When three becomes five … the Bedwell family recently introduced gorgeous twin girls Charlotte and Molly to their family. Mum Victoria was ever so shocked when she found out she was having twins, and she now shares the story of their premature births and motherhood, expressing her sincerest gratitude for the care she and her daughters received from the Special Care Nursery staff at Port Macquarie Base Hospital.
Hi Victoria. Introduce us to your beautiful family.
My husband’s name is Ty, and I am a stepmum to a gorgeous nine year old boy, Koby. Our beautiful twins, Charlotte and Molly, were born on the 20th September.
How long have you called Port Macquarie home?
Ty was born in Sydney and moved here when he was five, but I was born in Port Macquarie and lived my whole life here.
Describe your pregnancy journey …
Funny story! We went to have our first ultrasound, to find out how far along I was. When we walked into the room, the woman there said, “I’m just putting it out there – I haven’t had anyone with twins for a while”. We both laughed, and I said, “They don’t run in either of our families.”
I lay on the bed, staring at the roof, Ty sitting at the end of the bed. After a few long moments, the woman said, “Oh sh#*t. I spoke too soon!” Feeling confused, I was told to look at the screen. I looked – and started laughing. I mean, surely she was joking?
“You’re having twins! You are eight weeks and five days,” she said. I was in a total state of shock, while Ty was up off the bed saying, “This is going to be so much fun!”
During the appointment I was asked three times if I was OK, or if I needed a hug. Hug – I needed a drink ha ha! (But, of course I didn’t!) We walked out of the appointment, and Ty kept saying “Two! There are two, honey!”
I’m sure this state of shock lasted ‘til our 12 week scan, when it was confirmed there were still two!
Twins are often born prematurely. What’s your story, in relation to this?
The doctors prepared me throughout my whole pregnancy that twins often come early and that if I went into labour before 32 weeks, I would be flown to John Hunter Hospital. And sure enough, on the 1st September at 32 weeks they tried to make their appearance into the world. I was flown to John Hunter, where they managed to stop my labour. I spent a long five days down there, before I was discharged and allowed to return home.
Then on the 20th September, at exactly 35 weeks, my waters broke – and they were determined they were coming into the world this time.
What complications were involved with your babies’ births?
Charlotte came into the world with a strong cry, but Molly entered the world not breathing, so that was really tough. I lay there with a lot of doctors and nurses in the room and everyone running around. It seemed like ages before I knew what was happening, but it was only a few moments before Ty told me we had two girls.
That was a bit of a shock, because I’d been convinced it was one of each. My dad had said all the way through though, “No love; it’s two girls”.
Both girls were taken straight to Special Care, where they were hooked up to monitors and feeding tubes, and Molly was on CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) as she couldn’t breathe on her own.
How did the staff at Port Macquarie Base Hospital help you cope?
Being my first children, it was such an overwhelming experience. I remember thinking, “This is not how it’s supposed to be! They’re supposed to go straight on my chest after they’re born, I’m supposed to spend a few days in hospital then go home and spend endless days in my PJs in bed or on the lounge getting to know these two beautiful girls I brought into the world”.
In reality, I didn’t get any of that. The moment the girls were born, they were whisked away, getting the ever so important medical attention they needed.
Throughout our time in Special Care, the nurses were AMAZING! They not only looked after every need my two girls had, but also answered all of my many, many questions and attended to my emotional needs. They made sure I was eating and drinking lots, to keep up my energy and educated me on life as a new mum.
I always felt like I was informed and included in the decisions made regarding the girls, and no question was treated as a silly one.
They almost became like family, and I would often refer to the nurses as “Aunty”. They really did become such a special part of our lives, and we are truly thankful for their hard work and dedication. They certainly don’t get enough recognition for the amazing work they do – foregoing food and toilet breaks and working overtime, providing the best quality care to all the babies in Special Care and sometimes being on their own.
When were you able to go home with your babies?
One day short of four weeks was the day we were finally allowed to go home. It was such a big day, with big emotions, as I was so excited to finally take my girls home … Yet, I was so nervous, as Special Care had become our home, our normal. It was a big adjustment.
We were on our own to finally be able to have quality time as a family, with time to really get to know the girls without all the cords and monitors.
Koby is ever so loving with them, and he is a huge help – something I’m very thankful for.
What message would you like to pass along to the staff at Port Macquarie Base Hospital?
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! From the bottom of our heart, we are truly thankful. As we sat by our girls’ cribs, hour after hour, day after day, we saw firsthand how incredibly hard you guys work, with so little recognition.
What are your future plans as a family?
We always joke that another set of twins would be fun, but right now we are just enjoying being a family of five and getting ready for an extra special festive season.
Interview: Jo Robinson.
Family portrait courtesy of Verity Woods Photography.
Pic top left: Molly, one hour old.