It’s a blessing. If anyone could handle twins, it’s you. Better you than me. I don’t know how you do it. Oh my God, you have your hands full. Do you get any sleep? Do you have any help? I can hardly do it with one, how do you do it with two?
Get ready, because if you are about to have twins, or multiples for that matter, this is what the average citizen is going to say to you. You will hear it every time you leave your house with both of your babies. You will hear it even more if you have other children, and you all leave your house together. People come out of the woodwork to talk to you about your twins, well, because let’s face it, twins are a blessing. But let’s also be real. When you first hear the news, it doesn’t immediately feel like a blessing. And it is hard to not be grateful for such a miracle, especially in this day and age when so many of your friends are having to deal with the issue of infertility or difficulties getting pregnant with just one baby, let alone two. With time, you will begin to realize that, yes, it is a blessing. It’s a down right miracle! It’s crazy, it’s beautiful, it’s surreal. Now that a year has passed since the day I discovered I was blessed with twins, I feel even more in luck and in love with my precious babies and the fact that my life, my husband’s life, our parents’ and our chidlren’s lives, were blessed with this opportunity. My experience went a little something like this…
This was my third pregnancy, and I had never been this sick, or sick this early in the pregnancy. With my other two, like clockwork, at eight weeks, I was puking my brains out. However, a week after I found out I was pregnant, which was around 6 weeks, I was feeling nausea and dizzy. I was also working full time for the Guru Fitness Company, which required me to participate several times a week in some sort of physical activity, like yoga, running, kickboxing, etc. I called my doctor at 6 weeks because I was worried it was an ectopic pregnancy. We had a manager’s training coming up in a week where we were going to partake in a Boot Camp class, and I was really concerned about joining in given every time I moved my head I thought I was going to pass out. So I called, and they had me come in. Being that I was only 6 weeks, they told me most likely, they wouldn’t see or hear a heartbeat yet. I went in anyway, just to make sure it wasn’t ectopic, for peace of mind. Like they said, no heartbeat, just a little sack implanted in the right place. Looked good, mom was sick, so hormones must be kicking in. Not to worry, every pregnancy is different. Is that a second baby? Nope, just the yolk sack. OK, thanks Doc, and went on my merry way.
The next few weeks became a little topsy turvy. I had to announce to my boss that I was pregnant because I knew I wouldn’t be able to do the Boot Camp. Since I worked for a forward thinking company, I figured I had all the support I needed to make that announcement. I had planned on moving into a new role within the company, so I hired a manager to replace me. And replace me she did. For the next two weeks, she found every reason in the book to threaten me with termination at my next review, which was in two weeks. To this day, I’m still not sure what her motivation was exactly. Many things come to mind, but I’ve never taken the liberty to confront her face to face with it. At the same time, my grandfather was dying. He was in a hospital for complications from the skin cancer he had been dealing with for the last several years. Though none of us wanted to admit it, we all had the fear of imminence lingering around us. Not to mention, I still was sick as sick could be. I was finding it hard to even eat or drink anything. I could hardly make it through one of my floor shifts without having to throw up, let alone keep a smile on my face and practice great guest experience, while convincing the new manager that I really was worth the trouble to keep me on the team. On a Thursday, it all came to a head. The doctor told my mom and her siblings that we should all come to the hospital to say our good-byes. The priest came to administer Last Rites, and we all sat around together, comforting and supporting each other while my grandfather slowly slipped through to the other side. As I was sitting in the waiting room, I received a call from one of my employees who was crying and asking what happened. I was so confused, and asked her to be more specific. Was she referring to my grandfather? I mean, she was an emotional soul, but she was not connected to him in anyway, so I couldn’t imagine that was the case. No, actually, the new manager took it upon herself to let the team know she had let me go. That I was no longer working for the Guru Fitness Company. What?!? Furious, I sent a text to my boss thanking her for going behind my back and for the lack of support they showed while my grandfather was dying. What kind of forward thinking company was this? It was a bunch of bullshit, as my grandfather would have said. She was clueless. She had no idea what was going on, and got in contact with the new manager. Whether they were in-cahoots or not, the new manager was forced to rescind the email and make an open apology. Not to me directly, but she made one to the team. Whatever. At that point, I had decided that I had to focus on what was important, and that was being there for my family. I requested a leave of absence knowing I was going to need the time to support my family while they made funeral arrangements.
The next morning, my grandfather passed. I sat on the couch, alone, in the darkness. I wanted to cry, but nothing came out. I just sat there, contemplating his life and wondering what changes this was going to bring to mine. For a distraction, I began to write down some things that I would say in a eulogy. Out of all the grandchildren, I knew I would be the one to speak for all of us. A little later, I tried to get some sleep knowing I was going to have to face the inevitable…telling my children their Grandpa the Great was in Heaven. I was also still so sick. I thought getting some sleep would help me get through the day. When the kids woke up, they came into my room and laid down in my bed. I told them I had some sad news and told them about my grandfather. My daughter just kind of looked at me, I could tell she was trying to wrap her head around what I just said. She had just turned 4 a week ago. My son got this anxious look on his face, and I braced myself for whatever questions he was going to ask. He blurted out, “Great! He was the only one who knew how to turn on the DVD player!”
