I wish I'd terminated my twins, says mum, Jeanne Measom

Twin boys Jude and Rowan made Jeanne Measom a mother of six. Photo / Facebook, Jeanne Measom
Twin boys Jude and Rowan made Jeanne Measom a mother of six. Photo / Facebook, Jeanne Measom

One very honest mum has revealed how shocked she felt when she saw her pregnancy test was positive, and has spoken of how she regrets giving birth to her twin boys, rather than having a termination.

Jeanne Measom, now 51, from Dublin, assumed her family was complete, as she already had four children.

She was busy looking after daughter Alannah, then 10, and son Finn, 7, from a previous marriage, and after meeting her husband Guy, they added two sons to the family, Tighe, then 3, and Charlie, 8 months.

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Speaking candidly to the Daily Mail, Jeanne said she was still breastfeeding when she fell pregnant with the twins, and the couple weren't using contraception. Their twin boys, Jude and Rowan, are now eight years old.

Experiencing nausea, she half-heartedy took a pregnancy test to put her mind at rest.

"I stared and stared at the stick when it showed up positive. My husband was as shocked as I was. How on earth could this have happened?, she told the Daily Mail.

"I turned to Guy and demanded just how he thought we could cope with five children."

51-year-old Jeanne assumed her family of four was complete when she fell pregnant with twins. Photo / Facebook, Jeanne Measom
51-year-old Jeanne assumed her family of four was complete when she fell pregnant with twins. Photo / Facebook, Jeanne Measom

While her first thought was to get a termination, she wanted to get a scan before making a decision.

"A scan at the hospital showed I was six weeks pregnant," she told the Daily Mail. "While it was early enough to terminate the pregnancy - I realised that I couldn't go through with it.

"Guy agreed. His rationale was simple - 'what's one more when you've already got four?'"

But when the couple went to the 20-week scan, they were devastated to hear there were twins on the way.

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"I was so shocked that I burst into tears," Jeanne said. "Guy started to laugh. I'd just got my head round having five children - but six?

"The doctor said both the babies were healthy too. It was a relief to know but I was petrified at how I would cope."

After hearing the news, Jeanne said she cried for weeks.

While her pregnancy went well for twins, she struggled as she got closer to her due date.

"The thought of pushing out two babies filled me with panic," she said. "But once the first one came out, I only had to cough and the second one followed."

However, she was soon hit with another disappointment - the mum-of-six was hoping for girls, rather than twin boys.

"I remember staring at them traumatised and utterly clueless as to how I'd cope with them."

As the endless routine of feeding and nappy changing wore on, she found it difficult to bond with the twin boys.

"Instead of the warm fuzzy feeling of love and pride I'd felt with my other children regret burnt inside me, she said.

"I asked myself what had I done. Had I made the wrong choice in not terminating the pregnancy? I felt guilty for even thinking it."

With Guy back at work, Jeanne was stuck at home with two crying babies, and the situation started to take a toll on her health.

"With my other kids I took endless pictures of them at every stage, but the twins' gummy smiles failed to melt my heart, she said.

"I realised there was just no time for that same emotional attachment."

She hit her darkest days when the twins were one year old.

"Around their first birthday, I sat in the car with them, listening to both of them wailing and thinking I can't do this any more," she told the Daily Mail.

"Staring at them in the rear-view mirror dark thoughts rushed through my mind: I could give them up for adoption, or I could kill us all....

"They were just fleeting thoughts - thankfully. But I felt like I was drowning. I desperately needed help."

She slowly started getting her life back after enrolling her four youngest children into a creche for a few hours each week.

Jeanne says her other children coped amazingly well with the arrival of the twins, who says have polar opposite personalities.

Looking back in the days when the boys were younger, the mum-of-six has some advice for women who have twins - get as much help as you can, as soon as they arrive.

"I love them - of course I do. But there were days when they were younger that I honestly regretted having them,' she said.

While she knows some will say her comments make her sound like a bad mum, Jeanne begs to differ.

"I'm an honest mother and the truth that no parent of multiples likes to admit is this: having twins is unrelentingly hard work."

Your parenting stories

We asked readers to share their experiences with parenting. Here are some of our favourites so far:

This mother's nightmare would be our dream

"My wife and I dream daily of the possibility of having twins, twins for us would be winning the lottery, if we could decide between winning even the biggest lottery or having our own baby, we would choose a baby, not even twins, just a baby of our own.

We are walking the pathway so many others walk, the pathway of unexplained infertility.

Every time we hear of someone struggling with their children, lack of sleep, behaviour issues, unwanted pregnancies, severe morning sickness, we would give anything to experience your nightmares.

As a couple we have both worked in frontline emergency healthcare as a paramedic and emergency paediatric nurse. Every day we experience the reality of children and parents who don't realise how lucky they are. We see how they take their amazing position for granted, sometimes even abusing the entire situation.

They don't realise how their nightmares are our dreams. How we would happily step in and take their nightmare away just for the experience of loving and caring for a child.

Having the honour of teaching, nurturing and growing the child through development and in to life.

We are not bitter towards those that abuse what we consider to be our dream, but we do stare onwards with broken hearts.

We still pick up the broken pieces, thinking that we would love to take these pieces home, to love and cherish. But knowing that isn't our role.

We have infertility and this is our 'child nightmare'."

- Hopeful

It sounds harsh, but I can relate

Well I know that article might sound harsh but I can relate. I have twins boys, and they are both autistic. It was tough, unrelentingly tough. And I can tell you that I never had super dark thoughts like she had, but it was hard to see mothers who had the time to enjoy their babies. I was never given that time, the twins were just too much work. I always felt like I was just never enough, doing enough, good enough.

Mostly what I remember from the early years is the silent judgement of others. Some days were overwhelmingly tough, but errands still needed to be done. I can remember being in tears in the car on the way home from the grocery store thinking what a difference it would have made if only one of the people who scowled at me or the boys that day had offered a helping hand. How that would have turned my day around.

But so very very rarely did anyone do that. But boy they sure would be happy enough to spend energy making sure I knew they disapproved!

But 14 years on and I adore my boys, they are wonderful humans. Yup, they still have challenges but they are so nice to be around: polite, funny, kind and helpful! I could not be prouder of them.

If I could encourage just one person to smile, help or be kind to a tired and overwhelmed mum, then I would feel like a success!

- Emma

-nzherald.co.nz

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