Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Twins.

(note: Weird. I just noticed I had accidentally hit "publish" instead of "save as draft" when I only had written the title. I had gotten distracted ~gasp~ and I was going to come back in a few minutes to continue writing it. And what do I see? "Twin" blank posts had published, purely an coincidental accident.)

Is it just me or is the world being inundated with twins lately?

On the pregnancy message board I was on during my pregnancy (PAIF - pregnancy after infertility), I think the girls pregnant with singletons were the minority. Most had twins and then there were a small handful of triplets; most conceived via IVF and I believe the triplets were IUIs - again, just pointing out most HOM (high order multiples) are from the riskier (for HOMs) IUIs.

What is the attraction of having twins? I can't tell you how many women I saw on the first trimester boards were just convinced they were having twins and actually really disappointed when they found they were "only" having a singleton. (Another funny thing I see with first time preggos is most all of them think "I have a feeling this baby is going to come early." hehe. Yeah, that's why the statistics show most first time babies come after their due date.) And then there is the ART (assisted reproductive technology) mommies, who go into their pregnancies assuming/hoping for twins even more because of the multiples rates are higher. Some of these mommies are even more surprised when they don't find multiple babies in their bellies.

While I think twins are a wonderful gift and I can see how they could be hoped for even more in some circumstances (ie: a women can only conceive via IVF and with having to pay out of pocket for the procedure, a "two-fer" would be extra awesome), I would never hope for a twin pregnancy. Why? Because they are hard, scary, dangerous and risky. I'm not going to go into the specifics and technicalities of the risks and dangers, I'm sure you all know a twin mom who lost one of both of their babies. Those stories are burned into my brain because it's just so damned heart wrenching.

And then there is the big thing about after the pregnancy - if both babies make it through delivery, you have ~two~ babies to care for! Ack! Although ... I do believe having two kids close together are even harder to care for than twins. So in that aspect, having twins would have been "better" for me. One of my best friends have twins. Shortly thereafter, I had babies close together (15 months apart). While I think having twins is ridiculously hard, I really think having two babies close together are even harder. Why? Because when you have twins, while you have to do twice the amount of work and it's hard for both babies to be on the same schedule, with kids close together you are not only doing double the work, but the work is completely different.

I watched my friend trying to feed both babies at the same time. But then she watched me trying to feed a newborn and then cooking a meal and feeding it to the toddler. I watched her catch a break when both babies were content and laying on their activity mat happily. But then she watched me not being able to take a break even with both kids happy because even in the content moments, the newborn had to be protected constantly from the toddler. Ella wasn't an unruly child, she was simply too young to know to be careful around Allison. I couldn't leave the baby happily sitting in her swing alone with Ella while I ran to the bathroom. The work was more constant and literally never ending. So I will say that given the choice in regards to how hard it was, I'd rather have twins than two kids close together. Saying all that, could you imagine how hard Sugar & Ice has it? She's got a toddler AND newborn twins. Oy vey!

Whoa. Sorry to get a little off topic there.

I want to make it very clear I am ~not~ speaking negatively about anyone who has twins (or the twins themselves). I'll admit that I'm jealous of twin mommies because twins are, for the record, so damned cute!!! But they are a lot of work comparatively speaking to a singleton and the pregnancies are so dangerous and so risky and most are so hard at the end. I am only speaking to the question in my mind of not understanding why so many women hope and pray to be pregnant with twins. It's a blessing and a gift to get, yes, but it's not something I ever put on my wish list. I guess it makes me a little sad when a mommy is disappointed in their singleton when they were secretly or openly hoping for twin heartbeats at that first appointment. While twins are incredibly cool and get a lot of attention, a singleton is pretty damned incredibly cool too.

40 comments:

sara said...

I've been a craptastic commenter lately so I'm sorry it's taken me so long to post a couple on your last weeks stuff! I love that picture of the little one staring at the toy like "what the heck is that!" Too cute! I hope you're feeling better after your surgery and can I just say that I LOVE that you asked who your gas passer was? I told a few people at work about that yesterday and we all had a great laugh around the lunch table....we love you!

Seriously? - Erin said...

Twins scare me too. I was nervous for our first u/s because of the risk of twins (clomid and all). My SIL is a genetic counselor and she has me totally freaked out about any multiples not just HOM.

They are cute, but scary none the less. I also have a friend who just delivered her son, 13 months after her daughter, that to me seems daunting too.

Tara said...

While I would not have been disapointed if I had found out I was going to have twins (because I did do IVF and I did pay out of pocket), I was more than thrilled to find out I was having a singleton. It was scary enough to be pregnant after so many years of infertility, I was thankful to have minimal complications and less to worry about.

