No one in their right mind ever deliberately goes out and says ‘You know something, one baby just isn’t enough for me. I want 2. At the same time.’ I mean, I’m the first to admit I’m an over achiever and a control freak, but seriously, even I’m not that insane. And yes, I’m looking at you, Octomom and Jon & Kate plus 8. Seriously!
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Stephanie, I’m 36 and I am the proud mother of identical twin girls, E & M. Right, now we’re acquainted, I’d like to clear a few things up. Yes, they’re identical. No, we did not have fertility treatment. Believe me, I was as surprised as the next person when there were 2 on the screen. No, we do not have twins in our family. Yes, it’s double trouble, but it’s 2 for the price of 2. Believe me, our bank account feels it. And finally, no, we are not trying for any more, not even for a boy. And no, I’m not changing my mind. Ever.
When we found out we were having twins, I think I went into shock. We’d discussed trying, and decided that we’d see how we felt after 1. Suddenly, we were looking at a grainy image on the screen and seeing not one, but 2 babies. To be honest, I swore. Loudly. I accused the technician of lying to me.
But there they were. 2 tiny humans. Suddenly, everything changed. There’s 2 in there? Suddenly visions of 2 of everything started … 2 cribs, 2 baths, 2 layettes, 2 dirty nappies … and I went into shock. (Later, when I was capable of rational thought, we realised that we didn’t really need 2 of everything. Some things can be shared. But give me credit, I was getting over the fact there was 2).
Pregnancy was not my friend. You know how some people just have those magical, worry free pregnancies and just glow? If you count 20 weeks of morning sickness, losing 11 kilos, developing not one, but two rare conditions that can only happen to identical twins, travelling to a hospital every second day an hour away, having an emergency C-section at 31 weeks and spending 7 weeks in total in a NICU really doesn’t make that ‘glow’ happen.
Did I mention that babies that are 9 weeks premature are ugly? Well, at least the ones born with the aforementioned rare conditions. Seriously, ours had the nicknames Gollum and Zoidberg One was red and bloaty, the other shrivelled and white. It’s a good thing that mummy instinct kicks in – because I remember saying when they showed me E – “Oh my god, she’s ugly!”. One year on, and they’re angels on the outside, and pure mischief on the inside. And adorable.
However, back to the present day … because I’m sure by now you’ve realised that it’s extremely easy for me to go off topic and ramble on like a mad woman. I’m not your conventional super organised mama. I have the desire to be organised but no motivation to carry it through. I have strong beliefs in abolishing gender stereotypes. I feed my kids healthy food (organic if I can), and look for new recipes online whilst eating KitKats. I swear like a trucker and enjoy a few wines. I dress my girls in blue. I may have drawn eyebrows on them with an eyeliner once. I tried to wean them off the Investigation Discovery channel to BabyTV, and failed miserably. (Incidentally, if E ever takes out a life insurance policy on me – I am going into hiding. That kid knows too much.). And for their first birthday, I bought them a drum. Oh, and I bake like no one’s business. And just occasionally, I make it to an appointment on time with everything I need. No, wait, I’m lying. Ain’t no one got time to be organised!