Wednesday, November 7, 2007

In which I reveal myself to be a horrible person

I'll just say it: I don't want twins. My partner, a reluctant participant in the Bun Project to begin with, definitely doesn't want twins.

Now, I recognize there are all kinds of horrible things about saying this. I have friends who have twins. I actually was a little obsessed with twins in high school (blame the Sweet Valley High books). I would like to have two children, if the first one doesn't kill me. I smile at women with twins in strollers just like you. I think there is something wonderful and special and unique about having two children at the same time.

But I don't want to do that myself. First, I worry about the complications of a twin pregnancy -- I've heard too many horror stories, even though I've personally observed some big successes. (Luckily for me, I have no medical problems other than the whole infertility thing.) I like to think I'm quite competent -- okay, I am quite competent -- but I'm not sure I can handle two babies. I have no close family in the Bay Area, and though my close family isn't that far away, they're not here. I have wonderful friends, but most of them have their own families to take care of. I have some financial resources, but I'm not sure that would be enough. I have a demanding job that I have every intention of keeping. (Hell, we can't afford for me not to work.) I have a partner whom I love dearly, but who generally would prefer not to have children and has described her ideal involvement with a child as being like a "50's dad." How, precisely, is this supposed to work?

This may be an awful thing to write, karmically, given the two embryos that seem to have taken up residence in my uterus. I know. And I know some people will say, "God/the universe doesn't give you anything you can't handle." At the risk of sounding ridiculously callous and practical (bingo!), I don't think so. People don't choose to get cancer, but I think my brilliant friend who recently died of cancer in her early 50s didn't get sick because she could handle it. She got sick because sometimes life sucks. People aren't given sextuplets because they can handle them; they, and their doctor, make a choice to risk and then have sextuplets. It's a choice.

And this twin pregnancy was, I regret to say, something of a choice. We had two embryos, and we could have chosen to transfer one. Given the embryo quality, we could have put in one, but given my history of miscarriage, the doctor (who described her approach as conservative after we said, adamantly, "We don't want twins!) recommended two. One would be a fail-safe measure.

We have discussed selective reduction, but I don't know that we could do it. We'll have to see how the next ultrasound looks, and later, what the genetic testing shows. (If you're really offended by talk of selective reduction, I'm sorry, but please don't flame me in the comments. The management has a strict no-abuse policy. Especially because the management, at the moment, is an emotionally fragile, bloated, and nauseous pregnant lady.)

In the meantime, I'm trying to balance my joy at getting asked back for a second interview here, and my absolute, utter terror at what it might show.


Anonymous said...

I hear you 100%. My partner and I have a 4 year old son and I am now pregnant with our second boy. To conceive my 2 boys it took us a total of 8ivs and various iui's. As much as I wanted a baby I never ever wanted twins. They are cute from far away but not in my world. Every cycle that we did we always transfered multiple embryos and always feared what would happen. I alway felt that selective reduction was my way out should more than one take. I have been blessed to always only have 1 embie stick around. My partner is a wonderful mom but is very much like yours in how she feels towards parenthood, so I knew the brunt of it would fall on me. I know that here in Florida they do selective reduction on twin pregnancy, although to be honest it is not the norm. Most people don't reduce twin.
Good luck with your decision. Always remember that only the 2 of you know what is right for your individual family.

Julie said...

I wouldn't call you a horrible person. You are being honest with your feelings. Some of us may not agree with you, but this is your journal, your life. Don't feel guilty about being honest with yourself and others.

K J and the kids said...

From one twin mom who did the same thing to another....get the book When you're expecting twins, triplets, or Dr. Barbara Luke and Tamara Eberlein.

It sounds as if like me you know already how hard this is going to are being realistic and scaring yourself early. You might as well will just drive you crazy...try and enjoy this time as much as you can. What you think is hard is going to be much harder than you could ever imagine and like the rest of will do it with style :)
This too shall pass ! ha ha
Good luck :)

Anonymous said...

That takes bravery to write about.

My partner and I are discussing IVF, and have talked about the increased likelihood of multiples. She is opposed to multiples and would consider selective reduction. I hope it's not a decision we have to make.

If both twins are viable and thriving at your next appointments, you'll have a tough decision to make. I wish you the best, and especially that you will have lots of support.

vee said...

Given the circumstances you describe, I can understand why you are freaking out. You seem to be quite clear about what you feel can work for you as a family and as someone has already said, only you know that. This does not make you a bad person in my book, it makes you a realist.

Don't be too hard on yourself for taking that risk. I hope you find your way to a decision with peace, if that's where this leads. Whatever you decide.

owl said...

I too think you are very brave for writing about this and i do not think you are a horrible person!
We a one cycle away from a double transfer and so many aspects of twins scares me to death. I may not choose selective reduction myself but i can understand why you would be contemplating it. I think what ever decision you make you need to make it for you and your partner and don't worry about karma or what anybody else thinks.

Anonymous said...

I understand where you two are coming from. I guess all I can say is that it is a huge decision...and a very difficult one.

I think everything happens for a reason, and I think you were meant to have these two babies...there is a purpose for BOTH of these children in your lives...and I guarantee 1,5,10 years from now, you'd never be able to imagine your lives without those little ones :) They both will truly be blessed to have two mommies, and you and your partner have been given 2 amazing gifts.

Good luck!

Sarah said...

I think that it is really a good sign that you know your own feelings so well. I wish you the best in this whole process and hope you get all the support you need and want for this process.

Renee and Janice said...

It seems you are very brave to be writing openly about your feelings, and you should be able to. I can't even imagine all the thoughts that are going on. We talk all the time about what if we got twins, and who knows, I don't think anyone can be "ready" right away. I admire your determination and it gives me hope when we feel we are out of it. Lots of stickyglue to you and a happy and healthy 9 months!!

infertilepediatrician said...

That was a very honest post which I completely appreciate. We also risked things after years of infertility treatments and miscarriages and now we're having 3 (Hudson plus DP's 14 wks pg w/ twins). We wanted 3 kids just not all at once. I'm not sure what to tell you - we're kind of freaked out about DP being pregnant with twins, but I guess we'll figure things out. We always said we'd do SR for more than twins but I don't think I could reduce from twins to one (although I've heard it done before). Good luck with whatever you decide.

As for R's blog - (my blog is quasi-anonymous hence the use of initials while hers is not and is read by family and RL friends. I started mine when I was in a dark place after miscarriages and needed a place to vent w/o judgment of RL people)