What really drove me crazy was the people who constantly asked, "How many are in there??" and then "Oh. ONLY one." Like my singleton baby was such a big dissapointment.

Thank you sweet Christ for giving me that ONLY one.

nancy said...

Tara, I felt the same way. Especially when I transferred 4 embryos. Everyone seemed disappointed when I found out I "only" had one. I was the one hoping and praying for just ONE heartbeat.

the mol said...

With twins, you get 2 babies for one pregnancy, and of course they're cute. They have each other but so do kids who are close in age.

My sisters are twins. They are close but SO different, and they disagree frequently.

I would have been happy with twins. But I think I'd go bananas with our current situation.

Elana Kahn said...

Before finding out that I was definitely having twins, I was really bouncing back and forth between which I would prefer (even though it wasn't my choice). Yes, it was my choice to put back 2 embryos, but I only had 2 left and the 2nd one was a lesser grade (5 cells grade C). Either way, now that I'm nearing the end of the pregnancy, I can safely say I would never want to have twins ever again. I'm huge, I'm uncomfortable and I wish I were only having one. On the plus side, now I know that I'll be able to handle a singleton pregnancy much better. :-) It's darned expensive needing nearly twice as much baby "stuff" and I can't imagine taking care of two at once. But, as my father would say, "this too shall pass". And when I get to the toddler stage, hopefully they'll play well with each other and give me a teensy break. :-D

Morgan said...

Off topic..

Are you serious...you couldn't be my friend IRL because I listen to country sometimes? That stung. That hurt real deep. :)

Sarah said...

We experienced secondary infertility for 1.5 yrs, so when we decided to go for the recommended treatment (clomid/IUI), I had my doubts about whether I would get pregnant at all, never mind with multiples. Of course we were warned of the risks - and when I got my BFP I was SURE there was only one baby in there. However at first ultrasound, it turned out we were in the "under 1%" of people who conceive triplets.

Believe me, multiples, especially HOM, were the LAST thing I was hoping for with my fertility treatment. We went into it hoping for just one more baby to finish our family. Finding out we were going to have double the kids we had hoped for, and a high risk pregnancy, was horrific and very depressing at the beginning. Now of course we have adjusted our plans and will have to continue adjusting our lifestyle for many years to come, but we're actually excited about their arrival now, despite the challenges.

I know there are a lot of people out there who watch Jon & Kate + 8 and think it would be awesome to have that kind of life. I blame the tv networks which glamorize these large families - they don't show the stress that HOM put on a couple. We have already had to buy a new car and will have to buy a new house in the next year or two, not to mention the cost of buying everything in triplicate as the kids need things in years to come. People don't think about that stuff, they just think it would be so cute to have a bunch of kids all matchy-matchy.

As for what's more difficult, multiples or kids close in age - who knows, I believe everyone's normal has its own difficulties and you really can't compare. I'll have triplet infants and a preschooler, I'm sure my normal will be pretty damn tough - but I don't begrudge anyone else the right to complain about how hard it is for them with their infant and toddler. It's not a competition.

nancy said...

It's definitely not a competition.

Sarah R said...

On the parenting board I'm on, one girl just delievered her twins (a boy and a girl, conceived naturally), and there are four or five other mommies pregnant with twins! I know at least two of them just happened to get pregnant with twins. It does seem that the world is being inundated with twins lately!

I do kind-of wish Andrew had been twins because he's so darn cute! LOL, that, and my hubby is now saying "no more kids", which really stings after my recent loss. I wanted just one more and now I feel like I will never have a sibling for Andrew.

On the topic of going early, I was completely in shock when Andrew came 6 days before my due date. I kept telling people I was going to go at least 2 weeks over. And I know my dates were right. He was just 6 lbs, 6 oz which isn't too terribly small, but it's not big either.

Jen said...

I'm barely surviving with one baby!

Kaci said...

the mol said...
With twins, you get 2 babies for one pregnancy,

I would totally feel jipped on this - I love being pregnant. Right now I'd love to BE pregnant, but I'm not ready for a baby. But twins are cute.

seussgirl said...

Hmmm, what does that mean for me? My twins are about to turn one this week, and I'm due in September. Busy me!

Rachel said...

I agree, I wouldn't ever wish or hope for twins. Taking fertility drugs scares me for that very reason, but that's the way it goes for me.
As for your comment on my blog about waiting for my donor...I have 2 vials already reserved, with the promise of more to come (no pun intended, haha)...they're in the mandatory 6-month deep freeze quarantine right now. But at least they're ready and waiting for me.
I figure that Farty is so damn cute (and for the most part good natured), why not try again with the same genetic mix?

