A Celebration of Twins

Infertility drugs make me think of twins.  It has definitely crossed my mind that we could possibly have twins someday.  I would definitely welcome it.  Though I know I would certainly have my work cut out for me.  🙂

I just had to pass on this little poetry book, A Celebration of Twins (on Amazon), which just received a wonderful review today by the NY Times.  It looks adorable.  It’s a book perhaps more for expectant and overwhelmed parents as it is for children.  I sent this to my friend who has some little twin baby boys.  I’ll be watching the boys for a few hours next week.  I’ve actually never watched twins before.  I’m excited.  It will be an adventure, for sure…..  🙂

Also, I once had an OB doctor strongly discourage me from taking Clomid – she didn’t recommend putting yourself in a position to have twins.  I was shocked!  She said her reasoning was that divorce rates go up for parents of twins.  She said she knew first hand the strain that it can cause…she had 9 year old twin girls herself.  
What do you guys think?   For anyone with multiples (or even singles) – what challenges have you faced in your marriage due to having kids?  What has helped your marriage survive such a challenging time?  
[And if you are in the depths of your challenge and need some advice from other parents on how to survive or turn things around – I say write it in here and see what happens – another parent might respond to your comment!  There’s a lot of good advice going around.]  
Sending all parents out there good wishes!!  You are doing such important work!!!
Update:  I just now noticed that the book is illustrated by Sophie Blackall, the same illustrator of the subway poster that caught my eye.  What a fun surprise! 🙂  

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  1. Charlotte March 7, 2012 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    So cute 🙂 One of my best friends has twins and I'm absolutely head over heels in love with them! They are such a gift xx

  2. Morgan March 7, 2012 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    i used to nanny triplets!
    loved every second of it.

    • mara March 7, 2012 at 9:16 pm - Reply

      Morgan – wow! That's awesome! Good for you. Those parents were lucky to have you…

  3. Anonymous March 7, 2012 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    My marriage has gone through many tough times. Infertility being one of many. I found that our sweet daughter has brought new life to our marriage, and perhaps saved it. I have never been happier. Don't get me wrong, there are still hard days, but I now have a great reason to become an even better person. I'm sure as she gets older, there will be new challenges. But I'll take those challenges as they come. I like to be challenged and push myself. It's fun for me to know that I can take what life throws at me.

    • mara March 7, 2012 at 9:17 pm - Reply

      Anon – I love your perspective. Thank you! And I love it that kids do give us a reason to become better people. I think they're such a gift.

  4. Bri!!! March 7, 2012 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    Our son has brought so much joy to our marriage. Maybe struggling with infertility helps unify couples and cherish it that much more? Because we have only seen an increase in marriage satisfaction since having a child which I know many times isn't the case.

    • mara March 7, 2012 at 9:19 pm - Reply

      Bri – you are inspiring. I LOVE hearing that's it's possible to have an increase in marriage satisfaction. We are going to shoot for that, when the time comes.

  5. Anonymous March 7, 2012 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    I'm a triplet myself. My parents had my sisters and I and then fifteen months later, they welcomed my brother to the family. My mom stayed home with all four of us until we started preschool. It's funny now because her memories of those years are kind of fuzzy. I think she's sort of blocked out the craziness of that time, especially in the beginning when she had four babies under the age of a year and a half. Looking back now, she acknowledges how hard it was but says she wouldn't change a thing. My parents are still together, twenty-seven years later. I loved growing up with a big family and always having at least one person my age to do things with. I'm still very close to my siblings.

    Now I have a friend with twins who I watch a lot, and I have to say they make life CRAZY. They are practically angels when they're alone, but together they are destroyers of the world. They rile each other up, and sometimes it feels like I'm watching three kids when I have them! Despite the craziness, they are wonderful and I've grown to love them like a niece and nephew. I definitely have a new-found appreciation for my mom!

    My advice to any new parents with multiples is that you should be equals in your parenting roles. Regardless of the employment situation, when both parents are home, you should both take part in caring for your children. This includes planning for the everyday and the future, cooking, cleaning, bathing, dressing, and any other tasks involved in raising kids and home-keeping. My friend with twins does it all alone and is definitely having a hard time.

