Friday, May 17, 2013

There's Another One?

One of the greatest blessings we've received since moving to Dallas is, of course, our twin boys Ethan and Sean. Today they turn four months old and, while I can't say just yet that I really know what raising twins is like, I do know it's been decidedly easier than I'd anticipated. There's no way to wrap your mind around "It's twins" until they're in your arms.

I've been asked many times, "Do twins run in your family?" They don't, and while I don't know the actual stats, I suspect a genetic predisposition is less common than people tend to think. Still, I never envisioned Nathan and I parenting multiples.

I have a fantastic obstetrician who has cared for me body and soul for the last year. Knowing how anxious I was after losing two pregnancies, she began monitoring my hcg levels at five weeks. In the early weeks of pregnancy, a woman's hcg should roughly double in forty eight hours. Mine nearly quadrupled. "Maybe it's twins," I joked to Nathan and my mom. My mom, an RN, knew better than to think the possibility of twins was just a joke and subtily tried to prepare me for the news. "You are okay if it's twins, right?" she asked the day before my first ultrasound.

Still, I wasn't thinking about twins as I searched the (male) sonographer's face. I was just desperate for a different outcome from my last sonogram: I wanted a heartbeat. I was too afraid to look at the screen but didn't like the look on his face. What relief I felt, though, when he pointed out the sac, fetal pole, and heartbeat! "Now let's take a look over here," he told me.

"Is there another one?"

"Well--" Suddenly my trip to the doctor's office had become complicated as the sonographer showed me why he'd initially frowned during the scan. There was a second yolk sac, but it appeared empty and measured nearly a week smaller than "Baby A."

My doctor was unwilling to make a determination about "Sac B," saying it "might be too early to tell." So I left her office with a mix of emotions, elation that there was one viable embryo; a sense of pride in my superfecundity-- no matter the outcome, I had conceived twins, afterall!-- and anxiety as I hoped Sac B would become Baby B.

Google is dangerous when you're pregnant, but as I ran searches such as "two sacs, one fetal pole," I found countless stories giving me hope. I learned a good deal about twin science: it's not at all uncommon for one twin to appear less developed and measure smaller in those early days; in fact, twins may not even be conceived at the same time or even have the same father (I can unequivocally state that mine do have the same dad!)

After two weeks of waiting, praying, and wringing my hands, we received confirmation that, indeed, two babies were on the way. It's too early to tell if our guys will be double trouble, but they've been a double delight the whole way.