6 Weeks ago, I imagined this post looking very similar to this one, but this round has proven to be quite different. About six weeks ago, I took a pregnancy test and it was... positive! I felt peace and joy and thought, our family is complete!! Kelly and I were thrilled to pieces, and a bit shocked too. Not shocked because we weren't hoping to get pregnant, shocked because we weren't sure we would be able to. But, that would be another post that I probably won't take the energy to write...
Anyway, we were and have been so thankful for this pregnancy. But, like I mentioned, it has been extremely different than Georgiana's, which I understand is the norm. To feel one way with one pregnancy and then sometimes polar opposite with the next. With Georgiana the thought of twins never really crossed my mind, there was one moment right before my first ultra sound that I thought, hmmm... Maybe? But, nothing more than that. Which was funny, because my entire life, at least my entire life that I can remember, I have wanted twins. Dreamed of twins, just knew I would have them. When I was really little I would tell my Mom and whoever would listen, that I would someday have twins, a boy and girl. I went through a phase when I pretended that I had a twin brother. Yep, I got my friend Katie in on it too... I was also the 'creative,' or a little silly, toddler with an imaginary friend, so this was not too far off of my norm.
All this to say, I've always been quite fond of the idea of twins. When my sister found out she was having twins, we all had to laugh at how surprised we were! Twins definitely run in the family, we just never thought about Tiffany having them, and oh how blessed we all are that she did! We LOVE our Ryder and Hana. When Tiffany was pregnant, even she said "I thought you were going to have the twins!" Me too Tiff, me too :) But, it was totally meant to be, we couldn't not have our Ryder or Hana, and Taye called it from the get go. He told Tiffany he wanted one brother and one sister!
So, when I found out I was pregnant this time, I most definitely had twins on my mind. First, I thought it was because my sister had twins, and my friend Jessica was just about to, so maybe it was just on my mind a lot. But then, it became like I just 'knew.' I remember Kelly and I talking and he asked me, "So, do you really think we are having twins?" I said, "No, I know we are, so prepare yourself :)"
Prepare yourself, because after seeing a first hand account of how much work two beautiful precious little babies really are, I knew it was going to be a crazy, but super joyful, ride! At our first dr appointment, I asked if there were any twin symptoms I could look for until our first ultrasound. Of course, there are not, it was one of those questions I had to ask.
So, our ultrasound was scheduled, it was to be last Friday, the 10th. But, in true Nicole fashion, I had some intense cramps that triggered an ultrasound on the 2nd. After each of Georgie's ultrasounds, Kelly and I were walking on air. Grinning from ear to ear, holding the pictures, and feeling like the most blessed people in the world! The 2nd was different. My dr's office was booked up, so they scheduled us at the hospital. The tech/nurse (I'm not sure of her title), was super nice, even asked if I was too uncomfortable with such a full bladder. I had been instructed to drink 32oz of water an hour before and "not go potty." Yep, the nurse told me over the phone to "not go potty." I obeyed, and it was miserable, but it just goes with the territory, so really it was fine.
With Georgie girl we ended up having 6 or so ultrasounds, so I became familiar with what one sweet little peanut looks like on the screen. So, almost instantly I bombarded the tech with questions, I felt bad, I was probably annoying, but I was nervous and excited. I could see one little baby moving and hanging out, and then I asked about the other image I saw on the screen. What else was showing up on the screen? She said she wasn't sure... She was going to take some measurements and find out. Okay... She then started on the heartbeat. I saw her click for a heartbeat and the scan came up flat_________________, she did it a second time ____________ flat, then a third and it was 164 bpm. Healthy as can be, right? Yep, a solid heart rate of 164. But, I still thought it strange. I asked her if there was just one baby in there...
She said "Um... I think so." I waited and waited and waited for a more solid answer. She moved around looking at other things, asked me some questions, and then before we knew it, we were done. I asked, "So, one healthy baby, right?" To which she replied yes. I later kicked myself for the way I worded that question, but surely they would have told us if something was wrong. She had the radiologist look at the images, came back and said we were good to go, that my dr's office would be contacting us.
Well, they didn't, no contact whatsoever. The tech had handed us one large picture, I said thank you, and gave it to Kelly. Normally, we would have been fighting (not really) over who would get to carry it, but I didn't care to look at it. I was tired, hungry, and distracted, just ready to head on home. I didn't feel a sigh of relief, I didn't feel like I knew everything was okay, I felt horribly guilty for not wanting to stare at the picture. I felt awful that even after seeing the baby and the heart rate, that I still felt a disconnect. I told Kelly, something is off. I've heard many of my friends say that with their second (or more) babies, they were so busy with their first baby that they didn't feel like they were bonding as much with the baby they were pregnant with. So, at first I thought maybe that was it, but I knew it wasn't. I felt more like in the deep of my gut I knew something wasn't right, but yet it appeared that everything was, so apparently I was just a crazy, delusional, hormonal pregnant person.
Tuesday came and I gave my dr's (dr/midwife office, it's a combo office) office a call. Just checking in, seeing if I was still going to have my ultrasound that was scheduled for Friday, or if the first one cancelled it out. They said I wouldn't need one on Friday, but to still come in for the appointment with my midwife, since I hadn't seen her yet. Okay, easy enough.
