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'I carried Joshua and Cian along the way': Sharon shares the emotional story behind this family day out

‘It’s by far my fondest and strongest memory of the entire summer.’
Nov 26th 2019, 5:05 PM 4,596 0

EACH WEEK, A different Irish parent chats us through a family photo from Instagram and explains what was really going on outside the frame – from tantrums to toilet disasters.

Fancy taking part? Email amy@thejournal.ie with a few lines about yourself and your kids for a chance to feature.

3 (1) Source: Sharon Kelly

This week, Sharon Kelly (@doubletroubletwiceover) chatted us through a photo of her two sets of twin boys on a day out during the summer. 

Tell us a bit about this photo. What inspired you to take it?

This photo was taken at the Caves of Kesh in Sligo. We embarked on many a mommy-and-sons day out over the school holidays, but bringing four boys on this adventure was going to be a huge challenge. I had told them a teeny white lie that some dinosaurs might be at the top, possibly even living in the caves, to spark their interest. It worked a treat, but they would be dismally disappointed the next day only to find out that their beloved dinosaurs were away on holidays.

It was a slow process for us to reach the top as, in parts, I had to carry each child separately up/down some inclines/declines. When we arrived, we found a nice place to relax and enjoy our picnic. We happily watched the world, and I smiled to myself listening to the lads discuss the various cloud shapes, debate over who had the biggest apple, who had the squarest sandwich and on and on! 

Irrespective of a meltdown here and there, it was a lovely trek with beautiful scenery and it honestly was a lovely day. This by far is my fondest and strongest memory of the entire summer.

What’s one thing that’s going on in this photo that you wouldn’t know from looking at it?

I share endless pictures on social media, and usually post a funny story behind each one. These boys, of course I’m biased, are just adorable, smart and really sweet. These wonderful boys are nothing short of miracles: they’re our eighth and ninth IVF attempts, all preemies born at 29 and 33 weeks.

Our eldest lads Joshua and Cian have mild cerebral palsy affecting one leg each. They know their limitations, their muscles can be weak, stiff and tight, impairing their balance and co-ordination. They also fatigue easily, hence why I had to carry them in parts. Their strength and stamina is to be admired.

We suffered six failed IVF cycles and one early miscarriage which knocked us for six. We longed for one child to lavish our affections on and prayed, persevered, stayed positive and never gave up hope, despite countless tears. I personally recall seeing newborns in pushchairs and welling up. I was happy every time I heard a pregnancy announcement, however I was constantly reminded of our very own heartache.

We were fortunate to have good jobs with steady incomes to afford the horrendous IVF-related expenses, but not everyone can meet the demanding costs, which is terribly sad. Looking back now, I am immensely proud of our long and difficult journey towards parenthood, it made us stronger. Here we are now: we’ve got our much deserved lotto wins and finally got our happy ever after.

Did it take many attempts to get the right shot?

To be honest, I just kept snapping away. The lads are well aware of the camera and usually don’t mind being photographed. 

More: ‘She’s our ray of sunshine through the saddest times’: Mum Jamie shares the emotional story behind this snap

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Amy Mulvaney

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