Floored. We are so floored by the response to our news about the twins.
Friends, family, strangers from across the globe – we’re amazed and humbled to think that you’re praying for us and our babies. (I still feel incredulous every time I make that word plural.)
I can’t thank you enough for your kind word and encouraging thoughts. I know we will need them even more in the months to come, and I’m holding each one of your emails, comments, stories, and promises of prayer close to my heart.
Deep and humble thanks to every one of you.
I’m not sure how to follow up a post that goes like HERE WERE ALL THE PLANS WE HAD FOR OUR LIVES AND NOW THEY ARE TURNED UPSIDE DOWN DEAR GOD WHAT WERE YOU THINKING so I figured I’d start with the questions everyone’s been asking.
(Got another you’re dying to ask? Pose a question in comments and I’ll do my best to answer. With the caveat that I’m no medical expert; just a bewildered mom who talked to doctors. Believe me, I’m as curious about this whole situation as everyone else!)
Do twins run in your family?
No. These babies are the fluke-of-nature variety: one fertilized egg that split into two.
Non-identical twins tend to be the kind that run in families (because a woman can be genetically predisposed to release more than one egg during ovulation, increasing her risk of fraternal twins).
How do you already know they are identical?
The babies share a placenta. This automatically means they are identical. These monochorionic twins occur in only 0.3% of pregnancies.
(We should probably begin buying lottery tickets after beating these odds.)
The big worry was that at our initial ultrasound, it looked like the twins shared the same sac, too – which would have made for a much more high-risk situation (since they can get tangled in each other’s umbilical cords). Thankfully we found out last week that they do have their own sacs.
Sharing a placenta can still cause plenty of complications, but I’ll be monitored closely throughout the whole pregnancy to stay on top of the situation. The biggest risk is twin-to-twin-transfusion, where an imbalance of blood develops between the twins sharing a placenta (essentially one starts to “steal” blood from the other, which sounds like Halloween movie gore to me).
But we only have a 10-15% chance of this developing. Fingers crossed.
When are you due?
Babies are due in June. But they’ll be born by May, no later than 37 weeks because of the situation with the placenta.
Gratefully accepting all sorts of prayers that we make it that far!
Have you told your other kids?
Since I tend to be so sick in early pregnancy (and beyond), it’s pretty impossible for us to keep the secret from anyone close to us, especially the kids who notice right away when mom is suddenly sick round the clock.
So we told the boys about the new baby (back when we thought it was singular) when we were visiting our alma mater of Notre Dame for our goddaughter’s baptism a month ago. Right there over lunch at the Huddle. They cracked big grins, and the whole plan seemed perfect.
After we found out about the twins, we realized that we should bring them up to speed since everyone around them would be talking about babies (or “babiez” as Sam lovingly spelled it in his note to me).
So when we told them that I was actually growing two babies, Joseph ignored us, Thomas laughed out loud, and Sam declared, “That is gonna be HARD!”
My sentiments exactly.
Are you going to find out the sex this time?
Yes. I am done with surprises till the end of my days.
Our first two babies were delivery room surprises, which was so much fun. Nothing like it in the world.
For #3, I just had to know if it was another boy. So I wore down my spouse, and we found out at the 20 week ultrasound. But we didn’t tell anyone that we knew it was a boy, so that we could still enjoy an element of surprise on the big day. I would highly recommend this route, too (although it means no one in your family will ever trust you again).
But this time around, no surprises. I’m going to end up with a zillion ultrasounds, so it would be impossible to avert our eyes. Besides, I’m dying to know.
Vegas odds are on boys, everybody. Let’s not go ga-ga with girl dreams yet. But we will be finding out, and we will definitely be sharing the news.
How are you feeling?
Physically? Wretched. But I tend to have terrible morning sickness in pregnancy: all day nausea/vomiting until well into the 2nd trimester. So I’ve dealt with it before, and I try to remind myself that I survived. And deemed it worth it enough to try again.
(Side note: I’m working on a prayer for morning sickness to add to my Prayers for Pregnancy – why did I never think to add this for the sisterhood of the sick before? Coming soon…)
Emotionally? Ha. All over the place. We were so excited about this pregnancy at first, but I have to admit that all the excitement got sucked away by the shock of this news. Most days I waffle between despair, acceptance, abject fear, hilarity, disbelief, grief, and general shock.
So, you know, I’m super fun to live with right now.
How can we help?
Prayers. Prayers, prayers, prayers. Please,
I know everyone wants to get excited and buy matching onesies. But we are so far from that day, God willing. Right now we’re just trying to make it through the throes of morning sickness (and yes, I use “we” deliberately, because my sainted spouse is doing EVERYTHING to keep this family and household running while I’m in pure survival mode).
So we are deeply grateful for your prayers, both for our babies’ health and for the well-being of our whole family during a time of great transition.
I hate to admit that the hardest moments of my life tend to open up the holiest spaces, even in the dark. And this time is no exception. I cannot tell you how palpably and powerfully I feel the prayers of those caring for us. I have a deep, abiding sense that we will be carried through whatever comes.
Thanks for being with us on this journey.