Multiple Birth

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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DIONNE QUINTUPLETS’ BIRTH DESIGNATED AS NATIONALLY HISTORICAL EVENT BY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

Posted on March 28, 2018. Filed under: Making a Difference, Multiple Birth, Multiple Birth Prenatal Class DVD, Quadruplets, quintuplets, raising multiples, Triplets, Twins | Tags: , , , , , , |

I am very excited to read about this is this morning’s news feed. The Dionne Quintuplets are the only recorded MONOZYGOTIC (Identical) quintuplets in the world. Unfortunately the story takes a down turn from that point as three levels of government stepped in and took the babies from their parents and other siblings, placed them in an observation building and displayed them to the public for the first nine years of their lives. “Quintland,” as the compound was called, became a huge money maker for the area as more than five million tourists viewed them through a one-way mirror.
 
The 5 young ladies were returned to their parents aged 9 and virtually were strangers to not only their parents, but their 8 other siblings as well due to their long, imposed separation from their family. The reunion did not go well at all and in the
late 1980s, the Canadian government compensated the surviving Quints for their pain and suffering as a result of the rupture caused by their forced removal from their family home. This was not one of Canada’s finer moments.
 
Both myself (www.jumelle.ca) and Multiple Births Canada (www.multiplebirthscanada.org) have been working for several decades to ensure that multiples in Canada and beyond are not exploited, forceably or needlessly removed from their families or separated from each other for adoption. We must learn from the mistakes of the past and ensure that our errors in judgement are not carried forward.
 
My heart feels good this morning as this tragedy of circumstances of birth is somewhat rectified, acknowledged and the Dionne Family fully recognized for the very special and unique family they are.
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HOW DO I KNOW WHEN MY BABIES HAVE DONE BREASTFEEDING?

Posted on February 4, 2018. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, Multiple Birth, Quadruplets, raising multiples, Triplets, Twins, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

There are a few of ways you can tell when your babies have finished feeding.

They are less fussy, mood improvement                                                                                            Stop sucking on their hands                                                                                                        They reach a relaxed state                                                                                                              Fall of the nipple

Take a look at this very helpful short video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=0h0m1s&v=8psFNbWvSCM

 

 

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EXPECTING MULTIPLES? THEN YOU GOTTA DO THIS……….

Posted on January 14, 2018. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, Multiple Birth, Multiple Birth Prenatal Class DVD, raising multiples, simultaneous breast feeding, Triplets, Twins, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

AS SOON AS YOU KNOW YOU ARE EXPECTING TWINS OR MORE, see if your community offers any multiple-birth prenatal classes and both you and your partner SIGN UP RIGHT AWAY. Your healthcare provide should be able to refer you to any. DO NOT wait until later in your pregnancy as you never know if/when you will be placed on bedrest, making taking a class impossible. A multiple-birth pregnancy is NOT like a expecting a singleton and singleton classes are traditionally taken much later in that pregnancy. A multiple-birth prenatal class needs to be taken as early as possible so that you learn things about your pregnancy and how to act accordingly, e.g. nutrition and how much you need to be eating; signs and symptoms of premature labour, and so much more. This is not meant to scare you, but to empower you! Knowledge can be translated into power and knowing as much as possible about carrying twins, triplets or more WELL BEFORE they arrive just makes sense. If you do not know if there are any classes in your community and live in Canada 🇨🇦️, check in with Multiple Births Canada 🇨🇦️ at http://www.multiplesbirthscanada.org They have a list of many of the Support Chapters across Canada. 🇨🇦   Also check out my own Site at http://www.jumelle.ca   There is in depth FREE information on it as well.
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I am expecting Twins/Triplets/More. Now what?

Posted on January 7, 2018. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, Multiple Birth, raising multiples, simultaneous breast feeding, Triplets, Twins, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

AS SOON AS YOU KNOW you are expecting twins, triplets or more, there are some important steps to be taken.  Here goes:

-Find out if the babies are monozyotic (identical) because you need to know as soon as is possible if any of the babies have Twin–to-Twin-Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS).  EVEN WITHIN TRIPLETS, QUADRUPLETS OR MORE.  If yes, you will be under the umbrella of “High Risk” and both you and the babies will be followed very closely until birth.  Find out all you can about TTTS so that you are informed and know what questions to ask of your healthcare professionals.  My Site at http://www.jumelle.ca has an in depth article on TTTS.

-Join your local Twin and Triplet support chapter.  They will have a ton of information to share and it is nice to be with others making the same journey.  In Canada, Multiple Births Canada (MBC) has a full list of all multiple-birth support Chapters across the country.  They can be found at http://www.multiplebirthscanada.org

-Sign-up for a multiple-birth prenatal class in your community if they have one and both partners should attend.  You will get information pertinent for having twins or more.  SINGLETON PRENATAL CLASSES ARE LIMITED IN PERTINENT INFORMATION AND HAVING ONE AT A TIME IS NOT THE SAME AS HAVING TWO OR MORE AT A TIME.

-If you are considering breastfeeding your babies, sign up with a knowledgeable Lactation Consultant.  You will not be disappointed.

-Learn as much as you can ahead of time before your babies arrive so you are better prepared and receive support and resources focused on your pregnancy.

-If you are stuck at any time, ASK FOR HELP/SUPPORT.  You are not alone.  So many reliable people are here to help

-Very best wishes and enjoy your babies!!!

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WHEN TODDLERS CRY AS YOU LEAVE THEM AT DAYCARE/PRESCHOOL

Posted on October 6, 2017. Filed under: Making a Difference, Multiple Birth, raising multiples, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Sometimes little ones can feel overwhelmed as you leave them at daycare or preschool. No amount of reassurances will make them feel better and your Mommy/Daddy Guilt is off the chart as a result!

A Mom with boy/girl twins experienced this situation, but only with her son, and she called me distraught and laden with guilt at her son’s reaction. She was positive she was injuring him emotionally and he would never recover.

We knew he liked the place, the people, the toys and the songs. His sister was there and he liked that aspect too. So I suggested that she tell him at breakfast that they were going to school, but that she would give a kiss to keep until he needed it during his morning. On arrival at school, and according to our plan, she gave him a large kiss in the palm of his hand and folded his fingers around it. She shared with him again, “If you are feeling you need that kiss at any time, just put Mommy’s kiss on your cheek.”

This worked really well except two days later, the school called (laughing) saying that he would not use that hand until he had used the kiss. He was afraid to drop it. When Mom shared the story with me, we had such a laugh, also appreciating how clever he was to not wish to drop his kiss. So I suggested to Mom to tell him to put the kiss in his pocket until he needed it. Of course she would need to make sure his outfit had pockets. This way, the kiss was secure and safe.

There was no looking back and not only did the Little Fellow enjoy his school, Mom no longer had any feelings of guilt.

Try thinking outside the box when problem solving with your Littles.  Making them a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem, can soon have you all on the road to success.

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