Today marks the five year anniversary of when the twins gave me the gift of being able to take a deep breath again. That’s right: eleven weeks of bed rest, four hospitalizations, a dozen “this is the day, I can feel it!” hospital bags packed and thrown into the trunk–and I finally had twelve pounds of healthy babies to show for it.
Twin moms: do you remember that moment during delivery when you could finally take in a deep breath again? Maybe it’s because I’d already successfully given birth before and so this wasn’t my first rodeo, but my fondest memory of my twins being born was the BREATHING. I could BREATHE. Granted I did breathe easier once I could hear them breathing/screaming in those first crucial moments–I’m not an animal–but those first deep breaths I took. Ahh. Nothing beats that.
My fraternal boy/girl twins couldn’t have been more different in the womb as they were out of it. In utero she was feisty and antsy and kicky. He was cool and mellow and tolerant of the kicking (into his head). Upon seeing the light of day, she was ticked off if she was awake and…well, she didn’t sleep so much, so I mostly remember her being ticked off. Her twin brother, on the other hand, was easy like Sunday morning. He could be held, not be held, fed first or fed last. Everything was cool with him.
Well, time flies. Things change. She’s so easy going, extroverted and social, and such a pleasure to be around that it kills me. He is so high-maintenance and such a momma’s boy that I don’t know how he’ll eventually survive eighth grade. But I have the good fortune to remember where they came from (literally–ew) and get to watch where they go. Even at just five years old, they amaze and thrill me everyday. It only makes them more endearing that they like the same music I like (Van Morrison. Also, Presidents of the United States of America. Okay, fine–and that first song that the Wonder Pets sing about how the phone is ringing. It’s got such a good beat and you can dance to it.)
Here’s a very timely and convenient example of the dichotomy between the two of them: Lauren got a bath toy in her birthday gift bag today. The first thing she asked to do was to take a bath with it “so they could both get all clean together”. Of course in this case, “both” meant her and the bath toy (just to avoid any confusion, she was not suggesting she bathe with her brother). And she took an hour long bath with her mermaid playground, giggling and spraying and splashing and pretending.
Her twin brother got a Star Wars blaster. I’m not necessarily for giving pretend guns to five year olds, but he’s obsessed with Star Wars and has wanted a blaster for almost a year. He was thrilled to open it, but come nap time he also wanted to sleep with it in his bed. When he asked to get up from his nap too early, the conversation went like this:
Me: Did you even nap at all, this whole time?
Him: I slept with my eyes open.
Me: You can’t sleep with your eyes open. You need to close your eyes in order to sleep.
Him: But if I close my eyes, I can’t see my blaster.
In any case, my husband and I have still somehow kept these two alive for another year–does anyone else still feel like the nurses should be a little more critical when they discharge new babies home to new parents? When we celebrate another year with the kids I always send virtual fistbumps to those nurses who were so smart but so dumb to send such little human beings home with such stupid human beings like us. If nothing else, I’d like them to know that we never left our babies in their car seats on the roof of our vehicle and drove off without realizing, because I bet that’s EXACTLY how scatterbrained the new parents of twins come off as to those OB nurses. They do their best to teach us for those one or two or three days while they have us, but then send us off into the world without a user manual and assume we’ll figure the rest out. Yeah, thanks for that.
We haven’t figured it all out yet, but as the years fly by and we have the pleasure of watching our twins blossom into such wonderful people despite having parents who don’t know what we’re doing, I have one thing to say: We got this.