I’ve never had an early ultrasound during any of my pregnancies. We always would get one ultrasound between 20 and 24 weeks to check baby’s development and get a view of the gender if possible. But this time, due to my extreme morning sickness, I had such a hard time waiting to see if I was carrying twins again. There seemed to be so many signs pointing to doubles again, but I just couldn’t imagine waiting until 20 weeks and being surprised (as I was with my current twins). My mom’s midwifery practice purchased a portable ultrasound machine last year, and though it is not nearly as powerful as some of the ones used in medical offices, it still could determine how many babies were in my womb. And because my mom is my midwife, she was able to scan my belly right on the couch in my living room. I love home birth! She found only one baby. I was flooded with relief, not because another set of twins would not be perfectly amazing, but because I remember just how difficult it was during the first several months of having baby twins. When I think back to that summer after they were born, I can barely even remember how I actually survived, nursing around the clock. By God’s grace exclusively, of course.
The education of my littles has been one of my highest priorities since I started having children. I’ll confess that the thought of attempting third grade while attempting to nurse twins again was a little overwhelming. Knowing that there is only one babe in there is quite comforting. Not that having a baby is ever easy, but this truly will feel like a piece of cake comparatively. I can hold one baby and nurse him/her all day long if I need to. There are lots of fantastic baby slings for singletons. This will fit smoothly into our homeschooling schedule of read-alouds and moving from one subject to another. Babywearing was not nearly as successful with my twins as I wish it could have been. There are surprisingly few good baby carriers for doubles. My Moby Wrap was wonderful but not for more than a month. My twins are still great cuddlers, though, and that fills me with delight.
Back to the original thought I had as I began this post. Early ultrasound is amazing. I got mine at about 9 weeks, and I could actually see the heartbeat. I’ve never had the connected feeling this early that I experienced when I saw those little legs and arms shaking and pumping. This baby is barely the size of a grape but is already moving like crazy! It was so amazing I started crying. Instantly, I was filled with love and hope for this child. I can’t wait to know who he/she is. A mother’s love is a powerful thing even when she can’t see her little one before he is born, but for some reason being able to see him/her this early impacted me deeply. I started thinking about the fact that many women get abortions between 6 and 10 weeks, as that is early enough not to cause severe trauma to their bodies. I thought how unbelievable it was for me to see that little being moving around, and just how important a role ultrasound can play in a woman’s decision. Yes, some will still choose to end the pregnancy. However, a woman who is on the fence and in turmoil over her decision just might be swayed when she sees her precious baby on the screen like I did. Never once have I considered ending a pregnancy, but I cannot deny the powerful experience it was to see this little one. It’s almost like it made it real. By the time I drag my huge belly and achy back and constant potty trips to my 20 week ultrasound, it is more than obvious to every fiber of my being that I am carrying a child. But to see this baby almost before my consciousness really recognizes it – well, what can I say other than that it was awe-inspiring!
There is always the chance that I still am carrying two babies, as one could be hiding behind the other. Mom’s ultrasound machine is still not very powerful. Yet, I feel confident that I can wait in peace for another ultrasound 10 weeks from now when we will attempt to see if this baby is a boy or girl – or both! Haha. Even then, God has a sense of humor. There have been times when it was really unclear whether we were to have a girl or boy, and we just had to wait the old-fashioned way for the baby to be born.