The first ultrasound: more than I bargained for

I’ll get right to it: twins. Everything changed on Monday, and I’m still floating in the tailspin, trying to get my bearings.

I went to the doctor half expecting them to tell me that something was seriously wrong. I was worried about the spotting and about not gaining weight the last two weeks. Instead, the ultrasound lady put the instrument on my tummy. As she moved it around, images started appearing on the monitor. I couldn’t really tell what I was seeing, but her facial expression changed.

“Is this your first pregnancy?” she asked me.
“Is this your first ultrasound?”
“Did you know there are two babies in there?”
No. No. No. “No.” And I started crying.

And then, in a moment I can only describe as surreal, she changed the entry marked “Number of babies” from 1 to 2, just as one of my friends described a few months ago when writing about her first ultrasound.

She looked at both babies for awhile and was able to determine that they are from two separate eggs, meaning fraternal twins, not identical, and that they each have their own placenta. There isn’t a lot they can tell from these first pictures, just that there are two babies, and they each have two arms and two legs. We scheduled another ultrasound for December, and if the babies cooperate and don’t hide their pelvises, we should be able to determine the genders.

After my appointment, I sat in my car in the parking lot, and I called Will. He had asked me if I wanted him to come with me that day. I had missed work to go the appointment. His school had a LID day, so if he didn’t go to school, he couldn’t use sick time. He just wouldn’t get paid. Will has already been doing a lot of extra things at his school, like class coverage and working at football and volleyball games, to earn extra money, so I didn’t want him to have to miss out on a day of pay. So I told him not to come. Had I known what we’d learn, of course I would have had him come with me.

For how I told him to make sense, you have to know a little bit of background information. The friend I mentioned above is a friend from college who is currently pregnant with twins. She is due in December. When I asked her if she had thought about names yet, she said they were jokingly calling the babies Luke and Leia until they determined the genders and came up with their real names. Because Will loves Star Wars so much, I had told him this bit of information. At some point after that, we had been lying in bed and talking about the baby (then thinking it was only one baby) Will said, “It’s too bad [our friend] is using Luke and Leia. What if our baby happens to be twins. What would we call them?” Not knowing many twin names, I thought about it for a little bit. “Athena and Apollo. Or He-Man and She-Ra? Oooh! No! Adam and Adora!” At the time, I thought we were just kidding. I had not even considered twins as a real possiblity. Twins is something that happens to other people, not normal, average people like us.

So when I called Will to tell him, first I said, “Everything’s fine.” “Good,” he said. And then I said, “Now, we said Adam and Adora right?”

At which point Will said, “What? What?? What’s going on?”
“Adam and Adora is what we agreed on, right?”
“What? What?”
“I wouldn’t believe it if I wasn’t staring at their picture right now. We’re having twins…”

I don’t really remember much of the conversation after that, except that he said he’d meet me at home for lunch and that we no longer wanted to wait until Christmas to tell people. I wanted my mommy, right then. And the closest thing I would get to that was talking to her over the phone.

Will was with me when I called my mom, and then he had to go back to school. I continued calling my family members, and then my friend who is also pregnant with twins. The rest of the week I tried to call a few people each night, so now most of my friends and family know now. The secret is out.

As for what happens now, all still remains to be determined. The babies are due in April, but how long I’m able to stay at work is more up in the air. Whether or not I’ll go back to work in the fall and whether it’s full or part time is also completely up in the air. We thought we had a plan for one baby, and now we need to figure out how to make it work for two.

I’m terrified of carrying two babies. I’m terrified of giving birth to two babies, or of having to have a C-section. Terrified is a pretty good catch-all phrase of how I’m feeling right now. And people saying things like, “You’re going to be huge,” or “You’re never going to sleep again,” are definitely not helping.

So that is where I’m at in the process, and I’m beginning week 14. We have about 6 months to try and get a lot of this stuff figured out. My next appointment with my regular doctor is tomorrow after school. I’m not sure if this will be any more satisfying than my first appointment, but at least I’ll know if there’s anything urgent that I should be taking care of right now.


About Twins Happen

My husband and I learned that we were having twins in October of 2010. I started this blog so that family and friends could follow my pregnancy and the development of our children. I'm continuing to post about my girls, parenting, and trying to balance work, family time, and fitness.
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