Lisa said...

The world has gone multiple crazy. Shows like Jon & Kate + 8 have glorfied having multiples but what most people do not understand is that what is shown on tv is not real. And cases like the octomom are going to continue to happen because many people think that along with their desired babies they can have their 15 minutes of fame.

I agree that it is so sad to see all these mommies disappointed when they only hear one heartbeat. I thought most moms-to-be simply want a healthy baby. I am learning that it is not the case. I have found that those who are convinced they will hear more than one heartbeat, end up having singleton pregnancies. It seems those who conceive multiples are completely shocked by it (even those using fertility meds or procedures).

My twins were conceived naturally and were a huge shock. The pregnancy was routine and complication free. I truly believe that the biggest reason for that is that genetically, I was meant to have twins. My grandmother had two sets of fraternal twins and all four babies survived. Those people who have all sorts of problems generally are those who should never have been carrying multiples. But I guess that it's one of the drawbacks to the increased use of fertility drugs.

My boys are a huge blessing (and a wonderful gift from my Nanny) and I would never trade them for the world. But, there are days or times when it is really hard having two babies at once. It's when an extra set of arms would come in handy...

Wordgirl said...

Um.

I'm scared to death about the possibility of twins -- and here's the rub: we'll most likely do a two embryo transfer should we be so lucky to have two worthy embryos -- we've already said that we wouldn't do selective reduction -- even if there was some minor miracle and both embryos survived and even if one of those twinned.

For me, honestly, that's worst case scenario. While I would love more than one biological child, and infertility makes it unlikely that I'd have a successful pregnancy naturally -- I doubt I'd have the cojones for another pregnancy and all this rigamarole --so I get the positives of twins -- but for me?

I'll be out of my element with one.

Wordgirl said...

oh and btw on NPR Fresh Air this aired:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=101027985

It was frank; I had to turn it off because it talked so abruptly about the higher incidence of loss with multiples. As a woman who has tried for so long to achieve a successful pregnancy -- the thought of having a high risk situation...

Enough said.

Geohde said...

Twins ARE hard and risky. My pregnancy was a mess. The newborn period is bordering on psychotic- having done it with multiples- that part is much harder than having two close in age. It's truly vile.

xx

J

Mermaid said...

Scary is the important part of a twin pregnancy. Petrifyingly scary.

I never wished for twins. I just wanted a baby and was so used to failure. In fact, we are so glad we didn't beg the RE to put 3 back (we asked nicely and they said not a good idea. Whew!) So, I also can't understand the wish for twins. It is so very scary.

That wish probably goes hand-in-hand with another thing you've spoken against - wanting to have a baby early for your own convenience. Ugh. I'll just be grateful if my babies come home healthy.

Aubrey said...

I thank God that my pregnancy is only 1 baby. Since I have the 2 other kids having 1 just makes more sense so that I can be able to successfully take care of all the kids and not have a nevous break down. And the price to care for kids these days and buy what they need has drastically changed since I had a baby 7 yrs ago. Its going to break the back to get all that we need and keep the other 2 in shoes in clothes so thank you God for not giving me more then I could handle at this point.

Dont get me wrong I would have been just as thrilled to have twins but for me I def would rather have this 1 healthy baby.

jenn said...

I was so nervous at the first u/s that there might be two! The hub was completely freaked out about it. We were so relieved & thankful for the one perfect little heartbeat! While in theory I have always secretly thought it would be awesome to have twins- when it came to the reality I could not imagine how hard it would be & wish for it.

Of course- having one rigght after her scares me too! I think I will have my hands full enough with just the one baby- I should be good for a little while!

Jennifer said...

I do not want to have twins. I'm SO worried that karma is going to bite me someday because I joked with a woman that was newly pregnant that maybe it was twins...it was. Oops. She loves her boys, but they are a handful. She calls them twinadoes. I like one at a time and not too close together. Of course I'd deal if I did get pregnant with twins or had two close together(of course we are really careful with bc..so it shouldn't be a problem)

Not in the Water said...

#1 love the funny pic.

#2 - you kinda have me freaked out about the twins post b/c everyone thinks I am going to have twins...and my grandmother in her dimentia way told me I am going to have triplets. (This was before any RE appt almost 3 yrs ago)

I want a healthy baby...but I am terrified of multiples! EEK

eden said...

I agree with everything you've said. And I watched BOTH of my sisters have kids very close in age, they nearly had freakin breakdowns.

My mum found out she was having twins in 1969 ... a few days before they were born! She had to get an x-ray to confirm it, then rush out and buy 2 of everything. Can you imagine!

DD said...

