A mother of four has described the sʜᴏᴄᴋɪɴɢ moment she discovered she was expecting a second set of twins naturally when her identical twin boys were just three years old.
Gabby Radlof, 28, of Stratford, Victoria, said there is no such thing as a peaceful walk when she is out and about with her children, Hugo and Spencer, four, and Billy and Aria, eight months. Every day the young mum will hear people yell out ‘ᴅᴏᴜʙʟᴇ ᴛʀᴏᴜʙʟᴇ’, ‘were they I.V.F?’ or ‘you’ve got your hands full’ at least once from a stunned passerby, phrases she says she could do without.
Gabby and her husband, Ben, were not surprised when Gabby found out she was pregnant with twins because it runs in both of their families. However, when the couple wanted ‘one more’ they were sʜᴏᴄᴋᴇᴅ to find their family would grow by not one but two, and she would have four kids under the age of four.
The young mom said she was ‘speechless’ seeing two little figures on the screen at her eight-week sᴄᴀɴ during her second pregnancy. Her sʜᴏᴄᴋ sᴜʙsɪᴅᴇᴅ after telling excited family and friends and looking back at old photos of identical twins Hugo and Spencer as babies.
In April of last year, Billy and Aria joined the Radlof family. While juggling two newborns and two toddlers may seem like a daunting task, Gabby said Hugo and Spencer love their little brother and sister and have each other to keep themselves amused when her attention is on the babies.
“If they had been a year younger, I probably would have sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟᴇᴅ a lot more, but being the age that they were – they were kind of developing their independence,” she said. “Hugo and Spencer do come in handy – you can be like, ‘can you go get that for me?’ and sometimes you’d get the odd ‘no’ but you think, ‘you’re only three, I need to accept that’.”
Gabby shares her thoughts and experiences on ‘all things twins, motherhood and everything in between’ on her blog, Four Little Wildlings. In one post she documents how often she was breastfeeding Billy and Aria as newborns, keeping notes of which baby she fed and when because she couldn’t keep track with her sleep ᴅᴇᴘʀɪᴠᴀᴛɪᴏɴ.
Gabby was feeding an average of 16 times a day, sometimes every half an hour, between 12:30am and 9:30pm the following night. To stay organised, Gabby tries to keep a steady routine by making sure the babies are on the same sleep schedule so she gets a well earned ʙʀᴇᴀᴋ and swearing by early bedtimes. “It gives me a chance to reset, tidy up, wash all the bottles and start fresh for the next day,” she said.
Her advice for parents of young kids is to keep things simple and not put too much ᴘʀᴇssᴜʀᴇ on yourself. “You can clean all day but there’s still going to be toys every where,” she said. “Focus on the kids in the long run – sometimes it’s easier to say than do but they’re little for such a small amount of time.”