Northern multiple birth families celebrate on birthday of Dionne quintuplets
NORTH BAY -- Thursday marks National Multiple Births Awareness Day, and northern families are celebrating while also raising awareness of the unique challenge multiple birth families face.
Gail Moore of Temiskaming Shores is celebrating being a multiple birth mom, having given birth to fraternal twin boys.
"My boys were born in 1993 in Temiskaming at our hospital," said Moore over Skype. "They were the first set born in 1993 and there were seven sets born that year."
The annual day began 15 years ago outside of the Dionne Quints Museum on the sisters' birthday, May 28. Multiple Births Canada got the blessing of the sisters, as they are the most recognizable multiple birth siblings.
"It seems to be an honour for the Quints to be able to represent multiple births being a major event in our history," said Ed Valenti, Dionne Quints Heritage Board Chair.
"We sent flowers to the sisters and they've acknowledged them and they're very happy."
Back in the mid-1930s when the Quintuplets were born, no one knew it was even possible to give birth to five babies at one time. It was so unusual, they became famous across the globe.
Experts say multiple birth families and parents face unique challenges during delivery and afterward. They say birth mothers often end up in the intensive care unit and, meaning sometimes, bonding between parents and babies can be an issue in the early going.
"One lady in Timmins had quadruplets and they all had to come home at different times so the bonding was an issue because they arrived weeks apart from each other," said Moore.
The theme of this year's awareness campaign is Connecting Coast To Coast, hoping the 150,000 multiple birth children and families can have a chance to unite and celebrate amongst themselves.
"We ordered a cake for our chapter and we're going to separate it and share it," said Moore. "We had posters printed in our community and put on our lawns to show how proud we are."
Moore says she's proud to be a multiple birth mom and will always cherish her time with her twin boys.