Nancy, as an old-timer (VERY old-timer)from the PAIF board, I still lurk and have followed your blog for a while now. I always find myself agreeing with you on so many things, but have never posted.

I wanted to post on this one to say how spot on you are with everything. Back in 2004, after 8 years of infertility, we transferred two embryos on our 3rd IVF. Both took. We were thrilled to see both heartbeats on the first ultrasound. You couldn't have smacked the smile off of our faces. We were those naive people that thought twins would be just the greatest thing.

Fast-forward to 19 weeks. Cervix dialated to 4 cm and there was a water bag hanging out of me before I ever knew anything was wrong. I laid almost upside down in a hospital bed for several days trying to save them, but there was just nothing more that could be done. Our son and daughter were born too early to survive. Four years and two more daughters later, there is still not a day that goes by when I don't think of the twins countless...seriously, countless times.

I learned too late how dangerous multiple pregnancies can be. Needless to say, our subsequent FETs involved the transfer of only one embryo. And, we have two beautiful singleton daughters.

I'm not sure why I posted all of this, other then to thank you for addressing this. So, thank you.

Kirsten said...

I was also one who was "scared" to have twins...then reality (and infertility) hit and I realized I needed to be thankful for whatever I was given, which happened to be twins. Believe me, there are far greater things in life to be fearful of. You do get your life back at some point.
All I can say is that, yes, it is difficult but it's something that cannot be understood unless you've been there, just like I have no idea what it's like to have one child. But, I could say the same - I love having twins and wouldn't trade for a singleton any day now that I've gotten into my routine. You just do what you have to do and find that you make it work. I never in a million years would have thought I could do it but turns out I'm pretty damn good at it and my little girls are the joys of my life.

Denise said...

A friend of mine who conceived her identical twins naturally always says that a twin pregnancy is a medical condition. She is completely right. It is dangerous for everyone involved and should be treated as a medical condition. I'm still amazed that we all made it through mostly unscathed.

As far as what is harder, twins versus two close in age, I can only speak to my own experience. Having infant twins is hard and I honestly don't know what we would have done without the support we have received from friends and family. There are times where I wish I could clone myself. The sleep thing is difficult because they both have to sleep at the same time for mom to get to sleep. It is a constant battle to keep them on the same schedule. It is also more difficult to breastfeed (something that was important to me). While I've managed to keep doing it part time, I can't really go out in public and feed them as easily as I could a singleton because you can't really tandem feed without looking like a circus freak. So I usually resort to bottles if we go out.

My 16 month old niece was here over the weekend and I kept trying to picture having a kid her age and an infant and it would be crazy. I also think about if we were to have another (a singleton) and how crazy it would be to have twin toddlers and an infant. Yikes! Any of these scenarios make me exhausted just thinking about them!

theclam said...

Hmmm, interesting topic. I think one should be incredibly happy to get what you get - whether it's a singleton or twins or trips etc.

Personally I would love to have twins (so I don't have to go through another IVF to have a second child) but will be over the moon to have one as well cos right now I've got none.

I have a friend who has twins (IVF) and another who has a singleton and the mom of the singleton often asks the twin mom how she copes cos she battles with just one baby - and the twin mom says she does not know anything else and it's just what she knows.

I guess what I'm tyring to say in a long winded way is that you cope with whatever you're given.

xxx

Krista said...

I agree with you in my head. I liked being pregnant with one, and I liked being able to work through my whole pregnancy with no complications. I was very grateful for that, and I know there are no guarantees, no matter if you have one or two. I wouldn't want to increase the risks though by having more than one.

If I'm honest though, I admit part of my heart wishes to have twins if I'm able to get pregnant again. My DH said just one more time - and I could see myself with 3 kids. Twins would be the only way to get there.

Ultimately, my head wins and I'd still rather just have one.

Kate said...

I'm almost 32 weeks with twin boys right now, & i whole-heartedly agree with everything you wrote. While we are thrilled to be ecpecting at all, & are of course happy with our boys (who thank god are healthy thus far) it is TERRIFYING to think of caring for 2 infants as 1st time parents & this preganncy has been even more scary. I've been on bederst for months, in & out of the hospital & have been fighting PTL since we were 26 weeks. It is NOT an easy road & definelty not something to be wished for or taken lightly. I wouldn't trade these guys for anything, but it has been much more difficult than i could have imagined, & it really irks me to hear "oh i wish i had twins" etc. Like it's something you can pick up at Walmart (god forbid Walmart starts selling twins, but I wouldn't put it past that awful store either!) While twins are great, they're a huge responbility & alot of the time come with alot of unwished for preganncy complications. It's defineely scary territory & should be treated seriously.

