By Surprised by Five
Living with multiples is like being on a roller coaster that never ends. Life is full of exhaustion, tears, laughter and happiness. I would never have thought when I embarked on my journey through a high-risk multiple pregnancy that life would be as exhausting as it is now.
At the start of the pregnancy with the quintuplets I couldn't think too far ahead, I felt I had to live in the moment and my job was to solely get my babies to 30 weeks gestation so the quintuplets could be delivered safely.
My pregnancy HCG hormone was quadruple the average rate of a normal textbook pregnancy and with them, hormones came debilitating all day sickness, chronic fatigue and aches and pains I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. By the time I started to reach the 30-week mark I felt like my body was starting to fail me.
The biggest difference between having a singleton and multiples is there just isn't any time to sit back and enjoy the quintuplets. Someone always needs their nappy changed or to be fed or bathed, life always seems to consist of me running around trying to keep on top of everything.
We have learnt that the easiest way to control the household is to follow a strict routine! The quintuplets eat, sleep, play and bath all at the same time. This leaves enough time for me to prepare the next meal and keep on top of my housework.
I think high order multiples can often struggle with getting enough one on one time. There's five of them and I only have two arms, I often feel that overwhelming mummy guilt washing over me when I know there isn't enough of me to go around.
The biggest thing I have struggled with is looking after myself, without me functioning at 100% I can’t be the mother I need to be for eight children. I try to get myself to the gym most days, drink plenty of water and fuel my body with food that will energise me enough to get me through the day. I couldn't agree more with the statement that to love others you need to love yourself first.
I have had the joy of experiencing first words, smiles and steps five times over. It’s always nice to feel needed and I know there is always someone in my house that needs their mummy.
- Things change from pregnancy, to new born, to toddlerhood – reassess what your schedules and goals are (be realistic) as your life evolves and your babies grow.
- Try to set a routine and stick to it.
- Preparation is key – if you can meal prep, do it! If you can get things organised the night before, do it.
- Attempt to set aside some one on one time for each of the babies.
- Self-love is so underrated! Take time to do something for yourself – whether that be a hot shower (alone), going to a gym, or catching up for a quick coffee with a friend – find what it is that feeds your soul and do it!
- Avoid “mummy guilt” – you’re doing your best Mama!
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- As they say, the days may be long but the years or short – try to take a breath and enjoy.
Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.