  6. Rachel March 7, 2012 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    My husband and I found out we were having twins after deciding that adding just one more would make our family complete. (We already had two children.) When the ultrasound tech said, "Okay, it looks like there are two babies in there," we were shocked. It's been just over a year since our two baby boys were born. I can say emphatically that it has been the hardest, but most tender year of my life. Man, I'm glad that Heavenly Father sees and hears our struggles. I have needed him.

    And it has taken a toll on my marriage. Four kids five and under will do that to you, I suppose. But, I love my husband. And he loves me.

    And here's the best advice I have: have sex often. Even if you are dead tired. Even if you're not feelin' it. Even if you don't feel understood in your role as sustainer to your family. It will bring compassion and peace to your marriage. It opens up lines of communication in a non-threatening way. And, at least for me, it brings me back to the place where I feel myself, independent from the children. (Sometimes as moms we forget this: we are our own beings!)

    • mara March 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm - Reply

      Rachel – ha! I'm all for it! That's great you guys have made that a priority 🙂

  7. Camille March 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    Oh goodness, I just went through my first round of Chlomid and I would be over the moon to get pregnant with twins! As I say, "beggars can't be choosers." Although I know it would be tough at times, I think we are just longing for anything, that twins would be more than we could have ever expected.

    I will be "finding out" in the next week or so if the Chlomid even worked. I'm trying to stay positive, but do you ever find that you ere on the side of thinking it's NOT going to work, just so you don't give yourself hope that will just be deflated one more time? My husband thought I was being such a pessimist by saying that, but I think for my sanity I can't EXPECT anything to work, otherwise I will experience another major blow to the morale once my unexpected friend comes to visit. Maybe it's just me?!

    Either way… yay for Chlomid twins! Right?! haha

    • Allison March 8, 2012 at 9:48 am - Reply

      I am just finishing my first cycle on Clomid as well and I feel the same way. After having 2 miscarriages, I can't even let myself be excited (although I am not really negative either). Will find out in about 11 days whether it worked. Praying for you and Mara (and me!) for our take home babies!

    • Camille March 8, 2012 at 10:43 pm - Reply

      Allison! I don't even know you but I feel slightly bonded to you right now. We are on really similar time tracks right now… so I will keep you in my thoughts/prayers! I did just read a comment a few people down about Femara? She said she had better results w/it compared to Chlomid? Might have to try it out if this month doesn't go as planned!

    • Hanna Stamper March 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm - Reply

      I just randomly found this blog today and must have been faith or something leading me to this post. I just possibly ovulated and used clomid for the second time. After one ectopic pregnancy and one round of clomid..I'm somewhat preparing myself for the worst. It's do hard to get your hopes up and once af comes to have your heart broken. I rather be happily surprised than hurt again. I'm totally know how you feel. It's such a rollercoaster of emotions!

    • Hanna Stamper March 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm - Reply

      I just randomly found this blog today and must have been faith or something leading me to this post. I just possibly ovulated and used clomid for the second time. After one ectopic pregnancy and one round of clomid..I'm somewhat preparing myself for the worst. It's do hard to get your hopes up and once af comes to have your heart broken. I rather be happily surprised than hurt again. I'm totally know how you feel. It's such a rollercoaster of emotions!

  8. Nikki Olmstead March 7, 2012 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    A lot of help from family or friends in the beginning is so important.
    And your husband has to be willing to split the duties because
    I'm sure that help like we had isn't always available. (Mother in law 2 houses down would come every day at 5 am and let me sleep, my mom came for a month and then a month later came for 2 weeks again!)
    In two weeks my twins will be a year old and we have it worked out so that we each have certain times we do certain things and certain individual jobs. Like my husband always showers/bathes the babies (unless there's an accident when he's not home) and I always feed them unless I'm not home(because I am more talented at it. haha)

    I would say having twins has made our lives and relationship BETTER. Having kids was what we wanted and it was our CHOICE and so even though there are hard days, having a family is what life is all about. We have to remember that they are OURS and we have to be good to each other. AND find time to be alone to talk about normal stuff instead of always baby stuff.

