So if you haven’t already guessed it, I’m pregnant! Here’s the crazy part – we’re having identical twin girls! *gulp* Right now I’m closing off the 18th week of pregnancy, but I’ve been writing bits and pieces from each week so I’m going to catch you up every few days or so until we are on track. And yes, I’ll post a few pictures soon. Prepare to laugh.
And so, the journey begins.
December 19, 2012: 9 Weeks
If you’ve never seen an ultrasound, it’s a little like the end reel of an old fashioned movie. The sonogram waves pass a picture of your innards onto a computer screen, and everything becomes a series of blips and splashes, blurs and blobs. In the early stages, it’s impossible to imagine that all that movement and mass lives below the unassuming surface of your skin. Then suddenly, the technician holds steady and a picture appears – grainy and beautiful – and a tiny beating heart becomes the center of attention. It is love (and a good dose of awe) at first sight.
I had three ultrasounds with my now 18 month old daughter, Ellis, and each one was more remarkable than the last. So when we found out I was expecting again, the first ultrasound was the moment I most looked forward to.
Granted, the procedure is a little strange. I shook the hand of a stranger, laid down on a gloried roll-away, pulled up my shirt, and waited. My husband Jason sat in the vinyl chair next to the bed. I want to say we waited patiently, but Ellis was along with, so Jason was trying his best to keep her entertained in a dark room, and the ultrasound technician, who started the appointment very chatty had been silent for the last three minutes. Meanwhile, I tried not to pee all over the hospital bed while she dug her sonogram wand across my stomach with mammoth force.
There it was – that tiny, beating heart. I lay still, trying to memorize the baby’s outline. The head was fully formed, and tiny ribs were just visible. Arm buds and leg buds were just starting, and the umbilical cord wound lazily off to the right. I breathed a sigh of relief that all appeared to be well.
That was the calm before the storm.
The ultrasound technician cleared her throat. “I think you two are in for a surprise.” I pulled my eyes off the screen for a moment to read her face, but she was concentrating hard on the computer. Jason and Ellis looked up from their game of telephone. I pulled myself up into an awkward half-sitting position. “Yep,” she said distractedly, her face illuminated by the bluish glow of the monitor. “I think you’re in for a BIG surprise.” My eyes raced across the screen – the little heart was still beating, no alarms were going off, and everything else in the room appeared normal.
“I am almost positive there are two babies in there.”
The laugh that came out of me shook the entire sonogram screen into earthquake waves. We all looked at one another, waiting for the punch line. Jason leaned in to focus intently on the screen. I held my breath, laid back down, and waited as the technician located an angle that clearly showed two gummy-bear like figures, and pointed out their matching heartbeats. She wiped her eyes a second and said, “Well, you just don’t see this every day. You are definitely carrying two babies.”
I laughed again, confused and amazed. So did Jason. Thoughts of needing TWO OF EVERYTHING immediately started coming. Ellis started crying, confused at the darkness and her cackling parents. Jason reached for my hand. Squeezed. The technician took a few more pictures, this time with an internal ultrasound wand, and confirmed that both babies had their own fluid sacs. Pictures came spitting out the back of the machine, and she handed us complimentary cardboard frames for Baby A, Baby B, and two group shots.
Lord willing, we are about to become the parents of twins.