"Congratulations! You're having twins," the nurse told us. Panic immediately set in. I was 21 weeks pregnant with an 8 month old baby girl sitting quietly in her car seat beside me as I lay there looking at the sonogram screen. All I saw was 2 perfectly round heads next to each other. TWINS!! Are you sure? Oh my gosh!
My husband just squeezed my hand and I will never forget the grin on his face followed by the nervous laugh coming from his mouth. Hot tears rolled down my cheeks. Tears of pure bliss, nervousness, excitement, panic, and sheer joy. I was so shocked!
We left the office with about 12 feet of pictures, each labeled Baby A and Baby B. Our family was officially being "supersized!" We had decided when we found out we were having another baby, to let the sex of the baby be a surprise because we did know ahead of time with my other three children...yep three other children. Now here was the news that we were adding two more into the mix and we thought it would be fun to let the gender of this baby be a surprise. Well, surprised is not the word that describes the feeling of finding out you are carrying multiple babies....yes, we still decided to let the babies' genders be a surprise. My grandmother was a twin with a twin brother. My husband's uncle has identical twin girls. So, we had no idea what these babies would be but my husband thought 'for sure' it was going to be identical girls.
My OB was so excited. He had not an inkling that there were two babies. Although I was "big" for five months, I had just recently delivered our daughter and I have a history of carrying large babies. My Timothy (age 17) was 8 lbs 11 oz, my daughter Tonie (age 16) was 9lb 9 oz, our daughter Allison was just 2 ounces shy of 10lbs...and the office had suspicions that the twins would follow in suit. The pregnancy was great as I was lucky enough to already be a stay at home mom who was very active with sports and school. A C-section was scheduled at the 37 week mark. Allison had just celebrated her first birthday and here we were, bringing two more babies into the family. AHH!
The C-section went well and the look of surprise on my husband's face when they said, "It's a boy!" was priceless. We named our son Robert. Two minutes later came his twin sister. We name her Kamiryn. Robbie had to spend a few days in NICU because he swallowed some fluid but Kamie was doing very well. I insisted they let Kamie share Robbie's little bed in the NICU because I just knew he was wondering why his other half had disappeared. Robbie perked right up when we placed Kamie in there with him and they instantly put their heads together. I was absolutely in love. They were some record setting babies as far as weight goes for twins...Biggest ones the staff had seen! Robert weighed 7lbs 9 oz and Kamiryn weighed 7lbs 11 oz. Quite large for delivery a few weeks early!
We adjusted very quickly to two new babies. There really wasn't any time to be nervous or second guess our actions like new parents sometimes do. We had a routine and we stuck to it! It felt as if all we did was make formula and change diapers. With our one year old, of course, still in diapers we went through approximately thirty-five diapers a day. FUN! The joy we felt when everyone was potty trained was one of the happiest days ever! I owned a few strollers for the outings we would constantly go on. I was asked all the time, "How do you take all these little ones out by yourself and not go crazy?" Well, the thought of boarding myself in doors with all these little ones would have made me crazy, honestly. I kept a very positive mind set. Yes, it was a lot of work and a lot to pack up.
The one thing being a mother has taught me is that it is not for the weak! You cannot throw in the towel in when it gets tough. I cannot tell you how many times I left an almost full cart of groceries behind even though checkout was close in sight because one of the twins was having a meltdown. Or, a simple trip to the mall would become a nightmare because I had a child that just threw up all over the place or, better yet, explosive diaper accidents... or missing pacifiers which equaled one or two very, very upset babies. Yep, that was me. I was either pushing my triple stroller, which was a sight in itself, or the double side by side, which barely fit through doors. And during this, was wearing another child in the Snugglie and often pulling a grocery cart behind me. We were quite the scene when we were out and about!
Despite what each day brought us, I always smiled...I still do. I am thankful for this awesome adventure with which I have been blessed. I found a way to turn all the normal dealings with our children and find some humor in it. AND...because of the lack of sleep all those years, especially with the twins, I knew that if I could not find humor in what was going on, I would have been a crying mess. LOL! It does get easier as the years go by, but then you are just faced with a whole new set of worries and "what ifs." Each milestone we reach with all the kids has been extremely fun. It has been really exciting watching the twins grow and remain so close. They are truly best friends and each other's biggest fans. Every night we tuck them in their beds, in their separate rooms, and kiss them good night...yet, every morning I find them in one another's rooms, face to face and breathing in each other's air, which is hilarious when you think about morning breath! If it were up to the two of them they would share a bed room. They want so badly to be in the same class at school but we decided that they need independent time and have their own friends. Plus, Kamie would boss Robbie around all day, I am sure of it. They comfort each other if something is wrong or if one does not feel well. My other children are also very sympathetic to each other if something is wrong but with the twins it is different. They share a bond that is unlike anything I have ever known. I envy what they must have with each other. Their late night giggles and joke telling when they should be sleeping is priceless. They whisper so you can hardly hear what they are saying and then you hear the best sound ever... deep down, hilarious giggling. They help each other with homework, work on projects together, and they get so excited to see each other in the lunch room or at recess. Robbie will play Barbies with Kamie and Kamie climbs trees with Robbie. She loves the drums and sings while he plays the guitar. They swear they will have a band when they are older.
Don't get me wrong, having twins and close together siblings does not always go smoothly. There are days when they fight but these days are rare. They love each other so much. I look forward to seeing what the future brings. As if there is not enough excitement with two teenagers in this house now, the three youngest will all be teenagers together! Should be a fun ride.
I embrace all the hilarious, headache causing, tear jerking moments of being a mother. I find humor in most of the things that raising a bunch of children brings. I write down funny little things in books for them that they have said to one another or done in the day...all the little things that make our lives interesting. I could not imagine anything different. My favorite thing to tell my twins is how lucky I am to have gotten two when we were excited about expecting one! The look at me like, "What do you mean mom?" So, I say, "You know how excited you are when I give you a quarter to get a piece of gum out of the machine at the store? Well, how excited are you when, by luck, the gum ball machines gives you two pieces instead of just one?" Great big smiles! I told them they were my BOGO's ....Buy One Get One Free! My lucky little gum balls. It's a big joke at our house and I simply love it.
Tammy N. Pittman
Pittman Florist, Inc
4290 Germanna Highway
Locust Grove, Virginia 22508