Friday, 23 October 2009


I was doing that thinking thing again this morning (despite Paul’s suggestions to stop) – the time when I’m supposed to be sleeping between the 5am and 8am expressing is a killer for that. And it occurred to me, very sadly, that I don’t really see Maggie and Alice as twins now. They’re my two unbelievably lovely, fantastic little girls...but not twins. Maybe it's because all we've been able to do is float between their two rooms and see them separately. And maybe it's because everything about our individual experiences with them has been completely different. A nurse brought Alice's cot into Maggie's room and there they were, right next to each other, and when I told her that I found it hard to see them as twins she didn't contradict me or disagree - if anything, she went one further by saying, "That's because they're on completely different paths now." I want to hope she's wrong, and I want to hope that their twin-ness will come back to me, and will always be there for them.

Because there were so many stories surrounding their twin start that I wanted to tell them - that we found out we were having twins on April Fool's Day, and we both cried in the stairwell from shock and feeling overwhelmed (!!!). It was going to be a little family joke (when they were older and could appreciate it/not be scarred by it) that we didn't want twins to start with but that after a few weeks it seemed like the most special, amazing, lucky thing. Our family, done and dusted in one go - and just as well, seeing how old we are! An experience that would be new for Paul as well for me - even though I joked that they were just 'four and five' to him. And that sometimes we got scared and spooked by how difficult it would be (again, !!!) and Paul would look at me and say, " idiot."

Alice is coming home tomorrow and Maggie isn't. And even though Paul says I shouldn't swear, it's fucking heartbreaking. And lovely and sad and exciting and scary and just so unbelievable I can't really get my head round it. I spent months feeling them bounce off each other inside me - I can't wait to see it in real life.


  1. Hey Shannon and Paul-I check every day for the progress of my two little twin second cousins. Thank you both for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us all. The twins are both so beautiful. I guess I felt the need to write because of my own twins. I have always called them "The Twins" and they are still "The Twins" at the age of 21. My Twins. They grew together, kicked each other, born the same day, cried next to each other, touched each other. There is a bond forever and only they know it and know matter what, they will always know it. Put them together as much as possible, let them sleep together, touch each other, cry next to each other, hear each other, feel each other because that is what they did for all those months. They need to be together and you need to see them interact together. They are twins no matter how different they are. They need each other and always will. Take it from me. The bond will never be broken as I have seen it. I love you and am sending good thoughts your way forever and always.

  2. BTW-I forgot you have to sign your name and that last post is from me, your cousin, Sue.

  3. Dear Paul & Shannon

    I too check Maggie & Alice’s blog everyday for your updates and everyday my eyes well up and before I know it tears are streaming down my face. Life is so unfair and words escape me. It’s amazing where you guys are getting your strength from but you have two beautiful girls to be strong for.

    OK Paul so I am a liar too ;-) there’s no card in the post (well what do you expect there was a postal strike, and I figured it could takes months and maybe even years before you received it haha, ok I will put my claws back in) but thanks for your address and glad that you like the flowers to celebrate the birth of your two beautiful baby girls.

    So baby Alice is due home today… WELCOME HOME ALICE… try not to miss your little sister too much, and don’t get too comfy having your cot all to yourself as little Maggie will be home soon to snuggle up, keep you warm and protect you ;-)

    To Paul & Shannon keep staying strong, positive thoughts, your little girls need you to be strong for each other so that you can be strong for them.

    And so to Maggie… COME ON MAGGIE… keep fighting girl, you’re a tough cookie and gorgeous with it. Your mummy, daddy and little sister miss you and need you home soon ;-)

    Sending you lots of love, and sending even more love, kisses & hugs to Maggie & Alice xxxx Rach G xxxx

  4. so excited for stories of alice's homecoming!!! photos photos photos!!! WHUUUHUUUUUUU

  5. do say fuck as often as you need to! You'll say fuck when Alice is home, trust me ;-) She'll also make you laugh. And don't feel bad about that. Maggie will come when she's ready.The time apart won't make them less "twins". They won't know they are for quite a while anyway.
    I can't wait to read your first experiences at home with little Alice. I'm sure - even though the circumstances are much much harder - I'll recognise some of the things that we went through. Just normal, everyday struggles with baby. It'll keep you busy and hopefully lift your spirits. Cause damn it's a noble job being a parent. You'll do great.
    Lots of love to you and your family
    xxx Wini

  6. Oh Shannon...

    Hoping your first day at home with Alice brought you some smiles. It's an exciting time but I understand, equally, your sadness.

    That bloody Nurse needs a slap! Why do people say these things when, really, they have absolutely no idea? What she might have said was: "Of course they are still twins. They developed together in your womb and they will grow up together in the same family home, with the same amount of love and care and attention. It's only hard for you to see them together because they have been forced apart by bloody awful circumstances and the lack of facilities at our hospital."

    Don't worry Shannon, they will be back together soon and then you will get that feeling back. You will also probably spend the rest of your life worrying about the fact that everyone refers to them as "the twins" which, of course, overlooks their right to an individual identity! My sister has Molly and Katie "the twins" and I have Tom and Olly, also "the twins". Very confusing!

    I remember really missing the feeling of the two boys in my womb...

    Olly also came home four weeks before Tom. It's so hard but don't beat yourself up about how you are feeling. It will all come back together soon.

    Much love to you all

  7. Hello all,

    This is Sally posting from Helen's computer to see if she can. That's enough of me talking about myself in the third person!! I've tried to send a few messages and for some reason (probably my lack of technical ability) I've not been able to. Anyway, Helen's right. That nurse need a good kicking! Of course the girls will have the same experience of love and support from everyone. Clearly, she doesn't know what she's talking about.
    Well, Shannon, I hope you're managing to cope with Rob and Paul and they're not getting on your nerves too much.
    Can't wait to see you all. Hopefully we'll all be able to come over soon.
    We're thinking of you all the time.

    Loads and loads of love

    Sally xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  8. I may be wrong & it probably sounds rather gay but I think twins just know don't they? That's what I think anyway. So it probably is wrong, but I shall continue to think it and in years to come maybe those Saxton girls will prove me right! (First time for everything). Loads of love to you all. Tara xxxxx