Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Life With Twins, Part 1

I remember my first ultrasound well. I was 23 week pregnant (that's a little over 5 months) and was completely obsessed with finding out the sex of my baby. On my way the appointment, I was thinking "I'm not getting off that table until they tell if I'm having a boy or a girl. I'll stand on my head, drink Mountain Dew, WHATEVER it takes to get this baby into the genital-peeking position."

It was so cool, seeing the little skull and the tiny beads of fetal spine. The technician was showing us all of this and explaining things, and we were beaming. Then she said "Oh, you know what we have here..." Seriously, being the dorkus that I am, I closed my eyes and thought, "This is it. Boy or girl? Boy or girl?" I think my hand was even flung onto my forehead, dramatic Scarlet O'Hara style.

This is why, when the tech said "We have two babies", David and I were stunned. And that's putting it lightly. The first words out of my mouth were: "They are not conjoined, are they???" David was standing at my feet, utterly white. Then I kept saying "But I only want ONE baby." And David, patting my foot, would reply "Ummm, it's a little late now honey." The tech was probably like NICE.

At dinner that night, eating at the mall food court ( "feeding frenzy!"), we kept seeing people walk by with their baby in strollers. I just kept saying, "See! She got to have one baby! Why do I have to have two???"

Joan and Kate, they've grown on me since then. It's just that I had this image of what an excellent mom I was going to be. My baby and I, we were going to be the best baby and mommy team ever. I would be so cute, shopping with my baby in a carrier, in a stroller, sitting sweetly in a shopping cart. I would breastfeed, buy organic, and never ever loose my patience. It was all very clear to me that my mothering skills would be so genius that people would flock from all over, just to have a look at perfection. *Ahem.* The idea of having twins shattered all of that. I couldn't imagine how I would even leave the house with TWO babies.

Now I know that image of motherhood would have been shattered about 12 hours into it, regardless of how many babies were involved. But still, having twins did effect my mothering. I just couldn't be there for each of their needs all the time. In the end, this was a good thing- it saved me from being the "wash each and every toy that touched the ground, another person, or room air, in bleach water" type of mother. I just had to relax and go with it. Our parental learning curve around here was a *spike*, I'm telling you.

I did breastfeed the girls until they were 16 months old. I know, hard core, right? But it worked well for our family. And the first two years we were on Survival Mode quite a bit, but we enjoyed it quite a bit too. And the tiny matching clothes? Forget about it, it's too cute to even talk about without gushing. Loved. The. Clothes.

Now, 4 years later, being a family with twins is so much a part of our identity that I couldn't imagine it any other way. And to be completely honest? I usually like the extra attention.

1 comment:

Mommy Brain said...

There were whole chunks of this post that I could have written. Someday I'll finish my flashback post and actually get it up on my blog.

I completely get the "but I only want ONE baby" moment. I had sat through a training with a friend of mine pregnant with twins who was pretty up front about sharing her fears and stresses (money, space, time). When I started showing people told me I "look big" and "was I sure it wasn't twins." I laughed and said that twins would be my worst nightmare. Oops.