It's amusing to me that friends and family alike have really not known what to say to me when I've told them that I have twice the number of babies growing in my uterus than I thought I did. Generally, when you tell someone that you're pregnant, the first words you hear are some combination of, "Congratulations!" and "I'm so happy for you."

In my case, though, "Holy shit!" has been a popular one, followed closely by "Holy f-ing shit!" (my personal favorite). Maniacal laughter is also a big one, as is "HOW in the hell did your doctor miss that?" (I'd love to know the answer to this one.)

Incidentally, when I called my RE's to break the news, I left a voicemail that was immediately returned by the IVF coordinator. She was stunned, leading me to believe that this is not something that happens very often.

And then, of course, there was the hubs' reaction, when he finally got home around 10pm Wednesday night. He thought I was kidding.

Your reactions, and those of my other friends and family, are exactly like those I would have to someone else's news. There's just something about my situation that doesn't quite warrant exuberant joy. The joy is there. It's just hidden behind shock and fear and worry.

I wonder if the reactions I've received would have been different if this had been my first pregnancy, or if many of those close me to hadn't known my feelings about having multiples and a singleton. I know my response would most likely be different if my circumstances were other than what they are.

Over the past two days, I'd also been told that I must move to a bigger house before the babies are born, that I need to buy a minivan, formula-feed the twins because there's no way I can breastfeed two, and that I need to find out the genders of the babies "so we can plan." I've also heard, "Oh, wow. How are you going to...(fill in the blank with the baby-rearing task of your choice)." Of course, my favorite gem has been once again trotted out: "You have to get rid of the cats now! You can't have three cats and three kids!" And a well-meaning aunt has also sent me a "Readiness Plan."

Love them as I do, I have a half-dozen family members trying to sort out my future life for me. It's all too much to handle right now.

I still have not really processed the news. I am still in shock, and frankly when I start to think too much about it (uh, them), I break out in a cold sweat. I just about burst into tears this morning when I was grocery shopping and realized that at least for the first year of the twins' lives, I will never be able to take three kids shopping with me. It's impossible to fit two infant carriers and a toddler in a cart. I am wondering about my future independence.

It's okay to think me selfish (and slightly unhinged). I already do.

14 Responses to “Reactions”

  1. # Anonymous Lis Garrett

    Oh Kristi . . .

    Not a one of us think of you as selfish. I would have the EXACT same fears as you. As much as I love children, I would be UPSET at a surprise pregnancy (which is why my husband had a V). We joked around last night that I should write a booked called, "A Decade in Diapers." We've literally spent the last 10 years with one of our children in some stage of diapers.

    How does this help you? Well, it doesn't, other than to let you know I certainly GET how you are feeling. Yes, a part of you is THRILLED with the blessing of being pregnant, but the inevitable changes are equally as scary.

    I don't know what to say other than you are ENTITLED to feel the way you feel without explanation to anyone. You aren't being selfish; you are being REAL.  

  2. # Blogger Angela

    Selfish isn't at all what I would think. Or unhinged actually. Maybe "overwhelmed" but seriously, who wouldn't be!

    You can totally do this. It will be a huge adjustment, but you can breastfeed if you want, you can shop with them if you want (it won't be easy, but one can be in the sling with two in the cart). And it sounds like you have lots of family and friends who will adore helping you with this new wonderful challenge.

    Trying to wrap your minds around it now is probably the hardest part. I don't think it would have hit you so hard if you'd been told twins at your first ultrasound, but to have been told 'singleon' and NOW to see 'oops, twins'... well, that's just hardly even fair at all!

    (I can't imagine how it used to be before ultrasounds! Imagine finding out at the birth, Yikes!)

    Best wishes to you!  

  3. # Blogger Mom24

    No way are you selfish. You're just willing to share what some people would be too afraid to. I think anyone in your shoes would be full conflicting emotions. I'm ashamed to say that when I found out about #3, I actually wondered for about 3 1/2 seconds, if I even wanted to have that baby. He is an absolute joy to my life of course, now, it's just that sometimes it's hard to see through the obstacles and the problems. Things will be all right. You do not have to move. You do not have to get a minivan (although a bigger car might make your life easier!) Try to take things one day at a time, and try to enjoy the good things. I'm willing to be you won't ever find yourself in this situation again! I've always felt like pregnancy lasts so long so that we can get used to the idea before the little kidlet(s) is born. I bet, (and I hope) it will be better than anything you can picture right now--most of the time. I always wished I could have gone back and done my pregnancy's over again, with the blessing of 20-20 hindsight. I think I spent most of them worrying about everything!  

  4. # Blogger beagle

    Wow! With my new "cutting back on blogging time" plan . . . I missed this big news!! Well, first off, congrats x2!

    I get that it has to be overwhleming as much as it is happy news. I worry about how I'll manage groceries with one, so the idea of three just blows my mind.

    But you are a star . . . and just think how much this will give you to write about . . . maybe even a novel! ;-)


  5. # Anonymous Amy

    I don't want to post on your blog about me, but I just have to tell you a little about my mom.

