My heart has been thumping loud the past couple months. The increase of blood volume that comes with pregnancy has turned my body into a giant pulse– I can feel my heartbeat in my temples, my feet, my belly, in just about any part of me where I apply pressure. It is my heart working overtime to nourish the Life nestled inside of me.
But what about when that Life doubles?
My heart thumped hard at the ultrasound on Tuesday as the screen flickered with different images– blobs indecipherable to the untrained eye. The ultrasound technician was silent, gazing intently at the screen, her hand moving the probe in a magic incantation over my belly. The Pilot and I were silent, waiting for her to say something– like neophytes waiting for the oracle, or apprentices waiting for the magician to decipher the runes that flickered gray on the screen.
She stirred at last. "Well, Miss Meredith," she said, slowly (and I thought irrelevantly how long it's been since someone called me "Miss"), "There... are..."
–and absurd as it sounds, with the utterance of those two words, in that quarter of a second before she completed the sentence, I knew– because I'm a grammar nut, and in that nano-second my brain said, Wait. If she was going to tell us the sex, she would say "It is". "There are" is plural, it can only be followed by a plural predicate– and so when her sentence ended it was as if my throbbing heart thumped out "two of them" right along with her.
I think the first words were, "Oh my goodness!" followed by "Really?" or "Are you sure?" or something like that. My legs started shaking from the shock and the adrenaline. Incredulity, followed by amazed, terrified joy– we looked at each other and laughed. (Everyone we have told has laughed. There is something so beautiful and joyful and ridiculous about two babies, the human response is jubilant laughter.) The ultrasound tech then began explain the indecipherable blobs, and magically they weren't blobs any more– they were our babies, wiggling and stretching and bouncing away. There was our daughter down by my cervix, only too happy to twist and turn and display herself for the probe (will I have trouble, someday, with teaching the two-year-old version of her to keep her dress skirt down?) There was the other baby, content to hang out at the top left of my belly curve, willing to give us an excellent profile, but keeping its gender stubbornly secret. Is that stubbornness a little boy's refusal to cooperate, or merely feminine modest shyness? Time will tell!
Dreams, fears, excitement, worries, joy, anxiety, all of it doubles, even as my blood has doubled and my swollen belly will double to keep these little ones nestled safely under my thumping heart.
Our mystery baby's profile. If you tilt your head to the right and remember that the little peak on top is the nose, you can sort of get a sense that it's a baby and not just a blob! Baby Girl looked right at the camera for us, but the photo came out too blurry to be copied. Better luck next time!