I SET up this blog to offer information and support for parents and carers of twins, triplets and more. Years on, people searching for help with post natal depression still find us and I'm touched that I can be of help.
I've also a longstanding association with Tamba, the Twins and Multiple Births Association, being a member and former magazine editor and PR helper.
That's why when the hardworking people at the charity got in touch to tell me about their annual awareness bid, Twins, Triplets & More week, and the fact that they want to publicise free help for multiple mums, I thought it would be great to spread the word.
It runs from Monday, June 28.
Parents who have more than one baby at a time have so many unique challenges that can be ignored, glossed over or trivialised by the media, other parents and even their own relatives. Doesn't that sound dramatic? Well yes for some, it can be.
- Being the one at your antenatal group in a wheelchair because you can't walk and everyone saying stuff like: "Ha! I thought I was bad until I saw you" (yeah, thanks a lot Mrs Tactful of the Year...)
- Preparing for the birth of babies who are much more likely to be born premature or need special care
- Not being able to get your twins into the same school
- Every other passer-by telling you: "My you've got your hands full"
- Losing one of your triplets at birth
- One of your children being born disabled or fighting for their life
- Twice or three times the work once they are born
- A greater chance of PND or relationship breakdown
All of these things happen and Tamba is there to help.
This year, the focus is on an initiative called Get Ready for Multiples:
This is a new and desperately needed initiative that will help prepare for the challenges that lie ahead.
Nearly one in five mothers of multiple births develop Post Natal Depression – that is almost double the number of mothers of singletons who experience this debilitating condition.
Until now just one in three mothers have had access to specific parent education on having a multiple birth, which is really worrying as research shows that lack of access to such classes increases mothers’ chances of developing Post Natal Depression. It does not have to be this way!
Next week, Tamba is launching a groundbreaking pre- and ante-natal initiative, ‘GET READY FOR MULTIPLES!’, which is designed to prepare local parents for the unique challenges of having a multiple birth.
The launch includes FREE and subsidised ‘survival’ classes for expectant parents, and a FREE practical guide to help parents who may be suffering from Post Natal Depression. Tamba also offers a free helpline, Twinline, on 0800 138 0509 that provides information and emotional support for parents and professionals.
Of course it's not all bad news.
I'm very lucky and totally in a place where I appreciate that with twins or triplets you get twice or three times the good stuff too.
My daughters don't pipe up "I'm bored" because they have each other. I'm spoiled with double cuddles, double the laughs and double the fun.
I remember precisely nothing about the whirlwind of the first year. I do remember wailing "I'm scared" when I was pregnant and getting pissed off that midwives, parenting magazines, books and other mums had bugger all they could say to help.
So that's why I started this blog.
I also know what it's like to suffer clinical depression. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
And that's why by the time TT&M week 2010 comes around I'm in a better place than ever to help build understanding about some of the needs of multiple birth families.
Next week, there will be some brilliant guest bloggers on You've Got Your Hands Full writing about various aspects of being a multiple mum.
There will be a carnival on Friday July 2 all about the pains and pleasures of having twins or more. (Please send your entries to lindajonespassionatemedia[at]googlemail.com by 7pm Thursday July 1 to be included. And please do download the code for a Got Your Hands Full badge which you can see to the left...)
I'm also going on what's known as a blog tour - Liz thinks this is hilarious, but still.
Thank you to the following bloggers for welcoming me:
Watch this space for news of who else will have me!
And thank you to the following much admired bloggers for offering up guest posts for next week:
Please let me know if you would like to join them.
Hope you can join us...
Might even push the boat out and have a hashtag on Twitter.
And thank you so much to Liz at Violet Posy for her help again in sorting me out with a code for a blog badge and all of that malarkey.