I will never, ever forget the first sonogram.
The memory of Arden and Jane’s first sonograms are fuzzy and generic: a few quiet seconds before seeing the white blob and hearing the fast heartbeat, then a breath of relief and a big smile of excitement. Print the picture, put it on the fridge and stare at it lovingly any chance I get. Text it to family and close friends.
But this time was so different.
I laid down on the chair in the dark, cozy room, staring at the TV screen in anticipation of our newest little sweet pea, or our “bonus baby” as the sonographer called it, after learning we already have a boy and girl. (Why do people assume that if you have a boy and girl every child after is “just a bonus”? I always wonder this.) (Also, LOL at “bonus baby.”)
Just like before, it only took a few seconds to locate our newest little blob and then a few seconds more to successfully find the heartbeat. He/she was tucked up in the upper corner, just millimeters long, because apparently I was not as far along as I thought. Our sonographer was having trouble getting the angle she wanted for measurements because of the position of my uterus (“Has anyone ever told you that you have a tilted uterus?” Um, no) so she moved the wand around quite a bit and instructed me to stay very still. She was quiet, but the look on her face told me something was interesting to her. Not wrong necessarily, but something worth investigating.
Then: the chuckle.
Do you see this?
See what? I had NO IDEA what she could possibly have seen at this point. We’ve already seen the baby and the heartbeat. This early on, at just 6.5 weeks, there’s not much else to see.
There’s one baby…
Yes, we’ve already located The Bonus Baby™.
(Moves the wand)
Wait, what? Are you joking?
For a moment, I thought she might be playing a joke on the poor overwhelmed mom of two small kids who doesn’t even know if she can handle The Bonus Baby™ but is counting on the grace of God to help her through this pregnancy and adjusting to having three children.
No, I’m not joking. There’s two. And here’s the other heartbeat.
I really wish someone would have been there to film the moments after. I don’t remember the exact sequence of events, but I remember my thoughts. (And the crying and the “oh my goodness, are you serious? I can’t believe this. Oh my gosh.”)
This isn’t happening
This isn’t real life
Okay, snap out of it, I am actually here in this chair and there is a real-life sonographer putting a wand to my uterus and she just chuckled and handed me the surprise of my life and I did see the two babies, one decidedly in the right upper corner and one in the left upper corner just like a mirror and this means TWINS but I am not supposed to have twins, I’m supposed to have a Bonus Baby™ and I think this might be the end of me?
Wow this is so wonderful, TWO BABIES?? I literally never anticipated this happening. Our families are going to FREAK, I have to tell them right now
Wait, the babies are in one sac instead of two…does that mean identical? I seem to remember something about that…
“So they are in one sac instead of two, what does that mean?”
“I can’t tell you anything. The doctor will go over all of this with you.”
Oh my goodness, what if this is bad? What if they don’t survive? What if…
“I can’t do this. How am I going to do this?”
“You’ll be fine! It will be great.”
How the heck do you know??
The rest of the appointment is a blur of a bunch of information at once, words like mono-di identical twins and high-risk OB and twin-to-twin-transfusion being thrown at us. I’m still in major shock. It still doesn’t fully feel like real life.
But it was, and it is. I’m still trying to accept the situation and wrap my head around it. If I think about it for too long, I start panicking.
I’ve decided that my main goal is to take it one day at a time. For TODAY, God has ordained it to be so, that I have two children outside of my body to care for and enjoy and two children inside my body to care for, by caring for myself. TODAY He provided my mom to take Jane for a little while and do our grocery shopping for us. TODAY I had enough energy to go on a walk with the kids.
Today I also found myself hanging over the toilet multiple times, without ever getting sick but with having to feel those pre-sick sensations and bracing myself for my body ridding itself of the food that I didn’t want to eat (because almost nothing really sounds good these days) but that I worked really hard to eat, that I NEED to keep down because I’m supposed to be eating 1,000 extra calories a day and getting 100g of protein.
Today is what I’ve been asked to handle. I’m trying to let that be enough.