Today I have a very special interview for you. As mentioned last week, we are chatting with a mommy who was due to have twins… Well, they beat me to print and were born happy and healthy at exactly 35 weeks on Tuesday 9 June! So a million congrats to Angeliqueca and Justin Mcleod Roux on welcoming the beyond adorable Robert and William!
Having the babies
Angeliqueca’s water broke at 3:30am, the doctors were called in by 4:15am and the boys were born at 5:00 and 5:02am via c-section. They are 100% healthy; with Robert weighing in at 2.1kgs and William at 2.4kgs; but will be In NICU for 3 weeks until they learn to feed. Mommy heads home today without her boys, but will be back every day to teach them to latch, swallow and feed.
“Speaking to other twin moms, this is our biggest fear. Every mother wants to go home with their babies, it’s very daunting to accept that you will have to leave your precious bundles of joy in NICU and you have to go home.”
I have a friend whose little girl came at 30 weeks; little Isabella has been in the NICU for over 4 weeks now, though she is thriving and doing beautifully and should be home soon. I have no idea how incredibly difficult it must be for a new mommy to go home without her baby, or babies in this case. Motherhood has so many elements of sacrifice and the moms around me teach me about strength every day.
A little context
Let’s pause for a second so I can give you a little context. Angeliqueca and Justin have been married for almost 3 years and moved from St Francis Bay to Cape Town when she was 25 weeks pregnant.
“Justin got offered an amazing opportunity in January 2015 and by April we were Capetonians, it was completely unplanned. Luckily we have an amazing and supportive family. My mother- and father-in-law came down with us and helped with settling into the house. Within a week it looked like and felt like we had lived in Cape Town all our lives.”
Doctors and hospitals
Having to change doctors so late in her pregnancy was probably one of the most difficult aspects of the move (I can totally relate). “I loved my doctor in PE and was nervous to have to find someone new. After a few recommendations from the SAMBA group, I decided on Dr Gary Groenewald and I could not be happier. He has such an amazing bedside manner and really listens to me, making him very easy to talk to; he is just one of those doctors that you know really cares. I highly recommend him to any mommy to be.”
Choosing to have the twins at the Kingsbury Hospital turned out to be easier than expected. The NICU unit is one of the best in Cape Town, which was very important knowing from day one that even though she had a low risk pregnancy, the babies would likely be premature, and then they decided on Dr Groenewald. Angeliqueca specifically asked me to mention how amazing the staff at the Kingsbury have been, “They were so friendly, supportive and efficient from the moment we came in; we definitely made the right decision having our babies here.”
An easy pregnancy
The babies were originally due on 14 July, though she had it in her mind that she would get to 35 weeks – spot on! Until 32 weeks she had a very easy, low risk pregnancy and felt great. “In the first trimester I had some nausea and a few food aversions. The second trimester was a breeze and the third trimester, I just craved milk. Otherwise I have had it pretty easy. From 32 weeks, I ended up in hospital twice for false labour and all the discomfort just hit me like a ton of bricks.”
“I popped at 10 weeks and felt huge; I gained weight really quickly. The doctor told me to always remember I was carrying two little lives inside of me and my body would change differently to mommy-to-be’s with singletons. I think being pregnant is a very personal thing. Every woman experiences it differently, whether you are carrying one or more.”
The highlight of her pregnancy was unquestionably feeling the babies move. “Every time the boys moved around I was overwhelmed with such unconditional love. The process, and the falling in love with these two little guys has just been such an amazing experience… Even as they have gotten bigger and it felt like one was tap dancing on my bladder, while the other was playing hide and seek under my ribcage.”
The fear of the boys being very prem was big and very real. “The whole ‘twins come early’ scenario is stuck in your mind from day one and it hovers with you all the time. Then when I ended up in hospital at 32 weeks it was all I could think of – I just wanted them to be ok. I know how special it is to have carried this far (35 weeks). I know twin moms who have given birth as early as 25 weeks.”
On having twins
Twins seems to be what all mommies expect in those early days, and so many mommies tease their husbands about it from the day they find out they are pregnant; and to start off with, Angeliqueca was no different. They had no idea that twins run in the family on her father’s side until after they shared the news.
“When we lived in St Francis Bay, we had to drive an hour to our doctor’s appointment, so I spent the hour there joking that it was twins. Joking is one thing, but I don’t think anything can really prepare you for when the doctor says you need to buy 2 sets of golf clubs. When the doctor made the announcement, I just started laughing – I am sure he must have thought I was crazy!”
As is always the case, everyone had an opinion on the sex of the babies, but again Angeliqueca just knew they were boys. “I don’t know how, I don’t believe in old wives tales, I just knew it would be 2 boys. We were lucky that at our 12 week scan, our boys were not shy and happily showed their bits; eliminating further suspense.”
Breastfeeding is apparently even more of a focus when it comes to advice around twins. “How, what, where…I have been told of ways to hold them, and pillows to buy from the USA… So much advice has been thrown my way. My first choice is breastfeeding, however it was whispered in my ear that if I needed to supplement with a little formula here and there, it won’t make me a bad mother! I plan on breastfeeding and expressing so that when I have two screaming hungry boys, my husband can help. I believe it’s one of those situations that we will figure out once we are there, to stress about it now is unnecessary.”
Words of Wisdom
Advice to first time mommies-to-be about pregnancy?
Every pregnancy is different, listen to your body and don’t Google things! And remember, your doctor is the only person whose advice you have to follow!
Advice for daddies-to-be from a pregnant mommy?
Communicate with your wife, she is feeling things she can barely explain / comprehend, be extra patient….and don’t judge her on that extra piece of chocolate cake she wants!
Advice for other mommies expecting twins?
Good luck! And have fun 😆
My husband is my rock! I don’t think I could have done this without him. He is the kindest, most patient man who has done nothing but support me and love me through this whole experience. He cooked and made sure I was always comfortable. Between balancing work and a hormonal wife, he deserves a gigantic medal.
Thank you so very much to Angeliqueca for still taking the time to send her answers off to me after having the boys! I still can’t stop staring at the pictures of them, they are SO perfect. Our hearts are with you today, and every day over the coming weeks as you help your boys learn and grow. And we will all celebrate with you the day they come home.
I will post this weekend about some schedule changes that we will be having over the next week… But don’t worry, there are three more Pregnant in (_) interviews left in this series; and what I have planned after that will definitely keep you hooked until we return to this one later in the year!
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Sending all the love xx