(Note from Twinfo: This is part one of a five part series, where we will follow Nissa’s journey from when she found out she was pregnant with twins to their birth. Links to the other parts of her story will be at the end of this post)
Author: Nissa Vagg
I was 29 when I found out I was pregnant. It was a hot summer day in 2017, not long after New Year’s, and not a single thing following that day was as I imagined it would be. Not that I had spent my life dreaming of exactly how this pregnancy, birth and our life would go, but I just thought things would be different. The image in my mind was a bit like the filtered photos you see on social media: setting up the nursery in a stable home that we own… Me lying on a beach with my cute little tummy sticking up at the sun… My husband holding my hand and watching with awe as our baby comes into the world… And delightful (although sleepless) early days full off baby gazing and cute outfits. But it wasn’t like that at all, instead it was real life. It was hard, and scary and full of ups and downs. At times I really struggled to cope with my reality and my emotions and I mourned the loss of the way (I thought) it was meant to be.
It’s now been 19 months since that day and I can finally look back and say that it’s okay. It’s okay that I felt robbed of the way it was meant to be, and it’s okay that I struggled to cope. It’s okay that I wasn’t okay. Other people might be different – lots of people go through difficult times, face grief far worse than mine and deal with it ‘better’ than me. But this was my reality and I dealt with it in my own way: as best I could.
The Amazing News
Following a miscarriage a few years earlier, my husband Ross and I had decided to take the ‘it’ll happen when it’s meant to’ approach to baby making, and this meant that I really had no idea where I was in my cycle. One morning I woke with bad period pain, and after a few weeks, my period was still a no show. They had never been regular and because we were intentionally not paying attention, it could have been several weeks or even a month overdue. My subconscious knew what was happening, and I spent a few days feeling sorry for myself before Ross asked me why I was acting so grumpy and depressed.
“I think I’m pregnant,” I said. “But I don’t think I will be for much longer.”
It was exactly like the last time, although back then I’d known I was pregnant for 10 weeks when the pain began. Ross raced off to the chemist for a test and when the double lines appeared, he took me straight to see a doctor. An ultrasound showed two spots near my right ovary: one was a possible embryo and the other looked like a tear in my fallopian tube. My stomach sank, it wasn’t an early miscarriage, but it was ectopic, and somehow, I was going to have to face another pregnancy loss.
The sadness was more of a numbness, maybe we would never have kids… I was starting to accept this as my reality. After a few days in hospital and lots of blood tests, an obstetrician came to my bedside and announced that the egg had made its way down to my uterus and our ectopic pregnancy had resolved itself. It was such a shock to hear those words and my relief was spectacular, for one wonderful moment I allowed myself to believe I might truly be pregnant. But when I explained that I was still having the same pains, the doctor’s smile faded.
“Perhaps don’t get too excited,” he said. “The presence of pain does suggest that you will likely miscarry.”
And just like that, my happiness disappeared again, like someone had bumped into me and knocked a balloon full of hope from my hand. I watched it slip away, floating higher and higher until it was gone. Why was the world so cruel? Fed up, disappointed and tired, I discharged myself and went home to wait it out.
A few weeks passed, eventually the pain was gone, and I was sick… SO sick! It was worse than the food poisoning I’d had in South Africa after eating dodgy sushi. It was worse than the few times I’d accidentally finished several bottles of red wine. My eyes opened on a Wednesday morning and I ran straight for the toilet to throw up. After that I threw up in the shower, in the toilet again, and in the garden on my way out the door. Without wanting to get too excited, Ross and I went back for another scan. The stenographer roamed my belly, silently, for a long time. And I waited – not upset or excited – I couldn’t let myself feel any emotions, I just needed to prepare myself. I needed to be ready for anything. Finally, she turned the screen around to face me.
“I guess I should put you out of your misery,” she said. “You have two healthy babies.”
It was a question, and I choked on it as it came out. I wasn’t prepared for that!
“No really,” she laughed. “You have two babies. See those two fluttering dots – that’s two heart beats.”
“Fuck off….” I whispered, still completely disbelieving, then big drops of tears sprung from my eyes.
What were the chances? Was this truly happening to us? I didn’t understand how we could be so lucky, we were pregnant, and we were having twins!
Our carefree pre-baby days!
Note from Twinfo: This is part one of a five part series, where we will follow Nissa’s journey.
To read the second part of Nissa’s story – “Twin Pregnancy first trimester – the waiting game” click HERE
To read the third part of Nissa’s story – “Twin pregnancy second trimester – our big scare” click HERE
To read the fourth part of Nissa’s story – Twin pregnancy third trimester – The first labour” click HERE
To read the final part (fifth part) of Nissa’s story – Giving birth to Twins – The miracle of birth” click HERE
Twinfo provides a connection to resources, information, products and service providers who specialise in supporting multiple births at every stage of their life.