I cannot tell you how many times in the last two and a half years I’ve heard this question, “What’s it like having twins?” In that time I’ve also come to know that twins are like unicorns to some people. They’re fascinating, rare and, if you tilt your head and close one eye, completely beautiful. When we found out we were having twins I had so many questions running through my mind at the same time, how could I care for two babies and a toddler? What would my pregnancy be like? What if they’re too born early? What if they overpower me one day? Will I ever sleep again? But one of the things I never thought about was how people would react to my twins. It seems so unimportant to think about what other people would say when I had legitimate concerns. So I thought I’d type this out for those who haven’t asked but still want to know.
Having twins is completely crazy. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s insanity. Who in their right mind would WANT to have two babies at the exact same time? And yes, even you, mother who has babies close in age so you think it’s funny to say it’s almost like having twins. It’s nothing like having twins, I’m sorry. This category includes my mom, she had my brother and I 15 months apart, but again, not at the same time. Carrying two babies for me was terrible. I’m 5 foot tall and have next to nothing in the torso department. My back was killing me by 20 weeks and my skin felt like it was on fire every day of my last trimester from the stretching.
My delivery was a complete nightmare. I had to be induced because my little angels didn’t want to be born on their own. I was in labor for 28 hours, I pushed out baby a (Olivia) and baby b (Pierre) decided to turn breech. I had 3 doctors try to pull him out by his feet, worst pain I’ve ever experienced, but were unsuccessful before his heart rate dropped and I had an emergency c-section. Then, 4 days after coming home I had to be readmitted for 3 days due to an infection from the traumatic delivery. I hadn’t seen my first baby in what felt like forever, I was trying to nurse two newborns and recovering from a vaginal and c-section delivery. It was a mess.
Thankfully, my body is resilient and healthy and healed over time (we even had a fourth baby!). I was up all night with babies, trying to make sure my firstborn didn’t feel left out and figuring out how to get the twins on a schedule. Eventually, with much trial and error, we got into a smooth routine.
I think the hardest time for me with twins is now. They are two and a half and every single day brings a new trial. It’s so hard. I literally cannot predict anything with them. With Eva I could predict pretty much every reaction to any situation. They are constantly challenging me and I swear they’re THISCLOSE to figuring out that it’s two against one. Their listening skills lack LISTENING and they think they can do whatever they want because they have an equal backing them up. They have their own language and probably mock me, they think because their twin tells them to do it then it’s okay. They talk back, they hit, they bite, they tell on each other, they wake each other up, they put each other in time-out.
Sounds terrible right? It can be overwhelming, but then you see the loving moments. They hug each other, they kiss each other’s ouchies. They look out for each other, they make sure the other has a snack and a drink, they bring their twin a favorite toy when they’re upset. They have a constant companion and someone they know is always there for them. They have a bond that unless you’ve been watching grow over time you just don’t get it. It’s unbreakable and steady. I could not be more lucky to be their mom. And it isn’t even luck! It’s grace. God chose me to witness their love and bond firsthand. I absolutely don’t deserve that but He saw me fit to. What a blessing! I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t always approach it with such a positive attitude but I’m working on that. I’m not perfect and my kids certainly know that. They forgive me on a daily basis. God’s grace and mercy are alive and well.
I’m weary, I’m scared, I fail them daily and yet they forgive me and God shows me His great love through them. I’m honored to be their mother. And that’s what I tell people now when they really want to know what it’s like to have twins. It’s beyond hard and scary but I’m the luckiest mom in the world because I get to watch something so beautiful up close and personal. I could cry just thinking about it. It’s a wonderful reminder to take hold of the chaos in my life and create something beautiful with it. People experience miracles every day. My twins are my miracle.