Finding out you are expecting twins must be both an amazing and daunting feeling, so imagine having that experience twice, and being a mum to six children in total. Oh, and also running your own business.
That’s the life of Kate Ball, 42, from Leeds who shares five girls and a boy with her husband Matt, 39.
Twins don’t run in Kate and Matt’s families – the pair only intended to have three children maximum – yet now they are parents to two sets of twins 20 months apart and their older children Alfie, 11, and Grace, nine.
The couple welcomed non-identical twins Emily and Olivia, now aged five, in October 2016, and their second set of non-identical twins Poppy and Amelia, age three, in June 2018.
Kate and Matt’s baby plans
My husband Matt and I always wanted to have three children. First, we had a boy, Alfie, and then a girl, Grace, and most people said, ‘You’ve done it, you’ve got one of each, surely you’ll stop now?’
We always wanted three, and in fact, in trying to have three I had what’s called a missed miscarriage after I had Grace.
We decided we needed to have a break for some healing time. When we tried again, that’s when we got the twins. It felt like a gift, in the fact that we had lost a baby and our bonus was that we got two.
Then it escalated to having four. We had wanted that kid in the middle seat of the car, and suddenly we had a car we couldn’t fit them in, so we had to buy a new car!
Life with four children
When we had our first set of twins, Alfie and Grace were in school, so it gave me time with the babies during the school day and time to get my head around managing twins. It wasn’t my first time looking after babies, so I was quite secure in the ‘being a mum’ bit.
Having the four of them was very busy. We were out and about with the babies when they were really tiny because we had to be, doing the school run and taking the older two to their activities.
Expecting twins… again!
There are 20 months between both sets of twins, so Emily and Olivia were about 11 months old when I fell pregnant again.
I had vaginal deliveries for all of my kids. For both sets of twins, I had my waters broken and they were both born at 37 weeks, which is great for twins as a high percentage are born prematurely.
Our first twins, Emily and Olivia, were a good weight, about the five-pound mark each, didn’t need any assistance and were home in a couple of days.
Poppy and Amelia were a bit different. Poppy was five pounds and Amelia only three pounds, she was really dinky – we think her placenta had stopped growing. She had to go to special care for five or six days, but she was fine thank goodness. As babies, Poppy was quite a bit bigger than Amelia and she still is.
Life with two sets of twins
After Poppy and Amelia were born, life was crazy!
The nanny and I were like a double act with the kids. For the first 12 weeks with Poppy and Amelia, I was relentlessly feeding so I needed help. But I didn’t have overnight help, she was 9am-5pm and she worked with us until the girls were nearly one.