In case you missed the news, the Twindaoes turned five yesterday.
It’s a momentous occasion in this house, not only because we had two very excited five year olds to celebrate with, but because according to the odds we shouldn’t have either of them.
The girls were born almost 11 weeks early due to twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). When things first started to go wrong when I was 25 weeks pregnant we were told that if labour couldn’t be stopped and if the TTTS couldn’t be slowed, the odds of having two live babies were very small. When things got bad again at 27 weeks the odds of two healthy babies were still slim… and when the final call came that they were better out than in at 29 weeks and 2 days, the odds of both of them surviving were not good. We were told to expect the worst. At best we’d have two very premature babies with lots of complications, most likely only one of them would survive and there was a good chance neither of them would make it.
We were lucky. We were very lucky. We had an awesome team of people looking after us, an amazing doctor who knew just when to deliver the girls to give them the best chance at life and an amazing paediatrician who looked after them when they were born… but really, we were just lucky. Since the girls’ birth, I’ve met, corresponded and spoken with lots of people who have been through the nightmare of TTTS and I know the harsh reality of how many babies don’t make it…. I know just how incredibly lucky we are.
When I first got pregnant the thought had never entered my head that I might have more than one baby in there…. That was something that happened to other people, so was having prem babies. It was at my first visit to our OB at about 10 weeks that he did a ‘quick scan’ and announced “definitely two, maybe three babies”. That was the first time I did a double take and thought “No really… seriously… that doesn’t happen to me”. But it did. In the five and a bit years since then I have had that thought almost every day.
“No… seriously…. those kids are mine???”
Those two crazy girls, that are so alike in every way, yet so incredibly different. Who love each other with a passion and bond that I can’t even begin to understand. Izzy, with her serious face that breaks into a crazy, lopsided smile. Zoe who starts off being shy but later will break out her wicked gappy grin. These two girls who exclaim with total sincerity after each ballet lesson “That is the best thing I’ve ever done in my whole life”. These two girls who love mermaids and princesses, hanging in the shed with their Daddy and jumping on the trampoline. Those two tiny babies who took only one breath on their own when they were born enough to let out a cry to prove to us just how stubborn they are. Those two girls are mine.
I look at them sleeping each night and get that familiar pang – a combination of fear, amazement and love. No way Universe… no way…. how did I get to be the mother of twins? How did I get to be so lucky?