The week went on, I told a few friends that I was pregnant, all of who asked if I thought it was twins. I didn't quite know how to answer now. Initially I just said, well I thought I was having twins, but according to the ultrasound I'm not. My friend Jessica said she "really thought you were going to have twins." She told me that sometimes in such early ultrasounds one twin is hiding behind the other. I was so glad she told me that, because then I didn't have to feel crazy for still feeling like I was pregnant with twins, and it made me feel like maybe that is why the ultrasound tech was answering the questions so awkwardly. It all made perfect sense!
On Thursday, I was talking with my friend Melissa, we were talking about how many kids we could see ourselves with. I told her, maybe I really am pregnant with twins, because I feel like this is my last pregnancy, but at the end of the day, I see three kids. (Keep in mind before I had Georgiana we thought maybe 4, so I have learned it is very very subject to change!) Anyway, I said, I don't know how we would get to three, but I kind of picture three.
Friday morning came. Kelly ended up having training that he couldn't get out of, so I decided to go solo, not entirely solo, I took my best little buddy Georgiana Lee with me. It was an appointment that I kept thinking, oh I should ask so and so to come, maybe just to watch Georgie while I go back... But, I procrastinated and at the end of the day, I thought it would just be a simple appointment.
After checking in, they completely forgot about me, in this case it did not pay off to be patient (no pun intended). Georgie and I waited and waited and waited. We were in the waiting room close to an hour before I finally went up to the front desk and asked if they had an estimate of how long it would be? Poor Georgie girl, it is A LOT to ask of a one year old to hang out in a waiting room for that long. Particularly when I am completely freaked out by the germs and would not let her touch anything!! Thankfully, there were some other kids to watch and distract her, and we had snacks. I am so thankful I packed snacks. Anyway, they apologized and 20 minutes later they were weighing me in.
It was a long appointment. Longer than expected because apparently my midwife (or whoever was responsible for requesting it) forgot to request my ultrasound from the hospital, so we had to wait for it to be sent over. Oh, and my midwife wasn't in the office that day, so I would be seeing someone else, "but didn't we call you??" No, no you did not. At this point I didn't care, I was trying hard to be pleasant and appreciative and not grumpy, and then...
The super nice midwife sat down with my ultrasound report, and when prompted for any questions I asked "So, at the ultrasound when I asked if there was only one baby, the answer was kind of vague and I have just been wondering if I could get some clarification..." Her entire face changed, and I think I knew right then. Truthfully the thought had NEVER entered my mind. I thought for sure I had thought through every explanation of my possible twin obsessed insanity, but not this. I had never thought of this. She calmly and compassionately said "they didn't call you..." No, no one has called me. I called them, but they didn't call me, and they have my number, we checked three times over the course of this appointment. No call. No one had taken the time to explain to me that the reason I thought I was pregnant with twins was because I was, I had been. The image that I saw on the screen, the one the tech couldn't quite explain, that was my other baby, a baby that had passed. The heart rate first showed up flat because she was testing the other baby, I didn't realize that the 164bpm was for one baby and that the ________ was for another entirely. I completely fell apart. It was a pain I had never felt before, a pain I had never understood entirely, and a pain that made it really really difficult to pull myself together. I felt a tiny little hand rubbing my back and leaning into me. My Georgie girl stood up on the bench and wrapped her arm around me and said "Momma" in the softest of tone. I willed myself to reign in the tears for Georgiana. I didn't want her to have to comfort me. She is still a baby herself. She is the best medicine and has the kindest, most tender heart I have ever seen in a tiny one.
It's really strange to be told you had a miscarriage, but you are still pregnant. Many women start out carrying twins and without an early ultrasound, they never know about the loss. I must say, I am so incredibly thankful that we found out. I have over used the word 'crazy' already, but I have no other word to describe how I have felt. And now, it all really does make sense. I understand why the week after the ultrasound I kept telling Kelly, something is off. It was a feeling unfamiliar to me, but one I felt certain of. Kelly had hung the ultrasound picture on our bulletin board, and it bothered me. What!?! Why would I feel that way, I felt sick from guilt for feeling that way. Probably around the Wednesday before my appointment, Kelly said "this morning I was just starring at our littlest one's picture." All I could say was "oh." He was starting to get slightly worried, he was picking up on my weirdness. Apparently I wasn't hiding my avoidance of the picture as well as I thought. I finally took time to look at it yesterday. I was ready. As much as it ripped my heart out, I understood it. That feeling of knowing something wasn't right, but not being able to pin it down at all, that feeling is gone, the confusion is gone, now it is just a spot that is healing. Healing a wound that is much deeper and more raw than I would have ever guessed it would be. I was completely taken aback by my reaction at the dr's office. Many of my friends have gone through miscarriages, some even more than one. My heart always ached for them, but I had no idea how much they hurt, and maybe even now I don't. Each situation is so different, some even worse than others.
We have much to be thankful for. In all things give thanks.
Someday I am going to snuggle my sweet baby. For now, I picture my Uncle Cal holding the baby in heaven, I almost wrote him because that is how I think of the baby, as a him. The image is most likely not an entirely accurate portrayal of heaven or even of the baby, but it gives this tearful Momma a whole lot of peace, so I don't think God minds if I hold that image close to my heart.