I vividly remember our future flashing through my mind while I lay on the ultrasound table, just finding out I was ten weeks pregnant with twins. The technician left the room to check on something with her supervisor and I was left alone, freaking out over visions of two carseats, two high chairs, two cribs, two of EVERYTHING, and *gasp* we’d definitely need a minivan! The technician returned eons later to tell me that one of the babies was much smaller than the other and that it would likely be absorbed in my body and that the bigger twin may also be absorbed. What?! That “routine” ultrasound went from an anxious, emotional high freak out to a low feeling of mourning I’d never experienced before. I sat in the parking lot and cried to my husband over the phone, not yet able to drive to go pick up my then one year old son.
I wasn’t too keen on this news of absorption and decided I desperately needed to know the best case scenario, so I got in to see a perinatologist the very next day and received excellent news. The doctor thought I might have conceived TWICE in one cycle, or simply put, one twin was smaller than the other. I saw the perinatologist regularly and the twins both grew at the same rate with Twin B remaining a week behind Twin A. Not a big deal. Probably, they were fraternal and simply different sized babies.
I was put on strict bedrest at 25 weeks, but since I was also put on modified bedrest for my first son, I had been expecting it. Lucky for me, Carson was such a fun companion. We watched movies and read books, and he played really well. We had a good set-up with food and drinks set out for him on a little table and the gate up, so we just spent the days hanging out in our family room. Fabulous friends and family took Carson with them to the park or on little outings.
The day before my sister’s scheduled c-section for her first child, I went in with contractions. With a false alarm, we checked out the following morning as my sister checked in (to the same hospital). She had her daughter on the 7th, checked out on the 11th and we checked back in, planning to be induced at exactly 37 weeks. Six hours later, the doctor realized that Baby A was actually not going to be delivered first. Baby B was lower, even though he appeared to be higher up on the ultrasounds. So, Baby B became Baby 1 and Baby A became Baby 2. Confusing? Yes, but we’re pretty sure they weren’t switched around. We still kept their original names whereas Bennett was Baby B, and Gavin was Baby A even though Ben was born six minutes earlier.
Since the boys looked so similar, but were over two pounds different in weight (Gavin-7 lbs. 5 oz., Ben-5 lbs. 2 oz.), we decided at four months old to send away for a genetic test, finding out finally that they were identical. (Bets were placed. Money may or may not have been exchanged.)
Occupation & Hobbies:
Before having kids, I was a full time 6th grade teacher and reduced to half time after Carson was born. I became a full time mom by the time Ben & Gavin came along. I began substitute teaching a little over a year ago and enjoy the flexibility that comes with that position.
I am an avid scrapbooker, blessed to be able to go away on girl’s scrapbooking weekends throughout the year. (Thank you, Brian!) I dabbled in having my own business as a Creative Memories Consultant on the side, but quit shortly after the twins were born.
My husband and I used to take the occasional dance lesson, and I recently took a tap class with some friends. Without time or motivation to practice, I didn’t go too far, but the experience was great. Our date nights usually consist of dinner and a movie these days since we’re (I’m) just too exhausted to do anything else.
Advice to New Moms:
Accept help & have a list ready: Having twins plus an older child meant that any “spare” time (not feeding, burping, changing, cleaning, rocking, holding babies) was spent keeping our two year old happy. So, when friends or family offered to bring over food or help out with something, the answer was, “YES, PLEASE!” Really, it was hard to accept help, and we were very fortunate to have both Grandmas living relatively close. We kept a list of grocery items or things that needed to be done around the house, like laundry (the never ending pile) or unloading and reloading the dishwasher. We weren’t particular about how things were done, just very grateful for any help folding laundry or putting away dishes.
Accept all offers of food: We were very fortunate to have a couple of groups of friends bring over food. We usually ate half, then froze the rest for the next week or so. My mom cooked for us often during the first few months, making up large batches to freeze for later.
Favorite things about having multiples:
They fight, they cry, they tease each other almost incessantly, but they also love, hug, and help each other out. When the boys are playing with friends, they want to be on the same team together. They are so lucky to have built in playmates. I used to joke that the “instant playgroup” has arrived when going over to friends’ houses. Having all boys can zap my energy, but they are so fun and make me laugh constantly throughout the day.
2011 FHM Community Manager
Mommy to Carson (3/04), Gavin & Bennett (7/06)