A Northern Virginia group brings parents of multiples together.
Nicola Shelley’s day is equal parts happy laughter and tearful cries from her 14-month-old twins.
Her twin girls are now toddling with gusto, but Shelley can remember a not so distant time when caring for her girls meant round the clock feeding and very little sleep.
"So it was exhausting," she says. "We don't have family here in the D.C. area, so really we were relying, my husband and I, on each other."
That's just one of the many topics Northern Virginia Parents of Multiples addresses very seriously.
"It's very common for families to go through a lot of exhaustion, financial strain and a higher risk of postpartum [depression] because of those exhaustion levels," says Suzy Friedman, vice president of membership for the group.
The organization exists both as a support group and resource hub for things like au pairs and playgroups. One of its most popular activities is a consignment sale that helps ease the financial burdens that come with multiples.
"Twice as many bottles, twice as many pacifiers, twice as much clothing, more or less," Friedman says.
Northern Virginia Parents of Multiples has grown its memberships to more than 430 families.