22 de des. 2011

Merry Twin-Christmas!

My little girls took part in the Christmas carol from Radio Sabadell, the radio station where I work. The song is in Catalan, my mother tongue, but I hope you like it.

Merry Christmas!

24 de nov. 2011

Scarlett O'Hara's theory

I have a theory. Nothing empirical, obviously, because I only thought that happened with my girls, but now I am discovering it’s not only us. Or perhaps it is evidence for pediatricians and nobody told me.

If you have twins, if you know someone who has, whether in school there are two pairs ... spread the survey and tell me, please.

The twin who was born smaller or with less weight… has he/she become later on higher or taller?

Ona weighed 2,500 kg at birth. Her sister, Estel, 3400. At the age of three months they were nearly equalled. Now, close to their third anniversary, Ona is much taller and weighs two kilos more.

I am pretty sure that after birth, Ona raised her hand and crying, she shouted: “As God is my witness, I will never be hungry again!”. Yes, a tiny Scarlett O’Hara on Gone with the wind.

15 de nov. 2011

Alright, then, very well. They’ve already been born. And now what? (2)

My post-operative period was awful (well, I suppose that they all are, but I had no previous experiences). I could only see that time went by and that I only wanted to be taken upstairs. I did not think of the girls. I wanted to be with Jordi, my husband. I was told that when I could move and lift my legs the epidural would have worn off and could go up to my room. I became obsessed with trying to move and lift my feet. However, this was fruitless. And then, this was when the prick actually came round. What they shot me had to be strong, but when they asked me “in a 1 to 10 scale, your pain would be...” I looked like a fool. I don’t know. I wouldn’t know what to tell you. “What does a scale from 1 to 10 mean? It hurts like hell. I wanna get out of here.”

I even had a surrealist moment. One of the women who assisted me in my last gyn/ob appointment came to see me. She was the one who had calculated and told me that Estel was 3 Kg. 400 gr. and Ona, who was smaller, weighed 2 and a half Kg. That day, Jordi and I did not take her seriously enough. “It’s impossible that they know exactly how much they weigh, with the mess of legs and arms inside". She saw me and happily bursts: “ So, I got the weight wrong only by 60 grams, huh?”. “Bloody hell!”, I think. What a memory she has!

But things get complicated in the birthing rooms. The pain and the shot that they’ve given me give me I a hard time trying to keep up with what’s happening around me- I am concerned enough with my body. I sense that the situation in the operation theatre has become difficult, because they have brought a woman who has them running about. I don’t really know what happened, why she is there, what happened to her baby. I only know that things have gone wrong and that the medical staff are tense and nervous. The woman shouts. She makes me even more nervous, but even so, I still wonder if when I watched TV series on hospitals and thought that they were overdoing it the series were actually such an exaggeration... or not.
I don’t know how long it has been, but I feel that I can lift my feet. Such a simple thing feels like a total success. I’m taken up to my room. Where are the girls? I want to see my girls. Jordi has already called our family and they are thrilled to bits. My youngest niece has been the first one to arrive and it's been a while since she met them. My mother and my sister are helping Jordi out. At this point, my girls' pix must be on every existing social network.

When I get to the room and I see them, and Jordi hugs me, I can't help it any longer. I brust into tears. Tears of happiness. And emotion. And fear. At last I have them both with me.

6 de nov. 2011

Twin - humour

-         - In two years I gave up doing everything I did like to. Reading, listening to music, going to the cinema, going out, going to the hairdresser, doing sport...

-     - Oh dear. Did you have a deep personality crises?

-     - Noooo, I had twins!

Míriam, from the blog Criando multiples has published this today. There are times I really recognize myself as this woman, so I have had the need to share it with you. A little bit of twin-humour for a rainy Sunday ;)

2 de nov. 2011

They’ve just been born. And now what? (1)

I enter the operation theatre and a dozen people are waiting for me. I am frightened. It’s just natural in this situation, isn’t it? I know that it’s a twin birth and there’s a double birthing team, but I find it a bit too much. The anesthetist – who is kidding around – tells me that my blood pressure has suddenly gone up and asks me if I’m nervous. I wonder that this is the first time I have been to a spaceship. And I’ve heard so many things about epidural anesthesia that I freak out just thinking of it. But in fact, I don’t even notice the shot. At this stage, I can’t think of anything else than the fact that I’ll see Ona and Estel in a little while. I’ll be able to check if they are as I have imagined them for all these months.

