Friday, December 2, 2016

Stories of Hope - Jodie's Story - 2

After a whirlwind dating relationship, Geoff and I were married on Nov.25/2000.  We decided before we ever got married that we wanted to be married for 18 months or more before we tried to have a baby.  That time came and ‘instant success’….and in April of 2003 we became parents for the first time.  We had a bit of a tough time with our first born both in his delivery (horrible long induced labour followed by baby in stress, with low apgar and breathing assistance needed at birth) and with some difficulties with newborn feeding issues.  We had always said we wanted three and decided, after having what we thought was a needy newborn, that we would have a good 2.5 years between kids.  Baby #2 arrived in June of 2006 with almost as much drama… a crash c-section but very healthy baby this time.  He was a wonderful newborn, no issues at all and we knew our plan for 3 was the right one. That is, until life got in the way.  Geoff had (and continued to for many years) struggled with job security and to be honest, our marriage was not the ‘easy, peaceful, respectful and co-operative’ thing we ‘thought’ everyone had.   We struggled with finances and we fought…a lot.  Sometimes it was big yelling matches but more often it was minor arguments, snarky comments and just general comments.  There was always drama between us and always an intensity of the moods in our home…mostly on Geoff’s side of the relationship though I was not without mood swings either.  At the time we really didn’t know what was going on but it got to the point where the angry, moody times were intense and the fallouts so difficult that I ‘forced’ Geoff to go to the doctor.  He was put on anti-depressants and that really seemed to be the end of it… not the end of the moods but the end of what the medical profession was going to do about it.

And so we talked about it and I decided that there would be no more children.  I was sad in a way… I had always dreamed of having three kids and always wanted a girl but I felt this is what should happen. Note I am saying I a lot here.  Geoff didn’t really argue it but it wasn’t exactly what he wanted. Neither of us thought to consult God on this one either…and he most definitely had other plans for us. 

The thought that I could have gotten pregnant after one of those ‘oops, that was definitely that worst time in my cycle for that to have happened’ moments was a fleeting one.  I mean it occurred to me but I really gave it no thought.  Guess I should have listened more in health class at the ‘it only takes one time at the right time of the month to make a baby’ lesson.  Two and an half weeks later, after feeling certain my period MUST be coming anytime, I was pretty sure I was pregnant.  And low and behold the pregnancy was confirmed at the doctor’s office.
Now please don’t think that this meant we weren’t over the moon excited about having another baby butI will admit that I was a bit nervous and anxious about this pregnancy.  I couldn’t put my finger on it but there was just something that felt different...even that early on.   I didn’t remember being so nervous with the older boys but then both of them we knew were coming.  As time moved on my head was often filled with thoughts of this baby.  I wish I could say that I was dreaming of only happy thoughts, thinking only of the moment when I finally would meet this little one.  But instead I kept feeling like something was wrong and began researching all kinds of pregnancy complications.  Because you see, I was just very convinced that something wasn’t quite right.  I just felt so different this time. I kept telling myself that each pregnancy was different and even more so, I kept telling myself that this just must be a girl....the boys never made me feel like this.  Now please don’t think that I only wanted a girl.  A healthy pregnancy and an easy delivery that brought into this world a strong and healthy baby are really all that I asked for.  Sure I would have loved to complete this amazing family with curls, dresses, dollies and easy bake ovens but I also knew that trucks, trains and grass stains are what I knew best.  In my heart I truly believed that this unexpected surprise was a gift from God with perhaps a bit more unique purpose. He had intervened, despite our best efforts to finish our family at 2 children and to me that was a sign of good things to come.

But still there were these differences and in my mind these differences that I was feeling must mean that I’d lost the baby or something.  Never mind that I was so very nauseous and feeling so obviously pregnant.  And perhaps that is why the news learned on Sept. 19 took me by such shock and why it took so long for me to absorb and appreciate it fully.

To say I was nervous about my first ultrasound would be putting it mildly.  I hardly slept the night before it and woke often with visions of a vast emptiness on the ultrasound screen and the technician sadly shaking her head at me.  I knew I would be so glad when these tests were done and I could put these fears to rest.

The scan seemed to go okay but I was so afraid to look at the tech.  When she asked me how many kids I had I turned to look at her and was pleased to see that she was smiling.   As I gave her all the dates and details I found myself relaxing.  Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all. 

Finally she told me to relax, that, everything was fine in there.  I told her that I was so glad to hear her say that as this whole pregnancy had felt just a bit off since day one. She wondered why I would say that and I told her that I just felt so different from with the two boys.  And wondered out loud that that maybe that’s the’s not a boy. She laughed and told me it was too early to tell me that.
When she was done she asked if Geoff was out in the waiting room.  I told her he was supposed to be but hadn’t been here when I came in. She went to look for him and returned to tell me that he wasn’t there and that was really too bad because she had some news for me. My heart dropped.
She told me that she it would have been great to have both of us here for it because...  “ There’s two babies in there!!!!”
The room went still, I could feel the blood rushing to my head and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I repeated two babies, two babies?
And then she began to show me what the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.  Two tiny little peanut shapes came into view.  And tears trickled down my cheeks. 
“Twins....I can’t believe it,” I whispered.

