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I am a twin. Did you know that? I have a fraternal twin sister. She has blue eyes. I have brown. She's athletic. I can't walk and drink from a cup at the same time. She's spatial. I get frustrated by Tangrams. We are night and day different.
Growing up I always heard how twins ran in the family but it always skipped a generation. I remember thinking it would be neat for one of my children to have twins.
While engaged my doctor told me it would be very hard for me to get pregnant. I was crushed. I'd always wanted kids. Imagine my surprise when I found out I was pregnant almost immediately after trying to start a family. In 2004 our oldest son Colin was born. In 2006 we added our daughter Leah. We tried for several months to get pregnant again and had really accepted that it may never happen.
Then in 2009 we found out I was pregnant again. I was shocked to say the least. I had accepted I would only have 2 children and was ready to move on. I waited the acceptable time and went to the doctor where they wanted to confirm the heartbeat. My mom went with me along with Nick. Nick was leaving after the appointment to go to a textbook adoption meeting so my mom was driving me back home.
The doctor came in to find the heartbeat and couldn't. I feared I had lost the baby. The doctor wanted to do an ultrasound to see what was going on. We moved down the hall and waited a few minutes for the doctor to begin. A few moments later the doctor found the heartbeat and I finally started to relax. The doctor kept checking things out and then said "Well that's funny, the baby just flipped. Oh, wait a minute.......the baby didn't flip. You are having twins!
I went from fearing I had lost my baby to finding out I was having 2!
My husband turned to me. Patted me on the head. Said "Good job" and left the room. To say he was in shock was an understatement.
I remember telling the doctor I couldn't be having twins that I was a twin. She just laughed and said that doesn't matter. She was pretty sure I was having identical twins because of only 1 placenta.
At 34 weeks my baby boys arrived.
Owyn weighed 5 lbs 5.9 oz. Gavin weighted 4 lbs. 13 oz. They were rushed off to the NICU where they would spend the next 3 weeks.
They were indeed identical. We left their hospital bracelets on for WEEKS! We were so worried we would mix them up. Luckily for us Owyn has always weighed about 2 lbs more. This has made it easy to tell the boys apart.
Can you guess who is Owyn?
Once I was comfortable enough to leave the house with 4 kids ages 5 and under the fun times began. The questions from complete strangers were ridiculous.
When asked if they were identical I would say "Yes". This was often followed up by "So 1 boy and 1 girl." I simply shook my head and explained that no, it meant they were the same.
But really they aren't the same. They are 2 unique individuals. They may have the same DNA but they are not the same.
They are both cute.
They are mischievous.
They are curious about the world around them.
They love Mario.
But they have different personalities. This picture captures that perfectly.
We never refer to O&G as "The Twins". For their last birthday Owyn wanted cupcakes but Gavin wanted brownies so we had both. They get different gifts.
We want them to have their special twin bond but we want them to be unique too.
Because my sister and I were always "The Twins". We were never invited to friends without the other one being asked along. We shared cakes. We shared gifts. We were Tracy and Stacy. Our teachers always compared us. I loved school. My sister didn't.
This caused a major rift with us later on during Middle School and High School. We were always compared to each other and that really bothered us.
When I found out I was having twins. I didn't want them to grow up being compared.
I know that's not realistic. But I want to help them be their own person. If they grow up and want to play separate sports we will let them. If they want to pursue separate paths we will encourage them. Identical twins are the same...but they aren't the same.
It's hard to separate them into 2 unique people for most people. Twins are becoming more common but still a novelty and people are curious about them. I understand that.
But I know how it feels to always be compared. My sister was an amazing basketball player growing up. I just wanted to be left alone to read. My dream was to become a member of The Babysitter's Club. She wanted to be a builder. We were so different but our teachers and parents wanted us to be the same.
It was frustrating.
So now that I'm raising twins, I want to celebrate that they are identical. I want them to have a special bond. I also want them to grow up and know they are unique and that it's okay to have different friends, play different sports, have different likes and dislikes.
Owyn is an enjoy the moment kind of guy. Gavin has become a bit OCD.
In Gavin's world everything must match and line up. Owyn is not like that at all. But some see them as identical and think they must have the same ability. That's not true.
It's okay to be your own person and not be molded into someone that isn't you.
Being a twin and raising twins has been a neat experience.
I wouldn't have it any other way. I love all 4 of my children. Twins simply add a whole level of crazy.
If you find yourself with twins in your classroom this year or even a twin, try not to compare them. Especially if they are fraternal.
Growing up a fraternal twin I've come to believe that fraternal means siblings born at the same time. Would you treat sisters that were 3 years apart the same? Probably not.