Monday, August 22, 2011

on finding out about being pregnant with twins

Let me first say this: I cannot imagine the pain of struggling with infertility. I don't begin to understand the difficulty of that trial. I have friends who are valiantly fighting that battle and I love them. I recognize that my writing on being pregnant could cause some people pain, and for that I apologize. It is never my intention to hurt anyone. I do plan, however, to write on this topic quite a bit for the next few months as this is something that is really consuming my life right now. I won't write on pregnancy or babies exclusively and I'll always do my best to be sensitive to those who may be struggling in this area. I love you and I encourage you to stay strong.


Where to start? I got pregnant back in March/April sometime. I found out I was pregnant on May 1st and graduated from grad school a few days later. After the graduation festivities died down my husband and I went to the midwife clinic I had been going to regularly for years to make sure everything was good and to confirm I was pregnant. Because I had had an ectopic pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage around 4-5 months earlier the doctors wanted to do an ultrasound to make sure that the pregnancy was progressing in the uterus and not somewhere out in my butt like the last time (I joke about miscarriage and about most uncomfortable topics as a coping mechanism and it works for me. Don't be offended.)
When my husband and I went to do the ultrasound the tech was very quiet. This had happened previously with the miscarriage and my heart was sad that this would be yet another unfortunate loss. When the tech finally spoke up she said, "Well they both look pretty good".
I was pretty sure she meant my fallopian tubes so I just remained quiet and slightly confused. My husband spoke up and said somewhat hesitantly, "When you say they you mean like her girl part tube things or something?"
The tech responded, "Well you definitely have one healthy baby and I think this one is another one over here."
Doug: "Mmm?"
Jo: "what?"
tech: "It could just be a fluid sac but it might be another baby. Its hard to tell this early on. You'll have to come back in a few weeks."
Doug: "Mmm?"
Jo: "what?"

tech: "We'll schedule another one in 3-4 weeks. Congratulations!"
Doug: mumble incoherent things
Jo: "ummm ok. Yeah. um. Thanks."

WHAT?!? opqiwefhlskdjgbaowiefjoasdfnlksgpoeuirh

Over the following four weeks we went on trip to California and then to Phoenix. We didn't speak about the pregnancy and when we did it was mostly me telling Doug that there was NO WAY IN THE WORLD I'm pregnant with twins. We don't have twins in either family. I'm a very small person. My body can't handle twins. I wasn't on fertility drugs. For goodness sake I wasn't even healthy. I was surviving on puff Cheetos and water trying to finish grad school.
No twins, Doug. No worries. And he believed me.

I'd secretly began to wonder though. I was already starting to show. I'm a little person but I was getting big very quickly...

Sometime around the end of May or beginning of June we went in for a second ultrasound. I explained to the new tech that we were there to confirm that we weren't having twins. Just before he placed the goo on my stomach I explained to him:

"Mr. Ultrasound Tech man, my husband and I waited about 6 years to start a family because we felt overwhelmed by the idea of having ONE child. If this turns out to be TWO babies, please understand that 1. Doug needs to be sitting down and 2. this is going to rock our world so be patient with our reactions."

The tech was really great and very understanding. He shook his head at least twice to indicate that he understood me. He put the wand thing on my stomach and within about two seconds he looked down at me and held up two fingers so that Doug couldn't see. Then he said, "shall I tell him or shall you?"

I looked over at Doug with tears in my eyes and Doug immediately started to cry. I think the tech thought these to be tears of joy from Doug and I and he instantly got really giddy and started talking. A lot. He was explaining each baby and the sacs and the heart beats and the everything and moving around arrows on the screen and meanwhile both Doug and I were in our own worlds. My mind was empty and I blankly stared at the screen and pretended to listen to the faint sound of the tech speaking. Doug's mind was racing at a million miles an hour and his face expressed the complete terror that he was feeling.

When we left the hospital that day we had time to go back to work. And we did...for about five minutes. We both realized that there was no way we were going to get anything done and so we headed silence.

I don't think we even spoke that night. In fact we didn't really talk about my being pregnant or about twins for nearly a month. We began dealing with incredible morning sickness (and afternoon and night) and with finding a new clinic that works with MOMs (moms of multiples) and with me trying to do trial trainings and standing on my feet for two solid days and not throwing up during a highly intense period at work while I was being observed as a trainer. It was an intense time.

Towards the end of June we were asked to have our home in the Provo Historic Home tour. We were honored and it was a crazy week of intense cleaning and prepping of our house. Moments before hundreds of people were to walk through our house and with people lined up outside, I started bleeding.

My entire world stopped. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't use the bathroom in my house because people were now walking through it. I couldn't go to my neighbor's house because they too were in the tour. I was afraid to move because I thought I could loose the babies. I slowly walked inside to where my husband was playing host and quietly told him I was bleeding. His face went a bit white and he tried not to look worried as people asked us about the age of the house and what was original and how long we had owned it.

I called the doctor and they told me to stay put and monitor the bleeding. If it continued to get worse I should go to the Emergency Room. If it slowed or stopped I should come into their office on Monday. It was Friday. It suddenly became a very long weekend. My mind was frantic as I wondered, 'how much blood is too much?' 'is this happening because I didn't really want twins?' 'how much movement is ok?'

But for the first time, for both me and Doug, we realized that we didn't want to loose these babies.

It was a magical moment when we went into the office on Monday and saw two perfectly healthy human-looking beings bouncing all around in my stomach. I let out an audible sigh of relief as we listened to their quick little heart beats and watched them move their little limbs.

We weren't in love with them then, but we've been falling for them ever so slowly since.


Elizabeth said...

Wow, you all have been on quite the journey this year. I am so sorry for your earlier loss, and I am so happy you have two healthy boys in your belly.

Rachel said...

Holy moly! That's some big-A news! I have to say, I really appreciate your honesty about . . . well, everything you ever write about, really. Most women talk about motherhood as if it were 100% natural and easy and simple and problem-free, but for some of us (probably more than some, but I suspect they don't want to admit it), it can be a really difficult decision and a really tough transition, so I love reading your honest thoughts and feelings about it--it makes parenting much less lonely to know that someone else felt/feels the same way I did/do. That being said, I'm very excited for you and Doug and I'm positive you'll be wonderful parents. These are two lucky babies--the world needs more parents like you. Congratulations!

Tanya said...

I love hearing the whole story! I feel like a broken record, but I can't stop saying how awesome this is and what awesome parents you and Doug are/are going to be. Can't wait to meet my nephews!!!