Multiple Concerns

Yesterday I received my third beta results. My hCG beta count, at 19dp3dt (19 days past 3-day transfer) or exactly 5 weeks, stands at 8,152, "nice and high" according to the nurse who called me over two hours later than my clinic normally calls with results.

Remember this post where I said I wasn't concerned that I was having more than one baby? Yeah, that was so six days ago, because now? Seriously. Freaked. Out.

Let me clear up a few things. It is entirely possible that only one embryo implanted. There are overlapping numbers in the beta charts of both singletons and multiple pregnancies. There is no "normal level" for singleton pregnancies, just as there isn't a "normal level" for a multiple pregnancy.

But, given that I like to freak out about things well in advance, and many times, as it has been proven, without good reason, I am beginning to have concerns about the possibility of being pregnant with twins or (yikes) triplets.

I know what you're thinking (or at least what the nagging voice inside my head is saying). "There goes the ungrateful infertile again, complaining about having too many babies when by all rights, she shouldn't even have the one she already has."

But here's the thing. I have to be honest on this blog. I can't self-censor and pretend I don't have very real worries about twins or triplets when they're crowding my brain. So, here goes.

A multiple pregnancy would seriously strain our finances. I would likely have to start selling platelets and non-vital organs.

We would have to move, as we live in a 1,500 square foot house (1,700 square feet if you count the finished basement, which is basically the cats' safe haven from toddler mania). We have three (very small) bedrooms and one bathroom. We have a tiny kitchen. Our living room and my office already look like a daycare with toys everywhere. Our house is just not big enough for more than four people.

We would need to buy another car. I drive a 2000 (paid off) Jetta. If there's more than one baby, I would need a bigger car. The hubs mentioned the word "minivan" last night. I promptly broke out in hives.

In all likelihood, I would be housebound for a good long time. How would I leave the house with a toddler and two (or more) babies? The logistics involved with toting massive amounts of gear and carriers and small humans is mind-boggling.

But the (relatively minor in the grand scheme of things) financial and personal issues aren't what really would trouble me about a multiple pregnancy.

What makes me most scared is the affect more than one new baby would have on Isabella's life. How would I possibly have enough time and attention to devote to her if I had multiple newborns to care for? We have a lot of fun during the day. She goes to storytime at the library. We have playdates with her friends. She's in a toddler gym class. All of this? Over with the needs of multiple infants to contend with. Of course, given my family's devotion to her, she would not lack for love and attention from them, but my relationship with her would inevitably change. Yes, this would be the case whether I'm carrying one baby or three, but the change will be much more drastic if I have multiples.

And then there are potential health issues. We have two sets of friends with twins. Both moms had very difficult pregnancies. Both ended up in the hospital more than once. Both were on bedrest weeks before they delivered. Both delivered babies who needed time in the NICU. How would this affect Isabella?

If this were my first pregnancy, I wouldn't be anywhere near as scared. We wanted two kids, and if we had two kids at once, well, that would have been two for the IVF price of one. But this time around, more than one baby, plus Isabella, would be a lot for me to handle for many reasons.

As a friend told me yesterday, I am capable of handling twins. I can even do triplets. But as I told her, motherhood is challenging for me. It hasn't come easily. I fear I am just not equipped. The possibility (and right now, it is just that) of having multiples is exciting, but it is also terrifying.

My ultrasound is Monday, April 7th, at 10am.

19 Responses to “Multiple Concerns”

  1. # Blogger Jesser

    No one is thinking of you as an ungrateful infertile!!! You are entitled to your feelings and I think almost ANYONE in your situation would be concerned. I don't know how many times my husband and I said to each other "Oh I love her so much, but I'm so glad she's not twins!" or "I don't know how [friends with twins] do it!" But that said, realistically, you could cope if you had to. I'm sure there would be some hellish bits both before and after birth, but they're only teeny for so long. And the finances are very scary as well, but I suppose people somehow make it work. But I really think you have every right to your feelings no matter how you got there!!  

