Twins of the Month: Elsa and Joely

ApriltwinsofmonthThis month we meet Juliette Reilly’s twins Elsa and Joely

Twins’ Names? Elsa and Joely

Age? 18 months

Birthday? October.  I had a planned C Section as one baby was breach and the other transverse.  I wanted the date to be 10th of the 10th so that I wouldn’t forget it – to which the hospital staff gave me a raised eyebrow as if to say “you’re not going to forget this day”! But, we opted for an alternative date in the end for various reasons.

Identical or fraternal? Fraternal

Favourite activity? Music and Dancing (bottom wiggling) seems to be a firm favourite.

A bit about Mum & Dad…Mum has recently returned to work for a Global Wine Company and Dad runs his own Building Company.

Buggy? Mountain Buggy Duet.  L.O.V.E It.  Although, I would consider investing in a buggy bag if travelling by air a lot, as ours is getting destroyed by the airline baggage handlers.

Car? VW Touareg – Big enough for the whole family including our Border Collie.

Help or not? Other than the first two weeks when my sister came to stay with us, I never had any outside help before I went back to work when the girls were 14 months old.  I should’ve done.  Don’t feel guilty about taking a break to refresh or do something for yourself, whether it is your own life admin, a treat, or just to go shopping without a double buggy in tow.  I left myself with a lot to organise before returning to work that I could’ve spread across many months.

Quick tip for other twin/triplet mums? Get them in to a routine quick and stick to it and ensure others stick to it too.  If you don’t the babies will let you know about it!

What advice would you give your pre-twins/triplets (pregnant) self?  Rest up as much as you can pre-birth.  You’re going to need all the energy you can muster to get through the first 6 weeks.

What advice would you give about sleep training?  I’ve been lucky, so far.  My girls have always been good sleepers. (I can hear the groans now).  They used to have dummies when they were younger – that may have helped.  I also moved them out of our bedroom in to their own room at 6 weeks (babies are very noisy sleepers) which may also have helped.  But, I think mostly, they take great comfort from being in the same room as each other.

What advice would you give about breast/bottle feeding? The girls were formula fed from the start.  I was too poorly post the birth to breastfeed, so the girls were given bottles by the maternity staff and I continued with that.  They took to it straight away, fed and slept well, so I didn’t see any reason to change.  I did ask the question about breastfeeding but was advised that it was probably too late to switch.  Personally, breastfeeding didn’t really appeal to me anyway, it was just something that I thought I should do.  Plus, to me the advantages of bottle feeding were that Dad was able to be fully involved from the start, and it allowed us to share the load with any willing visitors which I was very grateful for, particularly in the early days when there are 8 feeds a day per child.  I don’t feel that the girls have lost out due to not being breastfed.

Do you have any advice on weaning?  The girls took to solids straight away.  They were actually excited about it.  At first, I tried going down the whole Annabel Karmel route and pureeing my own fruit and vegetables.  But, I found output for all the effort input, there was barely enough food produced for two hungry mouths.  2 hours later and 14 pans to wash up, it just didn’t seem worth it.  A trip to the GP enlightened me.  She told me how she had endeavoured to make all her own purees for her first child but by the time she’d had her second and third she didn’t have time for all that malarkey, so relied entirely on Ella’s Kitchen or Plum pouches.  She gave me the permission to use pouches!  It’s pricey, but in my opinion well worth the investment especially early on when you are time deprived.  Plus, there is the additional benefit that the children can try an array of different flavours including ones which you wouldn’t necessarily eat or cook yourself.  Magic!

Do you have any advice on potty training?  Mine aren’t at that stage just yet but they are starting to tell me when there is something imminent so it may not be far off.

Best bargain?  Loads!  My latest vice since having twins is scouring the local children’s charity shop for a bargain.  It’s an Aladdin’s cave and almost suffices my shopping fix.

Best thing about having twins/triplets?  They will always have each other and look out for each other.  Friends for life.

Funniest thing the twins/triplets have done?  So many things – they make me laugh every single day.  The latest party trick is pouting.

I love Twickenham Twins’ Club because…They have been an amazing support to me and source of sound advice.  We very much miss our Wednesday afternoons with our twin/multiple friends now that I am back at work.