The month of April brings a lot of awarenesses to light:
- Autism Awareness Month
- Confederate History Month
- Financial Literacy Month
- Jazz Appreciation Month
- Mathematics Awareness Month
- National Child Abuse Prevention Month
- National Poetry Month
- National Volunteer Month
- Sexual Assault Awareness Month
And of course, Multiple Birth Awareness!
I would never have known this if I didn’t just have twins, because there is not a lot about it out there but it is an important topic mostly for the fact that mothers carrying multiples are almost always considered high risk and should receive the best possible care regardless of their health insurance or financial status. Many hospitals across the county are not equipped to handle the magnitude of care that is required to be given during a multiple pregnancy. I was extremely lucky to live in such a progressive and high quality area for medical care, and even though we didn’t know it when we selected her, but my OB-GYN specializes in high-risk pregnancies so I couldn’t have felt better about being in such capable hands. In many cases though, once a multiple pregnancy is detected, a referral needs to be made to be seen by someone who specializes in this, sometimes even within a completely different practice or hospital. It is not something that is taken lightly, and I”ll never forget the team of people in my operating room the night the twins were born. I felt like a celebrity! Each twin had their own nurse, 2 doctors performing the c-section, 2 nurses for me, etc. etc. I asked if that was normal and they said, for twins, always!
Aside from the medical aspect of Multiple Birth Awareness during pregnancy, it is also important to be aware of the development of multiples and how different it can be from singletons. Because most pregnancies of multiples rarely go to 40 weeks- and even though 37 weeks is considered full term (for twins anyway) it is still early and they are considered preemies. They are not given the chance to reap the benefits of being in the womb for a full 40 weeks and even though 37 is pretty close, it is one of the main reasons so many multiples need to spend time in the NICU. This is all what I learned from my doctors when they were preparing us for the worst! And even though only one of ours needed NICU time, and we were really lucky that it was for such a short a amount of time, I am really glad they went over all of that with us so it didn’t come as a total shock when Sawyer was whisked away only seconds after being removed from my belly and taken from his “womb-mate” he had just spent the last 36 weeks getting to know!
Because of this, multiples can develop at different rates, and as our pediatrician has pointed out many times, it is normal for them not to progress at the same speed of other babies (which is actually a really good thing for all moms to realize- even of singletons!) but as a mom who has studied child development for 6 years, it was a tough one for me to come to terms with! But thanks to all the resources, and help of other twin moms, it is something that I am completely comfortable with and know they will do all normal baby stuff in their own time! 🙂
So, really this is an important matter to be aware of, especially if you are pregnant with twins, but even as regular civilians, I hope this post brought some awareness to your day about life revolving growing and raising multiples! 🙂
Check out the Multiples of America website for more info on the newest awareness of April! http://www.multiplesofamerica.org/event/multiple-birth-awareness-event/