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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I was out with a wonderful friend today who has a daughter the same age as DD1 and another the same age as my twins. She also has an older son. Seeing how much see was enjoying her littlest girl got me thinking about the benefits of having a singleton that is not your first born. I feel like I get the first-born single child to enjoy and everything that goes with that, like the first experiences and the uncertainty that comes with doing the parenting thing as a newbie. Then I had the twins, and in some ways I feel like I didn't get to relax and enjoy the second born baby effect because there were two of them. I never got to sit back and enjoy each as an individual as much the first year. I was so overwhelmed with round the clock nursing, double sling carrying and baby wrangling simply because there were two. It felt like I was on autopilot for a lot of the first year. I want the relaxed feeling of getting to know one baby at a time as an experienced mom. I know, whine, whine, whine!

Don't get me wrong, I love the experience of being a momma to twins and wouldn't trade it for the world. I just wonder if I am missing out on this specific parenting experience?

I told my DH this, and he laughed and said "that is the worst reason I have ever heard to have another baby." Gotta love him!

Anybody else know what I am talking about? Anybody care to share a story of singleton, multiples then singleton? Anybody want to slap me into reality?
 

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Most of the moms of triplets plus one that I know had the fourth child because they wanted the experience of just having one baby at a time. It is a very common feeling.
 

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I don't think you are crazy, I think it is normal! My twins were my first, so I have nothing to compare it too. Their birth was traumatic, their entire first year was horrible. I wanted another baby so bad just so I could feel how it felt to have a wonderful birth and to have all that bonding time that I didn't get with my twins. Don't get me wrong, I love my twins but they were so hard in the beginning. They were preemies, colicky, bfing was joke, they were on apnea monitors. I was terrified that something awful would happen to them so I never got to relax. I was so jealous of my friends with a singelton b/c they could enjoy their babies and I couldn't
Needless to say I suffered from PPD b/c of all of this.

We decided against another baby and my dh is now fixed. Their birth was too traumitizing for us and I'm disabled and wasn't suppose to have one baby, let alone 2! So we are very lucky to have the 2 that we have but we both long for that feel of "normalcy" when it comes to having baby.
 

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This is exactly the reason I'm having another. We were supposed to have three kids but I lost two pregnancies in the process. My second pregnancy was the twins, it was high stress, I had a c-section, my twins nursed well but had colic and are VERY high needs. It was hell for the first year and I had severe PPD. I'm having a lovely singleton pregnancy now with minimal stress and I'm hoping to have the healing birth that I was robbed of with my second pregnacy.
 

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It all sounds normal to me. I felt "robbed" that first year, too, with my twins.

I will offer this positive thought: Now that my twins are almost 4, life is so amazingly fun! I feel like I'm really getting to know them and enjoy having two at a time, rather than feeling like having two is harder. Now I feel like another singleton would be somehow out of place. I had those urges to have one more for a bit, but now, wow, our world is so opening up and freeing up time that is just so liberating, exciting, and fun.

May I gently suggest that perhaps what you're really craving is getting to know and enjoy your twins on the same level you got to bask in with your singleton (as opposed to starting with another baby to experience that closeness with)? For me, that was the deep-down truth, anyway. Does that make any sense?

I wish you a peaceful decision in whatever you decide is right for you and your family.
 

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I had a singleton (very high maintenance baby - think sensory processing disorder) and then two years later twins. Then when the twins were 3 y.o., I had another singleton, #4. OMG, he was the *easiest* baby on the planet. At first I thought it was only because he followed the twins - which was true in part - but it was also his personality. Very, very happy and smiley, still is. (that's not to say that having 4 kids ages 5, 3, 3, and 0 was any picnic - remember that having another means 4 kids - but as an individual baby, he was a piece of cake).

He was SO easy that it convinced us to have #5 (who is not so easy - more average in amount of effort/work to take care of). And then when #5 was 5 months old, we had a little surprise, #6 is due this summer. It really wasn't that long ago that I only had three children and now I'm about to have six, ages 8 and under. (just taking a moment to freak out a bit...)
 

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I think that "getting to know one baby at a time as an experienced mom" (as a specific experience different than that of a first time mom getting to know the first baby) is going to be an experience with conflicts, regardless. You can find threads of second-time parents (of singletons) lamenting that they don't have the luxury of just sitting and holding a sleeping baby the way they did the first time. Feeling like they don't have enough time to really parent the baby AND the older child, etc. etc.

