Published originally on Mommy Nearest
To find out you are expecting twins or super twins (triplets or more) can be the shock of a lifetime, especially if you hadn’t received any sort of fertility treatment and have no multiples in your family, as in my case. I feel that the infamous five stages of grief can be flexibly applied to the kind of whirlwind emotional journey that I (and probably most) go through after receiving the news. For me, it went something like this:
Stage 1: Denial
The morning sickness and other signs of pregnancy may start earlier and be much more intense. You chalk it up to every pregnancy being different and just brush it off. But when your OB places that wand on your belly or up your hoo-ha for the first ultrasound and announces, “There are TWO babies!!” it’s pretty hard for your first reaction to be anything but denial. My exact words were something like, “WHAT!??! NO!!!! WHAT?!! ARE YOU SURE!?? HOW!? WHAT??,” followed by dozens of expletives. There must be a mistake, a malfunction of the machine where it’s seeing double images. In the words of David After Dentist, “Is this real life!?!???”
Related: How To Prepare for Having Twins
State 2: Anger
The next stage might be brief, but a bit of anger is likely to be lashed out. First, at the poor dear operating the sonogram. I believe I half-jokingly blurted out something along the lines of, “I kind of hate you right now!” The next stream of anger might be directed at your partner (“How could you do this to me with your super sperm!??!”) or even yourself.
Stage 3: Bargaining
Some thoughts that passed through my mind, ever so briefly...
If only we’d waited a bit longer to get pregnant, maybe it would have been a singleton or at least our first child would be a bit older and this would be easier to deal with!
Maybe we should give one away to a family member who can't have kids. Or… we could sell one?? (Note: we did joke about these two options but the were *never* actually on the table for us.)
Stage 4: Depression
I wouldn’t go so far as to say a confirmation of twins will lead to any sort of depression, but it definitely can bring on many negative thoughts and anxieties that are only increased by turning to Google, as we all do, of course! My initial reaction, while still laying on the examination table looking at the two sacks and beans on the sonogram screen, was pretty in line with “HOW can we DO this??” A toddler and two newborns, in our tiny Brooklyn co-op?? Physically, emotionally, and financially, it just didn't seem possible!! Our world had just turned upside down and it’s terrifying. Then, you get home and go straight to Google where you’re overwhelmed with terms like “Vanishing Twin Syndrome”, “Twin To Twin Transfusion Syndrome”, and all the statistics of your increased risk for preterm labor, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, etc. It can be overwhelming and frightening.
Stage 5: Acceptance (and JOY!!)
After about a week of insomnia, tossing and turning with worries over the logistics of having twins, I finally reached the stage of acceptance. And not just acceptance, actual joy and excitement! With the help of books such as When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads and What To Do When You're Having Two, and amazing Facebook groups such as Private Page of National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs, it’s very easy to get both informed and empowered. Twins and super twins are so incredibly special and we were thrilled to be joining the very small club of families with multiples!! With none in either of our families, it felt like an honor to provide such a unique and exciting change in family dynamics for all of the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. I kneww the road would not be an easy one: the pregnancy could be tough (thankfully it wasn't too bad!), taking care of a toddler and two newborn babies would be a challenge, and money would be a struggle (for the next 21 years or so!!). But it will all be worth it and it’s going to be an amazing ride!
How did you handle the news of a multiples pregnancy? Or how would you? Share in a comment below!
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I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!