Support group for ‘multiples’

Double the trouble, triple the

Although most of us balk at the
idea of birthing more than one infant at a time, parents of multiples (twins
and triplets) say that there are both positives and the pitfalls raising them.
Local parents who pull double or even triple duty say that while they’re
naturally more of a handful, life with multiples is often rewarding and never


Support Group

To navigate the impending birth of
their fraternal twins, Tim and Stephanie Dailey, signed up to join Cayman
Multiples Support Group three and a half years ago. The group, which they now
run, offers members the chance to share experiences and advice and to offer
support to current and soon-to-be parents of multiples.

The group has 25 member families,
including one couple who has triplets. The groups’ youngest members range from
newborns and toddlers right through to tweens, including one family with

“One of the main reasons for
keeping the group going is that between us all, we have experienced just about
every possible medical misery, and as such, there is a wealth of information
and support available to  parents,” Mr.
Dailey said.

“We’ve found this the most
beneficial aspect of membership when my wife was pregnant; we always had
someone to turn to who could calm us down and explain how they handled the same
or similar issues.”

Similar issues include the
significantly increased risk that is often associated with multiple

Fortunately Grand Cayman’s
obstetricians have a lot of experience in this field.

“Our doctor was very vigilant in
the monitoring of my wife’s pregnancy,” Mr. Dailey said.

“Towards the last few weeks, they
are very vigilant as there are much higher chances of early births. Other
issues often faced in multiple births include high blood pressure, gestational
diabetes, pre-eclampsia and a whole host of other medical issues.

The Daileys said that despite the
gruelling schedule of feeding, bathing and comforting more than one baby at a
time, having Alex and Sarah has never been anything but rewarding.

“It sounds corny, but with having
twins you’re really double the love,” said the proud father.

“It has been an amazing experience
watching them grow together, seeing the differences between them and the
similarities, and also watching the ways they develop at a different rate…and
there’s a lot of truth to the stories that girls develop quicker, especially in
talking and walking.”


Hereditary multiples

Cayman Multiples has an unofficial
policy of not asking new members whether their children are hereditary or where
conceived using in vitro fertilisation.

“The IVF “thing” can be a very
personal issue and we do not push to ask members whether their multiples are
natural or assisted. Most willingly volunteer this information, and as the
father of IVF twins, I can go on and on about the serious and humorous path to
parenthood this was,” said Mr. Dailey.

“There is no doubt that the higher
standard of living, better salaries for local professionals and the readily
available IVF treatment centres in Miami and across the world contribute to the
larger than average population of twins locally. Of those members who have
volunteered the info, there is definitely a much higher proportion that are
assisted. This is another area that I am always willing to discuss with prospective
or expecting parents who might have questions or concerns about the IVF process
as well as other assisted pregnancy procedures.”

He said that after the initial shock,
most first-time parents found that the biggest challenge was learning how to

“There were so many times we had to
try and decide which baby was crying because it needed something versus the
other crying just to divert our attention,” Tim added.

Given the number of multiples whose
families are in the support group for practical reasons, members don’t hold
formal meetings, preferring instead to arrange gatherings centred around the

“We try to find venues where the
kids can get together and play while the parents can chat,” he said.

“We have had a lot of success
working with Motions Gym as they have facilities for all ages and it is a very
safe and controlled environment. Outside the gatherings, many of the parents
have gone on to become good friends, sharing their stories (and pains).”


Handy tips

Be flexible – Asked about practical
tips on the day-to-day parenting advice, the Dailey’s said that the most
important thing was to “roll with the punches”.

“There are countless books offering
advice for new parents, and some of it can be quite daunting and regimented,”
offered Mrs. Dailey.

“Some recommend waking one child to
feed if the other wakes up hungry. Personally, we prefer to let sleeping dogs
lie on this one,” said her husband.

“Initially we did buy
two-of-everything. We had some hits (the double stroller is great) and misses:
a feeding pillow to feed two at once. At the end of the day, every couple has
to find what works best for them,” he added.


For information, call 916-8005.

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