Joe and I were nervous, but excited, as I lay on the table and the doctor turned on the ultrasound machine.
“Oh my,” she said.
My heart sank. I knew it was too good to be true.
“What’s wrong? Is there a problem?” I was so nervous. I’m sure I was cutting off Joe’s circulation from squeezing his hand so tightly.
The doctor was smiling and said, “No problem at all. Look at this.” She turned the screen around and in a very happy voice said: “There are two babies, not just one.”
Joe and I started to laugh hysterically. We were beyond excited.
She showed us where Twin B was, this was the baby I had seen last week. This baby was measuring perfectly and the little heart beat was as strong as ever. I was thrilled.
The doctor then showed us Twin A, which she let us know was measuring a bit smaller than Twin B.
There was much excitement and joy in the room. Dr. M took several pictures and labeled them. She let us know that there was a possibility that due to the smaller size, Twin A might not make it. But she was very confident that Twin B was doing great. We made an appointment for the following week, and then we would go from there.
Joe and I were beyond thrilled. We told our immediate family, but let them know that there was the chance we could just end up with one baby.
For that week I was excited, but I was also nervous. I had a hard enough time being pregnant with one baby. How would I be able to carry two? Was my body up to this? And if it wasn’t, would I end up losing both babies?
I decided to enjoy the moment. And we did. I milked every moment out of carrying two babies and insisted that when I needed ice cream at 8:00 at night, it wasn’t me but both of our children that needed my husband to go out and get me vanilla Haagen-Dasz.
Our next doctor’s appointment was bittersweet. Twin B was continuing to do great, but Twin A had stopped growing. She could find no heartbeat and felt that it was safe to say that it was now a single pregnancy.
I had mixed feelings. I was sad about the loss, but I was also thrilled that we had one strong baby. I felt guilty that my grief for the one baby was overshadowed by my desire for the remaining baby to continue to grow strong.
There was some concern over what would happen if I was to miscarry the one baby. Most of this concern came from me. It seemed cruel that God or the universe would bring us this far only to leave us without anything.
Those first few weeks I spent panicked over every cramp and pain, but my pregnancy continued beautifully. I never miscarried Twin A, it was just absorbed by my body.
Every now and then when I see twins that are the same age as Tom, I get a little sad. I think about what could have been. But then I look at our three children, and it’s hard to not feel immensely grateful for all we do have.
A few years ago, Tom was looking through a picture album, and he came across the ultrasound pictures of Twin A and Twin B. Joe and I told him the whole story and our belief that there is a little angel that looked over him and made sure he came to us safely. It’s a story that Tom loves to hear and has always made him feel special.
This Wednesday, October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. In honor of this Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother is being offered for free download on Amazon until October 17th.
Renowned Author of Empty Arms, Sherokee Ilse, has said of the book: