On April 17, 2012, we welcomed to the world our twin daughters, Nechama Raya and Zissa Chaya aka Nechama and Zissie. They are fraternal twins, (not identical), born via C-section in my 39th week of pregnancy, weighing 6.2 lbs and 5.4 lbs. respectively. I have chosen not to post pictures of my girls on my blog, (I’m a bit of an overprotective mother) but I assure you, they are the cutest babies in the whole world.
From the moment I felt the first kick, I knew that I had two very different personalities growing inside of me. Sure enough, my girls are as different as different can be.
People who meet my twins for the first time always have two reactions. They look at Zissie and make comments such as, “Oh my gosh, she is sooo beautiful and sweet!” Then they look at Nechama and burst out laughing.
Nechama arrived two minutes before Zissie. The name Nechama means comfort, which we chose in order that she should be a comfort to our family after the death of my grandfather a couple of years ago, as well as a comfort to us, after having a difficult time conceiving. We always joke that she misunderstood the purpose of her name though, because Nechama is the kind of baby that always wants to be comforted. She is bigger, darker and has a stronger and more dominant personality. Nechama is a zero to sixty type of kid. She loses her temper easily and screams at extremely high volumes but calms down just as quickly once her needs are met. She loves to laugh, scream, eat, crawl backwards and listen to music. Nechama is a character, most often watching the world with a furrowed brow from the inside of her stroller. Nechama loves to be swaddled super-tight with her arms in, and is very attached to me, always wanting to be held, nursed, or otherwise entertained. I should add, though, that once her needs have been met, she will entertain herself for long periods of time, batting at toys hung within her reach, and talking to them.
Zissie arrived second and the minute I saw her I knew I wanted to name her Zissa. Zissa means sweetness and she is the epitome of her name. Zissie is smaller, fairer and quieter. She only cries if something is really bothering her (hungry, tired, tummy ache) or if something startled her (most-often the Cuisinart.) Zissie has a very healthy appetite but only nurses if she is hungry, not for comfort. She is independent, prefers to sleep in her crib, (not on me like her sister does) on her back with her arms spread wide open on both sides. She has hated being tightly swaddled from early on. She loves to watch the world around her when we take walks in the stroller and she loves it when we talk to her and sing to her.
Marc and I always joke that whenever we go out in public with our double stroller, we are like a travelling circus, because we get stopped literally every two minutes by some stranger with a question. I am sure many of you have a few questions of your own, so I will list the most common questions we get and provide you with the answers.
So here goes:
Q: Twins? Are they identical?
A: No, they’re fraternal, take a look.
Q: Are they boys or girls?
A: Girls. That’s why they’re wearing pink.
Q: Were they born early?
A: No, I carried them until 39 weeks. Most twins don’t go past 38.
Q: What are their names?
A: Zissie and Nechama
Q: Did you have IVF?
Q: You must have your hands full. Do you have help?
A: Yes, we are fortunate enough to have a wonderful nanny who comes to us in the mornings and takes care of the downstairs neighbours’ son in the afternoon. My mother and mother-in-law help out as well.
Q: Did you have a C-Section?
A: Yes, although it was not planned. I had planned to deliver both babies naturally because they were both head down, but after sixteen hours of labour, the girls still were not moving so they decided it would be safest to give me C-Section.
Q: Do twins run in your family?
A: There are many twins on my side, not sure if they run in the genes but there are several sets.
Q: How do you tell them apart?
A: I look at them.
Q: Do you nurse them?
And last but not least…….
Q: So are you going to have any more kids, or are you done?
A: That’s really up to G-d.
If you are a mother of multiples I would love to hear about your tricks and strategies and if you are expecting twins, I would be happy to share any information that will help you out. So please feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line!