Multiple Birth

CRAZY STATISTICS……

Posted on July 10, 2018. Filed under: Multiple Birth, raising multiples, Triplets, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

A 1983 Australian study revealed that a Mom of 6-month old triplets, with her paid/volunteer assistant, spends an average 197.5 hours/week out of 168 hours on the care of her children and home. This does not include time for her to bathe, dress, sleep, eat, relax or talk to her partner. The study does not include looking after any other children. A lot of time and effort goes into looking after the babies for whomever stays at home doing the primary care. This study is still good today, as the triplets don’t change and neither does how many hours there are in a week.

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DON’T TREAT MULTIPLES ALIKE

Posted on July 10, 2018. Filed under: Making a Difference, Multiple Birth, Quadruplets, quintuplets, raising multiples, Triplets, Twins, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Here is an interesting post from a parent of twins whose daughters do not look alike and each has her own distinct personality.  If you have been reading my Blog for any length of time, you will know that I couldn’t agree more re encouraging individuality in all of our children.  Within our sets of twins, triplets, quadruplets and more there are also individual persons.  We are doing them a disservice in not recognizing this fact.  Read on and let me know what you think.

To raise individuals we must treat them as individuals.

http://mummy2twindividuals.com/treating-twins-fairly

Why treating twins the same isn’t always fair ~

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SUPPORTING SURVIVING CO-MULTIPLES *Warning: Some readers may find this article difficult to read.

Posted on July 2, 2018. Filed under: Multiple Birth, Quadruplets, quintuplets, raising multiples, Triplets, Twins | Tags: , , , , , , |

I have been supporting and writing resources for bereaved parents, grandparents and surviving multiples for over 32 years and a few thoughts come to mind for the latter, i.e. surviving co-multiples (SC). SC, even when they lose their co-multiple in utero, at birth, shortly thereafter or in early childhood, can grieve enormously for their special womb mate(s). Survivors who have had their co-multiple for years and decades before he or she dies, find it extremely hard to go from “We” to “I.” One man stopped shaving when his MZ twin died, because he could not bear looking in the mirror. It is not uncommon for a survivor to want to die, kill themselves, and join their co-multiple.
 
I have thought long and hard about to better prepare, if it is at all possible, the SC for when the time came when they must be alone. Of course there will be difficult days, unbearable grief, fear, loneliness, emptiness, feeling incomplete and so much more. But what if parents did better at the beginning of their multiples’ lives? By better, I mean teaching and encouraging their multiples to not only enjoy their multiple relationship but also be comfortable with being alone and separated from time to time from their co-multiple? Some ideas I have in mind are quite a few “DON’Ts”:
 
-DON’T give them rhyming names, or names which begin with the same letter as this presents them as a package;
-DON’T call them “the twins” or “the triplets” which also presents them as a group and there is no individuality in these labels, nor is their gender known;
-DON’T continually dress them alike. Once again, it presents them as a group and it can impossible to recognize the individual;
-DON’T always take them out only together. Split them up from time to time for errands, groceries, doctor appointments, sleep overs at grandparents and so much more. This helps them be apart, yet they can enjoy each other’s company upon their return. Parents also get one-on-one time;
-DON’T keep doing their hair alike. Let each individual personality shine through;
-DON’T insist they only sleep together or in the same room. Give them each their own space. Room in your house may be a challenge but there are ways to “divide” a room so that each area can reflect the personality of the occupant.
-DON’T insist they be in the same classroom because they are multiples. When possible, let them develop without them always being under their co-multiple’s eye.
-DON’T dress them alike each day for school. This is not only hard on teachers having to use their names and correctly tell them apart, but it is confusing for peers too. Not everyone appreciates your children dressed alike.
-DON’T insist that each be invited to the same parties. This can cause problems for any multiple not originally invited. Allow each to branch out, have their own friends and then do something special with the one not invited.
-DON’T force them to be in the same sports or after school activities. Allow each to shine on their own merits.  Yes it means you drive to only one place, but it also can negatively effect your multiples over the long run.
 
No studies have been put in place to see if any of these ideas would help support SC get through their loss experience later in life, but I wonder if it would be worth a try to see if encouraging and supporting individuality within our multiples would help over the long run. We CANNOT get caught up at the front end of our children’s lives with items that “make parents happy (such as dressing them alike all the time or giving them rhyming names),” when at the end of their lives they will need to face their permanent separation with no tools in their toolbox to cope. There is a good chance that we may not be around to help our survivor cope with the magnitude of their loss so it stands to reason that parents need to look at outfitting their multiples from birth for the time when they will eventually have to stand alone. Based on this, can we not consider some of the above, and maybe other DON’Ts as well, in order to ensure that our survivors have the best chance possible of not choosing the idea of killing themselves in order to be with their co-multiple???
 
