Twin thoughts

Let’s talk about twins. Seriously, let’s talk. To be honest, I never thought Joey and I would actually end up with twins. I know that statement sounds incredibly naive as long as I have been around the blogs and the fertility clinics but it is true. Each time we geared up for an embryo transfer, I dutifully told the RE that Joey and I were ready for twins and all the potential that went along with multiples. I laughed with people that Joey and I would have a “litter.” BUT deep down, I did not anticipate that both embryos would stick and grow. I was all about transferring 2 embryos to increase our odds of getting a baby and I told people, “What happens, happens. We will be fine with twins.” I even remained fine as Joey had mega beta numbers and we speculated about twins.

But, then we saw those 2 tiny babies on the monitor and I started pricing daycare and baby stuff…. and I began reading twin blogs with new eyes. And I freaked out. I did. I freaked in a big way. Joey even found some great prices on baby carriers on Craig’s list. She bought them and I carried those into the house for her. The freakout session escalated when I thought about having a baby in each of those little seats. A single baby with 2 moms? That seems like a do-able challenge. 2 babies and 2 moms = scarytime. Don’t get me wrong. I never for one moment regretted our decision but the reality of 2 INFANTS set in. I was/ and am worried on 2 fronts: 1) price and 2) sheer workload.

Twin baby stuff is expensive. You might think a single baby stroller runs about $100 so a twin baby stroller should run about $200 (or maybe even 150) and you would be WRONG. oh.so.wrong. Think $300. The price of crap does not increase proportionally: it increases expenentially and that just seems wrong. Oh, and scary. And babies need stuff… lots and lots of stuff. Stuff we don’t have yet.

Secondly, I like to sleep. I like to eat. I like to shower. I like to garden and I like to spend time with my partner. How will those things happen when 2 tiny babies are counting on Joey and I to take care of their every need? Seriously– every little need. And what if we suck at parenting? And what if the babies hate us for bringing them into the world with 2 mommies? And what if they get sick or hurt? And what if they love Joey more? And what if they love me more? And what about family: how are we going to keep that whole extended family thing in balance? On and on and on… the thoughts kept swirling around my head when I tried to sleep or work or …..anything.

I think the worry finally wore me down. I snapped. I bought several multiples baby books and I created a list of household,yard work and baby-prep chores to be done by day. I do what is on my list. I take care of my partner. And the worry has become more like background noise. I love those babies. They are now 8 weeks and 1 day old and I pray pray pray that they are both born healthy— and that my Joey is also okay. Because to get a baby (or 2) but lose my wife (in my heart, not by law) would be a cruel twist of fate. And no, I have no good reason to worry in that direction— but I do worry. I suppose this worry is the benchmark of love but man, it can be such a bitch, this love thing!

And on to other twin thoughts: TELLING US THAT WE DON’T KNOW WHAT WE ARE IN FOR IS NOT HELPFUL!!! I know this is a misplaced rant, but I wish people would just shuddap with the dire warnings already.

And why, why why why, do people feel the need to get all snarky when I say I want to cloth diaper our babies? The newer cloth diaper systems that seem to be quite decent and yes, there is ickiness involved. But I like the idea of my babies having cloth next to their skin and I hate the thought of all those disposable diapers in the landfills. I will not say that a disposable diaper will never touch the precious bottom of either of my children but I also don’t see why cloth diapering is such a weird and wild concept? My mother cloth diapered me and my aunt cloth diapered her twins. Surely this is a do-able challenge. My sister said, “Oh you liberals, always trying to save the planet.” To which I responded, “Oh you conservatives, thinking we can pollute endlessly without consequence.”

Why also do people ask me what we will do with our dogs and cats? My response is always the same. I pretend to be confused and say, “What do you mean?” The person then feels the need to back pedal and talk about expense. I respond that Joey and I will continue to find a way to meet our responsibilities to our pets and our children. Ok, if we could NOT make it financially, I would find homes for some of my animals but c’mon these animals have been my children for a long time. My parents did not get rid of my brother and sister when I was born. So why should I get rid of all my “firstborn”?

