The ultrasound technician lubed up Darry’s belly, flipped on her screen and took the wand to my wife’s impressive bump — much larger than my own was at 20 weeks pregnant. And the first words out of anyone’s mouth came from me:
“Is that ummm… two heads?”
Yes, she said. That’s two heads. There are two babies in there.
It was clear instantaneously. It was shocking instantaneously. It was hilarious, amazing, terrifying and, to Darry in that moment, apparently a nightmare.
Screams. She literally started screaming “NOOOO!” and attempted to scoot her way up and off the chair, as if to escape from the reality on the screen: two perfectly formed, contented little babies hanging out in her womb.
Our 18 month-old Serafina, who we brought with us, sat silently, staring at the commotion and calmly eating one Cheerio after another.
Twins. We were having twins.
How did this happen?
First of all, it did not happen because we did anything that you can do that increases your odds of having twins. No fertility drugs were involved in this conception. No IVF. We got Darry pregnant the old-fashioned way, or as old fashioned as two lesbians can be with their gay friend’s sperm — “deposited” in a sterile cup, transported 20 miles down the interstate and inserted using a needless syringe.
Our timing was precise and impeccable. And Darry’s ovaries, apparently, dropped two eggs during that cycle. They both magically, miraculously, were fertilized. This was on our very first try getting her pregnant. Magic and miraculous.
We were having twins, I forget the rest
We got through the rest of that ultrasound after Darry took a few moments to gather herself, although she quivered and whimpered through the rest of it. It was long and tedious, but both babies — two girls — were perfectly healthy and exactly the same size, with their own placentas and sacks. This is the best scenario you can hope for in a twin pregnancy.
We called our moms, our friends and tried to absorb the news. I ran out, for some reason, that same day and renewed my license. The expression on my face accurately captures the power of the day’s news.
Most people discover they’re having twins much earlier in their pregnancy, not half-way through. But suddenly it all made sense: the way Darry could not consume enough calories, the way she was knocked on her butt with exhaustion in the early weeks, the fact that her belly was noticeable in her first trimester.
We had so much to figure out, so many plans to reconsider. So many more dollars in child care to save and spend. But at least it was two more girls, we thought.