Growing up, I never had this thought. Don't get me wrong: having twins is great (crazy...but great!) but I never wanted twins, basically because I never thought I could have twins.
"Twins don't run in our family." I remember my mom saying.
And that was it. The end. There had never been...so there never would be twins in our family. Right? (see "Scientific Note" at the end if you are curious about the types of twins that run in families).
The day I found out I was having twins was the biggest surprise of my life. Want to hear the story? It's a good one. :)
Aaron and I were newlyweds and had just had the "when do we want to have kids" talk. We happily decided that waiting 3 years would be just right.
And God shook his head and laughed.
BOOM! I was pregnant the next month.
We were not happy. There were tears, terse conversations, hurt feelings, overwhelming worry.
We were only 22 and had been married eight months. I was still in college.
Aaron had an especially hard time adjusting to this life-altering news. The "plan" was that I would finish school and then he would be able to finish his degree. Now, that wouldn't happen.
But, like it or not, we were going to have a baby. My first ultrasound was scheduled at 11 weeks.
"I don't want to go." Aaron told me. "The baby will just look like a peanut right now. I'll go to the next one."
I was pretty miffed that he didn't want to go but I wanted to avoid another fight. So, I sighed and went to the appointment by myself.
For anyone who hasn't had a baby, first ultrasounds are awkward. I expected it to be like all the pretty ultrasounds on “A Baby Story:” a subtle hand-held monitor gliding gently over the mother’s belly. I certainly didn’t expect a curling iron shaped condom-covered stick invading my private sanctuary.
But the real shocker came when I looked at the screen.
The doctor was so calm. “I thought your uterus felt kind of big. You're having twins."
And then my brain exploded.
|April 20 2007: The biggest surprise of my life.|
But I went into shock. I broke out in hot flashes and hives laying there on that cold table, covered only in a paper gown.
“I’m having twins?!” I choked.
"Yep. You're having twins." Serene doctor said serenely.
(How could she be so serene?!?!?!? How was everyone not FREAKING OUT? I felt like someone should be shaking me by the shoulders and screaming, "HOLY CRAP, GIRLFRIEND!! YOU ARE ABOUT TO BE A MOM OF TWOOOOO BABIES!!!! BECAUSE YOU'RE HAVING TWINS!!!)
And I was. There they were: two little gummy bears floating and waving and punching at each other through the hair-line membrane that separated them. Twins.
After the ultrasound, I slowly got dressed, my heart racing and my hands shaking.
"Well, you just got the surprise of your life, didn't you?" A nurse said when I came out of the dressing room.
I nodded vaguely. I was in a haze.
Then I started smiling. I was having twins.
Then the smile turned a little twisted. Because Aaron wasn't with me.
Heh heh heh. Payback, baby.
I called him, inwardly cackling.
Aaron: Hey! How'd it go?
Me: Great! Guess what?
Me: We're having TWINS!
Aaron: oh, haha! Good one. No we're not.
Me: Yes. We are.
Aaron: (laughing) You're kidding me!
Me: I'm not kidding you.
Aaron: (pause. not laughing now) You're freakin' kidding me....!
Me: Nope. We're having twins, babe. I've got pictures.
Aaron: (laughing hysterically) [I heard a co-worker in the background asking him what he is laughing about] We're havin' TWINS!
I spent the rest of the day in a happy twin-haze. I smiled so much my face hurt. My ears also hurt from the number of people who screamed in the phone after I told them the good news.
It was one of the happiest, most surprising days of my life.
|This picture never ceases to amaze me.|
So yes, even if twins don't run in your family, they could still HAPPEN TO YOU.
Scientific Note (for those who are curious): Fraternal twins run in families, which occurs when the mother releases two eggs.
Identical twins --where the fertilized egg splits--are spontaneous and can happen to ANYONE, although it is rare (4/1000 births are spontaneous identical twins).
And wouldn't you know? We were lucky enough to get identical twins.