Friday, July 29, 2011

What KIND of Twins are they?? II

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:
They were 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.


  1. Hmmm, I find I often end up referring to J as a 'surviving twin' but I have a feeling that sounds absolutely awful. I always feel that, without wanting to sound too . . melodramatic? . . romantic? . . .J and G came into being together. Just like Chiron and Aurelia did. They got on with the serious business of growing stomachs, side by side. That's quite something to my mind.

    I've also said that she WAS a twin. Usually when people have asked me why she was born so prematurely and I end up faffing about trying to explain what went wrong.

    I suppose that they do, in many respects, get further and further from their status as a twin but perhaps that would happen anyway? Even if Aurelia and G were alive? Just as Chiron and J got older, it would seem of less importance?

    I love the picture of your heart and the egg plant together.

  2. First I must thank you for your visit to my blog. I have been away from it for a while so almost missed that you had posted. I read your blog with great interest. We are traveling a road that has some similarities. You losing your precious daughter before birth and I facing the loss of my beautiful daughter more than likely within the year. Trying to rationalize my feelings today and wondering if I will ever be able to function once it happens. So hard to fathom. My heart holds yours close as you are working through all of the questions about your baby.
    Please come visit again, I would truly enjoy getting to know you more, through this entity we call cyber space:)

  3. Thanks for your comments. Imagine that. Having the site not remember me works. Huh.

    I'm sorry to hear about your daughter. I have a twin myself. DH says a lot of my attributes are due to me being a twin and being squished in-utero.