Saturday, April 24, 2010

You've got your hands full - part 1

We are less than 3 weeks away from the babies' first birthday and it's had me looking back on this crazy year a lot. Twins has been a crazy ride, one that I haven't had a lot of time to record as much as I wished I could have. So before they get any older I thought that I would try to put some of my thoughts on twin down on screen through a series of twin posts.

Part 1

Twins first or Twins second?

It seems almost a pointless question - nobody gets to choose if they are going to have twins during a first pregnancy or during a subsequent pregnancy, but it is a frequent topic of discussion: is it easier to have twins first or second?

There are arguments to both sides, of course. If you have twins first then you don't know any different. If you have twins first then you don't have any older children to try to wrangle and take care of as well.

My feeling is that having twins after a singleton is far easier. Because you have experience to draw on. All the things that made you nervous the first time around aren't quite so daunting the second time. To me, that made the world of difference.

We had particular circumstances with tummy issues that really made this the case though. If we hadn't been through Kiernan we wouldn't have known that milk and soy were issues for our kids. I can't even imagine how I would have survived if I had had two babies who were as needy as Kiernan. Because I knew to look for problems and try to avoid them, I went off dairy and soy before they were born and was at the doctor's for reflux medication before anything got out of control. Without that knowledge, since they DID have problems, life would have been almost unbearable.

Other things that I think went more easily because I had previous experience include breastfeeding, babywearing and my ability to cart them both around without fears of them being breakable.

We were lucky. We were able to keep Kiernan in full time daycare when the babies were born. I am sure our experience would have been somewhat different if that weren't the case. But nonetheless, I maintain that the experience from first time parenthood makes parenting multiples a bit easier than it would have been otherwise. There were countless times that Eric and I said "thank God we didn't have twins first"

Then again, my friend who had twins first says she constantly thought to herself "Oh my god, thank God I don't have an older child to deal with right now too!" So it's all perspective. :)


nonlineargirl said...

I can't really imagine things another way. Plus, if we'd had twins first we would have stopped at those 2. So no Ada, which is hard to imagine.

Gwen said...

I remember you and I as teenagers sitting in your basement. Your mother heard us fighting, each of us claiming that our own childhood was better than the other's. She came downstairs and said how wonderful it was that we each thought our own childhood was the best. 15 years later, she is still right! We are each happy to have things exactly as we would have liked! Lucky us!