Formula. People keep telling us that we should start stocking up now. 1- I am not sure that I want to feed my babies formula that has been in my house for 7 months. 2- we are breastfeeding– both of us. Surely we can come up with enough milk for 2 babies among 4 breasts? And if not, I feel quite certain that I can run to the store and pick up the supplemental formula as it is needed. I do not plan to make my house into some sort of weirdo twin bunker, filled from floor to ceiling with items we might use like disposable diapers in every size and random baby formula. I will be buying enough of the things we need and I am certain those things will fill up plenty of our “extra” space. If people want to be helpful, they can buy us some gift cards to places that sell good baby stuff or gift/loan us gently used baby items. Again, I am preaching to the choir here and no one who actually NEEDS this lecture will ever read it. But it makes me feel ever so much better to get all these thoughts out.

And now, the calm part. I really am okay with the twin thing and most people are very excited and supportive. I just find myself amazed at the odd things that people say and think about this pregnancy. I am also being something of a scientist about my own reactions: some days I feel as though I am watching myself acting and thinking all crazy with the new and real idea that I am going to be a mother to 2 babies. for real. (Oh yeah– and Joey will too.)

By the way, as she was feeling itchy, tired and nauseated yesterday, Joey looked at me all serious-like and said, “You better be glad this is twins because I don’t plan to do it ever again.” So, I made her some cupcakes.

**I promise that I am not ignoring the sweet requests for u/s pics. The issue is that our u/s tech was more interested in looking at Joey’s SCH and ovaries than in taking a decent picture of the babies. Try as I might to edit and improve them, the u/s pics just look like sea monkeys. We will be going to our OB appointment on the 24th. Hopefully I will have good pictures to share then.

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13 Comments

Filed under pets, rant, twins

13 responses to “Twin thoughts

  1. You could totally do the cloth diapers! I do…and I love it. It’s really not that gross either. Like you said they make it so easy now. If you have any ?’s feel free to ask me. I am in love with cloth diapering!

  2. Melissa

    If it makes you feel any better, I freaked out when i got pregnant. Here I was pregnant, what I had always wanted and dreamed of. I had cried with longing and aching for a baby, and I was pregnant, and I had the same thoughts you are having. A child is going to change my entire life, and I life my life, why would I turn it upside down? At one point, I even wondered if my sil might adopt the baby. Really major freaking from someone who had wanted kids her entire life, and I was only expecting 1.
    So, hang in there, the freak out will subside. It is hard, there will be days you wonder what you were thinking, but those days are much lower in number than the days where you think you are so lucky to have your kids, truly. I’m sure you know that intellectually, but still, we all have our freak outs. It’s normal and it will pass. Really, money suprisingly works itself out. You figure it out.
    As to the bad advice, do keep in mind there may be need to supplement. I just warn people because I don’t want anyone to feel horrible if breastfeeding does not work out how you assume it will. But stocking up on formula is stupid. You are right. If they need formula, there are stores open 24 hours, you’ll be fine. Plus, if formula is needed, you may have to try some different brands to find one that works best, and then what would you do with 15 cans of the wrong one? Exactly.
    We did cloth diapers until my daughter started daycare at 16 weeks. The daycare wouldn’t use them. I loved them and highly recommend them. I have many friends that have daycare that use the cloth, and they are enjoying them too. Although, in stocking up on cloth diapers, keep in mind too that until you are using them, you can’t be sure which style or type you will like best, and will fit your babies best, so with money being an issue, don’t stock up too much on one type/brand. Although if you have good friends that have good recommendations go with what you feel is best. And, be sure the daycares you like will allow them.
    Oh, and inthe first trimester, I swore to my wife she would never have to talk me out of being pregnant again, it sucked. Now I’m desperately trying to talk her into me ttc a second child before we jump into foster to adopt. yep, I am begging for another chance at morning sickness that made me sob with frustration over not wanting to feel sick anymore so that we can hopefully one day have 3 or 4 total kids with bio and foster/adopted combined. So you never know. Sometimes they get here and they are so amazing you just can’t imagine not doing it again. But again, I had 1, not twins. 🙂 And a textbook pregnancy, labor and delivery.
    Good luck! It will be fine, hard, but great.

