Our twins will turn five soon. It’s hard to believe they’re so grown, but I guess time has flown twice as fast since they were born.
It’s not surprising, really. From the moment we saw two little hearts beating on the sonogram screen, we’ve been learning the truth about having twins: It’s definitely different.
10 Truths About Having Twins
Rock Star Status at Your OB’s Office
Maybe it’s the size of your belly or the frequency of your visits, but you can prepare to be known by name at your OB’s office. Seriously, everyone from the receptionist to the lab tech will wave when they see you and call you by name and ask how you are and….you get the idea. This can have its benefits: occassionally shorter wait times and having your calls put through to the nurse, for example.
Heaps of Hormones
With my other pregnancies, I squinted to see that extra line on the pregnancy test. Not with my twins. Bright pink and obvious and INSTANT. For me, the additional hormones also meant much more morning sickness than I’d ever experienced before. I know some women have terrible nausea and vomiting in every pregnancy, but I didn’t. With my twins though? It was much, much worse.
Comments, Comments, Comments
From the moment people find out you’re having twins, you can expect every person you meet to tell you about every set of twins they ever knew. Women will tell you how they always wanted to have twins. They’ll comment on everything from the size of your belly to whether your babies look alike to what you’ve decided to name them. I remember when a stranger once asked me what our babies’ were. I told her, and she frowned and said, “I like it better when their names match.” Oops. I should have asked her first, I guess.
Expanded Understanding of Pregnancy
Y’all, I don’t know how my first two babies arrived safely. I knew nothing about pregnancy! Okay, that’s a bit of an overstatement, but from the moment we found out we were having twins, we were inundated with information. People always ask if twins are fraternal or identical, but when you’re pregnant with them, you quickly realize there is so much more to it than that. You start hearing about things like Mono-Mono, Di-Di, Mono-Di, TTTS… (Ours were Mono-Di if you’re interested or ever have any questions! We had no TTTS but did experience sIGR but still ended up carrying to term, though one baby was much smaller than the other. She still is!)
Intimate Questions from Complete Strangers
When you’re pregnant, you get used to strangers reaching out to rub your belly. When you’re pregnant with twins, you become accustomed to having them ask personal questions. It starts with the innnocent and not too personal “Are there other twins in your family?” and progresses to “Did you do fertility treatments?” My favorite is when people just simply ask how you got pregnant with twins. I’ve always wanted to smile and say something like, “Do you really want me to explain the process?”
Are they twins?
This is the most common question you’ll be asked once the babies are actually born. I actually had a biologist at the science museum ask me that once. I just looked at him for a moment, and he laughed and said, “I mean, obviously, they’re twins. Are they identical?” That’s what people usually mean, by the way. They’re just interested and intriqued, and who can blame them?
Now You Know How Celebrities Feel
I’ll be honest. Having people comment on your twins or stop to ask questions can get a little old. We have had people come across restaurants and follow us around stores to find out about our twins. Strangers have even asked to take photos of them. You just have to be prepared for it and try to be gracious….even when you’re in a hurry and someone wants to tell you another twins story.
People aren’t only interested and intriqued by your twins; they truly want to help you out. (Well, except when it comes to babysitting.) Seriously. We were given so many diapers that we barely had to buy any for at least a year. The kindness of others helped make it much easier to add the expense of two babies at one time.
You will find that people want to compare your twins with each other. You’ll find that you’re tempted to do the same. It’s an easy trap to fall into, especially when you have identical twins. People seem to expect them to be just alike or completely opposite. The truth is that they’re more complex than that. They’re human. They have unique feelings and gifts, and they’re growing to be individuals, even as they’re also growing as twins. Because being a twin is part of who they are, it’s part of their identity, but it’s not all of it.
Two is not always tougher.
If you’re a new mom of twins, I hope you hear this. It’s not always harder to have two. There are many days when my twins are the easiest of my children to handle. They entertain each other. They help one another. They have one another. When they were babies, I often put them together if I couldn’t get them to sleep. I found out this week that it still works! I won’t lie and tell you it’s easy to change two diapers, hold two bottles, or tame two little tempers, but they’re not afraid to go to a new Sunday school class because they get to go together. It’s the little things, you know?
If you have or are expecting twins, what would you add to this list? If you don’t have twins, I’d love to hear from you, too! Feel free to leave a comment and ask a question or share a twins story. Now that I’m not a sleep deprived mother of two tiny babies, I love to hear them and answser questions if I can!
Also, I know from experience how frightening a twins pregnancy can be (steroid shots at 24 weeks, anyone?), I’d love to pray for you or answer any questions you have. Feel free to email me!
(I wrote this post based on Kate’s Five Minute Friday Prompt: Truth, but the truth is that it took longer than 5 minutes to write. Mostly because my twins kept interrupting. It is a “free write” though, to stay true to the idea of Five Minute Friday!)