The personal website of Philip Thomas

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Fatherhood: 10 Weeks

Our first doctors appointment was a week or so into the new year. My wife, being the Crossfit Queen that she is, opted to have a natural birth. And so our first doctor's appointment was at a newly built, natural birthing center in our town. We arrived at the small facility where I was introduced to a laid back atmosphere complete with a kitchen, trendy furniture and all sorts of nifty products for sale. The nice lady took us back to a room outfitted with a huge bed, walk-in shower and soaking tub. For this appointment though, we just used the bed. After taking notes, my wife laid down on her back, pulled up her shirt and proceeded to try not to giggle as the lady attempted to locate a heartbeat. I of course, was trying to capture video of the whole process. But after some time had passed and no audible heartbeat or confirmation from the lady, I stopped. I suddenly felt scared, a little angry and most of all, surprised. All of a sudden, I cared. I knew it would be heart-wrenching to lose a baby, and even more embarrassing to not actually have one in there at all. But the lady assured us it was early and invited us back the following week for another attempt. 

And so a week went by. Our hopes and dreams, fluctuated with fears and doubts. I began to wonder if the small facility with the laid back nurse and the small device she used was a little like the amazon.com jumbo bag of pregnancy tests. Maybe a REAL attempt would yield different results. But we went back the next week, hoping for the best. And as the lady repeated the procedure, she noted that she did in fact "hear something". I heard lots of things; a small assembly line of bodily functions was doing its thing for sure. But I didn't hear a heartbeat. And I was somewhat relieved when the lady actually suggested we get an ultra sound from the hospital. She even worked some magic and got us an appointment for the very next morning. This made me happy. Finally, we would have REAL information. 

The next morning, Starbucks coffee in-hand, we braved the cold winter wind and made our way to the big hospital. My wife had been instructed to drink as much as she could and also, to not empty her bladder. She took these instructions to heart, guzzling an entire Nalgene bottle of water, followed by a grande drip coffee. Her zealousness for following these instructions however, caught up with her approximately half an hour before our appointment. This forced her to sit uncomfortably in the waiting room, shifting around, trying to make conversation and then finally, walking up to the receptionist and explaining her predicament. The receptionist in turn, worked some magic and a nurse immediately showed herself and called our name. 

The room in the hospital was much different than the room in the small facility. It had a hospital bed, no soaking tub, very dim lights and a state-of-the-art computer that was capable of X-ray vision. My wife assumed the familiar position of laying on her back and the nurse proceeded to scan the tummy, looking for signs of life. Moments passed. "Aha, there it is, she said". And there it was; Confirmation that there was a growing baby there and that it did have a functioning followed by an audible "hmmmm". More moments passed. I was focused on trying to acquire my video footage when she finally spoke again. "So, I should probably tell you something…but just to warn you, some people don't take this very well." I put my camera down, unsure of what to say or think. "There are actually two heartbeats, she said....you're having twins." 

I kept waiting for her to correct her announcement. It wasn't that I wanted her to correct herself, I just didn't know how it was possible. My wife on the other hand, was reacting more audibly, letting out words of exclamation and disbelief at growing decibel levels and turning to stare in wide-eyed wonder at the computer monitor adjacent her. I sat there, dumfounded, trying to wrap my mind around it and still waiting for that correction. But no correction ever came. What came instead, was a well defined X-ray image of two little babies. They appeared in two separate areas on the monitor, each with a distinctly faster heartbeat than my wife's. Seeing was believing alright, but words still escaped me. The genetic possibility of it was improbable. Twins are not on either side of our family. We honestly didn't know how it was possible. But apparently, it was.  And after having been married almost 10 years, it seemed as if the good Creator wanted to jumpstart our family into existence.