  2. # Anonymous Lis Garrett

    I agree with Jesser - NO ONE thinks you are ungrateful, so get that out of your head right now!! Your concerns are very real and valid. Those of us with more than one child know how difficult it is to cope. There is strain all around: physical, emotional, financial, mental. I mean, how many times have I emailed you saying I was going berzerk over here? It's like you said to me yesterday, Having multiples is great in theory but not so much in practice. Your lives would change drastically. The one good thing about Isabella being so young is that she is so young. Hannah and Jacob are 27 months about, and she cannot recall there ever being a time before Jacob. He's always been a part of her life. It will be the same for Isabella, too. And while the adjustment is always difficult, whether you have one baby or three, you won't go through it alone.

    PS - Minivans ROCK!  

  3. # Blogger Riley & Tiki

    Now take a deep breath .... exhale. You'll find out with the ultrasound.

    We are purring for you to have a healthy pregnancy and delivery (no matter how many babies are in there :) ).

    BTW, we think all the worrying you do about being a good mother ... makes you a better mother.  

  4. # Blogger Mom24

    Breathe! Take it one day at a time. It will be all right. It's always amazing to me how the things that I majorly stress over, have a way of working out. By the way, you don't sound ungrateful at all--you sound like many of us would sound in your shoes. How could you not be feeling this way?

    About the house--it will work out. We have a house even smaller than yours. We, at one point, had 6 of us living here (in 3 very small bedrooms). You do what you have to do. It will work out. Kids don't mind sharing bedrooms, sharing space. Mine even seem to enjoy the closeness.

    For the record, I LOVE my Honda Odyssey!

    Your other issues, I can completely relate to also. Your relationship with Isabella will change--it would change anyway. Things change as they get older, and even if you are having one, your relationship with her will change a little bit (not as much as you think). But she will also get that wonderful new relationship with her sibling(s). As far as her activities, you can't imagine it now, but I bet you will be one of those moms who just does it with two (or three, or four). Lots of people do, you will too. You just have to get organized, and make what's important to you happen. I used to run a home daycare, and I would take 5 or even 6 kids to things and people would say "I don't know how you do it!". Well, the answer was simple, I didn't want the fact that I had to work to keep my kids from doing the things that were important to me for them to do, so we just did it. We made it work. You will find a way to do what you want Isabella to do.

    As far as your health, take it one day at a time. At least you are blessed with family/friends that will help. IF the time comes, let them help.

    You have very real concerns, and I'm not trying to minimalize them. IF you are having multiples, some of your worries may come true, some of them won't. You know that worrying about them now won't help, but I know that won't make you not worry. But try to just relax and breathe. Somehow, it will all work out, and Isabella will be fine. Her life will be enriched, in the long run, by having sibling(s). It's easy as moms to obsess about a particular time in our child's development because we love them so much and want everything to be as perfect as we can make it, but in the end it's because of that love, that she will end up great, no matter what happens.  

  5. # Blogger Tracey

    You totally have a right to worry. I was convinced, for some unknown reason, that my 3rd baby was twins. I made the tech check repeatedly, as I was petrified. However, had we had another in there, things would have worked out. They just would have.

    Money and house space is always an issue, no matter how many kids you have. There are definitely ways to get around the costs of multiples. IF that is the case, then you guys will handle it. Whether or not you personally believe yourself to be a "good mom/natural mom," --you ARE a mom, and you're doing it. You can continue to do it, no matter what is handed to you because, well, we all HAVE to.

    For the record: I have known families with multiples after a singleton that have still continued to do those fun things. Yes: life would be vastly different, but social interaction isn't quite as crucial for Isabella when she has siblings at home to play with, you know?  

  6. # Blogger shokufeh

    I'm suddenly feeling anxious on your behalf. As I life-long worrier myself, I sometimes start to wonder what I would do if I found myself pregnant with twins. (No, I'm not currently pregnant, but I believe in worrying about all the possibilities.) I often worry about how I will handle all the changes that will come down the road when I become pregnant and have another baby. If I don't feel on my game as a mother of one, how will I do as a mother of two?
    Oh, wait, this is sounding very familiar. Maybe I just read it somewhere?
    I think these are all normal worries. If not, at least you have company in them.
    Looking in anticipation toward the big reveal on the 7th....  

  7. # Blogger My Wombinations

    I do the same thing you do (worry ahead of time), so I completely understand. And no one thinks you are ungrateful. If anything (from my perspective), it sucks that you have to deal with childbearing this way. Yes, twins could happen without fertility treatments, but they do increase the risk and that is a very, very hard reality for some people. I, for instance (as you know), would not be able to handle twins (or more) in the least, so I get where you are coming from.

