This week is Multiple Birth Awareness week.
Three years ago I would have been completely unaware of this week. I might have noticed that there were a few more appearances of cute twin babies on morning TV but I certainly wouldn’t have considered or had any idea about what life would really be like with multiples.
Skip forward a few weeks and I suddenly had a very good reason to find out more about Multiple births.
At our first ultrasound scan we were told by the doctor that he could see two heartbeats. This was a shock, but we took the news in our stride. The doctor however wanted us to go back for another scan in a weeks time because he wanted to check something else that he had seen. This news was a lot more worrying. What could it be? A cyst? He had told us it was nothing to worry about, but how could we not worry.
The next week was spent researching twin pregnancies and trying not to think about what the “something” could be.
When the day finally came around we already knew the difference between Mono Amniotic and Mono Chorionic. We knew all kinds of statistics regarding Twins and Twin pregnancy and we knew that a Twin pregnancy would be classed as “high risk” and even more so if the twins were sharing the same Amniotic sack.
When the doctor told us that there were in fact three heartbeats the news blew us away. After a week of worrying about what could possibly be wrong, hearing that there was a third heartbeat was fantastic news. This news was followed by the doctor explaining that this was a very high risk pregnancy and offering various statistics regarding the likeliness of problems arising.
We left the appointment with so many more questions spinning in our heads as well as the worry that this pregnancy was not going to go smoothly. All the hurdles that we had prepared ourselves for over the last week had just been raised that little bit higher, not to mention, how were we going to cope with three newborn babies??
None of this was enough to wipe the smiles off our faces…..we were having TRIPLETS!
The weeks and months that followed were an emotional roller coaster that only the select group of people who have experienced a triplet pregnancy could begin to understand.
I am eternally grateful for all the information that we managed to find via the internet and through The Multiple Birth Association ( http://www.amba.org.au) during this stressful and confusing time. This is one of the reasons that I chose to write this Blog and share our experiences with the world.
So to acknowledge Multiple Birth awareness week, here are a few things that I would like everyone to be Aware of regarding Multiple births:
1. If you see a Mum out and about with newborn multiples please be Aware that she has been completely deprived of sleep since the babies were born and may well have had to endure some time with her babies in neo-natal intensive care or a special care nursery before she could bring her babies home. If you feel the need to talk to her, please don’t bombard her with questions regarding how her babies were conceived or tell her that you’re glad its her and not you (trust me, you wouldn’t be the first person to have done this to her and it wares thin very quickly.)
If you really must talk to her, why not congratulate her on her achievements and tell her how amazingly well she is doing to manage to leave the house at this stage.
2. Parents of newborn multiples rely on the support of friends and family to keep them going through what is essentially an impossible job. I remember reading that the number of hours required to look after 3 newborns during one day exceeds 24 hours. It is no wonder that Mum has no time to cook or clean or even get dressed for that matter.
3. Mothers of multiples still only have two arms. We haven’t evolved yet to grow an extra arm, so please be aware that if one or more of our toddlers is playing up in the middle of a shopping aisle it isn’t always possible for us to pick everyone up and immediately move out of your way.
4. Toddler proofing a house is not the same as “triplet toddler proofing”. If a mother of multiples visits your house for a play date and seems to be somewhat distracted, it’s probably because she’s spotted several different ways that her little angels can use their unique team working skills to cause chaos in your beautiful home.
5. Nobody chooses to be a parent of Multiples (you would be surprised how often I’ve been asked if we were “trying” for Triplets.)
For some unknown reason it is us that were chosen to take on this incredibly difficult and incredibly rewarding task.
I can’t speak for all multi-parents in this, but I personally wouldn’t have it any other way.
Please feel free to leave me a comment, whether you are a parent of Multi’s and can relate or you have no experience at all with multiples and all this seems quite bizarre to you, I’d love to hear what you think.