Did you know that nearly twice as many mothers of multiples suffer from Post Natal Depression? That there is no extra funding, maternity leave or government funded support for parents of multiples? That there are still areas of the country where education authorities don't consider multiples to be siblings when it comes to school allocation, so parents are left trying to take two (or three, or more) children to two (or three, or more) schools, all at the same time? That midwives and post-natal nurses regularly tell mothers of multiples they can't breastfeed, and refuse to give support to those who want to do so?
And those are just the ones who ask for help.... I didn't have PND. I tried very hard not to have PND. I refused to have PND. But there was still a period of about three weeks when I cried, every day. When the health visitors were visiting me twice a week. When B came home one afternoon to find me in one room and the babies in another. All screaming.
And later, much later, because they were fully weaned, a day when I sat at the kitchen table, all three girls eating their supper and screamed at him "I just don't want to do this any more"
I thought I was prepared. I have family and friends with twins. I have love and support wherever I look, but I learned, very quickly, that nothing, however hard you try, prepares you for how hard, and how wonderful having multiples is.
Well, I say nothing, but TAMBA (the Twins and Multiple Births Association) are trying very hard indeed. Indeed, they are using this week to launch their new initiative, Get Ready for Multiples.
"for expectant and new parents of multiple births at http://bit.ly/multiplebirths. The initiative includes FREE and subsidised pre- and ante-natal courses for families and health professionals throughout the UK; a FREE practical guide for mothers who may have PND; support from local Twins Clubs; and the FREE Twinline (0800 138 0509) which offers information and emotional support for parents and professionals"You've got your hands full, is hosting guest posters all week on the theme of multiples (today, starring... you guessed it.... ME!) as well as a carnival on Friday and a week of blog touring (there's no escape from Linda this week, she's going to be everywhere!).
So please, read the posts, and pass the word on to anyone you know who's ever met anyone with multiples...
Oh, and just in case it wasn't clear, this is in no way sponsored... didn't I say there wasn't any money?!