Meet my twins
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