We had such a great time that
To segue into a topic that's been on my mind, I wanted to share a question that Anonymous Blogger asked me over cheesecake that has stuck in my mind. (Much like said cheesecake has stuck in my thighs.) While the rest of us are parenting after infertility, Anonymous Blogger is now embarking on her first IVF cycle. After listening to me complain about how much harder it is to have twinfants than a singleton (do I ever talk about anything else, good lord!), she turned to me and said, "So how much should I push [my husband and doctor] to transfer one embryo instead of two?" (Two being the standard number of embryos transferred during an IVF cycle, which contributes to the high incidence of twins resulting from the process.)
I was sort of tongue-tied by that question, and I did my best to answer, although I'm sure it wasn't helpful at all. For me, this question of TO TWINS or NOT TO TWINS (as much as it's a choice) ties into the two extreme categories of responses I get when someone finds out that I am a mother of multiples.
Response one: "Oh my God. I would have killed myself if I found out I was having twins." (Yes, someone actually said this to me.)
Response two: "Oh, lucky you! I always wanted twins! I think it would be SO. MUCH. FUN."
Like many unexpected turns that life takes, you can't categorize having twins as entirely good or entirely bad -- but people's reactions always seem to fall squarely on one side or the other. I'm not sure I'm giving the balanced view on my blog, as I do seem to continually mention the high stress of having three under three. And truly, it has been difficult. Difficult to get pregnant, difficult to stay pregnant, and difficult to parent two newborns. Another multiple mama blogger (I believe it was Jamie) said it best: two infants need two mothers. Plain and simple.
Now that we have hit 9 months, the twins seem to have settled into a decent sleeping pattern, and life has gotten easier. (Two naps each at approximately the same time, and 1-2 night wakings.) It's only RELATIVELY easier, of course. I'm still ready for a shot of hard liquor by
Having twins is a.m.a.z.i.n.g. It's a shite-load of work, no doubt. It means a lot of sacrifices all around. But the reward is that I have two human beings to love more than life itself. They make me laugh constantly -- they are each such a gift. And now that they are noticing each other and interacting more? I can practically feel my heart squeeze with joy as they "play" together. It blows my mind to watch them develop so differently, despite their similar beginnings. They shared a womb, now they share an infancy... I'm not sure if they'll be friends as they grow up, but I hope so. I hope they play together and support each other. I imagine Gax standing up for Nix on the playground, and later Nix comforting Gax when a girl breaks his heart. God willing, they will travel through life knowing that they have a twin in the world who will always be there if needed.
The main reason that I would recommend a single embryo transfer during IVF is because the pregnancy is more dangerous for mama and babies. Too dangerous to consider? No, certainly not in a healthy woman. Most mamas and most babies are just fine. But without a doubt, it's harder on your body and it's harder on your kids. Your risk of dangers like gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, preterm labor, and stretch marks (GOOD GOD THE STRETCH MARKS!) increases. If you thought you had to take care of yourself when pregnant with one baby, it's even more vital with two. I ate salad and whole grain bread for lunch, people. SALAD AND WHOLE GRAIN BREAD! With not so much as a giant brownie to wash it down. I mentioned the sacrifices, right?
So I'm not really sure where I was going with all this. Another side effect of having twins is double mommy brain caused by double sleep deprivation. Not having done IVF before, I can't really advise on a single embryo transfer versus a double. Transferring two is the norm because IVF is such a gruelling, expensive endeavor. Doctors and hopeful couples want to maximize the chance of success while minimizing the occurrence of multiples, and two embryos is generally a good number for that. If you can achieve a singleton pregnancy, that's the ideal. But if you do end up knocked up with twins, please take care of yourself. When you make it to the parenting stage, it will be difficult, but the rewards are so indescribably beautiful that you wouldn't have it any other way.
I know I wouldn't.