Madeleine Angelina and Michelle Josephine Haune
Twin daughters of Kjell-Ole Haune and Randi-Margrethe Haune
Born on the 28th May 2010
At St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington
Weighing 2.1kg / 4lb 10oz (Madeleine), 1.9kg / 4lb 3oz (Michelle)
Madeleine and Michelle’s story has a romantic beginning, as befits the daughters of a Norwegian composer. Their father, Ole, is the only Norwegian to have produced and staged two musicals in the West End, and he proposed to Randi after they had known each other for only three weeks.
The couple met on the 17th May, which is Norway’s constitution day, an important celebration for Norwegians. Randi’s best friend was living in London at the time and Randi decided to make a break from tradition and join her there for the celebrations. Ole, who lived in London, had always gone back to Norway for the 17th, but this time he had decided to stay in London.
Randi and Ole met at the Norwegian Seamen’s Church in Rotherhithe, where Norwegians in London were gathering for traditional celebrations. After her holiday, Randi went back to Norway, but she and Ole met up several times over the following weeks, culminating in his proposal, on a mountaintop in Norway. “Ole picked a branch of Ricola and made a ring, then he went down on his knees and surprised me. I still have the ring, which is framed, and hangs on the wall.” A few months later, Randi quit her job, sold her car, rented out her flat and moved to London to be with Ole. “It all happened very quickly, and, of course, people wondered whether it was for real.”
A year later, Randi and Ole put all such doubts to rest by getting married in the Norwegian Fjords. They bought a house in Notting Hill, and Randi, whose background is in marketing, decided to work with Ole. “Ole had just started working on his second musical, which was composing music to a dramatic poem by Henrik Ibsen called Terje Vigen. Terje Vigen turned into a multimedia musical that we’ve staged in the USA, China, London and Norway.”
“I also started making bread in Norway – based on the story in the musical – and I’ve now started producing the bread in England, with a bakery in London. The bread won a Gold Star in the UK best taste awards, and we are now talking to Harrods and other places that would like to sell it.”
“Although Ole and I do have our discussions, working together is great and we love spending so much time together. I guess our story really is proof that if you dare to break traditions, wonderful things can happen.”
In 2009, Randi and Ole were not too surprised when they were told that Randi was carrying twins. “My mother is a twin, so we half expected it. We were thrilled when we found out – though a little shocked when the doctor wondered if there were three in there! Luckily it was just that one of them was very active – and she still is.”
Randi’s waters broke during a routine examination at 32 weeks, and she was then kept in hospital for two weeks “They did everything they could to stop the contractions, because they wanted me to keep the babies for as long as possible. It was a long time to be in hospital, and stressful. I spent a week back home before the waters broke again and I had to go back to hospital. I had wanted to have a natural birth, but as Madeleine was in a breech position and Michelle was transverse the doctors strongly advised me to have a c-section.”
Both babies were delivered successfully by caesarean, and for Randi and Ole the challenge of life with twins began. “They needed to be fed every two to three hours. We were brought to the very limit of our capacities by the constant lack of sleep. It was like a never-ending rollercoaster that you couldn’t get off, and part of you didn’t want to – but it was the most tiring time of my life! Twins are a lot of work, but we also feel lucky to have been blessed with two fantastic children who love to eat.”
A few months on, and Randi is finding it a little easier now that the girls are in more of a routine. “They sleep from 11 at night to about 5.30, which is magic! We go for walks, and although I do have a big buggy, most of the time there’s no problem getting around. It’s still hard work, though, and when I hear people complain when they’ve only got one, I think ‘he he – try two’!”