Test day turns out to have been five weeks in on our little adventure. The next two weeks are filled with a combination of trepidation and hope so we can reach the big scan day in one piece.
Week six and the sickness has suddenly kicked in with a vengeance. Everything I smell or eat is turning me incredibly sick. The worst culprits for aromas are air freshener, fish fingers and garlic… straight to the bathroom again each time. Conversely, I’m developing an addiction to citrus ice-lollies, plums and the smell of petrol… this is getting strange! I can’t quite believe it, but for some unknown reason a small bump is already forming! I can put it down to too many pies or water retention for a while, but I have a niggly feeling those excuses won’t work for long. Tiredness is hitting me at the most inopportune times and I’m falling asleep at my desk mid-article, only to be woken suddenly by an outside noise or a phone call; leaving me panicking that I could have missed the school run!
Week 7 and a half:I have a worry wobble and book myself in for a private scan.There’s nothing tangibly wrong but things feel uneasy and I’m fretting myself into the ground. I’ve exhausted all the baby information sites and not sleeping with the combination of crazy hormones making me sick/bloated/neurotic! The female bonding instinct has kicked in to enormous proportions and I just want to see if there’s a heartbeat to detect ; maybe then I can calm down and not worry so much about being over forty and expecting. The morning of the scan arrives and I am so nervous I nearly back out again. “What if my worries are for a good reason and something awful has happened? ” I carry on musing until we reach the hospital.
“Climb up on the bed and let’s take a little look” chirps the obstetrician optimistically. Cold gel is splattered onto the tummy area and the scan gun starts its work looking for a little bean and some indication of life. The consultant urges me to look at the screen but I just can’t do it: such is my mental conviction that it has to be bad news. He makes encouraging ‘hmm,hm’ sounds and then states “we have life!”. With that I stare at him in disbelief and start welling up. However, before I can even really begin my newly instigated tsunami of tears, Mr Obst. then hits me with another surprise… ” Go on, look at the screen” he says ” you have more than you bargained for in there… there’s two of them!”. I can’t believe what I’m hearing.
I really don’t believe it! I look at the screen at last and there they are; two little broad bean shaped embryos with strong heart beats pounding away; sounding like miniature horses hooves. The tears start again with relief and it seems we can relax with the professional’s confidence that the twins look fine at the moment and it all looks optimistic. Phew! I don’t ever remember it being quite so stressful when expecting the first two children!
The weeks are flying by now that we feel more relaxed and before we know it, it’s time for the next scan. This is offered between weeks 11 and 13 to take advantage of the small development window for detecting Downs Syndrome in each baby. We decide to take the test privately as the staff were so sensitive and thorough on our first visit at week 7. Under normal circumstances I’m meant to be booking in with a midwife at the health centre on week 8, but I want to wait a bit longer just to make sure everything stays ok. I’ve signed up to yet another pregnancy website in the meantime and we’re reliably informed that our babies have reached the size of large grapes by now…an image to behold when thinking of the next scan!
Back we go on the morning of the Downs test; also a dating scan. Blood tests are followed by the scan itself. We cannot believe how much the twins have grown in the space of a month! From almost indeciferable broad beans to actual tiny babies with arms and legs, facial features and movements. It’s an amazing sight and we’re mesmerized as the obstetrician checks over each baby individually. They’re non-identical and in separate sections of their own. They obligingly offer some impromptu entertainment as one has hiccups and the other one appears to be waving back at us! All test results are duly combined and things seem to be fine. We’re delighted as the hospital offer us no less than 12 scan pictures to leave with and show to our nearest and dearest.
It seems now would be a good time to tell the two boys coming home from school ,completely oblivious to the excitement about to unfold. Ever observant, they haven’t noticed that their mum has been waddling around clumsily like Mr Greedy and turning green at the sight of their dinners.
Home time duly arrives and we sit the boys down. We tell them the good news and show them the scan pictures… on first realisation the youngest one laughs at the images claiming the twins look like they have their own bunks installed one on top of the other in my tummy. The big one looks horrified and asks how on earth we’re going to look after four children all at once! ( He does actually have a point there… we have 6 months to work it out).
Week 13 and we’re nearing the end of the first trimester. Sickness is at last settling down and energy is just about to return. I still won’t be able to pole vault to the washing line, but at least I can now walk to the car without either throwing up or falling asleep!
Talking of pole vaulting and such-like… we have one more hurdle to jump; telling our friends the good news!!!
© TE 2013