Even if you’ve undergone fertility treatment and you’ve known all along that a multiple pregnancy is a high possibility, finding out you’re pregnant with twins or more can still be a huge shock. Suddenly, your pregnancy joy turns into outright fear and sheer panic. Not only is your pregnancy automatically classed as high risk, with an early delivery highly likely, but you’ve also got to bring home two or more tiny humans that you’re responsible for. So, how do you get through it without becoming completely overwhelmed?
Allow Yourself Time
You don’t immediately have to resolve yourself to the idea of a being a parent to multiples. If you’re scared, acknowledge that you’re scared. Don’t bottle your feelings up and expect them to just disappear. It’s acts like that, that can cause anxiety and depression. If you’re having a difficult time dealing with the idea of being a parent to more than one baby, it might help to talk about it in a counselling session. However, when all is said and done, you have to find the strength to put your children before you and get through it.
Kick the Habit
Although the majority of multiple pregnancies result from fertility treatment, it’s still very possible for couples to conceive multiples without help. If you’ve discovered an unplanned multiple pregnancy, it’s important you do everything you can to stay healthy. That means kicking bad habits like, alcohol, recreational drug use, limiting caffeine and cutting out smoking. It can be difficult to do this on your own. If you need help, visit https://www.columbusrecoverycenter.com/ to find out more. Getting the help you need will be better for you and your babies in the long run.
Ask for Positive Stories
You probably know plenty of couples who have children, and they’ll likely start to tell you everything that went wrong as soon as they find out you’re pregnant. You may hear horrific birth stories or you may be taunted about how much sleep you’re likely to get. Multiply the horror stories by how many babies you’re having and it’s enough to send you into a constant state of panic. Don’t take any of these stories to heart. Every parent’s experience is different, no matter how many babies are involved. Get yourself onto a multiples forum online and read all of the positive stories that come from parents of multiples instead. It’s not all doom and gloom.
Take Things a Day at a Time
It’s easy to sit there and worry about what comes next when you find out you’re pregnant with multiples. However, if you do that, you risk losing out on all the wonderful things that are happening in the moment. Focus on your pregnancy and staying healthy first and foremost. If you’re constantly stressed out about what will happen when the babies arrive, you won’t be doing yourself or the babies any good. Try and relax and take things as they come.
Roll with the Punches
You could be the most organised person in the world and a child will still take you by surprise. So, it’s best to just embrace the chaos. There may be times when you want to scream because you become so overwhelmed, but that’s part and parcel of being a parent, no matter how many children you have. Remember, when you feel like you can’t take it anymore, close your eyes and count to ten or take a few deep breaths. Everyone becomes overwhelmed every now and again, you just need to regain control of your emotions.
Expect the First Year to be Hard
The first year of their lives is when your children will need you most. The feeding, diaper changing, rocking to sleep, piercing cries when something is wrong. You’ll have to accept that you’ll have more of all of that than a singleton parent. But you know what they about twins – double the work, double the joy. No matter how difficult the first year gets, you’ll still be able to find joy in every day. Whether it’s a simple smile or a first milestone, you’ll get the watch your babies develop their own little personalities. You’ll also have the added joy of watching their bond develop as they grow.
When your babies are born, it’s likely you’ll need some time to recover and regain your strength too. You may find that you have a short hospital stay if your babies are born prematurely. Take as much of this time as you can to rest. Although your babies will need you close by, you’ve also got the added reassurance of knowing they’re in great care. When you do return home, if you have family and friends that are willing to help out, let them. Let someone else do the cleaning and the washing, put your partner on cooking duty and get a neighbour to walk the dog. Whatever you can pass onto someone else will save your time and energy for the needs of the babies.
If you have a few friends with multiples, it’s easy to start comparing how they live their lives and how you plan to live yours. You may hear one couple tell you they find it really difficult and another couple tell you it’s not that bad. Don’t compare yourself and your family to others. Every family is different, and so is every birth and every baby. You don’t have to run your family the way other multiple families do. Just like you and your partner don’t have to have the same relationship as other parents of multiples do. Do it your way, and forget about everyone else.
There’s no denying that raising multiples is hard work but it’s also highly rewarding. If you’re having trouble finding any joy in raising your multiple children, you may need help. Get some support from family and friends, or visit your local doctor and discuss how you feel. You may feel like you’re in it alone, but remember that there is always help available when you’re feeling overwhelmed.