I've always wanted twins. I remember during my first pregnancy, twenty years ago, lying anxiously on the hard table as the ultrasound tech pressed and proded, trying to make sure my little fetus had all the right parts. I had had to pee very badly, because back then you had to drink, literally, a gallon of water before you went in for your ultrasound or the techs couldn't get a good look. I'm not sure why. Did they have to look through my bladder at the little guy or what? I'm sure some of you know, and if you do, feel free to give us the answers. I digress. I remember poring over the grainy images on the screen trying to see if there were two (or four) of anything. I wanted twins so badly. At the end of the visit however, even though my fetus and I left the doctor's office with a clean bill of health, there had been a tinge of disappointment that there was only one baby in the sac. (Above is the end result of the grainy image on the monitor. Although there was only one, she turned out pretty nice, didn't she?)
During my third pregnancy, I had a dream that I gave birth to two lynxs. I was SURE this was a sign, a preparatory message of sorts. I studied dream interpretation and convinced myself that, surely, I was pregnant with twins. But again, after the ultrasound, I left with mixed emotions, glad that my fetus was healthy, but disappointed that my lynx dream had been meaningless. (Until I found this picture on Google images, I really had no idea what a lynx looked like. In my dream, I just knew they were lynxs. Thank you, Google.)
I experienced the same emotions with every single pregnancy thereafter. I even sometimes fantasized that after I delivered my baby, the doctor would shout, "Wait! There's something else in there! Okay, push, push....we've got another baby in here!" Nope, just a placenta.
My eighth pregnancy was different. Usually the first sign that God has sent down another little human to us was a late period and tender breasts. This time however, I hadn't been keeping track of my cycles, so I didn't know I was late. The first symptom I experienced was nausea and burping. I knew the feeling well, as it had accompanied me for at least five months of every pregnancy, but I was surprised it had come this early. I went to Walmart with five kids in tow, shouted over the crowd waiting in line at the pharmacy that I needed to know where the pregnancy tests were, tried to ignore the smirks and stares, hid the test in a triple-layered Walmart bag so John wouldn't see it, and tucked it in the back of our bathroom cabinet. When the baby had gone down for a nap and all of the other kids were working on their home school, I went into the bathroom, locked the door and did the deed. I sat the test on the bathroom counter, fixed up my pants and before I could finish buttoning them, a DARK pink line had already appeared in the window. I was shocked at the speed with which the test had registered the good news and I dropped to my knees right there in the bathroom to thank Heavenly Father, through tears of joy, for giving me this new opportunity.
Now, how to tell John. Any way I tried would be anti-climactic. When I had found out I was pregnant with Johnny (my seventh and his first), it was five days before John's 50th birthday and I had been planning for three months that I would tell him I was pregnant with his first child on his fiftieth birthday. Things worked out pretty well, right? I had put the test in two ziploc bags, placed this in a gift bag along with a bib that said "I Love My Daddy", packed it in my suitcase as we would be on vacation in Salt Lake City on his birthday and waited. The wait was excruciating. I felt like he had to be the first one to know and I thought I was going to burst. I wanted to tell anybody, even the grocery store clerk, but I kept my silence for five days.
That long night before his birthday, I had asked him if he would like to stay awake to receive his present at midnight. We had been driving all day with six kids and had retired to an air mattress in the basement of his brother's home and he had no interest in staying up until midnight to receive his present. I magnanimously accepted his decline and stared at the ceiling as he began to snore. Two hours and about twenty-one rotations on the air mattress later, the clock struck midnight and I quietly asked him if he was awake. He didn't answer, so I thougt that perhaps he was awake, but I had just spoken too softly. I asked him again, a little louder. Still no response. I thought I might tap him to make sure he wasn't awake. The taps turned into shoves and he finally responded that he was awake now. "Good," I said. "Now you can open your birthday present!"
...All righty then. My wrists are hurting from pressing against the laptop, one of the babies is crying, and I'm falling asleep....so... I will continue with John's reaction and other interesting anecdotes about my twin pregnancy soon. Surely you understand.
Oh, and remember to get your posts ready (or search your archives) for Homemaker Mondays! Mr. Linky will be up at 6:00 AM Monday morning. I will also announce the winner of the necklace and earrings, so good luck, everybody!
What Having Twins Has Taught Me (Part Two)
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