Imagination had not betrayed me when I found out who was who. We had always said that we’d have an Ona if it was a girl or an Oriol if it was a boy (as you can see, we had not contemplated having two children for a moment. “Only one kid to give it a try”). So we had chosen just one name: Ona. But- what about the other one? A good friend told me not to worry, because the little one herself would tell me what her name was. One day, I found out that her name was Estel. But which is which? How will I know when they are born? I felt the need to identify them while they were in my belly to be able to speak to them and to establish a good communication to understand each other (especially at night, when Ona would not stop moving and would not allow me to sleep at all!).

I’m lying in the operation theatre. Not until they start performing a c-section on me does my mind fully react and then I realise that they’re actually performing a surgical operation. I can only think: “When I come round and the anesthesia wears off I will have a hell of a time”. Because of the feeling that they’re stirring up my body, I have my head in the clouds when the midwife asks me to look to my right because Estel is coming out. I see a ball covered in blood to my right. Suddenly, they put Estel’s face on my cheek. I’ve been imagining what this moment would be like for months, too. Obviously, I do nothing in the way I imagined it. I stare at her. It’s 10:53 in the morning. I don’t have time to react. Three minutes later Ona comes out. They also place her on my cheek. She’s smaller than Estel. I don’t cry. I am so frightened that I can’t be moved right now. My mind can only think about asking whether they are well.

Yes, they’re well. They let me know that they're taking the babies to meet their father. I try to imagine how Jordi will react. Are they just as he imagined them? What will he say? What will he do? Some hours later, he’ll tell me about the funny situation he was in, sitting in the middle of an operation theatre corridor holding a baby on each arm. When people passing by congratulated him, he told them that we were waiting for them to arrive and about all the things we would do together. After a while, he does not recall if it was five minutes or half an hour, he asks for help to go up to our room with the two babies. They will have to wait for me for a while.

PD. I must explain, for all English readers, that 'Ona' means 'wave' in Catalan, my mother tongue. And 'Estel' means 'star'. We found two names closely related to the sea, the wind and the sky...

25 d’oct. 2011

A matter of hours. Has it been nine months already? They're about to be born

I am 38 weeks and a half pregnant and I'm at the end of my tether. Estel weighs over 3 kg and Ona over 2,5 kgs. They're both fine, and when I was thinking that I'd have to endure this a bit longer by the end of this medical appointment, I leave the surgery with a hospital admission order. We have to be at the hospital before 8 o'clock for admission. It is not until I get there that I become aware that the time has come. However, I’m not very clear on what to expect. I went through that moment as "one thing leads to another" and now I've got some vague recollection of it.

At eleven in the evening oxytocin is not working on me...so we go up to our room. Looking back, perhaps it was at that time when I started to get nervous, because you realise that you don't quite know how things are going to unfold. I obviously thought about my midwife a lot... especially after what I had been told about her in the hospital birthing rooms... it turns out that everyone knows her! And not precisely as an example of great professionalism.

I sleep badly. In fact, right now I can't remember if I slept at all. What I do remember is when my water broke. Throughout my pregnancy I was wondering if I would notice... and I was worried about this, huh? Things that come along with being a first-time mom.  It is one of those things which you don't realise how obvious they are until you're pregnant and go through it. It is one of the strangest sensations that I've felt in my entire life. It was seven o'clock on the morning of December 15 2008, two days before my birthday (and yes, then it dawned on me that I should have programmed the twins' birth on my birthday. Now I'm lucky if people remember to wish me a happy birthday... as we've already celebrated the girls' birthday).

We leave our room and go back to the birthing rooms. The professionals at Taulí Hospital reassure me and calm me down. As matter of fact, I am very satisfied with the follow-up that they've done in the past four months. New tests. Estel is in the right position upside down, but Ona is crosswise. In the end it'll be a C-section. In no time we sign the documents and I am taken to the operation theatre. I realise that I barely take farewell from Jordi, my husband. I'm not aware of the moment. Right now, I am only aware that I have never been in an operation theatre. But I also know that when I leave it, I will never be the same again.

17 d’oct. 2011

"If I could have ONE whole day to myself, I would..."

(This post has been inspired by @BritMums personal blogging prompt. It's been real fun!)

If I could have one whole day to myself, I would… wake up at 10am. I would buy a newspaper, walk into a café and have a wonderful coffee and a chocolate muffin…

Wait, no no no no no no …

If I could have one whole day to myself, I would start it at gym, doing some exercises and swimming a little bit (just to prove that I am paying the fee) and feeling very well ‘cause I am (finally) and sportive woman.

