I sat for the second time in a room that would eventually become like a second home.
At the moment, though, I was struck by the nameless neutral color of the walls, and the contrast between the innocuous and cliche prints of babies and puppies and the various posters and charts of the female anatomy. I looked around and my eyes lingered on the intimidating diagnostic machines, the lone chair for the assumed support person, and the red hazardous materials container seemed like an odd pair. Andy stood next to me, somehow managing to look casual and jittery at the same time. As I lay back, I looked up at the ceiling where there was a poster of a bright blue ocean reminiscent of the beaches in the Dominican Republic. It seemed bizarre at first, but it had a calming effect on me which made its purpose much clearer.
I suddenly felt very serious. The nervousness in my fingers made me feel I should be and act grown-up. The doctor walked in and before she sat down immediately started chatting, “How are you feeling this morning?”
“Okay.” I licked my lips wondering if I remembered my chapstick. Dammit, I think it was in the car. I sighed inwardly. I’m still basically a kid. A kid about to have kids. “Nervous. But, hopeful.”
“Well, go ahead and lay back, and we’ll take a look in there,” she said as she put on some rubber gloves and brought one machine with a screen much closer. “Your beta levels were perfect, so let’s see what we have here.”
The assistant, who I had forgotten was there, turned off the lights. A strange humming noise came on as the screen lit up. It was black but there were white scribbles and a vague outline of a circle on the screen. And, then a sound – steady throbbing. “Ok, let’s see,” her eyes were focused on the images and she had a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. “So, there’s the embryo, and you can hear its heartbeat.”
“Really???” I asked, straining to make sense of the little marble in the middle of the screen. Tiny. Like a black-eyed pea. “We can hear its heartbeat? Now?” Andy asked, again. “That’s amazing!”
“It’s smaller than a grain of rice, but yes, it has a heartbeat.” She continued to look at the screen doing something to make the images shift a little. “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand…there’s the other one! It’s looking good, too!”
I sat up a little. Andy and I looked at each other. Eyes like saucers. Mouths open. Short breaths. Andy started to sway a little. “Holy…I mean, I’m sorry…What do you mean the other one? The other one…stuck, too?” he struggled for words.
“Yup! Twins! Congratulations!” she said. “So, we’ll be seeing you every week now for the next two months, and then we’ll go every two weeks, and then once a month. The nurse will be in shortly to give you more information about pre-natal vitamins, food and diet, and whatnot, and you’ll need to make appointments at the front desk…” She continued talking very matter-of-factly but the words started to swirl and fade away from me as my mind sped forward towards the end of 9 months.
I laid back down looking up at the ceiling for a moment and then again at the screen. I searched out the Caribbean ocean for some reassuring or encouraging word. How were we going to handle this all? I knew it was a possibility, but we also knew the odds and all the statistics – they weren’t that great – so we prepared ourselves to be unsuccessful this round. It seemed like just hours ago when we saw the little embryos in their petri dish on that big flat screen get sucked up into the little needle onto the ride of their lives. Our lives. And yet, here we were now looking at them. Both of them. They both made it. We’d tried and cried so hard for so long, and all of a sudden, there was a they. They were there with heartbeats growing like little tadpoles. Our babies.
Andy and I looked at each other and burst out laughing.
More from parenting