Family Planning with Twins

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Categories Ask the Moms, Birth Stories, Family, Mommy Issues, Parenting Twins, Perspective, Pregnancy

Having twins rocked my world, I’m not going to lie. I never considered twins a possibility when I thought about starting a family and even skipped all the sections on twins in my prenatal books until I found out it was happening to me. Only weeks after my husband and I deciding we were going to start a family, I became pregnant. 10 weeks after that, we found out it was twins. I was shocked, surprised, scared, and any number of S words you can use to describe ones emotions. I kept telling myself that since these twins were natural, I was going to be spared from the laundry list of twin pregnancy risks you are told about. “It was meant to be” was my mantra for 38 weeks and I whole-heartily believe it.

Pregnancy was not what I would call easy, but looking back, it was not terrible either (likely because I do not know any different). I had morning (noon and night) sickness for 18 weeks, I had weeeeeeks of feeling really great, and then I had 3 weeks of bed rest to keep my little guys cooking away as long as possible. Because both babies were breech, I ended up having a c-section at 38 weeks despite my being a student of the Bradley method. My c-section experience was not textbook, I am sad to say, and I ended up hemorrhaging after delivery. Although it was scary at the time, I recovered quite well and have been assured that it was a flukish thing that can happen when you have twins and is not likely to happen if there are future pregnancies.

Now that my guys are 15 months old, my husband and I are starting to reflect on whether or not we should increase the size of our family. I never thought I would be asking myself this question after only one pregnancy. Because I waited until after I finished my PhD and post doc to get pregnant, I figured I would pop out two kids, one right after the other, to make up for not getting pregnant in my 20’s. (Turns out- this is what happened but instead of 1.5 years between kids, there is 1.5 minutes, ha!). I pictured myself having two kids but I thought I would have to have two pregnancies to get them. Now that I have twins, I am wondering if we should roll the dice again and try for more children. I know it is commonplace to be pregnant while you are raising a toddler but, in truth, it scares me. I am (worrying) wondering how you effectively parent twin toddlers while creating the life of a third? How do you start the clock again on sickness, tiredness and breastfeeding baby(ies?) right when your toddlers are bursting with energy? How do you change your parenting techniques to raise a singleton when you are so used to parenting twins?

Deciding whether or not to have children is a very personal decision and I am not asking to have that debate. I am, however, trying to explore the worries that come with being twin parents who are thinking about adding other children to the family. How do you do it?

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Carrie, mother to 18 month old twin boys, has presently traded a lab coat for mom jeans to be a SAHM. As a research scientist, Carrie was used to problem solving and troubleshooting small tasks while keeping big picture goals in sight. As a mom, she has found her job to be quite similar. While repeating the mantras “don’t sweat the small stuff” and “this too shall pass”, Carrie and her husband managed to survive the first year as twin parents. As this second year progresses, Carrie is enjoying the small freedoms and enjoyable moments that come with toddlerhood. Carrie and her family (including dogs and cats) live in the Bay Area and enjoy good weather, good produce and good times. Carrie enjoys documenting life as a twin mom with the hopes that her stories and insights will make other peoples journey just a touch easier.

9 thoughts on “Family Planning with Twins”

  1. I’m not sure what the dynamics will be like with the twins first and then another, but I have a toddler and then twins, and it’s HARD! Also our toddler is not yet 3 and we’ve chosen not to send her to school yet, so she’s at home with me all the time too.

    A good friend of mine is pregnant with her third after having twins. But her twins already turned 3, so they’ll be almost 4 by the time their sibling is born. She said she finally got over the “trauma” of having twins. I think she’ll have it a little easier this time since her twins will be in preschool so she’ll get to finally enjoy having just one newborn.

    A lot of people stop when they have twins, whether it was their first pregnancy or second, third… I think it’s because of this “trauma” haha. Kudos to you for even thinking about it! I know I have absolutely no interest in more kids right now, cute as they may be. My husband is adamant we will not have any more.

    You will also have to consider a lot of things. Going from 2 to 3 (or 4 if you’re blessed with 2 again!) will necessitate some changes. Do you have enough bedrooms in your house? Are your cars spacious enough for more carseats? Can you fathom paying for food/clothes/car/college for more kids? All things we thought we could handle going from 1 to 2, but 1 to 3– we’re still reeling.

  2. For us, we pursued out successful pregnancy after so many problems because we really felt that “someone was missing from the dinner table.” now that our twins are here, we know that our whole family has finally joined us. I don’t know if that helps, but that’s how we decided to keep trying.

  3. I never considered having more kids after my twins were born- but I do want to mention the possibility of another set of twins as something to think of. I have three friends with twins who ended up with a second set of twins when trying for another baby (and they were all conceived with no fertility help). Apparently once you have fraternal twins, the chances of a second set are higher (I believe it’s 20-25%). If your twins are identical, I think the odds of a second set of identicals are actually very low- although one of those friends has identical girls and identical boys. Good luck with your decision making!

  4. 21 months after my twin boys were born, baby girl came on the scene. I knew we would have more, but we didn’t exactly plan that soon. It was crazy and I was TIRED, but we survived. 18 months later baby boy joined us and I can’t imagine life any different. We had 4 in diapers (cloth) for a few months and are now embarking on a homeschool adventure. They are best friends–yes, they fight at times, but they also play so well together and have many similar interests since they are so close in age. I always wanted 4 kids…I think if we had intentionally spaced them out more, we may have stopped sooner. If I had tasted freedom, it would have been easier to say “we’re done.”
    That being said, having a new baby with toddler twin boys running around is not easy. But, just like when you first had twins and you didn’t know how you were going to do it–you just do. You figure out what works and go with it.

  5. You’ll want to keep in mind… If you have natural twins without fertility treatement the chances are MUCH higher that you’ll have twins again.

  6. My ex wanted a second set of twins, as did I … just never at the same time. For now, I just have my twins for now, but if a new child should enter our family, I wouldn’t say no. :)

  7. I just had our baby boy Friday! He and his big twin sisters are almost exactly 3 years apart (minus 2 weeks). I don’t know how it will pan out yet, but 3 year olds are much more capable of helping out than toddlers/2 year olds. Plus they talk and communicate well, all things I am hoping will mean a good age gap. We also felt like if we did conceive another set of fraternal twins 3 years wouldn’t be horrible…. :) It’s a super tough and personal question. Good luck!

  8. We are going through the exact same thing right now. My b/g twins are almost 2.5 and I change my mind about future kids on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis! It’s good to know that I’m not the only one that finds parenting a newborn and twin toddlers slightly terrifying. Thanks for sharing :)

  9. I have a single, then twins, then another single. We debated about having our last one, but I am so glad we decided to go for it. He is such a great final piece to our family puzzle! Yes, it is hard, busy, tiring, but it is worth it. I just knew my twin pregnancy wasn’t my last one. I went into my final pregnancy knowing ths was going to be it. It made such a difference in my mindset. I don’t know how we do it, we just do it! :)

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