I can’t count how many times before picturing the moment when two lines appear on the pregnancy test … I was expecting it to be the most joyful moment in my life. However, the reality…?
I am not saying that moment was not joyful, even with the suspicion and the fact that it was not an “accident”, it was still a huge shock (in a positive way). For a few minutes, I was just looking at the two lines without belief. My head was spinning, my hands were shaking and I literally didn’t know what to think and feel. How big the difference compared to the imagination! Almost immediately I sensed a new sweet-bitter feeling and started to realise that my previous life was “over” (that, for instance, had never occurred in the imagination). How can one feel in a second they know their life will change forever? It is both emotional and physical shock. For a moment I just breathed deeply and waited for what was going to happen. After the initial shock, I felt a glimpse of joy which quickly switched to panic and for a while, all this was stirring inside of me like in the palms of the skilled baker.
I don’t know how long I was in the bathroom but eventually, I came out with the test in my hand and headed to Yaw who was sitting on the sofa watching telly. When he spotted me, he immediately knew there was something going on. I had to be in a terrible state as he slightly freaked out when we looked at me. In my mind, I was picturing what I’d say to him. I wanted it to be a perfect moment, but in the end, I was not able to get a peep out. Actually, I did not even have to as my facial expression was surely speaking for itself. So I just handed the test to him with tears in my eyes and waited for his reaction holding my breath. Is he going to see the same thing that I do?
Yep, he saw the same thing. When I’d pictured this moment before (in my head), Yaw was smiling widely at the test, his eyes glowing with happiness. In reality, the only thing that was wide were his eyes. His breath stopped, he didn’t move, didn’t blink, didn’t say a word, just stared at the test just like I’d been a few minutes ago. It felt like someone pressed “pause” to give him a chance to process it. To give us both a chance to process it.
“Wow!” Was the only thing I remember hearing. It wasn’t WOW wow, nor the OMG wow; It was a wow that contained everything I felt too – shock, joy, surprise, uncertainty, glimpses of the first possible scenarios of the upcoming future … I could physically hear our high-pressure thoughts like scared stampeding horses.
After we caught our breath, we started to talk. But no matter how hard I try, I cannot remember what. I know we’d been hugging, enjoying, sharing, within the shock-filtering process even arguing (of course, adequate to the length of the relationship), joking, and thinking a lot … especially the thinking I remember very well.
If I could travel back in time I’d have definitely given myself at least one day to process this information on my own and only then I’d have told him. Because when we both were experiencing the shock at the same time, the information was only flying wildly in the air and neither of us was able to grasp and start to form it.
Therefore, the first challenge was to get used to this new fact. It is a process that happens regardless of whether the pregnancy is dreamt or unplanned. However, I believe the shock has a slightly different impact for couples who go through long-term planning. At first, I felt like I’d never get used to it. However, in a couple of days, the initial emotions naturally shrunk and stirred up from the original chaotic sphere into the regular shapes. This process is ongoing and occurs naturally so you don’t feel you have to do anything at all, just sense your feelings and let them run wild.
They say that the first and last trimester is the most difficult. When I look back, I can agree, although each trimester is difficult in a different way. As I’d already indicated, the first trimester is a huge milestone in a woman’s life. That is when she finds out her life is about to change, she is confused, sensitive, she starts to feel the first physical difficulties … And even though she still cannot imagine what comes with the arrival of a baby (believe me, she does not know), she’s at least got an idea. So the hardest part of the first trimester is exactly this transformation from the previous life.
Our first scan was scheduled at 12 weeks which seemed to be an unbelievably long time. I remember that I often had doubts about whether or not the child was really there! (I hadn’t known life’s little surprise for us yet :)). Since I had no proof of their existence in addition to the positive test, I was afraid it had been an error on the stick. What if the scan shows there is nothing in there? However, when I suddenly went nauseous, I knew I had nothing to worry about. And that nausea was really something … Although it was nausea like any other, this one didn’t go with time, on the contrary, time made it even more intense sometimes. After a few weeks of this torture, I could not even imagine how it felt to feel normal. I was desperately trying to get some medicine, but in every pharmacy, I was only greeted with a compassionate smile and the words: “There is no medicine for this, you just have to endure it.” At moments like this, I felt like I was speaking a different language to these people.
The worst part was traveling by bus. Often I had to get off earlier and catch my breath. I am not saying it had helped, but I took it would be more pleasant to vomit on the pavement than on the bus. Thank God I never had to deal with it practically, but just in case I always had a plastic bag with me :).
Apart from nausea I also felt a strong moodiness. Literally, everything was getting on my nerves. There was no response or action that could satisfy me. Unfortunately, Yaw was the one who had to face the consequences most of the time. No matter how nice he was to me, he didn’t meet with anything other than a grumpy woman (in the better case). Whenever I retorted to him I felt a strange feeling of relief inside of me. And I felt desperate because of that. I wanted to be nice to him, why am I being so awful? Fortunately, it didn’t take long (we were still only getting to know each other as a couple after all ;)) and after a few weeks, I was back to normal. It had gone by itself and quietly. Just like nausea did.
