I am three months pregnant with fraternal twins. They are alive and growing in my body. Right this very minute.
Some of you may be completely shocked by this news. As it turns out, saying, “I’m pregnant,” isn’t easy for me. Sometimes it feels like speaking the words might incite an earthquake or lightening bolts at my head. But the doctor insists it’s time to spread the news and celebrate so here I am… in disbelief, shocked, thrilled, exhausted, etc., etc.
These babies were created with the extraordinary efforts of many extraordinary people including a cousin’s husband, my sister, teams of doctors, two hundred injections, dozens of drugs, thirty-five sonograms and the prayers of a great number of people. When we found out the astonishing news I was so nauseas I could hardly lift my head. Now-a-days I’m only sick about half the time. Due to my fear of speaking the words, Lo encouraged me to practice (as she did years ago on the Southwest Airlines clerk) so I told the shoe store lady. To my surprise the ceiling didn’t collapse, locust didn’t blanket the streets, no floods, no brimstone. She said congratulations and considering the circumstances, encouraged me to go for the next size up. When I reflect on how all of this went down, it has its irony. Of course with no fallopian tubes (removed years ago) and no sperm IVF was our only option. In the strictest of confidence we sought the advice and support of an intimate group of loved ones, but as we progressed almost every one in our sacred circle was so burdened by the good news they just had to tell someone. An aunt, cousins, co-workers, distant friends, and the in-laws of many, were among the first to hear. I’m able to see that unyielding joy made it virtually impossible for anyone to keep our secret. Having seen our struggle through two adoptions and two past IVF cycles our loved ones are as elated as we are and perhaps they’re my example of how I should be chomping at the bit to share this amazing news (which I’m obviously not yet capable of as I hide online).
Twins A and B (also known as Arturo and Barbarella or Arty and Barb although we don’t know their sexes yet) appear to have strong, healthy hearts, major organs in place and are a little bigger than my thumb. Even though I’m only just entering the second trimester I measure at about twenty weeks, which is normal for multiples. None of my clothes fit. If you stared at my belly you might begin to wonder if I’m not fat, but actually pregnant. And then you might think, no they can’t get pregnant. And then you might ask if I’d like to start walking with you three times a week. But I would say no as I’m allegedly growing babies as well as very slow and sick these days.
All twin pregnancies are high-risk so the doctor has already put a limit on my activity. I can walk at a reasonable pace, do prenatal yoga and swim to my heart’s content. The one major drawback is that complications run high with twins and they’re all born in the operating room. Each baby is required to have a team of doctors at the ready, but my doctor promised he’d keep them at bay and whistle for them only at the very end. Everyone will be under cold, bright lights, wearing masks and caps with monitors all around, which makes me sad when I imagine it. But he’s happy to work-out a birthing plan that includes alternate positions and a midwife. Most midwives aren’t licensed for high-risk deliveries so she won’t be able to deliver the baby (and our hospital doesn’t allow it with multiples, anyway). No candles. No dim lights. No intimacy. If it can’t be all that, then it turns into something else which includes my sister by my side, because she has lots of hospital experience and would sooner take hostages than see a single need of mine go unmet. I reserve the right cry epidural and I’m perfectly fine with that. But of utmost importance right now is to work these floor muscles, get over the nausea, fatten these babies up to at least six pounds each and keep them in the cooker until mid-March.
This is real (I’m telling myself) and now that my hormones are off kilter, and my uterus is beginning to crowd my organs, and my belly is growing more and more round, and these babies are crossing their legs and wagging their limbs when I see them on the screen, and I’m summoning my Goddess-strength, I suspect things are going to get weird and wonderful.