Finding out I was pregnant with twins was up there with one of the biggest, most authentic shocks I’ve ever had. I had NO idea I was carrying twins when my husband and I turned up at the hospital for our 12 week scan. But when the sonographer smeared the gel over my belly and started having a look around, it wasn’t long before she revealed what was inside my uterus. After asking if I’d had morning sickness or any bleeding, she laughed and said ‘You’ve got twins!’
Let me repeat here: I had NO idea I had been growing twins for the last three months. We had no twins in our families, and apart from having a slightly rounder belly than in my previous two pregnancies, which I’d put down to stretched out tummy muscles, I’d had no inklings to suggest I was carrying twins.
While the sonographer continued prodding my belly and checking measurements of the babies, I thought the following things while I lay there on the bed, still trying to figure out what was on the screen in front of me.
If you’ve been pregnant with twins, can you relate to any of these?
1. ‘Ha ha. WHAT? Is this is a joke?’
The first thing I thought was ‘Is this a joke?’, and I’m pretty sure I blurted out something similar. I laughed hysterically, then cried, and then laughed some more, watching my belly jiggling about while the sonographer tried to do her job. I felt a mixture of of big emotions – disbelief, surprise, panic and happiness, but the one that stood out most was excitement. I mean, twins! That’s awesome, right?
2. What’s my husband thinking?
It was about then that I realised my husband hadn’t said a word in quite some time. Was he even still in the room? A quick glance in his direction told me he was sitting still as a statue, staring at the screen with his mouth open, clearly taking some time to process the news. I decided not to check in with him right there and then, as any expletives (he’s prone to these, whether he’s happy or sad) might have offended the sonographer.
3. How will two babies fit in there?
I then started thinking about the realities of growing two babies inside me at the same time. How the hell would they fit? I’m only short and ended up looking like a tomato with my singleton pregnancies – one big round ball. I’d once heard that with twins you can end up looking full term at only 28 weeks. OMFG.
4. We’d need a bigger car/bedroom/house
From that frightening thought, it was time to move on to the logistics of all of this twins stuff. As the sonographer continued doing her thing over my protruding belly, and my husband sat there in shocked silence, I realised that our tiny hatchback wouldn’t quite stretch to two more children. We’d need a new car. Shit. We might need a people mover. I may have started sweating at this point. It just got bigger from there: where would we fit two cots? I’d need a double pram. I’d have to get a stack of extra baby stuff, because what I already had wouldn’t stretch between two babies. Damn. How much was all this going to cost?
5. The cost
Thinking about all the nappies, clothes and toys that two babies would need got my head into a spin. There I was thinking that with my third pregnancy, we’d be okay to use everything from my first two kids, and now we were basically buying everything again for our surprise fourth. And I hadn’t even considered the cost of future child care at this point.
6. Hang on, relax. It’s twins. That’s two babies!
I’m mad for babies, so despite all the stressful thoughts that were whirring around in my head, I exhaled deeply and reminded myself that I loved babies and that twins offered twice the love and twice the cuddles: BLISS. Plenty of women dreamt of this moment. Instead of freaking out, I willed my thoughts to change direction and started going through the perks of having twins.
7. Cute matching outfits
We learnt from the sonographer that our twins were the identical sort, so I lay there thinking about little matching boy or girl outfits and cute baby twin names, and kind of got lost in the sweet fantasy of it all. I would need to remind my husband of all of these positives, I thought, starting to worry that he still hadn’t moved or spoken from his position in front of the screen.
We would be okay, I resolved. We could do this. How much work could two babies possibly be?