    I think it's important to talk about how you want to parent your children LONG before you have kids because both of you come from different families that probably did things completely different. I am an only child not raised in the church and my husband is oldest of 11 and was raised in the church. There are big experience differences there but we have to make it work.

    Now I'm done rambling. My thoughts are not very organized!

    • mara March 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm - Reply

      Nikki – thanks for sharing. I love your idea of actually talking, in advance, about how you want to parent your children. I am guessing a lot of people don't do that. But it seems like it would be easier to work some things out and get on the same page BEFORE you have screaming kids and mouths to feed 🙂

  9. Bri!!! March 7, 2012 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    Clomid actually doesn't increase our chances by a lot. I think it's only like 5% increase. Also, ladies who are on clomid, I did several rounds of clomid. It worked twice for us, but both ended in miscarriage. I know MANY people it has worked for. I also felt for us it was contributing to our losses. It can thin the lining of the uterus making it so it's not an optimal environment for implantation/growth. If you have done several rounds I HIGHLY recommend Femara! It was a BRUTAL drug for us. I was so sick during the round of meds, but we got pregnant our first cycle on the med. I have heard this from several other women who never had success with clomid! Femara was a miracle for us, so I just want to put that out there. I hear it usually as less side effects than clomid, although that was definitely not the case with me, but it was worth every miserable day because after several losses, we finally have our baby girl coming to us in May!

  10. Greetings from Texas! March 7, 2012 at 11:43 pm - Reply

    I used to watch Jon and Kate Plus Eight. I know some of you did too. Don't lie! =)

    Anyway, Kate Gosslien mentioned this statistic you've mentioned alot Mara, regarding the divorce rate skyrocketing for parents of multiples.

    It makes sense, right? More kids means more stress and more stress can have a negative effect on marriage. It seems logical. But I'm still not so sure.

    For those of us who've struggled with infertlity, having multiples seems like a champagne problem.

  11. Melinda March 8, 2012 at 12:50 am - Reply

    I have done four rounds of Clomid, the first was a year ago and ended in a miscarriage, the other three started about six months ago and none worked. I'm currently doing shots of Bravelle for IUI and get inseminated Friday! I'm trying to only stay positive and remind myself that there's no reason why I shouldn't be allowed to be a mom like so many others (I went through a "maybe I'm a terrible person" stage). I'd have to say that anything more than twins kinda scares me, I'm small and have bad balance! But, I welcome any challenge and just want to be a mom! And hey, if I have twins, maybe I'll just be done!

  12. JeanneJ March 8, 2012 at 1:53 am - Reply

    My husband and I have twin sons who are now nearly 21 years old. We also have a 7 year old daughter (she is our happy, joyous, blessed surprise baby!). I will admit that multiples are tricky at times. Seemingly simple tasks like shopping can be very daunting with two or more babies; however, by the time they were eighteen months old, they really did entertain each other and play together. Some days were harder than others and I was dead weary the first year, but the joy was incomparable.

    I also am blessed with an awesome husband who while being incredibly busy with career and church responsibilities, always puts our family first and always pitches in. He's set a great example for our kids by having such a willing and adventurous attitude about parenting and our marriage. I think that is key. We talked about parenting long before we ever were parents – and only now realize how terribly naive we really were!!! – but I think it helped us when times were rough.

    I had my daughter at age 40 and I've never looked back!

  13. -Corinne March 8, 2012 at 3:24 am - Reply

    I have no children myself, but my mother had twins (boy and girl) when I was four years old, and then another boy about 12 months after. I was just old enough to see the craziness, but not old enough to really grasp the scope of my mother's stress. Regardless, she absolutely loved it and still gets teary eyed when she sees twins or hears of someone having their own. It has been special for me to see them grow up as well!

    My mom worried that I would feel so left out when they were born, since I was used to being the one and only child around the house. She was sure to place me as helper number one (and that is what she referred to me as until I was probably 16) so that I felt included and special. As a four year old, I remember thinking that my mother wouldn't be able to do it without me when in reality I probably caused more problems and stress by wanting to be in on the action.

    I think it is so important when you have twins, or any children really, that the other siblings feel like they are being helpful and included. The baby (or babies) are joining the whole family, siblings included, not just the parents!

    • mara March 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm - Reply

      Corinne – Such good advice – thank you!

