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|05-10-03: Motherhood is twice as nice
|By MARGIE WUEBKER
The Daily Standard
CHICKASAW - Beth Griesdorn laughs softly, recalling how she once
envisioned her ideal family as a loving husband, a curly-haired daughter and a
She has achieved the dream and then some.
Griesdorn and hubby Bart have two sets of twins - 4-year-old daughters
Macey Marie and Madalyn "Maddie" Nichole and newborn sons Carson Lewis and
Connor Francis. Mother's Day came a month early with the addition of the twin boys on
"I always wanted a girl and a boy," the proud mother says.
"My wish came true all right, but it doubled along the way."
The Griesdorns did not expect twins, although they certainly run in his
family. With a brother and a sister as well as an uncle and aunt who are twins, the
phenomena certainly didn't skip a generation. The first ultrasound picked up one heartbeat
and then another.
"The news certainly caught us off guard," Beth Griesdorn says
as her 41-year-old husband nods in agreement. "We were shocked and very
The expectant mother continued working as a pharmaceutical sales
representative until her obstetrician ordered precautionary bedrest six weeks prior to her
daughters' births on Nov. 24, 1998. She used the time to read everything she could find in
regard to twins.
"The delivery was awesome with the girls arriving 28 minutes
apart," she says. "I was tired afterward, but the whole experience was great.
Bart and I got to hold the babies right away."
They quickly settled into a welcome routine, crying only when hunger or
wetness disturbed their otherwise perfect world. That lasted three weeks until they
The incessant crying started like clockwork each night. Macey started
first between 7:30 and 10 and Maddie chimed in between 10 and 12:30.
"I tried everything - switching to formula, running the sweeper,
walking the floor, taking rides in the car and even putting their infant seats on the
washing machine - and nothing seemed to help," she recalls. "However, they
always settled down by the time Bart got home."
The second-shift Honda of America worker quietly entered their brick
ranch-style home each night to find his wife totally exhausted and the babies sleeping
peacefully. Neither parent complained when they outgrew colic nine weeks later.
The little girls conformed perfectly to the Baby A-Baby B philosophy
touted in many books. Macey, who came into the world first, is the dominant leader while
Maddie is a laid-back follower.
"Macey was awake more and needed more attention," according
to her mother. "Maddie definitely went with the flow. She was content to eat and
The Griesdorns began talking about the possibility of another child as
the girls blossomed into toddlers. She longed to experience the birth of one baby and she
hoped for a son.
Once again the ultrasound indicated a different scenario - two tiny
bodies, two distinctive heartbeats. Even the obstetrician was shocked. None of the doctors
in the five-member Dayton practice had ever delivered two sets of twins to the same
mother. And there were no fertility drugs involved to increase the odds of multiple
"It took some time for the shock to wear off," the
33-year-old mother says. "OK, so we're having twins again. Better us than somebody
else. We already had two of everything - cribs, high chairs, strollers, infant seats.
"Our biggest concern all along was having healthy babies because
with twins you run double the chance of something going wrong. God certainly blessed us
with two more healthy children."
The pregnancy proceeded with few problems other than orders to rest the
last three weeks and considerable discomfort. Hopes for another vaginal delivery were
dashed when the twins assumed transverse positions. The decision to proceed with a
Caesarean section came 31.2 weeks before the due date. Carson arrived first at 8:35 a.m.,
weighing 6 pounds, 21.2 ounce. Connor followed a minute later, tipping the scales at 5
pounds, 101.2 ounces.
The boys are fraternal twins like their sisters, but they don't follow
the Baby A-Baby B philosophy. Carson is laid back like Maddie while Connor already shows
signs of being a leader like Macey. They seem to adhere to a schedule better than the
girls, according to their mother.
"The key is to feed one right after the other," she explains.
"That way you don't wind up with a feeding schedule that seems to drag on forever.
I'm holding my breath as far as colic goes. So far, so good."
Beth Griesdorn admits there isn't time for leisurely walks or relaxing
on the couch during the day. She considers the early morning hours, when nary a twin is
stirring, as her special time.
"I'm a better person when I have that time," she says.
"It gets me ready to handle the rest of the day."
She typically gets up between 3:30 and 4 for early morning feedings.
With Carson and Connor safely tucked back into their cribs, she savors the quiet while
exercising, showering and then tackling the never-ending task of laundry.
Macey and Maddy awaken at 7 a.m. and run to check on their brothers'
welfare like two proud mother hens. After generous doses of kisses and hugs, the
blond-haired girls settle down to breakfast. They head to Chapel Hill Preschool in Maria
Stein two days a week, giving mom and dad some time alone with the boys.
"We've never encountered the first indication of sibling
rivalry," Beth Griesdorn says. "If anything, they shower their brothers with too
much love and attention."
Her current plans are to return to work later in the year. Supportive
family members, including two sets of retired grandparents, have expressed the intention
to help as needed. There are no plans for another addition in the future, as space is
already at a premium in the minivan.
"Bart and I have been blessed twice over," she says watching
two little girls intent on holding their sleeping brothers. "Being a mom is great,
but why tempt fate a third time. I have everything I ever dreamed of and then some."
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