Having a baby is one of the most beautiful and lovely things in the world. But it is also one of the scariest and most daunting.
I visited a very close friend this weekend and she is expecting twins. She already has a four-year-old son and within the next couple of months he will be joined (fingers crossed) by a new brother and sister.
“I keep telling myself it will be just like having one baby with two heads,” she laughed as she talked over her situation with me.
“Yes and two bottoms and four legs when they start being mobile,” I quipped back.
Somehow she does not seem at all phased by the idea of two new babies.
But then, she has really been through the mill to get to this stage. Despite years of trying, sadly she was never able to conceive naturally so she and her husband started down the long and arduous path of IVF. For weeks she had to endure endless rounds of injections and drugs; “My hormones went crazy,” she confided in me. “I am really surprised I actually still have a marriage – my husband must be a saint.”
Once her eggs were painfully “harvested” the pair waited on tenterhooks to see if any offspring were able to hatch out in the laboratory Petri dishes. And finally they got the news they were hoping for – nine were good and healthy embryos.
A day later two of these “babies” were put back into her and the rest were put on ice. Then came the agony of waiting to see if these transferred into a pregnancy.
And joy of joys two weeks later she discovered she was pregnant – and with twins! Sadly one died but her little boy was born healthy and on time nine months later.
Two years later she went through the less invasive procedure of having her frozen embryos put back to try for another child. Sadly none of these made it and so she went back through the whole cycle again – leaving her with the twins she is now carrying.
Now it seems her main concern is: Will she have enough love for three children? Will she have enough quality time to spend with them all?
I reassured her that you do somehow have enough love in you to feel it for every one. It doesn’t become diluted.
I said what I worried about was having the time just to sit and talk to each child. Children whose parents spend as much time as they can talking, reading, listening and even just playing with their children have been shown to do better at school.
Sheffield City Council is hosting a special ‘Family Time’ event as part of National Family Week at the Oasis in Meadowhall on Thursday, June 2. The free event is aimed at boosting children’s communication skills by singing, talking and reading stories. A day of activities is also planned for St Mary’s Conference Centre on Bramall Lane on Wednesday June 1 with dancing, drumming and even circus skills. For more information visit: http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/education/about-us/plans-partnership-consultation/escal/parents/events or www.nationalfamilyweek.co.uk or http://www.sheffield-yos.org.uk/event/family-fun-day-/