So, the Pamphlets are finally pregnant again. It took a while, but is always worth the effort. Of course, there are always a few surprises when you introduce biological chemistry to romance and mix in humor. And boy have we ever had our share of suprises this time!
First, we had a sonogram at nine weeks. Expected to be a routine scan, the idea was to view the heartbeat of the baby and confirm a healthy rate of growth. I nearly fell off the table when the sonogram technician said she thought she saw two little ones in there. But when I saw them on the screen, looking so tiny, with their tiny hearts thudding away like mad, I loved them instantly.
This is a blog, however, and not a Hollywood docudrama, and so there must be a certain degree of honesty to maintain the integrity of the medium. In the first few days and weeks after learning that multiple babies are on the way, not everyone is filled with joy. Not all the time. Twice the contents does not equal twice the enthusiasm. Especially not at first. Having twins is a little scary, a little overwhelming, and financially staggering. There are moments of thrilling excitement, of almost giggly happiness, but there are also tearful moments spent contemplating a future vastly different than the one originally imagined. There are choices to be made about work, lifestyle changes and sacrifices to be made for the sake of health, and times when fears simply get the better of you. What if I develop a fatal blood clot because of the two blood clot disorders I have, and wind up leaving Little Blue motherless all because I didn't want him to be siblingless? What if the blood clot develops in the placenta and chokes the life out of my helpless children before they ever arrive? What if I can't keep my blood sugar in tight control and they suffer health consequences that are entirely my fault?
What I'm finding is that having twins is a dichotomy of experience, at once sweet and bitter, encompassing elation and trepidation. Today was a perfect example. In one brief instant during a sonogram, we learned a single fact both thrilling and chilling: our twins share one placenta, so by definition they are identical twins, a fascinating and fun phenomenon. But with a shared placenta, they are at risk for a deadly condition in which blood and nutrients meant for both is unevenly shared, which can lead to serious health complications for the recipient twin, who becomes engorged, and can lead to the death of the poor donor twin, who literally gives all of its vital life resources to its sibling, growing steadily smaller and sometimes being completely reabsorbed by the mother. As terrifying as that is, I still left our appointment today feeling a little excited. I'll be monitored closely to catch any possible case of twin-to-twin transfusion early, and it doesn't happen to everyone, and after all, they are a healthy size so far, and so incredibly cute when they wriggle around on screen during the sonogram! I've lost 9 pounds since I became pregnant so far, and as long as I stick to the strict guidelines of my nutritionist, there's no reason to worry that I'll have a problem gaining too much weight. I have no personal history of blood clot problems, despite the two mutations, and statiscally even people who have more than one clotting disorder like I do might still never experience a life-threatening clot in their lifetime. So I plan to spend as much of my pregnancy as possible embracing the joy, and forgiving myself when I get worried or emotional. And not thinking too hard about what might happen. And giving Little Blue as many tight hugs and special quality times with us as we possibly can, so that when his siblings arrive, he might forgive them for demanding so much of our attention. I think he'll find, as we will, that they'll be worth all the effort and worry when they get here. Twice the expected number of babies might not always be twice the excitement, but it's definitely bringing more than twice the love to our family.