It was a totally unbelievable moment and I wondered how the other half of the biology that formed the two perfect little miracles would react when he found out.  The problem was I couldn’t find him and to be honest, I was feeling panic beginning to set in.  Within a short time I had located Geoff, drove to where he was wondering how he’d react to this overwhelming, shocking and totally amazing news.
Geoff, upon seeing my face, said, “What is it, twins?”
I nodded and burst into to tears and he wrapped me in a hug.
“Are you serious.  Oh wow.  This is awesome,” and then as he finally looked into my very serious, very concerned eyes and told me it was going to be okay, not to worry.  But I did worry and I voiced all the worries I could think of at the time… how could we afford them, daycare, food, clothes…it seemed never ending the worries that came to my head.  But Geoff simply told me to stop, that it would be fine, we would make it work, we always did. And I looked into his smiling face and saw the excitement in his eyes.  “Twins, Jodie….freaking Twins!!!  This is so amazing!!!”

To say I was overwhelmed would be putting it mildly.  I was just mixed bag of emotions…one minute I cried and the next I couldn’t get the big grin off my face.   But, admittedly, the fears were greater and tears would flow down my cheeks… again.  My mind was cluttered with thoughts.  I’d like to think that this is the pregnancy hormones on overload but in reality the blame can only rest with my mind.  I kept thinking  ‘How could I do this, how could I manage?  How could we afford this?  Why us?  Why can’t I just be HAPPY???’ Forcing myself to stop this was very difficult   and I wondered if this whole pregnancy would be an emotional rollercoaster.

The news of twins seems to ignite an excitement in everyone who hears and our news was no different.  My mom’s reaction was classic.... I actually called her on my way home from my ultrasound.  I was actually heading to meet her ‘up home’ and thanks to my ultrasound being ‘twice’ as long I was running behind.  I thought I’d better call her on her cell and tell her but more then that I just really needed to share this amazing news with her. 

When she answered her phone she asked about my ultrasound and I asked if her if she was sitting down. Of course she wondered why so I told her....  “Mom, it’s TWINS!!!”
She was quiet for about 2 seconds and then said “No Shit, Jod, no way”  and then a paused and said  “Oh wow this is amazing news!  Oh I can’t wait to tell your dad.”
When I did see him a few hours later he was so excited that he picked me up and swung me around…and I was no small girl!
The boys were pretty excited.  Brycen was a bit young to understand but Zack would get so excited when he was told he could tell someone our news.  The pure joy on his face, the realization that my boys could not see this for anything other than the absolute amazing gift that it was, brought me to the place I needed to be in when my panic would set in. This was a wonderful thing, a blessing, a gift and the most amazing thing to ever happen to me

The days that followed this amazing news were filled with very mixed emotions and not a lot of sleep.  To say I was worried would, hands down, be a grand understatement. 
I felt positively overwhelmed by all that my mind had produced for things to worry, jobs, our house, things the twins would  need, daycare, pre-term labour and complications, bedrest, name it, I worried about it. 
I did not how we would manage, I did not feel like I could  possibly  do this and yet I knew that I would do this as I had everything else that had come into my life…  with as much grace as I could muster and to the best of my ability.  It might not always be pretty, would never be perfect or without fault but it would be an adventure, a journey that I could call my own.  So few get to have this amazing opportunity, only 1/6th of all pregnancies are multiples and it really felt that it was wonderful that I got to take this journey together with these little lives growing inside of me. 

Within days there was a line up, so to speak, of people asking me about my twins, offering congratulations and better yet, things to borrow.  Everyone wanted to know if we knew what they were…ummmm, not yet!   I was not sure what I wanted them ‘to be’.  The obvious answer was healthy.  One of each is really what I thought would be the most perfect thing.  But indeed, healthy was really the only thing that mattered.  I worried that something would happen and they would come too soon.  It seemed to be so common for twins to be early and I just wanted them to stay in there for another 24 weeks or so. 

The most common thing I’ve was hearing from those who learned about our twin pregnancy was ‘better you than me’.  It pains me to say this but I sometimes agreed with people and sometimes put voice to all the fears I did have.  With all that my pregnancy with my twins brought me, I hate so much that my initial reaction was not one filled with joy.  I know that I was excited and I know that I shared that first picture of my twins together to everyone to help build up that excitement and to be honest, to bring attention to myself.  I know so much more about myself now than I did then, it took me till around the time I originally started this story  to realize how selfish I can be sometimes, how much I put myself in the limelight, bring up our story to get attention.  It’s not something I am proud of but finding this out about myself makes me realize that it wasn’t that I wasn’t happy about the twins....I was secretly jumping up and down for joy.  It was better me than them I guess, I was and am so very lucky. And acting the way I did was just part of who I was then and what I needed then from others.  Growing up never stops, just so you know, and my journey with my twins has changed my life forever and given me such an insight on so many things in life.   

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