Expecting multiples

I have had the privilege to qualify as a father expecting one child, twins, triplets and, for a brief time, quadruplets. On my 30th birthday (a coincidence) my wife and I were presented a priceless gift: after a couple of years trying, some hormonal stimulation and an IUI, the test was positive.

Some time later, an update: twins, the fantastic side effect of fertility treatment. Isn’t this kind of side effect divinely ironic? As if you went to a dentist to have one tooth replaced with an implant and would somehow miraculously get another tooth fixed without any human intervention. I remember that I was so overjoyed that the only ‘problem’ I could think of twins was that they would be identical boys or girls and I would not know which one is playing a prank on me.

In some time, another update came. ‘We are many’, the wife announced when taking off her shoes on returning from a more detailed check-up. It turned out that they are definitely three and ‘perhaps’ four. I remember thinking at night that I embrace this challenge, but I would so prefer that some authority came up with a final figure, whatever it was. It is at that moment that I found it beneficial not to had read much about multiples and firmly decided not to investigate further. The fourth sack turned out to be empty from the outset. The magic of number three was firmly established.

So my first piece of advice for those expecting multiples is as follows: do not investigate extensively about statistics and risks of multiple pregnancy. That is the blissful ignorance of the father and, most importantly, the mother whose paramount task is to extend the pregnancy as long as possible: negative emotions and fears will not contribute to this. My wife is proud to have treated her ordeal as an ordinary pregnancy to the extent it was possible. You can exercise such common sense without first reading all you can find online about multiple pregnancies. You may read this blog, still, as you will find here only a most positive attitude towards any aspect of raising multiples, however onerous.

This is precisely the second piece of advice: do not yield to negative thoughts about raising your twins or triplets, e.g. that it will be an insurmountable task, that for several years you will have no time for yourself, that why-oh-why so many parents have the comfort of raising one and you will have to run on so many tracks simultaneously. Do not visualise sleepless nights, incessant crying of all the children at the same time, do not count in advance how much time it will take to feed everyone or put them to sleep. Some of these ‘horrors’ will simply not occur and some you will find very manageable, as I will attempt to describe. Instead, focus on the rewards that you will get right away and others might need a decade to receive: to be hugged and pressed by so many arms and legs at once; to be asked for and give love and warmth two or three times in a row many times a day; to see the awe in the child whom you are taking with you for a short time one-on-one; to stroll around in a park amidst a boisterous group circling around you in play; to observe how the members of your pack are beginning their lively discussions and caress each other; and so many more.

You are the Chosen Ones. You have drawn an insanely lucky ticket!

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