the biggest surprise of our lives…TWINS

We always hoped for four kids.

I can’t remember when the dream started, way back while we were still dating. Sly small conversations trying to sort out where a Significant Other stood on the Big Questions: marriage, family, faith.

He was one of four. I was one of five (four after my brother died).

We always wanted something like the same. Enough family to make life lovingly complex and delightfully chaotic.

But then came infertility. Which scrubbed us bright-faced newlyweds raw of any expectations for what a family might look like.

Just one, I used to pray late at night.

All I want is one. Please.

. . .

After a few years, a baby finally came. The answer to prayers and pleas. He was wonderful and exhausting and world-upheaving, as babies always are.

One seemed more than enough.

As a worn and weary new mom, I wondered during his first year whether we should ever try for another. If we could even have another.

But I knew those early dreams were born on solid ground. A shared foundation of faith and family. What our life together might look like.

I kept telling myself our dreams were bigger than the frustrations of the present moment. Worth whatever hard work it took to get there.

We’ll take it one baby at a time, I used to say when we had those late-night conversations about Were We Ready For Another and What Should We Do Next.

One baby at a time.

. . .

A routine ultrasound.

He almost skipped it because work got busy that morning.

But it’s always so fun to see, he said on the drive over. It’s too important to miss.

And there it was. The fuzzy blur on the grainy black and white of the sonogram machine. A tiny flickering heartbeat. Measuring right on track.

I let out the breath I’d been holding for the first few, fragile weeks. The heartbeat. I knew what that meant.

But then something else caught my eye.

What’s that?  I asked the ultrasound tech. Across from the baby? 

He squinted at the screen and leaned closer. Oh…he trailed off as his eyes widened.

That’s another heartbeat!

. . .

This pregnancy was supposed to be our last hurrah. The final chapter of our story before that looming deadline of Advanced Maternal Age.

Four kids. It would have been a handful, we knew that well. But we know newborns. We know what it means to add another baby. And we could fit one more in the car. One more at the table. It made sense. Nice and even.

It was exactly the dream we hoped for.

Then with one zoom of the sonogram machine, everything changed.

Yup, the tech nodded confidently. He started to type BABY A and BABY B on the screen while I watched in utter shock.

You’re having twins.

. . .

Jim Gaffigan has a laughable line about having four kids. Imagine you’re drowning, and then someone hands you a baby.

Now it doesn’t seem so funny. Someone’s going to hand us two babies. Identical twins. I feel like my life just became a reality TV show.

Every plan we had is changing, and all of it is out of our control.

I never planned to share this news here so early. Everyone knows you’re supposed to keep pregnancy announcements neat and tidy. Wait till twelve weeks so you don’t have to turn around and share sad news if Something Happens.

But nothing about this is neat and tidy. We need heaps of help and prayers to get through whatever comes next. And worst-case scenario, if we end up grieving again, we cannot grieve alone.

Every single day, strangers ask me to pray for their pregnancies or miscarriages or hopes for conception. Every single day, I promise I will. And because of that connection – because of the power of prayer and community, because of you faithful friends and readers who have become part of my journey through motherhood – I’m sharing this news now. In the raw and fragile and uncertain beginning.

Because I need you to get through this.

Maybe we lose the babies before we ever meet them. Maybe we lose them at birth if they arrive too early. Maybe we all come through this healthy and happy, and everyone wants to say, See? It turned out perfectly. We told you not to worry!

But no one knows how this story ends.

There is nothing more frustrating to a writer than to be trapped within a story she cannot control. Or even flip forward a few pages to sneak a peek at the next chapter. I have to plod along word by word, hour by hour, like everyone else. I have to trust that the Author of Life is the only One in control.

That truth should be no surprise. But these twins are the biggest shock of my life.

I believe that joy can come from unexpected places. And I know that nothing is impossible with God. I’m just going to need plenty of reminders to trust.

Here begins one wild ride…

40 thoughts on “the biggest surprise of our lives…TWINS

  1. You and F are so trusting and filled with grace that this won’t be a solitary journey! God’s got your back as do all of us with lots and loads of prayer. Love you and those babies so fiercely!!!!!

  2. Congratulations on your gift of new life! I will remember you in prayer during this pregnancy, praying for strength for you guys as parents, and for health and well-being for all of you, especially those babies! Blessings!

  3. Congratulations! We found out we were having twins on the Assumption in 2014! We thought, sure one more baby will be fine.. God is so funny! You are so blessed. Prayers coming your way.

  4. When I went for my first ultrasound for this miracle pregnancy, I knew there was a possibility there would be more than one baby, because I took fertility medications to get pregnant. The idea seemed both thrilling and absolutely terrifying! In my case, there is only one baby, with a preciously perfect little beating heart, thank God! But I felt that anxiety of the possibility. I can only imagine the shock of being completely surprised by this. You have such incredible faith, I am in awe of your story, and I will keep you and your babies and family in my prayers. Congratulations on your pregnancy!!!!

