Exclusive club opens doors to a whopping 15 sets of twins
A very exclusive club has just opened its doors. There's no dress code, and no expensive membership fee, but mums who want to join have to bring a set of twins, triplets or quadruplets with them.
Marlborough Multiples relaunched three months ago after declining numbers led to the demise of its predecessor.
And it must be something in the water, but the club now hosts up to 15 sets of twins, along with delighted but exhausted mums, and is looking forward to welcoming its first set of triplets.
Amber Carling – mum to three-year-olds Martha and Rose – was one of the mums who relaunched the club, after becoming a member of a similar group when her family lived in London.
“It was eye-opening,” she said. “I met other mums going through the same things I was. The logistics of having twins – especially when it comes to feeding – makes motherhood seem a million times harder than just having one.”
The club was relaunched at the Sure Start Children's Centre in Marlborough, but soon outgrew the premises. Now, mums meet once a fortnight at the Coronation Hall at East Grafton to socialise, share concerns, and suggest solutions.
East Grafton playgroup lend the club their toys, and cost of hall hire is supported by the Marlborough branch of the National Childbirth Trust.
Emily Heaver, from Great Bedwyn, is the mother of the exclusive club's youngest members: five-month-old Bramley, a boy, and his sister Clementine. They were her first children.
“They're non-identical, which means they develop and learn at a different pace, and that's a real challenge,” said Emily. “Clementine needs a lot of stimulation. Luckily, Bramley is happy to entertain himself.”
Picking both babies up, especially for feeding, is the toughest part of bringing up twins, says Emily, a view shared by Saskia Rogerson, from Marlborough, whose non-identical twins Seraphine and Scarlett were born in November.
“It's easy to feel like you're short-changing one while you're paying attention to the other,” she said. “And it's getting more difficult as they get bigger: it's doing my back in!”
Rachel Eke's twins, Tom and Jessica, are preparing to celebrate their first birthdays on Saturday. Unlike Emily and Saskia, Rachel, from Marlborough, already had a three-year-old, Jemma, when she discovered she was pregnant with twins.
“It was a big shock when we found out,” said Rachel. “We just wanted a second to make the family complete, but now it would feel unfinished without the twins.
“It was really hard to have newborn twins and a three-year-old. I couldn't just collapse on the sofa with exhaustion, because I had Jemma to look after. But actually, Jemma has kept me going.
“Having two babies is definitely much harder than having one. Cooking, cleaning, washing, feeding: everything becomes a lot more difficult.”
Yet despite the challenges of having twins, there's something on which all the mums agree: it's fun, rewarding, and – with multiple births running at just 1.5 percent in the UK – they are members of a very exclusive club.