This fourth of July was a lot of fun, but it was extra special because it marks one year since we told everyone about the girls. July 3rd marked one year since Pat and I knew we were going to have twins.
It is hard to believe that a whole year has gone by that we have known we were going to have twins. Obviously we knew we were going to have another baby for a bit longer than that. We didn’t find out that there were two babies in there until my first doctor’s appointment. That day stands out in my mind. We were so excited to go to that first appointment. Pat was sick and wasn’t able to attend my first appointment when we were expecting Ben. Of course at that time I didn’t know you got to hear the heart beat and see the little cluster of cells right away! We were both bummed he didn’t get to be there for that. We hadn’t told anyone we were expecting yet with the girls, but we made sure Pat could be at the appointment. Ben came along with us. He wasn’t talking much at that point, so I wasn’t worried about him spilling the beans. I wanted him there to hear the heartbeat and start learning that he was going to be a big brother! Plus I didn’t want to explain why we needed someone to watch him.
The appointment started out normally. We did the paperwork, and finally got called into the little room. Ben enjoyed trying to play with everything in the room. Pat and I were excited, of course. We were a little nervous, but just the normal amount. We were joking about how we wanted another Ben, just a few model years newer. And maybe in a female, but another male would be great. Finally the doctor was ready to do the initial ultrasound. It felt like as soon as that started she said, “Well, we have two.” Oh my goodness, the world stopped. There are very few times in my life I have been truly shocked by something, and this was one of them. I remember telling her to put one back. Yeah, she said it doesn’t work that way.
The rest of the appointment was just surreal. I feel that word kind of gets overused, but I can’t think of a better one to describe it. We heard both heart beats, which was wonderful. I remember the doctor talking to me about how things would be different with a twin pregnancy, but honestly a lot of it didn’t sink in. I did catch that int he early stages nothing would be very different. No, she didn’t know if they were identical or fraternal yet. We could still do some of the first trimester screening, but she didn’t recommend all of it. (Twins skew the numbers and it is too easy to get false results.) I feel like I just kept staring at the ultrasound that showed two little beans growing. The next thing I knew we were leaving and I was trying to make my next appointment. The doctor came out to hand me the timeline sheet with the word TWINS across the top. I kept feeling like someone was going to say, Just kidding! But nope, it was real. I was so shocked I completely forgot to stop and get my bloodwork done. We just left.
I headed back to work after that. Pat was done for the day and took Ben home with him. I’m not sure how I managed to keep my mouth shut to Meo and Omi, but I did. I made myself wait until I got home to start googling everything twin, but Pat got started right away. We had so much to learn! Here we had thought, no biggie, we’ve done this pregnancy thing before. But twins was all different. As we googled and read, the fact that we were having twins started to sink in. And we started to get excited. Oh yes, there were a lot of fears and worries. So many fears and worries.
Before we learned about the twins we had planned to start telling our families about the new baby(s) after that first appointment. (Side note: Pat usually defaults to me for when to tell our families things. But this time he was pretty insistent we wait until after the first doctors appointment to tell everyone. I’m so glad we did!) We told Gramma and Grampa that night, along with Aunt Lindsay and the kids. We skyped with them while Ben was wearing his Number One Big Bro shirt. They got that we were having another kid right away, but you can imagine their shock when they found out we were having twins. I mean, Aunt Lindsay had twins. We already knew there was no reason to think Pat and I would have twins. (Trust me, I had thought through that years before when we learned Ella and Joe were on the way.) I mean, who would think that both siblings would have a set of twins? They were surprised, but having had the surprise of twins before handled it really well. They were all super excited. We had the chance to tell my parents in person because we were seeing them the next day.
I like to have fun with this kind of announcement. We don’t do anything crazy, but I think it is fun to do a little more than just tell our parents. When we were expecting Ben we gave each set of grandparents a picture frame that said Baby. It was right before Christmas, so getting a present didn’t give it away. For the girls I knew I wanted to do the t shirt way with the family far away. For my parents I wanted to do something different. I had gotten Ben and Pat matching Captain America shirts for the 4th. I had planned to print out a little shield and tape it to my tummy with the ultrasound. We decided to still do that, only I printed out two.
I was nervous and excited when we got to my parents house that day. Other people were supposed to go over too, so we made sure we were first. I asked my mom to take a picture of the three of us, and when she did I lifted up my shirt to show the ultrasound and Captain America shields on my belly! Needless to say my parents were shocked too. It was such a fun moment.
After that Pat and I made all the phone calls to people we wanted to tell ourselves, then a few days later made it Facebook and Blog official. (Important steps, right?) We were eight weeks along in our twin journey at that point. Now here we are a year later, with our girls 5 months old. It has been a wonderful year. A year of a ton of research and learning all about twins. A year of changes and growing. A year of excitement and worry. A year of the wonderful joy our girls have brought us, even before they were born.
Last 4th of July was one of my favorites. It was wonderful with the promise of new life. This 4th of July was even better. We have our girls here with us, healthy and happy. Ben is a wonderful big brother, and just gets more and more amazing each day. A year ago I couldn’t believe that we were having twins. I couldn’t imagine how we could do that. Today I can’t imagine it any other way.
What a year.