So let me set the scene. It was 2000, my wife and I had been married for 2 years, and we had decided it was time to start a family. (Ah, the blissful ignorance of youth). Because of my job at the time and some upcoming changes with it, we thought we’d try to “time” the pregnancy so as to be more ready for it financially…and yes, I’m aware that all you parents out there are doubled over in laughter with that last statement. That was about as likely as accurately timing Charlie Sheen’s next meltdown.
We started out by saying “OK, let’s say it takes us 6 months to get pregnant…plus 9 months of pregnancy…yeah, that should work out about right.” Besides the fact that we were thumbing our noses at Murphy’s Law, this brilliant analysis failed to consider several factors, not the least of which would be the unexpected enthusiasm that my, uh… “swimmers” would have for the project. We’re talking Michael Phelps type stuff here. Ruthless.
So, as fate would have it, we found ourselves staring at that little blue plus sign THE FIRST MONTH WE TRIED. This was a mixed blessing for me. Of course there was the joy that we were going to have A baby (more on that later), but on the other hand I got screwed (pun intended) out of at least a FEW months of trying! Kind of a rip-off there if you ask me. Strangely, my wife was entirely unsympathetic to my plight. Women.
At about 10 weeks or so (give or take), we were at the OB’s office for the first prenatal visit. Everything was going swimmingly (see what I did there?) Weight? Check. Morning sickness? None. Fetal heartbeat? Check. Okay, I guess we’re good, right? The OB, a friend of mine, casually offered to check an ultrasound. “It’s not necessary, since we’ve already heard THE heartbeat” he said, “but if you guys want to just see what things look like at this early stage, we can take a quick peek. You’ll really only be able to see A little ball attached to the uterus.” We looked at each other and shrugged…why not?
The first surprise, which would pale in comparison to the second, involved the actual mechanics of the ultrasound… a “transvaginal” ultrasound. (Again, I hear all you ladies snickering out there). I didn’t anticipate the doctor pulling out what could easily have passed for a… let’s say “toy”, slapping a condom and some lube on it, and proceeding to violate my wife right in front of me. Um…OK. We can all be adults about this, right? But then, as he moved the probe around and studied the screen, he began to chuckle. Now hold the phone here, is he enjoying this? What the hell could be so funny? He turns to us, points at a little round ball on the screen, and says “well, what you see there is ONE baby…” (pardon me?), then adjusts the probe and points to what is evidently NOT the same round ball, and says “and there’s the OTHER baby.”
WTF? After pulling my jaw up from the floor and calling a code blue for my now only semi-conscious wife, I looked at the doctor and through the fog could only manage to say “TWINS?”. No stranger to the look of complete bewilderment on my face, I’m sure, he just smiled and said “congratulations.” That moment is etched in my brain for all time. But in a good way, not like when they brand a defenseless cow or something.
In short, our lives changed forever that day, and the absurd fantasy of planning something on an actual SCHEDULE became a distant memory, almost like an old wive’s tale. Nobody really believes in that stuff anymore, do they? But it’s been an incredible journey.
By the way, I still want those 5 months of “trying” back. I’m serious.