  14. Miggy March 8, 2012 at 5:01 am - Reply

    When we lived in NYC we joked there was something in the sacrament water. During our 4 years we saw 3 sets of triplets, 1 set of tripplets turned quads (one of the eggs split) and 1-2 sets of twins. I think every scenario was tough. But I think all those couples got (are getting) through it.

    Personally I always thought having a twin would be super cool.

  15. colby Evans March 8, 2012 at 5:08 am - Reply

    when you have children, (and you will :)), my advice to you is spoil your spouse, not your children. children get their self esteem by watching mommy and daddy love each other.

    • mara March 10, 2012 at 5:07 pm - Reply

      Colby – LOVE, LOVE this! I'm all for it! I definitely want to remember this one & make it happen…

  16. Kathryn March 8, 2012 at 5:50 am - Reply

    Mara, you already know my story, but 2 sets of Femara twins here! My second set was born 3 days before my older set turned 3. 4 kids in just under 3 years and we love it and wouldn't change a thing.

    I showed my husband this post and he said the doctor that didn't recommend Clomid out of fear of twins was stupid. (Sorry if that's not nice, but I like that he said it.)

    I think our marriage is much stronger now than before kids. It has forced us to focus on each other. We learned that the best parenting for twins is a calm, loving, organized home, and for us, that meant becoming more of a team.

    – He cooks more now
    – We have stay at home dates (he goes to QT for a treat and then we watch a redbox movie)
    – New family hobbies (sometimes he takes the older twins backpacking around Arizona – this summer the younger twins will turn 3 and be old enough now to make it a whole family affair.)
    – We set more goals now and are forced to do better on budgeting, time management, routines, ect.
    – A family soundtrack (go to music for family cleaning and dancing time).
    – Learn how to be selfless real fast, otherwise you sink.
    – Learn not to get offended easily.
    – And learn how to not be grumpy about hard work. I've learned that the days I'm so focus on how hard it is, I'm usually more apt to think my husband isn't doing enough and I have it worse off than he does. Yes, I do have to watch my hard work pride.

    • mara March 10, 2012 at 5:09 pm - Reply

      Kathryn. Dang. This list is a gold mine. thank you!

  17. Susan March 8, 2012 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    I am expecting twins currently but thankfully have a ROCK SOLID marriage, and couldn't be happier! We know it will be a huge challenge but stand strong in our love and friendship, as well as our cohesive parenting plan. We conceived twins naturally, it does not run in our family, so we were completely shocked! First pregnancy…(and last)…we only want two. At first the news was exciting, then frightening, and now exciting again. We are thrilled and feel very blessed and lucky. If you are curious you can follow my twin pregnancy journey on my blog. 😉

  18. Pam March 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    I have triplets that are now 7. It took us 6 years to get them and while we were overwhelmed at the thought of 3 babies, the gratitude of finally getting them and finally becoming parents by far outweighed that. Having them changed my husband and I as individuals in so many ways which of course changed our marriage as well. We went through some growing pains and had to learn how to accept the changes in each other that came with becoming parents, but there was and is nothing in the world like seeing the man I love be a father to our children. And he is an awesome dad. We were just surprised with our 4th child who is now 3 months old and having him has been a whole new experience again. We are definitely not dealing with the same stressful situations that we did with our triplets. Having multiples is hard and can take its toll sometimes, but my marriage is stronger because of it and the rewards and blessings of having my children have by far overshadowed any of the trials.

    • mara March 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm - Reply

      Pam – wow. what a story (so inspiring!). thanks for sharing.

  19. Anonymous March 8, 2012 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    My husband and I had a honeymoon surprise, quite literally. So nine months after we got married we had a beautiful baby girl. It was a challenge but also a blessing. When times got rough between us and both of us were tempted to go our separate ways, we just looked at our daughter and knew we had to make it work for her. It certainly wasn't easy, but I feel so blessed. And in fact now we are pregnant with out second surprise baby!

