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Saving lives, supporting families

Love letters to melt your heart this Valentine's Day    

From a young twin who worries she’d poked her sister in the eye in the womb, to a grandmother who watched on as her grandson died in her arms, these heartfelt love letters have been written by readers for Valentine’s Day.

The collection of letters has been put together by Tamba (Twins and Multiple Births Association) for their #lovemultiples month of celebrating all things twins and triplets and to raise awareness of their Big Research Appeal.

The appeal will fund research which will help kiss goodbye to prematurity and multiple birth-related conditions such as TTTS (twin to twin transfusion syndrome).

Anyone wishing to donate to the appeal can visit www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/tamba/bigresearch

A midwife to a new mum…

Dear Sophie

On Valentine’s Day and I want to share a few things with you.

I remember meeting you in Fetal Medicine after you had been seen for TTTS (twin to twin transfusion syndrome) and had laser surgery, only to then be diagnosed with  IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction).

Staff members were not very optimistic about the chances of one of your twin girls surviving the pregnancy.  You were so upbeat and hopeful and happy. That really touched me profoundly. In the midst of your dark cloud, you had this wonderful sunny disposition.

By this time I saw you had booked onto my one of the antenatal classes. I reluctantly left a message on your answerphone telling you not to come to the classes because it was a bit too early to attend.  You did not get the message and I saw you and your partner there. I was a bit taken aback but said nothing.   You and another mum clicked immediately and the two of you made the most noise in the class, creating a lovely atmosphere for everyone.  You never mentioned or let on what your situation was and therefore did not alarm anyone. Again, this was so commendable because you had a potentially big audience with lots of sympathy available.

Then you delivered one day. It all happened very fast, as we had anticipated. I saw you on the ward and the babies were transferred out to a hospital south from here. Totally expecting a stressed out mother in a heap of panic and worry, I found you in your bed smiling, positive and cheerful.  I have been doing this job for some years now and I am used to seeing people cry and wiping their tears but there were none. Your mum sat beside your bed, so proud of you for being brave and amazing. I always have something to say, but this time I was lost for words. You struck me as the most amazing, incredible woman I have ever met. You were so brave and positive. That little girl of yours is still in the special care baby unit growing and I have no doubt that you have brought lots of sunshine into the life of this hospital.

I am in awe of your resilience and admire you greatly, you are strong and brave and amazing.  I rejoice with you in the very amazing and happy ending. You will be a wonderful mother.

Sandra Bosman
Midwife for Multiple Birth Pregnancies
Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

A dad writes to his partner and the mother of his triplet girls…

Dear Laura,

I’ve always known you were perfect. But then when our three precious girls showed up on the scan picture and later when we were told we could lose them all, that’s when I realised all over again just how amazing you are.

While I watched on in a daze, not really understanding what was happening, you seemed so quietly confident even though I knew you’d be hurting inside. I remember the day we saw three on the screen – I drove to the hospital but you were the only one capable of driving back.

I remember our nervous laughter at being outnumbered. And then the panic at the nappy costs and sleepless nights turning into complete fear when the doctors mentioned twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). They didn’t beat about the bush – they told us our triplet babies could all die.

I remember you breaking down in tears in the waiting room and everyone was staring at us. I felt helpless that I wasn’t a doctor and could fix things for you. Knowing I could do nothing to help was the hardest part.

But then we were transferred to Liverpool Women’s and we were told what TTTS was and what they could do to treat it. We went to St George’s in London and the doctors performed laser surgery while the babies were still in the womb. Our three little ladies were in there and you were so focussed on being relaxed for the operation. You knew what you had to do and you just went for it – I’ll never forget how incredible you were.

When our three girls, Elsie, Eilah and Erin, were born in Liverpool I remember seeing a couple crying in the waiting room, just like we had a few weeks ago. I couldn’t believe that we’d been told they’d probably all die and then there we were, looking at 30 little fingers and 30 tiny toes.

The hardest part was seeing them split up – Eilah and Elsie in Liverpool and Erin in Burnley. Nothing can prepare you for seeing your babies in neonatal. It’s heartbreaking. But you took everything in your stride.

Eilah is always busy, Elsie is our mischievous one and Erin keeps herself to herself. Ever since they were born on 27th October 2014 I’ve watched them in amazement. And you. I already knew you were the best mum ever, raising our son Maddox, but seeing you with the girls only strengthened my belief in you.

Thank you for showing me how to be strong when it’s the last thing I felt like doing. Thank you for not giving up hope on our three girls. And thank you for agreeing to marry me. I can’t wait!

Love, Martyn
Martyn Halliwell, from Burnley, Lancashire

A grandmother to her twin grandsons she never got to play with…*

*Please be aware this is a bereavement letter

Dear Jacob and George

I didn’t get to see you in your school nativity - George, such a serious Innkeeper, and Jacob fidgety in a scratchy shepherd’s costume. I chose Christmas presents for you – I popped them in the Salvation Army collection box.

I can't believe you are five already. Izzie and Poppy sang Happy Birthday and blew out your candles. You sent me a double rainbow, soaring high above my neighbours rooftops.

Last June, when my buddleia came into bloom, I watched as you played tag around the bush, tumbling and frolicking in the sunshine. Every summer I gather pebbles and shells for your sandcastles, and each autumn I fill my pockets with conkers - burnished brown like grandad’s polished brogues

Jacob, I see you when Cousin Josh kicks a ball, and I glimpse you in Poppy's cheeky grin. George, I hear you in Izzie’s giggle, and see you in Cousin Eloise's funny frown. I feel you both as the sun warms my face, but when my other grandkids are chasing around the garden, two of the gang are missing.

