Couple Angry About Expecting Twins
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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Default Couple Angry About Expecting Twins

    Couple angry about expecting twins writes about it on Babble. Commenters not happy.

    On the parenting website Babble, an expecting mom and dad have written a pair of essays about how, after two years of fertility calendars, intrauterine inseminations, and in vitro fertilization, they are now pregnant with twins. Actually, the essays are about how they are not elated. In fact, they are ?terrified? (her words) and ?pissed? (his). Mom and Dad had hoped to give their 3-year-old son a younger sibling, but they had not hoped to give him two.


    ?The twins are coming fast, and I don?t feel a sense of joy,? Mom writes. ?We are not rich. We work hard to provide a good life for our son, and we have dreams, as all families do, of going to Disney, college, etc. I worry about how much of our attention and resources will be taken away from our firstborn.? Their distress was compounded by the fact that everyone around them saw their twins-to-be as a positive development. The couple?s own doctor announced the possibility of two viable fetuses as ?good news.?


    The couple wrote the essays under pseudonyms to protect themselves and their (unwanted) children from the Internet storm that was about to rain down on them. And rain it did: Commenters flocked to the pieces to inform the parents that they should feel blessed to have gotten pregnant under any circumstances. After all, many couples struggle for years to conceive without success. Some become pregnant only to miscarry. This couple invested a lot of time, money, and effort in order to bring another kid into the world, and now they?re dissatisfied with their exceptional luck. Well: ?Boo ****ing hoo,? as one commenter put it.


    The easy response is to say that this couple needs an attitude adjustment (or professional help: Prenatal depression is as common as postnatal depression, and the couple is currently in therapy to address its issues). But their story speaks to how unsettling an unexpected child can be, even if its parents have the means to plan?even engineer?a pregnancy.


    We tend to think of unplanned pregnancies on a sliding moral scale. The social acceptability of not feeling overjoyed about bringing a new life into the world shifts depending on the prospective parents? perceived reproductive agency. Abortions are more accepted when the woman had no choice in becoming pregnant (as in the case of rape exemptions) or when she has little choice but to terminate (when carrying the pregnancy to term threatens her life). Less socially acceptable?but still understandable?are abortions undertaken by very young or very poor parents, for whom raising children would constitute an exceptional struggle. Then there are those couples that don?t want to have children that they can?t afford to take to Disneyland. Those people are dismissed as monsters.


    Somewhere in the middle are the well-to-do parents who go to great lengths to conceive, only to find themselves pregnant with triplets, quadruplets, or more. Because these IVF-induced megapregnancies are risky, it?s common to surgically eliminate some of the fetuses to improve the chances of the others. There?s even a pleasant euphemism, ?selective reduction,? to normalize the procedure as an acceptable choice on the reproductive menu. But that pass ends at twins. Reducing twins to a single fetus is a controversial choice because, as Ruth Padawer?s 2011 New York Times Magazine piece on the phenomenon explains, twins aren?t seen as risky enough to mom and baby to medically justify eliminating one of the two fetuses. Eliminating one fetus to save two others is an understandable decision, but eliminating one out of two gets into Sophie?s Choice territory.


    It doesn?t help that, culturally, twins are perceived as a rare gift, what Padawer calls ?the idealized notion of twins as lifelong soul mates.? Those who do make the choice rarely discuss it. As Padawer notes, ?secrecy is common among women undergoing reduction to a singleton. Doctors who perform the procedure, aware of the stigma, tell patients to be cautious about revealing their decision.? Some women ?are so afraid of being treated with disdain that they withhold this information from the obstetrician who will deliver their child.?


    Babble?s anonymous couple ?considered a reduction for about 30 seconds,? Dad says, but ultimately decided the procedure was too ?Machiavellian? to undertake without reason. Still, they privately hoped that doctors would locate some socially acceptable justification for them to undergo a reduction, like genetic anomalies in the twins. Sadly, ?none came.? That sounds exceptionally crass, but the depth of desperation buried in that thought process is instructive. The culture of silence around this issue means that people aren?t even aware of all the reproductive choices they?ll have to make until they?re visible on the sonogram. This couple has been shamed for airing their unpopular feelings for all to read, but they?ve done a service to prospective parents who are weighing their own options?and may now have a better idea of what they?re in for.
    What do you think? Was it bad of this couple to express unhappiness with their twin pregnancy? Should they just suck it up and be grateful? Are they doing other couples a service by serving as a cautionary tale? Any other thoughts?
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Sorry I just can't sympathize with these people. Nobody's life is perfect. Get over it. Sorry their perfect plan of the perfect 2 child household didn't work out. If they were really that set against it they should have been adamant about only implanting one embryo at a time. They took the risk, they need to quit complaining and deal with it.
    Last edited by GloriaInTX; 09-04-2013 at 06:16 PM.
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    Mega Poster mom3girls's Avatar
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    I cant even read all of this.
    Lisa
    Molly, Morgan, Mia and Carson

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    This is a topic that I have gone up at down with. There have been times when I am experiencing or have just experienced a miscarriage that I get frustrated with people who are complaining about their pregnancies or are unexpectedly pregnant. That said, there have also been times when I did not love being pregnant and the complications that came with it. There are also times that people become pregnant at an inconvenient time or have twins when they would have preferred one. It is a fact of life. Even with pregnancies that I very much wanted, I had my moments of doubt, worry, and second thoughts. I think that is very normal. Anonymously writing an article saying you are not thrilled to be pregnant or that you wish you only had one baby is not the end of the world. Complaining to your child or telling you wish they were not born is a different story though.

