I have spent the last few months working on a series of articles about twins for a health website. By their very nature they have focused on the problems associated with twins from the dangers during pregnancy to the complications arising from premature birth and the raised likelihood of disability, learning delay, post natal depression and problems in developing individuality.
Top this with the recent articles about how having multiples means you are more likely to be put under financial strain and your marriage has a higher chance of ending in divorce and it's almost enough for me to put my twins out for the dustmen. Though no doubt they wouldn't take them and I would find them howling on the driveway with a little note attached saying I should have taken them to the local recycling centre instead.
The only thing that saves them from being sent out the same way as their myriad dirty nappies is that I just don't see my precious boys as in any way part of that overwhelming load of negativity. My pregnancy with the twins was prone to no more complications than those when there was only one baby inside, they had to be persuaded out at 37 weeks at a huge and healthy weight, and so far are developing just like any two normal babies. Both crawled earlier than my first son, twin one is well on the way to walking just as my second son was at 13 months, they can each hold a cup and drink for themselves, something my nephew had still to master at age two.
As for me and the other half, well we are as broke as ever, but I can't say I have noticed a huge change with the arrival of the twins. I spend money like water until he points out that the well is dry. As for emotional strain, in some ways I think that having two babies to care for can actually diminish this. When you have one or two children you argue over who works the hardest, who does his or her fair share of childcare, who had the longest lie in or the laziest weekend, with twins to look after you are both equally hard done by, which brings its own kind of equality to a marriage.
Also you are far to exhausted to spend your precious down time rowing with each other. Why scream and shout when you could sink into the sofa with some chilled Sauvignon Blanc and the new series of Flash Forward? In that we are both one hundred percent in agreement.
But more than that all our children unite us in love for them and our family, and the twins just bring along a double dose. I was staring at the back of their water slicked heads in the bath the other day. One round as a cannonball, with otter slick straight dark hair, though when it dries it develops an adorable curl just behind his ear, the other has long, slim skull, smattered with fine, spun gold curls. As I stared in wonderment at these gorgeous boys we had created I knew that each holds my heart in one yoghurty sticky paw and in the other resides my husband's. I know that nothing connects us as much as our love for all of our children, so how could adding two more to the mix do anything other than strenghten that bond?
If a marriage is weak and defined by material contentment, then yes I can see that twins might be the straw that breaks the camel's back as they don't leave much space to pamper each other, at least in the early days. But if you love each other and your children then it will take more than two babies to break you apart. In fact you might just find that they bring you closer together like this lovely piece by another twin mummy illustrates.