Monday, August 25, 2008

My Road to Irish Triplets and a Spare

"I have a surprise for you!!"

That's what the ultrasound technician said as she put the wand to my belly. I already knew, though. I saw the 2 little surprises the instant the image came up on the screen.

"No, surprises... we don't want any surprises," I told her.

I looked to my left, and there was my husband (completely unaware of the life-changing news he was about to hear) holding our adorable 8 month old daughter, Lyndsay. I instantly thought of my older daughter, Kaylie, who was only 8 years old at the time, and Lyndsay, and thought of how huge their life was going to be altered.

"It's twins!" She said gleefully. I was instantly nauseated. We weren't ready to have another baby, much less TWO. We had a baby already, and there she was sitting on her Daddy's lap drinking her bottle. My mind was racing. I thought of having three babies in diapers, three babies in car seats, a toddler and two newborns! What the hell was I going to do?

I had only just come to terms with the thought of having two kids within 16 months, but this would mean 3 babies, THREE babies within 16 months. That's 4 kids by the time I'm 27 years old. I was terrified.

That was May 9, 2007.

As my pregnancy progressed, I went through the whole range of emotions that I think any MoM (mother of multiples) goes through: fear, denial, depression, fear again, and finally acceptance. According to my husband (who works 2 full-time jobs, mind you) it was going to be a piece of cake. "Nikki, it's like making sandwiches," he told me, "If you have the ingredients out, just make two more sandwiches." As if, changing diapers was, in some way, as simple as making sandwiches.

As for complications, I was one of the lucky ones. I had quite an easy pregnancy with no complications, no bedrest, no nothing. I only put on about 35 pounds and felt really good (well, as good as you can, I suppose). My only complaint was the normal aches and pains of a twin pregnancy. But by 37 weeks, I had it. I asked to be induced, and I was.

December 12, 2007, at 8:18 PM, Michael Jr (or Mikey as we affectionately call him) was born. Three minutes later at 8:21 PM, and after only one push, little Ashley arrived. They were perfect. Mikey weighed over 7 pounds, and Ashley was about 5 1/2 pounds, both very good sizes for twins. They were healthy and happy, and, really that was all I hoped for.

As I sit here typing this up, I can't help but think of how much we have all changed. Kaylie, my little helper, is 9 years old and has her first day of fourth grade tomorrow. Lyndsay, my little sweetie, is 2 and a little firecracker. And my two babies, Mikey and Ashley are so worth all the anxiety and nightmares that I went through while I was pregnant. Mikey is my sweet baby boy... tough and rough, the way a little boy should be. And little Miss Ashley, my little peanut, she's about 3-4 pounds smaller than her brother, very petite and quiet, but by far the snuggliest baby ever. Even my husband and I have changed. I feel like we are so much closer than we were before. We are really a team now, and we both work our (you-know-what's) off to keep our family going. I don't think we've even gone out on a date in almost a year. But through it all, we are still head over heals in love.

Although a blessing, every day is also a struggle. My husband and I don't really have anyone that is available to help us, and it's just been us since day 1. And, with my husband gone almost 100 hours a week for work, it is mostly just me here. And, it's not easy. I think that's it in a nutshell. Having multiples is not easy. But, it is the most rewarding experience I can think of. Seeing the way the kids interact with each other is priceless. But by far, the best thing has to be having those two little gummy smiles flash at you. That makes all the sleepless nights, never ending piles of laundry, and completely destroyed house, 100% worth it.

-Nikki Johnson

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