I had mixed emotions. I loved my grandpa so much, and I know that he loved my kids a ton. I thought they would be a little more emotional about the whole thing, but they just went on with their day. Throughout the year, they would ask questions about Grandpa the Great, and my daughter became more sentimental about the whole thing. She would say special prayers for him, and tell me that she missed him. I think it took her awhile to really grasp that he was no longer around. She had to experience it physically rather than me just telling her how sad it was going to be. Once she was able to see for herself that so many people loved Grandpa and missed him, she understood what it was like to miss him too, and how special he was in all of our lives. My son on the other hand, was considerate, but it didn’t stop him from living his life. He was aware, but it did not take any emotional toils on him, which, selfishly, broke my heart a little. He was the first great-grandchild, and we lived down the street from them for his first year. We would walk over there all the time to visit, and my grandparents would babysit him. They just adored him. I guess I really wanted more of a reaction from him, but I never got it.
In the meantime, it was Friday, we were moving into the weekend, and a funeral, and having to deal with work, I knew I was going to need something to keep me from vom
iting every hour. Or, at least to help keep the nausea at bay. I had morning sickness with my other pregnancies, but not bad enough where I needed to take something. I’ve never felt this bad in my life. Not sure if it was a combination of the emotional stress happening between work and my grandpa, or if I wasn’t going with the “every pregnancy is different” mentality, I needed medication. I needed it before the weekend. I called my doctor’s office and told them again, that I was still sick, and it seemed to be getting worse. I explained my family situation, and asked if the doctor would please consider giving me some meds. They asked if I could be there in 45 minutes, which would have been 5:30pm. I put a call into my nanny, who was already at the house with my kids, and asked if she could stay longer. Did I mention my husband had just flown out to Dallas that morning for work and was planning on being gone the entire weekend?
After fighting 5 o’clock traffic, I finally made it to the OB’s office. When I walked in, they ushered me into the back, as I’m sure I was their last patient and they were all wanting to go home. I sat patiently in the ultrasound room, looking around at the posters of babies all lined up in a row in front of me. Glancing at the Stages of Pregnancy posters to my right-definitely a throw-back to the 80’s as they were highlighted in peaches and mauves. I didn’t feel nervous about anything. I was just planning on them taking a quick peek at the baby…I was 9 weeks now, so there should be a heartbeat at this point…her writing me a prescription for some meds, and we would all be on our way. My doctor is phenomenal. I love her. I heart her. She delivered my other two children and she will always hold a special place in my heart. She is an extremely intelligent, compassionate woman, and very enlightened. In each patient’s room, she has these little calendars with sayings from Catholicism, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. She also has one right next to it with daily quotes about powerful women. She used to have yoga classes in her office, and would do vegetarian pot lucks with her patients. Every day and everything is a blessing. She has an amazing outlook on life. And she glides. She glided into the room, singing my name like a Disney princess. Telling me how excited she is I am here and how lucky and blessed I am to be so fruitful and healthy. Earlier I was asked if she could bring in her medical student to shadow her. I didn’t mind because I wasn’t getting undressed, so sure, whatever. I’m always willing to lend science a helping hand. She started to warm up the machine, and lube up the wand. She made a smiley face on my belly with the ultra sound gel, and went to work. I love this part. I love seeing my babies inside of me, growing, moving, it is truly one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. She moved the wand over my abdomen from right to left, scanning for that little bug growing inside of me. Finally stopping when she saw it. At least, I thought she stopped because she pointed out the heart beat with a big smile, then she continued to move the stick around some more. I thought she was just checking out my uterus and making sure everything was cool. I was fixated on the little bean on the TV Screen in front of me. And I’m asking, “So everything is OK? It’s all good, right?” and she’s saying, yup, all good, looks normal, “But did we tell you you are having twins?”
Huh? What? Repetez S’il vous plait? Then she started laughing. Oh, funny. Got it, joke, funny, haha. I looked at the med student, then looked at the doctor, med student, doctor…what was happening? Was she serious? I realized that she was when she sat down on her chair and said, “Shit. I’ve never missed twins before.” OMG, I’ve never heard her say shit before, and she had been my doctor for at least 10 years. Not that I ever expected her to bust out with such profanities, being a professional and all, but hearing her say it lead me to believe she was serious. I was having twins.
We all sat in the room, waiting. Waiting for what, I don’t know. For me, at that point, I was just trying to take it all in. In the last 24 hours my grandfather died, I was wrongfully terminated from my job, and was told I was carrying two babies. Oh. My. God. Finally, my doctor broke the silence. She said, “where is your husband?” Husband. Husband? Husband! My husband. I’m sitting here alone, hearing the craziest news in my life, and my husband, the man who is supposed to be there for better or worse, thick or thin, rich or poor, good times and bad, sickness and in health, was not here. He was on a business trip. I gathered up the strength to mutter the word, “Dallas”. “Well, we have to call him!” she exclaimed. Side note…she loves my husband. They went to rivalry universities and they love to chat about that and business and whatever else would come up in conversation. “Go on! Call him! Oh my gosh, what do you think he will say?” Well, lots of things flooded my mind at that moment, but most importantly, I thought, he is on a business trip, there is no way he will answer right now. It was dinner time where he was at, and he had been planning this extravagant event at a fancy hotel with all these people. I can’t just drop a bomb on him like that. At the same time, I knew I couldn’t go home and be around all of my family and keep this information to myself. I would literally explode. We hadn’t even told our kids I was pregnant yet, let alone, now they could expect two more siblings.