Izzie tells me you are stars in the sky, but she wishes you’d come down and play. I wish that too.

Jacob, in one breath we said hello and goodbye. I watched your little face - eyes tightly closed. A flutter of life as an angel tickled your nose – I wish my gentle breath could have filled your lungs with oxygen… I rocked you gently, and told you how much we all love you – Mummy, Daddy, your brother George - such a big loving family. You left us with an ache in our arms, and a gaping hole in our hearts.

George, as I cradled you, you reminded me of my dad – arms folded and slightly irritated as if someone had disturbed you - long fingers and your mummy's rosebud lips. Poor little soldier, you’d been through such a battle… You are Jacob’s big little brother - now you must look after each other.

My darling grandsons, I wish you’d had more time with your mummy and daddy, because your mummy and daddy are truly amazing. I won't ever forget you – I carry you with me always and forever. I’m so grateful I had the chance to hold you and tell you how much you mean to me.

All my love.

Granny xx
Sue Bamblett, from Crowborough, East Sussex

A teenager writes to her triplet sisters…

To my darling triplet sisters,     

You stand by me day by day whenever I need support and to have that unconditional bond is more special than people imagine. There is something I would like to say to you and although you will probably groan and say it’s cheesy, I feel that it is important.

Kelsey, although you’re younger by a minute, you have taught me things beyond your years. I am now calm in situations that I would have been angry in and I have learnt from you that life is not a simple ride up an escalator but a difficult climb that we all need to take at our own pace.

Phoebe, you’re the old bean, although again by only a minute. Your quirky sense of humour and dazzling smile radiate off you to cheer up everyone around. You need to understand that we are all with you for whatever comes and you have absolutely nothing to fear from the future.

Both of you make up my entire life and I just want you to know that even when our lives take us in different directions, whether that be due to University or taking new steps in our lives, we will always be close in heart and you can talk to me at any point. I don’t want there to be silence when our own families begin to grow, I want and need us to be as strong as we are now forever and always.

We have many memories together and although not all of them are good it doesn’t take away how genuine I am being when I say that I love you both, more than either of you can imagine. Stay With me forever. <3

Charlotte xx
Charlotte Elliott, aged 16, from near Peterborough

A mother writes to her eight-year-old twin daughters…

Dear Alice and Beatrice,

No one told me what to expect. How can you put it into words? I never thought to explore what was going to be expected of me when the time came. I just focussed on one stage at a time, whilst you were inside me, a stage I embraced whole-heartedly and loved. I felt connected to the two of you but somehow out of the club. I was and am cool with that status, I love the bond that you two have and hope never to challenge or compete with it.

No one told me to prepare myself to fall in love with two people at the same time. It took me a while, I won’t lie, and at times I found that nature took over and my love would sway towards one of you more than the other. It took everything from me to fall in love with both of you. I gave it willingly, unconditionally and solidly but I think it was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. I am pleased to say I got there. We stay there and remain there forever.

No one told me that you would be called “the twins” by people that love you, that know you and by people that are passing through our lives. That’s not how I see you. I never use that title unless it’s to justify my stretch marks or my lack of sleep in the early days. Admittedly, I sometimes call you my chalk and cheese, I love that you are so different and share some similarities. I see you as two sisters that just so happened to be born at the same time, two best friends that happen to be sisters. You two are so lucky to have each other. When I’m gone I know not to worry, your love for each other is the strongest kind of love.

No one told me that having two babies, two toddlers, two soon-to-be teenagers changes everything. It creates an instant family - there is no dress rehearsal, no easing you in……overnight we became a family of four. For us, Mummy and Daddy, that was perfect, it was equal, there was no arguing about who had done what, when and how little sleep was had like our peers were doing. We were both in deep, stayed focussed and kept strong. You did that, you made that bond between us and thanks to you and all your challenges no one can take that away from us.

No one told me that having you would make me whole, complete my life and purpose - anything extra is a bonus. Making you two so perfectly and beautifully blows my mind. How did we do that and so well? Hand on my heart, you two are my best creation ever!

No one told me that I would experience love and strength like this, thank you for giving that to me - that has to be the best gift ever.

I’m going to tell you to stay there my loves, remain there forever.

Love Mummy x
Emmy Scarterfield, North London

Twin sisters write to each other…

Dear Alice,

One of the things I love about being a twin is that I always have someone to play with. I am never lonely or sad because I always have you beside me.

Alice, you are always really affectionate and generous, you never make me sad - you just bring happiness. 

Where ever you are, I can always trust you to play with me whatever the game is.

You always share with me and everyone around.

I am a bit worried I poked you in the eye in Mummy’s tummy, but I think you can see ok.

Yours Faithfully,

Beatrice xxxx

 

Dear Beatrice,

I love being a twin because there is always love right next to me,
Right next to me is always my best friend,
The best friend who makes me laugh more than any other,
The other is my twin.
When I am nervous, I know you will always hold my hand,
I love you being my other and my twin.
Love Alice xxxx

From Alice and Beatrice Higgins, both aged eight, of North London

 

To find out more about Tamba, the only UK-wide charity supporting multiple birth families, visit www.tamba.org.uk

 





 

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