Katherene Birch’s February 5 birthday this year was a triple joy for her.
She was blessed with not only seeing another year in her life, but also with the birth of two bouncing baby boys –– Christopher and Michael. And as she prepares to celebrate Mother’s Day, three months after the twins were born, she still has that double excitement about the additions to her world.
“I am so happy about having them in my life. They were a great birthday present,” the 39-year-old told Barbados TODAY.
As baby Michael slept peacefully, and Christopher, older by five minutes, sat in his bouncer observing everything going on around him, cooing and smiling periodically, Katherene, who also has an eight-year old son, said that while she fully enjoyed her role, being the mother of twins has its challenging moments, especially at nights.
“The hardest part for me is the lack of sleep, because I like to sleep at night. After having my son eight years ago, I have settled into the routine where I sleep at night. I now have two babies, and that is difficult sometimes. But I am loving every moment.
“The slightest thing they do is like, ‘Wow!’ I get to see this again; it is still new. The smiles; putting the finger in their mouths; the cooing. You are walking around the room and the eyes are following you to see where you are going. When you come in and they hear your voice, they are looking around to see where Mummy is. I love that!
“Luckily, my Mum comes over, and she helps out; and Daddy does what he can. But it is lot of fun, especially now that they are three months old and they are more aware of what’s going on in the world.”
Though twins run in her bloodline, Katherene was shocked when she found out that she would be a new mother of two. Before a physician’s final word, when she found out that she was pregnant, she had a suspicion based on the size of her stomach early on in the pregnancy; but she was still in denial.
“I was like, ‘Nah, that’s not possible’. When I went to the doctor he said, ‘Yep, you are having two’. I was like, ‘Wow!’ because it was a shock. As much as I suspected it, it was still a shock. Twins run in my family, but it’s a few generations ago. I did not think that I would be the one in my generation to have twins.”
That news took a little while for Katherene to digest, and for some reason she was still in denial. It was after she actually heard their heartbeats that she was convinced “okay, you are having twins”.
Immediately, she started to develop the frame of mind that she had two babies to prepare for.
“I knew I needed to get two of everything. I needed to put things in place where I can have somebody helping me out, especially during the day before I go back to school.”
Katherene is a secondary school teacher, who is expected to return to work soon.
She is currently not only looking at finding the perfect nursery to accommodate her sons, but also balancing dealing with her charges at school and three sons at home.
“So you have to separate work from home. You can’t bring your work life with all the stress home. It is like, ‘Okay, I am leaving work and I am going home to deal with my babies and my son. So I have to be Mummy and I can’t be teacher. Being the mother to students is a little different, especially when you know these [twins] are mine and I have to mother them 24 hours a day.
“The ones I teach are mine for eight hours. Yes, there are one or two that you might come into contact with outside of school whom you have formed a bond with. But at the end of the day still, to reserve my sanity, I have to stop mothering them at a certain point and start mothering my own, because they do have their parents as well who take up the slack where the teachers can’t.”
It is also important for Katherene to maintain the open relationship and close bond she has with Jayden who treasures and silently demands his Mummy and son time.
“I have not seen any outward signs of jealousy as yet; just once or twice he would tell me that I don’t spend enough time with him. So every now and again I do Mummy And Jayden Day, or if the babies are sleeping we would do something so he wouldn’t feel left out because the babies are in the house.
“When I told him I was having two babies he was all excited and wanted to know if they could sleep in his room with him when I come home from the hospital. He is helpful. He helps to feed them. He wants to try changing the Pampers,” said a proud Katherene.
Every mother has an idea about what direction she wishes her children to take in life. Katherene just wants her three sources of inspiration doing what would make them happy, whatever their chosen career paths may be.
“I find that a lot of parents push children to do things that are not in their mind to do, and I don’t want to be one of those parents. Whatever they decide they want to do, I am going to support them 100 per cent. As for the twins, I am not going to push them in the same direction because as it is right now, they are two completely different personalities.
“We have Christopher who is the more social one, and then we have Michael who would watch you and see what you are doing. He would just stare at you and you would see him processing everything.
“With Christopher, you can pretty much see everything he is thinking. I know that they are going to go in two completely different directions, which is good. They are two different individuals.”