Houston Family Group: Bellaire Area Moms of Multiples
CHALLENGES, TWIN TRENDS, COMMUNITY GARAGE SALES
by Bernadette Verzosa
Amanda Sorena thought she had a good gauge of what to expect during the newborn months. After all, she had already been through the feedings and sleepless nights with her older daughter.
But when she gave birth to her twins, she realized multiples came with a different degree of difficulty. “The unique challenges of having two babies at once was something that only other moms of multiples can really understand. It is a lot more than simply doing everything twice,” she says. “I had this false sense that I could at least count on them to sleep, eat, or do something the same. The lesson I keep learning over and over again is that they are different kids who happen to have the same birthday. Seems simple enough to understand, but in practice it can be hard. ”
Sorena met other moms with twins, even triplets, through the group Bellaire Area Mothers of Multiples (BAMOM). She joined while she was pregnant and met Lynn Wells, another mom with twins. “My biggest challenge has been logistics. How to get two babies bathed, diapered, dressed, strapped into their car seats in a reasonable amount of time,” says Wells. “With twins they both need so much at the same time. My mantra to them has always been, â€˜Two of you, one of me!’ As if they even understand!’
SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES WITH MULTIPLES
Wells and Sorena now help run BAMOM to support other moms of multiples. BAMOM has 276 members â€“ most have twins, 10 families have triplets. While the organization started in the Bellaire Area, members live all across Houston in 40 different zip codes including Pearland, Katy and Kingwood.
Twin birth rates have steadily increased over the past three decades in the United States. In 2009, there were more than 137,000 twins born in the U.S. The twin birth rate rose 76% from 1980 through 2009 â€“ from 18.9 to 33.3 per 1,000 births, according to a National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief titled “Three Decades of Twin Births in the United States, 1980-2009.”
FALL COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE
The Bellaire Area Mothers of Multiples is hosting its fall garage sale this Saturday, September 28 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Westbury United Methodist Church, 5200 Willowbend. Shoppers can find gently used strollers, high chairs, play pens, clothes, shoes and lots of toys.
“The garage sale helps tremendously because twins require so much gear and duplicate items. Then, overnight, said gear is obsolete,” says Wells. “It’s been nice to pick up items at a drastic discount and then unload them when we are finished with them.”
Sellers are encouraged to charge 60 to 70 percent off store prices. A BAMOM committee organizes the garage sales twice a year.
“Baby gear can be expensive and needing two or more of everything can put a lot of financial pressure on a family,” Sorena adds. “We are also looking for ways to help out other parents in the area who are looking for the same kinds of deals, which is why it is open to the public for free. Anything that does not sell is donated to various Houston charities.”