For more in depth information on Survivors of Multiple Births, please see my Web Site at http://www.jumelle.ca
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STROLLERS: SINGLE AND DOUBLE

Posted on June 27, 2018. Filed under: Clothing & Equipment for Twins and Triplets, Multiple Birth, Quadruplets, quintuplets, raising multiples, Triplets, Twins, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

In addition to our double stroller, we also had a single stroller per child.  This allowed both of us to simultaneously take the babies out and not have to deal with the adulation, attention and commotion the double stroller automatically attracted.  It took us a lot less time to actually get to our commitments, e.g. doctor’s appointment, groceries, etc.

A single stroller can be very useful when splitting the babies up for some on-on-one time during an errand time.  We were committed to encouraging our Ladies to also accept independence within their group and the single stroller helped us do that.  Not having to use a double stroller for a single child, made life that quite a bit easier.

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BONDING WITH BABIES IN THE NICU

Posted on June 25, 2018. Filed under: Multiple Birth, Quadruplets, quintuplets, raising multiples, Triplets, Twins, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Sometimes multiple-birth babies need to spend time in the NICU.  Their stay may last a couple of days, to weeks and if they are very premature (before 38 weeks), even months.  Many parents worry about being able to bond with their babies.  It is still possible to bond with them during this time.  Here are some ideas for your consideration.

-Try skin to skin care, also known as Kangaroo Care.  This is when you hold your undressed babies on your bare chest.  Both Moms and Dads/Partners can do this.  This calms babies down, regulates their breathing and keeps them warm.  The babies also learn to recognize your smell.

-It can still be done when they are attached to the monitors.  The staff will help get them into your arms.

-Talk, sing or hum softly to them so they can used to your voice.

-If you cannot hold them, you could still stroke their cheek, hands or legs while they are in their cot.  Don’t forget to also speak to them.  Doesn’t matter what you say, just as long as you are speaking/singing.

-Ask staff when you can take over their care, e.g. dressing them, change of diaper, maybe bathing them.  The amount you can do will increase as the babies mature.

-For times when you are not there, some parents take a T-shirt that they have worn and leave it in the cot with the baby so that the babies can smell them.

-Remember that the babies time in the NICU will come to an end and when they are home with you, the NICU experience will fade and your bonding with your babies will take on a new dimension.

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BREASTFEEDING RANT….

Posted on June 20, 2018. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, Multiple Birth, Quadruplets, quintuplets, raising multiples, simultaneous breast feeding, Triplets, Twins, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

I am surprised, shocked and annoyed at how many Moms write into a BF blog I am on declaring “I want to be as prepared as possible for BF 2.” This sentiment is great, but when your babies are due The Next Day or Within The Next Week, I find this sentiment too little too late. Not only are they turning to Moms who are strangers, even though they are or have been walking the walk, this is an imposition. As one of those stranger Moms, I am resentful that someone expecting twins hours to days from now wants me to stop what I am doing and share hints and tips so that their BF journey can be the best it can be. What about doing your homework, research or taking a BF course in your own community? How about reading a great book (like Mothering Multiples) or joining the local La Leche League group and attending their meetings? How about connecting with your local Twin & Triplet Support Group and asking some questions?
 
On thing is for sure, in the time left before you deliver, you will not be taught about all the ins and outs of BF two (or three). There is mastitis, blocked ducts, slacker boob, tongue and/or lip ties, cluster feeding, nipple shields, pumping (don’t get me started on the details of pumping….), support pillows, signs when they are hungry, signs when they are full, and the list goes on.
 
I have no objection whatsoever to specific questions but when you are asking me to tell you everything from right out the gate, I move on, but not before I wonder about the fact that you are not prepared in spite of being ready to deliver. Is this how you wrote any of your school, collage or university exams? As the new parents, it is your responsibility to “be prepared as possible for breastfeeding 2” and not my responsibility to tell you the facts in a few strokes on Facebook. I will gladly fill in blanks, but where is your responsibility in all this? And you are going to be in charge of babies. Scary!
 
