The human cost of "selective reduction"

It’s scary to be carrying twins; scarier to think about the labor that will bring these twins into the world; scarier still to contemplate “Now what?” Without these Orwellian choices open to mothers of this generation, we answered the question “Now what?” one sleepless night at a time.

So when I brought my twin girls home back in 1980, I took it one day at a time. Scratch that, I took it one action at a time. I made that nightly pilgrimage to the nursery with tired eyes and tired feet. Constant feedings and changings, yes, but accompanied all the while by the twins’ mutual gazes, touches, and gurgling “twin talk.” Exhausting days and nights, but ones that I would never trade away. I still look with personal pride on the technique I developed to feed the twins with two pillows — my home-grown version of Boppies. There were fun trips to the Mall to share my joys and accomplishments with the countless strangers who would smile and approach the twins and their beaming older sister. There were joyful milestones of birthday parties, school events, sports, and dancing lessons. My burdens grew easier with time, too, as the twins grew up entertaining and supporting each other, sharing experiences that only twins can share. And I got some unique life training that I could later bring to my career life: No one learns how to multitask with efficiency like a parent of twins.

Maybe our lives would have been easier had I “reduced” my pregnancy, but we would have missed the crazy magic of those early years.