So, there are many friends, family, and random people on the street that have asked me the same question... "How did you deal with the shock?" To be honest, I still am. However, finding out when I was only eight weeks along helped tremendously.
My doctor scheduled my first ultrasound a week after my first visit with her. After talking to some of my family I realized that it is pretty uncommon to have an ultrasound only eight weeks into pregnancy... unless there are complications, history or miscarriage, or other valid reasons. My HCG levels were elevated (due to two babies) and I have a feeling that is why my doctor ordered the early ultrasound. I was thrilled, however, to be able to see (what I expected to be) just one little baby in my tummy!
The morning of my ultrasound came with a whole mix of emotions... anxious, excited, scared, and more than anything unprepared. I went into the appointment praying that the Lord would prepare my heart for not finding a heart beat or any baby at all, or the technician declaring some type of deformity... never, EVER, did the thought of two babies cross my mind! I had heard that twins ran in Caleb's family, but that didn't scare me... I thought what can he do... fertilize my egg twice? He can't affect it! And as far as I knew... twins were no where to be found in my genealogy. (To clarify, there are twins WAY BACK on my dad's side. My great-great unlces were twins.)
So... after frantically drinking over 40 oz of water in less than a half hour, trying my hardest to follow the directions sent home with me from my last OB appointment, I anxiously crossed my legs while checking in at the hospital. I received my first hospital bracelet... first of many to come! We headed back to check into radiology and waited, and waited, and waited for what seemed like an eternity when you SERIOUSLY need to pee your pants!!
We had a wonderful technician that performed the ultrasound. She put the goo on my belly and started looking around. Immediately two black holes popped up on the screen... at this point I still had no suspicion, because I had NO idea what I was looking for. She took some measurements before she said anything and I started to pray because I really felt that she was about to say... "Sorry, I can't find a heartbeat." But instead she said... "Well, there are two babies."
Immediately I froze... stuck in complete and utter shock. She could have just told me that my life up until this point has been a lie.. you really are a male! I would have been just as stunned! Caleb, as usual, reacted very calmly but still excited. The same was not true for me! I was thinking that I will never have a life again, there is NO way I can have a natural, vaginal birth now, how big am I going to be, is this a joke! I looked sternly at the technician, who seconds ago I thought was so sweet and said... "Are. You. Serious." She very calmly replied... "Yes, and both have healthy, strong heartbeats."
We left the hospital in a minor daze, pictures of our two children in hand. Our first stop was to Creative Chaos, where Candy (Grandma Yoder) was working. We handed her the pictures and she lovingly looked over them. Caleb waited until she caught the Baby A and Baby B wording... but she never did. Caleb then said... "Mom, do you see anything different?" Then, she saw it.. and well, her reaction, along with my mom's and Auntie Angie's were priceless!!! That made both of us feel so much better! I enjoyed hopping from place to place throughout the day spreading the shock to my friends. The reality at that point really hadn't sunk in completely.
Later that night in bed, I cried. The thought was so overwhelming and to be honest, it was so scary to think that two little babies would soon depend on me for their every need. How can I do this... how can I love on them enough... how will we pay for this!?! Then I opened my Bible and without even reading any scripture, I felt the voice of the Lord calming me. Throughout the old testament we hear of how children are a blessing and how women that are unable to bear children feel as though they have failed in some way. I realized I am abundantly blessed. Then, I felt God was saying... "Ashley, this is NOT going to be easy, but I have chosen you for this. I will not give you more than you can handle and I know you can handle this." So, with that I will cling. Whether or not it sounds cliche or naive, I will cling to the promise I have from God that he is my strength and my rock. When I feel scared... I will just remember that he chose me to be these little ones' mother, and I will be the best mom I can be!
My heart has heard you say, "Come and talk with me." And my heart responds, "Lord, I am coming." Psalm 27:8