Archive | September, 2011

Twin Pregnancy Advice

14 Sep

Like many other blog topics, I’ve been meaning to  write a about advice I’d give to expectant twin mothers for a while now. So it turns out that a girl I use to know just found out she’s having twins (perfect excuse to finally write this blog)- here’s my crack at some twin advice.

Dear Sue,

Rachel told me that you were expecting twins- congratulations! No seriously, from one twin mom to another (soon to be:), you are so blessed. As far as I’m concerned, twins are the best thing in the entire world. Obviously, I don’t know what it’s like with just a singleton but I reckon that’s a good thing. Better that you only know the work it takes to raise two at once! Ignorance is bliss my friend.

Anyways, I just thought I’d pass on a few tips for your pregnancy and will write you another email about the first few weeks after birth.

Take what you want and leave the rest. These are only my suggestions based on my experience and watching other friends with their twins.

So here we go!

Twin Pregnancy

1) This is an obvious one,  but expect your stomach to get pretty damn big. For me, I looked like a “normal” pregnancy lady till 30 weeks but between 30-37 weeks I absolutely exploded. It felt like my stomach was growing faster than my skin could stretch! Even if you have a decent tummy by 30 weeks, expect HUGE amounts of growth in those last few weeks. And it might just drop of you like a bomb so beware. Prepare so that you’re already dialing down a few notches once you reach that ‘magical’ 30 week point. I’d have a good pregnancy back brace or waist band on stand by as well as compression socks.

2) Liquid Gold- Pure Tissue Oil

By a LANDSLIDE this stuff is the BEST cream/lotion/oil you can get for your pregnancy skin. Use it during pregnancy as well as after and I SWEAR you won’t be sorry. I know this needs no restating but your skin is about to go through a huge upheaval and it’s important that you treat it as nice as you can.

3)Negative remarks

Unfortunately, this started during my pregnancy and simply carries on unendingly. I think it’s the case with any pregnancy woman, you always get those people who want to stick their nose in, uninvitedly, and give you their two cents about your pregnancy. With carrying twins, many many many people said things (and still do) say things to me like:

” Oh no! You’re never going to sleep again!”
” Double trouble!”
” There goes your life!”
” Oh your skin is going to be such a mess afterwards!”

And on and on.

I’m a huge believer in the power of words so I get really irritated when people say seemingly ‘innocent’ things like this. The thing is that each ONE person may say it in jest but when you hear that ‘innocent’ jest 10x’s a day, it has the potential to chip away at your once joyful mentality. Don’t let them steel your excitement! I always use to reply to people in the following manner:

” No way! I have double the blessing:)”

Or

“Come hell or high water, these kids are a gift from God to us and we are choosing to view them as a party that doesn’t stop. It might be a pretty chaotic party sometimes, but a party none the less.”

4) Prepare mentally

     A) I highly recommend this book for your pregnancy:

This book was a great help to me and many other multiples mothers I know. It focuses on your diet and what to expect from your body. I found it incredibly useful because although I loved my gynie, I’m not aware of an Eastern Cape doctor who specializes in multiples so the advice you’d be given would be fairly generic pregnancy stuff where you actually need special instructions and different expectations.  

     B) I’m not sure what your plans are in regards to work once you have the babies but the best thing you can do is to prepare in advance for your scenario. For instance, I knew that I was not going to have a nanny to help me, that it would just be me and the babies day in and day. Therefore, I had to figure out how to go about my day to day tasks with two small babies relying on me at the same time. The last four weeks of my pregnancy I was on mild best rest so I spent loads of time envisioning how I would breast feed two babies at once, burp two babies at once, what I would do with the one while I was changing the others nappy, how to get my grocery shopping done and so on. Honestly, I envisioned these scenarios so many times that once they came and things were actually happening… it seems like second nature.

     C) On a similar note, if you are going to go back to work, I strongly suggest, at the very least, that you get a night nurse. Initially having to get up multiple times a night to feed two babies and then having to put them both back to sleep is not a small tasks when you HAVE to be at work by 8 the next morning.

     D) I picked up this nugget from reading another twin moms blog about her early days- when people say they want to come visit you and the babies, ask them to come during feed or bathing time. That way you have an extra pair of hands available to help and actually be useful instead of you stressing about having a guest over and making them tea while they just stare at your sleeping babies.

5) Go ahead and get one of these Jane Powertwin Prams and put your mind at ease.

This twin pram is absolutely the AMAZING and totally saved my bacon the first few months with the babies. I actually wrote a whole blog about it back then:
http://itshowweroll.blogspot.com/2010/12/i-love-you-jane-powertwin-pram.html

If you’re patient and start looking now, you will definitely be able to find a good second hand one on Gumtree. I suggest looking for a second hand one first as buying a brand new one is going to cost you a very pretty penny.

Ok. I’m pretty I gave you enough to mull over for a while. If you have any questions at all don’t hesitate to shout:)

Will write again soon from…

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Part 3- A Cultural Pregnancy

10 Sep

I just realized that I still owed you the third part of this series! Ha, shows how great I am at doing series. Anyways, our last 2 nations are Holland and Belgium and are very different than the other nations that have been featured so far. Read on ladies…

Arjanne- A midwife from Holland who has does not have any children of her own just yet. So the experiences she speaks about come from her work.

