I’m sure this is relevant for any new parent in many ways. It just happens I only have experience with three.
One day your bouncing along through life with a rough idea of the future your building with your family. There are the usual strains and stresses of a relationship, of Work life, finances, ever changing family dynamics and perhaps the plan of one more addition to the family, and the pressures that can cause.
I remember well how proud and exited I felt the morning of the positive pregnancy test result. After two years of trying, with the disappointment of the false positives and the added stress of our low chance of falling pregnant. It was perfectly timed. We had the new house with the room for a baby, If it was supposed to be, it was taken into consideration when we looked for our first home.
We spent a whole week in the wonderful mind frame of our new situation. We had a baby growing. Frankie was over the moon. We all were. Everything was set for us, it was a grateful time of relief for Stacey and joy for me. We even had the perfect little room for a nursery.
Then we had a dating scan and our world got turned upside down. Completely. Everything changed in that single moment of discovering three heartbeats.
It was no longer a joyous event, it was a game changer of epic proportions. The risks were all too real, as was the fear and uncertainty my wife was experiencing. Our path shifted completely and the only thing I could do was to trust my intuition. To hold on to my faith and trust what I saw.
I was completely wet behind the ears, had no idea what was involved, or how tough it could get. I just knew it was a miracle that was absolutely supposed to be.
Stacey was aware of my total lack of experience, She knew what was involved with one baby. She was also aware of the past I had and my inability to cope with life in general. Although a lot had changed with me prior to meeting Stacey it didn’t quash the fear she felt around me leaving her on her own. Walking out the door unable to cope. In my heart knew I wouldn’t. And I didn’t.
I’m a member of a couple of multiple Dad sites online. Each time an expectant father of twins or triplets or more introduces themselves with the many questions and concerns I’m reminded of the mammoth task he has coming. And how I felt at that time of overwhelming uncertainty and risks. It really does become a game of relationship survival in many respects. From the pregnancy, to the fortnightly scans, the preparation and the very present fear of failure that all parents experience. Fears that need to be watched.
The only real advice I can give any man facing the journey of multiples, is be prepared for constant change.
Expect to be consumed, because there becomes nothing else in your life that will require such attention. Your wife/partner will go through the emotional and physical wringer. She won’t be herself, maybe for a long time to come. As Dad you are the one to stay emotionally stable, even when it feels your coming apart. The family will need your presence, especially at the times you feel on the outside of it all. When she struggles and feels lost is when she needs you the most. When it feels she’s against you, watch your pride and know it’s nothing personal. Keep the lines of communication open.
And eventually things start to improve, sometimes with many steps backwards, as babies and Mum adjust. One day the sleep gets better and mentally you begin to feel back on track. And although you’ve only began on this journey, you will take a look under your roof and take stock of the situation. And see the results of the effort you put in to keep your family together. You will feel like you have been carried at times, by an unseen force and purpose through the toughest of nights and hardest of days.
And you’ll know in those moments of calm it is all possible. That you have all you need.