  3. Wow, I can relate to so much of what was written here, and we’re only expecting one! I freak out on an almost daily basis, but by getting such good feedback on a previous post, I’ve been learning to let go of some of that worry as each day passes. I totally respect your decision to cloth diaper, and breastfeed!

    Money is the main worry for me, and I feel as though we won’t have enough. I am beyond grateful to be pregnant, but I wish I had more to give my child. I want my baby to have an easier life than I did. All I can do is try my best, and give our baby the best life I can possibly give.

  4. You made her cupcakes? You are a wonderful wife indeed!

    People say all sorts of shit they shouldn’t say. It’s like they completely lose their filter when they talk about pregnancy, birth, baby care, etc. And they for sure don’t know how to talk about multiples if they haven’t experienced it firsthand or via a friend/relative. Pretty amazing what people will say. I really think you should tell them that’s it’s not helpful to say “you don’t know what you’re in for” They need to learn that it’s a moronic thing to say.

    I think it’s great that you have your goals in order (cloth diapering, no formula, etc). Of course, it won’t hurt to have a (small) stock on-hand closer to when the babies will arrive. You may be able to do wonderfully, but you also never know what will happen and don’t want to be caught off guard. When Miles hit a growth spurt, even though Nutella had an oversupply, we were so glad to have gotten formula samples from the hospital because of problems we couldn’t have foreseen. It was a lifesaver to not have to run out to the store then and there to pick some up. And we went back to 100% breastfeeding thereafter. Just because you supplement, doesn’t mean you’re stuck doing so.

    As others said, the freak-outs are totally normal. We did it with just one baby on the way. Life IS going to change…you know that. And giving in to the fear will help you move on from it. But you can and will do it and eventually not be able to think of life any other way.

  5. What a lovely entry. Truly. It is nice to see someone being honest and raw and truthful about fears, anger at other’s unsolicited advice, etc.

    Don’t listen to what anyone else tells you. You can do it. You are already a step ahead of many people who get pregnant — you wanted these babies and you have a happy, loving home. That’s more than many people can say.

    And I say go for it with cloth diapering. I would love to do it and it is a constant point that I try to bring up in our house, but it looks like I am losing the battle. As far as induction lactation — Yippee! Tons and tons of luck! Keep up the great posts.

  6. Here’s to cupcakes and cloth diapers!

  7. RDR

    Okay, first I loved your post and if you weren’t having any freak outs at all, THAT would be weird :). As one of two Mamas of twins, I can speak from our experience. We too never thought we would have multiples. We knew there was a chance and thought if we did, we would deal just fine with it. Well, we were blessed with b/g twins. My DW carried. We had freak outs, little ones and big ones, about many things you listed and beyond. My DW and I worked through many of our worries and fears pre-babies and will continue to. I wanted to comment on a few things you wrote:
    Cloth diapers-we did it, we did it for six months and only stopped because we had to change to disposable for a few weeks and when we went back the kids butties broke out in huge rashes because their skin freaked out with the dampness of the cloth.
    Formula-my DW exclusively breastfed for the first six months and because of emergency medical procedure (gall bladder removal/pancreatitus) needed to have a break. Our DD never really went back to the breast and our DS did for a few additional months but after that, they were on formula for the rest of their first year.
    Pets-we have two canine babies prior to our human ones. We love them and our time and relationship shifted and changed a little once the kids were here. Now we did not forget about them or stop feeding them or not love them or pet them, it just shifted a little and I think they are not suffering because of it. Certain things like them jumping on our bed changed cause we had two newborns we were changing and it could be dangerous accidentally jumping on a newborn. Our children love love love our dogs. We are happy to have four kids, two human and two canine.
    Twin stuff-it is expensive! Completely! We have a twins parents group that we became a part of and that was a huge help and they have a huge lending library. They are part of the national multiples association or something so I am hoping there is a chapter close to your town/city. Having other parents of multiples helped during the early years especially. It is different having multiples vs. a singleton. We met both straight and LGBT parents in the multiples group. Some stores give discounts for multiples. We found Gcards being ideal because even if you do loads of research as my DW did, you still don’t really know what gadget your babies are going to like, the swing, the vibrating chair, etc. We bought a lot of stuff gently used off of craigslist and there is a listserve from the multiples group we are a part of so we got emails when parents of multiples needed to get rid of stuff and it was usually for a real bargain.

