You might think that now I was pregnant I could finally relax? Nope. I was now obsessed with testing to make sure my positive line was getting darker. It was, but I couldn't help myself keep testing just to be sure. I had Christmas to look forward to now and then only a few more days after, I could have my pregnancy confirmed via a blood test at the clinic. Then I'd relax!
I spent a lovely Christmas eve with my sister and Marley. We got a takeaway from Zizi's, watched Christmas movies and then when it was close to Marley's bedtime we tracked Father Christmas on the Norad site, if you're interested and haven't done this before the website is www.noradsanta.org. Before bed, I helped Marley put out his milk and mince pie for Father Christmas and carrot for Rudolph, before joining him and Lucy on the bed and reading "Twas the night before Christmas". The excitement from a child is contagious, and I kept thinking to myself, this time next year I'll have my own little baby to spend Christmas with. I was starting to feel quite strong waves of nausea, but as they didn't last long, it didn't bother me too much, if anything it just added to the excitement.
As each day passed I felt worse, the nausea was constant and I struggled to eat much. My tummy seemed to be swollen already and my sister joked I was having twins. Clearly, I wasn't as I'd opted to just put the one embryo back, my only precious embryo.
The day of my blood test came. I'd been looking online at what my beta levels should ideally be to show I had a sustainable pregnancy, and hoped that it would be at least 150, over 200 I'd be over the moon. The whole journey into Canterbury I felt like I was going to be sick, luckily I wasn't! A quick blood test later, she said she would ring me the next day to confirm my numbers and arrange for me to come in for my repeat test. I was feeling so impatient but it was only 24 hours to wait. At half-past 4 the same day, she phoned me. She had the results early. My level was 798!! What? Had I heard right? I queried the level and she admitted it did seem unusually high, but in the normal range. I was pregnant and would not be needing another blood test to confirm. Instead, I would be coming back in just over a week for an initial scan, to check that the pregnancy was in the right location (it wasn't ectopic) and to hopefully see a little heartbeat.
I phoned Lucy and asked her to add mum to the call. Whenever there is anything important happening we have a three-way call so we can share the news at the same time. Lucy immediately said, "I bet it's twins!" I just laughed, the odds were so low, one embryo, one baby. Still, the level was such a good sign, hopefully, the baby would stick around.
The next week I felt awful, I spent all day either laying down sleeping (the exhaustion was insane) or hovering in the bathroom waiting to be sick. I hadn't actually been sick, but the nausea was so strong I didn't feel comfortable anywhere else. The whole time, Figgy my pup, just lay by my side. She had only recently turned one and had a lot of energy, but she seemed more than happy to be with me doing nothing, whether it was the middle of the afternoon or the night, she was there.
On the day of the scan, my sister came to pick me up. They were all coming with me, my sister, my mum and Marley. I felt so supported, and everyone was so excited. I spent the journey there focusing on not being sick. I'd bought ginger sweet chews and mint anti-sickness boiled sweets, neither were helping much though.
When we arrived the nurse explained that when they started scanning me, they would remain quiet until they could confirm the pregnancy and that all was well. She assured me the silence was not a sign anything was wrong they would just be concentrating. She asked how I was feeling, I was nervous and very nauseous. Lucy said again about it being twins, but the nurse laughed and explained that would be very unusual, as only one embryo had been put back.
I lay back on the table, and the scan started. Mum and Lucy were by my head, holding my hands and Marley wandered off to the foot of the bed. Very quickly she said, "yep, all ok, we have a heartbeat, I'm just going to take some measurements now". We all breathed a sigh of relief, I was pregnant, and my baby had a heartbeat! A moment later she looked up at the Dr supervising her, and whispered "is that...?". The Dr instructed her to move the probe around a little more. I held my breath, oh my god I just knew what was happening. "There's two isn't there?" No one answered, so I just kept repeating it, until she smiled up at me, "yes, there seem to be two little heartbeats".
I don't know who was more shocked, me, my mum, Lucy or the nurse. The nurse asked Lucy if she would like to do a little recording of the heartbeats on her phone before they finished with their measurements. They put twin 1 down as 6 weeks 4 days and twin 2 as 6 weeks and 6 days. The Dr explained that this was a normal variation on sizing and that even identical twins, which these were, more often than not had a size difference. She thought that they appeared to have their own sacs but would be sharing a placenta, which would make them monochorionic diamniotic (mcda) twins. This would now be deemed a high-risk pregnancy and I'd need a lot of monitoring to make sure me and the babies were healthy. She arranged for the early pregnancy unit (EPU) at Kent and Canterbury hospital to scan me in a week when I would be 8 weeks, to make sure the babies were both still there and healthy.
After leaving the clinic, we sat in the car while I phoned my dad to tell him the news. I asked if he was sitting down, and he was. I told him I was having twins and he laughed " you're joking!?" No, no I wasn't, I was pregnant with TWINS!! We laughed about the fact that I knew Lucy was pregnant before she did, and she had guessed I was having twins before anyone could possibly know. Lucy phoned her husband Sam, he thought she was winding him up until she sent through the video of the scan. It all seemed so unreal and exciting. My dad's side of the family has at least one set of twins in every generation going back at least 5 generations, none were identical though. MCDA twins are not thought to be genetic, and are termed a fluke of nature (however since having the girls I have heard of lots of identical twins and fraternal twins throughout the same family lines, so I expect there needs to be more research on this!) My cousin has fraternal twins, so I could speak to her to see what to expect.
I had only told a couple of people I was trying to get pregnant, including my Auntie, Nan and close friend Alex. I phoned them all when I was home to tell them the exciting news. Everyone else, I'd wait until I was a little further along. There would likely be questions, and I wanted to get my head around the fact that I was going to be a solo mama to two babies first!
(Below is the video Lucy recorded just after we'd found out)