    ~Bonita~

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    Prolific Poster Danifo's Avatar
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    Although I totally disagree with the attitude, I do agree that this can serve as a warning to future parents. If you aren't prepared for multiples, multiple eggs should not be implanted. If you aren't prepared for the possibility of twins, you shouldn't have kids. The majority of the twins I know are not from fertility treatments.

    I have no problem with people having twins to have OMG moments or to freak out about how to manage financially or how to manage because for most people, one at a time is enough. To say you wish that one had an abnormality so you could get rid of it is horrible.

    I'm glad it is anonymous so these kids don't have to read about it.
    mom2robbie likes this.
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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    What strikes me is that it seems to me like they didn't even really want one kid, let alone 2. The mom talks about how they wanted another to give #1 a sibling, which seems to me like a weird reason to have a baby if that is your only reason. Like yes, I wanted T to have a sibling, but I also wanted another baby really badly because *I* wanted one, which seems appropriate since I would be the one slaving away and spending all of my money taking care of another one. And the dad basically talks about how awful #1 still is. So I don't know, but it seems to me like maybe they weren't in the best place to start trying again for one, let alone messing with the possibility of 2. Having said all of that, I do have a tiny bit of sympathy in that I can imagine having twins is sooooo hard. I feel like they brought it on themselves, but I do have a bit of sympathy for anyone who is having twins, intentional or not. Don't get me wrong, I think that the idea of twins is a little magical too. My mom is a twin, and she and her sister are so close. I can always tell when my mom is talking to her twin because her voice changes slightly to sound like what I think of as more like my aunt's voice, but my cousins tell me that their mom does the same thing and they think of it as being more like my mom's voice, so I guess it is just their shared voice. But I still think being the parent of twins would be really, really hard, at least while they were little. Do we have any moms of twins who could weigh in on that?
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    Prolific Poster ftmom's Avatar
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    I remember being so relieved at my ultrasound with DS2 when they told me there was only one. Twins run in my moms family. Her dad was a twin, she was supposed to be a twin, my aunt had twins...etc. I was so scared that the baby we had decided to be our last, would actually be two, and I didnt know how I would handle it. Hopefully better than these parents, but maybe just more privately. I think the part about the parents being treated for prenatal depression is a big part of this story that is glossed over. It could be taking feelings that everyone feels at times when expecting and magnifying them, making them last longer, etc.. I dont think these parents are bad people or bad parents, but I hope someone comes around often in the beginning to make sure the babies are OK, cause if these parents already feel this way, who knows how they will feel, what PPD could cause to happen, once the babies are here.
    Kyla
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    I can't say I have much sympathy for them. When you knowingly ttc you do have to expect the unexpected. I didn't really want to have twins but I can't say I would have been upset if I found out I was having twins. I didn't read the whole post but if they implanted more than 1 egg that was definitely the time to feel out their emotions on having multiples.

    I do agree that it sounds like they didn't really want #2 to begin with and have an overall weird sense about what it means to be a parent.
    Mom to Elizabeth (5) and Corinne (3)

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    Prolific Poster ftmom's Avatar
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    I remember being so relieved at my ultrasound with DS2 when they told me there was only one. Twins run in my moms family. Her dad was a twin, she was supposed to be a twin, my aunt had twins...etc. I was so scared that the baby we had decided to be our last, would actually be two, and I didnt know how I would handle it. Hopefully better than these parents, but maybe just more privately. I think the part about the parents being treated for prenatal depression is a big part of this story that is glossed over. It could be taking feelings that everyone feels at times when expecting and magnifying them, making them last longer, etc.. I dont think these parents are bad people or bad parents, but I hope someone comes around often in the beginning to make sure the babies are OK, cause if these parents already feel this way, who knows how they will feel, what PPD could cause to happen, once the babies are here.
    Kyla
    Mom to Arianna (5), Conner (3) and Trent (my baby)

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    Posting Addict fuchsiasky's Avatar
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    I was so relieved that Kaiya was not a twin. One was enough at the time. But had there been 2 we would have figured it out. Because that is what you do for your kids. And now that Rob is too physically unable to keep up with a little, I wish she had been a twin so I could have had 2. But that didn't happen so I accept it. That is what we do. We accept the whims of biology.

    But theirs was not a whim. I think it is really irresponsible to do all the fertility treatments and implant eggs and then get upset about the results. They could have made different choices to prevent twins. Since they didn't I think they should accept the consequences and not complain about it.
    mom2robbie likes this.
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