Aya knew she wanted to have a natural child-birth, and heard about the Bradley Method through a friend who had taken the course.  So we signed up for a class locally, and that’s where we met Laura.  She was our instructor.  She gave out free Luna bars and I always put a few extra in my pockets.  Those things are good.  If you live in Southeast Michigan and are interested in the Bradley Method, please contact Laura at 734-231-1600 or by e-mail at laurakardos@aol.com.  Laura has 3 daughters; two 6 year old twins, and a 13 month old.  It always amazes me when people have twins, not to mention for their first time pregnancy.  She’s here to share her story of having twins.

TWINS!

I have often wondered why I was especially “chosen” to have twins.  Six years ago, while I was still working in Finance, a client of mine said something to me that I will never forget.  Her twins were all grown, well into their forties.  She told me the story of when she was walking her babies in the stroller down the sidewalk, both of them fussing, and a woman came up to talk to her.  The woman said to her, “God chooses special people to have twins.”  My client looked at her and desperately replied, “I think He picked the wrong person.”

It certainly does take a special person to take care of twins, as it does with any child.  Being a parent takes a tremendous amount of mental strength and emotional stability, and having twins just adds a few more challenges.  There have been days when I feel like I am going to rip my hair out (or someone else’s) but then there are days when I think I have everything under control.  Without a doubt, as soon as I start to think that everything is falling into place, someone gets sick, and gives it to the other, or someone gets a tooth, etc.  You never truly know what is going to come next.

From the very beginning, my twins have had completely different personalities.  During my pregnancy (3 months of which I was on bed rest), Angelina was in position, doing exactly what she was supposed to do.  That’s my Angelina – always predictable, makes up her mind quickly, and sticks with it.  Giavanna, on the other hand, was breech (feet first).  I was ultimately told that I would have to have a c-section.

I was devastated, to say the least.  I cried for three days, and could hardly talk about it.  My husband is a Chiropractor, and we knew from the beginning that we wanted a natural birth.  We took The Bradley Method® classes and did everything we could to prepare for a natural birth.  Now my dream of a natural birth was crushed.  No one would deliver a breech baby in a hospital, and because we were having twins, we decided it was too risky to deliver anywhere else.

I finally came to terms with that fact that I was going to have surgery to deliver my babies (not exactly how I had imagined my birth), and we showed up at the hospital at 38 weeks for our scheduled cesarean.  They got me all ready for my c-section (and I mean all ready) and finally performed an ultrasound to check on the positions of the babies.  Well, Giavanna had turned head-down.  Hooray! We were thrilled. We don’t have to have a c-section!

They broke my water, and within 6 hours, I delivered Angelina.  She was perfect.  She came into the world completely alert, un-medicated, and nursed perfectly.  It was as if she knew exactly what to do.  My dad said he still remembers when they brought her out to the waiting room to see them, how she looked right at him.  She was a little angel.

Now, with more space to stretch out, Giavanna decided she wanted to turn.  Not only did she turn, but she was lying spine-down, which is impossible to deliver vaginally.  The doctor tried to turn her, but she didn’t budge.  The only way to deliver her would be by cesarean.  They wheeled me down the hall into the OR, and we had ourselves another baby girl.  Giavanna doesn’t enter the world (or even a room, for that matter) quietly.  She lets her voice be heard.  And she let her voice be heard for the next 8 months.

There are so many factors about having twins that change the way you would normally do something.  For example, the sleep situation.  I’ll call it a situation, because I didn’t have any control over it.  It certainly wasn’t a routine.  There was no pattern, no predictability.  As soon as one baby would wake up, she woke up the other one.  If I could get her quickly enough, I could nurse her just in time for the other one to stop screaming bloody murder.  And, trying to put them to bed for naps and bedtime was always a challenge.  You can’t get one to sleep if the other one is making noise. Any noise.

I always thought that it had everything to do with how you treated your children – the Nature vs. Nurture argument.  I thought that if I got them used to noise from the beginning, that I would be able to vacuum, and talk on the phone, and do things without “tip-toeing” around them.  And I actually thought they would sleep through it.  Ha.  One slept; the other did not.  In fact, she did not sleep if she heard even a tiny peep.  I can still remember tip-toeing out of her room so that she wouldn’t hear the floor creak.  She is still to this day, a very light sleeper, and has a hard time settling down at night.

I can say with quite certainty that many of their characteristics are inherently built-in.  I have treated them both exactly the same since the day they were born, and they are completely different.

Witnessing the differences between their personalities is just one of the many reasons why I love having twins.  They both have their own individual characteristics.  And I absolutely love them both.  Giavanna is a little firecracker.  She is always talking and asking questions.  And she doesn’t stop running from the moment she wakes up until the moment you force her to go to sleep.  Angelina is incredibly smart and sensitive.  She is a fantastic helper, loves music, and is very talented.  It is their unique personality traits that make each of them so lovable.

Having twins has been the most difficult and rewarding job I have ever encountered.  And, being a first-time parent, having two babies only added to the stress.  Many people told me that being a stay-at-home parent is the most difficult job in the world, but I had no idea how challenging it would be.  Graduating from college a semester early (and still with honors), starting a business working in Finance, getting married and maintaining a relationship, building a house… nothing even compared to the level of difficulty of being a stay-at-home mom.

Now that they have completed Kindergarten, I have seen a tremendous change in them.  They are starting to gain their own independence, and make their own friends, yet they still have one another to rely on for support.  I’ll never forget watching them hold hands as they got on the bus for their first day of school.  (Of course, I followed the bus all the way to the school.)

And now, I have my little Francesca keeping me busy.  My little angel.  She is the best baby in the whole world.  I really mean that.  People tell me it is just because I am used to having twins, and that may very well be true, but she is an absolute doll and I adore her.  I have actually been able to enjoy having a baby this time, and I never really got to experience that with the twins.  I don’t feel as if I am being pulled in two different directions (literally) and I can take time to enjoy the little things that come with being a mom.  I had no idea that it could be this much fun.

So far, Francesca has many of her big sisters’wonderful qualities.  She looks up to them so much, and always tries to get in the middle of whatever they are doing.  Having Francesca has brought such peace and love to our house.  She is such a joy to be around, and I feel so completely blessed that she is a part of our lives.

Looking back, if I hadn’t had twins the first time, and I had my two girls, I don’t know if I would have had any more children.  I also wonder if I would have had the opportunity to have a natural birth.  Having had Francesca by c-section (because she was breech) makes me think that my body is shaped in a way that presents breech babies.  If I hadn’t had two babies at once, I wonder if I would have ever been able to experience giving birth naturally.  And that experience is one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences of my life.

I have learned so much from having twins that I would have never learned having one baby at a time.  And now I get to appreciate how different it really is to have just one baby.  Now I know why I was “chosen” to have twins, and I am absolutely grateful that I was.

 

One thought on “LAURA, STEP UP TO THE MIC

  1. Your comments about dealing with twins reminds me of the saying “I know God won’t give me more than I can handle, I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.”

    Raising twins is quite a feat, congratulations. Personally I think I got exactly what I could handle as well, a single child and a boy, because having to coordinate dresses and bows and all the cutesy stuff probably would have driven me insane.

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