I often hear the phrase "Well, you chose to have five kids." People say it when I voice concerns about parenting so many kids such as, expenses, illness, time constraints, fighting, space in our house and van, and all the kid clutter. The statement is annoying even for parents that have the number of kids they planned for. What mother doesn't struggle with those things? The statement is that much worse for me because I actually didn't choose to have five kids. I chose to have four.
When I was fourteen I wanted four kids. When I started dating my husband I still wanted four kids. When I got married I still wanted four kids. When I started having kids I still wanted four kids, and during my fourth pregnancy, I still wanted four kids. I was in a blissful state knowing I would now have my four kids I always dreamed of having.
Everything was going perfectly. I went to my twelve week prenatal appointment and everything checked out great. The doctor asked if I had and questions and I asked her if I was measuring big because I was showing a lot and had gained twelve pounds already. She said I was measuring where I was supposed to and that it was probably because it was my fourth pregnancy in quick succession. She told me we could do a dating ultrasound to be sure I wasn't farther along than I thought I was.
I knew for a fact my due date was correct because I had been keeping track of ovulation. I reluctantly agreed. As I walked to outpatient scheduling I thought "this lady is fucking stupid, my due date is not off." I scheduled the ultrasound for the following week anyway.
The day of the appointment I almost just didn't go. I would have to pick up a babysitter, take a one, three, and five year old out by myself and have them sit in the tiny radiology waiting area with the babysitter during the ultrasound. I was thinking "This is such a waste of time, I know my damn due date is correct." I went anyway. That's when shit got real!
As I lay on the ultrasound table and the ultrasound technician started to scan my already huge belly I saw two babies on the screen and nearly screamed "NO FUCKING WAY, THIS CANNOT BE TRUE, KILL ME NOW." I stayed silent and waited for her to say something. She then said in the most cheerful of voices "oh, look, two babies!" I snapped "I know, I saw that already!" She kept talking incessantly about all the cool shit she was doing but I was too pissed to look and just stared at the ceiling. When she said " Here is baby A's heartbeat, here is baby B's heartbeat," I snapped "I do not want to look at any of this crap, just do whatever it is you need to do so I can go home." I spent the next twenty minutes staring at the ceiling, pissed as hell, having racing thoughts about what this meant for us.Thankfully she was silent the rest of the time until she asked if I wanted pictures. Of course I did because how else was I going to prove that it was true to myself or to my husband."
Next came the fun part. I had to pretend to be overjoyed when they let my kids in to see the babies on the monitor and I got to cheerfully tell them all it was twins. My three and five year old were so excited and sweet about it. It was such a joyful moment for them, I wish I had savored it more. I feel like I missed it, since I wasn't fully present. I still regret that.
As I drove home and for the next two weeks I was nothing but mad. All the time, mad. I wondered how we would buy another crib, high chair, and car seat. It felt like starting all over again. I worried about carrying to term and how I was gonna breastfeed two babies at once. I fretted about trying to pick four names since we wouldn't be finding out the sexes. After I got used to the idea I did a complete turn around in my attitude. I was so happy and loved both babies to the moon and back. I then wanted both babies. I was happy! I love both my girls so much. I would never think of giving one away and can't even imagine it being different.
Just to be clear, though, I did not choose to have five kids. I never wanted five, I wanted four. So everyone just please stop saying I chose to have five kids. I didn't. God chose to give me a bonus baby, and I am so glad that he did!