Now, here I do have to say that I was not expecting twins, so I always smiled and said no. We have our babies at home, and since I am such a low-risk mother there has not been a need to spend our limited money on something as frivolous as finding out the gender of a baby (when you don't have money for it that kind of thing really can be seen as a bit of a waste).
So I smiled. After all, this is my eighth pregnancy is as many years; I expected my body to fall apart sooner rather than later. And I truly do love all those ladies, and I'm so grateful for the way that they've helped us this year. There's a lot that I can't do while my body falls apart, and it feels like the whole parish has adopted us.
But I finally did get tired of hearing that my belly is large. Around Thanksgiving I complained to our midwife about it, and at that appointment we decided, almost as a joke, to find a second baby. As my mom says, the joke's on me. There were suddenly two heartbeats.
At that time the findings were inconclusive enough that we decided to wait till the next appointment to see if the expected growth rate for twins was happening. So I spent a stressful two weeks worrying about it. When we went back we heard two heartbeats again, and found that I am growing too large and too fast for a single baby. So we scheduled an ultra sound for visual confirmation.
The day before the ultra sound I was going crazy with stress, and locked myself in my room for two hours. I cried. I window shopped Amazon for materinty shirts. I dyed my hair red. Then I emerged, made myself some chili, had a wine cooler, and put the kids to bed.
I grew up knowing that twins ran in my family, but it was always a low possibility. I wanted it so badly, in the way that you want something that you're not likely to get, so you gently push that dream aside and when you do get it it feels like it has no basis in reality.
Everyone tells me that it'll sink in sooner or later, and I'll get used to it. Maybe it's easier for them to accept because they can look at my belly from an objective point of veiw, while I'm the one who has to emotionally come to terms with delivering twice. I know that I am scared of that prospect. But there has been such a tremenous outpouring of love and generosity that my fears are kind of overwhelmed.
So I'm sitting here with my coffee, looking at their little faces, and wondering how I ever got so blessed.