A gift from Las Vegas
In June 2016 we travelled to Las Vegas with a group of friends for a 30th birthday — it was our first time there and I didn’t really know what to expect — but I knew it would be a week of drinking and partying and as they say; ‘ what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’ …. unless you’re me that is.
We stayed at The Cosmopolitan hotel and was in awe of the size of the hotel’s, the lifestyle and the gambling scene — it was an amazing experience. We celebrated our friend’s 30th in a gorgeous steak restaurant and continued the evening drinking in cocktail bars, riding in a limo and partying.
The next day, my boyfriend and I explored Las Vegas in all its glory — visited numerous hotels, sights and drank cocktails. We had planned to visit the Grand Canyon, by helicopter, that afternoon and so travelled there and jumped on the helicopter for our trip, taking in the incredible views. We then landed in the Grand Canyon and my boyfriend (who had been jittery throughout the whole ride) took a walk down a ledge, away from everyone else and called me over to discover the view — I was wearing flip flops and was unsure about being able to get back up again but he was persistent that I should come down to where he was and it wasn’t until I was next to him, that he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was so shocked by the proposal I think it took me a while to say yes, at about ten minutes in I realised I was standing over him with my mouth open and there he was just kneeling in the middle of the Grand Canyon waiting for me to respond. But of course, I said yes and we were over the moon at our engagement.
On the flight back to the main Las Vegas strip, we saw double rainbows; crystal clear. Neither of us had seen a double rainbow before — what an amazing afternoon. We returned to the hotel and celebrated with our group of friends — we drank, partied and contacted family and friends at home to share our news.
The next day, I felt sick. Not because I was engaged, but something wasn’t right. Convinced I was hungover from the night before I just wanted to stay in bed, but I couldn’t stop throwing up all morning.
My now fiancé, took me to a pharmacy and we spoke to the lady behind the counter who bluntly asked if I was pregnant. I was taken aback by her bluntness and while she was asking me further questions, all I could think in my head was ‘ yep.. this is exactly how I imagined my first day of engagement. telling a random American girl all about my menstrual cycle in the middle of a packed pharmacy.’ Truth was, I had been taking the pill throughout our trip — had even been taking it in line with the time difference (not knowing if that was normal or not) but to not dismiss her, I bought a pregnancy test.
The two blue lines laughed in my face when I was back in our hotel bathroom a few minutes later — not just that, but the test confirmed I was 3 plus weeks — over 3 weeks pregnant! This was not even recent!
Throughout the rest of our trip it was as if my body had just woken up — ‘ oh yes, of course we are pregnant — didn’t I tell you?!’’ Oh … that explains the double rainbows then — blatant sign that was, thanks for letting me know now that I’m throwing up every five minutes.’ I couldn’t stomach fried food, meat, salads smothered in dressing — everything put in front of me made me throw up. We lied to our friends throughout the rest of the trip too — I drank non-alcoholic cocktails and pretended they were alcoholic (a few drunk friends tried my drinks and were so hammered they kept commenting on how ‘strong’ they were).
In the back of my mind I knew that I had been drinking and partying in Las Vegas for the last week and when we arrived back in London I booked an early private scan to ensure the baby was ok.
As I lay on the bed terribly worried, the nurse performed an internal scan — it took her forever to say anything while she was rummaging around in there and I lay there convinced there was something wrong — until she exclaimed ‘it’s twins!’. I can only say at that moment I was incredibly relieved — not worried, not scared, just so so happy. Everything was perfectly fine! Then the nurse looked me right in the eye, with her hand on my shoulder and said; ‘rather you than me!’ and just like that, the bubble was burst.
That is the worst thing about having twins, the comments. Comments people probably would not make if it was a single baby. I’ve had — ‘double trouble’, ‘I feel sorry for you’, ‘That’s my worst nightmare’, ‘I wouldn’t want to be you’. The comments were incredibly shocking when I bumped into my first opinionated stranger — to make matters worse they actually STOP you in the middle of the street just to offend you or your babies!
I also was once in a lift with a lady and her daughter and the lady looked at my sleeping innocent babies in their pram, turned to her daughter and said ‘ I bet you wouldn’t fancy that’. If it hadn’t taken me so long to get my babies to sleep and I didn’t know I was about to eat a burrito in peace for a blissful hour, I would have drop kicked her; ‘ how do you fancy THIS?!’
The truth is twins are amazing. They are born with a best friend and their bond incredible. You get double the cuddles, double the kisses, double the love.
Yes, the new born stage was difficult — they have to be in sync with feeding throughout the night — I part breast fed for five months and each boob had to be allocated to one baby — trying to work out which baby had which boob for how long in the middle of the night was hard enough with your eyes open, but when all you want to do is close them… impossible!
My fiancé worked hard during that first year and the twins and I formed a little gang at home together — we were best friends — they laughed with joy when they saw me first thing in the morning and even if I had to crawl on the floor with exhaustion to reach them, I smiled with complete joy too — joy that I was the luckiest mum in the world.
We watched with excitement at every milestone and encouraged them with praise. We ensured that every day they were told that they were loved and that we were proud of them.
Now they are three years old — when I first became unwell, they were two years old. They came to every hospital appointment needed when I couldn’t get childcare and didn’t complain once — just chatted to the receptionist and offered everyone a biscuit or showed off their teddies. They came to every single nurse appointment for nearly a year where I had to get my bum out for my wound to be checked and changed — again no complaints — just sat on the nurses lap and tried to play with her computer. They told every single packed waiting room that we sat in over those months that their mummy has a ‘sore bum’.
I think they may have also told their nursery teacher’s that their mummy’s job was ‘having a sore bum and going to the doctors’ — I mean who can blame them? I applaud their observation.
Truth be told they are my greatest achievement. They are kind, empathetic, compassionate, curious, loving, active, clever little boys who just want to be everyone’s friend.
They have made our world complete and I would not be who I am without them.
After all, it was down to their birth that the tumour was pushed into sight and it has been said more than once, by health professionals, that the birth of our incredible twin boys may have even saved my life.