When 3 becomes 5

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I found out I was pregnant with twins at 7 weeks.

I went for an ultrasound with a close friend of mine and the technician smiled and said she saw 2 heart beats. I looked over at my friend who had already started crying and said, “I feel like I’m watching a movie!”

I’ve always wanted twins, so I saw this as an enormous blessing. I have 3 boys already and this fourth pregnancy was really something that my husband needed a little convincing on – so I knew that calling him with the news that there were two babies was going to be challenging!

Once he got over the shock, we started getting very excited with the idea that we would have five kids – 3 boys, and 2 girls! Yes it will be crazy and busy and chaotic but it will also be so wonderful to watch the relationships develop between the kids and to experience life through the eyes of these five siblings.

The pregnancy was progressing so nicely. I was going to spin classes, taking long walks, and feeling very connected to the babies.

Then came an ultrasound at 26 weeks which gave us very scary news.

The doctors felt that one baby was not doing as well as the other one and prepared us for the chance that the baby would not survive another week. They suggested that we could take out both babies at 26 weeks to save the one who was struggling, but compromise the development of the other – or keep both in to save the one who was growing well but risk losing the other. What an awful feeling to have to choose between saving one of your children in order to help the other one.

My husband and I both decided that the baby was not ready to give up. I felt her movements constantly and she was clearly fighting inside me – so I had to advocate for her on the outside. I was put on bedrest and I stopped all activity. I started to drink three Ensures per day in order to increase my calories so that the baby could increase hers. I lay down for most of the day in order to be able to get up a little when my other kids came home around 3:30. I couldn’t lift them, take them for ice cream, join them at their friends birthdays parties etc. I wasn’t sure what these next few weeks were going to be like.

I was at the hospital twice per week for ultrasounds. These outings became something that I looked forward to! They were a reason to get dressed and put on makeup. The idea of even picking up a coffee at the Starbucks drive through along the way became exciting, something that I would normally do every day and not think about.

I began to feel an enormous amount of support from the community around me. Friends unnamedwere dropping off food, showing up at my house to pick up my kids for school, taking them to their houses for supper, driving me to doctor appointments and checking in multiple times per day.

I started to feel that a very scary experience was turning into many weeks of feeling very blessed and thankful.

I am now 34 weeks pregnant. The babies are both growing and are getting ready for life outside of the womb. We are all so surprised that they have made it in this long.
Watching them on the ultrasound every week has allowed us to already form a bond with these little girls. They are already so loved and they have 3 amazing brothers waiting to meet them.

As I near the end of bedrest, I remind myself that in a few weeks these quiet days of reading books and watching Netflix will be just a memory. But that memory is what helped the babies grow and truth be told, we don’t often take days for ourselves to just relax. These last two months have been a nice break!

I may need a few more days of bedrest when the babies are born just to have some quiet time – I’m not sure when in the next few months I’lll ever be able to just pick up a book again!!!

-Jaclyn Mestel

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