One month ago today, I fell apart standing in the shower as hot water and the prophetic words of Mumford and Sons washed over me and my exhaustion.
As you may remember from my thirty-five week pregnancy update, I was feeling so discouraged that our doctors wanted to wait until thirty-eight weeks to deliver the twins. I spent the days following that appointment swinging wildly from rational trust in the wisdom of those who care for pregnancies such as mine every day to complete terror that something was going to go horrifically wrong in the last weeks.
No matter how I tried to distract myself, the conflicted feelings were never far from my thoughts. Of course I wanted them to stay in and develop as long as possible. But what about the risk for acute TTTS that can develop at the end of a mono-di pregnancy? And with each painful step, each impossibly long night of no sleep punctuated by a plethora of trips to the bathroom, each day propped up on a pillow fort in bed wrestling against gravity and physics, I wondered if my tortured state of physical being was clouding my judgment.
And so that Wednesday, when the magic of iTunes shuffle sent the words of I Will Wait echoing off the bathroom walls, I broke. As the banjo and guitar and lyrics swirled through the steam, I felt myself fall like a stone into acceptance.
And I'll kneel down
Wait for now
And I'll kneel down
Know my ground
If I had been physically able, I would have actually knelt down right there in front of the shower bench. I had the good sense to know, however, that I might not get up, so I knelt in my heart and called the moment Ebenezer - marking it as a reminder of God's Hand and His Help.
That night I lay in bed, using the contraction timing app I had put on my phone a few days before to count the contractions that kept coming around with ragged unpredictability. Eyes closed, I breathed through them and wondered and waited.
The next day, February 7th, I was scheduled for my regular weekly appointments with both the MFMs and my OB. I had persuaded Kyle to go with me, reminding him that we didn't have many weeks left to get to spy on the boys as they kicked and swam and fought in my enormous belly. Truthfully, I just couldn't bear going out in public alone anymore. I was weary beyond words of the stares and the questions, and Kyle's presence at my side was a happy distraction.
We turned our van over at the valet in front of the doctor's office and made our way upstairs. At the last second, my OB stepped into the elevator with us, breathless and continuing a conversation on her phone. We smiled and waved to one another and when the elevator dinged, we parted ways. Not long after we arrived, we were ushered back to the quiet darkness of one of the ultrasound rooms, a place that had long ago begun to feel like a second home.
The sonographer we had that morning was one of my favorites, and she chatted breezily with us as she took the boys' measurements. We hadn't had a growth work-up on them in two weeks, and Kyle and I were both extremely interested to hear how big they had gotten. Once she was confident she had gotten all the measurements she needed, she told us that our Twin A was weighing in at about 5 pounds and Twin B was up to 7 pounds, 13 ounces.
She left to work up her report for the MFM while I did some math in my head. Baby A's weight gain had slowed from half a pound a week to only half a pound in three weeks.
The sonographer came back with the ultrasound report and told us the doctor would be in within a few minutes to visit. I looked through all the numbers and percentages in the report and found the statistic that confirmed my fears. Their growth discordance has swelled from around 24% to 35%. I remembered my OB telling me that the 20-25% mark was the high end of what they considered reasonable, but anything beyond that would be a major cause for concern.
Kyle noticed right away how quiet I had gotten, and when he asked why, I just pointed to the 35.7% discordance and shook my head, eyes filled with tears, heart thumping in my throat.
Not long after that, the MFM came in. The MFM who was the most conservative on the team. The MFM who felt confident that waiting until thirty-eight weeks to deliver was the best plan. He smiled and sat down and began going through the report with us. He acknowledged the discordance and chattered on with some more percentages and outcomes and I tried to keep breathing as it became clear he didn't think the discordance was a big deal.
"And so, with di-di twins, it's not really too much to worry about," he said.
I looked at Kyle and looked back at the doctor.
I frowned and said, "But. Our twins are monochorionic."
He looked back at our chart and said, "Oh. Oh! Yes, they are! I guess when I looked through the report, it must have been the diamniotic that stuck in my head. Okay then. That changes everything. Are you ready to have these babies?"
We laughed and I cried and we said YES and I blinked once and we were in the OB's waiting room texting family and close friends and trying to piecemeal together arrangements, and I blinked again and we were sitting with my OB and she was saying as it turns out, I'm on call in L&D tonight, so I'll see you over there at 5 this evening, and I blinked again and the valet pulled up with our van and we drove home under the prettiest blue Oklahoma sky.
I remember looking out the window as we drove, watching people cross the street and stop at stoplights and I thought, it's just a regular day for them. But we are having babies today. Today! We are having babies!
My bags were already packed, and so when we got home the only thing left to do was put together the co-sleeper (which Kyle did as quickly as one can with shaking hands and racing thoughts), and his parents arrived and the girls came home from school and there was much happy hollering when we told them their brothers would be here soon.
Somehow, without us forcing it or pushing it or tugging it, somehow in the space of just a few hours, our waiting was coming to an end.