& good luck with your gallbladder stuff today! hpoe all goes well!

Jewels said...

I see a lot of the same thing.
I thought for a moment after my IUI "there is a chance for twins" and I would have been happy and accept it. But I didn’t hope for it. Though a small part can see the glamorized side of it, especially at my age when I was kind of hoping to be TTC#3 by now, you know, the dream of when I first started TTC at age 34, thought I’d have the baby by 35, and TTC#3 at 36-37. Wanted all my kids by 38. Didn’t happen that way, and it’s scary to think I’ll have to TTC again closer to 40, to through more IF hell, and more Pregnancy (loss – defects) worry. To be ever higher risk. Yeah, twins would have been an answer to that.

And I was one of those who at 38 weeks felt like "this kid is NEVER going to come out - I just know I'm going to be a month late".
I wished I had the hope of delivering early, and I have to remind myself that I did deliver exactly on my Due Date with Dylan. And that I may not necessarily go over or even to my due date with this one, but my mind is just prepared to deliver late.

Hollie said...

I agree that twins would be so much danger and so much work. I started out my pregnancy with twins, but lost one, and now that my son is here, I wonder how I could have done it with two. The goal of ART should always be a single healthy baby.

MrsSpock said...

The idea of twins scares me, but I have a chronic illness and lost much of my mobility when pregnant with a singleton. I prefer a baby one at a time. Of course, I'd take two at once over none at all.

JamieD said...

Hubby thinks twins would be so fun. I tell him to wait until the one gets here and we'll revisit that thought.

Shinejil said...

Oh, I totally agree, Nancy. In fact, I was very happy when my beta came back indicating a singleton. Of course, that turned out not to mean squat, but I was happy for a brief time. :)

I wanted a singleton because it would make pregnancy a lot easier, expanding my birthing options, and because I'm an only child and have no clue about sibling dynamics. I'm not really of the "two-for-the-price-of-one" school when it comes to the future child's health, despite the fact that we had to pay out of pocket.

That said, I am committed to making this the healthiest pregnancy with the biggest damn babies I can manage. And you better believe I'm going to enlist shitloads of help postpartum. Thankfully, my guy loves babies and worked at a daycare center for years, and the grandparents are almost all retired and raring to help for a while.

Amanda said...

I'll be honest. I wanted twins. I prayed for twins. I was damned near heartbroken when the doctor told me that the second sac wasn't viable. I cried tears of joy when, a few weeks later, we saw two perfect heartbeats. I was also freaking insane!

I love my boys more than my own life. I'd give or do anything for them. That said...

If I could do it over again, and be guaranteed to get the same babies, I'd have two singleton pregnancies a couple of years apart.

It is twice the love and it is twice the work as one baby. I can't really imagine my life any other way, though.

As far as pregnancies go, I was truly blessed with a damn near complication free pregnancy. Even the complications I had were of no consequence to the babies, only discomforts to me. I said many times (if not on my blog, then to IRL people) that I knew I'd go early. That was a laugh! The only reason my boys came early was because the doctors didn't want me to carry past 38 weeks and the boys were really good sizes.

And of course my opinions on this could possibly be different, but I'm going through the joys of postpartum depression. I think that kind of shades my views anyway. :-)

Amanda said...

Oh yeah...and there are a TON of twins and twin pregnancies out there! Holy cow!

Heather said...

Great post. You know I have to comment since we're expecting twins. Although the other funny thing is that our first daughter, who I had a scheduled induction for, came four weeks only on her own! I didn't even think that was a possibility because of the stats saying that most first time moms don't go into labor until late. BTW, we were supposed to have a scheduled induction because our daughter needed surgery on her right lung and we already knew this before she was born.

On the topic of expecting the twins - I know we did IVF, but I was so convinced that I'm so subfertile only one would stick. I didn't even get delusions that it might be more than one. Now that we're dealing with the pregnancy, I've been working very hard to make sure that I'm taking care of myself and I'm very aware of the difference of being pregnant with twins. It is so not a walk in the park!

And I'm petrified when they come. The only thing that keeps me sane is knowing I'll have my SIL living with us when the boys come to help me take care of them and make sure our darling girl continues to get the attention she rightfully deserves.

Sugar and Ice said...

Ha! Thanks for the shout out! It's not has hard as it looks ;).

..soo.see.. said...

i absolutely agree that singletons are awesomely just as cool as twins. ;) twins ARE hard! the pg is scary and risky as you said. the babies themselves tire you out b/c it's constant work. but i can appreciate your honesty and feelings toward having multiples. i don'think many ppl see it like that - even the one's that are dissapointed "it's not twins" - they only see the novelty of it.