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26 weeks preg and still can't accept its twins (plus 3 yr old)

(14 Posts)
Janberryxx Mon 26-Sep-11 21:39:16

Am really struggling with this one. At this stage of my first pregnancy I couldn't wait for my DD to be born. But this time round, twins (or three children in all) is just NOT what I want.
It's sooooo important to me that I can give my DD all the love, support, and attention in the world to see her through her entire childhood. Now that is just not going to happen. I am wishing that we hadn't tried for a second child (who is turning out to be a second and THIRD child). I never ever ever once in my life wanted to have three children.
And it's just not fair on the twins that they will be compromised too. I fear that I'll be spread far too thinly to be the Mother I want to be. I'll just have too many children.
I feel so sad for my first born. And I feel so sad for the twins that I don't feel that overwhelming joy I had when I was pregnant the first time around. I feel them moving and kicking, and I smile but I really wish this was one baby and not two.
I spoke to a Perinatal Counsellor about all this and she had very little to say that was in anyway helpful. Not sure what to do know but can't get past this.

holyShmoley Tue 27-Sep-11 07:03:30

i remember at the end of a perfect day crying to dh that dd1's live was going to be ruined with the arrivalof the twins. Firstly many mothers feel that way whilst pg with their second, secondly i was wrong.
I'm going to be honest and say your 'i wish it was one baby and not two' comment made me shiver- my reply, which in rl would be unsaid is 'don't wish too hard, nature has a way'.

Yes having twins is hard work, but you do get organised and all your children will get that love and attention... Because it is important, you will make it happen.

jassinkernow Tue 27-Sep-11 14:52:51

Sorry you're feeling like this. Twins is very hard to get your head round, and I think lots of people have mixed/complicated feelings about their second child and the impact on the first. My DD was 18 months when the DTs arrived, obviously it changed her, and our, lives totally. It's certainly true that being part of a large (ish) young family hampers you in some ways - my kids hardly ever go swimming and have been able to ride bikes/scooters etc out much less than some of their friends, for example - but they also benefit from it enormously too - always someone to play with and something going on. The relationship between the three children and them as individual twos isn't perfect, but it's pretty good and incredibly special to watch. Having twins is incredibly hard work (at first), but there's something very special about it too - I'm pretty sure my DD1 would say the same, I know several of her friends are jealous that she has twin siblings.
It's a shame the counsellor wasn't able to help, if you feel as though you need it and your feelings are more than the normal apprehension and doubts, can you go back to your GP/MW and try something else?
I guess there's postive and negative aspects to every family set up. I really hope that you'll be able to look back on this further down the line and be unable to imagine it could ever have been different. Take care of yourself.

GibberingGinger Tue 27-Sep-11 22:52:00

I felt a bit like this. Still partly do. I always thought I would have 2 kids, so when #2 turned out to be #2 &#3 I was pretty worried about the connotations. However every situation has positives and negatives, and twins has lots of both. It's hard work, but my 3 all get on pretty well now, and although I still wouldn't choose to have 3 children, and can appreciate life would be easier with just 2, it's what I've got and I wouldn't change it now.

A lot of what you are feeling you probably would be feeling if it was just one new baby, you can never give the same amount of time to the second (or in this case second and third) born. It's just magnified a bit. The pregnancy hormones are probably not helping grin. Like the other posters say, you sound like you want to spend time with all three kids so you will make it happen, and its a credit to your desire to be a good mum that you are even worrying about it.

The other place you might be able to get help is TAMBA. They have a helpline and will talk through everything and be able to give practical advice

