The next road that God chose to take us down was the road of Multiples!
The month after our Easter 2010 miscarriage, we were pregnant again. Now, I've never had morning sickness or any weird stuff during pregnancy (don't hate me), but right away, this pregnancy had me on the couch all day, with horrendous migraines, severe nausea, and extreme fatigue. In my ignorance, I thought it was going to be a boy!
I had my first appointment with my hometown doctor at 7 weeks, and we saw a baby on the ultrasound, just one, and we were so relieved that it was looking healthy! At 10 weeks we heard a heartbeat! YAY! Doctor said it looked like a pretty strong pregnancy, so I gave myself permission to get attached.
And I was, right away.
Everytime I went in to the doctor he would listen to the baby's heartbeat, which was music to my ears and balm to my sore heart. That heartbeat was strong and steady right away.....
Fast forward to 18 weeks, and my doctor wanted me to make the appointment for my routine, second level ultrasound. When I called the clinic, they got me in the next week! I was floored, because usually it was a two week wait. We were going to find out if our baby was pink or blue, and I was soooooo nervous!! I wanted everything to be normal and okay and good!
I've never known a week to go by so fast as the week prior to that ultrasound did!!
As an aside, I noticed that I had been gaining weight rather quickly, to the tune of about 5 lbs in one month, which was very unusual for me, but the doctor and the nurse thought nothing of it, and so I didn't either. My tummy was rather large, I mean, at 18 weeks I looked like I was already 6 months pregnant!
The day I went South for my ultrasound, it was just me and my son. We walked in to the clinic and the gal behind the desk looked at me so funny! It was 8:30 in the morning, and so I was the first appointment of the day. They got me back right away.......
And I told the tech, who remembered me from previous pregnancies, that I thought my tummy was super big for how far along I was. She jokingly said (or, to me it sounded like she was joking) "Let's see how many babies are in there!"
I actually think everyone at that clinic suspected already, I mean, they deal every day in high risk, multiple gestation pregnancies......
As soon as I laid down on that table, in that warm, dim, peaceful room, and she placed that wand on my tummy, she exclaimed......
"There are two in there!"
If I hadn't been laying down, I would have fainted. Seriously, I had not the slightest clue. I just didn't know, and neither did my smalltown OB/GYN.
So, we were going to have twins. After years of praying for God to bless us with two at once, we were about to enter into the world of Mulitiples. I was terrified! I was ecstatic! I was stunned!
I immediately burst into tears and asked to call my husband, right then and there, which they don't usually allow, but they made an exception for me. So, I called my husband and here's how our conversation went: Me: Are you sitting down? Him: No, I'm on my route, why? Me: we're having twins! Him: No way! Me: Yep, and they're both girls (which she had just told me) Him: (Laughing hysterically) You're kidding! Me: No, and guess what? Him: WHAT??? Me: They're IDENTICAL!!
I was freaking out by this time.
I took possession of those babies right then and there. They were mine! I felt 10 feet tall. I felt almost holy. I felt blessed, abundantly, majorly blessed among women. I don't think my feet touched the ground one time that day! I was crying and crying when I left with a long trail of pictures, I'm sure everyone in the waiting room felt sorry for me because surely I had just heard bad news!
That was September 28th, 2010. Just 7 months ago. The technician, Kyrsten, called the doctor in right away because at almost 5 months, we were just finding out we were going to have twins, and the doctor, a perinatologist whom I had met before during my pregnancy with Sofia, was totally shocked and said that that was very late to be finding out about twins. He was very happy because they were looking so good and so healthy......
I can scarcely believe how our lives have changed in less than a year. I look back to the time before that day and I can't recognize that girl that I was.
We had such fun telling everyone! We had so much fun seeing the looks of horror and disbelief on peoples' faces! After all, we already had 7 children. It was so awesome to say that we were having twins, and that they were identical twin girls!
Their names came to me as I was driving home from that appointment.
Pennie Jane (Baby A) and Olivia Caroline (Baby B).
Fast forward to October. It was the 15th, and we had bought tickets a year in advance for a Gaither Homecoming concert. We love the Gaithers and we were really looking forward to this concert. Everything now was so special, with the knowing that we had two babies in my tummy! We sat and listened and sang along and had a really good time, and The Babies did too! They were very active through that concert, and I will never, never as long as the earth is turning, forget it. It was the last time I felt Olivia move. You see, she was my active twin, bopping and turning and dancing in my tummy. She was the one on the ultrasound who always had her face turned toward the camera, always in the limelight, as it were........
Four days later, on the 19th, I realized I hadn't felt her move in quite a few hours, which was very unusual for her. Pennie would kick occasionally, but Olivia was my Rocker, so I called the doctor. When they asked me how long it had been, and I said 15 hours, they let me talk to my doctor right away, and he sent me straight down to my specialist, whom I had been seeing every two weeks since the end of September.
I knew. My heart knew. And I have to tell you, something in me shriveled up and died that day.
Not again, Lord! Please, don't do this to us again. I can't do that again! I can't say goodbye again! I can't let her go!! Please, please wake her up......
But she was gone, as the ultrasound would show that day. Her heart was still. She had made it to 21 weeks gestation. The doctor was stunned and sad and shocked because The Babies had been so healthy and so vibrant, with nary a problem the whole pregnancy. He was so sorry for us, as was everyone at the clinic.
Olivia Caroline was born still 15 minutes after her sister on February 20th, 2011. She was tiny, just the size of my husband's hand because she was curled up, looking like half of a beautiful shell. I did not see her, but I didn't need to. I had already said goodbye, and continue to, each day.