I guess the "been there done that" easy confidence can be the difference....getting to know ONE baby without all the nervous second-guessing of first-time parenting, but even that (the nervous second-guessing) can come back because it's often the newness of this baby thing, or the specific NEWBORN thing, rather than the literal newness of parenting. (I know that even though breastfeeding went pretty great with the twins, and I'd had a successful experience breastfeeding my first child well into her fourth year, I still was quick to have little panicky moments whenever something seemed off or went wrong....extra fussiness, weird poop, etc. "Is he not getting enough?" "Is he sensitive to something in my milk?" Whatever. I had the insecure panicky second-guessing thoughts.)

I guess having a second baby can be a laid-back dream, but often there are wistful "feeling robbed" feelings surrounding that experience with a singleton, too.

It's funny, but one thing I can't complain about is my sense of the twins as individuals. It has been so solid, since very early on. I grieved a lot of losses in the pregnancy (it was way more high-tech and monitored than I wanted, since we had a monochorionic pregnancy) but the birth was so healing for me and my immediate postpartum experience was so much more satisfying in the sense of clarity and bonding.

I am exhausted and stressed out, and there are times that having two infants makes things impossible (in the middle of the night, especially), but I really feel connected to these two boys as themselves. Maybe it's that I always heard it can be challenging to bond with twins as individuals rather than as a "unit," don't call them "the twins" all the time, etc. So maybe I over-compensated in my awareness of them in the beginning? Whatever -- I'm not sure, but the bonding and getting to know them thing has been one area that has been very satisfying. Thank goodness. There are enough other stresses, for sure.
 

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I hear ya!!!!!! My twins are 8mo and I feel like I don't know them at all
I mean, I know that one prefers fruits and the other prefers veggies, things like that, but by this time with my singleton I *knew* him. I feel robbed in so many ways, not just that one. I wish we could go SOMEWHERE, anywhere, but lugging 3 around is just too darn hard, and I just don't have the energy to do it.

And, I don't want any more kids, but keep thinking about how great it would be to have "just one" baby
 

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I was thinking about this last night. I know a lot of people get all excited at the idea - oooh, twins! Two babies! "I love babies, and with twins you get two babies to snuggle!" Except you don't. I'm pretty sure I spent less time snuggling than my friends with singleton babies, and it's not for lack of loving my babies, snuggling, or babies in general. It just wasn't possible. I was never able to rock my babies to sleep in our beautiful, comfy glider, as I had imagined doing. Because when you're home alone with twins (as I always have been at bedtime during the week) if they both fall asleep in your arms, how on earth do you get them off of you without waking them up? I certainly never figured out a way. Maybe people with deep-sleeping babies have, but not my babies.

It bugs me many times when I think about it. There is so much wonder and joy in having twins, but really, I feel like I missed out on so many of the things I think about when I think about having a baby. I've come to the conclusion that two babies at once really isn't a great situation for someone who really likes cuddling with babies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by OGirlieMama View Post
I was thinking about this last night. I know a lot of people get all excited at the idea - oooh, twins! Two babies! "I love babies, and with twins you get two babies to snuggle!" Except you don't. I'm pretty sure I spent less time snuggling than my friends with singleton babies, and it's not for lack of loving my babies, snuggling, or babies in general. It just wasn't possible. I was never able to rock my babies to sleep in our beautiful, comfy glider, as I had imagined doing. Because when you're home alone with twins (as I always have been at bedtime during the week) if they both fall asleep in your arms, how on earth do you get them off of you without waking them up? I certainly never figured out a way. Maybe people with deep-sleeping babies have, but not my babies.

It bugs me many times when I think about it. There is so much wonder and joy in having twins, but really, I feel like I missed out on so many of the things I think about when I think about having a baby. I've come to the conclusion that two babies at once really isn't a great situation for someone who really likes cuddling with babies.

: Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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Originally Posted by MaterBum View Post
It all sounds normal to me. I felt "robbed" that first year, too, with my twins.

I will offer this positive thought: Now that my twins are almost 4, life is so amazingly fun! I feel like I'm really getting to know them and enjoy having two at a time, rather than feeling like having two is harder. Now I feel like another singleton would be somehow out of place. I had those urges to have one more for a bit, but now, wow, our world is so opening up and freeing up time that is just so liberating, exciting, and fun.

May I gently suggest that perhaps what you're really craving is getting to know and enjoy your twins on the same level you got to bask in with your singleton (as opposed to starting with another baby to experience that closeness with)? For me, that was the deep-down truth, anyway.

