Guest Blog: What It’s Really Like to Have Twins at 50 by Tami Green


tamiheadshotMy absolutely, positively, adorable, twin girls are feeding me baby carrots. They are seriously cute, and they are my best little friends, but it was hard as hell to have them at my age.

They are not my only children. Nor are they the only babies I had “later in life.” My beautiful son, Hunter, was born when I was 47. At home. Water birth.

His birth was life changing for me.

I’d retired from baby-making at the age of 35 with a tubal ligation after my fifth child. I greatly enjoyed my big family and felt very complete as a mother. But the father of my children and I divorced soon after, and a protracted custody battle left him the winner with primary custody. What had been a life filled with children now felt very empty.

In my early 40’s, I remarried. My new husband, Brent had no children and didn’t particularly want any, so we never discussed it. But as the years went by, I secretly began to think about adopting. I’d stay up nights, alone, browsing sites featuring the hopeful faces of children awaiting a mother. But after much thought, I didn’t feel I could go through the emotional roller coaster of the adoption process.

Then one night, I stumbled on an article reporting that Kelly Preston had just given birth at the age of 47, I immediately thought, wow, maybe we could have a baby at our age. The thought had never occurred to me before then. When I discussed it with my husband, much to my surprise, he replied that he had done everything he ever set out to do, and was ready now to have children.

The very next week we visited local fertility clinics and decided that IVF was our best hope.

A few short months later we were pregnant, and less than a year after I read that article, I delivered our son!

Hunter made me a mother, again. He made Brent a father for the first time. And he brought us all together as a family. The next months were not only a honeymoon between our new baby and ourselves, but my older children and I reconciled any past hurts and became very, very close once again. It was a magical time.

And as crazy as it must have seemed, almost as soon as we had him, we knew we wanted to give him a little sibling. So, we trotted back to the fertility clinic.

Our fertility treatment required rounds and rounds of hormones, as they had when I got pregnant with my little son. Almost from the day my husband gave me that first injection, I felt deeply fatigued. I mean, down-for-the-count, can’t-get-out-of-bed fatigued. And then, at six weeks along, we found out why I was doubly tired this time–there were not one, but two little heartbeats on the screen. Two siblings for Hunter!

All of my children were happy about the news, though once again taken aback. One of my sons, Alex, responded to the news, jokingly, by saying. “mom, ummm, I think it’s time for you to pass the baby producing on to the next generation.”

Thankfully, I had no medical problems the whole time. As a matter of fact, my perinatologist was amazed at how healthy I was and how well I carried the twins. I had always taken good care of myself. (Drank a little too much wine many times–I’m not perfect.)

But 27 weeks along, as is often the case with multiples, I went in to premature labor. A week long hospital stay got the contractions under control, and the girls were given medications in utero to speed their development. I was sent home and instructed to remain on strict bed rest.

A few weeks later I celebrated my 50th birthday, alone, in bed. I suppose this should have been the time to contemplate “older people” types of things and my new status as a burgeoning senior. Instead, I was deciding on the best twin breastfeeding pillow to buy and longing for the day when I could eat sushi again.

I texted my best friend that she and I would celebrate this birthday in Las Vegas in a few years, and I fully expected her to participate with me in every form of debauchery I was being denied in my pregnant state.

Besides the fatigue, and the thoughts about how it was important that I not embarrass my children by looking too old, my age didn’t come into play much. As a matter of fact, when we went shopping for baby items together, we were often asked if this was our first baby. I would just smile and nod, because obviously, it’s a long story.

Being pregnant with twins was possibly the bigger factor in the experience. I can’t describe how it feels to have two babies living in your body, sharing all your organs and space. I was miserable and couldn’t breathe, and my ribs and hips physically spread out, and my stomach was squished, and my blood supply was increased, and my heart was working harder. I missed being able to do anything.

I just wanted it over.

I willed my body to keep going, though. I imagine it’s like finishing a marathon. Mind over matter. Endurance. Pushing through.

My twins came a bit early—35.5 weeks, which is near full term for multiples. I made it longer than most of the friends I made who had delivered twins.

My girls were each born weighing around six pounds, healthy, and left with me from the hospital. And they breastfed like champs for the next 17 months, one on either side. They have since been my almost constant companions in all types of mischief, and they are adored.

And though I have continued to be deeply fatigued from sleepless nights, my oldest son KJ, who is 29, is exhausted with only one baby.

Yes, I am also a grandmother! Exactly on Hunter’s third birthday, Gabe was born. The hardest thing about having little babies and a grandson the same age is that I wish I had more time to spend being a grandmother to him. But it’s pretty neat to watch all of them play together, and you can imagine what the holidays look like in our home!

We are one big happy family. Kid stuff everywhere. This is our normal.

I think I am a better mom now, and I have more to offer my children. Yes, I am tired, and that has presented challenges in parenting. But, being more financially stable, experienced, having more resources, and being at a place where I am very self-confident, all make my kid’s childhood experiences better.

My honest appraisal of having babies in my fifties is that it is really hard, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world. My advice to anyone contemplating older mothering: get ready for the ride of your life, buy, barter or beg as much help as possible, and enjoy your sleep while you can, because soon your nights may be filled with chubby dimpled hands touching your face, asking you to sing them a lullaby.

Post note: To complete this article, we went through one quarter bag of baby carrots fed one-by-one, a bunch of diced chicken served in tiny cups, one very long bath with water running continuously so they could play, 27 water toys, one Shrek movie, two toddler outfit changes, three diapers, ten admonishments of “not mommy time” and 2/3 a bottle of wine drank from a coffee cup (served to me, not to them.)

 

Tami Green is a life coach, speaker and writer on the topics of happiness and family. Her work is supported by academic, medical, and mental health experts nationwide. She is the author of six short, practical books on mental health recovery, one of which has been translated into Japanese.

Her passion for all things related to mothering has manifested in the birthing of eight children, over almost three decades. Her children range in age from 29 to two years old. Her brood also includes two daughters-in-law, and a new grandson. She and her husband have been married for nine eventful years. She lives in The Woodlands, TX. You can see more on her blog, www.lovebugs.biz.

Tags: , , , , ,

  1. 3 Responses to “Guest Blog: What It’s Really Like to Have Twins at 50 by Tami Green”

  2. What a beautiful article! You keep mentioned your age once or twice, but no one could ever tell with how well you keep up with those babies! I can’t wait for more good reads :)

    By KJ Price on Oct 16, 2015

  3. I too gave birth to twins at 50. I had not had any other children before this so I had no idea what to expect and at the same time, didn’t have any expectations. I just went into it knowing it would definitely be a lot of work, it was, it is and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!!!!

    By Dona on Nov 10, 2015

  4. Thanks, KJ. It was a bit easier when I started with you :)

    By Tami on Nov 17, 2015