Yes, I had twins, twice — back to back, plus a singleton.
Yup. Yup. Yup. I can’t count how many times I’ve said this. It never gets old. Sometimes I have to say it to myself just so that I believe it.
The husband and I had been happily child-free by choice for years, but it was time to have some babies. Because of job issues, we wanted to have two in a row, God willing.
We had one, a boy. According to plan, by the time our son was 11 months old I was pregnant again. All was well until I had some spotting. I was terrified. Before my son I’d had a miscarriage and I was really afraid of having another. I didn’t want to relive that pain of being told they can’t find a heartbeat. I felt okay but because of the spotting my doctor sent me for an ultrasound immediately. I went alone. I was thrilled when they showed me the heartbeat!
And then . . . they showed me another heartbeat!
It was twins!
Twins? Twins. Two strong heartbeats. The spotting stopped and I had full-term fraternal baby girls. The boy was just 19 months old when the girls were born. I didn’t get my tubes tied on the table because it was a vaginal birth. My husband didn’t get snipped, which he would never do anyway. I wasn’t planning to have more children but I guess I wasn’t ready to make that an impossibility. I did know that after having gone through a twin pregnancy and childbirth I didn’t want to go through a separate procedure to get my tubes tied. So, I didn’t.
When the girls were about six months old and the boy was two there was trouble in paradise: my husband had an affair.
It was more of a fling that I found out about — immediately. He voluntarily ended it. It was a difficult time. I did not take it well, but I had three kids in diapers, two of which were nursing. It was an incredibly challenging time, parenting-wise, having a toddler and twin babies. Frankly, I needed my husband’s help.
Months passed, and we hadn’t really reconciled. We hadn’t really dealt with it, the demand of having three little ones took most of our focus. My husband was still sleeping in the guest room. I was still nursing the babies, but less often. They were getting some solid food.
Then one night, I was feeling amorous. Who am I kidding, I was so freaking horny out of my mind. Bow-Chicka-Bow-Wow. I should have known I was having some sort of major hormonal surge. I just had to have sex. Had to. I told my husband that it didn’t mean anything it was just about the sex. I simply required his services. (I’m so romantic.)
We’d both been tested by this time . . . so . . .
A few weeks later I was missing something — but I was still nursing, my body was not yet my own, let alone my cycle. Still, something was up. In addition to missing my period I had the signs. Frequent urination, I was even nauseous and starting to show — strong and early — just like with the twins. My best friend the gynecologist brought over a pregnancy test for me when my husband was out. I couldn’t face the possibility on my own and couldn’t deal with my semi-estranged husband.
Like so many women before me I engaged in the peeing on the stick ritual. It was positive. Right away, no faint line. It screamed PREGNANT! Of course.
I couldn’t tell my husband. We were barely talking. My pregnancy symptoms worsened, and they were heightened just like with my twin pregnancy. That’s the thing about pregnancy, it just keeps going, even if you don’t tell anybody.
Then we got a very strange phone call. My mother-in-law called and told us she had dreamed of fish — twice. Well, there is an old African-American wives tale: when you dream of fish, someone in the family is pregnant. She’d had this dream before, and it was accurate last time. Shortly after my mother-in-law dreamt of fish my sister-in-law announced she was (accidentally) pregnant. But this time, no one else in the family was reasonably likely to be pregnant so . . . she was checking on us. After all, she had dreamed of fish —- TWICE!!!!
When I finally told my husband I was pregnant and described how I’d been feeling, he laughed and said, “I bet it’s twins.”
(What a prince.)
I retorted, “No, that doesn’t happen.”
I don’t necessarily believe any of those old superstitions, but my mother-in-law’s call, my husband’s teasing, my overwhelming pregnancy symptoms which were so similar to my last twin pregnancy, along with the scientific fact that pregnant women have no patience and suddenly become very superstitious — well I just had to know.
I begged my doctor for an ultrasound. There was no real medical reason for it, really. I wasn’t spotting or having pain and it was early on. Still, for peace of mind and to ease my anxiety I just needed to know that it was not twins. I needed to know. Plus, it was time to tell folks that I was pregnant — and I wanted to assure them that it was just one baby this time.
My doctor prescribed the test.
When I went to the ultrasound (again by myself) the technician asked me why I was having the scan. I told her “to rule out twins” — since I had just had twins. “Oh.” She made small talk and asked me how old my kids were (2,1, and 1). But once she started the scan she got very quiet. Small talk was over. Even though the pregnancy wasn’t planned, I didn’t want to lose the baby. I didn’t want to relive the heartbreak of not being able to find a heartbeat. Deja vu.
Again, I was terrified. The technician left the room without saying a word. This was unnerving. I was so scared, pregnant, emotional and laying on that table in the room alone, without a clue as to what was going on.
A few minutes later, the technician came back — with her boss.
I asked them, “Is there a heartbeat?”
“Oh yes, there’s a heartbeat,” said the boss lady.
Then they showed me the screen. “Here,” she pointed, and . . . “here,” she pointed again. Deja Vu . There were two strong heartbeats — again.
After I dressed, with mind reeling or alternatively in complete denial, I called my semi-estranged husband from the exam room and left him a voicemail, “Yeah, it’s twins.”
Months later, I gave birth to full-term fraternal twin girls — again. This time I had to have a C-Section and at my request, they performed a tubal ligation while I was still on the table. No more babies, and that’s alright with me.
So there you have it. This is how I ended up with five children in about three and a half years.
Because of the circumstances of their conception, I sometimes refer to that second set of twins (behind their backs of course) as “Oops and Uh-oh.“
Oh yeah, and my first-born Singleton Boy? He started out as twins. My hormone levels had been high, I was measuring large, and was sent for an ultrasound after my doctor said, “You might have an army in there!” By the time I had the test done, it showed that his twin had been “absorbed” in utero early in the pregnancy. I didn’t think much about it — at the time. Sometimes I call the boy “Jeffery Dahmer” though, (you know, because he ate his twin and all). Ha!
I had conceived twins three times in a row, like a boss.
Just Me With . . . almost twins, twins and twins.
I asked my doctor why this kept happening. She simply said, “I don’t know.”