What do you think? Or I have scared you off with my rant?? Best wishes.
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On Fatherhood……

Posted on June 17, 2018. Filed under: Multiple Birth, Quadruplets, quintuplets, raising multiples, Triplets, Twins, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

How becoming a father taught me how to be a son

In that empty operating room, I came to understand that nothing in my daughter’s life would impact her more than the quality of my love

Published June 17, 2018, The Globe and Mail

Mark Sakamoto is the author of Forgiveness, which won CBC’s Canada Reads.

Nearing the end of his life, the American poet Hayden Carruth left us a wondrous breadcrumb when he penned, in his poem Testament, that “Now/ I am almost entirely love.”

I remember reading those six words, strung together like a dare. They seemed a million miles away. A foreign country. A Martian land.

What would it feel like to be almost entirely love? How could I possibly reach that destination with all that life demanded? It seemed a fool’s errand.

I became obsessed with this task, but for the longest time, I failed miserably. I was so very far away from almost entirely love. I was so very far away from my mom. I would go months without thinking of her. I wish I were taking creative licence, but this is a statement of fact. It is so very clear to me now, but her absence created an emotional vacuum within me.

When my mother was 51 years old, she drank herself to death in a windowless, derelict basement apartment in Medicine Hat, Alta. I would do anything to be able to delete that sentence from reality. Sixteen years on, I can still hardly write it. I hate that sentence so much. I hate what it did to my family. I hate what it did to me.

Losing my mother the way I did left me with an open wound. It is always on me. You forget it, or try to ignore it, for a time, but then you sip a cup of Scottish Breakfast tea with a dash of full cream and it stings. You walk by a record store and catch a bar or two of Brothers in Arms and you break down right there on the corner. The pain is so bad, you pack everything away. All the light, too. And therein lies the heartache: You lose all the light. And my mother had so much light. Not really a maternal, soft light; more like a match being struck. In my hometown, she was known as the champion of the underdog, and this was a town full of underdogs. She knew and loved them all. And they her.

When Diane MacLean was healthy, she was almost entirely love. Although it was a tough love. It was a love that demanded her two sons be the best that they could be. She was part mommy, part drill sergeant. When her illness invaded, it must have been an overwhelming assault to defeat her mighty heart. I have never known why she was unable to offer herself the same light, the same tough love, that she so freely gave those around her. To a person, those around her basked in it.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but after my mom died, I packed her memories up and stashed them away with the few remaining items in her possession. I had no empathy for her plight. I felt as though I used it all up after those years of neglect. Thinking of the happy always invited an onslaught of the hurt. And I was so damned tired of hurting. Once the funeral was over, I left her without saying goodbye. I don’t think it even dawned on me to look back.

Without a mother’s watchful gaze, it is hard to gauge how you’re doing. You have to watch yourself. That can be tricky. You lie to yourself. You cheat. You let yourself off the hook. You turn a blind eye from the feelings you wish you didn’t have. You ignore the words you should not have uttered. You bury the pain you feel. It is so difficult to unearth all that. But, you can’t get anywhere in the dark.

The first cracks of light were offered to me at St. Joseph’s Hospital in the west end of Toronto. My wife, Jade, just gave birth to our first daughter, Miya Mitsue Sakamoto.

Miya was breach, so Jade opted for a scheduled cesarean delivery. Once it was over, the room quickly emptied. Jade was wheeled off to post-op by the nurses while the surgeons scrubbed out, leaving me with my swaddled newborn and my open wound. I was crying, but they weren’t tears of joy. I was, in large part, sad. Sad that my mother was not there to witness, and hold, and love, this newborn child. God, she would have loved her. Miya would have been my mother’s whole world. I know that fact fully. I torture myself wondering if it might have been enough to save her if she could only have held on long enough.

Through my tears in that operating room, I had one singular thought: For the next short while, my heart is this little girl’s emotional home.

It clearly needed some cleaning out.

In that empty operating room, I came to understand that nothing in my daughter’s life would impact her more than the quality of her father’s love. I had never before felt such certainty. I had never before felt such weight. That realization anchored and directed me.

I needed to be almost entirely love. For her.

So I sat with my grief. I meditated on it and in it. Like a bathtub filled with scalding water, it was terribly uncomfortable. It hurt. It made me sweat. So many times, I wanted to get out. But, slowly, slowly, the bath cooled. It began to feel good. I had never thought about working on love. I always thought of it like a bolt of lightning. A force unto itself. Thinking of love as a practice utterly changed my life. I think it changed the trajectory of Miya’s, too.

I wish you could meet her. She is such a light. Miya is the kind of kid who, at bedtime, says “I love my family” just in case anything should happen while she’s asleep. At eight years of age, Miya is already almost entirely love. I hope someday I can catch up to her.

