Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One vs Two

So, my regular readers probably know by now that I don't write much about twins. I mean, I write about *my* twins, but not about the general experience of having twins. I very much take the "making lasagna" view of having twins: if you're going to go to all the work of making a lasagna, you may as well make two trays. Sure, it's more work, but if you're already doing it anyway...

I've always said that I don't think having twins is *that* much more difficult than having a singleton. In fact, I think it's easier in some ways! But now I have a singleton as well, and can compare the two experiences. So here goes:


Twins: You get enormous much earlier, and end up completely gigantic, leading ob's (or at least Dr. Tact) to famously comment "you're HUGE!". Far more stretch marks. Entirely too many people feel the need to tell you horror stories that go something like, "my friend was pregnant with twins and then she lost them. Then she died. Then everyone in the whole town died. All because of her twin pregnancy." Seriously, folks, it's not a good idea to tell any pregnant lady horror stories, but it seems especially cruel to tell someone who already has a high-risk pregnancy.

Singleton: Far less sympathy/thinking you're a superstar. People treat you just like you're some normal pregnant woman! Getting comments from strangers that go something like, "You MUST be pregnant with twins" is far less amusing when you are in fact NOT pregnant with twins.

Advantage: Singleton. You know, so long as you don't end up having Braxton-Hicks contractions 9 zillion times a day for the last two months of your singleton pregnancy. And so long as you don't move 4 days before your due date. And so long as you're not kept busy chasing active 4 year old twins. Aw heck, let's call this one a draw.


Twins: They give you the big room at the hospital. All kinds of special treatment and people cooing over your twins. They loaded us up with freebies when we left: 4 diaper bags filled with formula samples, bottles, diaper rash ointments, baby shampoos, tons of diapers, etc.

Singleton: They do NOT give you the big room. No freebies.

Advantage: Twins, by a long shot!

Going out in public post-birth:

Twins: Requires ridiculous amounts of planning. Creates a scene everywhere you go. People constantly stopping you to ask "are they twins?" Must use large twin stroller pretty much everywhere since it's not easy carrying two babies (let alone doing anything else like shopping at the same time!)

Singleton: Must constantly remind self to do any planning before going out, though have found that as long as we throw a few diapers, wipes and an extra outfit or two in a bag, we're golden for a whole day out. Still garners some attention, though not on such an epic scale as with twins.

Advantage: Singleton, all the way. Though I suspect a good portion of this is really "third child" rather than singleton. I'm sure if our singleton came first, we wouldn't be quite so cavalier about toting him around everywhere!

Stupid comments from the general public:

Twins: "Are they twins?" "God bless you" (okay, it's not the comment so much as the tone of "poor you" that normally accompanies this one!) "Better you than me!" "My grandmother's best friend's cousin's neighbor had twins" (or something equally insane...I don't need to know about every person you've ever met who had twins!) "Do you watch Jon and Kate plus Eight?" "Two boys? Too bad one wasn't a girl, then you'd be done" "Double trouble!" "Do twins run in your family?" Etc, etc, etc (Moms of twins, feel free to add your favorites! There are so many!)

Singleton: Almost none! People don't stop you nearly as often, and usually they just say something like "how cute" or "how old is he?"

Advantage: Singleton.

However, as a mom of three boys, I have some bonus stupid comments: "My three sons!" "Three boys? God bless you!" (Once again, it's the tone of "poor you" that is troubling). "You'll have to try again for the girl" "Too bad number three wasn't a girl" "My grandmother's best friend's cousin's neighbor had three boys, tried one more time for a girl, and had a fourth boy" (or something equally insane, though sometimes they'll switch it up and the person will finally get their coveted girl after x number of boys).

Okay, to be honest, thus far a singleton has been easier than twins. But, I suspect that has a lot more to do with us being experienced parents than one baby vs. two. So I'm still sticking by my belief that twins aren't *that* much more work than a singleton!


Nicole S. said...

Ok, so I agree and I disagree. I agree because part of me believes in the "lasagna" theory of raising children. My mom had all of us back to back to back to back and I think it was for the best - for us and for her. That being said, there are so many things that makes having two harder; things that a mother never has to worry about with a singelton. She never has to fear one baby waking up when she is in the middle of feeding the other, and she is all alone. No choosing which baby to soothe when both are hysterical. Then, there's the stuff we have to do more of - If you're formula feeding, double the cost for that. Double the cost for diapers (if you use disposables). Double the time to get them in and out of the car. More gear to buy (for somethings, not everything). more newborn clothes to buy that grow out of in a matter of weeks. The list goes on, as you know :)

We are planning for our #3 now and I am so psyched because its going to seem so much easier - and yes, because its #3 but also because there is no #4 to go with it!! I know so much now about being a mom that I didn't know when I brought home 2 babies - it will be like a different world!

Anonymous said...

Wooo- so entertaining. I was totally enthralled reading this post because I've always wondered what the singleton experience is like. I had to laugh about the "getting huge" when pregnant with twins bit, because I went in the opposite direction. Pretty much every stranger I met told me I was "not big enough" to be having twins, followed by "are you sure?" and "maybe you should be checked again." I'll never forget the small Japanese man I met in the grocery store who shook his head in disbelief over my twins to belly size ratio, then when he finally got over the shock, grabbed my belly and said "Are you going for a vaginal birth?" Umm, can you just leave me alone to buy my ice cream? People are nuts. Period.

Amy said...

great post! just imagine the comments of going out with 4 boys-ahh people are so "kind" in giving their opinions....

Julie said...

Jungletwin's comment has rendered me speechless! WOW.

All I have left to say is....will you please call me the next time you make lasagna?

Nancy said...

*grin* Oh man - this was awesome :)

See - the 3rd is a breeze ;)

Anonymous said...

Great post! The problem I see with 3 is that now you are out numbered!

LauraC said...

I never commented here but I love this post.

Also not sure if I agree with your lasagne reference, mostly bc I paid for two infants in day care and OUCH. And being up with two screaming sick babies while Jon was traveling was not what I envisioned my life would be like the first year.

But now it's a cakewalk.