Leonie Huie – Author of The First Year Is Survival
My name is Leonie Huie I am a mother of twin girls aged 2 years old and author of The First Year Is Survival. I decided to write this book due to my traumatising experience when pregnant and during the first year as a mum of multiples.
I wanted to be able to help new and expectant parents with multiples survive the first year of parenthood much better than I did. My pregnancy was an experience I’ll never forget. There was so much I wasn’t prepared for which I wish I had known before-hand to make my first year more enjoyable and less stressful.
From the day I found out I was pregnant up until the day I gave birth I was in pain. To start with I had an awful tugging pain in my lower abdomen which just wouldn’t go away. I remember asking friends when I would start to feel better and be able to enjoy my pregnancy but that never happened.
Things just got worse for me. My hip moved out of place from baby weight, I had to use crutches because of this, I suffered from de quervain’s tenosynovitis as well as other health issues.
I also decided to write this book as I kept a digital dairy of my twins’ development. I did this because I wanted something special to give them when they were older. It was quite challenging remembering everything especially because I was doing it twice over. My husband would always say to me, “I don’t know where you find the time to do this.” But I felt it was important. After all, it’s not every day a woman is blessed with having multiples.
This book is really important to me because I know first-hand how challenging it can be raising children and if I knew all I do now when I was in my first-year as a parent of multiples life would have been so much easier and less stressful for my husband and I.
So, this book, I like to call a parent’s saviour, a survival guide, a book of hope for new and expected parents of multiples to help them survive their first year of parenting to have the best first year with their babies. This book is also important to me because I didn’t want to give parents just my perspective of raising multiples, I wanted them to hear experiences from other parents and that’s why I decided to add a section at the end of each chapter where parents I interviewed from around the world provided their advice and tips on how to survive.
Might I add, when doing these interviews there were a lot tears and emotions were high as I heard some parents struggles of trying to conceive, miscarriages, battles with post-natal depression and anxiety which I also had so was able to express empathy and understood what they went through and in some cases are still going through.
This opened up a whole new world to me it made me realise I wasn’t alone in my struggles of raising two infants at the same time. In some way these stories made me feel somewhat normal and less anxious. I got things wrong, I made mistakes but ultimately, I’m human and it happens.
I’m still very new to the life of parenting but in saying this I have experienced an overwhelming amount of trials and tribulations in the first two years.
I’ve learnt that every day is different, you can’t predict the future, you should take one day at a time and know when to just stop, rest and put your feet up. I’ve also learnt the power of the word ‘no’ it’s OK to just say no and not feel guilty about it, something my counsellor taught me and to let go of mother’s guilt which is a real thing and there were times when I just needed a break so that I could catch up on some sleep, something I still don’t do properly.
When I left my twins at my mother’s for the night, I felt guilty for doing so, but knew I needed to because I just wasn’t functioning properly during my first year as a mother of multiple children. I soon learnt to let go of this guilty feeling because a functioning mother is better than one that isn’t. I needed to be able to care for my children which was hard in the first few months and even though I had help from my husband, family, friends and neighbour I still struggled which goes to show it really does take a village to raise a child.
Lastly, this book doesn’t just have my experience and other parents experiences it also has information about where you can get formal and informal support and advice about parenting multiples.
Our first point of call for professional support or advice might be from our doctor or health visitor so important parents contact them if they need to, there are also other types of support such as online groups and forums which I am in quite a few of, there’s also parent and baby play groups etc.
I also provided useful websites that parents can use if they would prefer to do so which provide a lot of tips, advice and videos on what they might need.
My books intention is to be as informative as possible to help reach a wider audience of parents of multiples and as I state in my book even though it is written for parents of multiples, parents raising one child would highly benefit from the information provided so in actual fact my book meets all parents needs to help survive the first year of parenting.
Leonie Huie – Author of The First Year Is Survival.
You can find her book here