Tuesday, 14 April 2009


Lynne had already been given her own bedroom, long before she knew about the new baby. We were determined that she would not feel pushed to one side, particularly now there were going to be two babies. She was a very sensible little girl of three years old. I explained that some people were very silly when new babies came on to the scene. I warned her that neighbours would probably all want to peep into the pram and say daft things to her, like: ‘Do you love your little babies?’ She understood.
With only one day to go before I was to be hauled into hospital, my waters broke. This time, Arthur left me at the labour ward and went home to bed. He didn’t want to be present at the birth, and couldn’t anyway, in case of complications. He was ready to rush to Hanley Road Hospital the minute he had news, and would be as relieved as me to get it all over with. He later told me that during my pregnancy he was quite concerned, as I was so huge and not at all well.
We had chosen two girls’ names (which I can’t now recall) and two boys’ names, covering all contingencies. When the first baby was born, the doctor said it was a boy.
‘His name is Philip Lea,’ I managed to say, before the next wave of pain. Seven minutes later, they held up the second baby.
‘That’s John Lea,’ I shouted. Then: ‘Are they identical?’
‘No’, said the midwife, ‘but they’re bonny babies. The first one weighs 7 lb 2oz and the second 7 lb 4 oz.’
Not only were they perfect babies, but also they each weighed much more than Lynne had when she was born. No breach births, no incubators, just a cot each side of my bed, each containing a perfectly beautiful, baby boy. Bliss!
The hospital authorities kept me and my boys in hospital for just four days. They needed my bed and I had to go home, but my doctors made me promise to stay in bed for a further week.
From then on there wasn’t much rest for Arthur or me. We were inundated with visitors wanting to see the wonder babies. Mum helped out for a couple of days, then Daddy became stroppy and said it was too much for her. Soon everybody had gone, and Arthur and I were left to our own devises. Of course, Arthur had to go back to work, (no maternity leave in those days) so it left just me and a three year old with the two newly born babies, to cope as best we could.

I was three years wiser now and so didn’t think the babies were ill every time they cried or that, if they slept too long, they were dying. I took it all in my stride and had no problems cooking, shopping and looking after three little ones.
The twins were super babies and never cried at night. However they had to be fed every four hours, which meant that one or the other of the boys woke up every two hours all through the night. I would feed, burp, change and put down Philip, which would take about half an hour. He would go back to sleep, no problem, but one and a half hours later, John would want feeding, and so it would go on and on. I never had more than 90 minutes sleep in one go, all night! This was the period of my life when I acquired my first grey hairs, and I was only thirty-two.

Note: For my female readers who can cope with this information. Since each of my twins were full sized babies and not identical, I carried two lots of water and two afterbirths and nearly fifteen pounds of baby. No wonder I looked like the Titanic!


weechuff said...

A wonderful time in your life. Poor mum, dad probably thought she had had enough bringing up seven babies of her own!

Jay said...

Wow - twins!! There are twins in my family, but thankfully, I didn't have any. I know there are wonderful things about twins, but I don't think I could have coped as well as you.

granny grimble said...


I was so thrilled to have them and they really were very good babies. The terrible twos were a bit hairy. What one didn't think of, the other one did! They were a little slower to speak as they understood each other's grunts without any trouble!

Swubird said...


Wow that was quite a story. I can't imagine carrying two babies inside of me. You know what they say, if men had to give birth, there would only be one child per family.

I remember those days of feeding during the night. We bought one of those old time wooden rocking chairs, and that's were we'd sit at two in the morning for the feedings. I forgot what sleep was. And, like you say, not maternity leave, so I had to be at work bright and early.

My first son cried all the time, but the second son slept like an angel.

Nice story.

Happy trails.

Croom said...

How ever did you manage with such calm Leeta, well perhaps there were times when you tore your hair out ah?

What bonnie babies they were, and how very different in looks and nature,that grew up into wonderful men. You must have been such a proud mum Leeta.

Babs-beetle said...

At least with twins you get two pregnancies over at the same time :O)

Not only were they not identical, they were quite different in looks.

granny grimble said...

No I had infinite patience in those days and the five of us Had a lot of fun.

We'd always wanted three children, but after becoming so enormous, so tired, and not too well, I said 'That's it, no more babies I'm afraid, we are going to have to settle for two as I'm not going through nine months of that again'. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to get three babies in two pregnacies!
They looked like Laurel and Hardy, do you remember? Philip was a blue eyed blonde with a built in crew cut, and John was round and chubby with brown eyes and a little dark fringe. Stupid people still said 'Oh can't you tell they're twins, they are so alike'!

granny grimble said...

So sorry Swu, I missed replying to your lovely comment.
I think if men had to have babes, we'd probably become extinct!
How I would have loved a rocker to sit in while I fed the babies. Mind you, I think I would not have been able to keep my eyes open. Your wife was lucky to have someone to take turns with the feeds, I had to soldier on alone!

weechuff said...

Didn't you get any help with the night feeds from Arthur, even though you had twins? My goodness, if that is so, no wonder you were tired!