So the day had finally arrived – my first official 12 week scan, aka the dating scan at Maidstone Hospital. My appointment was at 11:30 so I worked from home that morning, as did Michael. I was so excited to get another snap of the babies as they’d be so much bigger by now with arms and legs and everything! I wonder if they can kick each other? I mentally jotted that one down for the medical staff. The hospital is right next to a McDonalds so obvs we left a bit early to get a double bacon and egg McMuffin. It would have been foolish not to. We drove out of Macy D’s at 11ish and over the road to the hospital. Michael works all over the UK in various hospitals so he’s much more on it with how everything works. Once in the main doors he worked out where we had to go and within minutes I was checking in at the Ante-Natal ward. The receptionist asked for my maternity notes and told me to take a seat and I’d be called through shortly. We waited… and waited and at 11:52, we were called through.
Now what I haven’t mentioned up until now is that Michael is an absolute clown. If he’s in any sort of slightly uncomfortable situation, he makes it 10 times more uncomfortable by being a massive dick. Anyway, as we went into this rather dark room the lady introduced herself to us both and asked if I could jump up on the bed and for Michael to take a seat. Michael then jumped up on to the bed, laid down, smiled and said ‘Oh you meant Steph? Sorry’. He then giggled to himself and helped me up. I could’ve killed him.
We all know what happens next, the top comes up, the gel goes on, she looks at her screen, we wait and wait and wait….. and wait a bit more. It was at that split second I knew something was up. Her happy persona and her the smirk she had earlier from nobhead laying on the table had gone and then her shoulders dropped as she turned to face me. ‘I’m really sorry’ she said ‘only one twin has made it’. I didn’t say anything. I just stared at the screen. I was hoping she was as much of a joker as Michael and was going to burst out with ‘ONLY JOKING’ but she didn’t. To be fair if she had I’d have definitely filed a formal complaint but at least I’d have done so with both of my babies intact. Michael then realised that I didn’t know what to say so he started asking questions about why and what happens next. I don’t remember anything he asked or anything she said. It was all just noise. Where was my other baby? What did she mean by ‘not made it?’ How was the other one? Do I have to give birth to him/her? What does this change? But they were fine at 8 weeks. What happened in that time? Was it something I’d done? I was so confused.
She then went on to show me the healthy baby and the difference in size between the two. Twin one was 8.4cm which is apparently about right for 3 months and twin two was 2.2cm. One twin was bouncing around, kicking, waving causing utter chaos in that womb of mine and the other twin was all tiny and still. She done all the checks she needed to on twin one and told us that he/she looked perfectly healthy. I asked what would happen to twin two. Do I have to have he/she removed? Do I give birth to them together? I really hadn’t done my homework on this subject. But she told me where twin two hadn’t survived past about 8 weeks, ironically probably just a few days after my first scan, twin two would just dissolve into the lining of the womb and be consumed by twin one as he/she grew. As much as that sounds unpleasant when you say it out loud, I’ve always found it quite comforting knowing that there’s a little bit of twin two in Oliver. She gave us a few minutes alone whilst she sorted the scan pictures. I didn’t cry or say anything sad I just wanted to see more of our remaining perfect baby. He was so bouncy and energetic, it seemed too short a time to see him. I was dressed and sat down by the time she came back and she asked if I wanted pictures of both of the twins. Of course I did! But she said she had to ask as some people found it too stressful. He/she might only be 2.2cm but they were still BOTH our babies, Oliver’s twin brother or sister, of course I wanted the pictures. You could pop back in and get a few more snaps if you like!
We didn’t speak much on the way home and I had a little cry when we got back to the flat. Mainly because I felt I’d let everyone down. Everyone was so excited to have the first set of twins in both sides of the family and there I was unable to make it to 12 weeks without keeping them both going. I didn’t know and never would know what he/she was either, that is still something I think of every single day. I have always referred to Ollie’s twin as ‘he’ no other reason other than a gut feeling. Once we were home I called my Mum and Dad, told them the news, they were both gutted. Michael called his family and I text my boss and the few people I’d already told. Michael was due to go back to work but he ended up staying home with me for the afternoon and my boss had told me to take the afternoon off.
It was such a weird day. This was the day for telling the world! This was the day for the famous Facebook announcement. This was the day I could finally wear my ‘twins on board’ TFL badge that my friend at work, Kate had bought me a few weeks prior to ensure I got my seat on the tube. But instead I felt really sad and guilty that I wasn’t celebrating my other perfect baby as much as I should have been. I had visions of him chilling in there like ‘err Mum, it’s sad and all that but you still have me can you crack a bleeding smile please, at least I didn’t die on you!’ So for twin one alone I had to stay positive and I was so grateful he was still in there as happy and healthy as can be. And let’s face it, we were going to save an absolute fortune on baby stuff!
I’ve always had a positive outlook on life. I’m a firm believer that if anything bad ever happens in life, you flip it around and look at the positives. I’ve had friends that have had numerous miscarriages and stillborns, fairly recently, some of which who have had a pretty horrific ordeal after so although it was shit and it really was shit, I had one perfect baby, no further traumatic procedures and could just continue with my pregnancy as I would have done had there only been one baby from the start.
I also have mixed feelings towards that early scan I had at 7 weeks and I’m still on the fence as to whether I’d have one again. On one hand, it told me that I was having twins and gave me a head start on the planning and organising. For example, we may not have whacked our 2 bed flat on the market the minute we found out we were about to become parents to twins! But on the flip side I’m a firm believer on what you don’t know can’t hurt you. Sure at the 12 week scan they would have noticed two sacs, one empty and one full but if they’d have told me there and then, you did have twins but now you don’t we may have just kept that to ourselves and it might not have been as painful as having 5 weeks of getting used to the idea. Who knows? Hindsight is a wonderful thing, as was our healthy twin one.
Nuggets of Knowledge:
● If your boyfriend/partner/husband is a massive nobhead like mine, pull him to one side just before you go in and ask him to be on his best behaviour. I don’t know why I didn’t do this and I’ve had 7 years of him.
● If you are unfortunate and lose a baby, its not your fault. There’s nothing you could have done differently and you haven’t let anyone down. Keep smiling, stay healthy and think positive.