Alpha & Bravo

She winked. “Gorgeous!” she said. “Gorgeous babies. You’ll be just fine. You’ll be sick of us, but you’ll all be great.”

We met our obstetrician today, informative and thorough but full of smiling warmth. The kind of woman I trust already—not only because she’s competent, but because she’ll make the twins’ birthday full of joy no matter what we need to accomplish it.

I’ll be in for ultrasounds every two weeks, watching ‘A’ and ‘B’ like hawks to make sure they learn to share. They’re a rare form of twins, identical and sharing a single placenta. One buffet, at which it’s possible for one to out-muscle the other. So we measure and prod, peek in on them to track their growth, in awe.

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(The above view shows them curled up, backs to us. Baby A is closest to the exit door, on top, head to the right. Baby B is next in line, head to the left. Below are full-body profiles of each, with Baby B in the left-hand picture and Baby A in the right.)

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It’s incredible. A curled up spine looks like a stripped fish skeleton, for a flash. Then the head comes into view, and a perfect profile. A nose, a mouth sucking and swallowing, a hand brushing the face. Fingers, how tiny they must be.. magnified thanks to a large, high resolution screen. But perfectly complete, the very same hand that will reach out and grip onto the world someday, tug at my earrings and yank on my hair.

In the case of Evan, it's the very hand that yanks Daddy’s boxer shorts down around his knees during morning cuddles. “Off! Off!” he orders, and we laugh in confusion. “OFF!” he demands, and so Daddy obeys. He plops down at the end of the bed and one leg after the other, puts daddy’s boxers on himself. Tucked into the back of his diaper and brushing his ankles, he wears them all morning with great pride.

I look at Evan’s ultrasound, remembering how uncertain I was. I am not a mother. How can I be a mother? But here he is, hopping around the living room wearing his Big Boy Boxers, cheeks stuffed like a squirrel with blueberry waffles. Life without him is unimaginable. We’re so deeply in love, and would never wish a single moment away (uhhh… almost).

The same feeling will come, and we’ll say, Can you remember how scared we were? That’s only because we didn’t know them yet.