Fareham supermum welcomes third set of twins into the family 30 years on

In 1990, Amanda Johnson, now 56, appeared on the front page of The News, she had given birth to her second set of twin boys in the space of just over two years.

Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 11:07 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 11:07 am
Amanda Johnson is celebrating the birth of her grandchildren, twins Dusty Rose and Kiki Mae Evans, following the birth of two sets of her own twins in the 80's and 90's. Proud Mum, Charlotte Evans shares the twins with Grandad Peter Cook and Great Grandad Peter Cook.

And 31 years later Amanda is welcoming a third set of twins into her family.

Her son Danny and wife Charlotte’s identical twin girls were born seven weeks prematurely, following a caesarean and what became a fairly ‘traumatic’ birth on October 15.

‘They got the twins out really quickly, took them up and then Charlotte haemorrhaged and they nearly lost her,’ says Amanda.

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Amanda with her parents, Peter and Heather, Twins Lee and Nathan the new arrivals, Danny and Michael in 1990.

Fortunately, mother and babies are recovering well and Amanda praises the ‘amazing care’ they received at the special care baby unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital at Cosham.

‘Danny and Charlotte were quite nervous, of course they were. These babies were tiny, they weighed about four pounds and they worried about how to hold them,’ Amanda says.

‘The nurses took time out to show them how and what to do, you don’t get that everywhere,’ she adds.

Having had four children under the age of two when she was just 25, Amanda has plenty of wisdom of her own to pass on to her son and daughter-in-law.

Amanda Johnson's sons Lee, Nathan, Michael and Danny Evans.

‘It was when I had them overnight, so that they could get a night’s sleep, it brought it all home to me,’ Amanda says.

For some, the notion of being outnumbered four to one, would have been the stuff of nightmares, but Amanda ‘loved every minute’ of being a mum and watching her boys grow together, and she is now just as excited to be a grandma to the next generation of twins in the family.

‘I wouldn’t have done it any differently, I was blessed with those children and now we’ve got two more, it’s amazing.’

‘It’s a different type of love, I’m not responsible for them because they’re not mine, but it’s lovely, I feel like I’m living my best life,’ Amanda adds.

She says she owes a lot to the support system she had when having her own twins, her parents lived and worked in Portsmouth and her mum would visit everyday to offer a helping hand with the babies.

‘It’s when they’re teething, all that side of things, and one’s crying and you think ‘oh and now I’ve got to make sure the other one’s all right, oh and now that one’s crying,’ Amanda laughs.

‘It can be quite stressful but that’s when your support network comes in, you do need those people to help you,’ she adds.

Amanda wants to be able to offer the same support she was lucky to receive, to Charlotte and Danny now that it’s their turn.

‘Me and my partner have done a few nights for Danny and Charlotte where we’ve just gone on a Friday night, after we’ve finished work, and just done the middle of the night feeds,’ she says.

‘It’s just having that time to have a good night’s sleep, it refreshes you for the week.’

While each set of twins share the same genes and have family in common, a distinct generation gap leaves Danny and Charlotte raising their twin girls in a noticeably changed environment to that of Amanda’s.

‘Everything’s completely different to what it was when I had mine all those years ago,’ Amanda says.

Having spent time with the new twins, she notices the differences in technology and attitudes to those of when she had her own twins in 1988 and then again in 1990, to those raising twins in 2021.

‘You were allowed to make your bottles up then, now you’re not allowed to do that you’ve got to make them as you go, which is obviously quite hard work,’ says Amanda.

Despite some negatives, she notes that many things have progressed since her own era, and have, to some extent, have simplified the experience of having twins.

‘There’s so many new things out now, when I was on my own and feeding them I used to just put the sofa cushions up, and sit them up against the cushions holding the two bottles.’

‘Now, Charlotte’s got this cushion designed for twins where you just slot the baby in the cut outs’, she adds.

It is small details such as these that Amanda notices and is able to compare, having been in her daughter-in-law’s shoes twice before.

‘When I had the second set, I didn’t feel so nervous because I had already done it hadn’t I,’ Amanda says.

Not only did Amanda have four young boys, all of her births took place in May.

Now she can reflect on all the financial pressures four birthdays in one month would bring.

‘I did used to do them joint parties, so that I saved money on them,’ she says.

‘But now I look back and think, how did I do it?

‘How did I buy them all those presents, but you just do don’t you?

‘You just get on with it,’ adds Amanda.

Despite recognising that it was a struggle at times, Amanda’s wouldn’t take back a minute of her perfectly chaotic household and she wishes the same for her son Danny and his wife Charlotte.

‘When you’ve got two and one’s crying and the other one wants you, it can be really hard work, but really rewarding at the same time,’ Amanda says.

‘When Danny and Michael weren’t babies any more, and they were all sort of toddling around it was quite nice because you could play a game with them or sit on the floor and all do the same thing,’ Amanda says.

Being close in age all four twins were, and have remained close to each other over the years and while Lee lives in Bristol, he visits regularly and the rest of the family are local to their mum.

‘They’re all on WhatsApp groups together, chatting regularly, it’s lovely,’ Amanda adds.

Amanda points out the positives she experienced by having two that others, who only have one at a time, may not understand or get to enjoy.

‘I’ve only ever had two and I loved it,’ she says.

‘When you’ve just got one, they’ve got to occupy themselves or you’ve got to do it.

‘But where I always had two or more, they kept each other company,’ Amanda says.

‘If they were playing, they’d play together.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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