December 11th for me was a day like any other. I went to work for a few hours and then was off to see Dr. Hancock, hoping that our babies would finally reveal the mystery to us...were they boys or girls? I was mixed on what I wanted... part of me LOVED the idea of having little girls and dresses and hairbows but then I wondered what puberty with two teenage girls who look exactly alike might really be like. Boys, I knew, boys, I was used to...and boys I had all the clothes and toys for...but pink...oh how I loved the colour pink! Really though all I really wanted is for them to remain in there another 12 weeks or so and be healthy and happy. I was sure that would be the case...I mean their brothers remained inside me for days and days past when they should have arrived and even then it was a chore to get them here. I couldn’t imagine what I’d do if they were born early or if anything happened to them. At one point I I couldn’t imagine my life with twins and now I couldn’t imagine my life without twins.
We also hoped that at this appointment we would get some confirmed dates from Dr. Hancock for when I was to be off work and maybe even a rough idea of when he’d like to book the c-section. It’s hard, looking back now, to think about how shallow my worries were, how lacking in concern I was for my babies and how selfish I was for me. My biggest worry that day was talking (ok moaning and complaining) to the nurse, who was also the lactation consultant, about how on earth I would nurse two babies at once. My big focus that day was trying to get Dr. Hancock to agree to set a c-section date just before March Break so that I would have a week where Zack would not have school and that way he could go to mom and dad’s while I was in the hospital and adjusted to two newborn babies. Note I said I was in the hospital and I was adjusting to the newborns…never once did I think about those babies inside of me.
Geoff and I were once again pretty disappointed to NOT learn more about our babies but we hoped that the ultrasound later that day should reveal more . While scanned me we discussed plans for the next visit…in less then 2 weeks, just before Christmas. He told us that at that visit we would begin making plans for delivery…writing a birth plan, booking a c-section date if need be. I asked, again, what the earliest I could have these babies and still deliver in
Dr. Hancock told me that 34 weeks was the earliest Stratford could comfortably accommodate
babies in their special care unit but that would be more of an emergency
delivery and they would prefer not to deliver there until 35-36 weeks. Seeing my distress he assured me that Stratford , our nearest Level
3 NICU was a wonderful hospital, a wonderful NICU and I would be well taken
care of there. Maybe so, but this
country girl really didn’t want to be delivering in the big city or dealing
with big city hospitals and big city doctors. London
The last thing Dr. Hancock spoke to me about was ultrasounds and seemed somewhat insistent that ultrasounds needed to happen on schedule and told us they would increase in frequency later in the pregnancy. He did ask when my next scan was and seemed happy that it was that day. He did his own in office scan and told us that we had a fine pair of babies there and he’d leave the rest of the scanning information to the experts at my ultrasound.
That that life altering ultrasound almost didn’t happen. It was actually cancelled by the hospital due an added ultrasound I’d had when the babies measured tiny at 17 weeks but no one had called to tell me this. When they told me that I didn’t have a scan scheduled that day I became pretty stubborn and insisted that they do it anyway since I was there. After basically telling them I wasn’t going home and that my doctor did not want me to wait until my next scheduled scan (in early January) I was told to go have lunch and come back in an hour while they checked to see when they could fit me in and verify when Dr. Hancock needed the scan done. I was relieved… I wanted to know what colour to start buying… I mean I was 23 weeks and hadn’t bought a thing. Once again I was focused on me and my needs.
Geoff was unable to stay with me though because the appointment was now an hour later and he needed to get to work.
Knowing what I know now I am very certain that God gave me the gift of a stubbornness and, well a big mouth, for a reason. He intervened to ensure that ultrasound did happen too, he knew it was essential, he put me at that hospital that day for a reason. I will always thank him for my stubborn nature as during that ultrasound it became obvious that something wasn’t right. During the scan the tech and I discussed how hard it had been for them to find this membrane that divided the two babies. She spent about 20 minutes scanning me and then said that she was done what she needed to do but was having difficulty with that membrane again and was going to have someone else come in to take a look. Another tech came in a few minutes later and began scanning again. He left after about 10 minutes of scanning to check the results on his computer. After about 5 minutes he was back and he introduced me to a doctor that accompanied him. He told me that he was having difficulty with a measurement and wanted this doctor to verify that he was doing it right. They scanned me again and spent some time discussing different measurements they seemed to need. The words didn’t seem to co-ordinate with the membrane issue and at this point I began to worry. When he left again to check out the scans and didn’t come back for 20 minutes I knew something was wrong.