When we had our second child we left the possibility of a third open but were not set on it so when the pregnancy test came up positive it was a huge shock. Then the overwhelming nausea and all day morning sickness kicked in. I had never had any type of illness with my first two so it made me very worried that something was wrong. I had convinced myself of all sorts of outcomes from ectopic to empty sac to not actually being pregnant but not twins. I had joked once, to a friend, that maybe it was twins and double the hormones were making me so ill but never gave credit to the idea.
At 11 weeks we went in for our ultrasound. The policy in Ontario is that they do not let anyone join you for the ultrasound until the end and don’t let you see anything until then. However, my sonographer did not turn the screen far enough and I could see. Not 10 seconds after the wand hit my stomach I saw two images on the screen. The scene in the ultrasound room played out like this:
Me: Is there 2 babies there?
Sonographer: *grinning but saying nothing*
Me, sitting up so fast the wand was knocked off my stomach: “No seriously, are there two?”
Sonographer: I didn’t want to say anything until your husband came in.
Me: There goes my homebirth. *and the tears just started pouring*
From there on I was just silent, with the occasional “there’s not a third in there, right?” coming out of my mouth. When my husband and daughter came in I couldn’t even watch the screen. I was focused on his face. His only response was “You’re kidding me, right?”. For the entire journey home we sat in silent shock. Once home, I sat down and cried for a solid 10 minutes. In that moment, I lost all control of my body, my pregnancy, and my birth. Now it was all going to be “procedures” and “policies”, even with my midwives. I felt like suddenly nothing will be my choice.
For weeks I felt like something was wrong with me, like I was a horrible mother because everyone around us was excited and I was not. The best reaction I got was “Are you crapping your pants? I would be” I appreciated that. I was sad, angry, devastated, completely terrified. I love being pregnant, why did I hate this pregnancy so much? I joined some twin mom groups in search of just one other mom to tell me I wasn’t alone. Many told me how they did not enjoy a single moment of their twin pregnancy. Saying that until they held their babies there was no excitement and they didn’t look forward to anything.
No one plans twins; twins are not considered a normal outcome. It changes everything you expect from pregnancy, labour, birth, newborn plans, family dynamics etc. It’s okay to be devastated, angry, sad and terrified. All these feelings, and more are valid and none of them mean you won’t love your kids or be a good parent.
Reaching this place where I can accept my feelings has not made them disappear but it has allowed me to let go of the thoughts that I was a bad mother for feeling this way.