After Mom-to-be was feeling sick for the first few weeks of the pregnancy, we wound up going to the doctor for a checkup, which as it turned out, would also include an ultrasound. No big deal.
Everything was fine with the pregnancy at this point. Actually, it was downright easy for me. The only thing that appeared out of the ordinary was that her beta test revealed an abnormally high HCG level, which the nurse jokingly called “twin-high” levels. We didn’t really give it a second thought. I just thought my wife was really good at being pregnant.
After digging in Mom’s arm to actually make it into a vein, they took some blood and sent us to the most cramped ultrasound room possible. I can assure you, we were expecting nothing more than your standard “no news is good news” report. Mom slipped into the flattering gown they provided. Because it was my first time at the OBGYN, I asked her, “What’s the deal with these metal cuffs at the end of the examining table?” I immediately regretted asking the question after she explained what the stirrups were for. Better her, than me.
The doctor came in, the lights went out, and the ultrasound wand went to work. I had no idea what we were looking for on the ultrasound screen, so instead I just gawked at how the 6’3” doctor’s knees were nearly in his throat as he sat on the swivel stool, searching for our healthy baby. Then he found it. He explained that the small rice-shaped speck was our healthy baby, and even found the heartbeat of our 5-week baby.
We were relieved, and I was ready to pack it in and head home, already thinking of stopping for food on the way home. But he had other plans.
“And if you look over here, you’ll see the other baby”, he said without a care in the world, because it’s not really his problem and he probably makes enough money to raise ten babies. We’re having twins. My mind was already in full-panic mode – two cribs, two car seats, one hundred bottles, a million diapers, a million dirty diapers, one teacher’s salary.
I’m a planner. I had a plan. And this was not it.
I swallowed hard. Mom was silent. Our world was forver changed by a simple move of the ultrasound wand. Two babies. One belly. Mom’s tears hitting the paper on the examining table was the only sound in the room I can remember. Wow. Pregnant with twins.
“Yes, it looks like you’re having twins.”
“Yeah, you already said that,” I replied without thinking.
Mom’s tears continued to silently flow as he turned the lights on and offered Mom a crunchy, brown paper towel to wipe the gel from her still-flat stomach. Along with the gel, our bravado was also wiped away, including any confidence we had in ourselves and our abilities to raise a single baby.