My husband Christopher came home last week and told me that people we know just discovered that they were expecting twins. The husband had a lot of questions for Christopher. I called the next day to tell them that we were here to answer any questions that they might have. After I got off of the phone I started thinking back seven and a half years.
I had always wanted twins. They run in my family, and I thought it would be marvelous. That is until I discovered that I was carrying twins! I remember it so clearly. I had to get an ultrasound done early because I thought that I was miscarrying. I was so worried. We had two at home (Gabe was 9, and Gracie was 3). As soon as that pregnancy test showed positive, I fell in love with that baby, that was always the case. I had miscarried three times before, and was so worried about this "baby". I lay in that tiny little dark room while the technician ran the wand over my stomach. "Do you see the baby's heart ?", I asked. "yes" he replied in a bit of a reserved tone. I began to sob hysterically, such was my relief. The poor Indian man was terrified of me. "Is your husband going to be upset?" he asked. "No, I told him, "I am just so relieved." I was still sobbing as I said this. I then asked what I asked every time that I had an ultrasound, "Is there just one baby?' "yes" he said, he looked very uncomfortable and quite terrified. I went on my merry way, skipping out of the office. I had been going to see my obstetrician in Kingston, we were going to investigate why I was miscarrying. My OB was very ill at the time and I had seen his partner. Nothing was said. It was three months later when I went for a routine prenatal check up that I saw my family doctor. He asked me what the technician had told me about the ultrasound. I replied that he had seen the baby's heart beat. "heart beaT?" my doctor asked. "yes I replied heart beat." "heart beaT?" he asked again, "yes, heart beat". I was beginning to get worried, what was wrong with my babies heart. He then let the cat out of the bag. "There are two heart beats, you are having twins!" It was a good thing that I was sitting. I felt like he had knocked the wind out of me. As I opened the door to leave the room, there was a crowd of staff members outside of it. "You really didn't know" they all asked. I walked around in a daze for a week. I kept asking the kids and Christopher "Did I dream that I was having twins?"
I was very luck to know two women I had gone to school with who had both had twins who were a little bit older. I also had an older aunt who was a twin. They were my sources of information. I read the books about twins. Common sense tells you that life is going to be hard, but there was a different reality. They had warned me that the first year would be rough. Really it was the first two and a half years. I sometimes think that I should write a book and call it "TWINS: The book with the information the other books don't tell you." No one tells you that when you have twins every stranger will feel the need to stop you and ask you questions about your babies. Strangers will try to touch your new babies (do they think that touching twins brings good luck?). People will ask you asinine questions about your babies. My favourite asinine questions were the following ...
#1 Are they identical? No they are a boy and a girl, they are fraternal. Well they sure look a like, are you sure they are not identical?
#2 Do twins run in your family or did you use fertility drugs? (oh that's not personal at all)
#3 My kids are a year apart, it's just like having twins (first of all, why would you do that to yourself? Second of all ahhh no it is not the same at all, you mental case) This is not as much a question as much as a comment I heart A LOT!
I find that as the mother of twins I want to rush up to mother's with new twins and tell them it gets better, but I don't want to harass. For some reason having twin babies is like traveling in a side show parade. Everyone feels the need to stop you. People would be walking past, see the double stroller and then stop and chase us. I had several occasions, where old women grabbed the stroller to prevent me from leaving. A quick five minute trip to the store would take, no word of a lie, an hour. Everyone thinks that they are the only ones that are stopping you. I did wise up. When I had to shop, I took a friend with me, and we split the babies up. No one stops you to ask questions about a single baby, they just smile at them.
Riley and Rowan really are a gift. Now that they are 7 it is actually easier than having single babies, because they are built in playmates. As toddlers they never parallel played like single toddlers, they actually played with each other. All I know is that this couple is in for a real learning experience.