Unbearable: The Threat Of Twins Terrifies My Husband

TwinsHaving a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.

The word is out. Twins are taking over. 1 out of every 30 babies born in the US belongs to the fascinating order of twinhood. It’s a mysterious connection between two siblings who share a womb and it’s one that most people find extremely intringing. So this spike in twins is pretty cool, right? Well I know one man who doesn’t think so.

Ever since we started discussing fertility treatments and medical procedures, my husband has had a single fear clouding his mind. Lord don’t give us twins! Actually, even when we talk about getting knocked up without any professional help at all, he’s concerned about the possibility of multiples. My mother happens to be a twin and that wonderful gene runs in our family. It normally skips a generation, which would make the next set of twins belong to either myself or my sister. And my husband is desperately praying that it doesn’t happen to us.

So why is so worried about having two babies at once? After all, we already have one and we obviously want more. What does it matter if we double up on this pregnancy? “The cost,” he starts, “think about doubling the cost of everything.” Reminding him that we can handle the cost does very little to assuage that particular worry. But you can’t argue, two are more expensive than one. “The chaos,” he adds. “Chasing one is exhausting. We’d never get any sleep.” I suppose it’s another logical worry. There’s a lot more to juggle when you have two infants burping, pooping, and begging to be held. There’s a lot more noise, a lot more dirty diapers. Twins are just… more.

A close friend of mine went through multiple fertility treatments before finally having beautiful twin boys with the help of in vitro fertilization. She and her husband chose to transfer two embryos, knowing that there was a distinct possibility that both of them would take and she’d be carrying twins. After watching her experience, and meeting her amazing little men, I tried to smile at my husband and say, “See, twins aren’t so bad.”

I’m not sure that the little guys or I got through to him. “Does everyone who uses IVF have twins,” he asked me recently. Obviously the answer is no. In fact, every couple has a choice whether they would like one or two embryos transferred. Many couples choose two because they believe that it gives them double the chances of having a child. Surprisingly though, what seems to be a logical conclusion is completely false. Using a single embryo doesn’t diminish your chance of success when it comes to IVF.  Though even if you use one embryo, that little guy could split in two, giving you… Twins! (Transferring more than two embryos is frowned on in the reproductive health community because it puts both the mom and the kids in danger.)

Twin birth rates are up, whether my hubby likes it or not. But in our house, multiple transfers is out of the question. My husband apparently likes to take things one at a time. Personally, I still have to admit that I think twins are special. And whether they get more common or not, everyone seems interested in the special bond created by sharing a birthday.

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