  5. Many congratulations and prayers! But I have to admit that I’m confused…I thought you already had three kids? So that would make 5 with twins? Obviously I must be mixing you up with another blogger.

    1. Thanks, Claire! Maybe I wasn’t clear (my head sure isn’t these days) – yes, we have 3 boys now, so we were planning/hoping on one last baby to make 4. Now it turns out we will have 5! God has a great sense of humor. 🙂

      1. I’m sure you were clear. It’s my head that’s often unclear, and I don’t even have pregnancy as an excuse! Anyway, thanks for clarifying.

  6. Wow! Congratulations on your two newest blessings. I will pray that they come to you healthy and at just the right time. And I’ll pray for you and your family, that you all adjust to your new reality as well as possible.

  7. Laura, congratulations to you and your family! I confess I had tears of joy in my eyes this morning at the greatness (in both emotion and scope) of this announcement. I will continue to pray for you and those little ones as you nurture them to birth and beyond.

  8. Wow! Rest assured, you will all be in my prayers. When I found out I was pregnant this time, people kept reminding me that twins are more likely as you get older. And then my oldest daughter said on ultrasound day, ” Today we find out if we’re having twins or triplets!” I almost passed out. Turns out we’re having just one, but we’re in a similar boat in that we need a new car and possibly a new house. Yikes.

    Anyway, CONGRATULATIONS, and all my prayers.

  9. Congratulations! This is so exciting and I can’t wait to meet them. Your family will be in my prayers in the coming months.

  10. Congratulations, Laura! And all the prayers in the world for you! We will all carry your burden to the Lord, as you have done for so many of us. Sending lots of love to you!

  11. Laura,

    What delight! What terror! I am laughing and commiserating with all of my heart at this news. Holding you and your family in prayer and love as you all adjust to this new reality and through these tender early weeks.

  12. You’ve got this. I know, it seems insane, but prayers and hugs and congratulations on this wonderful gift of more than you planned. (God’s plans always are bigger than our dreams).

  13. God always surprises us with abundant blessings! What faith and trust and courage to share with all of us. I will keep you and your sweet babies in my prayers. The hand written note from your child is a message from God! Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

  14. Congratulations!!, and thanks for having the courage to share the news. Every pregnancy should be a celebration from beginning to end regardless of any uncertainties.
    Faith is trust.
    You are not alone 🙂

  15. Twins are hard, not gonna lie. Mine were not a surprise to me as they run in my family very strongly and I had a mother’s “knowing” before I even conceived them, but that didn’t make them easier. It still doesn’t. Two two-year-olds is perhaps even harder than two infants. They’re worth it though…and it is really something to see their amazing special friendship.

    Praying for a healthy pregnancy and two healthy babies!

    As an aside, I think Advanced Maternal Age is more of a scare tactic than anything else…I know many women, my mom included, who had babies into their forties.

  16. I’m a fairly new reader and a fairly new mom to twins (4.5 months, identical boys) CONGRATULATIONS and welcome to the twin moms club! I know you’re a Minnesota Mom too (I found you through Nell’s blog) and I think my email shows up with the comment- if you have any questions about resources for mothering multiples, don’t hesitate to email me. I will rejoice in prayer for you tonight!

  17. Love your blog, and thank God for these wonderful blessings that He is forming in you. It’s all His idea and He will give you all you need. Prepaying for you and your family.

  18. Congratulations! You are the second blogger I read tonight that found out they were having twins this week. So exciting!!!! Grow, BABIES, Grow! Please know of my prayers for you and your family!!!

  19. What everyone above has said… congrats and prayers and peace and grace be with you all (and with your spirit). Your honesty is admirable and speaks volumes of what faith really looks like – and that is a good thing! Thank you and we will walk with you (virtually) too.

  20. Congratulations on your BIG NEWS!! I’m new to this site having just purchased your book on Amazon. I am a 48 year old Catholic mom of 5 in Rapid City SD! We had three children and I was just certain that 4 was our number. It turned out that 5 was our number!! Twins on the end! Our twin boys just turned 13 in October! You can do this!!! Lots of prayers. . . lots of prayers coming your way! We have a Twin Mom group at our Catholic Church. Between 7-10 moms meet regularly to give each other support. Sometimes it is very difficult to be on the receiving end of help. We want to be helping rather than being helped. Please allow your family to be on the receiving end of offers to lighten your load. A very humbling place to be, for sure.

    I’m rooting for you! And praying for you!

    You can do this!

    Suzanne Feist

  21. Laura, I’ve been reading and following for over a year. Congratulations! As a fellow domer, I’ll be praying for you and your babies. I thoroughly love your writing–it’s so real–Keep up the great work–it’s a true gift!

  22. Your story has helped to build up my faith in the power of our God to do anything. I am also believing God to conceive identical twin girls. Please keep me in your prayers.

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