    I hope this information is helpful. Pre twins life and during the newborn phase, there was a lot of adjusting but we knew no other way as parents. We had support from friends and family which we are grateful for then and now. My DW and I weathered the exhaustion and celebrated the accomplishments (no matter how big or how small). Before the kids were born, our plan was we had a basic plan and we thought we would adjust it as needed. We never said never. We said and still say probably with confidence. 🙂 Our children are now six years old and my DW and I celebrate our 14 year anniversary this year. We are also hoping to add to our family, believe it or not. 🙂 So congratulations, enjoy the pregnancy, you are on such an amazing journey, gives me goose bumps, continue to talk about your feelings with your DW and know that you two are going to be the best parents that you can be and that, my friend, is awesome!

  8. poppycat

    Yes, yes, uh hu, yes, exactly! Welcome Cindy! Glad to have you along for the ride. When people ask if we are excited I always say “yes, and terrified, but yes, excited too”. It’s a lot to take in and a lot to process. I never thought for a minute both babies would stick, I don’t mean just embies, I mean babies. I read back through all the twin blogs at the beginning and gave Cat a count of all the twin pregnancies that started and ended as twins. May of them sadly did not and I assumed the same would happen to us too. Denial. She knew we’d have twins all along but humored me.

    Up until recently I have had some serious anxiety about finances and how we would make this work. Somehow things just seem to have fallen into place for us though. I am a picky picky bitch and have had to give up many of the ideals I preset for what gear I would buy and what clothes I’d put the kids in but I’ve been letting go of that and it’s been a huge reliefe – very liberating. I’m taking the hand-me-downs and getting used to the idea that sometimes the boy may be wearing a pink sleeper because it was what was clean. I’ve been buying from craigslist and and trying to prioritize what things I HAVE to have and what things I can do without of buy used. You’ll work it out, I know you will. You knwo what else? I have been shocked at how generous people have been. I think you will be too.

    As for the work involved, well, we are capable of it I know and we’ll tread water for a while untill we get it figured out. It’s going to be a bitch I’m sure but we’ll make it.

    That’s my pep talk for now sister.

    As for the assvice, assvice rarely comes from people who aren’t asses. Do what works for you and F them. Have you thought about supplementing the cloths with a hybrid like a Gdiaper for those days when the cloths just won’t due? They are compostable! Now that’s full circle – from the butt to the garden to the mouth and back again 😉 I think that’s what we plan to do.

    Sorry for the long ass comment and thanks for the post. I’ve had this same post brewing in my head for months it’s just hard to get it down with my pregnancy brain.

    PS – I’m sending you an email too.

  9. Claire

    Hey girl – I read this post a while ago but my post got lost in the ether. I’m amazed that people say the shit they do! They’re putting all their fears and prejudices in a bag of poop and handing it to you. Boo!!!
    We had all those worries when we thought we were having twins too. I agree with pps about moms of multiples, craigs list etc.
    The thing thst heartened me when I thought about having twins was knowing that my mother found out she was having twins only a few weeks before we arrived, they weren’t wealthy at all. Everyone cloth diapered then, there was way less baby paraphernalia than there is now and we did fine. She had my grandparents come to stay to help for a bit – I don’t know if my dad stayed home – he was a teacher. She breastfed us both but had problems with supply and my sister got some formula via the bottle – but apparently I prefered the breast and couldn’t do the bottle – go figure!
    I think it’s a good idea to line people up to help out in the beginning – that’s what we’re planning on doing – and with twins we were going to step that up a notch.
    I think you’re going to be great moms – don’t let the ignorant bastards get you down – they’re just bitter or dumb!