Janberryxx Wed 28-Sep-11 04:24:44

Wow, thank all of you so very much for your kind words and thoughts. I suppose I'm going through a grieving process- grieving the loss of how life would have been for DD1 and ourselves, had we not decided to try for a second child. And I'm definitely grieving the loss of the very close relationship I would have had with DD1, which will now be much diluted.
I suppose a lot of it has to do with the fact that I am one of 3 children, and the eldest, and felt quite acutely that I didn't get anything like enough guidance, support, love, one-to-one with my Mum whilst I was growing up, which has led to a lot of difficulties in my adult life. I love my DD1 so much and I really don't want her to struggle and suffer the way I did.
I suppose you're right when you say that I will make that quality time happen for all three children, because it is so important to me, but I can't see how that will be very possible with the daily demands and pressures of life, work and other things I want to fulfil in life. It's so easy of being forced into the trap of always doing those things you "should" do (laundry, chores) than what you really want to do (talk, listen, read stories).
It's good to hear from you all that there are so many positives to having twins- I will have to wait and see. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised, who knows.
I will take up your advice to seek further/ other counselling support where what I've had hasn't helped. I hadn't thought of giving the TAMBA helpline a ring- that's what we pay our subscription for! I will ring them and perhaps also talk to my GP or MW too.
I really have to change the way I feel because the last thing I want is to go into labour still feeling this way. It's just not fair on those two little babies to come into this world not as welcome and dearly wanted as my DD1 was when she arrived.

hellswelshy Wed 28-Sep-11 08:37:56

Hello Janberryxx, really wanted to just drop you a line to add my support and my experience on this. Although my twin pregnancy was my first, so unlike you I didnt have another child to think of, I was still very overwhelmed when I had my first scan. Instead of reacting positively, I was extremely shocked at the news, and continued to be so for much of my pregnancy. As I had quite a few complications, my pregnancy was difficult too, and all I kept thinking was 'why me?' and wondered what a normal single pregnancy would have been like. I also felt very isolated, as most baby magazines, books, etc seem to be aimed at singleton mums, and as it was my first pregnancy longed for the idea of just one baby and one cot and so on. To add to this, I kept thinking about financial implications, and who would child mind twins when i returned to work and all those practical issues that i had already settled in my mind before finding out it was two rather than one! As my pregnancy progressed, my health and the babies became much more complicated so concern for them overtook all of this, and because at one stage i thought i may lose both of them, I suddenly realised how much i wanted both of them. It was really only at this stage i fully knew how much i truly wanted them.
Anyway, all ended up well after a long haul, and despite the fact they were premature and were in special care for a time, they are now fit and healthy - two gorgeous 3 year old girls in fact. They make me so proud, and yes they are hard work ( I would never gloss over that fact) but cant imagine life without them now. I feel really proud of myself and my husband too, because having twins and raising them is one of my most amazing achievements - honestly it has made me feel like I can do anything after this!!smile You will have enough love for all your children, because thats what mums do, and they will be a wonderful addition to your family that you will ALL be proud of. So hope you feel differently soon, but give yourself time, it is a major shock to the system and it doesnt help when people cant believe that you feel negatively about it. When I once told someone i felt frightened, they looked amazed, and said 'but twins are wonderful?' - this came from someone who didnt have twins of course;)
Keep strong for all your children, you will be wonderful I promise, twin mums are made of special stuff xxx

PrincessScrumpy Wed 28-Sep-11 21:27:06

I have dd1 - 3 and 4week old twins. I am shocked at how natural it feels and how much easier it is than I expected. Not easy but dd1 was difficult as a newborn, these 2 feed and sleep so I've even baked cakes with dd1.

dh and I finally decided to ttc and fell pg first month, then discovered it was twins - we too only planned 2 dc - in fact up untul 6 months before ttc we were sticking to just 1!

Once they were born it just felt right and seeing people with 1 baby seemed not enough. still seems crazy to us - but makes us smile. Mind you I have amazing parents, dh and friends on hand. I had a bad day re feeding and a friend popped over to take dd1 to nursery, she saw my face and promised to come straight back - you need these kind of friends (even with 1 baby tbh).

I never planned to be a sahm, but childcare is more than I earn for 2 dc. That's taken me ages to get my head round.

I too was worried about dd1 but she adores them both. Dh spent time alone with her today, and when feed times allow, I make sure I put dd1 to bed. When older I want to make sure I allow 1:1 time for each child, and whole family time.