– What is considered a normal birth situation in your country? (ex: a natural, vaginal birth- baby delivered in a hospital by a doctor)
The norm is a natural, vaginal birth.  Most births are started at home with a midwife. If everything is going well during the delivery, the baby will be born at home. Most women in Holland see the home birth as normal and they are proud of the natural birth process they go through.  However, in the last few years a few couples are starting to choose to deliver in a hospital where a midwife will lead the whole delivery-process also.   

– Is your gynecologist automatically your obstetrician (baby doctor) as well?

Normally midwifes will help you through your pregnancy and do the delivery. We also  also check on the baby after birth. Only if we see something isn’t right,we will refer you to the care of an obstetrician.

– How often did you have scans/ultrasounds during your pregnancy? Who performed them?

Normally you have 2 scans during pregnancy. Both are performed by the midwife. Grow-scans (every 4 weeks) are becoming more popular though. 
– Are you encouraged or discouraged to receive an epidural or any other delivery drugs?

Discouraged…at home you cannot get an epidural. A midwife will help you to choose your own comfortable positions or recommend you take a bath to help with the contractions. In the hospitals you’d need to ask for it, otherwise you won’t get an epidural.

– Are C-sections for emergency use only or can they be elective by you or your doctor?

C-sections are only for emergency use only.

– Is breast feeding or bottle feeding the norm?

Breastfeeding is considered very normal, but bottle feeding is generally accepted too, especially for ‘older’ infants. Almost 65 % start breastfeeding but only 35 % is still breastfeeding their 3-month-old infants.

– What is the size of an average family? (ie. 2 kids, 6 kids, etc)

2 to 4 kids.

– Is it normal to have help with you baby? (ie. full time maid, nanny, mother helping for a bit)

Yes, for 5-10 days there will be nursing assistant who is specialized in newborn baby’s and in just helping you become a mom that will assist you. She’ll nurse the mother, take care of the baby, the household and where necessary she’ll take care of other kids. It’s normal that the husband will be home for a few days . The midwife will come the first week mostly every other day to check and will ask the nursing assistant if there’s any problem going on.  

– Are SAHM’s a luxury or a norm?

A luxury, but also often seen in the lower classes .
 

Emilie- A Belgium mother and mid-wife. Her first pregnancy was a vaginal birth with an epidural, in a hospital with a gynie. With her 2ns pregnancy she started out with a mid-wife in hopes to give birth at home but ended up having an emergency C-ser in the hospital.
 

– What is considered a normal birth situation in your country?

Most women deliver their babies in hospitals with their gynecologist. But we also have home births with a midwife. A vaginal birth is definitely considered the norm though. 

– Is your gynecologist automatically your obstetrician (baby doctor) as well?
Yes. 

– How often did you have scans/ultrasounds during your pregnancy? Who performed them?

Normally you have 3 scans during pregnancy, all performed by your gynecologist.
– Are you encourage or discouraged to receive an epidural or any other delivery drugs?

It depends… In most hospitals women are encouraged to take an epi, but when women choose a midwife-attended birth in hospital (they go to hospital with their own midwife who followed them throughout the pregnancy) they mostly go for a natural birth without drugs.

– Are C-sections for emergency use only or can they be elective by you or your doctor?

C-sections are mostly for emergency use only.

– I breast feeding or bottle feeding the norm?

Breastfeeding is considered very normal, but bottle feeding is generally accepted too, especially for ‘older’ infants. Almost 65 % start breastfeeding but only 35 % is still breastfeeding their 3-month-old infants. 

– What is the size of an average family? (ie. 2 kids, 6 kids, etc)
2
 to 4 kids.
– Is it normal to have help with you baby? (ie. full time maid, nanny, mother helping for a bit)

No, not at all.
 
– Are SAHM’s a luxury or a norm?

Definitely a luxury.

So there you have it. That’s (finally) the end of my ‘A Cultural Pregnancy’ series. I think it’s just amazing that everyday thousands of woman around the world give birth and yet there  are so many different ways to ‘get the job done’!

If there’s one thing that being married, being married cross-culturally & living overseas has taught me it’s that their is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do most things- just the way we’re most familiar or comfortable with. Accepting diversity…


 

Catch Up Love

10 Sep

I feel terrible for neglecting my blog lately and was embarrassed to realize that I hadn’t posted anything in 2.5 months! Shame on me 😦 So I thought I would be gentle with myself and kick-start again with loads of pics from the past few months. Enjoy:)

Blake brushing her teeth before church.
Best best friends:)

So beautiful…

The girls 1st birthday party!… and 1st cupcakes:)
Looking so innocent but so naughty all at the same time!
Keena getting use to the texture of the cupcake and icing.
Opening presents with the family.
Check us out on our new cool motor bikes!
Husband works for a family business. Their forklift driver called in sick one day and Blake volunteered for the job:)
The girls recieved their US birth certificates- yeeeaaaaah! I huge burden off my shoulders.
Such a pretty Keena:)

Helping me grocery shop.

Showing off her big blue eyes.

Blakes new hair do:)

Typically Keena- playing with Dad and his iPhone.

Everyday is a perfect day to ride a bike wearing a tutu!

Maxing out in the backyard swing…

Blakes LOOOOOVES cucumber. She’s easily entertained at the shops as long as she has a cucumber to munch on.  

Loving on their first baby dolls:)

So happy that husband got a pic of me with my darlings:) 

Showing off their legs on the first warm day yet.

Very happy to be reading with Daddy:)
Blake loves our dogs and one day I found her hanging out with our lab like this.
Birthday parties, playing with dogs, reading with Dad, big smiles, baby dolls and tutu’s…