I was ambushed by nostalgia while spending the day with my two-year old twin nieces – the sweetness of a pair of little girls. In reality, those early years are so much work. Fortunately this life-long double effort comes with a super-sized love that fuels the stamina needed to hang in there.
Parenting twins is definitely its own sub-speciality.
During our afternoon at the park, I was surprised when I instinctively went into a long dormant high alert mode. I found myself doing a head count every thirty seconds and evaluating every drop, edge and potential escape route. I had not felt that kind of panic since my twins were my niece’s age – ten years ago – but at the park it felt like yesterday.
“Just humor me and check for two heartbeats.”
My doctor places the monitor on my belly and cruises for contact. It takes a minute to hear the familiar submerged rapid rhythm. He stops, takes note that it’s a strong normal beat, and then trolls for another. Nothing.
“This is your third pregnancy. Your stomach muscles aren’t as strong. You’re going to show earlier than with the first two,” he said with that country doctor smile that made me feel a little stupid.
This was mid-March.
Later that spring, I volunteered for the snack table at my son’s Field Day. I was paired with another pregnant mom and in between handing out granola bars we discovered that we had the same due date. We were of similar height and weight but my belly was three times as big as hers. I took note.
At my next visit to the doctor I asked again to check for two heartbeats. There was still only one beat calling out through the mini speaker on his monitor. I could tell by the look on his face and the nodding of his head that he thought he had a hysterical twin pregnancy case on his hands.
“You are having your sonogram soon. You will finally get your definitive answer.”
The technician squirted the warmed clear jelly on my stomach. We engaged in small talk as she made notes in my chart and I recounted my hysterical twin pregnancy story. She laughed and said, “You’d be surprised how many women come here worried that I’ll find more than one baby. Let’s see what we have here.”
She turned and peered into the screen and stopped laughing.