Friday, December 07, 2007


I just read a thread in the multiples section of EB where a mum was asking about HCG levels, because hers were a little elevated, she was wondering if perhaps she might be carrying twins or even triplets.

I read one point of view that seemed offended at this mum-to-bes excitement over possibly having more than one baby in this pregnancy. The poster felt the mum was being flippant, and that, in fact, many women who pop into that section of the forums asking about the possibility of their pregnancy being a multiple pregnancy with great anticipation were in some sort of bad taste (my words here)...

I'm quite curious about this view.

I'm one of those terribly short sighted women who would LOVE to have twins. I've always wanted twins since I ever even wanted children. Why would that make me offensive to other people. The only thing I can come up with is that this twin mum has found her journey particularly difficult. Perhaps her babies have suffered a lot during the pregnancy and post partum? The thing is, does this give her the right to judge other women who want multiples?

Many people want experiences in their lives that come with the risk of hreat challenges. I accept that multiples are at higher risks themselves and that one argument might be, "Who would want to put their own babies at risk?" The answer to that, of course, NO ONE? Why assume that became some parents would excitedly welcome twins, they are prepared to sacrefice one or both their babies?

Of course, as mum who would LOVE to have twins, I would also love to have a healthy twin pregnancy, resulting in two healthy babies.

Overweight women risk their baby's health.

Mothers who have Type 1 diabetes, cystic fibrosis, epilepsy, hepititus, Rhesus negative blood, and many other ailments also go into pregnancy risking their babies health and well being. No one gets mad at them and tells them they shouldn't be so enthused to get pregnant...
Why not? Well, obviously they have just as mught right to dream of and try to conceive their baby, and take on the challenges that a pregnancy might afford them, and hope for the best.

So, why is the mum wishing for twins not allowed to do so? Why can't she be excited at the prospect of twins? One woman's pregnancy and early babyhood experiences have absolutely no bearing on another woman's experience.

It like the gender issue. Wanting a particular gender is considered being too picky, not grateful for the miracle of creating life, whichever sex that life may be. So much transference!


katef said...

Oh you are baiting me on your blog again aren't you!?!? ROFL!!

Hmm now let me see... now you already know I was once one of 'those women' who were just so frustrated and annoyed by people who said 'Ooooh I'd love to have twins *giggle* *giggle*' like it was some lovely, exciting, easy road to travel. Anyone making that comment used to get my heckles up..(ok maybe it still does a little) and you are spot on, it was because I had been through hell and back and wouldn't actually wish what we went through on my worst enemy, yet here was someone thinking it was 'wonderful'. I think that says way more about me and 'those women' then it does about the person wanting twins.

A bit of distance between the horror of the girls birth has given be a better perspective I must admit. It has allowed me to see past my own life and see that others may actually enjoy having twins and that it is ok for people to want twins, even if I didn't. I also wonder if my initial reaction was due to the fact that I was struggling to deal with the guilt of not wanting twins... I am not wishing my girls away, I love them and wouldn't change them or how they got here for the world, tho if I had a choice, even now, I would not choose to have twins. It has taken me a long time to be able to say that without feeling like the worst person in the world!

But... and here comes the but.. I think a lot of people who 'would love to have twins' really have no clue about the reality of having more than one baby at a time. Not just the risk of complications, which in my opinion (which is of course biased by my experiences) is very real, but also the reality of how it affects the way you choose/are able to raise them, and how they develop. In my experience being part of a pair or more is a BIG deal in all areas of your life and I am not sure that the benefits (which I know there are lots of) actually outweigh the downsides... tho since I am not a twin myself I am only seeing from my perspective.

But I think on the whole it is the flippancy of the comment 'oh I'd love to have twins' that usually drives people nuts. The fact that you hear it a hundred times a day from every second person and you wonder if they really have even half an idea of what they are wishing for.. good and bad. Whereas hearing you say 'I'd love to have twins', that is a whole different kettle of fish because I believe that you actually have thought about it, the good, the bad and the ugly.... in the same way that someone who might carry the gene for CF has thought about having a baby and made a decision based on that.. if that makes sense?

Anyway.. I think we all judge others based on our own experiences, but I'd like to think that I realise when my judgement is biased and try to keep it to myself.... unless it is the hundredth time I have heard the comment from some bratty teenager and I decide to make some smart arse reply! LOL

Any of this rambling making any sense?? I doubt it LOL

Rae said...