Wait, no no no no no…

I would call a good friend and we would spent the whole morning doing a shopathon. Oh yes, that would be great!. Trying on clothes (not in a rush and not just one) without shouting: “Don’t touch this”.

Wait, no… much better.

I would call my Wellness Centre (mine? I haven’t been there for three years. Sure they have even erased my name!) and I would make an appointment. Massages, natural therapies, manicure… The most expensive pack they have. After all, you don’t have such a lovely day… every single day.

But just thinking about it… Wait!.

I know one thing I don’t want to do. No cooking today. So I would try a nice restaurant, for sure. And I would love as well some time to read peacefully. And I would be great to make the photo album early in the afternoon and not just before midnight.

Wait, no, I have another idea!

Excuse me, what does it mean that my free day is OVER? :(

13 d’oct. 2011

The truth about prenatal classes

The midwife that was assigned to us at the primary health centre was lovely.
I felt that I could trust her. What a pity that she got changed a few weeks after and her replacement... to be honest, it was as if I had no midwife at all. I would like to think that a midwife is a person who orients you, resolves your doubts and answers questions which might seem absurd but which you find crucial at that moment, when you haven't got a clue about a thing. But it wasn't exactly like that despite the fact that I was making the effort to take prenatal classes seriously. I thought that they would provide me with useful knowledge and that I would learn some exercises to reduce the swelling of my hands (I'd had enough of having them in salt and water). The very first class did seem that it was going to be useful... later to find out that every class was the same and did not provide me with anything interesting. (By the way, I went through the same experience with postnatal classes). What's more, I always found myself in a bind whenever the midwife explained anything because I had to ask again and again: "Excuse me, and when it's twins... How do you go about doing this? Or what is the best way for me to organise this?". And it was tiresome, because strangely enough, there was only a pair of twins in that class.  Mine.

So... why continue attending these classes (which were a major effort because the bump made it hard for me to go from home to the primary health clinic and I got extremely tired)? Basically because they helped create the most useful social network in the whole system. Getting to know a group of great women who were all pregnant at the same time and who gradually gave birth one after the other. I ran into some of them in postnatal classes. Now we still meet up with a group of moms and we still share the most valuable information. In fact, it was the only positive outcome form having that midwife. As I could not compare I didn't know if she was good or bad at her job, but I felt that I was not getting anything from her. It wasn't until the night of the 14th of December 2008 that I could confirm this hunch. It turns out that everybody knew her at the hospital once I told them which primary health clinic I came from. Gosh, how lucky I was, wasn't I?

26 de set. 2011

The truth about dogs and cows

I write this post because it is the first time that one of my twin daughters, makes ​​a joke. Without knowing it, without realizing it. But every time I think about it, I smile. She took my hand when she dropped the legendary sentence. And that’s why I write it down. Because for two and a half years and we have experienced many of their "first things".

We are in a small village called Santes Creus. Park the car. In front of us, a young couple crossing the street with a beautiful Dalmatian dog. Estel looks at me and says: "Look mama, a small cow."

I can not help smiling. I think it’s the best gag in the world. It's funny how five words of my little one can make draw a smile so big inside and make me happy just to remember the situation. This must be one of the many great rewards of being a mother.

21 de set. 2011

Really happy!

This blog was created with the idea of ​​being a kind of notebook to remember this great adventure of being a mother of twins. But being a blogger can be addictive!. I am very happy to tell you that iMama.tv (an English page and community) has chosen me as one of its favourite bloggers. Therefore, with the invaluable help and complicity of the Maria Rosa Garrido with the translations, THE TWIN INVASION begins a new path.  Check the link! 

The twin business (2)

When you await a baby you discover supermarket aisles that you have never noticed before. I’m sure you’ve also been through this. I haven’t got a pet, so I never stop by the pet food aisle. I remember the first time that I entered the baby aisle. I was five or six months pregnant and I started to look at the prices and available range of nappies, milk and baby food, because I felt that I should already know all these things by then. This is what a Master’s degree is badly needed on. I remember leaving the supermarket with a throbbing headache and wondering not only what on earth all those products were used for, but also why nobody had ever told me what they were used for and how to use them.

When you await a baby (and when it’s twins this grows exponentially)... it’s all Master’s Degrees. A Master’s on baby trolleys, a Master’s on cots, a Master’s on bottle warmers, a Master’s on breast pumps (a terrible device that should be banned and which we called Chucky the evil breast pump at home, and which we hardly used)... But here we could break away from the rules of the twin invasion which, as I told you, is based on the twin business. It’s a matter of putting a mother of twins in your life. Someone who already knows what you’re going through.

