Eclectic Muddlehood

How's this for a perplexing beginning? I am a great many things, but none of them are me. At least not in my entirety. This is the little corner where I attempt to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts as I muddle through being a wife, a mother and a woman... among other things.

Location: Virginia, United States

Here, in no particular order, is a short list of my parts from the mundane to the pretentious, some or all of which may surface in future attempts to work on the whole: wife, mother, doula, childbirth educator, writer, yoga student, homeschooler, amature organic gardner, kitchen witch, all-around foodie, spiritual truth-seeker, daughter, clutter-bug, complusive list maker, bibliophile, homemaker, friend, homebirth/natural birth advocate, impulse shopper, wine snob, knitter, artist, lover, sensuist, and email junkie (There may be more later, but that's it for now.)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Our Jumbo Shrimp

The average American twins are born at 36 weeks gestation or earlier and weigh no more than 5lbs 4oz at birth. These tiny premature babies often spend a considerable amount of time in a neonatal intensive care unit at great financial and emotional expense to their parents. Although our twins' birth was anything but ideal, I am intensely proud of the fact that we were spared that particularly excruciating experience. I cannot imagine going home from the hospital and having to leave my babies there without me for even one second. Most Americans believe twins always come early and people are continually amazed by our story every time I share it. Our babies were born at 39 weeks 5 days and weighed 8lbs 6oz and 7lbs 4oz. The pediatric staff present in the operating room could not believe their eyes and one nurse even commented that my eight pound son was probably the largest twin she'd ever seen born at that hospital.

It wasn't just luck that helped me grown my babies that big for that long. It was meticulous attention to my diet and my overall well-being. Using material from Dr. Tom Brewer ( and Dr. Barbara Luke (When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads), I modified my diet and began consuming about 3,500 calories a day, focusing on getting about 175g of protein from a variety of sources. Most homebirth midwives who work with twin mothers will also tell clients that a high protein diet is the key to preventing preterm labor and preeclampsia, as well as ensuring a robust birth weight for both babies. I worked hard at this, sometimes eating red meat three times a day. I also paid careful attention to my fluid intake and took a nap with my older daughter every afternoon. Speaking with a mother of twins to be this afternoon, I realized how little guidance most obstetricians give their multiple moms about nutrition and preventing preterm labor and other complications. In fact, most of them simply inform their patients to expect bed rest, premature babies, stays in the NICU and low birth weight babies that will require formula feeding to gain weight as part of the detrimental high-risk mentality the push on these poor parents. I encouraged her to take her babies well-being into her own hands and do what she could to help them grow as big as possible for as long as possible. Then maybe she can end up with what my husband calls jumbo shrimp twins (because they are so big for twins, yet still so little) too.


Blogger Regan said...

You worked it hard, mama, and had beautiful, healthy babies for your efforts. Good for you! Tammi

12:08 PM  

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