If there had been a book like Multiples Illuminated when I was pregnant with twins or caring for two infants, I would have eaten that up like a salted caramel chocolate bar. When you’re a twin parent, connection with other twin parents and the reassurance that you’re not alone is one of the most valuable things to discover.
When I found out I was pregnant with twins in the fall of 2007, one of the first people we told was our realtor, not because we would surely be needing a larger house soon, but because she was pregnant with twins herself, just a couple of months ahead of me.
“You HAVE to join the local moms of multiples club,” she insisted, implying that mine and my babies’ lives depended on admittance to this sacred organization.
She wasn’t wrong.
I remained in that group until my twins were five. I let my membership lapse when I realized I hadn’t logged on to the forum for months. Thanks to my growing girls, I didn’t feel the need to ask many questions, and I didn’t have much input for new moms with babies anymore. And thanks to the growth of blogging and social media, I was finding new ways to connect with twin parents.
Still, the information and friendships I made through that club were invaluable, and I’m still connected to many of them to this day.
You see, when you’re a parent of multiples, the only people who can even have an inkling of an idea as to what you’re going through are other parents of multiples. Thanks to that group, I met new friends. I got sleep advice. I received commiseration after leaving library story time in tears. And probably most importantly, I received support – reassurance that my preterm delivery wasn’t my fault, breastfeeding encouragement, and the coveted “me too” that we all yearn for when making emotional connections.
And I got oodles of book recommendations.
Without certain informational books, I wouldn’t have known what to expect logistically. They helped me physically prepare for twins ( or at least gave me the impression I was preparing, because there really is no way to prepare to bring home multiple infants!) and even helped me realize that I was developing preeclampsia, which was soon confirmed by my doctor, and I was put on strict bed rest.
But what I lacked was a collection of personal stories, something that would tell me what it was really like to carry, deliver, and raise twins, a collection of vastly different experiences that I could relate to, or even those that I could not.
Although I am well beyond what I call the “grunt years” of raising twins, I can tell you that at some point during almost each essay in Multiples Illuminated, I found myself saying “ME TOO.”
I commiserated with the fatigue and the sometimes fear of the multiples pregnancy.
My heart ached at the descriptions of tiny preemies and terrifying NICU experiences, some that were so similar to ours, and some that were wildly different.
And I’m not sorry to say I laughed at the stories of twin toddler life, because BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, NOT SORRY TO SEE IT GO. And some day, those parents will laugh about it too, if they aren’t already.
Multiples Illuminated is the brain child of writers Megan Woolsey and Alison Lee. Find out more at MultiplesIlluminated.com.
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