Did you know that twins that occur without the use of fertility drugs or treatment are called “spontaneous” twins? Neither did I. Being pregnant opens you up to a whole world of new vocabulary; being pregnant with twins, I learned a whole new language.
I needed to wait until I was eight weeks pregnant before my OB would order an ultrasound. Eight WHOLE weeks I walked around growing a little bean. Eight weeks of thoughts, anxieties and hopes for the future of our growing family. It was also eight very looooong weeks of waves of nausea that left me feeling like I had spent my whole day getting on, and getting off the gravitron.
See, I don’t do nauseous, and I REALLY don’t do vomiting. Those who are close to me know I can count on one hand how many times I remember puking in my entire life (only one of those times was the result of too much alcohol.) So when I woke up one morning feeling a little queasy, and instead of subsiding, the queasiness got more and more intense by the minute, I had, what only can be described as, a nervous breakdown.
Nope. Nope. Nope.
We only told a handful of people about my “big fat positive.” My dad was one of the first to know. I called and complained to him often over the first few weeks and I shit you not, I had a conversation with him via text that went like this at six weeks pregnant:
I felt terrible; I knew William wanted more than one child. I swore up and down that this would not be something I could endure again. Sorry, honey, but you’lI only get the chance to father one kid. Mama ain’t doing this again. I couldn’t believe that women actually go through this more than once. It boggled my mind that there weren’t more only-child-families out there. The women who had more than one pregnancy were all of a sudden heroes in my eyes.
So after eight weeks came and went and William and I were finally going to get a chance to see this little bundle we had created. I had no idea what to expect; looking back, I wish I had been given SOME kind of idea. A young sonogram-tech met William and I and instructed me to pee before the ultrasound. Why? All she was going to do was squirt some cold jelly on my tummy and look around with a wand thing. After following orders, she brought us in to a barely lit room with a machine, an exam table, and a TV. I was slightly confused when she put my legs in stirrups, I mean, did she KNOW where a baby is located? This was my first understanding that in the beginning of a pregnancy, your baby is so miniscule they cant do a sonogram on top of your belly. Hello, internal sonogram. To spare gory details, the gist is this: lady tech proceeds to pull out an instrument that is strikingly similar to a sex toy but and clearly this would be without any of the fun. I was mortified.
A very uncomfortable me was now looking at a black and white picture that was being projected on to the TV screen above my head. I couldn’t even try to make out what I was looking at. I knew it had to be the general vicinity where a baby would be hanging out; I had seen enough ultrasounds to make out that almost triangle shape of the uterus. Then lady-tech starts asking questions.
Lady Tech: “Is this your first pregnancy?”
Lady Tech: [she pauses] “Natural pregnancy?”
Me: [I take the term ‘natural’ to mean without fertility assistance] “Yes.”
I start panicking for a second. Why does she seem so cautious? Are these questions normal? I can feel my anxiety picking up speed. The alarms in my head start going off like crazy; is it possible for this not to be a good news appointment? It occurs to me at this point why they call it an appointment to confirm a pregnancy; there hasn’t been any confirmation yet. There was still time for things to be wrong. She continues looking around.
Lady Tech – “Here’s the heartbeat…”
I look in awe at the blinking ball on the screen and breathe a sigh of relief that could fill a Macy’s Day Parade balloon.
Lady Tech then moves things around a little.
Lady Tech – “And here’s the other heartbeat; did you know you were having two?”
I look at her. I look at my husband. I look at her again. I look at the TV screen.
Me and William collectively: “Two what?”
William laughs, I laugh. The tech continues with the ultrasound and confirms two very strong heartbeats. Two babies. Spontaneous twins.
We sit quietly through the rest of the ultrasound. I am reeling. The thoughts, anxieties, hopes are flying again but this time they look completely different. We can’t believe it. There’s another moment of panic, the first of one trillion over the course of my pregnancy (and still today.) We leave the doctor’s office with congratulations and well wishes from the staff.
William and I walk out to our car and he makes the grandest statement that could ever have been made in that moment…
“There’s as many of them as there are of us…”