A Few Charms (Banner)

A Few Charms (Banner)

Monday, 7 July 2014

Two babies, two parents, many "unforgettable moments"

Since every charm on my bracelet has meaning, I had to come up with some meaning for the red bubbles charm on my "Always and Foerever" bracelet (I wanted the red because, as mentioned before, we had red roses at our wedding). One thing that has always made me smile - my "unforgettable moment" as Pandora calls it - is remembering that moment we found out I was pregnant.

We had been married for over seven years when we started trying to conceive, and we were lucky - it took only one month for the results to come back positive. My husband's reaction to the news was to pump his fist and say, "My boys can swim!"

Given my (gynaecologically speaking) "advanced maternal age" of 36, we had to decide if we were going to get an amniocenthesis. We opted NOT to and instead did an early ultrasound at 11 weeks. During the ultrasound the lab technician said, "Here's the first baby... and here's the second baby." And we said, "WHAT?!!" She looked at us and said, "Oh, you didn't know you were having twins?" "NOOOOO we didn't know we were having TWINS!" (that was us responding, in shock and disbelief).

I will digress for a moment to tell you that Mike's recollection of this event differs somewhat from mine. In his version of the story, the lab tech said, "Here is the first head... and here is the second head." So while I was in shock that we were having twins, he was actually quite relieved to know that each of the two heads that she pointed out were matched up with an actual body!

But regardless of the true course of events (and we will never know who is right - not that we care of course!) it took a while before the lab tech could continue the ultrasound because my belly was shaking - I could not stop laughing!! Hysterical laughter I guess! On the way home in the car, we kept saying, "Oh my God, we're having TWINS!" and Mike pumped his fist again and said, "My boys can REALLY swim!"... hence the "bubbles" murano. And about seven month later we delivered twins - one boy and one girl.

Mitchell and Taylor just a few days old.
A few years earlier, one of Mike's best friends had a baby, and his wife did everything. Mike felt the dad didn't get a chance to learn and feel confident in caring for their baby. So Mike made me promise that I was going to let him do his share. Of course when I made that promise I didn't know we were having twins. I might have been more controlling if there had just been one baby; but as it was, I was forced to share the load. I had a C-section so I couldn't do much the first few days and Mike became an expert diaper-changer and bather. He also helped get the babies into the double-football hold so I could breastfeed, checked the latch, arranged the pillows, and brought me fluids. He even got up in the night and brought the babies to me. He was, in a word, indispensable.

Mitchell and Taylor at the cottage.
In Canada mothers get a year of maternity leave (we are still working on getting more time for parents of multiples) but I only took the first 15 weeks of maternity leave, and Mike took eight months of parental leave, with 90% of his salary. When the babies were three months old I went back to teaching on weekends and he was Daddy-on-Duty - by himself, with twins, all weekend! Mike just brought the babies to me so I could nurse them during my lunch breaks. Mike perfected the "burrito" bundling for our boy who needed swaddling to settle. He cradled our daughter while bouncing on the stability ball (giving her a lovely flat spot). It was a very special time together.

Mike baby-wearing Taylor at Calabogie
I always envisioned myself as a new mom walking around the neighbourhood with my infant carried in front. But instead there were TWO infants and we were EACH wearing one. We went to a weekly story and music program at the library. We did swimming lessons. We learned baby massage (that's Mike massaging Mitchell in the collage). We flew to Florida when the kids were three months old to visit my in-laws (that's them in Florida, dressed in blue - the babies, not the in-laws). We spent time in Montreal with my brother and his wife, and their son Theo, who is only 8 months old than our twins (that's him laughing on Mike's lap). We spent six weeks with our families in Nova Scotia and at the cottage. But we spent the majority of our time at home - in pyjamas! It is all somewhat of a blur but I do know that we read, sang, danced, bounced, fed, bathed - and most importantly napped. The kids napped too! And Mike calculated that he changed over 2000 diapers in those 8 months.

Does every woman fall in love with her husband all over again when she sees him being a father? When she sees how he looks at their child? (or children) To remind me of all those "unforgettable moments" I have the "Ring of Roses" charm - but I call it "Ring Around the Rosie."

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