One year ago on the day before Thanksgiving, Mike and I sat in a dimly lit room staring at blobs on a screen and were asked, "Did you know you're having twins?"
Neither of us passed out, or swore, or cried....initially.
I said, "Nope. We didn't know that."
Mike squeezed my hand and asked, "Are you serious? Are you sure?" He might have said that a few times.
We were shocked, but I think we took the news pretty well.
The ultrasound tech double-checked what she was seeing and left to let the receptionist know this appointment was going to run long...twice as long.
In that brief time alone, Mike and I had a rapid-fire chat that laid the groundwork for many conversations to come. "Two babies? This is amazing. How are we going to afford this? Two babies? This is unbelievable. Holy shit. Two babies."
We were thrilled to learn that I was carrying a boy and a girl, that both looked perfect, but the shock was still there.
I had an appointment with my OB/GYN in that same office immediately following the ultrasound. The nurse who weighed me and took my blood pressure made the first thoughtless comment. "Better you than me," she said. We've learned from experience and from other parents of multiples that these statements are ridiculously common. As well-intentioned as they may be, in the days when the news is fresh, comments like, "Good luck with that," cut deep.
The doctor was somewhat apologetic, having missed one of the babies in the internal ultrasound she'd performed 10 weeks earlier. We discussed how this changed a few things, like how the babies' positions could make a c-section necessary, how pre-term labor was likely.
We spent the rest of the day sharing the news via cell phone on our way up to Birch Run and Frankenmuth. Both of our moms squeeled. Mine said she knew it all along but tried to convince herself otherwise everytime she looked at the first ultrasound print-out. Her mom had a set of boy-girl twins, my Aunt Rose and Uncle Ron.
The intention of that mini-roadtrip plan was so I could hit the Pottery Barn outlet and pick out nursery decor now knowing the sex of "the baby." Instead Mike and I wandered those aisles in a fog, less sure than ever about how that nursery was going to look, unable to clearly envision much about our future. "Two babies," we repeated, hoping the news would sink in and that the apprehension would slip away.
Since we were in the area, I wanted to get a Christmas ornament in honor of this big day. At Bronner's we found a baby bottle, then a pink bootie, a stork, and finally a blue bootie. The pink bootie and blue bootie were the winners.
Before heading to the checkout, we stopped at the bathrroms, and as Mike took his turn I stood alone in the chaos of the day-before-Thanksgiving crowd looking at that blue ornament and that pink ornament. My boy and my girl. And it sunk in. My emotional equilibrium righted itself, and I knew there was only one feeling that was true, like true north--gratitude.
The next morning I cried on the phone with my mom, nagged once again by apprehension. Over the weeks and months to come, Mike and I attempted to plan financially to ease those fears. Then the babies came, and, although they were few, we had some moments where we felt pretty overwhelmed. But on all of those days, and on the ones in between, the emotions that have come and gone have all seemed to orbit that big ol' gratitude. It never goes away.
And I'm glad we had today to honor it once again.