The gel was cool on my belly. I looked at my husband apprehensively and he squeezed my hand. Our last pregnancy had ended in miscarriage. I was terrified something would be wrong with this one.
The ultrasound technician moved the wand, smearing the gel across my stomach. She looked over at us.
“Do twins run in your family?”
“They do now.”
My husband laughed. I cried.
Twins? Seriously, no. Just no. There was no way in a gazillion years that I was capable of looking after two babies. At the same time. So no.
But God gave me twins.
Throughout my pregnancy I worried we were ruining our daughter’s life. That she would feel left out, a third wheel to her twin siblings. I was afraid my husband and I would never be able to do this on our own. I believed we would never know sleep again.
It didn’t help that I was bombarded throughout my pregnancy with well-meaning twin parents regaling me with every last one of their horror stories of life with twins. Or that the one “Twins and Triplets” meeting I attended was full of bleary-eyed parents guzzling coffee and scarfing down donuts like they hadn’t eaten in days. I was so traumatized I never went back.
I blamed my husband. He was already an amazing father to our daughter. I thought, if he was just a little less amazing, God never would have given us twins.
I blamed my genetics. Because apparently twins DO run in my family. That old wives tale about twins skipping a generation? I don’t care what they say, it’s true.
I blamed myself. For not being content with having just one child and wanting more.
I blamed God. For trusting that I was actually capable of being a good mother to twins. For giving me more than I was certain I could handle. I mean, what was He thinking? Clearly, he had me mistaken for someone else.
But really? I should have been thanking God. Because God gave me twins.
And I never knew I needed them until they were born.
I didn’t know my heart would grow two sizes the moment I saw them.
I didn’t know that in the midst of all the chaos and crying and walking-into-walls exhaustion, I would finally find peace. Weird, I know. I didn’t know the freedom I would gain in having to let go of perfection and accepting that doing what I could, in the moment I was in, was enough.
I didn’t know I would worry less, not more. With my daughter, every new situation she enters on her own causes anxiety—mine. Will she be OK? Will she be accepted? Will she be scared? Lonely? For my twins? Not so much. For each new first—their first day of kindergarten, their first un-parented lesson, their first night away—my twins conquer them all, together. They are a team. A dynamic duo. They have each other’s backs, even on the days when they don’t particularly like each other.
God gave me twins.
To help us recognize we are capable of doing things on our own but sometimes, it’s better to do things together. My husband and I became true partners in parenting and in our marriage.
Twins to remind me that as much as we may look the same, we are all created differently. Introvert and extrovert. Serious and comedian. Strong-willed and people pleaser. Risk taker and cautious. Lover and fighter. Rule maker and rule breaker. Wild and calm. Two peas in a pod? Yes. But decidedly different. They are unique in their characteristics, their personalities, their reactions, their feelings, the way they experience the world, and not one way is better than another.
Twins to teach me to see people for who they are and not the labels they are given.
God gave me twins. Twins to give me double the snuggles, double the cuddles, double the kisses, and double the love.
And twins to show me what we fear most can turn out to be our greatest blessing.
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The Painful, Joyful Reality of Watching Your Twins Grow Up
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