Meet other twin mums - I think that will help. Where are you? I'm in Somerset x

LongStory Wed 28-Sep-11 22:15:34

I was happy with my 3 and then had an accidental 4th pregnancy which was ... twins. Not a happy bunny, was I. It has taken me a long time to really come to terms with the situation and I still would not have chosen it. The way I have dealt with it is
- be very honest (even with my older children) about grieving for the family and life I had been expecting but which won't happen
- look after myself first so that I can give more to my children. This involves - for me - one night out a week, still working 3 days a week (thanks to my amazing mum), having some domestic help and NOT beating myself up if I'm not the perfect parent.
- get on top of the practical organisational aspects as much as I'm able (fairly strict routines for baby / toddler twins etc)

So subject to all this I am then able to spend as much time as I can loving and supporting my children and encouraging them to do the same to each other. I am one of 5 and it was a very positive experience; my siblings and I are still close. What they lose in parental 1-1 they will gain (as I did) in tolerance, negotiation and compromise skills. Sometimes I have to pinch myself that I have 5 lovely healthy children. But then I think about university fees.....

Also if it helps, a twin pregnancy is incredibly draining on the emotional front. I felt a squillion times better when they were born.

Sending love and a hug - you'll get there but it will not be an easy path x

accessorizequeen Sat 01-Oct-11 00:10:38

I felt the same way when I found out 3rd pg was in fact twins. Wasn't until they were born that I felt better. So worried about ds2 missing out, he was 21 months. I think that to get past this you have to start looking at the positive. For me, seeing other twins helped enormously, even just pics on MN that people had posted. Finding the small things about having twins that are wonderful and it really can be wonderful. Not just for you but your dd too. Ds2 thinks he is the bees knees being a big brother to twins, he adores them and calls them his twinnies. He's now 4.10, started school this month and the twinnies turned 3 this week. Having a sibling can be a wonderful experience for your dd, but you need to help her see that and get her involved. She's not losing out, she will gain two new friends and lifelong companions. There was a lovely article in the most recent tamba mag about this and I was in tears. Because no matter how guilty I feel about the lack of time I have for my 4 dc individually, they have each other. And I ended up liking being a mum of twins, it's a real experience and they are so sweet together now and when they were newborns.

Janberryxx Sun 02-Oct-11 20:15:52

Many thanks to you Hellswelshy, PrincessScrumpy, longStory and Accessorize for sharing your experiences with me. It really really does help! I think you were all in more difficult circumstances than I am now when your were expecting your twins and yet you've all found ways to manage and even enjoy your twins. i will keep rereading your messages over the coming weeks and months before (and even after) the Big Day arrives.
I already feel I may have turned a corner; I had a dream that I had given birth to my Twins and felt a lot of warmth, commitment and protectiveness towards them and I've been feeling better about the prospect of having twins ever since. So something has shifted I hope!
I've also been filling the twins new chest of drawers with DD1's vests and sleepsuits so a little of the anxiety has subsided as I feel more prepared (even if it's only a small thing).
So thank you to everybody for responding. Any further accounts and experiences will be very welcome. xxxxxx

Janberryxx Sun 02-Oct-11 20:18:30

PS. PrincessScrumpy, many thanks for the suggestion of meeting up but I'm not local, I'm in Yorkshire. xxx

Jellibob Sun 02-Oct-11 22:31:54

I asked DS1 (5) for his view on whether it's better to be the only child, or to have twins too, this morning, when he came into our bed for a cuddle. (Did take a deep breath before I asked, and explained that it was too late to change things!)

He was 2.5 when the DTs came home from hospital, 4 months after they were born at 28 weeks, and they were very labour intensive babies - on multiple medications each, numerous hospital appointments, operations, reflux , all resolved now.

DS was very much of the opinion that having the DTs was the best thing, because he could tickle their tummies. Not an entirely convincing reason, but now the DTs are older they play together brilliantly most of the time, and all the "what have I done to him" guilt is gone.

It was hard work to get where we are now, but if I had the choice of a singleton or twins as my 2nd (or 2nd and 3rd) child, I'd pick twins, and I'm confident that DS1 would as well.

PrincessScrumpy Mon 03-Oct-11 18:11:31

You'll probably have a twins club near you - I've been stunned at how many twins there are nearby (never noticed them before!). Feel free to pm me anytime - I'm no expert and am making it up as I go along but am really enjoying it. Today I took dtds to the supermarket. They were great until we reached the till when they joined forces to scream. I just made sure I stayed calm - no point getting stressed. x

accessorizequeen Fri 07-Oct-11 20:43:07

Glad you're feeling better about it all Janberryxx

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