Dear Bec Judd: What to expect when you go from two to four

Elyce and Pat with their young boys - including baby twins.
Elyce and Pat with their young boys - including baby twins.  Photo: Supplied

"OMGEEEEEE- freakin TWINS are on the way," speech pathologist, blogger and television presenter Rebecca Judd announced in an Instagram post on Monday

Already mum to Oscar, 4, and Billie, 2, Judd and her husband, former AFL player Chris, are expecting twins in October.

"I get heart palpitations and sweats telling people as I'm still in shock but also giddy with excitement," Judd told her 445,000 followers.

Sydney mum Elyce O'Connell knows exactly how the expectant mum is feeling – and, more importantly, what the couple are in for, come October.

Like Rebecca and Chris, Elyce, 31, and her husband Pat, had a four-year-old and a two-year-old (both boys) when they received the news they were expecting twin sons.

Yep, that's four boys under four.

"When we found out we'd be doubling our munchkins literally overnight, a mixture of shocked, overwhelmed and disbelieving swear words entered my mind," she says.  And the "buts" came soon afterwards: "But what about our house? But what about our car? But what about our plan?"

With a preschooler and a toddler in tow, Elyce was fortunate to experience a pregnancy with no complications and only minimal morning sickness. "I also got a kick out of seeing people's eyes widen when I told them I was expecting twins, all while my two big boys ran around my feet trying to pull each other's pants down," she says.

Elyce says that since Ben and Samson joined the family in December, one of the biggest shocks has been the reactions she's received from strangers: everything from "better you than me" to "that's what you get for trying for a girl – two boys!"

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"I would hate to think that my big boys hear anything but how lucky they are to be one of four very loved sons," Elyce says of the hurtful comments.

When it comes to her family and friends however, the mum of four notes that a "beautiful surprise" has been the outpouring of support she's been given."You might feel like it's all on you, but truly, people go above and beyond to help and it is so very much appreciated."

So what can the Judds look forward to in a typical day with four under four? Elyce explains that she starts her mornings hoping all her little ones don't wake up at the same time demanding breakfast. "Then it's an endless flurry of washing (so much washing!), nappy-changing, nap-pleading, food-making and trying to remember the last place I saw the baby wipes while hiding in the cupboard eating chocolate," she says.

Along with the aforementioned chocolate, Elyce adds that in order to cope she's had to increase her patience and her tolerance for mess. "My house is always a disaster," she says. "Just yesterday, there was a leaf blower in our lounge room and I have no idea how it got there."

And then there's her husband Pat, who Elyce describes as a superstar. "He's a hands-on dad who doesn't flinch, even when I've accidentally handed him a dirty nappy inside out … yep, that's happened," she laughs. 

Elyce admits that their relationship has changed in lots of ways but through it all they have each other's backs. "Here's to partners who make us laugh when we probably should be crying!" she says.

And what can Judd's eldest two, Oscar and Billie, expect when the twins arrive? Elyce says her own "big boys", Austin and Toby, are still adjusting. "We all are," she admits. "Most days I feel like I just don't have enough hands."

On the plus side though, as a result of being busy with the twins, Elyce has watched the bond between the older brothers strengthen.  

"They look to each other when I'm caught up," she says. "Even if that's in the form of pretending to be dodgem cars by running at one another from opposite sides of the room."

What advice would she offer the Judds as they prepare to double their brood later this year? Elyce says that only four months in, she feels under-qualified to offer advice – especially as she's still "winging it every single day."

"If I had to pick something, though, I'd say to take every offer of help you can get.  It's okay to throw away anything you thought would work and just do whatever gets you through … and get reverse sensors for the mini van!"

When she's feeling overwhelmed by it all, Elyce reminds herself that her boys won't be little forever, and this stage, when the demands are endless, won't last either. "For now, my love is all these four little people need. That's just the best feeling ever."

In a post to her personal Facebook page when the twins were a month old, Elyce beautifully captured the chaos and joy of her family's new life.

"One month of adjusting, of getting used to the new us. Of having the room in my heart, but not enough hands. Of breastfeeding around the clock, but wanting to give it up every single day. Of wanting space, but needing help. It's been harder in some ways yet easier in others. These two babies of ours sure have rocked our world," she wrote.

And yet, despite the chaos, Elyce is full of gratitude, too. "How lucky I am to experience all the firsts, for the last time, twice," she says.