TO EVERY GOOD LOVE STORY, THERE IS A TWIST. Times Two is about two women meeting, falling madly in love, and realizing that they are so crazy about each other that they want to have a family together. The fact that they both get pregnant at the exact same time is where things start to get interesting.
Sarah Kate Ellis, a high-powered magazine executive, and Kristen Henderson, a laid-back rock star, decide it’s time to start their family. After determining that Sarah should get pregnant first while Kristen works on her band’s new CD, they head to a fertility doctor to start the process. But after months of drug treatments, miscarriages, and heartbreak, Kristen decides to start trying, too. That’s when the utterly improbable happens: Sarah and Kristen find out that they are both pregnant—and are due three days apart.
Overjoyed by the news that they are both expecting, Sarah and Kristen are also overwhelmed by all that lies ahead. Both have successful, demanding careers. Both have large, close-knit families nearby, including two strongly opinionated mothers who immediately want to be involved with everything. And both are completely clueless about the challenges they’re about to face. They soon realize that none of their previous accomplishments has prepared them for the highs and lows of impending motherhood: not Kristen’s stint touring with The Rolling Stones, nor Sarah’s march up the corporate ladder in the world of women’s magazines.
They go through everything first-time parents-to-be experience—but twice over. They’re producing double the hormones, double the morning sickness, double the cravings, and have double the ups and downs. From the start, Sarah and Kristen think of their babies as twins, each woman carrying half of a set. But for two women who’ve always finished each other’s sentences, they suddenly find themselves on opposite ends of the mothers-to-be spectrum, with different opinions on almost everything. One wants a drug-free birth, while the other wants an epidural at the first sign of a contraction. One is dying to know the baby’s gender, but the other refuses to find out until she hears the baby’s first cry in the delivery room. The difficulties of having two pregnant women under the same roof are multiplied by the legal and social obstacles of being a gay couple. Told from Kristen and Sarah’s insightful and hilarious she said/she said perspective, this touching, modern family adventure will entertain, enlighten, and resonate with readers of all stripes.
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Kristen Henderson is the founding member and guitarist of the all female rock band Antigone Rising. In 2005 the band was catapulted into the national spotlight when Starbucks and Atlantic Records partnered to release their debut CD, From the Ground Up, in 5000 stores across the country. She is the mother of two and divides her time between Manhattan and Sea Cliff, New York. She is not getting much sleep these days.
Sarah Ellis is the head of marketing for Real Simple magazine, and has been a publishing executive for more than a decade, most recently as Creative Services director at Vogue. She is also the mother of two and divides her time between Manhattan and Sea Cliff. She is finding it impossible to keep her house looking Real Simple tidy with two newborns.
From the beginning of our relationship, we knew we wanted children. Each of us had moved up the ladder with relative ease in our chosen career fields, so we naïvely thought the most difficult thing about getting pregnant would be making the decision to do it. We were wrong. First one of us tried, then the other, with no success. And then, all at once, we were both pregnant: on the same day, with the same donor, and with due dates that fell three days apart. Immediately, every single person we knew had one question: “How are the two of you going to do this?” Easy, we thought—there are two of us. One of us would run errands. The other would offer foot rubs. We’d rotate the late-night dog walks and order every meal in. Since we’d conquered the music business and the publishing industry, a little morning sickness would be a piece of cake, right? We pictured a sort of pregnancy fire brigade, each of us pitching in to help the other until we got too big, at which point we would ... well, we hadn’t thought that far. “Let’s just celebrate!” we told our friends and family.
And thank God for our friends and family! It’s like they knew when asking us the fateful question of how we were going to do this, the real answer was “You’ll be helping us, sillies!” By the time we were in our ninth month, our home had a revolving door on it—with mothers delivering meals, siblings lugging baby shower loot, fathers assembling things they never knew existed, and friends dog-sitting and driving us to appointments.
Our grand delusions about the joys of pregnancy were squelched by the second trimester. Between the two of us, we experienced every pregnancy-related ailment listed on www.Babycenter.com., from numb hands to swollen ankles to inappropriately timed laughter. “I knew this was going to be fun,” one of us would mumble sarcastically in bed, and the other would mutter, “I just had no idea how much fun,” finishing the sentiment. Then we would roll over and snuggle with our individual body pillows.
But with our unlikely twins growing inside of us, every moment of those nine months taught us more about life—and our relationship—than any baby book, therapy session, or birth doula could. We learned, for example, that our mothers are always right. We learned that God has not come up with a better way to get a baby out than to have the body turn itself inside out like a tight-fitting pair of your favorite Jordache jeans from 1984. And that homeopathic remedies like moxibustion and traditional therapies like Pitocin and epidurals all work—depending on your definition of the word “work.”
This book is our family’s personal story. But in many ways, it’s a story for anyone who has ever taken a pregnancy test and felt the heart-wrenching disappointment of a negative result. It’s for families who would go to any lengths to conceive a child. It’s for anyone who has ever been told their way of life is not acceptable. But mostly, it’s for any woman who has fervently wished that her partner could just understand what it was like to be pregnant. Let this book be your empathetic partner, because our story redefines what it means to walk in another person’s shoes. Trust us, we’ve been there ... Times Two.
© 2011 Kristen Henderson and Sarah Kate Ellis
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