Having a baby changes your life. Having two at the same time – well…
Mum of twins, Pharro Jurgens gives us a inside scoop on the first year of being a working mama of (unexpected) twins.
∇ WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?
I am a creative representative and director of Supernova Creative Management. Basically I represent a pool of extremely talented photographers, stylists and hair and make-up artists based in Cape Town (and working worldwide). It’s definitely not a nine to five job and more like 24/7 365 you never stop kind of job.
∇ TELL US ABOUT YOUR BABIES.
Morgan Cassidy Jurgens is my little model, who loves the camera and her daddy and Blake Connor Jurgens is my gentle soul, who loves to chill and give me cuddles. They turned one in November.
∇ WAS YOUR FIRST REACTION WHEN YOU HEARD THAT YOU WERE EXPECTING TWINS?
Well since we weren’t trying to fall pregnant we couldn’t help but laugh when the doctor said twins! It was like we were stressed out enough at the thought of being parents but then finding out we were going to be parents to two kids at once was like… okay so where’s the camera?!
∇ DO YOU HAVE TWINS IN THE FAMILY?
Not at all! Neither of us do so this is also why it was a complete shock. We hadn’t ever discussed the possibility of twins!
∇ WAS YOUR PREGNANCY CHALLENGING?
My pregnancy was extremely challenging! Not only was I not ready for that insane morning sickness (that should be renamed the all day every second sickness) but I am also a type 1 diabetic so I experienced black outs a lot in my first trimester. I had experiences where my business partner found me on the office floor and I had no clue how I got there or if I fell on my stomach! I also had a black out at home and broke my toe whilst out but have no clue what or how I did it. I was also extremely exhausted and being a type A personality hated feeling so helpless and not in control. My second trimester was by far the best! I had more energy and the nausea disappeared as I hit 12 weeks. I used that trimester to my advantage and worked on the baby room with the help of my extremely resourceful father. The third trimester I was carrying around what felt like bricks – the back pain and swelling was extremely uncomfortable and by 30 weeks my doctor put me on bed rest. Of course I couldn’t stay in bed but set up my own office at home and worked from there until I was 36 weeks and five days when the babies decided it was time they meet the world.
∇ IS YOUR HUSBAND A HANDS-ON DAD?
He is totally hands on everything! An amazing husband to me who even cooks for me every night, as well as an incredible dad to our twins. There isn’t one thing he doesn’t know how to do – from changing nappies to making bottles and sterilizing. I can confidently work late and know that if he is there with them they are fine and happy. He isn’t just an incredible dad to our twins – he also still loves our four legged kids just as much (if not more) than before we had the babies. We have two chihuahuas too, Mia and Cody.
∇ HOW MUCH DIFFERENT WOULD YOU SAY THE EXPERIENCE WAS COMPARED TO SAY, EXPECTING ONLY ONE BABY?
I think about it often! At the moment both my babies are trying to walk so they constantly want you to hold their hands and walk around with them. They both want you at once and the one ends up crying if you don’t walk him or her so you need your husband to take the other. Actually – there isn’t any time that you don’t need your husband. Twins definitely strengthened my marriage because of that. Having him by my side through everything, learning everything with me and making the mistakes with me has meant everything to me and I know without a shadow of a doubt I would never have coped through the first two months without his amazing support. It’s like we went to war together and came out the other side – unscaved and so much more in love.
∇ YOU HAVE A BOY AND A GIRL – WHAT TO YOU DO TO ENHANCE THEIR DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES AND NEEDS.
Their personalities are so different I honestly don’t think we do anything to enhance it, they are both very happy children. Blake is a lot more chilled than Morgan and I don’t force him to walk and move as much as her. I believe he has his own pace and knows that he will be up and running when he is ready. I guess I just let them be and hope our patience, discipline and love for them is enough for them to grow into the awesome people I hope they will be.
∇ TIME TO SLICE US A TRUTH SANDWICH: WHAT IS THE ONE THING NEW MOTHERS DON’T ADMIT TO EACH OTHER?
There are loads of things new mothers don’t admit! The truth is: the first six weeks is no smiles, sunshines and roses. To me it was like a pitch black tunnel that made me wish I did have post natal depression because surely that was something that was fixable with a few tablets. It was hard – the endless crying was like nails on a chalkboard and the sleep deprivation was extremely tough as I loved to sleep. I’m sure all new moms regret their decision to have children … even if it’s only for one second! You will cry, you will need support, you would do anything for one hour solid of sleep BUT the one thing they all say and it is so true – I remember SCREAMING at my mother ‘When! WHEN!’ when she said this to me… ’It does get better, there is light at the end of that tunnel’. I asked my gynae: “How on earth do women decide to have a second after experiencing a newborn” and his answer “Women forget”. We forget all the cries and sleepless nights and just see those smiling happy faces that love you unconditionally and yip there you go, lets go for round two! But just so we clear, there will be no round two here. I got round one and two at one time and this shop is closed!
∇ DID YOU EVER FEEL COMPLETELY OVERWHELMED? WHAT WAS YOUR METHOD TO RECHARGE AND GET BACK ON TRACK?
To be honest I didn’t really have a method – you do need to walk away sometimes, when it gets too much, although in my situation walking away and handing a baby to my husband wasn’t an option as he already had a baby. I think I did focus on that light at the end of the tunnel and I kept telling myself it would get better and that I chose this so suck it up and deal. So I never really re-charged. I just pushed forward and loved them as much as I could regardless of how much I felt like I was dying inside.
∇ HOW DOES KIDS AFFECT YOUR WORK SCHEDULE AND OVERALL LIFE?
I now get to work earlier because my babies wake me up earlier and even though I have to leave the office by 6pm, I work from home once the 6-8pm feeding, playtime, bathing, dressing, bed routine is done and I feel a lot more productive because as I sit late and work I have a purpose for working so hard. I want them to go to the best schools and I want to spoil them, so if I am honest they have really brought some positive changes to my life. Sure I don’t party as much anymore or see my friends as often but I do think this is part of being a parent and when my husband and I do get a baby sitter for the night and we go out, we enjoy ourselves and make sure we make the best of each others company and those around us. The babies give us a new found respect for all we have and a drive to always want more and better for them and each other.
∇ WHAT MAKES IT ALL WORTH IT?
Their giggles! Wow, as I typed that I felt tears well up in my eyes, but that’s it: their happiness be it a giggle or a smile is my EVERYTHING!
⊕ Favourite celeb baby name:
⊕ Favourite place to eat with babies:
Caffe Magnifico in Canal Walk. The staff is always so helpful and sweet with the babies.
⊕ Baby item you could not survive without in your first year:
The mammaroo – it was something I did my homework on! It is an electric rocker with white noise like running water or forests and you can plug into your ipod or iphone if you want them to listen to anything else. It rocked my twins to sleep often and was a lifesaver when alone with them!
All Photographs by Caroline McClelland excluding image of Pharro and the twins.