon as she said it I knew, she didn’t have to say the rest. I just knew it was twins – as crazy as it seemed that was going to be our story.
We came away from the hospital that day with two separate scan photos – one of each baby. My husband dropped me off at his parents house to collect Lucas. When they asked to see the scan photos I said, ‘which would you like to see first?’ and laughed as I saw their faces go from confusion to shock. I phoned my mum at work, so desperate to tell her and told her to sit down. I could tell by her tone she was smiling and when I said the word twins she screamed it back to me, laughing and telling all her colleagues in the background.
When I look at my twins it still sometimes seems surreal, for a long time my husband would turn to me and say, ‘Hayley, we’re having twins’ and then ‘Hayley, we have twins’ or, ‘we have three children!’.
They were totally unexpected and yet it feels just right, like this was always the way it was meant to be. They have been the very best kind of surprise. When I think of how much our life has changed in five short years it almost takes my breath away. I never expected that this would be our family, I didn’t even know to hope for something as incredible as this and I certainly didn’t know how tough it would be.
When I look back to the day we decided to start a family, the day I stopped taking my pill, the day I went out and bought they very first pregnancy test to discover I was pregnant with Lucas – I would never have known then what I do now. I definitely had a somewhat naive view of motherhood, there is nothing that would have prepared me for how difficult it is. I could never have known how tough it was, how it would totally turn our world upside down, how it would change me completely. I knew I would love my children but I couldn’t have known just how all encompassing that love would be. I would never have expected to be sat on the edge of a lake, watching three boys paddling in the cool water and feeling like the luckiest person in the whole world – I couldn’t have known how just watching them, seeing their simple wonder, would make me feel a happiness so true.
Life has a funny way of throwing the unexpected at you but I’m a big believer in everything happening for a reason. This family that I never expected is everything I could have ever wanted.