Z is for ZZZZ…

Wouldn’t that be nice! There is often a reason for one or both to be keeping you up, unfortunately the reason is rarely clear or easily solved.  Don’t count on it!

At least some of us are getting some zzz... maybe sleeping outside is the answer!?!

At least some of us are getting some zzzz… maybe sleeping outside is the answer!?!

So we have come to the end of my list of multiple must-knows and must-haves.  It took me over six months to write the draft list and I’m sure I will keep thinking of things to add, but I’ve run out of letters…. I hope our experiences will help others about to embark on a double adventure.

Being a multiple mummy is a challenging experience and not something that everyone will understand but it is also an incredible experience.  How lucky am I to meet both my babies at the same time, to see them grow up alongside each other and always have double the cuddles!

And then there was one

Lonesome Lily (jonnyback.com)

Lonesome Lily (jonnyback.com)

Sadly Violet is no more…  Lily the lonesome struts around her run, crowing like a cockerel in search of someone to keep her company.

A listening ear?

A listening ear?

During the days following Violet’s demise Tilly, our similarly coloured cat, sat on a wooden toadstool at the end of the run keeping her company.  Tilly never sits there usually, perhaps she could see that Lily was in need of a companion? When this stopped I decided to let Lily completely free range in our garden so she could seek out our company when she needed it, this was not a success as one of my twins developed a taste for chicken poo and Lily had to return to the confines of her run.  We all try and visit her regularly with offerings of raspberries or something equally yummy but although chirpier I fear she is still lonely.

You might think “why has she not gone out and got another chicken or given her away!?!”  Lily was a poorly girl when she arrived with us and the vet suspected she was a carrier of a very serious, sometimes fatal, infectious respiratory disease called Mycoplasma.  When carriers become stressed their symptoms may reappear and spread to other birds.  Introducing her to a new flock or giving her a new friend may cause stress and illness.  My twins are suffering from their second round of tonsillitis in 3 weeks with only 3 days of almost recovered joy in between.  Sleep is a distant memory for us all, so just the thought of sick chickens to care for too is exhausting and frankly impossible.

A recent chat with the chicken vet left us with two feasible options; the safe option is a lonesome Lily or the riskier is a rescue hen that has come to the end of its short working life.  Rescue hens (from colony cages) are extensively vaccinated so in theory should be protected against an outbreak however as they get older the vaccine wears off and she may become more susceptible to future outbreaks.  So here is our dilemma…

The truth about twins…. Sometimes it’s hard

When you have twins you become a celebrity overnight.  I once got stopped 8 times in an hour in M&S when my babies were weeks old, no one asks for an autograph but they do ask a lot of questions.  They ask “are they twins?”, “boys?” even when one is wearing a pink dress, “identical?” even when you have told them you have one girl and one boy, “natural?”, “twins run in the family?”, “planned?” didn’t know what to say to that one! Then there are the passing remarks to which I rarely respond, “double the trouble”, “was it two for one?”, “you have your hands full”, “I don’t know how you do it? I find it hard with one”, “you’re a busy lady”…

The one I hate the most and always respond to is “double the trouble”.  I would never refer to my twins as double the trouble, they are double the cuddles, double the giggles and double the love.  Granted there are double the nappies, dirty washing, crying, the list goes on but my babies are not a trouble, they are an absolute blessing!

However sometimes it is doubly hard particularly when they get ill.  I know to most I seem a little over the top about protecting my babies from other’s viruses, well this is why….

E and M have been gradually getting more difficult for just over a week. Nights are fun, getting up about 8 times, each time involves getting out of bed 3ish times to chase a dummy and sooth before they go to sleep.  Most nights we have an hour of trying everything; rocking, co-sleeping, dummy, singing, lullaby on monitor, painkillers and finally giving up and feeding them just to settle them (routine will be interesting when we come out of this).  Then there is the crying in unison…. Last night was the worst, they felt so rotten they were disturbed so easily by the other and were beside themselves for 2 hours at a time resulting in a 4am puppet show (which helped calm them). Every time my twins are in the same house as someone with a virus you can guarantee they will get it and so we have it.  We thought it was teething at first as it started with a runny nose and sad babies but turns out that was just the beginning of a rotten cold… and teething! M has a tummy bug too, last night we were woken to M being sick in her cot and over everything around her. During the day daddy goes to work leaving a very tired mummy on her own with lots of washing to do and two sad babies who quite rightly both want a cuddle and extra attention because they feel poorly and mummy can’t always sooth both at the same time.   We are all very tired.  Night shift anyone?