Although I respect KateF's view and experience of actually living the life of a mother with twins and feeling that those comments are a PITA and sound dismissive I agree with you Sif.

Who has the right to tell someone what to dream or wish for? Unless you are saying "I want to have twins because it would be piss easy" to a mother of twins which would be obviously ignorant, rude and hurtful, its kind of like hearing a teenager blag on about life and thinking to yourself "Oh you'll learn!" There's no good reason for you to jump in lecture them as 1/ they might not want to hear it 2/ they will find it out for themselves in their own good time and 3/ it may not end up being their experience!

Sif Dal said...

Kate, I hope you know I have the utmost respect for you, and not just because you have gorgeous, spunky twin girls who remind me so much of my two big boys and their antics (and you seem so much more level headed about it than I ever was!). But because you are so open and honest and willing to look at yourself, but also willing to stand up for what you feel needs saying.

I think I personally would judge someone who thought have one or two babies in nncu for weeks on end sounded like "fun"! The thing is, I guess I don't think most parents hoping for twins think that at all, but are often accused of thinking that because they don't qualify their, "I'd love twins" with a, "but of course, I'm not hoping for children born prematurely, fighting for their lives, and then possibly suffering life long issues due to low birth weight etc."

I guess I was thinking about a mum from my August 05 parents group who has CF, her story was told on "RPA". Of course, there was the chance that her DD would have CF, but in fact, even just being pregnant with this baby put her own life in danger and that of her baby. This absolutely gorgeous woman struggle with feelings of guilt about this when around 30 weeks gestation her body no longer could survive and support her baby and the little girl was delivered by emergency C/S...

Now, of course, NO ONE said to this mum, OMG, how flippant of you to think it would be ok to get pregnant and support a foetus to term with the OBVIOUS challenges you knew you'd have. Nor should they!

But honestly, I'm not trying to bait you, LOL. I was just feeling, I dunno, like a leper for wanting something that other people seem to think is like wishing the plague on yourself and your children. I guess, for me, parenting any number of children is a big deal because I'm doing it with one and a half eyes tied behind my back.

I wonder if that woman found out she was having twins, and if she now feels comfortable sharing her joy on that forum? On the other hand, would the members be happier if she came on and said, "OMG, I'm going to have twins, how awful, how will I cope?" It's kind of a damned if you don't, damned if you do deal. You're not allowed to be happy about having twins unless you've got picture proof your actually having them (even though at that peoint, you still have no clue what that actually means)...

katef said...

I know you are not trying to bait me ROFL... I just had to tease you with that comment!

The thing is though... your friend with CF I am SURE did a lot of research and soul searching before deciding to try for a baby. She knew the risks to the baby and herself but made the right decision for her with all the information. I think the same thing about you wanting to have a girl, or two... that you have thought about this, looked at all the info and options and decided what is right for you...

I think that is what bugs me about people who come up to me in the street and say 'oooh I'd love to have twins'... I just don't think mostly they have clue what they are talking about. I knew nothing about twins before they happened to me and most people I talk to have very little understanding of even the simplest things, like that identical twins can't actually be a boy/girl pair ROFL. So I guess I judge people who make those comments as often being a tad ignorant... that is probably unfair to a lot of people who really do know what they are getting in for, which is why I try not to say anything too rude in reply! LOL

And you know.. I don't think anyone has the right to judge anyone else's decision to have or not to have any umber of children, but you know it happens all the time for so many reasons. I feel that particular forum at the moment really has a negative spin to it, (I got so badly flamed when I dared to respond to a poster asking for alternatives to CC with twins that I haven't been back since!) so sadly it doesn't surprise me to hear that was the reaction.... You should PM the woman and tell her to come chat on AB, I might not be the poster parent for 'happy twin mamas' but I'll celebrate big time with her.. and you when you announce you are pregnant with two gorgeous girls!

Sif Dal said...

Yeah, look, I do get the distinction you're making. It's like when people tell me I'm SOOO lucky to get free public transport and 1/2 price taxis, and they wish they were that lucky. LOL, at which point I usually offer to poke one of their eyes out with a stick and scratch the other one...

Now I hate to be a pedant... BUT, LOL, that but means ignore everything I just said... It is possible to have boy/girl ID twins, it's just that that involves a genetic abnormality it the girl baby.

So, if anyone asks you again, ask them if they're suggesting one of your babies is genetically abnormal!

Good Job!