    That said, I know you can handle it (just as the friend told you yesterday;) ;)

    As for the house and the minivan, the minivan is a yes. The house is a BIG no. Do not stress about that. People make do with far, far less space than 1500 sq. feet (me, for instance). In Manhattan, I know people with two children in 500 square feet of living space. It is all perspective and that is by far the last thing you need to worry about right now.

    Waiting anxiously for 4/7...  

  8. # Blogger MsPrufrock

    I have vocalised on my blog a few times my feelings on multiples - I never wanted them the first time around, no matter how desperate, and to be honest, wouldn't be the least keen on them now either.

    However, and prepare yourself for the groundless assvice here - if you had twins or triplets, you would cope. You may not think you could, but you would. Motherhood is full of "getting on with it". You have the kid(s), and you just do. I never thought I'd be able to handle many facets of parenting, but I do, because I have to. Anymore, I barely even notice the things that I thought I would never be capable of doing.

    I'm not pretending that I wouldn't feel exactly the same way as you do right now if faced with the prospect of multiples. I certainly wouldn't be all zen like I'm being here when dispensing this crappy advice.

    There's nothing new under the sun with what I'm saying, as it seems the other commenters above me have said pretty much the same thing. Don't agonise over the issue too much. No point in freaking out since you haven't even had an ultrasound yet!  

  9. # Blogger Marie

    Though I've never been in your position, I can completely relate to the worrying, Kristi. I'm a worrier too. And how could this not be on your mind?

    I have a friend who always says that God doesn't give us more than we can handle. Sometimes I disagree! But things do seem to have a way of working out...

    If you need to, you guys can get a decent used mini-van, and bunkbeds for the kids. I grew up in a tiny (1000sf) house with no basement and a crawl-space for an attic! No clue how we managed 5 people there, but we did.

    Remember how your family showed up ready to help when your basement flooded? They will be there for you if you have twins or triplets too. They'll probably have a schedule all made out for who's on when. I can just see them!

    I completely understand your feelings... and know that somehow things will work out! (I'm not selling my crib til after your ultrasound, by the way...)  

  10. # Anonymous Anonymous

    I can totally relate to your post. I am a luker :) and have been reading since before your implant. I'm so thrilled for you however many babies you are blessed with! I had a terrible mother (alcholic) and really worried I'd fail as a mother too, but b/c I was so concerned I think I have become a better mom than I think. I am now 41 and have four kids (I still dont believe it!) God will provide everything you need (even financially the community usually comes through and helps people with multiples). It's hard not to think of the what ifs, so just know you have a lot of people rooting for you to have a wonderful, safe, happy, healthy pregnancy! And, your sweet Isabella will have such a great time being a little mommy to your baby(ies) :). I find I have my own little playgroup at home now! Take good care and know there are lots of people who will help when you need it!  

  11. # Anonymous Amy

    Everyone's already brought up some really good points. I can completely understand why you'd be worried--I sure would, too, and probably for the same reasons.

    But (and I'm echoing everyone else here, I know) more than one child always involves lots of juggling and financial strain. I had an older friend with 4 kids once who told me that the shock in going from her first to her second kid was much greater than when she went from two kids to three. I didn't believe her---until I had my second kid, lol.

    Also, you will be able to handle no matter what is thrown your way! You have gone from almost no hope of children to your beautiful daughter, you have moved from working full time to freelancing to be with her (I DEF. know how scary that is), and you've taken the huge next step of trying for another one. You will be able to handle whatever happens with the same inner strength.

    Finally, I want to tell a story about the positive impact multiples can have on the first child. My twin and I (I know you're worried about having more than twins, but I hope this is a helpful example) were born 3 years after my sister. My parents were worried she'd feel left out and miss the attention on her. But ALL the extended family made a very special effort to keep attention focused on my sister as well as us. Plus, she absolutely reveled in getting both a brother AND a sister at the same time, and has never been jealous at all. I know you'd do the same for Isabella, and I bet (based on your stories) your family will, too.

    I'm one of 4 children and we didn't have much money when I was little. Our first house was around 1100 square feet, and I have nothing but happy memories of my early childhood. And my mom, too. Even now she says, yeah, it was crowded but also just a lot of fun b/c we were little and just all had a good time together as a family.