Thank you so much for posting this. I think you are right, and I am very blessed.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by OGirlieMama View Post
It bugs me many times when I think about it. There is so much wonder and joy in having twins, but really, I feel like I missed out on so many of the things I think about when I think about having a baby. I've come to the conclusion that two babies at once really isn't a great situation for someone who really likes cuddling with babies.

This is so true. There are many things I've grieved or felt the loss of because of having TWO at once. For me, it hasn't so much been a delay or lack of knowing them as individuals and feeling an intense emotional connection to the people I feel them to be as babies, but I seldom rock them (seems I'm always just tandem nursing with a pillow or pillows, sitting on the bed) and I just don't feel any freedom or ease when it comes to getting out in public.

Just lately, with the appearance of springlike weather, I have felt the very beginnings of greater freedom in getting out just around the house, trying walks with the stroller, etc. But even in that, we have this great property with a hilly backyard and a creek, and I've only JUST begun to show it to the babies and I only can do it one at a time.....I realized this when I was walking baby B around while baby A slept in his carseat with the doors open. We were walking around outside and I realized, as he stared at the water going over the rocks as I stood on the bridge holding him, that this was a great thing I'd done a lot with my first baby and was going to have a hard time doing with twins, as long as they are in-arms, at least. I mean, just getting them BOTH down the hill, down the stone steps, over the bridge, and containing them (they are crawlers) once we are to the lawn on the other side.......I don't see how it's going to happen.

I'm sorry if my earlier post was a drag or downer. I had so little time at the computer....I just typed and posted with no reflection.

The main point I wanted to convey was that I suspect that conflicted feelings and the feeling of being robbed of certain aspects of the baby experience are normal with second, third, etc. babies even when they are not multiples. I think fitting in parenting a baby when you already have a child or more to parent creates stresses, and changes what you may feel free to do. However, when I got pregnant the second time (which was twins), one of the first things I felt SO upset about when I learned we were having two babies was my dream/intention of wearing the baby all the time when we were home. I always felt I hadn't worn my daughter enough (I mostly would sling her when out, but not at home) and I thought that putting the baby in a wrap as a newborn would let me do that and also let me parent my older child fairly normally even with a new baby in the mix.

I was dreaming of "doing it right" more with the second baby, and "doing it better" in general, knowing what had been hard the first time and learning from it. In the end, even though many aspects of the twins' birth were "better" and certainly healing for me, I have been set back in that dream of "stepping up" and "doing better" in ways that were important to me. Two babies has meant cutting more corners than I'd hoped....actually buying swings this time, holding less rather than more, etc.

I think I understood that the goal was to get by by using whatever worked, so it's not like I'm super-upset about the "tools" we've used or whatever (this forum has really helped with that kind of guilt/regret, actually), but it definitely wasn't the "doing better the second time around" experience I'd promised myself.

It's also possible that it's weird that my babies seemed to have such distinct personalities that emerged (to us) so early and so clearly. People have always commented on something about their aspects (the usual "so alert" "so attentive" stuff, but literally commenting on it all the time) so maybe something about them made it easy for me. I am mindful to be thankful for that....I think that feeling of connection and knowing has made a lot about our circumstances "tolerable" for me, as we've had so much that has been wrong. Or maybe it's just evidence of my coping, a way to stay meaningfully connected or fulfilled or something in the face of other overwhelming things (my babies are almost 9 months old and my husband found out he has a cancer when I was in the third trimester, which is the "biggest" overwhelming item on a long list of things that have slammed us, including my mom's death in our home when my twins were almost 3 months old.) Maybe these sadnesses made me turn deep toward them and helped me get that sense of them as individuals, or maybe it (that sense of knowing) is a grace that happened to keep me afloat.

Whatever the reason may be, one thing I have is that I ENJOY these babies (enjoy and celebrate all the tiny things of WHO they are, not necessarily the experience of caring for two who need the same things at the same times...) so very much. This particular thing is a celebration for me on a daily basis, I just revel in it/them, and I do feel that I "get" them, which I see now is a big relief compared to feeling that I DON'T have that connection.

I will say this.....I never dreamed that I could think it would be "a relief" to be able to lie in the bed with one baby latched on all night (to keep him/her asleep), but since having twins I have SOOOO thought that very thing, wistfully, whenever they are having trouble due to teething or whatever, and both are awake and fussy at the same time. Or one is having trouble settling, and then the second baby wakes for a normal feeding. I'm nursing one who just won't fall asleep, and the other is inconsolable with my husband. (I really hate to tandem nurse at night and usually try to see if we can get by without it, if possible.)

