And then there were twins…
And so I bring us to the beginning of the hardest stage of our lives, except at the time we were blissfully ignorant.
In 2016, we celebrated our 10th anniversary with the purchase of a camper trailer and a few trips to state parks with the kids. It was absolutely glorious. In May, I finished a two year Bible training program with Denton Bible Church and was asked to return as a teacher in the fall. My dream in college was to teach Bible and after deciding not to finish my master’s degree at seminary, this was the answer to my hopes. Everything was neatly falling into place. We found out we were pregnant at the end of May and decided it was the crowning moment to such a perfect year.
At our first appointment, the sonogram tech struggled to find signs of a healthy pregnancy. After a long silence, she informed us either we were completely wrong in our calculations of time or we were in the first stages of another miscarriage. Heavy hearted we left. Two weeks passed and no signs of miscarriage occurred and I was scheduled for another sonogram for confirmation. This time the sonogram tech immediately found the image of a tiny baby just 7 weeks in size. We were thrilled! Tears of joy streamed down my face and we continued to watch the sweet little joy on the screen. A strange flicker occurred on the screen and the baby seemed to jump from the right to the left. Again and again it moved back and forth, disappearing then reappearing in a slightly different place. And then it happened, she managed to get a shot of two identical babies. Twins.
We were now in a state of total bliss that we began laughing and saying how incredibly shocked we were. She continued to take measurements and pictures but she stopped making any comments. Finally she said that it was, of course, twins but she was concerned that there was no separating membrane. I had no clue what she meant.
The doctor followed up by explaining that it appear we had identical twins which shared one placenta but they were unable to say if they each had their own amniotic sac. If they did not, the success rate of the pregnancy was very small. At this point, she began to say that they would be at high risk of their umbilical cords wrapping and knotting together. I needed to prepare to enter the hospital for bedrest at 22 weeks for the remainder of the pregnancy.
We went home distraught again. We were given joy, a successful pregnancy! Double joy, twins! And immediately news that it may still end in the death of the baby. Or in our case, babies. Three agonizing and long weeks later, we had another sonogram. The best technician was assigned to us and the doctor came into the ultrasound room herself so that she could diagnose the issue immediately. It was one of the great gifts that God gave us that year, the twins were separated. We cried for joy yet again.
In the exam room afterwards, we all continued the joyful talk of what having twins would be like. In a few brief moments she mentioned the possible complications. “I have only seen some of these complications once or twice in my practice over the last 20 years. The chances are incredibly small. Don’t worry about it.”
We would be her 3rd case ever.