I naively assumed that the waiting would be over as soon as God allowed me to conceive. But even after the Wonder Woman, October 31st shock of my life, I have still been holding my breath and waiting.
But this time the waiting doesn’t feel so alone. It’s now a collective holding of the breaths that Jason and I share. Since Halloween, together we’ve held hands, our breaths, and our plans until the following appointment on November 8th. “All we want is a heartbeat,” we repeat to ourselves and each other.
And so the agony of waiting once again crept alongside us, like an old friend. You know the kind. The ones who are close-talkers, who arrive way to early, start digging through your frig and begin eating the perfectly round cheese ball long before any of the other guests arrive.
That’s how waiting feels; the uninvited guest. The annoying close-talker. The one who gets close enough to whisper all the doubts you are trying so hard to push out with a lot of work and filler noise.
For those eight days, I felt like anxiety was written all over my face. Even by the time, November 8th arrived, the day itself was filled with more waiting. A full day’s waiting. Our appointment wasn’t until 3:30 that afternoon.
After a Mass Comm event at one college and a new yearbook staff meet and greet and an elementary school, I hit 365 and headed south with my pesky friend, waiting. It’s in those long drives that no podcast, or Satellite radio station, or Spotify playlist can soothe you. The weather and the setting felt ominous; brisk, wintry, barren trees, and grey skies lined the interstate.
“Father God, it’s me,” I began with a crack in my voice. “Here we go again. Sit beside me. Hold my hand. And most importantly, guard my heart. Thy will be done and give me the strength to accept it.”
My prayers all week had been short. Any longer and I would have broken down. And let’s face it, it’s never easy to stop a flood so trying to prevent it was my best bet.
And then there we were. Having both pulled in at the same time, Jason and I met in the parking lot. Silently through the automatic doors, up the elevator, down the hall, and you guessed it, into the waiting room. “Paperwork?” “Sure, I’ll do paperwork,” I thought. Anything to keep me busy.
But that’s the thing about waiting. Now that the waiting is over, I could really use a bit more of it. Just a few more minutes to prepare myself. Just a few last moments on this precipice of hope before the reality of whatever is on the other side of the ultrasound reveals.
I could tell by Jason’s silence and the fact that he was struggling to make eye contact, that he was right there with me. Feeling “all the feels,” as the kids say these days. Having all the same questions, concerns, and doubts. But before either of us had the courage to verbalize them, my name was called.
Our sweet, sweet ultrasound tech had no idea who she was dealing with. The fact that I struggled behind the changing curtain to get out of my leggings should have been a clue. With a large flat screen TV about to display my fate for what felt like the whole world to see, only made my anxiety worse. “You can breathe,” she had to remind me. “Oh yeah, breathing. Right,” I thought.
And just like that, we couldn’t go back. The waiting was over. Appearing on the screen was a tiny little orb and then in a flash it was gone. “Oh,” she said, not sure to us or to herself.
“Oh!” My mind wanted to yell. I don’t want to hear an “oh,” I want to hear a heartbeat. Loud. Strong. And audible. Without saying another word, she moved the mouse to the top right corner of the screen beside my name and all of a sudden, a dropdown menu of the number one, switched to number 2.
“It looks like you’re having twins,” she said. And there on the screen was the proof. Where one little orb floated solo, there were now two.
I could hear Jason behind me let out his apparently holding breath, and I’m pretty sure he muttered the word “shit.” That’s all I needed. Confirmation. Before she could even get to the heartbeats, my shoulders began to shake, and tears erupted from my eyes.
She went on to play for us the heartbeat of Baby A and the heartbeat of Baby B. Lying flat on my back, the tears rolled past my eyes, across my cheeks, touching my ears, before splashing down on the examining table upon which I lay. She continued with measurements and pictures. I continued to slowly sob in shock, amazement, and wonder. Jason remained so silent, for a moment I forgot he was sitting behind me.
At this point, I guess the ultrasound tech was getting worried and placed her hand gently upon my knee. “It’s going to be okay,” she said, “people have twins every day.” Realizing she must be thinking that we’re first-time-overwhelmed-parents, I quickly tried to correct her. “You don’t understand,” I managed to get out, “we’ve been trying for so many years. These lives are a God-granted miracle.” And for the first time since they both appeared on that glorious flat screen TV, I take my eyes off of them and meet her’s. And in that moment, she gets it. And together, we both shed a tear.
It takes me twice as long to get dressed. I’m wiping my eyes. Shaking. Jittery with joy. I find myself laughing behind the curtain as I’m struggling to get my leggings back on.
With pictures of my two little orbs in my hands, Jason and I are sent back into the waiting room, once again waiting to see my Wonder Woman doctor. But you know what, this time we don’t mind. Jason and I finally meet eyes. We hug. Hold hands. And without saying much, I can tell we’re both processing the magnitude of the recent results. The waiting room is fairly cleared out. Just a few older women waiting around, probably for their required annual examination.
My eyes move to the doorway and I see a familiar face. Smiling and waving, coming right at me, is a dear precious friend. For a moment, we both have a look of awkward panic on our faces. “What do I say to her?” I am thinking. I later find out she is thinking the same. But before any of us has the time to be uncomfortable, I grab her and tell her first, “I’m pregnant with twins,” I say with tears in my eyes yet again. Shoving my ultrasound proof in her hands, I think we both squeal, embrace, hug, draw lots of attention to ourselves in that almost vacant waiting room. But who cares? This dear friend, knows far better than I about waiting. And I absolutely love that our Heavenly Father chose her to be the first to share in our joy, literally in that very God-ordained moment.
A few minutes later she walks off to complete her visit and I receive this text message from her, “Talk about a year of whimsy, my friend. Ekkkkk!”
It’s so true, our God of Whimsy has been preparing our hearts.
For this journey.
For this miracle.
For His Glory.
And He’s still at it.
Once we saw the doctor, we discovered why the ultrasound tech had said “Oh.” Our twins are quite unique and rare. Being in the same amniotic sac, our twins are Monoamniotic. Mono twins are always identical, sharing the placenta, but with two separate umbilical cords. Now again, we’re naïve. When the doctor explains this to us, I’m like, “cool, they’re identical.” But Jason hears the risk in her voice. The word specialist is thrown around and more appointments are made.
Upon further research, which Jason told me not to do, I learned that Mono twins are not just rare but super rare, with an occurrence “of 1 in 60,000 pregnancies.”
That’s right. Our kids are special. Like I said, God is still preparing our hearts for more whimsy.
So there we are again, back to waiting.
Waiting to see a specialist.
Waiting to see them grow.
Waiting to share the news with family and friends.
But miracles are made to be shared. And right in that moment, I wasn’t waiting any more. Jason and I hoped in his car, grabbed Atlanta Bread (because pregnant momma of twins gotta eat) and raced across three counties to share our news with both sets of our parents.
But don’t worry, friends, our story is far from over.
I’ll be sharing with you later in the week why two doctors are better than one!
And I’m not just talking about all the free ultrasounds.
Till then, whimsy continues!
The Big Bang Theory, Series 03 Episode 23 – The Lunar Excitation