I was 21 weeks pregnant, wearing a powder blue gown, lying on an examination bed, and waiting for the ultrasound tech to have their first look at baby.
With a paddle on my stomach, my student-in-training technician immediately made ‘a face’ when she studied the screen. “I’ll be back” she said, and hurried out of the room without further explanation.
My heart raced in her absence, this wasn’t ordinary procedure at all.
She came back into the room with another lady, who took over the paddle to my stomach and studied the screen. It only took a few seconds of hunting around before she said, “I’ll have to take over your appointment today, as our students prepared for this type of case yet. Can you quickly tell your husband in the waiting room that you’ll be in here twice as long today please?”
Completely baffled and stressed at this point, I replied “Why? Is something wrong”.
She then said 6 words which I never expected, and ones which would change everything from that moment on, “Don’t you know you’re having twins?”
“Oh I’m sorry, I assumed you knew. Congratulations, you’re having twins! Now please tell your husband so we can continue with the ultrasound”
I waddled out of the room and into the waiting area where my husband was with my oldest daughter. They stood as I came into the room, concerned with the ‘deer in headlights’ look on my face combined with the fact that it wasn’t usual for gowned patients to come into this area. Needless to say, I had a completely curious audience from everyone in the room.
“So .. I’m going to be in here a lot longer, just so you know. Ummm. We’re having twins ….”
My husband and my daughters mouths dropped open in unison, along with about a dozen other mouths of people in the waiting room.
My appointment that day was filled with millions of unexpected thoughts running through my head as I stared at the ceiling, mouth still open. This is why none of my regular clothes fit at 8 weeks pregnant, and why I couldn’t get through regular exercise at 12 weeks. I expected a family of four yet in one brief conversation, we were a family of five. I fully admit to being at first worried, I needed to shop! I had to buy another crib and car seat, more clothes – more everything!
With two hands and a full heart, raising twins has been a roller coaster ride complete with amazement and awe. People often ask the saturated question of, ‘how do you do it?‘, which always makes me laugh since it’s not that complicated. The answer: parents of twins just do everything any parent would do, twice!
My initial worries about shifting to a family of five were short-lived, there’s a lot of assumptions that you must let go of side passions when you have a large family. At first we ourselves even assumed that our travelling days were over. Yet due to a combination of drive, ambition, routine, and sheer determination – there’s no stopping us. We travel as a family regularly, and take in plenty of local activities and events. Actually, we always seem to be on the move and heading to a new adventure.
Yet the last trip I went on was one without the children. My husband and I went to Mexico for a week by ourselves, something we try and do every two years if possible. I guess you could say that it’s our designated time to ‘just be us‘ again, since we are otherwise always a Mother and Father. After all, there is great beauty in just doing my own hair before a dinner out, and not four heads of hair!
That day when we learned of the twin additions to our family, it was a very unexpected and shocking time in my life, yet it’s one that I’ll forever be grateful for. It’s a prime example of how life gives glorious unexpected blessings so very abruptly, yet gives opportunities to learn and grow in ways not before imagined.
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