Meet my twins

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For us, ex­pect­ing twins meant dou­ble trou­ble... and dou­ble-takes! The star­tling con­trast was a bit of a shock

Lau­ren John­son, 42

Tap­ping out a mes­sage on Mys­pace back in Oc­to­ber 2006, I deleted it be­fore try­ing again.

Draft­ing an­other, I sighed and hov­ered a shaky fin­ger over the mouse.

‘What have I got to lose?!’ I mum­bled, hit­ting send.

Heart rac­ing, I hoped this gor­geous stranger I’d found on the so­cial-me­dia site would re­spond quickly.

Scrolling through his pic­tures, I loved his olive skin, dark hair and brown eyes.

His looks were a world away from my mousey-blonde hair and pale skin.

As I clicked on an­other snap, a mes­sage popped up on my screen. It was him – Wes! Hello!

As we wrote back and forth, my cheeks were sore from laugh­ing.

An hour later, we started chat­ting on the phone. I found out he was half-amer­i­can, half-thai.

Three hours on, we met up for our first date!

Our speedy ap­proach was a sign of things to come…

En­gaged soon af­ter, we mar­ried in May 2008.

And, like most love sto­ries, we both knew ex­actly what we wanted next – a baby! But there was a snag. Wes, who had two chil­dren from a pre­vi­ous mar­riage, had had a va­sec­tomy in 2001.

‘I can get it re­versed!’ he of­fered.

‘What about me, though?’ I replied.

Di­ag­nosed with poly­cys­tic ovaries dur­ing my teens, I’d less chance of con­ceiv­ing.

With the odds stacked against us, we wor­ried it would never hap­pen. But in Fe­bru­ary 2009, it did! Wes had ‘the snip’ re­versed and, thanks to an ovu­la­tion drug, I fell preg­nant. At our first scan, we watched in awe, as the grainy im­age of my womb ap­peared on the screen.

‘There are two dots!’ I gasped, point­ing out two mi­nus­cule, blink­ing marks.

‘I’m meant to see that be­fore you,’ the sono­g­ra­pher laughed to me. I’d seen it first – and I was ab­so­lutely right!

There were two tiny hearts beat­ing on the screen. Twins! My mother’s side of the fam­ily had four sets of twins, in­clud­ing two lots of iden­ti­cal ones.

Now, we had dou­ble trou­ble

on our hands as well.

At the 16-week scan, we dis­cov­ered that we were hav­ing a boy and a girl. A dream come true. On 11 Septem­ber 2009 at 28 weeks, the twins ar­rived by Cae­sarean sec­tion.

We­ston weighed 2lb 12oz, and Marissa was 2lb 10oz.

Though very early, they were two healthy, beau­ti­ful bun­dles of joy.

Other than their but­ton noses and pouty lips, there was some­thing in­stantly strik­ing about the twins…

Whereas our lit­tle boy We­ston had a sim­i­lar, pale skin tone to me, our girl Marissa was darker like her dad.

We’d ex­pected the twins to be a blend of me and Wes, so the star­tling con­trast was a bit of a shock! The nurses were stunned, too. Gath­er­ing around the ba­bies’ cots, they called out to the other nurses so they could see our mir­a­cle ba­bies. I didn’t mind the fuss. I was just re­lieved they’d ar­rived safely and were breath­ing well on their own.

Back home, three weeks later, neigh­bours and friends started knock­ing on the door.

‘We can’t wait to meet them!’ they said.

But, when they leaned over the crib, they ap­peared be­wil­dered. Look­ing from We­ston to Marissa and back to us, they couldn’t work it out.

‘We don’t un­der­stand it ei­ther,’ I laughed.

Re­search­ing, we learnt it hap­pens when sib­lings in­herit dif­fer­ent genes be­cause they come from sep­a­rate eggs.

But even with sci­ence ex­plain­ing it all, that didn’t stop the ques­tions.

When the twins were tod­dlers, I’d take them to the park in their dou­ble buggy.

‘Is this your step­daugh­ter?’ a stranger asked one day, coo­ing over Marissa.

‘No, she’s my daugh­ter, they’re twins!’ I beamed. No­body could be­lieve it. Wes and I be­came used to it. But some­times it was tough, be­ing asked if your child was some­one else’s. ‘All mine,’ Wes would say. I didn’t re­ally see their dif­fer­ences, only their sim­i­lar­i­ties. Wide, beau­ti­ful eyes and cheeky grins. Meet­ing all the other twins in our fam­ily, We­ston and Marissa couldn’t get their heads round the fact the oth­ers looked the same. ‘I want to look like Daddy!’ We­ston bawled. It was hard to make him feel bet­ter. But when the twins’ lit­tle sis­ter Vivi­enne ar­rived in 2011, with skin like mine and We­ston, it helped a lot. Though Wes and I sep­a­rated in 2016, we still re­main firm friends. To­gether, we cel­e­brate our twins’ won­der­ful, unique per­son­al­i­ties. And we tell them to en­joy their dif­fer­ences, as well as what they have in com­mon. Marissa is al­ways pos­ing in the mir­ror, dream­ing of be­com­ing a su­per­model. We­ston is qui­eter and more sen­si­tive. He loves his video games. They have such a close bond, but they’re clearly unique. We don’t know what the odds are of hav­ing twins like ours. But to me, my littl’uns are two in a mil­lion!

I didn’t see their dif­fer­ences, only their sim­i­lar­i­ties

So proud of our unique chil­dren

My mini mir­a­cles

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