My journey as a mother of twins began with a dream, an ultrasound machine and an exuberant ultrasound technician.
Not long after we got married, David and I decided to start our family. I had little-to-no anxiety about the process. My seventh-grade sex education classes made the process of conception sound almost too easy. How hard could it be? I wondered. Nix the birth control, have a few "fun" evenings, pee on a stick, go celebrate. That's how it works, right?
I took my first pregnancy test on day 35 of my cycle. Result: not pregnant. On day 38, the proverbial lightbulb turned on above my head. I know, perhaps I didn't wait long enough before taking the test! Or, maybe I did it wrong. With that, I was off to take test number two. And on it went until it had been eight months and David had set up a line item in the the monthly budget for ept. I didn't understand. It seemed as though friends and coworkers were getting pregnant left and right, even though they "weren't really even trying; who knew it could be so easy?" I felt like Charlotte from Sex and the City when she found out that Miranda had gotten pregnancy "by accident" while she and her husband were going through what felt like orchestrated robotics every night with the hope of ultimately being deemed "with child."
Question: what do you get when you combine a Type-A personality with the obsessive intent to conceive a baby---and add to that the month-to-month reality of a barren uterus? I'll tell you: a closer relationship with a basal thermometer than with your husband and a linen closet full of pregnancy tests.
Enough was enough. My obstetrician prescribed Clomid, and approximately ten months later, our daughter Grace was born.
When we decided to try for a sibling for Grace, my obstetrician recommended that, given my history, we give Clomid a try again. Just as before, I knew there was a chance I could conceive multiples. But this time, after seeing two lines on the fourth pregnancy test (all four taken in one afternoon to be sure the first, second and/or third tests weren't defective), I simply had a feeling that I was carrying two babies. Of course, I talked myself into and out of the concept all day long but, in the end, I really did believe that there were two tiny fetuses swimming around inside of me. I began having dreams both day and night about what it would be like to raise twins.
David thought I was crazy. That is, until he mulled the idea over, got mildly excited and then started having his own fantasies about the joy of double-duty diaper changes and golf lessons. I must say, we were both a bit disappointed at my seven-week ultrasound when the technician told us that there was only one baby. We were delighted that the baby appeared healthy; we just felt like someone was missing.
And then it happened.
The technician grabbed my arm, in my the same way I suppose a lobster grabs its prey. "Oh!" she exclaimed. "Are you ready for this?"
I knew exactly what I should be ready for because I saw it at the same time she did. So did David. Another little heart beating right next to the first.
"There are two! I guess I just needed to scan from a different angle," she said. I do not understand the ultrasound machine. No matter how slowly the technician explains it, I have never been able to figure out how to look at a cross-section of my uterus. But whether we were looking down into it or across it or through it didn't matter; there were definitely two hearts beating within it.
When the ultrasound was finished, I leapt off the table, floated into the exam room and tried to ignore my obstetrician who, because he had 2-year-old twin granddaughters at the time, immediately began regaling us with the challenges involved with raising twins from infancy through the toddler years.
Feeling a bit anxious, I ordered David to drive me to the bookstore. We had less than nine months to learn all there was to know about growing, birthing and raising twins. And a little help regarding how to do it all with an adorable 15-month-old toddler in tow wouldn't hurt either.
I found a couple of great books on what to expect throughout the pregnancy. But, unfortunately, the book I wanted to guide me through the first year didn't seem to exist. I needed proven strategies. I needed funny. I needed positive and uplifting. I needed a girlfriend who'd been there, done that. I needed Vicki Iovine.
But Vicki, Girlfriend's Guide extraordinaire, does not have twins.
I decided right then and there that over the next couple of years, I would write the book that was missing from the bookshelves---a humorous, tell-it-like-it-is, solutions-packed guide to the first year with twins.
Six months later, David and I enrolled in a Marvelous Multiples class at our local hospital. The expectant moms in the class got along famously, as did the dads. It was as though we were meant to go through this experience together. Over time, as we each arrived at the hospital individually or within hours of one another for classes or tests or drugs to suppress pre-term labor, we became known by the medical staff as the "multiples" sorority. It was just what my little project needed: a diverse group of women to provide their opinions, strategies and sanity-saving tips.
After nearly 14 years, the book continues to be a bestseller, but it was most definitely time for an update---of resources, products, mindsets and, of course, chocolate and coffee recommendations.
And so, with the help of hundreds of today's gracious, supportive and exhausted moms of newborn twins, it is with great excitement that I release the revised, updated and newly titled Holy Sh*t...I'm Having Twins! The Definitive Guide to Remaining Calm When You're Twice as Freaked Out.
"Smart, funny and refreshingly real advice that will change your life."
Designer & Mom of 5 (including two sets of twins)