Double Double Trouble Trouble

2014 is shaping up to be a great year: the kids are having stellar academic success, we’ve avoided the flu and RSV (a constant concern at our house due to the twins’ weakened respiratory systems), pitchers and catchers report in just nine days and the pieces around our charity golf event are all falling into place.

But for my parents, January 2014 has something in common with January 2007:  they are unexpectedly expecting twin grandbabies.  Again.  Out of scores of aunts, uncles and cousins on both sides of the family, the only people to become pregnant with multiples are my sister and me.  I don’t know if my parents wonder what they did wrong with us or what they did right.  Two daughters, two sets of twins?  Like my sister and I didn’t overachieve the hell out of the 1990’s enough??  I’m still waiting for the delayed reaction of the cardiac variety on the part of either of my parents, but suffice to say they’re keeping that Gerber Baby life insurance company in high heels these days.

Until 2007 the last set of twins born on any side of any of our families occurred in 1932.   I’ll never forget surprising my folks with my ultrasound picture showing Kyle & Lauren cozily gestating together.   Imagine everyone’s surprise not too long ago when my sister announced she was pregnant with twins!  Actually, all I can recall from that moment was my husband and I literally pointing and laughing at her.  I know–we express our love and support to each other in unique but profound ways.

Twins!  Sure, it’s a blessing and all that, right?  Everyone wants to have twins, right??  Double the trouble and double the fun, right??  Yes, and no.  Truthfully I don’t personally know of anyone who felt this way when they found out they were pregnant with twins.  Not that those perky, positive pregnant women don’t exist, but if I may be frank–don’t call me Frank–the only women I know who say that are women who don’t have twins.  Because the truth is that the reality that comes with an ultrasound with more than one handsome little devil in the frame can be overwhelming.  Not just one nursery needed now, but two–I hope your house is big enough.  Sometimes the backseat of your car isn’t even long enough to accommodate twin car seats if you also have an older child in a booster, so have fun measuring your car’s dimensions and then maybe trying to afford a new car.  One baby is a lot of work, and twice the number of babies are sometimes more than twice the amount of work–and let’s hope you can afford double the daycare expenses.  And for some of us, a pregnancy with multiples becomes a high risk pregnancy, and suddenly getting your pink and blue nursery or buying those Thing 1 and Thing 2 onsies seem like really shallow reasons to have ever wanted twins.  And double the fun?  How about double the co-pays, every doctors’ visit, every time–beginning the instant when Baby B is born.

Okay, so maybe I’ve scared your collective ovaries into never ovulating twice in the same cycle.  It’s not that twins aren’t great–but they’re great because they’re YOURS, not because their formative weeks were spent with a womb mate.  If your twin pregnancy, birth, and first few months at home don’t give you a heart attack, watching your two wee ones becoming aware of their world, learning to smile, growing up with each other as best friends and co-conspirators are really the best things about having twins.  You just have to get through the hard part at the beginning.  It really does get better.  I promise.

And whatever you do, pack a hospital bag every time you have an ultrasound–I learned that lesson the hard way.  Figure out when the least convenient time would be for you to be hospitalized for a few days and that’s exactly when your cervix will prematurely dilate.  It’s science.

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Cassandra can be found on Twitter @aclevergirl.  Learn more about her family’s unique challenges and why they have hope for a cure for muscular dystrophy at byrdsforacure.org.