How One Became Three.

by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor

 

Sometimes (all the time) when I look at my life I can’t believe I have three kids. When I run from room to room prying dried Play-Doh from the coffee table, removing colored chalk from little mouths and cleaning poop off of the carpet (you read that right and those so-called miracle carpet cleaners? Not so much) it seems unfathomable that I did this on purpose - well, not exactly on purpose, the twins thing falls under the umbrella of me planning and God laughing (note to God: not that funny). More than two years ago I had it so good with one mild mannered, yet plenty energetic toddler daughter and was quite content with the status quo, so why, did I suddenly see the need to rock the boat? Why does anybody?

 

Immediately after having Elby, I truly thought I firmly fell into the “one and done” camp. Even though plenty of my new mommy buddies were of the “two and through” variety, I had not been totally convinced to even have one let alone more and I thought that one baby was challenging enough. As time wore on though I became less certain of my stance and not a little jealous of the women who seemed so clear about the number of children they wanted.

 

When Elby was about eighteen-months old, I started unofficially polling women on how they knew they wanted another baby. A few of these women already had two kids, some were newly knocked up and one, my friend Lara, was ready to pop. I met Lara when our babies were seven-months and she was always pretty decisive. We shopped daycares together back in the day and while I would have stayed for the entire tour at each and every place, one withering glance from Lara told me all I needed to know and saved me quite a bit of time. She was the perfect person to quiz on the whole “how did you know you wanted another” thing.

 

“It’s just something I always knew. Kids should have a sibling,” she said, in a completely Lara-esque way as if telling me you don’t serve soup with a fork. My husband thought this too but it didn’t seem so obvious and simple to me. For one, new babies are a lot of work, no sleep, messy, requiring bottle cleaning and baths and diapers. Plus, there are no guarantees that siblings will even get along. On the other hand, I was so in love with Elbs, it was starting to seem a little sad to only get to do it once. I was stuck which wasn’t surprising given that I have trouble deciding which type of peanut butter to buy at the grocery store; crunchy or creamy, salted or unsalted, Jesus do I even need peanut butter at all? It’s a wonder I managed to decide to have the first kid.

 

jwill03
09.23.09

Stephanie, I want you to know I just joined Mommy Track'd right here and now because of your blog. You are so funny and I love your style! You say what so many women are thinking, and it's a breath of fresh air to see more realistic views of motherhood out there! I am the mother of 3 also (an 8 year old and 2 1/2 year old twins) and I commend you on what a wonderful job you are doing raising your family! I'm also a NICU nurse, so I know what you must have gone through with that experience! I can't wait to read more of your blogs and your experiences. Keep up the good work!

Kimarie
09.16.09

Oh My! Stephanie! You are my doppleganger (and what a great one since you actually do write instead of just thinking it would be great if I did) !! Your story is truly mine as I just turned 40, have a wonderful, precocious 2 year old daughter, a hubby who wants another and I am the fickle, exhausted mama who likes the idea but can't decide if I really should. And, I need to make a decision because as you mentioned... age! I am on the fence because we have to do IVF (we have frozen embies) and I am terrified that this time we will get twins !! I've read all your books, follow this blog and think.... we are living parallel lives... what if the twins part happens to me too? Ack!

katluvsshoes
09.11.09

My two boys are awesome, another baby is an idea worlds away. Remember to bake the d'oh, it will last longer! Play D'oh is on sale at shop.com. http://www.shop.com/Play+Doh+Case+of+Colors-229512284-p+.xhtml

xoxo,

Kat

ltlbird
09.08.09

Stephanie, I'm glad you noted the problem of secondary infertility. We went through 11 rounds of IUIs to conceive my son. When he was 6 months, we started trying for #2 (we thought we might need an early start due to my age). After 9 rounds of IUIs, 3 IVFs and a few miscarriages, we decided to be happy with our singleton. Even though I thought I was "over" wanting another one, and happy with our life as we have it, I still feel a pang when I hear that someone is pregnant with #2. And recently, I found out that a good friend is--like you--pregnant with twins when they were only trying for one. It is so, so hard for me to hear her complain about how hard her life is going to be, and how she's "not a baby person." I mean, I know it's going to be hard for her, but...I would have given my left arm to be in the situation that she's in, and the situation that you're in.

I had a lot of sibling rivalry with my younger brothers when growing up, but now we're good friends. And I feel sad that I can't give that to my son. Let's face it, I feel more than sad...I feel like a failure.

Thanks for another great post. I really enjoy your writing.
Cynthia
http://themindreels.blogspot.com

bizzymom
09.08.09

One of the greatest gifts you can give Elby is that of a sibling...or two! My brother is my best friend and , truly, my rock. He and I are polar opposites, but NOBODY will ever or could ever understand me like he does.
By the way..just finished your new book...LOVED IT!!!

MyHormonesMadeMeDoIt
09.04.09

As an only child I can say I am so happy you gave Elby a sibling. I have always been envious of siblings and will for sure have more than one, but two or three...I fall right in line with you and have no idea.
http://www.myhormonesmademe.com

krivera
09.04.09

Can totally relate to the second-guessing and fickle nature. I have 2 boys and continue to debate on having another baby. Are we tempting fate? Perhaps ... but at the end of the day, I know another person would add so much love ... and chaos. :)