Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Our Twin Story: Part 1 - We're What?!

I really don't even know how to start this post. :) The twins' first birthday is coming up and what a better way to celebrate than to tell you our story...their story. But I have to start at the beginning of the journey.

In April 2010 we lost a precious baby boy, Elihu, at 15 weeks. The grief hit me like I'd never have expected and sent me into battle with God. I knew He had a plan but I wasn't ready to trust that it was a good plan. I didn't want to let go of my little boy. But God faithfully continued to pursue me and He so lovingly gave me Elihu's name. We had a heaven party to celebrate his little life in October 2010 and shortly after that we found out we were expecting again. Instead of falling head over heels for this baby I guarded my heart and I still regret that. I didn't allow myself to fall in love just in case it didn't work out...and it didn't. We lost that baby, Elliot, at 10 weeks. Instead of devastation and anger towards God I felt guilty for not allowing myself to be vulnerable to love. And I still hurt, just in a different way. I trusted that God had a good plan for my life, for my family and for my babies, but I felt lost.

I spent most of 2011 working on healing my body after medical procedures, sudden hormonal changes, thyroid issues. And when we got the "ok" to start trying again in November, I didn't want to. I was scared because I knew that if we lost a third baby I wouldn't be able to handle another pregnancy after that. But we went ahead and started "trying."

I noticed that my period was about a week late. I called Jonathan to pick up a pregnancy test on his way home from work. I peed on the little stick and waited for the full three minutes before was negative. And I was disappointed. I guess I was more ready than I had thought. But instead of being angry I cried out to God. And I mean, I cried. I finally asked Him that if it was not in His plan for us to have more children, to please oh please take this desire away from me. I was ready to give in fully to His will. I woke the next morning with swollen eyes from bawling into the night and Jonathan looked at me like, "What happened to you? Were you crying last night?" Yep, he slept through the whole thing. :)

About a week later, I still hadn't had my period so I thought I might as well pee on that second stick that came in our "two-pack" of pregnancy tests. I left the stick in the bathroom and proceeded to go about my day. About a half-hour later I went into the bathroom with fresh towels and saw that stick still sitting there. And it was positive. WHAT?!

I called Jonathan and told him to pick up another "two-pack" and come :) And they were both positive too. I made the official call to our OB and spoke to the nurse. The rule at our clinic is that you don't get to see the doctor until you're 12 weeks along, but since we had complications our last two pregnancies they let me in at 8 weeks with an ultrasound to make sure "something was there." What some awful words to hear. But we remained hopeful.

In fact, that night, a week after my last bawl-fest, I cried out to God again. I boldly approached His throne of grace and pleaded with Him to give us twins. I told Him that our desire was to have four kids and I didn't think that I would be able to handle another pregnancy if this one went well, let alone if this one ended the way our last two did. I pleaded for Him to let me keep this baby and to please make me pregnant with twins (they do not run in our family). I woke the next morning with swollen eyes and Jonathan looked at me and knew that I had been crying the night before while he was asleep. :) I told him that I asked God for twins. He looked at me like I was crazy. He told me what most people would've said if I told them about my prayers, that I should just be thankful for a healthy baby, that I was pretty gutsy to ask God for twins when I should just be happy to have a healthy pregnancy. I told my dear sweet husband that God already knew what was on my heart and that I wasn't afraid to come and ask Him for the "impossible."

On December 28th, 2011 we walked into that OB clinic with a full bladder anxious hearts. The last two times I was in this clinic, they did not end well. The anxiety was almost choking me. I had to remind myself to keep calm and breathe. I couldn't look at the magazines of pregnant celebrities. I had a hard time being in the same room with all those pregnant women. I was so glad that Jonathan was with me. After waiting for about 45 minutes, my bladder that was full when I arrived was about to burst. My husband and I laughed, but not too hard, about me needing to empty my bladder just a little bit. The only problem was that I didn't know if I could stop once I started. :) I know this is weird to share, but there's a reason for it later. So I did. And it did not feel good. I emptied about half of my bladder and went back to waiting for my name to be called.

Finally, I was called back for our ultrasound. I may have looked calm but I was a nervous wreck. The tech left so I could change into a gown and I was almost to the point of an anxiety attack. Jonathan held my hand and prayed for me and our baby. I was so scared to see another lifeless image on the screen. To see a baby, with no heartbeat is horrifying. Praying helped to remind me who God is and that no matter what I knew God was in control and that He loved me. The tech came in and put that cold jelly on my belly. We stared intently at the screen. Eight weeks is pretty early to have an ultrasound so it was hard to see what was going on. The tech ultrasounded my belly for a bit and then said, "I'm going to need a closer look. Don't worry. It looks fine, I just need a better look." I thought she was lying to us and I was panicked. I was also mad that we were probably going to be charged for two ultrasounds because I needed a potty break earlier while waiting. I was allowed to empty my bladder and when I returned the tech started the second ultrasound. Jonathan and I returned to staring at the screen. And that's when I saw it. I looked at the tech and she smiled at me. I said, "Is that..." And she said, "Twins. You're having identical twins!"