It turns out, I needed that little being more than I ever could have imagined. Her love taught me that there is only here and now. Becoming a father taught me how to love my mom again. It took me on a journey that led me to remembering and honouring my mother for all that she was.

Opening myself up to my mom again – letting her back in to my life after so many vacant years – allowed her into Miya’s journey as well. Miya will grow up knowing that the only thing that alcoholism could not rob her grandmother of was the love and devotion she had for her two sons. She will grow up knowing that her Grandma Diane was a community activist, someone who left her town better off for her being there. Miya will know that she, too, could do the same.

As it turns out, I needed to become a father to remember how to be a son. What a strange twist in life. And I am grateful that on this Father’s Day, I know in my heart I am slowly inching closer toward being almost entirely love.

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TANDEM BREASTFEEDING TWO BABIES BY YOURSELF

Posted on June 10, 2018. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, Jumelle Twin Tracking App, Multiple Birth, Quadruplets, quintuplets, raising multiples, simultaneous breast feeding, Triplets, Twins, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

 

If you are alone and wondering how to arrange and BF two babies by yourself, this youtube video walks you through getting started and on and off, all by yourself! Remember that it all takes practice.

How To Tandem Breastfeed Twins https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_wPsO8o9G4s

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WEIGHTY SUBJECT: DEALING WITH OTHERS’ PERCEPTIONS

Posted on May 18, 2018. Filed under: Making a Difference, Multiple Birth, Quadruplets, quintuplets, raising multiples, Triplets, Twins | Tags: , , , , , |

I am following a lead on twin multiples and the recent discussion has been around when there is a visual difference between the babies, usually based on weight, and how family, friends and strangers freely comment. With girls with a 3-5 lbs. weight difference, comments have included referring to the heavier as “chunky, huge, tubby, over weight, ohh look at that big one!” With boy/girl twins, a Mom shared that because the boy was the heavier, a stranger said to her, “Poor little thing. It is a good thing she has her brother to take care of her.” If there had not been another baby beside them, there would probably be no comment. Unfortunately, it is the comparison of the two, that invites negative observations and labels.
 
All of the Moms have expressed their frustration, anger and hurt and were looking for ways to answer such comments.
 
Some parents feel that correcting comments from family each time is the way to reenforce with their babies that each is acceptable and special in their own right. It is felt that this will balance what they will hear from others, i.e. the rest of the world.
 
When there are two, three or four babies involved, yes there will be comparisons. It can’t be helped. Even parents have a hard time not comparing. However, doing something in your head is very different from using words to point out differences words can really hurt. People don’t mean to be mean, but they can be thoughtless and misunderstand how such judgments can adversely affect the children over time.
 
I think it is important to let EVERYONE know that what they are saying is painful not only to the parent(s), but also to the babies’ themselves. Hoping that positive feedback from Mom and Dad will completely counteract what they hear from others seems to me to be similar to taking a book and only reading the left hand page and ignoring the right hand page. We will not get the whole story, nor will we understand the plot or how the story moves forward. It is important for parents to retrain the public EACH AND EVERY TIME anyone offers a negative perspective on your children.
Only in this way will children learn that not only was what they heard inappropriate, their parents reenforced the fact to the source that their comments were inappropriate.
 
A suggested response to size differences might be: “That is not the way we think. Both babies are healthy and happy,” or
“Our daughter is strong (fierce) and this attribute will hold her in good stead.” The only way society is going to be forced into breaking the stereo typing of weight and ability, especially for females, is to be called out on their outdated and ill-informed perspectives each and every time. Changes begin at the beginning and when we stand up against old stereo typical attitudes and bring them to the speakers’ attention, then we can hope things will change for the future.
 
HOW DO YOU HANDLE NEGATIVE FEEDBACK WHEN OTHERS SPEAK OF YOUR CHILDREN?
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COLD AND ALLERGY REMEDIES COMPATIBLE WITH BREASTFEEDING

Posted on April 21, 2018. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, Multiple Birth, Quadruplets, quintuplets, Triplets, Twins | Tags: , , , , , , |

**If you are concerned about any aspect of your personal breastfeeding situation, consult with your physician, babies’ doctor and/or certified lactation consultant.

Cold and allergy season is upon us (again).  If you wish to know which remedy is compatible with breastfeeding and will not impact your supply, check out this link to Kelly Mom Breastfeeding.

https://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/meds/cold-remedy/

 

 

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