I’ve asked some of my favorite creative mamas to help out while I’m adjusting to life with our new baby. Today, Susan from Fleurishing is sharing some thoughts as a mother of twins (!!) – thanks Susan! –Nole
We’ve all heard the phrase, “one and done”… and in our case, it’s true (in an alternate sense-one pregnancy, two babies). No more mini-me’s for us – we’re so very fortunate to have twins. There are quite a few reasons why we chose to officially end our baby making days, and I’m sharing them here in the hope that it might help others with their choice. It is an incredibly personal decision of course, and not one that is easily reached. I want to be very clear – I do not pass judgement on anyone who chooses to have less, more, or no children. My best friend has four beautiful little ones, and I have a few close girlfriends who have no desire to become mothers. To each his own, but our journey begins (and ends) with Marie + Henry.
Childhood experience certainly plays a role for most when deciding what size family you would like. In our case, I was an only child (and loved it), and would have been more than happy with one. For my husband, growing up with a sibling was a wonderful experience, and he always had two in mind. When we learned we were expecting twins, we knew regardless of gender this would most likely be it for us. It’s funny – we had never heard the phrase “a rich man’s family” until sharing we were having a boy and a girl. It seems many consider it to be the perfect scenario, and in turn, automatically assume we’re done. On the other hand, we’ve had quite a few people (including our pediatrician) encourage us to have more simply because we “make beautiful babies.” I find this to be flattering and offensive at the same time! I’ve realized that people view our personal situation through their own lens and don’t realize that what they’re saying can be perceived as rude and intrusive. The thought of another in addition to twins gives me a panic attack just thinking about it!
My pregnancy was very difficult and even traumatic, at times. Obviously difficult pregnancies can happen to anyone, and the definition of “difficult” is relative. For me, difficult meant infections, catheterization for weeks, extreme swelling and pain, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and a very rough recovery due to blood loss. I learned early on that having a high-risk pregnancy was no joke, and it pushes your body to its limits. You see twice the amount of doctors and get poked, prodded, and scanned more than most. On a positive note – we were so lucky to have numerous ultrasounds and see them grow along the way. I still find it hard to believe that my friends with singles only saw their babies a few times before giving birth! I’m still in awe of what my body achieved, and don’t even know how it would fare a second time around.
I haven’t yet mentioned the economics of having multiples. Let’s talk statistics for a second. The average cost of ONE child in the U.S. for a middle-income family, from birth to age 18, is currently $241,080. That doesn’t even include the cost of college! Take that number and double it in our case…yowza. There are many other financial factors, such as breastfeeding for two vs. formula (which is a whole other post), double the baby gear (although not two of everything), the cost of help (crucial in the early days with multiples), and accomodations for an instantly larger family (suddenly our house seemed a LOT smaller). It is staggering, and scary at times, especially when twins were not even on our radar. At times we laugh and are thankful for only having one girl, and one wedding, to pay for…and maybe we’ll get lucky and she’ll elope.
All of the above contributed to our decision, and we took our time making it (over a year). We continually confirmed with each other that we were 100% sure before moving forward. At this point, we’re both confident and focused, enjoying every moment with the kids. I may call them babies for much longer than most, but that’s cool, right?! They will of course, always be my babies.
If you care to share your story, how did you know when you were “done”, are you unsure, or are you planning to add to your family? What were or are the deciding factors for your family?