Now falling pregnant for the second time should not be as scary and daunting and confusing as the first time around. You know what to expect. You’ve read what to expect when you’re expecting and a host of blogs and books as recommended by friends and family. You’ve walked this path before, in fact you actually think you are somewhat an expert. Just over two years of training with the first one and some months in the neo-natal ward, under your belt. You’ve seen babies in hospital, you’ve been for CPR causes, you are currently in the middle of potty training, what more could there be. And you really truly believe, think, you got this.
Well, let me just say, you don’t got this. In fact, the curve ball that was waiting for us, you never expect!
It was roughly 6 weeks into my second pregnancy, the home test was positive and the excitement of the thought of a new baby is permeating. I had called the doctor as soon as I suspected to pencil us in. My doctor whom I love now, like family love… given that our last encounter was her saving my life, and that of my baby and all, was also thrilled to see us. We chatted for a long time and then got down to business. Checking the health of our baby. Yes, one baby. Midway through the appointment, we attempt to listen for the heartbeat but she hears nothing and says this is just “stupid”. Her favorite word to describe when something is not quite right. She spends the rest of the appointment agonizingly trying to get a heartbeat for us to listen to. But alas, there’s nothing.
We end up leaving that day very concerned and extremely deflated. This did not go according to plan. According to what we expected. She says, don’t worry too much and come back next week. The following week things get even stranger, I’m spotting (which i am told is common in early pregnancy), and experiencing cramps (which is also ‘normal’) and I’m officially scared (we have heard no heartbeat?).
It’s 8 weeks now and we still can’t hear anything in the form of the heartbeat at the next appointment. The blimp on the scan is a blob now but nothing can really be seen properly. Come back in two weeks, she says. We duly do as we’re told and schedule the next appointment. We leave disappointed again and at this point it is full blown panic mode, worry seeping into every conversation.
At 10 weeks, we’re prepared for the worst. We glumly walk into the doctors rooms and wait our turn. The rooms are a hive of activity, new moms and old moms, very-pregnant-almost-due moms and their spouses and partners all engaged in lively conversation. When its our turn, she says “Alright then, no chit-chat today”, to our dejected faces. “Lets see what’s going on.” We’re all gravely silent in the room and she squishes the gel onto my stomach so that she can proceed with the ultra sound. My husband is standing at the foot of the bed, gives my feet a little squeeze of encouragement and we wait. I feel the cold sensation as the ultrasound device is positioned to start the scan. She starts talking. “Agh nee”, she says, “its really stupid, ok, moenie worry julle twee (Don’t worry you two). Here it is…” She switches from Afrikaans to English because she is excited. The realization that everything is okay is becoming apparent to us.We’re both thrilled, eyes glued to the screen, as the image of clear little legs forming and what looks like hands can be seen and the shape of a head. OH Thank Allah! The baby is fine! A smile beams on my husbands face, relief visibly entering his body.
But she is still speaking, “Ok but now you must prepare yourself” she says, “look there’s the other one! You see, here’s the other one, you have 2 babies.” And as she is speaking, all the words are drowning out. Miraculously, the image of the second baby is as clear as day. The smile on my husbands face turns into a look of absolute shock. He returns to his previous stance, which is a kind of glazed over, blank look. While I am overcome with a flood of emotions. Tears are sporadically streaming down my face. Two. Two babies. Twins! We are completely taken a back… from preparing ourselves for her to say there is no baby – due to the no heartbeat – there’s actually two babies, two heartbeats.
We are astounded. My silent husband still can’t seem to say anything. “Meneer, is jy alright” (Are you ok), doc asks. He nods. My mind still trying to take in everything thats happening. She is saying so many words, only half of which I comprehend. At this stage there is an extensive amount of information to absorb and she starts the haphazard cycle of measuring and printing all the fetal measurements of both babies. We listen to the dual heartbeat. It’s the most awestruck moment I have ever had. She sends us off with a spring in her step, a scroll of pictures bunching up in my hand and the date for our next appointment is set.
We walk out and sit in the car. Husband still silent, slightly dazed, we sit there for another 30 min or so.
Must we call someone? What just happened.
Wait… What… Are we having twins?