I have friends, a husband and wife, whose twins (naturally conceived) were two when I got pregnant with our twins. We decided to do our big reveal at a party where a number of our friends, including this couple, had gathered. These were friends who we had struggled to be around during our voyage through infertility. They were all very fertile and were working on their second child. This was, to be honest, kind of a triumph that I was looking forward to. We had it all rehearsed.
“We’re pregnant! And not just with one, but two babies!” we exclaimed. This was one of the few times I left the house during that pregnancy. I wanted to see those fertile faces go into shock, then see them pass around cigars, burst into song (“This Woman’s Work” would have done nicely) and a round of hugs and backslapping would have been swell.
Instead, we caused jaws to drop. Literally. And when I looked over at my friends, the twins parents, they were silent for a good few minutes. The mom turned several shades paler than her normal olive skin tone. And she said: “There will be times, like when they get sick, when you will want to cry to the gods, WHY?”
It was rather like in Sleeping Beauty (or Sleeping Bob, in our gender non-specific book where a princess wakes up Bob) when Mallificent makes her ominous proclamation.
And indeed, when the twins are both sick and when I am also sick, like this week, it is a grueling experience. But there’s a secret benefit too: lying in our big bed, the three of us, watching “Pinnochio”, getting up at various times to puke or, you know, WHATEVER, eating crackers and applesauce, apple juice and all sorts of non-routine food. It felt like we were kind of a team. True I was doing most of the heavy lifting and all of my no TV, read books, play outside, make up stories work went out the window. But the three of us snuggling, smelling of barf and leaking mucous, together. It was gross, but somehow I got the sense that I would remember this feeling fondly.
And for that, instead, I thank the gods.