In a word, that’s what MBC and my Chapter – Temiskaming Multiple Births - means to me. Trying to explain it to someone who has never joined a local group is similar to trying to explain what you’re missing if you’ve never become a parent. It’s an exceptional experience.
Since the day I was invited to a pot luck supper, after being told about my multiple pregnancy, I never felt alone! Sitting with the other parents, seeing the children play together, and hearing about the challenges and rewards of parenting twins, was an enriching encounter.
When I brought Twin A and Twin B (Zachary and Jeremy) home from the hospital I was greeted with meals for at least two weeks. That was an amazing moment – imagine – all these busy parents finding the time to make my life a bit easier during those early days! That’s just one reason why my fellow multiple birth parents became and are more than just people I know who belong to our Chapter. They are my extended family.
I suppose part of it is – you get out what you put in. From the very start I embraced the ideals of our Chapter. It wasn’t “what’s in it for me?” – it was truly about the mission of improving the quality of life for multiple birth individuals and their families. The interesting thing is the more I gave – the more I was rewarded because I knew my involvement was making a difference. Unexpectedly, I was also creating strong, long-lasting relationships.
My guys were born in 1993 – before the growth of an online community. While I am thankful for being part of this explosion of social networking – especially when my four children were younger, louder, and busier – I feel a loss for new parents who miss out on real heart-to-heart conversations by not having coffee with another multiple birth mother.
How do you get through the sleepless nights? How do you deal with their feelings when they don’t want to be a twin anymore? How do you handle advocating for your twins when a teacher doesn't understand the dynamics of their relationship?
Reading comments and online advice is not the same as getting a hug from someone who’s been there – and offers suggestions on how to handle this newest challenge. Seeing someone from your Chapter in a grocery store brings an instant sense of understanding of the journey we share. Taking a road trip to the annual MBC National Conference is both unnerving (leaving the children at home) and refreshing (leaving the children at home).
I owe MBC and its community a huge debt of gratitude for welcoming and mentoring me through this obstacle course of parenthood – being a member has made me stronger, prouder, and more enriched than I ever could have imagined. I recommend it for all multiple birth parents!
Gail Moore (and husband Rory) are parents of four grown children and four wonderful grandchildren. After 27 years Gail continues to be a member of Temiskaming Multiple Births, and currently volunteers with the MBC Advisory Board.