This mom’s story is so beautiful I want to jump right to it. But don’t forget to head to her IG and give her a follow @kelseaarnold.
We chose you. We worked hours and hours of overtime, endured hundreds of shots and pills and patches, used up all sick leave and PTO, took out a loan on faith, and sat for what felt like lifetimes in doctors’ offices. Your father and I shared tears, some laughter, and more tears. We held hands at every appointment, dreamt about what it’d be like to one day have you, and prayed that science could help us become the parents we spent years yearning to be.
And then, you chose us. We transferred one embryo and 11 days later had our positive test. More tears. Euphoric joy. This had been a culmination of over two years of dedication and hard work and heartbreak to get to you.
I remember fearing I’d go a lifetime without seeing two pink lines. I remember feeling joy for others as I watched pregnancy announcement after pregnancy announcement for years on social media but the announcements and belly pictures and newborn pictures were also reminders of what I ached for and did not have. I remember cringing with every “when are you guys having kids?” question or “it’s your turn now” poke. I understood people were well meaning but it was yet another reminder of what I wanted more than anything in the world and could not have.
Then there they were, those two pink lines staring back at me. My whole body began to shake as my eyes swelled with tears. “Could this be real? Is this really real?” I kept asking myself. For 24 hours, I held onto that pregnancy test. I kept it in my pocket and would pull it out every 5 minutes and check it to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. It was real. You were real.
At our ultrasound the doctor was very quiet for the first few minutes. We held our breath and feared the worst. He said “see this right here?” as he pointed to the screen, “that’s your baby.” He paused and pointed to the left a bit and said “and see this right here? That’s your OTHER baby.” I told him there must be a mistake and asked if he was sure because we only transferred one embryo. “Congratulations, you’re having identical twins” he told us.
Science merged with divine intervention and one became two. Two of you chose us to be your parents. I was being blessed with the honor of bringing two of you into this world.
Every day of pregnancy was the greatest day of my life. Waking up knowing you two were growing in me, feeling your movements for the first time, your sweet hiccups, watching my belly expand as you thrived was pure and utter bliss. Even on the days I was so very sick I could not contain the sheer joy I felt knowing I get to be your momma. Not a day passed in pregnancy that I didn’t wake up with a smile. Not a day passed that I didn’t feel like the luckiest woman in the world. I had waited what felt like an eternity and here you were.
And now, here you are. Sometimes when you wish for a miracle, you get two. You are the greatest gifts in my life. You have made me into a momma, you are the answer to my prayers, you are my heart beating outside my body.
To the beautiful souls who are still yearning for a baby, stay strong. I hear you. I see you. I feel you. I’m here for you. I hope you’ll feel comfortable to contact me anytime
A favorite hack:
The twinZ pillow is a life saver. We tandem feed with this pillow, position the girls in it for supported recline and also supported sitting when they become fussy. We don’t use equipment (swings, saucers, bumbo seats)as these can really hinder motor development.
A favorite recipe:
We absolutely love making and eating the black bean and butternut squash enchiladas from minimalstbaker (https://minimalistbaker.com/butternut-squash-black-bean-enchiladas/). We top these with homemade Guac and a lime crema made with fresh lime, veganaise (you can use regular mayo too), cumin, salt and pepper to taste!
Something you enjoy for self-care:
These days, a nap is my greatest self-care. Second to naps is a long hot shower!
A piece of advice to other parents:
Soak in each moment, take it day by day. It’s blissful, it’s exhausting, it’s the hardest and most rewarding thing you will ever do. Be gentle with yourself, with your partner, and know that the greatest gift you can give your sweet babies is a home full of love.
An interesting/memorable interaction with a stranger:
We went to a dinner party over the holidays. As we were leaving, one of the guests approached me and said “your daughter is so beautiful and well behaved, I just wanted to tell you.” It was in that moment I realized he didn’t know there were two of them. When I told him, he exclaimed “I thought she was being passed around a lot!” We all had a good laugh.
Something kind/helpful someone did for you:
When people show up with food, it’s a life saver. It’s one less thing you have to think about when you’re knee deep in the trenches of newborn fog. I think the fog lasts a bit longer with twins, the girls are almost 7mos and I still don’t know what day or time it is and recently told my husband I had “put the horses to bed.” With a perplexed expression, he asked “you mean our daughters?” It gave us both a good laugh but the sleep deprivation is REAL!
Favorite quality about each kid:
Both girls have such wonderful and unique qualities. Aviana was baby A and she behaves very much so the way an older sibling would- she is curious, she knows what she wants and when exactly she wants it (yes, yes, she can be a bit bossy), and she is so funny. She explores the environment first as if to scope it out for her sister. Quinlea tends to enjoy laying back and watching the world around her, she giggles at just about everything. They both have a great sense of humor even at such a young age and I am so grateful that they are both such cuddle bugs