Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Twins-A Blessing or a Curse?

Are twins a blessing or a curse?

The first 31 years of my life, if I had been asked this, I would have said a curse. I grew up with an identical twin sister and I always felt as if I never measured up to her. She was the leader and I was the follower. She was the smart pretty thin good twin. I was the dumb ugly fat evil twin. She was always better than I was in every way. By the time I was 32 I would change my mind and say twins are a blessing.

I was at my twelve-week prenatal appointment and everything checked out great. The doctor asked if I had and questions and I asked her if I was measuring big because I was showing a lot and had gained twelve pounds already. She said I was measuring where I was supposed to and that it was probably because it was my fourth pregnancy in quick succession. She told me we could do a dating ultrasound to be sure I wasn't farther along than I thought I was.
I knew for a fact my due date was correct because I had been keeping track of ovulation. I reluctantly agreed. As I walked to outpatient scheduling I thought "this lady is stupid, my due date is not off." I scheduled the ultrasound for the following week anyway.
The day of the appointment I almost just didn't go. I would have to pick up a babysitter, take a one, three, and five year old out by myself and have them sit in the tiny radiology waiting area with the babysitter during the ultrasound. I was thinking "This is such a waste of time, I know my damn due date is correct." I went anyway. That's when things got real!
As I lay on the ultrasound table and the ultrasound technician started to scan my already huge belly I saw two babies on the screen and nearly screamed "NO ******* WAY, THIS CANNOT BE TRUE, KILL ME NOW." I stayed silent and waited for her to say something. She then said in the most cheerful of voices "oh, look, two babies!" I snapped "I know, I saw that already!" She kept talking incessantly about all the cool stuff she was doing but I was too pissed to look and just stared at the ceiling. When she said " Here is baby A's heartbeat, here is baby B's heartbeat," I snapped "I do not want to look at any of this crap, just do whatever it is you need to do so I can go home." I spent the next twenty minutes staring at the ceiling, pissed as hell, having racing thoughts about what this meant for us.Thankfully she was silent the rest of the time until she asked if I wanted pictures. Of course, I did because how else was I going to prove that it was true to myself or to my husband?
I told my twin sister I was having twins and that they were due on September 21st, 2008. She thought it was so cool and said that maybe they would be born on our birthday which is August 15th. I told her that would be impossible since that was 5 weeks before they were due and it would be too early. What are the chances?
I was pretty upset for the first few weeks. I wanted 4 kids not 5, and surely not twins. I didn’t want them to have the experience I had of competing with a twin and always feeling inferior. However, as the weeks passed I got used to the idea of having twins. I started telling everyone we were getting a bonus baby. I loved and wanted them both and talked to them constantly, and when there were growth issues with one of them I would tell her “come on baby grow”.
My water broke abruptly on August 14th, 2008 at 10 PM and by 2 AM August 15th they were here! YES! They were born on my and my twin sister’s 32nd birthday! What are the odds of that? Well, according to the Minnesota Twin and Family Study it is a 1 in 3.8 million chance! WOW!
After being flown on a life flight to another hospital they spent a short 6 days in NICU then were sent home. Caring for them was much harder to do than it had been with all my others. I had never had a preemie and never two babies at once. I slept very little and spent all my time nursing two babies. They grew and thrived. They were fun babies, very content and quiet. As toddlers, they found ways to get in trouble together. As preschoolers there was a lot of fighting, scratching, biting and hair pulling. There was also a lot of laughter and play. As kindergarteners and first graders they were in different classrooms and began to come into their own. It was a little sad for me to send them to school, since they are my youngest children, and to start seeing them more as individuals than a pair. It has been very good for them though.
Today my twins are eight years old and about to enter the second grade and if you ask me now if they are a blessing or a curse, as a mother of twins, I would say a blessing. We still call our youngest twin our little bonus baby!

What do you think? Blessing or Curse?