My Postpartum Journey
Part 2: The Pregnancy
I already had two children, a three-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son, when I found out I was expecting another baby. To be honest, I wasn’t even planning on trying to get pregnant again for another year so the pregnancy alone came as a surprise.
Initially, I was devastated. I remember thinking to myself and vocalizing to my husband between sobs, “I don’t want this yet. It’s too soon! Life is just now starting to make sense with two.” Then the morning sickness came and was more violent than it had ever been with my previous pregnancies. A few weeks in, the morning sickness was so bad that my husband sent me to the ER to get fluids.
I will never forget sitting in the exam room alone, my husband home with the kids, and talking to the ER Doctor about how his wife was on her second pregnancy after working up the confidence to get pregnant again after having twins her first time around. He decided to do an ultrasound just to check on the baby, paused mid-conversation before picking back up where we left off, and said, “Speaking of twins…”
Then I saw it on the monitor. I was no stranger to what a little sac looks like on an ultrasound screen, but this time there was not one little sac, but two little sacs. Ready or not, I was having twins.
Whoa! A surprise pregnancy with an extra baby on top… You would think I would be a little overwhelmed. The peculiar thing is that by the time the ER Doctor performed the ultrasound and showed me the two sacs that would become my twin girls, I felt oddly calm and oddly confident. I was faithful in God and I reasoned that He would never give me or my family more than we could handle.
The following months were a blur of raising two toddlers on top of preparing for two more babies and making what seemed like endless visits to the OBGYN. In the midst of it all, we travelled quite a bit due to a wedding and a funeral in the family. Somewhere along the way my daughter turned four, I potty trained my son, I learned that it’s possible to outgrow maternity clothes, my daughter started pre-kindergarten, and with the help of my mother stocked a freezer full of meals already prepared for when the baby girls came.
Yes, I had it all figured out, which of course means I had nothing figured out. I was going to tandem nurse the babies and rock the mini-van and be Super Mom because that was apparently my calling. In fact, at my brother in law’s wedding, I distinctly remember my mother in law telling me I was “the happiest pregnant woman she had ever seen.”
Meanwhile, my husband and I would encounter parents of twins and everyone who knew anyone with twins had something to tell us about how our life would become. The consensus was that the first year would be something along the lines of insane, terrible, or exhausting… probably even all three! Specifically, I remember a conversation my husband had with a twin dad. When my husband made the bold claim that he was more excited than scared of the twins, the twin dad retorted… “You’re not scared? Well, you should be.” Okay…. Thanks for the encouragement everyone!
Then the arrival of the twins loomed closer. The bigger I got the more anxious I got. I wasn’t too anxious about what life would be like with two babies, but more so about the fact that I could potentially go into preterm labor with my husband out of town for work. For a full month before their arrival, I experienced daily contractions, leaving me in constant anxiety that they were coming before my husband would get home for the c-section scheduled at 38 weeks.
Turns out the anxieties about the preterm labor were completely unnecessary. At 37 weeks, my husband was home and my mom had arrived to help out for the first six weeks with the newborn twins. The 38th week came and then eventually the day of the scheduled c-section came as well. Leaving the bigger kids home with my mother, my husband and I set off to the hospital to meet the little babies we now felt ready for.