Author: Lana Siryani
I gave birth to twins during the enforced lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic. I also gave birth to my singleton in a pre-covid world.
The hardest part of birthing twins during COVID-19
In 2020, during the birth of my twins, I was unable to have any physical contact with my singleton for the duration of my hospital stay. That was the most difficult part of giving birth during COVID-19.
Needless to say, there were numerous video calls which helped my singleton connect with me and his newborn twin siblings. It was also easy for my singleton to reach me because I was able to make myself available as much as I could whilst in hospital.
“No visitors allowed” during COVID-19
The birth of my twins was quite different, and for one main reason – ”no visitors”. It was honestly the best thing that could have been imposed upon my family and I. My previous experience of having to pretend to hold it together in front of a hospital room full of visitors whilst trying to crack a smile through the grit of my teeth which masked the pain of an enduring labour almost broke me. Actually, coupled with the revolving door of visitors within the first few weeks of arriving home, physical exhaustion broke me.
Due to the restrictions that clearly dictated “no visitors” during my twin birthing experience, I wanted to share how the extreme measures as a result of COVID-19 helped my recovery and above all my ability to bond with my twins. After reading this I hope that expecting mums-to-be as well as partners find some comfort in these difficult times. And perhaps, in the long term, it may also empower mums and partners to communicate their wishes for a quieter hospital stay and open their home to family and friends when they feel ready. For anyone who is reading this and knows someone who is expecting, perhaps it will provide you the impetus to wait patiently for the invitation to meet that special little someone when the time is right.
The benefits of birthing twins during COVID-19
The maternity ward felt calmer and quieter
I must admit that the weeks prior to giving birth to my twins, I started feel a sense of anxiety and loneliness at the thought of being isolated in hospital without my family and friends around me. However, that changed very quickly when I was admitted into hospital. There was a shift in energy. The maternity ward felt calmer and quieter, in a good way. The midwives and nurses went about their work without having to manoeuvre through crowds of visitors in the maternity ward corridors or rooms. The midwives and nurses had all the time for my twins and I.
Support was more accessible
I’ve never questioned the care that I received with my singleton, it was also excellent back then too, but the level of support this time was a lot more accessible. All the mums I spoke with, whilst attached to our breast pumps, agreed that they too had felt a great sense of relief. Undoubtably the focus was solely on mum and bub, without any distractions. And even though family and friends provided sincere advice when I had my singleton, this time I felt free from the opinion of others and to a degree judgement.
It gave me time to take notes and selfies!
It also gave me precious time to write detailed notes about what I’d learnt, to plan feeding schedules, to organise my new life back home, take lots photos of my new babies (including lots of selfies!) that I didn’t nearly get enough of with my singleton. Above all, I was able to hold my babies anytime and for as long as my arms could hold them. And so could their dad. We often overlook the dads and partners as they are coordinating life back home and supporting mum where and when they can. My husband, being the only visitor allowed during the birth of our twins, had precious bonding time with his newborn babies.
Bringing twins home during COVID-19 lockdown
Here I am writing this at almost 6 weeks postpartum and only having had the twins’ grandparents visit due to the coronavirus situation.
Yes, it’s been difficult, especially managing our household without the hands-on help from our closest family and friends. But I’m fortunate and eternally grateful for the love through the outpour of phone calls, video chats, text messages, parcels of gifts, arrangements of flowers and homecooked meals left at our front door which have given me the strength to soldier on after a rough night of rocking unsettled newborn twins to sleep. It is with this strength that we begin to slowly open our home to introduce and celebrate our newborn twins with our nearest and dearest.
It may take a village to raise a child, but a mother’s physical and mental wellbeing is also vital, and should be prioritized and her wishes respected.
I hope this experience during such an unprecedented time has created an opportunity to support mums through the postpartum stage, whenever that may be. Please share to empower other mums.
You can read another isolation twin birth story HERE,