No one believed me!
by J. W. Huey III
(Ellicott City, Maryland)
I had never heard of Mono-Mono twins when Elizabeth and Rebecca arrived in April of 1965, well before the advent of such modern niceties as ultrasound. Thus, their multi-arrival was as much a surprise to their mother and me as it was to the doctor.
Elizabeth was a bit on the small side at about five pounds but Rebecca was described as "dis-mature" at under three pounds. She was immediately transported to the Johns Hopkins Hospital's "Premature Nursery" for safekeeping.
The father's waiting room, replete with out of date Time Magazines and awash in cigarette smoke, was crowded with expectant nervous fathers-to-be, me among them. To the shock and amazement of all present, my wife's doctor came in with a bedpan awash in what turned out to be the afterbirth. He was thrilled to have delivered his first pair of "Mono-Mono" twins, a one in 10,000 births event, and was incredibly relieved that both would in all probability survive.
I phoned my mother in law to inform her she was the grandmother of twin daughters. Now, I seem to have developed a reputation for never letting the literal truth mess up a good story. In short, she didn't believe a word of it and was further suspicious on visiting the hospital and finding her daughter only cuddling one baby, the other still in the separate nursery.
All calmed down a bit over the ensuing years but rarely was a year complete without a "twin adventure" or two; Rebecca taking the driving test as her sister, Elizabeth returning the favor for the written exam and so forth. Of note was, at the age of sixteen or so, when Rebecca, tired of hearing her "wombmate" complain about her boyfriend, broke up with him by proxy. Their own first children, now in their twenties, were born but a week apart, and so it goes.
What a ride it's been and what an amazing privilege for me, two months from starting my ninth decade, to have been a part of it. They are fifty three now but could still pass as teenagers.