Tomorrow, I’ll have a post featured at Scary Mommy. It’s tentatively titled “How to Survive a High Risk Pregnancy Without Permanently Losing Your Shit.” As regular readers of my blog well know, this last pregnancy (and I do mean last) was pretty rough. But there’s something about it that isn’t widely known, so it’s time to fess up.
I would say on the privacy spectrum that starts at “Circumspect” and ends at “Over-sharer,” the dot that represents me is about three-quarters of the way to over-sharer. There’s not much I won’t talk about if the the right person is in front of me (or, you know, I have a largely faceless internet audience).
So, it was a really tough decision for me to not share the news about my twin pregnancy with my family and friends. That’s right, last August when I had my first ultrasound at seven weeks, we discovered I had two buns in the oven. Not one. Pretty exciting (and scary) news.
But, we’d just gotten the sad and deeply worrisome news that my sister-in-law had breast cancer. There was a lot of worrying going on already and I didn’t want to add to anyone’s burden. Especially given that my pregnancy was labeled high risk right out of the gate, due to my type 1 diabetes and my “advanced maternal age.” (Gawd, I hate that phrase.)
So, whereas with my first pregnancy the stick wasn’t even dry when I called my mom, this time, I waited.
I knew that “vanishing” twins were pretty common, and I wanted to save the pain to my family if one of our twins was destined to vanish. I told my sister and several friends, so I would have ample support in case of bad news, but that was it.
When you’re pregnant with twins, the sonographer names one Baby A and one Baby B, to keep them straight. Baby A is the one closest to the cervix. In our case, Baby A looked great. Baby B was several days behind in development. Just two weeks later, an ultrasound confirmed “no cardiac activity” for Baby B. It was a blow, but one we were braced for.
I waited until 12 weeks, when things were looking really good for Baby A, to finally make the call to my family to tell them the good news — and only the good news.
We have a happy ending, Little Alma Bea (get it? A and B?) was born on March 19th. And my sister-in-law has finished her chemo and radiation and is on the road to recovery.
But, being the writer that I am, I could only keep such an emotionally juicy story to myself for so long. This Scary Mommy post merely mentions the lost twin — mostly I offer tips to help others suffering through a high risk pregnancy.
I have written a Big Essay about the experience, and I’m looking for a special home for it. When it’s published, you’ll all be the first to know (after my mom, that is).