Having twins, part 1

There is still time to guess in yesterday’s contest — I’ll do a random drawing this afternoon (5PM CST).  My favorite answers so far are “fric and frac” and “thing 1 and thing 2” — both quite appropriate.  I’ll have to do a count of how many of you guessed one way vs. the other.

I think I’ve told you this before, but the boys are NOT identical twins.  They are, in fact, fraternal.  (Two eggs, two sperm, two placentas, two babies.  If they’d been identical, there would have only been one placenta).  I don’t know if you’ll find this boring or interesting, but I thought I’d do some posts about (A) giving birth to twins and (B) parenting twins.  I’ll leave out the gross parts of the birth story, but I’m guessing you’ll have to put up with some gross parts in the parenting twins part of the story.

During an early prenatal visit, we’d been told that the OB/GYN group we went to didn’t do “routine” ultrasounds.  We’d only have one if there was a question about the size of the baby, or if there was something else going on.  At the 16 week checkup, we were told that the philosophy of routine ultrasounds was changing, and that we could have one at 20 weeks if we wanted to do so.   The idea was that getting the routine ultrasound was good for the mother’s mental health.

Since we’re all for anything that will improve my mental health, we jumped at the chance.

Mark was able to go to all of my prenatal appointments, and there was no way he was going to miss an ultrasound.  We both came from work, and I can actually remember the outfit I was wearing.  It was a Plaza South skirt and top outfit, black with white polka dots, and I adored that outfit.  I’m pretty sure I still have it, though I’m not likely to wear it ever again. It wasn’t a maternity outfit, but the style was such that I could have the skirt undone under the blouse and you couldn’t tell.  I obviously had a bump, but I wasn’t huge yet.

I pulled down the skirt, pulled up the blouse and was ready to go.  The ultrasound technician set the wand down on my stomach, and moved it around a little bit to get herself oriented.  We couldn’t see the monitor yet,  and just waited while she did her thing.  (I wondered later if she needed to look on her own first in case there was something wrong.)

After a few seconds, she picked the wand back up and asked if there was a question about the dates.  For the uninitiated, that meant that she wondered if the doctor thought I might be bigger than I ought to be for the expected due date.  (What she didn’t say, but was probably thinking:  were we looking for multiple babies??)

Me:  No, I’m right on track for my expected date.

Her:  Oh.  Well.  Here’s the thing.  I’m seeing two babies.

Me and Mark:  !!!!!

And then she turned the monitor so that we could see it, and set the wand back down on my stomach.

Her:  Here’s the first baby’s head.

Me and Mark:  !!!!!

And then she picked up the wand and moved it to a completely different spot on my stomach.

Her:  And here’s the other baby’s head.

Me and Mark:  !!!!!

She removed the wand and I don’t remember exactly what happened next.  I know that Mark and I stared at each in other in….shock?  dismay?  bewilderment??  I know that I burst into tears.  And maybe even started to hyperventilate a little bit.

We decided to take a break.  I went to the bathroom.  She went to get the doctor.

We talked a bit:  about how I’d just been ratcheted up a notch into a higher-risk category, and that I’d just received an automatic increase to appointments every two weeks (instead of 4). The doctor probably said some nice words about how everything would be fine.  I think Mark and I mostly just stared at him in disbelief.

Eventually, I was calm enough to finish the ultrasound exam.    The technician asked if we wanted to know what their gender was, but we decided that knowing there was two was enough news for one day.  We got some great printouts of ultrasound pictures in which she had captured both heads at one time and labeled them “BABY A” and “BABY B.”  We both had to go back to work, and had a great deal of fun passing the pictures around, waiting to see the shock of recognition when people read those words and realized what they meant.  I don’t think either of us did much work the rest of that day.

Anyone who has been pregnant has probably been treated to the inappropriate things that people choose to say to expectant mothers.  You can only imagine the crazy things people said to me once they found out I was having twins.

But this has gotten way too long, so I’ll save some of the gems for next time.  Unless y’all tell me that this is too boring and you don’t want to hear anymore.

I’d better get back to being busy.