“I’ve been feeling really sick.” I tell the ultrasound lady. She’s just getting her magic wand in position to tell me my future. With two beautiful children and five sweet angels in heaven, for my husband and I, this eighth pregnancy would most likely be all she wrote in terms of us bringing another child into the world. Our history of just plain bad-luck miscarriages coupled with the fact that, though I feel just 28, my husband insists I will be turning 39 next month, have led Shawn and I to a now or never feeling about this pregnancy.
With my hubby at a conference all week, I went to my appointment alone. Two friends (from the small number that actually even knew I was pregnant) had offered to take me, but I wanted to go alone. Shawn called that morning and I knew he was with me in spirit. I knew I could take whatever news this doctor’s visit would bring.
Having cried the entire car-ride to the hospital, preparing for the worst even as I hoped for the best, I was now surprising relaxed. I breathed slowly and purposely as I recline on a not-even-the-least-bit-soft table, legs spread wide in stirrups, awaiting my fate. Will my youngest daughter of six get the little brother or sister she has so patiently been waiting for, insistent he or she is coming through all the twists and turns and a good bit of doubt on her parent’s part? Does our little peanut (I figured to be about 8 weeks old) have a heart beat???
I’ve been down this road before so I don’t even attempt to watch the squiggly lines that will soon form on the screen before me. Trained in the ways of the human face, how it either brightens or dulls depending on the news that flashes before it, I’ve trained myself to stare instead into the smiling eyes of my ultrasound technician. I’ve learned that it is far easier for me to interpret this face than the abstract images of an ultrasound screen. In this way, I read the screen without even glancing at it.
My mind is ready to interpret the face even before the images appear. “Hmmmm, that comment I just made about me being sick – that really affected her. What is she thinking? She’s definitely thinking something. Is that a good sign or a bad sign? Don’t all women feel sick 7 weeks into pregnancy??? It’s got to be normal to….” And before my mind could chase this thought much further, the ultrasound tech’s face transformed from one of curiosity to one of AMAZEMENT.
This was a face of joy. I was certain. Little tingles of relief flowed through my body. “There’s a heart beat. There must be. I just know it…” my mind was busy surmising when that sweet technician shocked me. Words came from her mouth, telling me far more than the words I had been able to read upon her face.
“You are having TWINS!!!”
Now, I did not see that coming. Twins?!?! What? Wild. Awesome. Two babies!?! Oh joy. Oh complete and utter joy. There’s a heart beat! Wait, no, there are TWO heart beats. Twins. And as my mind races to catch up to the knowing my body experienced, the following thought kept running through my brain like a ticker tape, “Two babies…TWO babies…two BABIES…TWO BABIES!”.
In that moment, I didn’t so much think as I did feel. I felt so much love. As surprised as I know I had been when those words left her mouth just five seconds before, my body felt as if the knowledge of two babies growing inside me always ever had been.
Moments passed and my joy continued to grow. Love filled the room. My ultrasound tech introduced me to sweet baby “A” and sweet baby “B”, labeling them in white type upon the screen and printing their pretty little pictures for me. No longer abstract wiggle lines to me, I swear I could see their smiles.
She measured their little heart beats, 169 for baby “A” and 171 for baby “B”. She looked closely at the two separate sacs in which they floated and their two separate cords, declaring them what I intuitively knew to be so…”PERFECT!” She gave me some of the technical terms for their twin-hood-ness which I’ve already forgotten…and let me know they could be identical or fraternal at this point. Every new term and fact that left her mouth was like a golden nugget to my ears.
Speechless, amazed, and utterly grateful would be just a few words I’d pick to attempt to describe what I was feeling in that moment. Mostly, I felt I had been given a great gift…not only the gift of life and the two beautiful souls that grow inside me, but the gift of peace I felt growing in me alongside them as well. Does this mean I’ll never worry in the months to come? No. Just ask my doctor who was clear to tell it to me like it is before I left her office. She knows the risks and so do I. But I’ve turned this whole baby thing over.
Now more than ever I feel myself cupped in the larger hand of another…comforted in the knowledge that I do not direct my life on my own. I am part of something bigger. Comforted too in the knowledge that no matter what happens, I am not the circumstances of my life. I am life. I am LOVE. And I can love this day, no matter what.
It’s days like today that make faith easy…or maybe it’s faith that makes days like today easy. Just hours after learning of our twins, I had gone to our daisy patch to pick two flowers…one for baby “A’ and one for baby “B”. After clipping their stems I turned to walk away when this beautiful daisy caught my eye. It was one flower with two yellow heads connected by a single stem; little white petals surrounding the pair all around.
Twin daisies. How PERFECT. Do I take this as some sort of sign? Heck yeah!@#! You betcha. Words like hope and praise and peace of mind, like faith and trust and love and all things good in this world fill my head when I look at my beautiful twin daisies.
Mushy? Yeah, I know. But you’ll have to forgive me, I’m pregnant!… with twins.
Suzanne Tucker, aka Zen Mommy
In addition to mommying to two magical girls born in 2000 and 2003 and twins born in 2010, Suzanne owns a holistic health center in St. Louis, Missouri where she practices as a physical therapist, Certified Infant Massage Instructor and health education teacher. Certified in a number of healing and life education approaches, Suzanne is a Co-creator of My Mommy Manual and the online parenting course, Yoga Parenting.