“My” mom of twins (whose position we might call twin-counsellor) has been the person who’s given us the most honest and practical advice during the pregnancy and ever since the girls were born. Meeting up with her was like looking into a crystal ball to see our future and know what we would experience in a few months’ time, in a year. Thanks to her advice and the many things that she passed on to us (material, clothes, small appliances... and especially helping us keep our feet on the ground and realise how we were targeted to sell us absolutely anything), the twins who want to rule the world did not obtain the expected income from us. Luckily, the idea of buying a nappy compactor, as well as many other  gadgets out in the market and on display in shop windows, never crossed our minds for a second. 
That’s why from that moment on, I have thought that it’d be a great idea if when you head for the GP practice, when you meet up with your midwife, there was a twin parent network to be able to share fears, everyday practices and everything which comes to your mind when you’re a first-time parent... and you’re expecting two babies at once. It would be a good idea if midwives took care of this. Let me refer here to the NeverEnding Story to say that mine- I mean, my assigned midwife- was a completely different story. We’ll have to come back to this on another occasion. 

11 de set. 2011

The twin business (1)


In April 2008 we found ourselves at a kind of dead end. We wanted to move, but to relocate to Strasbourg. Or perhaps we would buy a camper and travel for two years. Or we would make up our minds to have a baby.

The truth is that we were not clear about all this. Even when we were joking (I don’t know why I say this, because it was not a joke), our friends’ daughter played the innocent hand to help us put all these ideas in order. We did it twice, and on both occasions, having kids ranked last on the list. And guess what… it was the first one to become true.

Faced with all these uncertainties, we used them as an excuse to tell our family that we were awaiting twins. We told them that we had been tied down, and in what a way! They all bought into it. The next step was to ask them if they wanted to see the documents for our mortgage and then show them the scan instead. “Can you see the little spot?”. And some replied “… but there are two of them!”. Yes, yes… two little spots. It’s twins. Our family went crazy with delight (I suppose that half of them took for granted- we took for granted, including myself- that kids were not for us). We could hardly imagine that our “joke” about the mortgage would be ab-so-lut-ely right in the future.

We soon found out that the twin invasion is based on the twin business. Double baby trolleys, cots, beds, car seats, hammocks and so on. Besides this, every single one of these operations also requires its corresponding Master’s Degree.

It is fascinating to find out how many useless objects are sold to expecting parents. I would like to think that having twins has been a reality check for us in many things and has made us realize that we have to play down many others.

8 d’ag. 2011

"Love, you must be about to give birth, aren't you?". "No, I'm only five months pregnant"

In their efforts to rule the world, twins rely on invaluable help - or control-from governments, business people and scientists. But they basically have a grassroots network that carries out their job efficiently. They locate you when you're pregnant and it's in this period when they try to take their mission to the highest level. There isn't a prototypical profile, but I've noticed that they usually hide behind the appearance of 50 to 70 year-old ladies who identify you as a "twin bearer" right when they see you. And their main task is to scare the hell of you.  They start out by attacking your weak point... "Oh, love, you must be about to give birth, aren't you? With such a bump, right?". And you answer, with the best of your smiles: "No no, I'm only five months pregnant". And faced with everybody's puzzled expression when you answer this, you fall into their trap. You feel that you need to explain yourself: "I'm expecting twins". -You've messed up. The undercover agents tell you that they also had twins. And that when you're 8 or  9 months pregnant you won't even be able to move. But that the worst will come later on. And so on and so forth. 

I've got to admit that I had a good pregnancy (swollen arms and legs, low mobility after month six and some minor problems), but in spite of this I didn' feel ill. It's just that I had always been terrified of pregnancy and all these conversations didn't help much.

It turns out that a nine-month pregnancy allows for many anecdotes. Besides the undercover agents in the form of elderly ladies, they also presented themselves in the form of other pregnant women. They make comments about how they can feel their babies move. And you think: "I carry two of them and I can't feel a thing... I guess that I'll notice it when it happens, right?". Comments about having the baby room ready...and the whole family asking you who buys the little beds, the baby trolley or the hammocks. "I don't want to think about this yet". More things to worry about... you'd better take this, you should go for a walk after dinner (how on earth do you want me to go for a walk in the evening with this huge bump!), salty water baths are good for your swollen hands...

My big question is: What do twins expect from this clear attempt to scare prospective parents? What do they gain from it? Or are the undercover agents not part of the twin invasion but from another agency which tries to give us tools to protect ourselves? Are there other parents of twins who have come together to denounce the invasion?

