Saturday, December 5, 2009

On my nightstand

There's a book that I've been reading for about a month. I'm actually a very fast reader but I am savoring this book, reading and re-reading parts of it, trying to make it last as long as possible because I just don't want it to end. It is so beautifully written and has made both Mr. K and I realize just how extraordinary our identical twins are. Witnessing their bond from infancy to adulthood is going to be amazing.

Really Twinks, no pressure, but Dad and I are really excited that you are identical so you better live up to all the hype.

So back to the book, it's called One and the Same by Abigail Pogrebin. Abigail and her sister Robin are identical twins and Abigail not only tells their story, but interviews countless other sets of twins, siblings of twins, friends of twins and twin experts from all over the world. She writes so beautifully and captures so perfectly all the best and worst parts of twinship. While reading this book, I've laughed and cried (so sorry for the cliche). But one chapter on ART made me do both nearly on the same page. One RE talks about being under fire in the "how many to transfer" argument. There is a supposed belief out there that many REs are willing to transfer an "irresponsible" amount of embryos in order to increase their practice's success rates. He argues that patients are allowed to have a say in their care, to have say about how many get transferred and that it is only fair to let the patients in on the conversation. As I read this, I was getting out my pompons to cheer him on.

The passage goes on to discuss the delicate topic of whether or not REs are "playing God" and whether their chosen speciality is really medically relevant or if it's just profit-driven. I thought his response was dead-on. Here it is:

"I've got news for you. I work my ass off. And I get paid a lot of money, but you know what? When I was thirty-three years old, working 150 hours a week, making about 90 cents an hour, I didn't have anybody complaining about my salary; no one cared. And now, all of a sudden, I finally get to age forty-something and I start making money - after decades of killing myself- and all of a sudden I'm a criminal? And all I'm doing is helping people have babies? They don't know how hard it is to come to work every day, what it's like to tell somebody they just had a miscarriage, to have a patient want to kill you because their IVF cycle didn't work, though you did your damndest to give them their best shot, and they're writing blogs about all the things you should have done because they don't know where to put their anger."

I have to tell you I laughed out loud about the blog comment. These REs really have our number. I wasn't blogging then, but after my first cycled failed I could've written a doozy. Not about the level of care I received, but about how freaking mad I was that things had ended so poorly. A negative beta and none to freeze. They didn't even have a shared risk program then, so it was a total loss with no safety net. It was a painful time in my life.

There have been some books I've read in my life that have made a huge impact, but I think this one may be in the running for a top spot. After Mr. K read it (in about three hours) he looked at me and said "Babe, identical twins are really special." Before reading this book, we were so wrapped up in all the concerns and worries about having twins plus a toddler, we hadn't really stopped to think about the miraculous fluke that was about to introduce us to a whole new world. Then after reading it, we realized just how awesome (and sometimes freakish) the bond between our boys is. Of course now we're worried that Piglet will be left in the dust!

**Post edit**

I was so thrilled and honored to have the author of this life-altering book leave a comment on my blog entry! Abigail (hoping a first name basis is okay), thank you for taking the time to write a comment. It means so much. I hope you know I could have written many, many more paragraphs about all the other facets of your book and how they moved me at the core of my being. Thank you for taking such a personal risk and writing this book for twins and twin families everywhere. By the way, my husband wanted me to tell you that he thinks the photo on the back cover is simply amazing. :)


Anonymous said...

That is great!! I am overwhelmed by the books I am trying to read on still getting through the pregnancy, breastfeeding, childcare after birth, etc. etc.!!!

It is the best - I am so glad we get to worry about these things.

BTW, you guys sound like amazing parents and I have no doubt that this new chapter will bring many amazing and special things to Piglet too.

Cameron said...

How awesome that you found that book (although not surprising, Mrs. Researcher) just when you needed it! Can't wait to "watch" the twins grow and learn about all their twin stuff. :)

Carrie said...

Thank you, thank you for the recommendation! I just added it to my Christmas list. I forget sometimes that two of our triplets are identical, since we see them as three- an interesting dynamic. Looking forward to reading it!

Virtual book club? Missing our texts... I will think of something extremely entertaining and witty tonight. XOXO to you and your FOUR guys!

ABIGAIL said...

I just wanted to thank you for such a wonderful blog post about my book, "One and the Same." It was a great surprise and gift to read this, and I hope you know I'm grateful. I only wish every parent-of-twins could read it, too! Many thanks, Abigail Pogrebin - (I can be contacted at

Sunny said...

Super neat that you loved this book, and even cooler that you got to correspond with the author!

Our boys are fraternal, and I worry about how to respect their individuality but also their twinness. I'll have to check out that book, I bet there are some good insights for non-identical twins as well!

Sunny said...

PS And yes, we have to figure out a way to meet up after our FOUR sons are born. :) How amazing is it that our situations are so similar?!?!

Ms. Y said...

Ha ha, love the passage by the RE. I blogged like a maniac after our first failed IVF cycle; not about my RE (who I think is great) but more about how sad I was. Glad your twins are doing well!