Last night Keith (now 7 weeks) decided sleep is for the weak. So at 1:50 am he woke up and fed but decided we should just sit staring at each other. And because he’s the boss we looked at each other – him with wide curious eyes and me with half open sleepy eyes. Then he slept an hour later and I was excited – as excited as a tired sleep deprived mother can be. My heart was celebrating but my body was limp with exhaustion. Now, he usually sleeps for 3-4 hours at night so I knew we would be up again at around 6am. But so we can see how long mum can go without sleep he decided to wake up at 4:15am. Yap. He slept for 1 hour. one hour! I almost cried. And what’s worse, he didn’t really want to feed he just wanted us to hang out and stare at each other’s eyes with love. Anyway he finally slept at 5am – but not without drama. The moment I put him in his crib he opened his eyes and I had to duck to the floor like a ninja. Honestly babies are lucky they’re cute because the things they put you through! I remember immediately I got into bed at that time thinking, “what if there were two of them?” I quickly refused to think about that because that’s how people lose sleep. And I was already too sleep to afford losing sleep, right?
Can you imagine twins, triplets, quadruplets…? I know for a fact that they look adorable in pictures but the work they need is out of this world. Now I remember how my husband and I talked about twins when we found out we were pregnant and I laugh at how naïve we were. But Seriously though I think mothers of multiples are phenomenal women. How do they manage? How many diapers do they need? How much milk is needed to feed 3 or 4 babies? Do the mums struggle with breastfeeding? With the high cost of formula, how do they supplement breast milk? What about clothes shopping? Can you imagine buying things in twos, threes or fours? Like 4 car seats?? Speaking of car seats, how do you move around with three newborns? I went for the 6-week jabs last week and I literally could not wait to get back home. What happens when they start crying? And what kind of help do you need? In the era of house girls who complain about looking after one baby where do you get a helper who will manage your babies?
As you think about that, there is someone special I want us to talk about. Dr. Amakove Wala. With Top 40 women under 40 2017 here with us I want us to look at this amazing woman who was one of the winners last year. She has achieved many great things in the office and outside. I met her when she was head of Kenya Medical Association – we met to discuss my work with Still A Mum and how I can engage the medical fraternity better, a meeting that came off Facebook inbox – that’s how cool she is. There is a lot that can be said about her work at KMA and all the amazing programs she started but today I want us to focus on something really special she does outside the office.I will also bring in my personal bias here and mention she is an old girl of the school I went to and love very much: Alliance Girls.
Dr. Wala founded and runs Multiples2Multiples Society, an organization that enables families with multiples (twins, triplets, quadruplets) to support each other psychosocially and financially. They currently have over 650 families in Kenya and the diaspora! I have a number of friends who are members of this society and they constantly share with me the insights and advice they get from this group. The initiative is cost free in that it offers psychosocial support to families of multiples by having them share their journeys with each other. Its mission is to advocate for quality prenatal care, promote healthy deliveries, and supply information to all multiple birth families in order to support successful parenting, through every phase of their children’s development. As a mother of triplets herself, Dr. Wala knows how important great support systems are to parents of multiples. Watch this video and see one father share how Multiples2Multiples has been so helpful after his wife passed on.
Why am I going on and on about this? Because like I mentioned earlier the Top 40 women under 40 done annually by Business Daily is here. I would like to ask that you nominate women you feel are doing remarkable work in the society. Women touching lives and having impact in the world. Nominate them here and let us celebrate their work with the world. Don’t restrict yourself to only those excelling in the corporate world. Yes, nominate them. And then look at those not in offices per se but are doing great work either way and nominate them too. As you do that, today raise your glass with me and let us toast to Dr. Amakove Wala – an excellent woman, wonderful mother and great influencer of our society!
Author: Wanjiru Kihusa
I am Wanjiru Kihusa and I’m a writer and founder of Still A Mum – an organization that seeks to reduce maternal and newborn deaths in Africa. I am especially passionate about women and children.
I blog to share my thoughts and experiences hoping that in the process someone will learn from my life.