Apart from this, I had also been experiencing pregnancy fatigue, which was appeared practically from the very beginning. And I had a chance to “enjoy it” more than most. For those who don’t know this – pregnancy fatigue is nothing like an ordinary fatigue. It is as if you had taken the strong sleeping pills during the day. I was able to fall sleep in a second, basically any place and anytime. Staying up was then impossible so often I forced myself to strain my eyes open. The hardest thing was going to work. When it came to me, I had to go to the warehouse for at least a 10-minute nap.
One of the more pleasant physical symptoms (though when I think about it, probably the only one) was my new appetite. I would never believe how happy one kilo of oranges can make me. And that I ate kilos of them! Whenever I walked around a shelf with juicy fruit, I had to control myself so that I wouldn’t start eating it right there. Countless of times Yaw had to run into the shop in the evening for the oranges, apples, plums, bananas … But it worked quite well for me, I heard of this woman once who had an irrepressible soap craving during her pregnancy!
However, I expected all of these symptoms to come during the pregnancy. What astonished me was the loss of energy, when previously I had enough to give away. All I wanted was to lie down and laze around. As if it wasn’t me anymore. I thus felt horrible, always felt like I had to do something … Especially for the health of the babies. However, later on, I had understood that by relaxing when I wanted to relax, I did the best for them. Please remember – when a woman listens to her body, she certainly doesn’t do anything wrong.
When I sum it all up, I honestly have to admit that the first trimester wasn’t something I enjoyed. Sometimes I even thought: So this is the magical time I’ve been waiting for so long? I had always been imagining pregnancy to be something amazing, wonderful, a time the mother enjoys from the first moment till the birth. That the only thing she feels is a enormous happiness. I, however, felt an enormous confusion. I was afraid of the future, I was realising what was about to change, I felt like a balloon, I was nauseous all the time, everything was getting on my nerves … So this is what I wished for? Moreover, it was inconceivable to me that I should become responsible for another human being as a part of me still needed a parental protection in a way. I couldn’t believe that very soon it would be me giving this protection to another human being.
An important breakthrough in my feelings was undoubtedly our first scan. That was by the way also a funny story. Yaw and I were eagerly sitting in the waiting room of the hospital and only a few feet away there was a mother with two little twins, a boy and a girl. We noticed them as soon as they came in, because both children were unmissable. Their Mum tried to calm them down, but after a while, she gave up and resignedly let them chase each other across the whole waiting room (I completely understand today).
Having twins had always been my dream. I had the feeling that despite the difficulty of which having twins certainly involves, a mother can at least get it out of her hair at once. But since we didn’t have any twins in the family (at least at that time I thought we didn’t), I hadn’t expected it happening to us.
As we watched the two adorable, shouting children, Yaw leaned over to me and said, “Imagine they tell us we’re having twins…” We laughed at the absurdity of the idea and I felt a weird relief at a thought we wouldn’t have to go through the same thing this broken mother was clearly going through.
Shortly after that, the nurse called our name and we walked into the small dark room with a prepared ultrasound and a monitor. Up until then I’d only seen it in the movies or heard from the talks, but seeing it “live” gave me a new kind of excitement.
The screen was placed in my peripheral field so when the sister spread the gel on me and started to walk with the device across my belly, I was looking at Yaw. I wanted to enjoy the look of his expression seeing our little baby for the very first time. And I will never forget that look. His eyes widened by two sizes and I sensed an amazement in them. “Can you see him?” I asked impatiently. But Yaw didn’t answer, only his jaw started to drop slightly in that amaze. I thought he was simply lost words by looking at our little one.
Suddenly the nurse said, “Well, you’re going to be busy, you’re having twins!”
“Yes!” I heard my voice exclaiming without processing the information in any way first. It was an instinct that completely blocked out the flow of other thoughts.
I looked at Yaw enthusiastically and squeezed his hand. His expression was saying he was slightly shocked. His eyes didn’t leave monitor for a moment and no doubt he was thinking hard. I, however, couldn’t and didn’t want to think about anything but the fact it was TWINS! Apparently, the voice of an old dream came up to me and totally shadowed everything else, including the broken mother from the waiting room.
Yaw’s shock was fortunately only slight and predominantly positive. After a while, the corners of his mouth began to rise upward, though his eyes were still sort of big and stuck to the monitor.
“Look at them,” the nurse said turning the monitor towards me. That moment really can’t be compared to anything. Everything around me suddenly disappeared and the world began to turn only for me and the two little blots. It was the most amazing sight in my entire life. Seeing them turning, living, their hearts beating… All the “bad” things I’d felt since I’d been looking at the positive test up until this moment has blurred into nothingness. As if the gaze at our children boosted the balloon of negative feelings and let it slowly float into the air. Incredible feeling. In that moment the first of the gates to the new world opened inside of me.