  10. Kudos to you for putting it all out there. Seriously. I’m slowing trying to get Col into the idea of cloth diapers. All the cute little diaper-covers really help 🙂

  11. reproducinggenius

    It’s stunning the shit that flies out of people’s mouths at parents-to-be. Add twins to that picture, and it just gets more stupid. I don’t know why that is. I don’t know why people can’t simply be supportive of those bringing the next generation into the world and leave it at that. I feel for you.

    You know, we got a free sample of two cans of formula in the mail, and while I never wanted to have to use them, I kept them anyway–just in case. Those cans are still sitting there seven months in, but we’re still keeping them. I think we may donate them to a food drive in May. My sense is that if you’re both truly committed to making bf’ing work, you’ll make it work (at least that was always my philosophy going into it). Yes, it’s going to be hard, but most things related to parenting newborns are challenging, especially with multiples! The one thing that isn’t hard is the love part. That part is really, really easy, and you get to experience that two-fold. Now why don’t people focus on that? It’s the best, and I’m so glad you’ve got that to look forward to.

  12. Hi! I’m a new reader and mom of nearly 18-month-old fraternal twin girls via IVF/ICSI. Congratulations! It sounds like you have a case of “twinshock.” It’s totally overwhelming news, you’re right. With infertility treatments there’s a tendency to think “two would be great,” but I know I didn’t think about the logistics of everything — and I’m the sister of identical twins and should have known better! And there is a sort of mourning of the loss of the normal pregnancy and the experience and expectations of a single newborn.

    It may seem that everything will be doubled, but it won’t, at least not all of the time. Two babies are exponentially more than one — some expenses will be doubled, others will be the same (e.g., toys, books, monitor), and others will be about 1.5 times that of a single baby (e.g., clothes [if you have same-sex twins, you don’t need two full wardrobes]). You’ll have two co-pays for every pediatric appointment, and you’ll need nearly twice the diapers. Two cribs eventually (my girls shared a Pack & Play bassinet for the first month, then they shared a crib). A different stroller, which is usually more expensive, but don’t overbuy just yet. A Snap & Go double stroller is about $100 and so useful for the first year.

    “Don’t overbuy” goes for everything. You’ll probably make more economical decisions on many items, such as baby furniture and bedding, than you would if you were having one long-awaited baby. Also, friends and relatives are so excited about the prospect of twins that you’ll receive tons of gifts and receive lots of hand-me-downs.

    You should check out the HDYDI.com multiples mom blog if you haven’t already; one of the contributors is half of a two–mom family.

    And, yeah, having two breastfeeding moms would be HUGELY beneficial! I did not nurse more than a couple of weeks. Formula wasn’t as expensive as is commonly stated; using generic saves 50-60%.

    The book “When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads” by Dr. Luke is my favorite twin PG book — it pushes a very high-protein diet and more weight gain than generally recommended so as to get twins closer to full term. (I gained 57.5 lb and it dropped off pretty quickly; I’m now slimmer than pre-IVF.)

    My blog is password protected but if you’d like to read it, please email me at the linked address. Good luck!

  13. Amy

    Sigh. I wish i’d found you sooner (just found you last night through lfca!). I think your wife and I are due about the same time…I’ve had so many of these thoughts myself! I even posted about moms of twins and their unhelpful assvice the other day. I’m also hoping to nurse and cloth diaper. Also…not sure if you’re still worried about the workload (or if that has subsided over time) but my husband works 14 hour days, is completely unsupportive and I have a 3-year-old at home too. Sooo, I’m also really worried about how I’m going to handle the demands of two infants. If you’ve had any breakthroughs, let me know!

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