I was already depressed when I found out I was pregnant for the 3rd time. Truth be told, that is how I got pregnant in the first place. I just didn’t care, and I neglected to tell my husband that I wasn’t using my new birth-control. Well, two weeks later I did get around to telling him. I’m not sure I have ever seen Jon so confused. He just could not wrap his mind around the fact that I just didn’t feel like telling him,” By the way the Dr. wouldn’t renew my birth control until my appointment - which I skippedd.” I still remember the look on his face. His eyes seemed to be saying, “Who is this woman?”
My two previous pregnancies were very planned. Before I even went to see the Dr. for the first OB visit, I knew how far along I was and what the due date would be. I was on the money! But this third time, in my weariness, in my disappointment and discouragement at life, it just kind of happened.
The funny thing was that at the beginning I was in denial about everything. I was in denial that I was depressed, again. I was in denial about being pregnant, again. In fact, when my body first started communicating pregnancy, my response was to hop on the elliptical machine and work out with a fury. I stuffed the suspicions even further down into my subconscious when I went to buy an outfit for a girlfriend’s emancipation party. I tried on several outfits and just couldn’t figure out why I felt so bloated and looked swollen. I finally had some sort of fashion anxiety attack which ended with me calling my husband from the dressing room of Macy’s relatively hysterical. He suggested that I find something simple, and just come home. I did – and I went to my bed immediately.
A couple of days later I could not deny the truth any longer. I went to put on my favorite jeans and could not zip them up. I mean I could not get the two sides to even meet! It is a wonder that I could pull them up at all. These were not some fancy pants that I pulled out on special occasions, these were my everyday jeans. It could not have been two weeks since I wore them last. (Can someone say dirty laudry) I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “Dammit, I’m pregnant.” I knew it. I knew it all along.
With Jon-Jon and Q , when I found out I was pregnant I was scared and excited. You know that good scared, the tummy shakin’ fear you feel before the rollercoaster drop, or before the black guy gets killed in a horror movie. The fun nervous shakes. This pregnancy fear was different. It was simple dread.
The depression that had started to descend slowly slammed on top of me like a falling elevator. Overnight I was out of commission. I scheduled my first appointment with a new ObGYN practice. (We had moved from DC to Baltimore County). My appointment was with the nurse practitioner – who upon eyeballing my swollen tummy said, “You think you are just 5 weeks pregnant?” I heard the skepticism in her voice but I KNEW I was just five weeks pregnant. It isn’t hard to determine when your sexual encounters are few and far between. After the exam, she said, “Well, you are either off on your dates, or you're carrying twins. You are measuring about 11 weeks.”
My head snapped around and I stated, “Don’t even let your lips form the words to say TWINS.” She laughed. I turned the denial switch on with a vengeance. I don’t even remember mentioning it to my husband Jon. My anxiety increased and the depression became more debilitating. I was on self-imposed bed-rest. The morning sickness was unbelievable. One of the worse things I have ever experienced, so much so I mentioned to my sister, “I wonder if this how chemotherapy patients feel.” I felt the silent scoff over the telephone, I knew I sounded like an idiot, but I couldn’t help myself.
I still refused to think about twins, I pushed the nagging thought further and further down in my spirit. Although I was huge already, I did not allow myself to think about it. Finally after one very emotional night, I decided that I had to resolve the issue within myself. So I got in my bed (actually I was already there) and I quieted myself down as best I could, and I asked the question, “God, am I hav –“ and before I could even get the prayer out into the heavens there was a resounding, “Yes – you are having twins” It was settled. I could not deny it any longer. But I still kept it to myself.
Finally it was the first sonogram day. I went in resolute in the truth of twins. The technician went about her business poking and prodding – twisting and turning me. All the while I was emotionally poised to hear the word “twins”. Finally she said, “Well, I am almost finished here.” I was estatic. I even allowed myself to breathe a bit. I thought, “See you are crazy – tripping off of what that NP told you.” I relaxed a tiny bit more when she said excitedly, “Oh – Wait!” My entire body started to shake . “Oh- ye-yep – there are two! One was hiding!” The shaking increased uncontrollably to the point that my legs were beginning to burn. “Two?” I whispered. She just grinned.
It is a wild feeling – thinking you dodged a bullet and then realizing it actually hit you square between the eyes. She said she had to talk with the Dr. and then I could put my clothes on. The Dr. almost immediately came back. I could hear them chatting in the next room and I remember hearing “one sac?” I still could not settle down, it was hard for me to button my shirt. The Dr. come into the eaminzation room and said a few words. Nothing else was mentioned to me about the “sac’ and I didn’t bring it up. That was another indication of my mental state. I would never have left any kind of medical visit with looming questions. But I went. Jon was waiting in the parking lot. I just gave him the images that read – Baby A and Baby B. It took him a while to figure it out. When he did he just said, “Twins?” I nodded. He looked both tired and excited.
I called my best friend in NY and while we were talking she reminded me that a few months ago I had sent her a prank email. In the subject line it said, “I am pregnant…” and in the body it said, “WITH TWINS!!” A few lines down I had written the obligatory HA! HA! When she reminded me of the email, I felt a twinge of guilt that stayed with me for a very long time. Maybe if I hadn't sent her that email...
She sent me a type of “ Twins for Morons” book. I can’t remember the title, but I remember that I read it in one sitting. I am an avid reader, as most writers are, and I research and read anything and everything that deals with my latest interest or obsession. I was so read up on pregnancy with my first baby, that I could have delivered him myself. I got to the “complications” chapter and the first thing I saw was an illustration of twins in utero that were drawn in one bubble, just floating around. I looked at that picture and it clicked. That was me. Those were my babies. Something was terribly wrong.