  20. Scarlett March 9, 2012 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    The 9 months since my twins were born have been the most overwhelming of my life…in a good way and in a not so good way. After dealing with infertility for several years, I feel so incredibly blessed to have these two beautiful, healthy boys! They make my husband and me so happy. But taking care of two babies at once, and adjusting to the huge change in lifestyle, has certainly added stress to all areas of our lives, including our marriage. I've been thinking a lot lately about the kind of mother and wife I want to be. Do I want to be a grumpy mom and angry wife, or do I want to be calm, pleasant, and positive? Of course, I want the latter option, so I've been trying to focus on my behavior and how I react to stressful situations. I'm taking it a day at a time, and some days are better than others, but I'm trying my best! I would not trade this experience for anything, though. It's really been amazing!

  21. cribs for twins March 10, 2012 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    i used to nanny triplets!
    loved every second of it.

  22. Brittany March 10, 2012 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    I'm new to your blog, but I just had to comment on this post. As the mom of 19 month twin girls, I can say that yes, it's been hard on my marriage, but so SO incredibly rewarding. The thing is though, that I think one baby would be just as "hard" on a relationship. Twins are great and I hope and pray that you get them. 🙂

    Love your blog, by the way!

  23. Kendra March 11, 2012 at 6:01 am - Reply

    I have twins, which came as a shock since I wasn't on fertility and they don't run in my family. I also have one son who was 3.5 when they were born.
    There is no getting around it, twins are hard.
    My story probably isn't like most twin stories these days, since I think a big number of them come through fertility, which requires $. We were broke when our girls were born. My husband had to go back to work immediately, for long hours, and I was left to care for the 3 children on my own. This included all night, as well. I blocked out a lot of their first 2 years because it was literally all I could do to survive. I breast fed them for a year, which is another story for another day:)
    My husband was not much of a help even when he was home because he was so tired (hey, me too!), and I felt very sad that my large family who lives a mere 20 minutes away only came to visit twice during that first year. Hey they brought dinner once!
    I feel lucky to have survived it, and would honestly give the same advice as your doctor, which I know is not popular, but twins can be a huge strain on you and your marriage.
    It also took me almost 2 years to grow a solid bond with them. I knew this was the case because the bond between me and my son was so incredibly strong from the second he was born.
    I'm glad that the bond happened, as I was worried for quite awhile that it wouldn't ever.

    Today, I wouldn't trade them for the world, but when people stop us and tell me they always wanted twins, or they wished they'd had twins, I just laugh.
    At 3, they are getting more fun and are more manageable in public places, and they are cute as can be. I love my girls more than words can explain, but they honestly nearly killed me;)

  24. Brigi March 12, 2012 at 1:20 am - Reply

    I am going through coping with infertility. I think when you get to this reality, twins would be a blessing! Yes it would be hard, but we can change and adjust. And my husband would be there next to me, I would not be alone!

  25. Anonymous May 3, 2012 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    I imagine that twins would be difficult….my kids are 3 years apart and some days I wonder if I am cut out to be their mother. I do believe though that a marriage can't be broken by a child. Or two, or any number at one time for that matter. Sure, having kids changed my life, my marriage, my outlook. It made me realize how incredibly selfish I am sometimes. It made me realize for the first time in my life that I would voluntarily lie down on train tracks for another human being without a second's thought. It humbled me. It made me more comfortable with my body. It helped me connect with other women in a way that I never could before. At times it has made me want to run away screaming into the sunset. I thought I knew what a hard job was before I was a mom. I clearly did not. Hardest job in the world, but a marriage that is good and strong to begin with won't be broken by babies. 🙂

  26. Anonymous October 9, 2012 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    I have twins and my husband and I say, if you can survive twins you can survive anything …. My sister in law had IVF and now also has twins, her view is that after going through the trials of IVF, anything is easy

  27. Betsy Hite Reddoch March 26, 2013 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    I just discovered your blog, and I'm about a year late to the party on this, but I have to comment. I have two year old twin boys. They are beautiful, awesome, and a little bit naughty. People often say that I have my hands full. True (I call them a handful of joy). I also have my heart full. Don't get me wrong – having multiples (especially spontaneous multiples – aka surprise twins) is a big strain on our marriage. But my husband and I also have to be better partners to each other to simply get through the day. Just like other trials in life, parenting kids (and number of kids) is difficult but can be really rewarding. That's my experience at least.

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