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Irish Twins

God surely has a sense of humor. Our family is proof of that.

Two days ago, we were getting the kids’ haircuts taken care of.  There was a grandma there with her daughter-in-law and three grandchildren. I caught her watching R and G as they waited for E to get his haircut. And as she caught me watching her, she asked a question I haven’t been asked in years. She asked if R and G were twins. I smiled and shook my head. No, they’re not twins. They are 12 1/2 months apart. Twelve months and 19 days, to be exact. Not quite Irish Twins (by strict definition), but close. And this is where God’s sense of humor comes in.

I’m a planner, an organizer, a perfectionist. I had a plan for my life. I never planned on becoming a mom being an issue, but it was an issue. Endometriosis and PCOS interrupted my plans. Granted, in the infertility world, our journey was a quick one, but it was extremely painful nonetheless. The fertility specialist basically told me I had a less-than-10% chance of ever getting pregnant without some kind of medical intervention.  We did get pregnant on clomid, but had an early  miscarriage. And I still wasn’t having regular cycles. Finally, after a cycle of gonal-f shots (five months after the miscarriage), I was pregnant.  At nine weeks, I started spotting. The doctor would do nothing, and said nothing to ease my mind. I would miscarry, or I would not. There was nothing they could do to help. A week later, the spotting stopped. We put it behind us and began planning for our first baby. And then R came horribly early. After three months in the NICU, he came home. I was still pumping. I was exhausted. I was stressed out. I was underweight. But somehow, against all those odds, I conceived our daughter the first week R was home.

When I found out I was pregnant again, I cried. I wasn’t emotionally ready. I wasn’t mentally ready. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t physically ready. But there we were….our son was three months old. He was developmentally a newborn. And I was pregnant. I hadn’t even gone back to work yet, still on family leave to take care of my fragile infant.

G was born eight days late – another sign of that sense of humor. R was developmentally 9 months old, not walking, not talking, still taking bottles. We had two babies. And I don’t remember much of our daily lives over the next few years.

We were frequently asked, from the time G was about a year old, if R and G were twins.  Ry was still behind developmentally and in physical size. They were (and still are) very close. Heck, even the neighbor boy didn’t call them by their individual names..they were always both “RyleyGrace.”  There were days I wanted to carry a sign that said, “No, they are not twins,” we were asked so frequently. I don’t know when that question stopped being asked. It’s been awhile. So when the grandmother in the hair salon asked, I was taken back for a minute. I looked at them…I saw the closeness, I saw the similarities. And I just smiled.

No, they’re not twins, they’re Irish Twins. And now that they’re older, I’m very happy for it. I’m thankful for that sense of  humor God has. He knew what I needed in the long run. Oh, and for the record, G is our only non-fertility-drug baby. She carries her name for very specific reasons, for it is by God’s grace alone we have children at all, and by His grace I have maintained any sense of sanity since their births.

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