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‘Rather you than me’ – Aberdeen mum shares the joys and frustrations of parenting twins

Leah Davidson with her twins, Hallie and Hunter. Picture by KATH FLANNERY
Leah Davidson with her twins, Hallie and Hunter. Picture by KATH FLANNERY

Would you ever ask a stranger if their baby was conceived naturally?

Probably not. Yet it’s just one of the weird, wonderful and straight-up rude comments that Aberdeen twin mum Leah Davidson has to deal with every day.

Leah is proud mum to three gorgeous kids: four-year-old Hayden and twins Hallie and Hunter.

With the twins turning one on Friday, Leah told the P&J about their first year, and the reality of life with twins.

‘The midwife told us really casually’

Leah was “shocked” to discover she was carrying two babies, but there was also some relief.

She had lost a baby before, and had gone in for an early scan because she thought something was wrong.

“The midwife was just scanning and she said there’s baby’s heartbeat, and it was all emotional. Then she just moved over and said ‘There’s baby number two’.

“She said it really casually.”

Leah says Hayden is a great big brother to twins Hallie and Hunter.<br />Picture by KATH FLANNERY

The next few months were a blur of scans and check-ups. Every twin pregnancy is classed as high risk, so Leah was scanned every four weeks initially and then every fortnight.

The couple found out the babies were two sexes with two placentas, which reduced the chance of complications. Still, Leah had to contend with horrendous morning sickness that lasted for 22 weeks.

“The hospital became our second home to be honest,” she says. “I was tired and massive – the sickness was awful – but I quite enjoyed my pregnancy.”

Get ready for the questions

When the babies were born, the Aberdeen family quickly adjusted to life with twins. Family and friends were hands-on and helpful, and big brother Hayden coped really well too.

“I found it easier than I expected because I had an older one,” she says. “If I had had the twins first I probably would have had that first-time mum freak out.

“When I had the twins it was more laid back. I knew what I was doing, times two!”

Yet there is one aspect of twin life that Leah has never quite adjusted to: the comments from strangers.

“The comments twin mums get is ridiculous,” she says. “Whenever I go out, it’s like, what comments am I going to get today?

“You always hear ‘you’ve got your hands full’ and it would be really nice if people said ‘how special’ or ‘you’re doing a good job’ but all you get is the negative comments.”

What are the worst things she’s heard?

“Some people say they can’t think of anything worse than having twins – what do you say after that? These are my babies, they’re amazing – why can’t people comment on that?”

Another howler is the very personal questioning. Leah says she and other twin mums are regularly asked if their babies were conceived naturally or through IVF.

Some other favourites:

“One of each! That will be you done now.”

“Are they real?”

“Are they identical?”

“Two – that’s just greedy.”

“Oh it’s buy one get one free.”

BOGOF is not an option, though

Faced with comments like those, you wouldn’t blame Leah for telling people to BOGOF.

The Aberdeen family have got used to the twin digs over time, but still find it annoying. And as Leah points out, the pregnancy is the only part of twin life that’s buy one get one free. Everything else is twice as hard, and twice as pricey.

“When they were babies it could take up to two hours to feed them both if you did one after the other,” she says. “When they’re both crying, or both ill, it’s so difficult to not be able to pick them both up. You have to cuddle one but not the other – which one do you leave crying?”

Other logistical challenges include getting a double buggy through doors, taking them swimming, changing cars and booking holidays.

Parents of twins don’t always have enough hands to care for two babies at the same time, says Leah.<br />Picture by KATH FLANNERY

Then there’s the expense. While many families feel the cost of living crisis, most children’s expenses are staggered. Leah and fiance Findlay have to buy two of everything, plus provide for Hayden.

Leah worked as a legal secretary at a family law firm before her kids were born. The plan was to enrol their new baby in nursery when Hayden started pre-school and return to work. But Aberdeen nursery costs for twins make this impossible.

And life with three pre-schoolers is so busy, even the couple’s wedding plans got put on hold. They’re due to finally tie the knot next month.

The right kind of support

Happily, Leah is part of an “amazing” community of online support. She’s a member of the Facebook group Grampian Twins Club and a WhatsApp group for Aberdeen twins born in 2021.

“There’s about 20 of us in the WhatsApp and the support from others is amazing,” says Leah.

She says her friends have been fantastic too, and frequently tell her she’s doing a great job. Leah has a message for other expectant mums: “Don’t panic, don’t worry, twins are amazing and not nearly as bad as people make out.”

Strangers on the street might say they’re ‘double trouble’ but Leah wants people to be more positive. “It’s double the love, double the happiness and double the cuteness,” she says.

“I feel so lucky to have carried twins, they truly are a blessing.”

So next time you see parents with twins, ditch the dig, and give them a fist bump instead.

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