The morning of April 14, 2014, I took a pregnancy test. To my surprise, the control line didn’t even show up. A dud. We had been sort of, maybe, not really, trying for a while (as much as you can with a two-year old in your bed), and I thought there was a possibility that I might be pregnant. I wanted to know for sure before I went to the doctor for my annual exam that day, because if I wasn’t, I had decided that we should stop trying. Our toddler was just getting to that fun age where he could communicate and make us laugh, and as much as I initially wanted to give him a playmate, I thought he was a pretty great part-time only child.
When I got to my appointment, I told the medical assistant (“MA”) that I thought I could be pregnant. She had me take a test right then. When my OB/Gyn came in (“Dr. OB”), I told him that I took the test, and he went into the hallway to check with MA about the results. She said, “Look, the line is barely visible. It looks like when I take a pregnancy test.” Dr. OB said, “Wait, so is this yours or hers?” (Men. Sigh.)
So there it was in faint pink and white. I started to panic and told Dr. OB that my husband was probably going to have mixed feelings, as when his two older boys are with us, life can be very chaotic. I relayed the story of the day we went strawberry picking in Orlando. It was a great day: we picked strawberries, went to lunch, played at a park, and met up with our good friends for grilled cheese dinner and frozen yogurt. On the way home, an hour-long drive, our toddler started to scream. And scream. And cry. THEN, he threw up. We were 20 minutes from home and just wanted to get there ASAP. We asked the second-oldest (“Boy 2”) to help clean him up, while the oldest (“Boy 1”), who has Asperger’s, plugged his ears and stared out the window. We quickly found that Boy 2 is a sympathy puker. At this point, we were less than ten minutes from home. Boy 2 and toddler were crying. I kept pushing napkins to the backseat while husband continued driving in hopes that we would get home before everyone else started vomiting.
Right when we pulled off of the interstate to our exit for home, my husband said, “I’m getting a vasectomy tomorrow.” Then, the song, “Happy,” (you know the one…”because I’m happyyyyyy”) came on the radio. I started laughing and crying hysterically. It was all so surreal. The car clean-up was quite the ordeal, but my husband is the best, so the car didn’t even smell like rancid dairy vomit afterward.
So yeah, that was the state of our family planning at that time. Dr. OB and MA thought it was a funny story, and it is. Dr. OB sent me for an HCG blood test to really confirm, and I started to become excited. My husband and I had lunch together, where we discussed our excitement and apprehension (yes, you can feel both at the same time). I got the call later that day that my HCG number was 35, which is fairly low. Dr. OB wanted me to go back in two days to make sure that my HCG at least doubled. It was 100-something two days later, which seemed like a great sign. Although the additional increase could mean multiples, I never even considered that it might.
That weekend, we put the toddler in a “Big Bro” shirt and went to my parents’ house for Easter. It took ten minutes for my parents to even notice the shirt, and that only happened when my husband said, “Look at his shirt.” It still wasn’t obvious. My mom said she didn’t know if the shirt was a hand-me-down from Boy 1 or 2.
Later that week, on Thursday, I woke up around 3 a.m. with severe anxiety and blood pressure spikes. I thought for sure something was wrong with the pregnancy. Husband took me to Dr. OB, and my blood pressure was normal. He said, “I think you’re experiencing anxiety about having another baby. It probably has something to do with a car full of kids vomiting while the ‘Happy’ song plays.” Yep. I started taking anti-anxiety medication that day.
We had my official first pregnancy appointment about a week and a half later. Typical stuff, just going over paperwork and discussing delivery. Yes, I’d be having another cesarean section, and YES, I wanted a tubal ligation. Four kids is a lot, and we already knew that handling three was a challenge. My first ultrasound was scheduled for that Friday.
I took off work that Friday, because I needed to get more blood work done, and I had an appointment with the allergist on top of the ultrasound. My husband met me at the Radiology center, and we went back for what was the longest appointment ever. About 45 minutes in, I saw my husband’s face change. The technician said, “Let me ask you a question. Do twins run in your family?”
“NO! Oh my God, NO! What the fuck, no!”
OK, so I didn’t react favorably. The tech called in another, more experienced, tech, who said that we might have identical twins, because she didn’t see a membrane. We had no idea what that meant at the time, but we supposed it was exciting.
I had a lot of phone calls to make. One of my sweet friends said, “that’s exciting! It’s like getting a bonus baby!” I started to get excited about having two babies. Maybe we’d have two girls? We tried to wrap our heads around becoming a family of seven. We’d need a mini-van and another crib…and we’d need a whole lot more, mentally.
To read about the rest of our TTTS journey, click here.