Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The twin thing

Of course, we knew twins (or more) were a possibility when we started the whole fertility drug adventure. But I was convinced that it wouldn't happen to us.

I make it sound like it's some kind of booby prize -- and of course it's not. Lots of people pray they'll have twins. And now that I've gotten used to the idea, I'm extremely happy to be having them, for a number of reasons. But I must admit that initially, my reaction wasn't "Wow! Cool!" -- which seems to be the reaction of most people when we tell them we're having twins.

Actually, I take that back. When we first saw those two little dots on the ultrasound screen at 6 weeks, my very very first, un-vocalized, gut reaction actually was something along the lines of "wow, cool." But it was quickly followed by a feeling of disappointment. I wanted one baby. Two eventually, yes, but not both at once. I wanted to lavish all my attention and love on one little being, not have to juggle two. How would I give them both my undivided attention? What if I accidentally loved one more than the other?

Next came panic: how are we going to afford this? Are our careers / social life / sex life over? Will I ever write again? This was followed by the more physical fears: can my (rather petite) body handle this? Will I be OK? Will they be healthy?

(I should admit that at some point, maybe a day or two later, the catty little devil on my left shoulder snickered and told me I'd never wear a string bikini again. The angel on the right was quick to remind her that I never had anyway, so stop being such a petty bitch.)

I'd just never imagined us being Twin Parents. Something about it seems so -- I don't know -- suburban. Trendy. Yuppie-ish. Qualities I like to think don't apply to us. (See Jane conveniently ignore the fact that she has a job in advertising, lives outside a major metropolitan area, and just bought a house). I think it also has something to do with a vestigial prejudice against the whole fertility treatment thing, and the association of multiples with it.

It wasn't that long ago that I thought if we weren't able to have a biological child, we should just accept that fact, take it as a sign, and adopt. The idea of fertility treatments seemed selfish to me somehow; entitled and unnatural and consumerized; the province of priveleged, career-crazed people who wanted it all and waited too long to start trying for a family, assuming they could, in essence, "buy" a baby with a little Clomid and maybe a round or two of IVF if it came to that.

Of course, I was quickly cured of my high-and-mightiness when it became clear that getting pregnant wasn't going to be easy for US. And I realized just how many couples, of all ages and walks of life, struggle with it. All of a sudden, I understood why infertility is such a painful and frustrating thing. Adopt? Hell no! I want MY OWN child! Teenage meth addicts manage to get pregnant. Why not healthy, responsible, 31-year-old me?? Overpopulation? Screw overpopulation! My children and I will be dead by the time things get really bad anyway!

We didn't have to spend much on our treatments as they were covered by insurance, but I'm pretty sure I would have begged, borrowed, or turned tricks for extra cash if they hadn't been. I have no shame or regret whatsoever about the fact that we "got help" getting pregnant. And I don't begrudge anyone for a minute their decision to do the same. I guess there is just some part of me that fears that when people see our twosome their first thought will be: Fertility Drugs. And maybe they'll be thinking the kind of uncharitable thoughts I might have just a few years ago. Assholes.

I promise not all of my posts will be this long.

Let me just end with this: on my way back to work from lunch today, I felt an odd little twinge in the right side of my abdomen. And, even though it's too early to feel any fetal movement, I smiled and touched my belly and thought, "Hey, little monkey on the right, you OK in there? You dancing? Or is your brother/sister pushing you around?"

That felt really cool.


Blogger bihari said...

I remember, before I got divorced, being quite judgemental about people who "couldn't" stay married. Then I got divorced. Now the only thing I think when I hear someone's divorced is, "Geez. Ouch. Sorry."

The only people who are going to be judgemental about your beautiful twins are the ones who haven't been there and/or aren't parents. And do we care what they think? We do not. Everyone else will think, "Wow. Cool." And will admire you for coping!

5:42 PM  
Blogger MSF said...

i am definitely in the camp. and keep the posts long, dude.

7:26 PM  
Blogger SER said...

I feel confident in predicting that people will say retarded things to you about having twins. One of my friends who did IVF and had twins was asked by a stranger: "So, which one is from the IVF?" Or they'll ask things like, "So, do twins run in your family?" with a clear intention of finding out how you got 'em.

I am also sure you will handle it with grace, wit, and aplomb. And count me in the wow-cool camp, and in the keep-the-posts-long camp.

7:46 PM  
Blogger bihari said...

SER: they seriously wanted to know which twin was from IVF? That's too beautiful.

In reading my first comment, I realize it comes across as though I was saying that people who don't have kids won't understand. Oops! No! Sorry! Not what I meant! I was TRYING (unsuccessfully!) to say that anyone in her right mind will admire you, and anyone who wants to know which twin is from IVF...well, anyone like that deserves the richest answer you can make up.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey! Just sat down and read everything--it's great. (And I'm with everyone else--keep the posts coming, and don't worry for a hot second about length. It's good stuff.)

I'm too tired for an intelligent comment, but I did want to say that I remember that twinge. For me it came at 11 weeks--a "vibrate-y," fluttery feeling on one side. No one was ever 100% certain what it was, but the best explanation I heard was that it was the fetal heartbeat; apparently it's sometimes possible to feel it, if the dots are in the right position. Wow. Cool.

p.s. Let me know when I can put you on my blogroll.

11:20 AM  

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