Today I made an appointment with my regular obstetrician for an ultrasound. The midwife didn’t do these, and I wanted “fetal pictures” of the baby for each trimester. The doctor treated it as a regular first prenatal visit, complete with Pap smear, cultures, and blood and urine tests. So it took a little while to get to the actual ultrasound. But soon enough I was settled in the room, the lights were out, and we were ready to take that first look at baby.
The first thing the doctor said as he started to look around was, “Now this doesn’t look right.” That is definitely the wrong thing to say to a newly-expectant mom!
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well, it looks like you have more than one in here,” he said. What?????
He showed me the separate circles on the screen that indicated more than one egg sac, four in all. Only three had the flickering heartbeats; the fourth didn’t appear to have developed. As soon as I saw those three heartbeats, I started crying. After so long of trying, not only was I pregnant, now I had three babies. The nurse had to hand me a handful of kleenex to mop up the tears. The doctor continued to check for a long time, counting and counting, because he couldn’t believe it. After all, he had only seen one follicle developing. Finally he printed out a picture of each, right, left, and left front low, and I got dressed.
Well, at that point a home birth was out of the question, so they started handing me all the papers they give expectant moms and told me to come back in four weeks. I still had to get some blood drawn on the way out, and I was absolutely incoherent the whole time, laughing and crying.
I called Brian on my way out of the building and told him to meet me behind his office when I got there. I didn’t say why. I picked him up and parked in a far corner of the parking lot. I had folded the ultrasound pictures up so you could only see one at a time. Once we had parked, I showed him the first picture, with the others folded behind it, and said, “Here’s your baby.” He “oohed” and “aahed” for a while, and I let him look. When he handed the picture back to me, I unfolded it to show two and said, “And here’s your other baby.”
He said, “What???” and started looking at the second picture. “You’re joking, right?” But he thought it was neat; he’d said before he wanted identical twins.
“And here’s your other baby,” and I unfolded to show all three pictures. That floored him! He thought, “Oh shit!”
For about the next week, we were speechless around each other. We went around the house saying, “Three!” in awed voices. “Three babies!” It took a long time to sink in. It hasn’t completely yet.