Not having twins, possibly not having two kids

How do I feel about not having twins, and possibly having one, not two, kids in our family? I’ve been digging deep, but my answer is: just fine. I have had a vision of having two children, and strong ideas about the importance of siblings, for so long that I keep wondering if I am hiding my real feelings from myself, protecting myself in some unconscious way—but no, it just doesn’t seem so. What seems to be happening is that I am letting go of control. What seems to be happening is that I am allowing happiness and fulfillment in, no matter what form it takes. I seem to be allowing my vision of the future to change. Remarkably, I seem to be accepting what is.

All the hard work I’ve done—the Eastern teachings and such—is resulting, I think, in this invaluable payoff. (As my favorite yoga teacher once put it, following those teachings is “enlightened self-interest.”)

I’ve waited to write about it because I just couldn’t be sure if my true feelings could be heard within the blaring joy of realizing that this pregnancy is working out. But now that things are settling down, and I’m settling in, I’ve been exploring it more and more, and I keep coming up with the same realizations:

  • This baby is a miracle. Not because of what I have gone through, but because all new life is a miracle. Witnessing that miracle, and being the home of that miracle, is proving to be an experience I can’t yet quite encapsulate in words without saying the same effusive superlatives over and over. So I’ll just say: it’s profound.
  • That profundity is more than I expected, more than I imagined. Experiencing it humbles me.
  • That humility keeps me in check.
  • Inside that humility, I find that having one child is miracle enough. I find that I no longer crave my former vision. I’m not stuck to it.
  • That flexibility feels wonderful and right.

I can see us, a family of three, me, DH, and the kiddo, and it doesn’t seem that anything is lacking.

I can also see us as a family of four—me, DH, this child, and an adopted toddler from Korea, and that also seems wonderful. But. It doesn’t seem necessary to our happiness. And I know that if finances do not permit adoption to happen in the future (because I think, in the end, it would be finances that would limit us most of all) that I can be perfectly content.

We do have enough money in our savings right now to do another DE cycle at RBA—not the guarantee program, but the basic progam they call the “1 High-Quality Embryo” program, which runs about 16K. I’ve thought about that. But the thought usually passes pretty quickly with a shrug. I don’t think so. Pregnancy is beautiful, and I’m okay with doing it only once. And also—I want to get off the hell off the table, if you know what I mean. Also, we are open to adoption, and I see us following that openness instead of staying in the ART world.

Adoption would cost 30 to 40K, however, and looking at what we’re up against—saving for retirement, saving for the child’s college education (while still paying off my student loans), maybe some day actually buying a home—spending that money on adoption seems a little stupefying. How? We’d figure out a way, but do we want to create that strain? We definitely don’t want to ask DH’s parents for anymore help ever. Too many strings attached, and besides, we want to stay financially independent.

But it is a relief to feel, really feel in my bones, that if we decide to not expand our family through adoption, I will be okay. I will be more than okay. I can find happiness in what is, because I’m already in the happinees, and the happiness is bigger than anything.

When I first discovered that I was pregnant with one baby, not two, I have to admit that I did not feel much of a sense of anything being lost. I had focused on two embryos, because I knew two would be transferred, and I of course had fantasies of completing my vision of family, a family of four, mom, dad, and two siblings, in one fell swoop. You may recall the art to my embryos that I made.

But when it turned out that only one embryo had implanted, I was too ecstatic and grateful that things were going well to feel a sense of loss. I still don’t feel a sense of loss. I had wanted two babies, but the reality is one, and I’m in love, and it’s all okay. Things have unfolded harmoniously—what more could I ask for?

It’s kind of like the way I feel about donor egg—it’s just not that hard for me. I don’t think much about the loss of the genetic link (some, just not much). I don’t feel sad, and I definitely don’t feel a sense of injustice. If anything, I feel ridiculously lucky that I’m alive in a decade in which this procedure is available and that we had the money to do it. I wonder if I’m hiding my feelings from myself, that there is more brewing deep beneath the surface, but I just don’t think there is.

I had pictured being pregnant with twins, had even fantasized about talking to my friend in Wyoming (twin girls) about my developing twin pregnancy, but I found myself immediately adapting to the idea of having one baby inside me—with a sense of relief that I had not expected. Now I am more glad than ever that it is just one, because I think the added anxiety of the risks involved with twins would have detracted from my experience of pregnancy. Now that I am reading about labor and delivery, I’m grateful there’s just one, and that my chances of being able to experience natural childbirth are pretty good.

I just wanted to take a moment to explore this subject. I’ve got to wrap up quickly because am off to a day of packing for my roadtrip to Ohio! Gender-reveal party is very soon…

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5 Comments

  1. Everything is falling perfectly into place :)

    Reply
  2. This post resonates with me. I always wanted two children, but the further we get into this mess the more apparent it becomes that one may be it. And one would be such an incredible blessing. Your peace with this turn of events is enviable. That is the overall sense I get from this post–overwhelming peace and contentment. It makes me so happy for you after all you’ve endured, and so hopeful for me that one day I might feel that peace and contentment too no matter how things play out. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject in such an honest way!

    Reply
    • I want that peace for you so much…thinking about you and those transferred lil ones….please please please universe. The peace really is such a wonderful feeling, a gliding feeling, a sense of rest. And pride that I am able to stop grasping. Xo

      Reply

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