Have you ever noticed that there are people in your life that feed your anxiety and people in your life who starve it? There are those who make all the wrong comments, ask all the wrong questions and give all the wrong information. I had more than a few of these in my life those first few weeks. People who would say glad it’s not me or wow are you going to be busy. I had people who told me that they didn’t know how I’d manage and say things like how are you going to make this work. Even worse than this were the people who told me stories of bedrest, premature labour, premature twins etc. And maybe most troubling of all was someone who told me that she wouldn’t be buying anything for my twins until they arrived because ‘you just never know what could happen. All I’ve read and heard are all these horrible things that can go wrong and the babies not making it...I don’t want to get ahead of myself.’
Thankfully I also had those in my life who starved my anxiety...they didn’t feed it. The offered comfort, support and helpful ideas. They came forth with things to use or borrow and offers of help when the babies arrived. They had the stories of the fullterm healthy twins who ate and slept well from day one...these were the folks I LOVED!
person who quickly starved my anxiety was my midwife, Charlotte. We visited with her about 10 days after we learned of the TWO miracles growing inside of me and she was full of compassion and comfort. She was neither surprised nor concerned when I told her that I was feeling overwhelmed, full of mixed emotions...but good...if that made any sense. It made all the sense in the world.
She took a look at the ultrasound with us and after looking at it for a few minutes had smiled and said, “So identical twins, how truly amazing!”
I remember Geoff and I looking at each other, mouths dropping. Identical? I had thought they were fraternal. The tech had told me they were in two sacs.
And then came the first lesson on twins, how they are conceived and what that all means. Our twins appeared to be monochorionic diamniotic twins... two babies conceived when one egg split into two identical little miracles. They had one placenta, were inside one chorion but had their own amniotic sac.
Every time I saw my babies on the ultrasound screen I marvelled at the miracle that is identical twins. I mean, really, it is just amazing that it can happen. For one fertilized egg to break completely and equally into two and become two beings who look exactly the same....what a miracle that is.
I was still wavering between intense feelings of overwhelming worry and euphoric excitement. I seemed to be a bit anally obsessed with research into twin strollers, breastfeeding multiples and furniture and set up for the bedrooms for all these kids! . I had acquired a few twin books and had joined a few twin sites. I read and read and in all honesty, I avoided all sections on what could go wrong...it wasn’t going to be us, it wasn’t going to happen to me. The more research and planning I did, the more relaxed and comfortable I became with the whole idea of twins.
I got to choose which OB I wanted to be referred to as twins can not be seen by midwives for their primary care. I picked the OB that had delivered both our older boys, Dr. Hancock. Soon I was seeing him every 2-3 weeks and his office was booking me ultrasound appointments every 4-6 weeks. My new online mommies of multiples friends were helpful in so many ways and most had seen their OB less and had scans at about the same rate. I felt well cared for and was comfortable with the plans we developed regarding mode and timing of delivery though I wasn’t keen on being told I needed to be off work at 28 weeks. We were quite anxious to learn what gender our babies were and at our 18-19 week appointment we hoped to learn what the technician at my last scan, the previous scan promised would be in her report. Unfortunately it wasn’t in the report so Dr. Hancock figured he could solve this mystery and quickly had my lay down for a sonogram scan. He scanned and searched and showed us a few things…like baby a kicking baby b repeatedly in the head and baby b sucking it’s thumb. He showed us the foot that was blocking the view and told us that he could harbour a guess but with that foot in the way it would be just that, a guess. We did ask what that guess was and he told us he didn’t see any boy ‘bits’ so his guess was girls but that foot really blocked everything.
And so we were stuck with yellow and green for a colour scheme still!!!
I once read a quote that said that Life is accepting what is and working from that.” And this is where I was at in the early to middle of December. I felt prepared, hopeful and excited. I really felt I could take on whatever could come my way...I had accepted what was and I was working with it...and working with it well. Little did I know how hard this would become, little did I know what was yet to come.