Both of my daughters did not show up on my first sonogram. For 8 weeks I thought I was having a normal singleton pregnancy with all of the usual excitement and anticipation a first pregnancy brings. My husband missed that first sonogram so to be nice my doctor did another one at my next appointment. As we all stared at the throbbing lima bean on the screen the doctor pointed out the “head” and heart, and then she stopped. “Well, what’s that?” my husband asked pointing at another blob. “Um,” she said, “that’s another heart and another head. You’re having twins!” And as the blood drained from my face and my stomach fell to my toes my husband pumped his fist in the air and yelled, “Yeah, twins!” (He later said he did this to reassure me because he had never seen me look so frightened. I think it was a momentary celebration of feeling like he had super sperm)
Luckily I had another 5 or so months to get used the idea of having twins. But all the books and pre-birth classes in the world can’t prepare you for two babies at once. And its not just the physical exhaustion, it’s the double hit to your wallet. One baby we felt ready for – in true New York City fashion we didn’t even plan on moving from our one bedroom apartment. Now we had to find a two bedroom apartment, buy two cribs, sixteen bottles a day, twenty diapers a day, two car seats, double stroller, and ultimately two Manhattan preschool tuitions at once. As much as a baby changes your life, twins make your old life completely obsolete. I would walk down the street and envy those other new moms I saw with the one baby snuggled in a sling or asleep in that narrow stroller on their way to get lunch or coffee, their baby just along for the ride. There was no such thing with twins, every outing was laced with the chance that one of them would lose it, one of them would set the other one off, need to be changed, or the stupid double stroller wouldn’t fit through the doorway of my destination.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of joyful and adorable aspects of having twins – there was nothing cuter than the two of them snuggling in the crib together, taking their first steps together, saying each other’s names for the first time. But, those first years are tough mentally, physically and financially. So now its time to reap the rewards of all that hard work. Now my daughters are seven and we took our first real family vacation – for an entire month we lived, ate and traveled through Italy. This was where having twins finally paid off.
I don’t know how most kids would fare for an entire month away from friends or peers their own age with only their parents to keep them company. None of the kids in the small Italian town we were in even spoke English. But, this didn’t matter to my girls. Day after day they woke up to an automatic playdate with a person who is completely in synch with them, who gets them on every level, who wants to do nothing but engage in whatever crazy adventure they can cook up. Since my daughters are identical twins this symbiosis is magnified times 1000. Whether we were at the beach, at the Colosseum or at a restaurant eating raw clams my girls had each other, and because of that my husband and I could actually have time for the two of us as well.
Being the same age they are on the same schedule; wake up time, eating, bedtime all together. They’re also both at the perfect age to travel. They are curious about everything, jaded about nothing, happy to be with their parents, and old enough to remember the amazing experience they had. There is no way that on that day 8 years ago when I saw that second lima bean I could have ever imagined traveling around Europe with two smart, funny and inquisitive girls. Yet, there we were and there they will always be traveling through life together lucky enough to be born with their best friend.
This is an original beccarama.com post