Life with twins is pretty hectic most of the time, but every now and then the stars will align perfectly and things will be quiet. Both babies will be fed, changed, calm and alert, and I can be completely present – not reacting to who is crying or who needs a bottle, but just in the moment, aware, seeing these amazing little beings for who they are. It is my favourite time, time when I get to study their ever-changing faces, when I get to see them as unique individuals, and when they get to see me relaxed and happy and wholly loving. And sometimes, if the moment lasts long enough, I will even catch myself thinking, “I don’t yet think I’m done having babies.”
Since we’re still so new to parenthood – seven months out from the babies’ actual birth date, and four from their due date – it is, far, far too soon to think about these things with any kind of legitimacy, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t cross my mind. I think it’s something you always think about in some way or another when you’ve decided you want to have a family – what will that look like? What might the timeline be? – and I know I always hoped to have more than two if it were a realistic possibility. I remember clearly when it started to feel like it was time to consider getting pregnant as an actual serious option – suddenly, it seemed like our little family of had someone missing (or two someones, as it turned out!). As unprepared as I felt to have twins, as much as an adjustment it was to become a mother, having Madeleine and Reid here with us now seems more natural than I could have ever expected. In fact, it’s hard to believe they ever weren’t here, that a little over a year ago, our family looked so different. I am so, so glad that we found each other.
When the babies were first born, I was adamant that I was done having children. My pregnancy was rough, I had serious complications, and my healthy, beautiful babies ended up coming out far too soon because of it. I never, ever wanted to go through anything like that again. Matt is very much still in that place – he is so, so, so done, and I can’t say that I blame him. But there is much more to it than that for me. My dream of what my family would look like, my feelings of immense loss over my difficult pregnancy and the months we spent in the NICU, the incredible fear and sadness that accompanied the twins’ birth. And the feeling that, maybe, there still might be someone missing, another member of our family we still have yet to meet.
Ultimately (and I know this is what really lies at the heart of Matt’s resistance), I know I don’t want to risk having more preemies. A second time around, and we’d know exactly what we’d be in for. We’d already know the sadness, the pain, the stress and heartache. The knowledge that things could have been so different if only we’d been able to make it an extra month or week or day. The big question marks surrounding what your baby’s life will end up being like. The feeling that it just wasn’t supposed to be like this.
We still have so much time to decide, time to weigh the pros and cons, to talk to doctors and specialists and figure out our options, to get a sense of how we feel, to change our minds or maybe change them back again. And I know that if we never try again, if I only ever get that one useless shot at pregnancy, if I never get to know what it’s like to reach the third trimester or bring home a healthy newborn the day after they are born, if I only ever end up being a mom-of-two, it will be more than enough.
But it sure doesn’t mean I don’t still think about it.