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Katy England Katy England
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So, you're having multiples!

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Whether your road to having multiples was a long trip filled with worry, planning and heartache or one that caught you off guard chances are, now that you know you are having multiples, you're blowing hot and cold all at once.

Here are some tips, general notes and advice from someone who's been there.

You will hear 'You must have your hands full' a lot. Like more than you think is possible. If it isn't that it will be 'I don't know how you do it.' There is nothing intrinsically wrong with either of these observations, but it will come at you so often you will start thinking there is a conspiracy. Try not to be mean; the people who say it are all well-meaning, intelligent people who don't come across parents of multiples every day. Unfortunately, a butt-ton of people fall into that category, and you will hear it a lot. Just try to shrug it off.

People will ask you questions like, 'Are they natural?' 'How did you have them?' 'Did you use fertility?' And they seriously won't even know if they are asking a personal question. Having had spontaneous triplets, I was spared having to delve too much into my personal life. But for many people who have walked the long road of infertility, such questions are awkward at best and incredibly painful at worst. I have met people who don't mind talking publicly about their journey but they are the exception that proves the rule.

There are several replies you can make, depending on your personality and how well you know the person asking the question. I use humor to deflect a lot of the weird ones (e.g. 'My husband does the work of three men' that usually points out that it's an awkward area of conversation, but still keeps it funny). But you can also be polite and still shut down the line of questions without being rude (e.g., 'I know you're curious, but it's a personal story'). If you're dealing with a rude, pushy person, well, all bets are off. But it helps if you already have a plan for what you want to say.

Have a plan for help. This means that while you are still getting some sleep, talk to people who express a desire to help and make a plan. I wish I had done this I still wish it. Because once the kids hit the scene, you can't think straight. Have an idea of who will sweep, who will do laundry, who will cook before you're changing, feeding and cleaning up after multiple babies.

Say 'yes' when help is offered. Do not be a martyr and try to power through. This is a hard job, and very few people understand exactly how difficult it can be. So when someone offers to do the dishes, buy you dinner or babysit let them.

You will be a little envious of people with only one kid. This doesn't mean you don't love your multiples, you just wish you could give them the one-on-one care you see being lavished on singletons. There's an inherent sense of 'this isn't fair' when you're trying to read a story to one kid, and another suddenly demands attention for a new diaper, or just acts out. If you find yourself thinking, 'If I just had one' you aren't a monster. It's just your brain wishing it could be in two or three or four places at once. One of those places might be a shower or in bed, but that is still normal.

You don't need two or three of everything, but there will be days when you either wish you had four or six of everything or nothing at all. You'll need car seats. (Then you'll need bigger car seats.) You'll also need places for the kids to sleep. But when they are really little, you really can get away with keeping them in one crib until they start messing with each other.

Obviously there's more. We'll pick up where I left off next week.

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