A double helping of joy is on the 2012 Father's Day menu for Fleetwood resident Seth Walizer.
He and his wife, Laura, became the proud parents of twin daughters on March 30 and Seth will celebrate Father's Day for the first time this year, as the twins are the couple's first children. And making the day an even more joyous occasion is the fact that struggles preceded the arrival of the two bundles of joy.
'Pregnancy didn't come easy to Laura and I, so I'm just so thankful to have two beautiful girls that are healthy,' said Seth, 34, who works in Blandon as a State Farm insurance agent. 'Ten toes and ten fingers is what I asked for whenever they were born and that's what I got.'
The new father said raising twins is a case of 'double the joy.' He has the opportunity to watch both of his daughters, Kate and Madeleyn, develop at the same time and see both girls perform their 'firsts.'
'Every day it's something new. Watching them grow, the simplest things, that's like the most exciting thing in the world,' said Seth. 'As frustrated as you get when you can't get them to settle down, it's all worth it. Every day is great.'
Along with the joys of twins, Seth said the infants also pose challenges due to caring for multiple newborns. But he and Laura anticipated an abundance of work after they were informed of the twins presence 22 weeks into the pregnancy.
'We knew it was going to be a big job,' he said. 'I'd say the biggest challenge is that it's just double duty.'
Helping to ease the workload with the children are both the parents of Seth and Laura. The grandparents, along with other family members, likewise help the couple maintain a goal they set prior to the arrival of their twins: having at least one activity a week during which it is just husband and wife.
'Our families are there whenever we need them,' said Seth. 'We're very fortunate in that regard.'
Also aiding in the rearing of the children are the work schedules of Laura and Seth. Laura, 30, is a special education teacher in the Parkland School District and is taking at least a year off to stay with her daughters. Seth, who is able to do a lot of his work from home, alternates days in which he spends either the morning or the afternoon in the office.
He also said that keeping his daughters on a feeding schedule of every three hours has helped. However, feeding both babies at the same time is a challenge when only one parent is present. But, the one-man or one-woman feedings are performed by sitting in front of the bassinets and controlling a bottle with each hand.
Double duty with the babies has also led to a drastic reduction in the amount of sleep the Walizer parents are getting. Seth said at first he and his wife were lucky to enjoy an hour of sleep a night. Now, the couple is averaging about four hours of shuteye nightly.
While the actions of his daughters are now keeping his body moving, prior to their birth, thoughts of raising the girls kept Seth's mind active. He grew up with two younger brothers and no sisters and was unsure of how raising daughters was going to work. But those fears were quickly erased after the arrival of the twins.
'When they were born, all those thoughts were gone. Your instincts take over so quickly, said Seth. 'Changing them, bathing them, all of those things that you worry about as a father, it's not that hard. I haven't struggled with it. It's amazing the skills you attain.'
And although the baby girls are not yet able to lavish their father with gifts and show their appreciation for him, Father's Day will nonetheless serve as a special day for Seth.
'My two girls are my gifts,' he said. 'Just to see them, just to be with them is all I need.'