STARING at two tiny heartbeats on the screen, Tamsin Cook was dumbstruck.
Only four months had passed since she met her boyfriend Luke Hollis on Tinder . . . and now she was pregnant with twins.
“It was a big enough shock to find out I was pregnant so soon,” says Tamsin, 34.
“To be told it was twins sent me reeling.”
Tamsin and Luke, 34, an engineer, matched on Tinder in April 2018, and met for a drink a few days later.
“I’d been single for a couple of years at this point,” explains Tamsin, who works in a care home. “I’d come out of a four-year relationship, aged 30, and I was hoping to meet The One.
“I liked Luke straight away. He was down-to-earth and chatty, and we got on like a house on fire. We went for a few more dates, and then became a couple.
“It was still pretty casual at that stage — trips to the cinema, going out for dinner . . . we’d agreed that we wouldn’t date anyone else, but we hadn’t talked about any long-term plans.”
But then Tamsin, from High Wycombe, Bucks, missed her period.
“I didn’t think that I could be pregnant, we had used condoms, but I did a pregnancy test anyway,” she says.
“I couldn’t believe it was positive — I must have conceived a few weeks after we matched on Tinder.
“I had always wanted kids, but this wasn’t the ideal situation. Luke and I barely knew each other.
“Anxiously I broke the news, and he didn’t say anything for ages as he was so stunned.
We talked about it, and decided to carry on with the pregnancy. Family and friends were shocked but supportive.”
But on September 7, 2018, when she was 11 weeks pregnant, Tamsin began to bleed.
Terrified, she went straight to hospital, where the scan revealed everything was fine — and she was having twins.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing on the screen,” she says.
“It was the most amazing sight. We had no idea where they had come from — there were no twins in either of our families.
Our relationship was only beginning — would it crumble under the pressure?
“Once it sank in, we didn’t have any second thoughts about carrying on with my pregnancy — even though it was a lot to take on at such an early stage in our relationship.”
Luckily, the rest of Tamsin’s pregnancy went smoothly. But there weren’t any date nights or romantic holidays for the pair.
“We couldn’t go away together, or go to festivals and out partying,” she says.
“Instead, it was all swollen ankles and buying a cot. We were both right in at the deep end.
“I did worry that it would be too much for us. Our relationship was only beginning — would it crumble under the pressure?”
When she was seven months pregnant, they moved in together — but it wasn’t all plain sailing.
“We had loads of rows. My pregnancy hormones were all over the place. I would shout at him that it was me who was having to give up my body and my life to have these babies,” Tamsin says.
“Luke would leave his clothes all over the floor, which drove me to distraction as I was used to living on my own.
“We didn’t really know each other very well and suddenly we were in the middle of this huge thing.
“But he also did sweet things. for me, like arranging the pillows so he would make sure I was comfortable in bed.”
At 38 weeks’ pregnant on February 27, last year, doctors induced Tamsin, and she gave birth on March 2 to Thomasina, 6lb 4oz, and Isaac, 6lb 1oz.
“I was in labour for four days,” says Tamsin. “Luke was with me the whole time. It was long and painful, it was very emotional when the babies finally arrived.
“Luke couldn’t speak, he was so choked up with emotion.”
Back at home, Tamsin and Luke settled into a routine of constant nappy changes and sleep deprivation.
“Those early weeks were such a blur,” she said. “I was so tired, and we did snap at each other sometimes.
“I’d feel resentful as he’d go off to work each day, and I was at home looking after our babies. But we managed to muddle through.”
Now, life for Tamsin and Luke is less stressful — but no less hectic, especially as Britain went into lockdown.
Tamsin says: “The kids were a year old when lockdown happened and luckily they had managed to celebrate their first birthday with family just before.
“It was interesting for us, but to be honest life didn’t really change much as we both continued to work.
“It’s been lockdown syndrome more for the kids than us, as we couldn’t take them places.
“Mine and Luke’s relationship I think has been tiring. We have had our ups and downs but that is what everyone was going through anyway.
It’s definitely been a crazy rollercoaster, but you just have to deal with it
“I am sure a lot of people are saying the same thing — being stuck in with somebody is never a great option.
“Especially with two terror-tantrum toddlers, but Luke is a very hands-on dad.
“It’s been tough, you hit the brink and then you come back from it and you have to keep trying — because if you don’t you might as well give up.
“It’s definitely been a crazy rollercoaster, but you just have to deal with it.
“The children are part of us now, it’s hard work, but a slow process that we can appreciate.
“We may have missed out on dating and getting to know each other as a couple first, but we’ve been through so much together in such a short space of time, it’s made us stronger.
“Occasionally he’ll mention something he did as a child, and it’ll hit me that there’s so much I still don’t know about him, but in other ways I feel like I’ve known him for ever.”
As for date nights, they’re still out of the question at the moment as Tamsin works three evenings a week and is still breastfeeding.
“We don’t feel resentful though,” says Tamsin.
“When Thomasina and Isaac are a bit older, we’ll have all the time in the world for romantic dinners and weekends away.
“In a way, it’s like we’re doing things in reverse.
“We’re not planning any more kids just yet, though.
“Luke has asked if we can have a much quieter year this year.
“Our whirlwind relationship hasn’t always been easy, but I think it was meant to be.
“Even though it was unconventional, we wouldn’t change it for anything.”
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