By JOHN VAN KLAVEREN
IT WAS exciting at first but then reality set in as Emma and Sam Thorley welcomed twins into the world.
Not that they would have it any other way.
And Emma’s mother-to-be intuition told her that twins were on the cards.
“We weren’t scared or upset – that came a bit later,” Emma confessed.
“Adding one doesn’t seem so bad, but I refused to prepare for two until I was sure that they would be okay.”
It’s part of the extra pressure and stress that multiple births bring to families that can often be underestimated and sometimes even unrecognised.
As a member of the voluntary committee running the Geelong branch of the Australian Multiple Births Association, Emma has come to understand the stories of parents facing a different challenge to most.
“There was one story where the parents tried so hard to do everything themselves, but didn’t realise the extra pressure they put on themselves, which was picked up by their new twins.
“They had a stressed out mum, a dad who couldn’t work out what was going on and crying babies.
“We learned pretty early on to be open to help. You actually need help. We were happy to do second hand instead of insisting on all new stuff.
“Trying to go it alone just adds more stress.”
Emma and Sam now have six-year-old twins Cooper and Averleigh as well as 18 month Nyah, but it took a little time to pluck up the nerve to add to the tribe.
“The risk of another set of twins or even triplets played on our minds the second time round,” Sam admitted.
“Once you have fraternal twins you have a higher risk of another set,” Emma confirmed.
Twin ran in the family on Emma’s side and Sam himself is an identical twin.
“You have to make constant allowance for twins. Nothing is a quick trip, even just a bread and milk run to the supermarket,” Emma said.
“You have to plan ahead, but be flexible. You are always thinking of a contingency, and you never know what kind of night you’ll have, when it comes to sick kids.”
GAMBA, which also has members with triplets, offers help, advice and tips to parents with multiple births as well as a playgroup for a little time-out.
“We do a home visit to new multiple birth parents and have lots of helpful hints and resources.”
Visit gamba.amba.org.au for more information.