Yesterday, we had our only planned ultrasound. I wasn’t sure until a little over a week ago that I wanted an ultrasound, but I plan one if I’m feeling concerned (which is something I think every mother with a loss feels, until that baby is in arms.) In this case, I had a worrying few hours with painful contractions, which thankfully petered out and never returned. However, after this, I began feeling a lot more fetal movement than before. And the movements, on the top and bottom, or both sides, of my uterus at once were making me suspicious. Those movements felt like kicks everywhere, not punches and kicks.
I had been having vivid dreams of twin girls throughout the pregnancy, but assumed they were wish-fulfillment for my stillborn girl. Since this is my last pregnancy, I was sure that I wanted to be surprised about the gender, but these twin dreams weren’t leaving me alone. So, I decided to take one of the over-the-counter gender tests, for fun. Nowhere on the label did it warn me that the chemical reaction would heat up enough to make moving the bottle from the floor impossible, nor did it mention the pressure would blow the rubber gasket off with such force it would smack into the ceiling. In hindsight, I doubt it normally does this.
It came up boy, of course, and I was pleased with that result. I’m less afraid of anything happening to them because I’ve carried 3 boys successfully. And I felt prepared to go into the ultrasound without asking the gender of the baby. It was one less stressor for me on a day that, I think, most mothers look forward to. But, I have vivid flashbacks about finding out during the ultrasound that our daughter would not survive. Every decoration in the office is burned into my memory because I walk the rooms often in my dreams. Going there triggers flashbacks and mourning for me, but I trust the ultrasound tech like I wouldn’t trust anyone else with a scan. He is compassionate with my fear, as well as respectful of my reservations about the safety of ultrasound scans.
And, speaking of scans, this is what we found. My Mothers Day wish fulfillment come true:
Twin girls! Both measuring healthy and right on target at 19 weeks each. I’m elated and excited to learn all about twin pregnancies, births, and childhood development. Dp is a equal parts shocked and happy. My two oldest boys are thrilled and can’t stop talking about seeing their new baby sisters. My little guy is sick today, but he was fascinated during the ultrasound and keeps pointing to my belly to say, “babies.” So, I think he’s got the concept pretty well.
We were able to determine that they are in separate amniotic sacs, but they’re too big to get a clear shot of whether they have their own placentas or are sharing one. I haven’t spoken with my midwife in detail, yet, but barring any complications, I plan on glorious homebirths number 5 and 6 next fall.