28 de jul. 2011

When 'holiday' does not mean 'rest' any longer

24 hours and I will be on holiday. For several days I constantly hear: "You see, soon you will be on holidays, now get some rest". Who says that, has no children. Because now holidays are many new things, fun and exciting ... but there is no time to rest. With two children of two and a half years ... less.

We spent our first summer in the Pyrenees. One of the girls did not want to eat the vegetable porridge. Also we did not had too clear how to organize ourselves nor the time... it was a summer that could be described as disastrous. We were exhausted. The second summer was better. Following the timetable of the school everything worked on time. Now we are ready to start a new one. With the project of doing many more activities and have a great time with our little two ones… It will be fun, but I already know I will not have the time to rest. Every day I will have to think about the menus or I will miss nap times. Now I can not think of organizing those trips made ​​before being a mother. How I miss them! A few years ago, summer meant travel, languages, aircraft and meeting many people. I know they will come that back.

Like the first, second and next, this will be a different summer. Friday will be their last day at nursery school. A great story left behind… and new adventures to come. I am off, but will not forget the twin invasion updates.

Happy holidays, and especially ... take some rest! ;)

25 de jul. 2011

"You can sit down". "No thanks, I can see the screen well from here"

One of the most shocking moments in the whole twin process is right the moment when you are told that "you expect two". And they tell you as if it were the most natural thing in the world while you wonder whether you'll collapse or what the hell will happen to you next. In fact, I was frightened enough just to think that I was pregnant (I was terrified of pregnancy). To top it all, you always have a "fairy" friend  who jokingly asks you "Can imagine if it was twins?". "No, of course not! What on earth are you saying?".

Looking back in time, I can clearly remember myself lying down at the gynaecologist's office. That she asked my husband to come in...

-You may sit down.
-No, thanks, I can see the screen well from here- he answers-
-You'd better sit down.
-Well... is it going to take long?- he asks a bit stunned-
-Please have a seat, your wife is already lying down- she  says pretty annoyed-

Poor thing- the gynaecologist, I mean. She pictured him unconscious on the floor after pronouncing the word twins.  "Yes, you are pregnant, that is for sure... and can you see this?" (A question that I still consider absurd after the nine-month pregnancy just like I did during the whole process, because I've hardly ever seen or understood anything on a scan). "These are two bags.. it's twins. Well wait, let me check it again...". I've got to admit that I did stop breathing at this point. "Yes, there's ony two of them  ". If it had been three of them, then I might have fainted.                                                                                   
"Everything's going well so far". And that's all. Fifteen minutes after arriving to the office, we leave carrying  two scans in a bundle of nerves. I get together with the "fairy" friend and I break the news to her. And yes, I still remember her bursting into laughter. I go back to work... it is hard for me to focus. Me, who wasn't sure about having children... twins! In the middle of the afternoon I receive an SMS from my husband. How strange, I think. "How are you? I'm freaking out". I'm more freaking out than you are, I think.
I am one of those people who had never believed in those categorical phrases such as "my life totally changed the day that I started college... or got married.. or divorced". Until the 16th May 2008. The day when I learned that I was expecting twins.

And you? Tell us about your experience!

19 de jul. 2011

Do we form part of the invasion?

The first time that we came up with the conspiracy idea... we were just kidding around. "I think that they must put something in our food... otherwise we can't explain why there are so many twins. Someone obviously wanted the birth rate to increase". And we laughed. But day in day out, when we go out in the streets and we go past ten double baby trolleys, we gaze at each other with worried expressions. We are more and more convinced of the real existence of the conspiracy.

No government has dared to denounce it, they don't even speak openly about it. Few experts and researchers have even dared to consider it. We don't even have any evidence ourselves. We don't know who orchestrates it, why or for whose interests. However, the conspiracy exists. Twins want to rule the world and they are getting to every corner in the world. "Oh, how cute, so you are expecting twins? My neighbour as well". "Guys, you'll give some advice to my cousin, who also expects twins". "At school there are 4 pairs of twins... in the same class". Haven't you noticed? They arrived everywhere... and this has just started out. The twin invasion is a reality. Don't say it's not. You just have to open up your eyes when you go for a walk in any village or town.

Without knowing quite why, we have also become part of the conspiracy.  I'm a mom of twin girls. Yes, it happened to me. Through these chronicles, we would like to list all the elements that have made us think of the invasion. We would like to tell you how the twins have changed our lives. And how our lives would not be the same without them.