Rushing around the busy cafe where I worked, I noticed our regular, Ben, the second he walked in. And taking his order, I found myself lost in his electric blue eyes.
Although I kept my crush to myself at first, my workmates soon caught on. ‘Here comes your husband,’ they’d joke.
Then in December 2014, Ben asked if I’d like to house-sit at his place while he went away.
When he returned after two weeks with a bracelet for me, I realised he was into me too.
As we shared dinner together that night, it was the first time we’d spoken for more than 15 minutes! Then we shared our first kiss.
Afterwards, we were inseparable.
Twelve years my senior, Ben wasn’t afraid to talk about the future.
After just a month, we openly spoke about starting a family together. While Ben loved the idea of having two kids, I always dreamed of having a whole brood.
Then, three months after we started dating, I felt really run-down.
It’s like I’m hungover, I thought. But I hadn’t been drinking.
So I decided to take a pregnancy test.
When it came back positive, I was so excited.
Sharing the news with Ben, he wrapped me in his arms.
Our family was starting sooner than we had planned, but we were over the moon.
When our daughter Charlie was born via caesarean in January 2016, we were both so in love.
With big pink lips and blonde curly hair, she looked just like my sister, Suzannah.
After the first two weeks, our gorgeous girl was sleeping really well too.
This isn’t so hard after all, I thought.
When Charlie was six weeks old, I even returned to uni.
Almost immediately, I felt lethargic again and suffered frequent headaches.
‘I think I might be pregnant,’ I admitted to Ben.
‘I’m sure you’ve just taken on too much too soon,’ he rationalised.
Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I might be expecting – and when two pink lines appeared on the test, there was no denying it.
With an eight-week-old already at home, it was going to be a challenge, but Charlie was such a dream baby.
We’ve got this, I told myself.
At a doctor’s appointment later that day, we had our first ultrasound.
As the wand glided across my belly, the doctor said something that made me laugh out loud. ‘It’s still too early to be sure, but I think there’s two heartbeats,’ he admitted.
Ben had been happily cradling Charlie in his arms but now his face was as white as a ghost.
‘I’m sure there’s a mistake,’ I reassured him.
But the following month our obstetrician confirmed it. ‘There’s definitely two,’ he grinned.
In just a matter of weeks, our family of two had grown to five!
How on earth are we going to cope? I panicked.
Back at home, I googled three babies under one, hoping for some advice.
But there was nothing.
So, I decided to start my own blog, Twingenuity, to connect with other mothers who’d given birth to multiples.
When I was 10 weeks pregnant we found out we were having identical boys.
At first, I’m sure people thought I was still carrying baby weight and didn’t comment on my size. But as my belly swelled there was no hiding it.
Sharing the news I was pregnant with family and friends, they could hardly believe it. When I revealed it was twins, their jaws hit the floor.
As I grew bigger it became difficult to walk and soon it was impossible to lift Charlie.
‘I feel like I’ve been pregnant for years!’ I joked.
Thankfully, Ben was incredibly supportive and took over all the chores.
Welcoming our boys, Jack and Wolfe, that December – 11 months after Charlie – my heart swelled with pride.
Back at home Ben and I would take turns feeding and changing nappies for all three children.
‘It’s like we’ve got triplets,’ I laughed.
The first year was the hardest. But once they started to walk and talk they became the best of friends.
Now, almost three years on, my babies have grown so much and have their own distinct personalities.
Charlie is a chatterbox and calls herself the little boss.
Though the boys look similar, Jack is a mummy’s boy while Wolfe is a cheeky troublemaker.
Following my footsteps wherever I go, they make me feel like a mother duck.
When Ben and I married in November last year, it was so special to have our kids as part of our big day.
Though they keep us on our toes, we wouldn’t have it any other way.