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Parents urged to reach out and seek help during Twins, Triplets and More Week

1st July 2019

Life with two or more babies can be challenging for some parents and Tamba is here to help.

During Twins, Triplets and More week (July 1-7) we want families of multiples to know about our free listening service, Twinline, which is open five days a week.

“It’s so important to talk to someone who will listen – and that’s us. We know the sooner people reach out for help, the sooner they can get the right support." - Louise, Twinline Co-ordinator.

Callers will speak to a parent of twins or triplets, all of whom have been trained and most importantly, will understand and empathise with what they may be going through.

Twin mum, Kate, shared her experience of PND with us and why she wished she'd known about Twinline sooner.

“I am living with Post Natal Depression after having my boys back in September 2018.

“My husband and I found out we were expecting Identical twins back in April 2018. After the initial shock we were told to book ourselves in for a second appointment as they were identical and a higher risk. 

“We stood in the reception at the hospital talking to the receptionists who said ‘before we can book you in, you need to have a 24hr cooling off period’. I remember my husband I just stood there not really knowing what to say. 24hrs to decide if we want to keep them or not? Looking back it’s a bonkers thing to have been told, so openly in front of everyone and by non medical professionals.

“Thankfully someone from the hospital team heard what was said to us and informed us that this was no longer a protocol that needed to be followed and that we should book ourselves in for an appointment ASAP. 

“At the second appointment we found out we were expecting boys but there were signs of TTTS, where the doctor looking after us said ‘we needed to be pragmatic and realistic over the coming weeks’ and that we may need to make some tough decisions. 

“The weeks that followed seemed a blur having scans each week up in London (our main care was in Hertfordshire). I was pre-booked in for surgery each Thursday afternoon with each scan happening that morning to determine the severity of TTTS and make a decision on how best to proceed. 

“At the 35 week scan twin A was at a critical point and had stopped growing and I was told to go home to pick up my bags and they’d be delivered that day. I just burst into tears, I stupidly was still working and we were also trying to move house as our 2 bed cottage couldn’t cope with twins, especially with no family nearby.

“I remember so clearly saying to the doctor (the same chap who had told us to be pragmatic and realistic at the start, that they can’t come today we’re not ready). He just said, “they won’t survive”.

“It was such a cold statement. But the truth. I’m sure he had compassion but at the time it didn’t feel compassionate.

“Sadly I didn’t get to see the boys for 24hrs after they were born and was unable to breastfeed as they were so tiny. A few days later we completed on the house purchase and got the keys, the day I was also discharged!”

Kate said she knew something wasn’t right very early on and felt numb towards the boys, no natural love or affection. She felt on edge and anxious, forcing herself to get out each day and doing a million things to make sure everything was running smoothly. 

“I self-referred myself to the perinatal team in November after my GP told me about them, but it took 10 weeks to get to a point where I was given help (because I wasn’t high risk, I’m now told took much longer than usual).

“Several sessions of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) didn’t help me as the boys weren’t involved. The sessions were arranged when they were fed and sleeping, which I realised was utterly pointless. I needed to bond with the boys not have them sat quietly the other side of the room. The boys needed to be part of it. 

“My health visitor knew what was going on and put me in touch with a private group which runs parent and infant psychotherapy sessions. I’ve been having the sessions with a wonderful lady and the boys each week since April and the change has been enormous.

“I have good weeks and bad, but last week I was able to say to the boys that I love them for the first time. I put them into bed and gave them a kiss him on the head and said good night, I love you. It was the most precious moment.

“I look back now and I can see the chain of events, the matter of fact statements that built up upon each other and which I think caused a lot of the pain I was and still am going through and why I was so detached from it all.

“The team of people we had by our side from the various hospitals were ultimately incredible, but with a smattering of insensitive, unhelpful and downright unprofessional statements that have had a lasting impact. 

“I definitely don’t still feel right but I can acknowledge the change in me towards the boys that has happened since having the parent and infant psychotherapy sessions. 

“My therapist said to me, my rigour, detailed schedule, routine, my anxiousness towards the boys was, infact, my way of showing love to the boys.

“And it's true. I never once doubted myself or my ability to care for them. That I knew I could do, I just couldn't "love them" in the traditional way, certainly not until a week or so ago.

“Having Twinline is a lifeline and I wish I had known about it earlier. Having Tamba is amazing and I hope my story may help others.”

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