Allen was off that day, which meant he would get his first look at the twinks. I was hoping and praying to see a dividing membrane, but I would be content with two heartbeats. Always hoping for two heartbeats, every time. Its a bit exhausting, all this worry.
So the tech asks what we know about identical twins, and is impressed by our extensive knowledge. She assures us that momos are so rare that shes bound to find a membrane today. My confidence grew that my worries were just Google fed, and we would actually be just fine with mo/di twins.
That didn't go quite as planned. From the beginning, the twins have been intertwined. They just don't want to let go of one another. While that is sweet, when you know what it means, its also scary. The fact that they can not only touch, but can touch in different forms / parts, usually means that there is no membrane.
A membrane should keep them apart. Even if they were to back up to the membrane and be next to one another, they should not be able to touch constantly and in various ways. Im not a tech, or a doctor, but I know this.
So no, theres no membrane. And she asks to do a transvaginal (of course), because every single person swears they will be the one to find the stupid membrane. But no one ever does. And everyone swears that momos are SO RARE and the membrane is TOTALLY going to be found, but no one sees what we do on that screen.
There. Is. No. Membrane.
While that upsets me in a lot of ways, at this point Im frustrated because I just want to move past it already. There is no damn membrane so lets get to the point - our pregnancy is so rare and high risk that we are basically a freak show. Got it.
But the tech wont give up, and the MFM doctor comes in. This is when things go from yucky news to downright scary. The MFM doctor is concerned that the twins don't move independently. Before she can rule out conjoined, she wants to see them separate in certain parts of their body. Although I know in my head that last time they separated, that doesn't prevent me from being scared to death.
The tech has the wand as far as it can go, and the MFM doctor is pushing on my stomach trying to get the twins to budge. They refuse. The tech and doctor keep apologizing for hurting me (and it does hurt quite a bit), but I just want them to get the babies to move so we all feel reassured.
The twins were so stubborn and they wouldn't budge. The doctor told the tech to put suspected conjoined and the tech did, then went back to abdominal just in case. FINALLY twin A slid down and put their head on Twin B's butt. While they were still touching, the doctor said that was enough to put the chance down to about 10%. We still haven't "ruled out" conjoined and have to go back on Monday.
Then the doctor, whom I sure was just trying to be sensitive, took my hands in her hands and looked me square in the eye. She told me she was pretty positive these twins were momo's (at least) and that meant that we were in for a very long road. She told me we had to come back next week for a consultation, where we were going to hear some very scary things. She specifically mentioned "guaranteed preemies", "long hospital stay" and "stillbirth". Although I knew all of these things, for some reason hearing her say them brought me to tears. I guess its different when youre Googling worst case scenarios and your medical professional is telling you that your odds are, frankly, not great.
She did wrap up by saying that modern medicine was amazing, and making great strides every day. She also said that she can name two moms right now whose momos were alive and thriving, healthy little girls that youd never know were high risk preemies.
While that made me feel better, I just had a break down when they left the room. Although I am grateful for the chance, I don't understand why we have to go through this. Why us? Why not just a baby to add to our family? I know that so many people never even get this far, and I need to count our blessings, but its hard.
Its hard not to wonder every second of the day if the twins are okay, if today is the day that we officially become a statistic. Oh, Ill say, I had momos too, but I lost them. They died for no other reason than the egg split a day later than it should have. Just one day. I couldn't protect them from that one day.
Its hard not to worry about the hospital stay, or missing my kids and husband, or money.
Its hard not to worry about how well feel when we see our babies struggling in the NICU when they should be cozy inside me.
Its hard not to worry about how well feel when we cant buy a thing, we cant decorate, we cant plan. When we should be stocking up on diapers and sales on baby gear, well have to just pass it by and say "IF the babies are born, THEN well buy things". We wont purchase so much as a onesie until the twins are safely out of me. Although I know no one is promised a baby, no matter how healthy they are or how great things look, its hard to carry that with you all the time. 50/50. You might get a baby, you might not. It all depends on the winds of fate. Or the plan that is already written.
All of this is a lot to take on. Im hesitant, but we have chosen to announce at the standard 12 weeks if we make it that far. We want to celebrate the peanuts for as long as we have them. Although part of me thinks I should just keep it quiet, the larger part knows that I cannot possibly go on as if they don't exist. As if they never existed. They are woven into the tapestry of who I am, just as much as my kids that are living. And the one who is not.
2 years ago yesterday we lost our baby bean. I thought I would never recover, but I did. We got through. And we have Gabrielle. I just keep thinking, no matter what well make it through. But I do know we wont make it through unchanged.
I cant tell if that's a good thing or a bad thing.