After digesting the news of twins for a few hours, we remembered the doctor offering “selective reduction”. I’m sure he only mentioned it because we made things nice and awkward back in the examining room. Basically, this would be an easy way to go from a twin pregnancy to a singleton pregnancy. The idea was there with us, looming in the air, but we hadn’t talked about it.
Eventually it came up. And so did the questions.
Which baby would be taken out? Would the babies know? What if something happened to the other? What if the other twin disappeared? How would we live with ourselves knowing that we had two healthy babies and got rid of one? We quickly dismissed the idea. We were going to be the parents of twins.
We were going to be the parents of twins. Wow.
A few days later, the idea was still sinking in. Yes, that’s right, it wasn’t too easy to accept.
You see, Mom’s not naive. She knew exactly what twins meant.
My wife has been a nanny for twelve years. Raising children was nothing new to her. She was a veteran, a pro, a connoisseur of kids basically. She knew the amount of work it took, and she knew that twins would be nothing short of exhausting.
And expensive. Like, really expensive. Especially considering the fact that she couldn’t exactly return to work with two newborns in tow. Basically, it would be a lot of work, a lot of pressure, and a whole lot of pregnancy (for her).
At this point, I wasn’t sure if we should start to panic or start to plan. But it seemed like we chose the former, which prevented us from doing the latter.
That’s when we fell into our rut.
It was hard to enjoy the first few months of the pregnancy because of the impending doom we felt. Just accepting the idea of having twins was a huge obstacle. For every silver lining I found in our future as twin parents, there were two frightening scenarios that easily overshadowed it. Morning sickness was becoming very intense and Mom only seemed to have an appetite for a bagel or two each day. A bitter cold winter didn’t exactly help things either. Morale was low at home. And it would stay that way for the first ten weeks or so.
She spent a lot of time laying by the fireplace with dogs, which was normally a cute thing to witness, but now the sight of this only freaked me out. Freud would have agreed that she was employing the “denial” defense mechanism.
I am a very impatient person, which annoyed my wife more than ever during this time. Selfishly, I would occasionally test the waters and suggest that we look at baby furniture or baby clothes on the clearance rack, but Mom wasn’t interested. Denial, remember?
The twin-pregnancy-denial in our lives was tough to take. I wanted to be happy about having two babies, but I couldn’t be happy without her happiness. It sucked.
I started writing daily letters to the babies as a sort of way to deal with some of these feelings. It helped a little, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy this moment until Mom was on board.
Little by little, the doom and gloom faded and we were ready for this whole twin-parent thing. If that’s even possible.