Lauren May and Eden Bethany Grose
Daughters of Maureen Nieber and David Grose
Born on the 30th of August 2012, at University College Hospital
Weighing 5lb 7oz (Lauren) and 5lb 2oz (Eden)
Dave and I grew up in Perth, Western Australia – we were a twenty minute drive apart, but we didn’t meet until we both came to London.
We met at a friend’s birthday party in the summer of 2006, went on our first date a week later, and the rest is history! Dave proposed in Southern Spain in 2010 and we got married the following summer, in Provence, with family and friends flying in from around the world.
One Saturday morning Dave had popped out to pick up ingredients for breakfast, and I did a pregnancy test. I should probably have waited for him, but I couldn’t help myself! Dave had picked up some flowers for me while he was out, and I’d wrapped up the positive test in a little gift box. When he gave me the flowers I told him that I had a present for him too.
We found out that we were having twins at the twelve week scan. It was, hands down, one of the best days of our lives. We were elated, but also in shock – we don’t have twins on either side of the family, so it wasn’t something we’d ever considered.
I had a fantastic pregnancy, though I was so huge by the end that I looked like a science experiment! When I walked down the street, strangers pointed at me and turned around to look and giggle! I’m not a very big person and my obstetrician warned me that it was quite likely that the girls would arrive early. So it was a nice surprise when I made it to 37 weeks, which is full term for twins.
I went to UCH for my 37 week appointment, and they noticed that my blood pressure had increased. They asked me to stay in overnight, and Dave read between the lines and went home to fetch my hospital bag.
Sure enough, the doctor visited me in the early evening and said that they wanted to induce me later that night. My labour started at approximately 8.30am. Everything happened very quickly. I was dozing when I felt my waters break, and this was accompanied by a massive contraction. I then had full-on contractions for the next two hours. Dave was amazing – completely unflappable, although he later told me that he found the whole birthing process quite challenging!
When I said that I felt the need to push, I was transferred two doors down to the theatre room. They tried to give me an epidural, but had problems administering it, so I was given a spinal block instead – in case they had to perform an emergency caesarean.
Three contractions later, and Lauren May was born. They placed her on my chest and Dave and I had a few special moments with her whilst Eden, who had originally been breech, turned in my stomach so that she was head down. When they burst Eden’s waters, the doctors were concerned that her umbilical cord may have become obstructed, so they then performed an emergency c-section. Eden was born 22 minutes after Lauren. We looked at them in pure amazement – we were ridiculously proud of them both.
The first few weeks at home with the girls were very intense. I had problems establishing breastfeeding, so I bottle fed as well. As they were born earlier than the normal 40 weeks, and were on the small side, they each had to be fed every two hours. As there were two of them, the feeds were relentless! In the early days we both got up in the middle of the night to attend to a baby each, but we quickly realised that both of us being up all night was not going to work long term, so we started taking it in turns.
We were expecting our lives to be complete mayhem, but whilst having twins requires a lot of work, it hasn’t been as difficult as we’d feared. When we first found out that we were expecting twins, we decided that we weren’t going to put pressure on ourselves to be the kind of perfect parents that only cook organic food for their children – our aim was just to survive the first year. Because we had that attitude, we managed to stay relaxed and keep our senses of humour when times were tough.
A year in, and we love being parents to twins – we feel like we’ve won the lotto. It’s amazing – from watching them sleep together in the same cot, to seeing them hold hands for the first time, and giggle at each other.