Whoa, folks. You all really let loose on my last post about parenting twins! As I mentioned in one of the replies to the 22+ comments I received, I don’t think I’ve ever learned so much about twins, parenting, desires of parenting, fears and hopes as I have in one set of comments before.
The comments (so far) have broken down into three camps: parents of twins, people who don’t want twins, and people who do want twins. And I had a few unique posts from people who are either twins themselves or have had lots of lifetime interactions with twins.
Each camp of comments seemed to have their own collective message within that camp.
Parents of twins seemed to unequivocally agree: they love their kids but boy howdy, they would not raise twins again if they had to. The general consensus here was that parenting twins is crazy, overwhelming, exhausting, but ultimately rewarding. Their kids are growing up with playmates and perhaps even at a developmental edge. These kids have someone who has their back like no other person on the planet. For all the exhaustion and expense, they’re grateful and blessed for having their twin children.
People who don’t want twins shared many of my concerns as well as identified additional concerns: strains on marriage, lifetime expenses, high-risk pregnancies and NICU stays, etc. We all shared the same general fear of such responsibility to two helpless poop/pee/eat blobs. I was particularly struck by commenters who shared about their fear of divided attentions between twin children.
People who do want twins seem to largely be motivated by an urgent desire to parent combined with advancing age. I got a sense of lot of these folks were very “if we’re going to do this, let’s DO THIS!” Many wanted siblings for their children, but since they were X years old and not getting any younger, the likelihood of conveniently spaced children was not necessarily in their favor, so twins afford a more realistic approach to their family building. I could also appreciate the sentiment shared by so many: “I don’t care how many I have, just let me be free of all these years of waiting.”
Before I go any further, I do want to fully acknowledge that I have no reason to worry about any of this at all, right now, because it’s simply a non-issue. I’m not pregnant. We’re not cycling any time soon. But damn you, Infertility with a Capital I, how you make a gal worry for no apparent reason regardless.
To be very honest, by putting this fear out there and getting feedback – both validation and contradiction – has made me worry less about having twins. I’ve realized there’s no point in getting worked up over what is – at this moment – a hypothetical.
So – thanks for calming me down, everyone
Yesterday’s post also brought up some pretty touchy stuff, like the fact that parents of twins are more likely to divorce. I’d like to think that Larry and I have been through a lot together in our 15 years together but let’s face it: after draining our savings to achieve pregnancy only then to turn around and try to raise two children at once, as new parents? I don’t have a crystal ball but I can assure you: there will be exhausted fights and resentment over sharing childcare loads. Oh, and you still have to raise your kids in the process.
I realize in my post I didn’t share Larry’s thoughts on the whole subject. We share the same view: if we had a choice, we’d rather parent a singleton to start. We stray on the path of whether or not we want one or two kids (I’ll have two please!) but we do of course share the opinion of being happy and grateful for what we can get. That said, higher order multiples such as triplets, quads, etc., though rare, open up an entirely different can of worms, one that commenters touched on yesterday as well:
Sometimes it’s almost absurd to think that after years of infertility a couple would actually choose to selectively reduce their potential offspring, but the fact of the matter is: to each their own. It’s a subject that Larry and I have discussed privately and is something we’ve agreed that I won’t discuss here when it comes to our personal decisions, should we have to make such a difficult decision in the future. I won’t lie: the idea of reduction doesn’t sit well with me, but neither does the idea of raising something akin to the Gosselin or Suleman clans.
It’s almost like selective reduction is infertility’s cruel Catch-22. It’s a shitty situation no matter how you slice it and it is totally not my place to judge.
So, after all this talk of twins, where do I stand now, 48 hours later?
If I was in the stirrups right now, waiting for the ultrasound tech to confirm – I’d be keeping my fingers crossed for just one baby. That’s just where I’m at right now. Maybe in 8 years if we still haven’t had children yet, I might be singing a very different tune.
So – where we are right now? Just one please.
Well, one to get us started
But first things first: let’s find a way to finance our cycle, find an egg donor and get the ball rolling before we can even start worrying about double-decker strollers or matching onesies.
And it’s back to waiting and hopefully, at least with regards to the possibility of twins, a little less worrying.