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GRAMMA’S BOOK OF THE MONTH CLUB

Posted on July 13, 2018. Filed under: Quadruplets, quintuplets, raising multiples, Triplets, Twins, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

It isn’t unusual nowadays for our children to move to a variety of places all over the world for work, schooling, job, army posting, excitement and a bundle of other reasons. It can be a challenge therefore to get to see any of the grandkids with regularity due to time zones and distance – thank heavens for Skype or Facetime. They allow the grandparents and grandchildren to maintain their relationship.

If you are looking for another way to keep the connection with your grandchildren current, fun and interesting, try Gramma’s, or Grampa’s, Book of the Month Club. Each month the grandparent picks an age-appropriate book for each grandchild and mails it off in the mail to them, inscribed, of course. In this way, each grandchild gets to receive a package, a new book is now on the book shelf and connections are reenforced.

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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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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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MULTIPLES IN SCHOOL: SAME OR SEPARATE CLASSROOMS?

Posted on June 15, 2018. Filed under: Quadruplets, quintuplets, raising multiples, Triplets, Twins, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

I have written an article on the pros and cons of placing multiples in the same classroom.  If you are looking for more information, please check it out on my Web Site at https://jumelle.ca/2018/06/14/multiples-in-school-2/

It is not an easy question to answer but there are ideas and tips which will help you decide what will work best for your children.

 

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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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HUMBOLDT BRONCOS, SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA 💔🇨🇦️

Posted on April 8, 2018. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Heartbreaking news from Humboldt, Saskatchewan.  It is mind boggling.  I cannot imagine the pain.

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