I wish I was writing the birth story of how two beautiful twin boys were welcomed into the S. household. Instead, I am facing a quickly approaching due date, October 11, 2010, with no babies to hold in my arms. Although carrying twins meant I would have delivered at 38 weeks instead of 40, the date still remains significant. Thus far my entries have been filled with how I am dealing with my grief. I’ve yet to share the story of my losses. Some days I have to remind myself that this truly happened to me, that it wasn’t a nightmare. Other days it feels like it was just yesterday that I received the news, a fresh wound that won’t heal.
May 4, 2010: 17 weeks pregnant
The day is filled with anticipation. An anatomy scan will take place at our appointment later in the afternoon. Throughout my day my students take bets on whether or not the twins will be boys or girls. Some contemplate what names would best suit these little ones, and others lay claim to names that have a nice ring and complements my last name.
As I’m driving to the appointment, a sudden fear infiltrates my mind. “What if something is wrong?” It's a thought that I haven’t had since I passed the first trimester marker and glided into the next phase of pregnancy. I dismiss this silly notion. Just last week the doctor and I saw strong heartbeats and two little tykes wiggling about on the ultrasound. I remember what M., another of my spiritual healers, has said to me. Trust your intuition. I wonder for a moment, barely a second, if this thought is intuition or simply fear playing with my emotions.
My dear husband has joined me for this appointment. We are nervous, but excited to catch a glimpse of the babies. We have playfully debated about whether or not they are female or male. I hope they are girls. He, of course, wants boys. As I settle onto the table, my dear husband places his hand in mine and gently squeezes it. The technician easily navigates the ultrasound wand across my protruding belly to find Baby A. "It’s a boy!" she writes on the screen. My husband cannot suppress his grin. We watch Baby A fling his tiny limbs about the womb. He is perfect, announces the perinatologist. He’s measuring where he needs to be, his anatomy is all in check, and we have a healthy baby boy.
The technician then sets out to uncover Baby B. Husband and I are beaming, unaware that the mood of the room has abruptly changed. The doctor clears his throat, pacing back and forth in front of the ultrasound monitor. I’m so sorry, he says. This looks like a classic case of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.
My stomach clenches, and I gulp for air. Wait? Is he talking to me? I want to turn around to see who he is addressing. He continues to speak, but I’m not listening. My eyes are fixated on the screen as the technician tries to take Baby B’s measurements. I perk up when I hear him say he’s never seen someone have this rare placental disease so early on in pregnancy. I swallow the lump that has formed in my throat, and sputter, “So we could possibly lose not one, but both boys?”
Intuition and hope sometimes clash. I knew why I was asking the question. Earlier in the car it hadn’t been fear. I knew the answer, but was hanging onto the hope that my intuition was wrong.