    Finally, I thought I'd never have a minivan b/c I'd "look too much like a mom." But I finally caved last summer and bought one b/c when I walk around with a 9 year-old and a 6 year-old, when DON'T I look like a mom? Seriously, what the above comment says--minivans rock, and I L-O-V-E it! We just crank up the Beastie Boys and the White Stripes in our totally uncool vehicle, and ride along the highway in comfort. :)

    I don't mean to keep bringing this back to me, but you know---when I became a mom at a young age, I really thought my life was over. Now I'm 32, the age where I expected to have one baby and possibly be working on my next one, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I LOVE having a 3rd grader and a kindergartener at this age, although it took some MAJOR adjustment in the beginning.

    No matter what you find out on your ultrasound and even if the next couple of years are very difficult, I'm betting that 5 years from now you'll think, "Now, I'm really glad my life is like this and I couldn't picture it any other way."

    Hang in there, Kristi. You're in my thoughts, but I know that whatever happens, you'll work it out.  

  12. # Blogger l

    You've clearly given this a lot thought, Kristi. Not to oversimplify, but that alone is the greatest tool and weapon you can have in dealing with these challenges, if they even materialize. You're giving yourself the ability to recognize these challenges when they arise, so whether you figure it all out ahead of time or not, you'll be able to deal with them.  

  13. # Blogger sher

    I also say that you are not remotely ungrateful sounding. I would feel exactly the same way. You're thinking (and when is that wrong) about the future. So, don't feel like it's wrong to do that. :):)  

  14. # Anonymous Lisanne

    You have such a great head on your shoulders and have clearly thought about this issue quite a bit. I know that you ALL will be just fine whatever happens, whether God gives you one more child or three more! Yes, it would be filled with challenges to say the least, but I know that you will do just great whatever happens. Those are definitely concerns, and I can understand why you would be worried. Just keep your faith, I guess is the best advice that I could give! Know that we're also all here for you when/if you need anything. I remember thinking when I was pregnant the first time that it would be nice to have twins and just get it over with in one fell swoop! haha :)  

  15. # Blogger Thalia

    Forget that ungrateful thing, Kristi, it's not how you sound or how we think you sound. You do sound scared, which is reasonable. I agree with all the others, you will cope if you have to. But honestly, and I'm going to get panned for saying this, why did you let the docs transfer so many if you were so petrified of multiples? Makes no sense to me.

    Having said that, of course I hope that the scan shows a maximum of two, and preferably one, healthy heart-ticking embryo. Will be holding my thumbs for you.  

  16. # Blogger beagle

    Glad you're feeling better about things (per today's post). I had no assvice on this topic anyway other than a glib offer to adopt any "extras" . . . but how helpful would that be? LOL (And maybe only "funny" in my warped mind.

    Here's hoping for one, the best of three, healthy baby in process . . . .  

  17. # Blogger Damselfly

    Wow. I really can't imagine what having that many children at once would be like. Those people who have three, four, five.... Surely they must have to hire some help? At least for the first six months?

    Minivans make me break out in hives, too. ;)  

  18. # Blogger Shannon

    Well start watching Jon and Kate + 8... hehehe... but really it is a good show... it shows their stresses etc... but shows fun ideas she does with the kids... I know the first year would be very hard... and you do have family near by... start using them lol... I am sure you could talk some of them into doing laundry for ya if you have more than one hehehe...  

  19. # Anonymous Anonymous

    I am also terrified of having even twins - and I haven't got any children and am on my 2nd IVF cycle (after 7 IUIs). Everyone says I'd do fine, but I can't help thinking that they are completely wrong.
    First of all, I really, really want to have children, but have never really looked forward to actually being pregnant. Secondly, I have a bad back (had surgery twice) - how would it survive a multiple pregnancy? It's going to be hard enough if I get pregnant at all. Then there are all the other complications that come with multiples, not to mention even more serious sleep depravation in that first year. (And I also live in a tiny house - less than 1,000 sq. ft. with only one bedroom and an office that we hope someday will become a nursery. I sometimes wonder if I haven't gotten pregnant because I'd never be able to handle having kids anyway. What on earth would I do with more than one baby at the same time?
    I seriously was so afraid of twins that in my first IVG cycle I requested that they only transfer one embryo even though it was a day 3 transfer. Now I'm struggling with what to do this time.  

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