The Next Family

By: Heather Somaini

Twins!  Whoa!  It’s starting to settle in.  I always joked about twins and Tere would roll her eyes at me.  But I knew deep down she thought the idea of twins was pretty amazing.  And now we were on the path to twin-dom!

We had two visits soon after with friends who had twins which almost seems odd looking back at it.  I’m sure the universe was trying to tell us something but I’m confident we weren’t listening.  Why does that always happen?  We are presented with situation after situation showing us clearly what could happen but we assume that we will be different.  We won’t have the same pitfalls as the rest.  We’ll see them coming and dodge them.  Yeah, right?  I think I’m destined to experience everything myself so that on my deathbed I can say I left no stone unturned!

Our first visit was with our friends Daryl and Ondrea whose boy/girl twins were about 5 years old at the time.  We met them for brunch at their club and to our non-parent eyes, it was complete chaos.  The kids knew the lay of the land of the club and were everywhere.  I never knew exactly where they were – at the table, at the buffet, outside – but their parents were calm and seemed to always know when they needed to step in.

Our second visit was a 21st birthday brunch for Philip and Helen’s twins, Danny and Bennet.  Helen told this amazing story about their birth.  They were born 8 weeks early.  Bennet was in pretty good shape when she was born and went to the normal nursery.  Danny was not doing as well and was in the NICU and they were watching him very closely.  Within 24-hours, suddenly and without warning, Bennet took a turn for the worse.  She lost a quarter of her body weight and refused to eat.  They did everything they could think of but nothing changed.  One nurse decided to take an unconventional approach and put Danny and Bennet together with their hands attached.  She figured they had always been together; maybe being apart was the problem.

Over the next couple of weeks, the twins’ health improved and they gained weight.  Danny actually started to improve faster than Bennet.  Philip and Helen were concerned that Bennet would relapse if they took Danny home.  But the doctors started to realize that Bennet wasn’t going to let herself get better until Danny went home totally healthy and she knew he was safe.  They sent Danny home soon after and Bennet improved almost immediately.

I’ll always remember listening to Helen tell that story.  Even today it makes me cry a little thinking about it.  Of course little Danny who interned for us all through college, is now Daniel and working his way up the corporate ladder at our little film company.  His sister Bennet is living in San Francisco with her two sisters and is climbing her own ladder in the online world.  Both are thriving, to say the least!

Four days later, we were back at the doctor’s for another ultrasound.  I was determined to think positively –that there would be no problems, everything was going to be perfect.  But nothing I did, nothing I told myself, no matter what Tere said to me would calm my nerves.  My heart was in my throat – AGAIN!  When would this stop?  At some point I would get used to it, right?  This life and death stuff was starting to get on my nerves.  I am a pragmatic, analytical, rational woman who takes everything in stride.  Nothing fazes me.  How is it possible that this little machine was holding me hostage?  How is it possible that I’m on pins and needles until the little red and blue segments beat?  Why am I such a wreck waiting for them to tell me that everything is ok?

Of course everything was ok and the little red and blue segments did do what they were supposed to do.  The babies looked perfect actually.  Perfect, perfect, perfect.  They were perfect.

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