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Twins: A Survivor's Manual

I sometimes forget that I didn't decide to have twins. It's so like me: I've been a lifetime subscriber to the if-one's-good-two-are-better philosophy of living.

I took a double course load in graduate school; I drink double lattes; I spent years racing triathlons (oops, that's three). So when the doctor said, "Wow, you're awfully big for 11 weeks," and then, while moving warm goo across my belly and staring at the monitor, continued with, "You knew you were having twins?", my response was a deep laugh. I felt a surge of adrenaline that I think was joy mixed with fear, yet something seemed right about it too. After all, if I could've chosen to have twins, I probably would have.

But having survived those first few months of my sons' lives, I now know that mothering twins is very different from all of those other twos I took on. I always had the option of dropping physics midquarter, or going on the caffeine wagon, or walking the last leg of a triathlon. But once I learned I was carrying twins, I was committed. And the truth is, caring for two newborns was far more overwhelming and far more difficult than 22 upper-division credits. Think motherhood is intense? Motherhood times two is unbelievably intense. Herewith, some tenets that helped me to not only survive those early months, but also to enjoy my beautiful newborn sons.

Laura Stavoe Harm is a freelance writer in Boise, ID.