One of the posts I wrote in the early days of the blog (barely pregnant) was What KIND of Twins are they? I thought this was a kind of amusing question at the time. Jokes about telling people they were a boy and a girl and still being asked if they were identical. Things like that.
Now, I feel it's still a valid question, but one with more gravity than hilarity. What kind of twins are they? They were in-utero together for 30 weeks. They spent 24 of those weeks interacting with each other. In every ultrasound, the appearance was that Aurelia was just pounding on Chiron. She often looked to not just be kicking or moving her arms at him, but even actively pushing him. The joke was that he was wedged transverse across the top because she acted like a singleton and took up all the real estate. They were delivered in the same surgery, Chiron following just one minute after Aurelia. 08:15 on December 23, 2010 was the last time they were together though.
Another light thought I had during that early period, before it all changed, was that I never referred to Trajan as a singleton before being pregnant with twins. There's a similar thought in the after-period and that is that I never really thought of the term single twin until Aurelia died.
In the NICU, Chiron was always referred to as a twin. All of his paperwork referred to him first as "B" and then gave his name. As we've gotten farther and farther from the time of their birth, it seems he's getting further and further from his status as a twin. I have trouble imagining a medical scenario in which the fact that he was a twin would matter.
Is he really a twin, even a single twin, given they never existed as twins as independent entities? Perhaps the right grammar is to say that he was a twin. But what does that make him now? Singleton seems categorically wrong. Maybe that's where that odd term of "single twin" must come in.
I find myself with rationale arguments for why we really shouldn't think of him as a twin, but I have a strong emotional feeling that he is which is best summed up by an image:
heart and eggplant. Or the fact that their stomachs were developing side by side:
I should give up on labels perhaps, but I doubt I will.
I do know one thing for sure and that is that he is wonderful and we are lucky to have him in our lives. Because when it comes down to it, labels are not what determine what we feel, they are what we try to use to try to affect our feelings.