Cristina with the Twin Towers, NYC



Our dog knew I was pregnant before we did. He is 9 years old but suddenly started acting like a puppy. He needed attention 24 hours a day. He was driving my husband, Tony, and me crazy, until we found out I was pregnant, and then suddenly everything made sense.


When we got the results of my blood test, the doctor suggested I come in for a checkup since my hormone levels were unusually high. We were suspicious. A sonogram confirmed there were two little sacs, each containing a small gray blob -- our babies. Our first reaction was nervous giggling, but by the time we left the doctor's office we were floating on cloud nine. Twins!!!


While in the womb, each baby had his own personality. Sebastian would kick, punch, flip-flop, and fidget all the time, while Jude would just squirm every once in a while. The wildest times were when they both curled up into little balls, tucking their legs and feet up under their bellies. Sebastian would stick straight out of the top of my belly and Jude would stick straight out of my right side. I looked like an L.


My pregnancy was absolutely phenomenal. Because twins are considered somewhat high-risk, we knew complications could arise at any time. We had nothing of the sort. I felt incredible and was very active up until my seventh month, when I started to take it easy. It's not uncommon for twins to be born early, so we were prepared for their arrival well in advance.


There was no question I wanted to document on film this incredible time in our lives. The question was, where to take the picture. It had to be New York City, because that is where Tony and I met, fell in love, got married, and started our family. The answer ended up being so simple: of course it had to be in front of the World Trade Center -- the Twin Towers!


We took the photo at 35 weeks. Who knew I would have to be induced at 38 weeks? Labor was unbelievably long -- 17 hours. My OB bragged about how it was her hardest delivery ever. Of course I had to agree with her; it was my hardest delivery ever, too. But in the end, I was blessed with two incredibly healthy baby boys without having a cesarean.


The babies were quick to live up to their in utero personalities. Sebastian was always in motion, wiggling his fingers and toes, stretching, kicking his swaddling off, and trying to lift his head. Jude was content to curl up on our chests and snuggle. Sebastian was quick to breast-feed, Jude wanted nothing to do with it. Sebastian never wanted to sleep. Jude was our perfect little angel. Sebastian looked like Tony, Jude like me. Neither baby had any interest whatsoever in the other.


After being home for two weeks, the daze we were in started to fade and Tony and I were less than thrilled to discover that both babies had colic. It was not until they were 4 months old that we started to feel somewhat human again. While immersed in the worst of it, we felt like the days would never end. However, once those four months were over, it seemed like they had passed in the blink of an eye. The fun was just beginning.