    When my twin and I were born, my older sister has just turned 3. My parents lived in Iceland, away from all family, b/c my dad was in the Navy. It was leave the house with 3 kids, including twins, or never leave at all for my mom. :) (and then 4 kids, b/c my little bro is less than than 2 years younger)

    You don't have to give up your independence, and you can take 3 kids shopping--or anywhere else--if you want. (like Angela said, you can "wear" one of them) And you already know you can breastfeed them both, if that's what you want. (again, my mom felt very strongly about nursing, too, and she did just fine) And we lived in a tiny house--I mean, something like 1200 sq. ft. with ONE bathroom for 6 people until I was 10. We had a fabulous childhood, though.

    I know it's hard listening to your family tell you the changes you *have* to make, but you don't have to do anything except live your life the way you want to, with or without a minivan or a bigger house.

    You're not being selfish or crazy, especially after such a huge shock.

    As the first commenter said, you are perfectly entitled to every single emotion you're having right now.

    I'm wishing for all the best for you guys right now. I don't know what it feels like to expect twins, but I know it must be hard.  

  6. # Blogger Riley & Tiki

    We know you're overwhelmed right now, so we will just purr for you.  

  7. # Blogger My Wombinations

    You are entitled to be in shock for the next nine months (or nine years if you need to be). And you are not selfish or any other bad thing you might choose to call yourself. Part of the reason I love to read your blog and talk to you is because of your candor. You are so real and I love that.

    You need to try (and I know this is easier said than done) to tune out your family. You do not need a bigger house, at least not right away. You may need a bigger car, but make that your focus. The house will be fine. I realize your family probably has different expectations, but if my kids can fit into my 1,000 square foot condo with no backyard, I am sure yours can fit into a whole house, small or not. As for the cats, that is your call. No one would blame you if you needed to simplify. But if not, it certainly CAN be done. And breastfeeding is a must. I know many women who have breastfed twins. It is fine.

    As hard as this is, try to remember that your family loves you, but they have kind of old-fashioned values, it seems. You are naturally feeling overhwhelmed, but maybe once you have time to process, you will be able to identify which projects really need your attention and which don't.

    I wish I was closer to help you. But I know people who have made this happen personally (a singleton and then twins). Just do not put too much pressure on yourself.  

  8. # Blogger Tracey

    Here's some happy reactions:

    You CAN breastfeed twins.

    You CAN shop with 3 (Bella in the seat, baby 1 in the cart in the carseat, and baby 2 in a carrier.)

    The cats are fine. Really? What work does a cat take?

    Your house is plenty big for 2. Right? What's 1 more?

    You CAN do this. It'll be awesome. You'll have crazy and frustrating times and joyful, thrilling times.

    Again, CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am so psyched for you!!  

  9. # Blogger Mom24

    I have to add my 2 cents one more time. Yes, you can breastfeed twins, but don't let anyone amke you feel like you "have" to, or even should. I breastfed two of my four. I am extremely close to all of my children. All of my children are very intelligent. All of my children have been very healthy. I think breastfeeding is wonderful, but I think formula feeding is a very viable alternative that there are great reasons for doing. For me, with twins in your position, breastfeeding would sound a little daunting! With or without Isabella. Anyway, my point really is, do what works for you--when the time comes. IMO, the posts are right--the things that are really important to you, you'll find a way to work out--the other stuff--let it go. We tend to judge and attach too much significance to everything as mothers--it's good that we're so conscientious, but bad that we let it make us so crazy, and make us feel bad about ourselves as mothers. I have complete confidence that you will make the best choices for you and your family, because you care so much.  

  10. # Blogger Christine

    Oh Kristi, I don't think you're being selfish and I think you're right to have your concerns and also have the right to feel overwhelmed. I do think that in the end everything will be just fine.

    I don't know anything about breastfeeding twins, other than you can do whatever you need to do. And I don't blame you one iota for worry over your independence or anything else.

    I do believe that you will be fine. And that is because having read you for years now, I believe in you. As a person. As a parent.

    You'll be great. And if you decide you need to move to a bigger place, well if you came to Philadelphia I would offer you free babysitting.  

  11. # Blogger Pregnantly Plump

    I don't think you're being selfish. I'm sorry the reaction of some well-meaning family and friends upset you. I agree with the other women that you don't have to move and I also think you can go grocery shopping. I've seen women do it with a toddler and twins. The babywearing sounds like a great solution. I know it has to be daunting, but there will be lots of happy, happy times.  

  12. # Blogger Jesser

    C'mon. Whatever your feelings, you have a right to them. Especially with the hormone train pulling into town. You have time, thank goodness, so you can let it sink in and then make plans as YOU see fit. It will be fine. Just remember to breathe - in and out!  

  13. # Blogger sher

    Oh my God! I missed this news too. I kept thinking about you and missing reading the blog. I agree with everyone else--you are not selfish. And you're so entitled to feel the way you do. I would worry more if you didn't. Hugs!  

  14. # Blogger Shannon

    I have seen women BF twins... I have seen some do formula and BF... you will just find what works for ya and tell the rest of the world to bite ya lol...

    And why do everyone think that cats are so evil... lol...

    I think you are going to do great and find your own way to do things and will be rocking it!  

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