January 18, 2011

“There’s baby # 1 and there’s baby #2” the doctor pointed to the two fuzzy objects as I sat straight up and stared in disbelief at the ultrasound monitor. I was in my fourth month and had just recently come to terms with how I was going to handle a third child, but a third AND a fourth?  Dwight and I had been married 9 years and had 2 beautiful little boys : Drew, who was 5 and Caleb who was 17 months old.  We had always planned to have 3 children, and although I had gotten pregnant sooner than expected we were very excited and we were already talking about names and deciding where we would put the crib. However, we had no idea that we were getting the two-for-one special (aka: twins) “Where in the world are we going to put them?” I wondered as I continued to stare at the two heartbeats on the ultrasound.

This pregnancy had gone much like the other two except for 1) I had been eating non-stop and 2) I was gaining weight at a much faster pace.  However, since eating and gaining weight are related I just thought I really needed to cut back on the pizza, french fries and cheeseburgers I had been craving.   I had come in for my monthly check-up and thought this would be a pretty uneventful visit.  However,  I was measuring larger than normal for 18 weeks along and so the doctor had decided  it wouldn’t hurt to do a quick ultrasound there in his office to check and see if there might be more than one baby.

“Well, all I can say is that God must have a sense of humor” I said to the doctor as I tried to wrap my brain around the fact that I had two babies growing inside me.  “Of course he does” the doctor replied back with a smile.  Dr. Blake had been my doctor for all of my pregnancies including my first which was only 8 weeks and ended in miscarriage.  He and his staff were all wonderful and I knew I was in good hands as far as the pregnancy and delivery were concerned – it was what would happen after the birth that scared me. There was no way I would be able to return to work after this  – how would I afford childcare for 4 small children ?  How would we feed four children if I wasn’t working ? So many questions – my head was spinning and I know that it must have shown on my face because the nurses were very encouraging and kept saying things like “Everything will be work out”  “If anyone can handle this we know you can”, etc.  Very sweet of them, but I wasn’t as confident in myself and my mothering skills as they were. 

The rest of the pregnancy with the twins went quickly and the closer I got to my due date the more scared I became.  I was put on bed rest at 32 weeks because I had already dilated to 4 cm and was having contractions 5 minutes apart.  I was also given medicine to stop the contractions.  This medicine did not help at all with my nerves because it made me very jittery and high-strung.   I had to go in for a non-stress test every week.  It’s a good thing these tests were measuring the babies stress levels and not my own personal stress level because I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown. With all the worrying about the impending birth of the twins, the racing hormones in my body and the side effects of the medicine to stop the contractions I was an emotional wreck.  I was torn between just wanting to have the twins and get it over with and wanting them to stay in my uterus where they were a lot easier to care for than they would be when they came out.  At 36 weeks the doctor decided it was time and we welcomed Ethan Thomas (7 lbs, 5 oz) and Emma Nicole (5 lbs, 8 oz) into our family.

When we brought the twins home from the hospital their oldest brother Drew was very excited and wanted to help bring diapers, pacifiers, or whatever else we needed and even wanted to help entertain the babies when they were cranky.  During the pregnancy he had been a little unsure how he felt about adding to our family. One night he had told Dwight and I that once the babies came he would be moving in with Grandma and Grandpa Brock.  “It’s been nice living here, but I think it’s time for me to move on.”  Dwight and I were shocked by this news and asked him why he didn’t want to live with us anymore. “Oh, it’s not that I don’t like it here … it’s a pretty nice place and the food is OK, but once the new babies come there won’t be room for me to live here anymore.”  Drew is a smart boy and he had counted up the bedrooms and knew that there weren’t enough rooms for two more family members.  Since he was the oldest he assumed it was time for him to move out.   We explained to Drew that we already had plans to build on an addition to our house with two more bedrooms and another bathroom, but that even if we hadn’t we would never kick him out.  “Whew, that’s a relief!” Drew said as he gave me a big hug. “I’ve really kinda gotten used to you guys and I think I might miss you.”

Caleb was not even two when the twins came to invade his home and he was not happy at all.  He had been the baby of the family and he already had been upset that during the pregnancy Mommy’s lap had continued to get smaller and smaller. Now that the babies were here it seemed to him that Mommy was always holding one of them and these babies sure were noisy for being as small as they were.  If I were holding one (or both) of the twins he would walk past me by going out to the other side of the room, making sure to be as far away from the babies as possible.  He once found one of Emma’s socks and brought it to me but he carried it by a small string sticking out from the toe of the sock as if it had cooties or baby germs that he wanted no part of. 

Caleb was first diagnosed with Autism when the twins were only around a year old I remember worrying that I had been given more than I could handle.  I know they say God doesn’t give you more than you can handle, but maybe God had more faith in me than I did in myself.  However, looking back I can see how the twins being born when they were really was perfect.  They have helped Caleb so much that I know he would never have made the progress he has without his little brother and sister to keep him engaged in the world around him and to help include him and love him just the way he is.  Emma is like a second mommy to Caleb and she helps watch out for him and make sure he is safe. Ethan is a great buddy for Caleb and when we were teaching Caleb sign language Ethan made up a special sign for “chase” since that was a game that he and Caleb loved to play together.  It’s amazing how an unexpected surprise turned out to really be an unexpected blessing.


4 Responses to “Surprise!”

  1. Mo Says:

    I loved reading this! Sweet and funny and beautiful…

    • Thanks Mo! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog too … hard to believe that soon we will both have gone a whole month with the postaday challenge. Wow – already I’ve posted more in the first 3 weeks of 2011 then I did in the entire year of 2010 ~ LOL 🙂 Keep up the great writing !! Woo Hoo ! 🙂

  2. Becky Says:

    Wow where has the time gone!! A very sweet walk back memory lane.

    • It sure has flown, hasn’t it? I remember coming to your house to show you the ultrasound picture – You were the first to see it ! I was in shock and didn’t know what to think. It was so nice that you lived close enough to the doctors office for me to stop by and see my bestest friend 🙂 We’ve been through a lot together and I know you are always there for me no matter what ! 🙂 We REALLY need to get together more often … before our kids go off to college ~ LOL 🙂

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