Kate's bundles of joy

Bernadette Lancefield
Kate has tunnel vision and night blindness. In 2010, Kate became pregnant with twins. This made Kate and her husband very happy. Kate says the experience was also scary. She had a planned delivery. Because Kate was giving birth to twins, it was a risky pregnancy. Fortunately, Aurora and Abigail were born in a healthy condition. Because of her vision-impairment, Kate is cautious. She only goes to places that she knows are safe. When at home, everything is locked up and dangerous items are always put away. Kate says parenting is hard at times, but also rewarding.
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Bernadette Lancefield on 04/12/2012
Twin baby girls in a double pram with proud mother looking on

Kate's little bundles of joy - twin baby girls.

Kate has tunnel vision and night blindness. If I'm looking at your forehead, she says, I can't see your chin. If the lighting is not good, I'm in a bit of strife.

In 2010, Kate and her husband, Chris, found out that they were having twins. We were ecstatic, says Kate. Everyone was happy for us. But when they found out I was having twins, they gave me a big hug and said, I have sympathy for you. You don't know how much work is ahead of you.

Fear of the unknown

Kate also admits that the experience was, at times, very scary. You're not sure if you're going to make a good parent. You don't know how to change a nappy or how to give a bottle. We set up a nursery, but that's it. Terrifying!

As a high risk pregnancy, Kate was scheduled for a planned caesarean. But when Kate and Chris arrived at the hospital and climbed out of the car, Kate was so unsure that she asked her husband if they could please turn back.

Because Kate was giving birth to identical twins, there was considerable risk involved. The babies spent three weeks in hospital to help them develop, or as the nurses like to put it, to help them bake. Fortunately, Aurora and Abigail were born in a healthy condition.

Though she does her best, Kate admits that she cannot watch both her girls simultaneously. When they started crawling, it was a serious issue for us. One would crawl into the bathroom and the other into the bedroom.

Once, when Chris was at work, one of her girls swallowed some air freshener. I was petrified. We lived on an isolated 15 acre farm, so I had no one around to help.

Fearful for her child's safety, Kate called the Poison's Hotline and received advice on what symptoms to look for. She was told to monitor her for an hour to make sure there were no adverse signs. Thankfully, her little girl didn't seem to experience any ill effects, but it was a sharp lesson in maintaining a safe environment.

Getting around

Kate always takes her children to places that she knows are safe, like the park around the corner. The double pram she uses serves as a helpful mobility aid as it alerts her when she reaches steps or other obstacles.

One day, Kate tried using a different supermarket. After completing her shopping, she lined up at the checkout, only to discover that the double pram couldn't fit through the aisle. The pram had to be lifted over the checkout barriers, she says, I was almost in tears.

Sometimes, Kate trips over the children's toys if they're left lying on the ground. We're trying to help the kids to understand early, that they really need to put their toys away. It causes arguments, fights and tantrums sometimes, but they'll learn.

Kate does everything in her power to ensure her children are always safe. Because of my vision impairment, I need to be more cautious than most and I make sure that things are set up safely. Everything is locked up, and I put out of reach anything that might be dangerous.

Kate, however, confesses that she's always worried. Things can happen. My children can fall over and hurt themselves.

Making it work

But there is also a lot to enjoy about being a parent. As Kate says, some of the things I thought I could never ever do, I do now because of my children. Due to her vision impairment, Kate finds it extremely difficult in crowds. However she doesn't let this stop her from taking her children to shows and parks, where there are often children running around because, she says, the kids get so much joy out of it.

Kate says that being a mother is full of milestones. My children started walking and then they started running. Their language is progressing.

As her children grow, Kate realises that she needs to learn to trust them. They won't run off now, she says, like they used to. I've gotten a lot braver with the girls.

Kate's husband, Chris, has been her main support. He is amazing, Kate says, he has also become very good at finding things.

To other blind or vision-impaired people thinking of having children, Kate has this advice; Just do it. I was so, so scared. Every day is just amazing. It's really, really hard but you just make it work.

Readers comments (1)

Great article Bernadette. An inspiration to anyone hoping to have a family!

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