Support from the top of Australia
AMBA provides support to families with multiples in Australia no matter where they are located. Read this amazing story about a family with multiples who live 8 hours away from their local club, Townsville & District Multiple Birth Association.
In 2004 I left my family home in the Southern Highlands, just outside of Sydney, to follow my dream of working on a remote cattle station in the NT for a year. It was here that I met my now husband, and my Sydney home became my holiday home. We married in 2009 and in 2010 packed up our 3 dogs and 8 horses and moved to Winton in Central Western QLD to manage a beef cattle property and have been in the area ever since.
My husband always wanted kids but it was never at the top of my to-do list. I loved everything baby, except babies. We always had horses growing up and I was mad for them. When I moved to the NT I was the first person to bring home the poddy calves, and there were always mares and foals as well as the odd litter of puppies around the house. I even brought home a baby joey that was abandoned in the paddock one day and cared for it until we could get it to town to the carers. But babies were not my thing, they were foreign to me. I would be the first person to tell you I had not a maternal bone in my body. Oh how that would change...
Early 2013, in the middle of the still ongoing crippling drought throughout most of QLD and parts of NSW, I found out that I was pregnant. At 11 weeks I was booked in for my first scan at Longreach, about 250km away, the closest hospital with a maternity ward and ultrasound. Lying on the bed with my husband beside me watching the screen, I was in my own little world. Just as my husband started to say "Is there...", the doctor cut him off as she looked at us with a big smile and said "Congratulations, you’re having twins". My husband tells everyone he wishes he had a camera because my face was priceless. I was still in shock that I was having a baby, let alone two.
From that day on, the next 5 months was a whirlwind. As I was now classed as high-risk as I was told all MCDA twin pregnancies are, I was referred to Townsville Hospital, a mere 8-hour drive from home. I had fortnightly scans alternating between Longreach and Townsville and saw the midwife at my local hospital every other week. All whilst being violently ill for almost my entire pregnancy.
Apart from the morning (afternoon and night) sickness, my babies were doing great and had no complications.
I finished up at work with 1 week to spare before making the move to Townsville to wait for the babies to arrive. But the babies had other ideas. Two days before we were due to leave for Townsville (34+1 weeks), one late afternoon my waters broke. My husband drove me the 70km into Winton hospital where everyone was waiting for me. I was given a steroid injection for the babies’ lungs and another injection to hold off labour and the Royal Flying Doctors were called. At 10.30pm the RFDS arrived and I was flown out to Townsville, whilst my poor husband was left to drive the 8 hours to catch me.
At 34+3 weeks, our beautiful healthy baby boys were born via c-section (we hadn't found out the sex previously), William John and Jack Andrew, weighing 2.3kgs and 2.5kgs respectively.
They spent 21 days in special care (no NICU required). Whilst my husband drove back and forth between the station – to check stock waters – and us in Townsville (my mum had also flown up from Sydney as soon as she’d found out it was all happening), I stayed at the Ronald McDonald House (what an amazing organisation) while the boys were in hospital. We then spent a week at a friend’s house in Townsville after the boys were discharged before we finally got to bring them home.
I had not heard about AMBA until late in my pregnancy when I met another twin mum from a station a few hours from us, but since joining the Townsville & District Multiple Birth Association and joining the AMBA Facebook page, the experiences, advice and comments from other multiple birth families have been invaluable. As a first-time mum, living remotely with no family or friends close by (who had no idea about babies let alone two babies at once), every time I am doubting myself on something, whether it is feeding, sleeping or anything baby-related, I can always find great suggestions and advice on the Facebook page. AMBA is a major part of my support network and I can't thank everyone involved enough.
We now have two beautiful, bouncing, healthy 10-month-olds, who make me laugh every day. Although I do still remember life before babies, I can't imagine my future without them. They are the light of our life and we are absolutely blessed to have them.