• Five minutes

    by  • August 26, 2012 • Uncategorized

    “It’s amazing how your life can change in five minutes,” spoken by someone who, five minutes earlier, had fingers crossed that the ultrasound we were waiting for would confirm the earlier pregnancy test and, thus, confirm that becoming a parent was finally a reality for her and her husband. It confirmed it, all right – doubly so. Turns out both of those healthy embryos we transferred are in for the long haul. Yes, I am officially carrying twins (deep breath).

    In five minutes, they went from the hope of being parents to the excitement – and reality – of planning to parent two at a time. I went from trying to find a way to keep anything down to trying to eat like a linebacker so these babies can grow. The truth is that I have been preparing myself for twins. I don’t think any amount of preparation, however, can avoid the, “Holy crap,” moment when the technician moves from the first heartbeat to the second.

    Just as their minds are likely whirling with what twins mean after delivery, mine has been abuzz with what it means for the next 30 or so weeks. It’s nearly impossible to avoid asking yourself all of the immediate questions that come to mind – “Will I be able to have a natural delivery? Will they arrive early? Just how big will I get? Will my body ever go back to normal after carrying twins? ” We would never have been matched with this couple if I were not willing to carry twins, but that willingness doesn’t put a damper on the questions. Of course, there’s no way to know the answer to any of these questions until we get to those points in the process (except for the last one, thanks to a rock solid guarantee from my friend at Polas Pilates), but I am trying to be honest with myself that there are some overwhelming things to consider.

    Since we’ve committed to sharing this journey with our kids, it wasn’t long before I told them about there being not one, but two babies. As I told our six-year-old that there were two babies growing, he excitedly replied, “Twins?!” I then suggested that maybe we should give them nicknames. He wasn’t thrilled with my suggestions of Thing One and Thing Two or Huey and Dewey. He insisted that he would come up with nicknames, and then proclaimed that the boy nickname should be Martin Luther King, Jr. and the girl nickname should be Alice (as in Wonderland), even though he doesn’t like the movie. So, these babies (whose genders we do not know) have become Martin and Alice around here.

    There are so many times when five minutes can make a difference, for better or worse. My commitment to these two growing babies is to try to make their minutes, days and months as predictable and uneventful as possible. My commitment to my own children is to make every five minutes count. We can all think of people with whom we wish we could have five more minutes. I don’t want to take for granted the time I am fortunate to spend with my boys. Yes, they have their moments, but I’m reminded now that those aren’t just their moments. They are our moments – the good, the bad and the ugly – moments that can change in in the blink of an eye.


    Liz is a former educator, a community builder and a referee of two boys. Her family's adventures in imperfect balance include delivering twins as a surrogate and living in Puerto Rico for nearly a year to run a local farmers market.