I’m lying on an exam table at my ob. I’m five weeks pregnant and got an early appointment because I had a ton of cramping.
DOCTOR (TO NURSE)
Do you believe this?
That’s twice this week.
Is something wrong??
(pointing to a back hole on the sonogram screen)
(points to another black hole)
And that’s how I found out I was having twins.
The weeks that followed were like one long flu. Only unlike the flu, I knew that I wouldn’t be better in a day, or even a week. I felt like absolute hell, and knew I’d feel exactly the same tomorrow.
I gained a whole new appreciation for people with chronic illness. I found myself wanting to read stories about people in awful situations like concentration camps or living with cancer to remind myself that there were others far worse off than me.
But instead I puked, ate, and slept (in bed, on the floor of my children’s playroom, in the doctor’s office, and possibly at a stoplight).
The few people I told about the twins had to decipher what I was saying through my tears. We had expected a #3, but the idea of a #3 and #4 hadn’t occurred to me on any level. And I didn’t have time to look on the bright side because I was too busy puking.
My bedroom became a black hole. Feeling so exhausted reminded me of depression, which terrified me. I could hear my two boys (ages 3 and 4) playing downstairs with the babysitter and felt immensely guilty, and wondered how I’d ever have the strength to mother not just two but four children. Needless to say, it was a shitty time.
A friend told me about Zofran, the anti-nausea medication, and by week 10 or so I was able to make it to my office for a few hours before retreating to the black hole for the rest of the day.
And then, on week 11, something miraculous happened — my mom arrived. A week or so later I found myself wanting to make a to-do list. And things have been gradually looking up ever since then.
I can’t imagine how people get through the first trimester of a twin pregnancy while holding down a full time job, commuting, or being a stay at home mom with no babysitter. I can’t imagine how people do this without telling anyone. I can’t imagine how people do this more than once.
Today, I bid my first trimester goodbye.
And with that must come some gratitude.
I have two very wiggly healthy babies who are exactly the same size and exactly where they should be at 13 weeks 6 days. I have a husband who came home early to help me, and then worked well into the night. I have a mom who dropped everything to come run my household, a step mom who came to keep my boys busy, and friends who texted me daily and others who dropped off bags and bags of maternity clothes. I have a business I love that fortunately didn’t implode while I was doing time in the black hole. And two little boys who are thrilled that I’m having twins because “we each get our own baby.”
Thank you for your gifts, first trimester.
I’m so glad we will never meet again.