Celebrating Twins!

This week 13th – 20th March 2016 is Multiple Birth Awareness week and here at OSAH this is a topic that is close to our hearts!

I am a mother of fraternal twin boys and Our Practice Manager, Sue, is a Fraternal twin herself!
As allied health professionals we also often work with twins. Twins are referred to us for lots of different reasons but some of the main reasons for referral are:

  • Delayed speech – Research has shown that twins are often delayed in their speech and sometimes need a little bit of assistance to develop their communication skills. Some twins appear to form their own language and seem to communicate effectively with each other whereas others need help with their overall communication.
  • Developmental difficulty due to prematurity – The average twin pregnancy only lasts 35 weeks so the majority of twins are born prematurely – some with no on-going difficulties, some with small areas of need and others with long term difficulties in different areas of health and development.
  • Parent’s concerns – I don’t know about other twin parents, but my husband and I devoted a lot of time to stimulate the language and general development of our first born, (singleton) 2 adults devoting all their time to 1 child  – every milestone she met was amazing to us and everything was documented down to the day, we stayed on top of her development! However when we had our twins – My husband and I drowned in nappies, vomit and milk! We often questioned whether we were giving the twins the same energy and stimulation for their development – 2 parents with 3 demanding babies (our singleton was not yet 2) so the contrast in our parenting was huge – and sometimes this means that twins development doesn’t happen as smoothly as singleton children – They all turn out perfect (in their own way) anyway but sometimes it worries us as parents and we want help!

Here at OSAH we are here to help with all these situations – whether it’s just to reassure you that you are doing a great job or to give you some techniques for engaging twins or even engaging and involving more than 1 child (not necessarily twins)!

But this week is celebrating the AMAZINGNESS of twins! So we decided this was a good week to share the amazing stories of what it’s like to be a twin and be a parent of twins!

Being a twin is something no one in this world truly understands unless you are a twin! So here are Sue’s top 3 experiences about being a twin:

  • Someone to share your birthday with – Sue has shared every major birthday with her twin brother – their 18, 21st, 30th, 40th and … “no further comment” were all shared with her twin! They still remain close friends to this day!
  • The connection – Sue has an amazing connection with her twin, more so than her other siblings, she loves all her siblings very much but the connection she has with her twin is indescribable!
  • Those unexplainable times – As a child Sue and her twin brother shared a room with a cupboard divider. When Sue was sound asleep her twin could talk to her and she would answer his questions and tell stories to him etc. but if anyone else spoke to her while she was asleep she didn’t respond. No one could ever explain why this happened.

I’m not going to pretend being a mother to twins is easy – it’s not! It’s the hardest thing my Husband and I have done in our lives! But there are so many amazing things you get to experience as well! My top 3 would be:

  • Watching them play together – Play is the most amazing skill a child can have (yes, playing is a skill) and to watch your child share it with your other child and learn from each other from a really young age is the most amazing opportunity!
  • Watching them talk to each other – My boys will be 2 next month and they have started talking to each other (in English) in conversations I can follow (most of the time). They are not always pleasant conversations they often consist of “mine – Jax’s, No Ben” followed by “no, stop, mine” but to watch the interactions they are capable of verbally at such a young age all day every day is wonderful!
  • When one twin wakes up after the other twin – if one of my boys wakes up before the other (they will often wake at the same time) but if they wake at different times the excitement on the face of the twin that is already awake is priceless – it’s like their long lost friend has finally come to see them!

For more information or support regarding twins or other multiple births please visit www.amba.com.au or www.twins.org.au