Fun fact. I always wanted twins. Of course, this was prior to any pregnancies and the idea of getting two babies for the price of one pregnancy seemed like a pretty sweet deal. Turns out, I love being pregnant. I don’t get sick. I lose all the hair on my legs so I essentially don’t have to shave for 9 months. I have an adequate birth canal (my doctor’s words, not mine). I get to eat what I want without worrying much. So, I come out on top with the whole pregnancy thing.
I had no trouble getting pregnant with my oldest son. Our second pregnancy was just as easy. And then I miscarried. After that, we had trouble getting pregnant. Testing commenced after I gave it a year, a year that was essentially living in 2 week increments. I went through crazy emotions of whether I would be a mom of an only child, whether I should keep hoping, whether I should take the casual advice of “just relax”. Our fertility challenge wasn’t as difficult as most but that year was excruciatingly painful. I was angry. I was sad. I was doubtful.
As for the testing, all came back normal. One of the tests required that I take a fertility drug. My blood was drawn before and after. The doctor informed me that there was a 7% chance of getting pregnant with twins on the drug. I scoffed and thought that we’ve been trying for a year when there was apparently no problem, why would it work now? And it was just one cycle. Nah, 7% was nothing.
When the pregnancy test came back positive, I was elated but incredibly scared. I looked forward to my first doctor visit and prayed that I would hear a heartbeat. I was terrified that there wouldn’t be one. My doctor told me the heartbeat looked strong. Both of them. I sat up and asked if he was joking and looked over to see two tiny flutters on the screen.
Excitement began to build as we looked forward to the ultrasound at 18 weeks that would tell us the gender of our babies. Baby A was a girl. Little tears of happiness slipped out. Baby B was a girl. A few more tears. Then the doctor came in to re-measure and asked me how old I was. I knew that was not just a casual question. I knew he was going to come back with news. He did. He poured statistics and risk factors over us as we sat there like deer in the headlights. He told us that baby A had a 7% chance of having Downs Syndrome – that same percentage of the chance of having twins. People were clamoring to find out what we were having but we were still trying to sort out all the information that had been placed before us. It left us in a daze. That fog dispersed once we had some time to process everything and rely upon what our hearts were telling us which was that everything would be okay. What that meant, we weren’t sure but it would be okay. We chose not to have an amniocentesis and never second-guessed that decision.
At 29 weeks, the girls were still being monitored for growth by the Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists. The doctor again came in with news. Baby A’s growth was in the fifth percentile. A recommendation of steroid shots and the possibility of an early delivery was thrown about. At 29 weeks, I was scared to think of delivering both girls early. Remarkably, I was calm throughout the appointment. I felt prepared to handle decisions considering our previous experience with the amniocentesis. My husband was on the same page. We discussed things at length and together with the doctor, we decided to wait two weeks for another growth scan before proceeding with any procedures. Two weeks later, Baby A’s growth was back within a normal (albeit small) range.
As I approached 37 weeks, I began contracting. My husband was taking the bar exam at the same time. It came time for us to schedule an induction as my doctors felt delivering between 37-38 weeks was ideal for twins. I opted for 38 and they said I was their first patient who wanted to actually wait longer when pregnant with twins. My husband took the bar exam and didn’t check his phone. I didn’t go into labor. We made it.
Now came delivery time. Or, induction time. I made it to 38 weeks so off we went to the hospital at 4 am when I waddled my way up to Labor and Delivery. Most of my pregnancy, I assumed I would have a c-section. Although I knew it was safe to have a c-section, I preferred the recovery of a normal vaginal delivery. For several weeks leading up to delivery, the babies had been in a great position – both head down. The doctor admitted that there was a chance of delivering one baby normally and then having to deliver the second by c-section. I was willing to take the chance.
I’m good with pregnancy. Delivery? Not so much. I freak out. Seriously. I shake and my teeth chatter and the nurses think I’m cold but I’m not, I’m just scared. I got my epidural and I felt that something was happening but I waited because I didn’t want to bother the nurse. Finally, I couldn’t wait any longer and called the nurse. She checked me and told me not to push. It was that close. My husband hurried to put on scrubs and they rush me to the operating room (standard practice for twins). During labor, I need my husband to be near me so I can tell him what to tell me. They told him, “You can’t stand there. You can’t stand there either.” Finally, we have a somewhat close proximity to one another and there are about 20 people in that room with us. For all that organized chaos, there was a stillness and peace when those little girls came into the world. Our first beautiful baby girl was delivered and about twenty minutes later another beautiful girl joined us. For all my fears, and all the uncertainties throughout my pregnancy, the delivery couldn’t have gone any better.
I always wanted twins.