"If only I could just lie there and keep one latched on and sleeping! I KNOW I could keep him asleep if I had only one!" (I remember how untenable I thought THAT VERY SITUATION was when I had only one baby!!! "Gah, she stayed latched on ALL NIGHT! If I ever tried to shift or move, or get the nipple out of her sleeping mouth, she roused and starting sucking again. I can't take it!!! Augh!!!!!" And that is the dream, now.
)
 

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This threat really hit a nerve with me. I had my twins first and really dreamed after their first year of a more AP, more calm....baby experience. I was in particular upset about BF'ing not lasting longer than it did. Much to my surprise, I became pregnant with a singleton when the twins were just 12 months old, so at 22 months they were joined by their brother. I was prepared to do all the things that I hadn't done with the twins: co-sleep, extended BF, delay solids, wear the baby....But, life with 3 kids under 2 years doesn't lend itself well to great demands of perfection and time. I even had an au pair, but in my heart I felt that I wanted to do everything myself and whenever I had to ask for help, it was difficult for me. I actually don't think that I parented any better in the end with my youngest than I did with the twins. It continues to be a source of disappointment for me. I guess I never felt that I got the experience that I wanted. I, too, look at moms of singletons with some envy. BUT....I think it's more about me than it is about the kids. My kids are great, thriving and wonderful. They may not have been parented in the way that I truly wanted and in my darkest moments, I still really get down about it (especially about BF'ing
), but I gave them 100% every day and I think it does show.
 

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I had 5 singletons. When I got pregnant with my twins I was just learning about birthing options and had only experienced birth without drugs with my 5th. It was a horrible experience thanks to the midwife I used being argumentative and condescending and I ended up giving birth in the hospital room alone while the midwife yelled out the door at the nurses because they didn't have the cart with her medical instruments available. So when we conceived our 6th I was preparing for a unassisted homebirth. I had my doctor's support. I was so excited to be able to have a nice relaxing birth experience without the chaotic hospital atmosphere. Then at 14 weeks they saw two babies. We went from relaxed and non-medical to "high-risk", monthly and weekly u/s, NSTs, preterm labor, and ultimately a c-section at 35 weeks. It was so hard to reconcile with my original expectations. I used to cry because both babies would be upset and I'd only be able to comfort one at a time. I felt so bad that they didn't get that non-stop comfort and cuddling that my singletons had. In addition, I was sleep-deprived and stressed and recovering from surgery. My dh was also disappointed with how complicated everything had been and he wanted another baby. Another singleton. I was terrified of having another set of twins. Last August we had our 8th baby by repeat c-section thanks to even more complications. He weighed 10lbs4oz and with my having had a low vertical incision and a super thin uterus the doctor just wasn't comfortable waiting any longer for a VBAC and induction was not an option. Not a safe one anyway. Just a few days after Anakin was born I was taken by ambulance back to the hospital with chest pain, shortness of breath, pulse of 38 and bp 190/110. They told me they thought I had a clot in my lungs and that I might die. Then they said I might have postpartum cardiomyopathy and may need a pacemaker or even a heart transplant. Fortunately, it turned out it was congestive heart failure from fluid build-up from the pregnancy. After the fluid was gone my heart recuperated and I was able to go home to my baby. I guess my point in all this is that we can waste a lot of time thinking if only but in the end we only have one chance with our kids and we have to sometimes accept the challenge and make the best of what we've been given. It's so easily taken away from us. Certainly, it has been easier this time regarding nursing, sleeping, etc, but having toddler twins presents an entirely different set of challenges. We have to just come to terms with what we're missing and try to overcome that rather than seeking to relive the experience with another child. We can only do our best and learn to accept that as being enough.
 

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Hi. I just wanted to chime in. My twins were my first and yes I felt that "robbed" feeling. I saw my friends with their one baby and they got to cuddle, sing, and wear their babies in slings. I would feel so jealous and feel bad for myself and my twins. I felt like I never got the chance to really get that "first time" mommy experience and sometimes I continue to feel that way. I also had a bad pregnancy and c-section.
I would like to have another baby but my husband says no. I also feel a little guilty wanting to bring in another baby and take what little attention my twins get away from them. My good friend is having another singleton and I am feeling a little jealous again.

Although I did feel that way a lot, I am so grateful for my twins. They are so beautiful and bright and they are a lot of fun.
 
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