In those early hazy days of being a twin mum, I used to watch mums with older twins in awe. How did they have it all together? How were they getting out the house, looking put together and seemingly breezing through their day? No doubt they probably had their own struggles and stresses but from the outside they were winning at life.
Earlier this year, I realised I’d become one if those mummies. Spot me at a play group, functioning with both girls playing happily. I might have my hair curled and be wearing a top with matching accessories. I was doing it and I gave myself a little pat on the back.
Of course not every day is easy but when you’re doing ok, you forget what it was like at the start. In the early days, I’d never have dreamed of trying to take twins to get their vaccinations on my own. Before, I would have booked in my mum or worked it around one if Daddy’s days off. But I was feeling overly confident.
On the day, I told the girls about their injections which I think they partially understood. They knew it was a special medicine that would help stop them from getting ill. So far so good. In my bag, I had chocolate ready as a bribe or reward and I thought it’d be fine.
All was ok until Emily, my brave one, got her first shot. Her scream went through me. Jessica inches from Emily’s arm looked horrified. As I quickly spun Emily around for her second, Jessica got even closer and started to cry. I had to pin Emily with all my strength to allow the nurse to administer the second injection.
Within about 30 seconds Emily was fine but now I had to get Jess. “Mummy…please don’t let the lady put pins in me…please Mummy” she begged. Her poor face terrified. I knew the quicker it was over the better and so like Emily I just held her tight. If I thought Emily’s screams were bad, Jess’ were high pitched and piercing.
Emily began to cry again. It was all just too much to not only get the shots but then watch whilst your sister goes through it too. Now we all know shots can sting a bit but I just didn’t consider the fact they’d need to watch each other. In hindsight, I definitely would have taken back up and had them done separately.
Cholcolate solves many problems
The chocolate was consumed before we were even back in the car and the hysterics were over. “Mummy, I didn’t like getting pins in me” Emily told me later. She was reflective and thoughtful but clearly not traumatised. Although it was a pretty terrible 10 minutes and I wish I’d done it differently, I’m still so greatful we live in a country where we have access to such great vaccinations free of charge.
An emotional few minutes is definitely worth the protection they get. Have you taken twins together or separately? If you have any tips for the next time, let me know.