Twins. She and Van were going to have twins. Jenna’s head was still reeling from the news she’d just received from her doctor. They’d been trying all of five minutes for baby number two. Having their daughter, now two years old, it seemed like a good time to aim for a brother or sister for little Amy. They’d just decided to start trying after she ended her last cycle. She was late by the time she was due for her next period. She remembered that conversation.
“Van, I’m one day late.”
“Yeah, you’re pregnant. You’re never late.”
“That’s what I figure.” She had already purchased a home pregnancy test just not knowing she’d need it that soon. It took three months to get pregnant with Amy. Three weeks has got to be some new record. “I’m going to do the test, now.”
It lit up like a Christmas tree before she was even done peeing on it. The pink line confirmed what they already knew. “Van?”
He’d called from the living room, already knowing what she was going to say. “Make an appointment with your doctor. Let’s get a due date!”
When Jenna had come back to sit with her husband, who was happily bouncing Amy on his lap, he asked, “That was fast. We barely had time to do anything.” He wiggled his eyebrows at her.
“What can I say, we’re very fertile it turns out.”
She was stuck in traffic on a major freeway in Southern California, heading home from her appointment. Looking ahead, she figured she’d be there for a while since she was speeding down at an impressive 10mph. She drank some of her ice tea while she reflected on her morning.
Earlier that morning when she was having her ultrasound, she looked at the monitor. The tiny blob, or rather, blobs, on the screen, looked similar to when she was pregnant with Amy. Her brain was arguing with her with what she knew the doctor would confirm in just a minute. Until then, she could deny how hers and Van’s life was about change much more than they’d initially thought. While the doctor typed some information on her computer, Jenna was just beside herself.
The nurse had finished adjusting the ultrasound machine. Jenna could do nothing but stare at the screen. Yes, Jenna Martin was on the screen. But there were two blobs. It couldn’t be twins. They couldn’t afford twins. The idea of twins never entered their conversations. They were already scrimping with whatever Van brought from work so she could stay home. With the cost of child care, it made sense to have her stay home since so much of her paycheck would pay for someone else to take care of their child. Jenna Martin was still on the monitor—not that she was expecting it to change. The doctor turned around for the first time. “Huh.”
Instantly alert to a potential problem with her unborn bundle, Jenna replied, “Huh, what? Is something wrong?”
“Oh, no, there are just two in there.” Suspicion confirmed.
“What?!” Her doctor just verified what her brain was trying to tell her earlier. Now, she could no longer deny it.
“You didn’t know you’re having twins?” Her OB was so casual about it as if Jenna had committed some crime for not knowing how many fetuses were growing inside her. Honestly, how was she supposed to know she was carrying twins? When you pee on a stick in your bathroom, it just says pregnant or not. There is no gender or quantity associated with those little blue or pink lines. Being that this was an intake appointment, of course she didn’t know she was having twins.
“No, I didn’t know.” It was all she could muster. Words escaped her with the shock and unexpected announcement of twins.
“Mrs. Martin, are you okay with having twins?” There really wasn’t any choice. Of course, she was okay. Thrilled, even! But also scared and nervous about everything that would change that they hadn’t anticipated. This was not her regular OB, just the intake OB assigned to her for this one visit. Her regular OB knew how much Jenna and Van wanted a second, or rather, a second and third child as it turned out.
She cleared her thoughts at the realization of carrying twins. Twins didn’t run in her family. And to her knowledge, they didn’t run in Van’s family. She knew her husband would be excited once the initial shock would wear off. But first, she had to tell him.
At the end of her appointment, she had to wait in the lab to get all those vials drawn for her first-trimester blood work. Her due day was May but was informed, they may or may not arrive early since she was now considered a high-risk pregnancy with multiples. Waiting in the lab took ages. Jenna reflected on how her body had changed so quickly with this pregnancy. She and Van knew she was pregnant. But her jeans were tighter around her waist much faster, and she was so hungry all the time. “Figures, I was feeding two babies, not just one,” she said to nobody around her. She kept staring at the paperwork she’d received from the nurse. Jenna needed to find it in writing she was having twins. She needed concrete evidence to show her husband. Somehow, that would make it more real to her. And him.
She sat alone. Van was at work and Amy was staying with Jenna’s mom for the day. She couldn’t text Van this news. But, she could text her friend Robyn. Robyn, who had twin girls and was her best friend.
Jenna: I’m pregnant.
Robyn: You told me already. 😊
Jenna: With TWINS!
Robyn: I told you so! I knew it! I knew you’d follow in my footsteps!
Jenna: OMG. You jinxed me, Robyn. You’re my go-to for advice.
Robyn: We’re all here for you. What did Van say?
Jenna: I’m in the lab. I’ll tell him when he comes home from work tonight.
Robyn: Text me his reaction. Cal’s reaction was priceless when I told him about the girls.
Jenna: I will. Hopefully, I’m done here soon. I’m hungry.
Robyn: Get used to it. I’ll take you and Amy out for lunch next week. Wednesday.
Jenna: Perfect! Thanks, Robyn. 😊
Someone dear to her knew. It was real. Would the babies have brown eyes, like Van and Amy? Or green like hers? Maybe it’ll be a combo and turn out hazel. Amy had slightly wavy hair…would her siblings? Who would these little ones take after more? Were they boys? Girls? A boy and girl combo? She was full and questions and anxious for the answers. A family of three, changing to five sounds like a lot. She’d probably need a van to hold three car seats, strollers, diaper bags…it was overwhelming. She took solace in the fact that Van was excellent at planning and keeping her grounded. In just a few hours, he’d be holding her in his arms, kissing her like crazy. Even after all this time together, she loved that they were still hot for each other.
She turned her attention back to the fried green beans she’d added to her lunch order. She was stuck on the freeway and eating. She let a bubble of laughter fill her SUV. This had all the makings of déjà vu. Eating a cheeseburger in the front seat of her car, fried green beans or onion rings, and ice tea while sitting in traffic. During her pregnancy with Mia, burgers were the only food that stayed down during her first trimester.
The sound of their Frozen II soundtrack filtered through her thoughts for just the briefest of moments. She smiled when she caught the lyrics of “Some Things Never Change” coming on. She didn’t think children would catch the commentary that just about everything changes. Jenna finished her burger in the time it took to drive two miles. Had it really been fifteen minutes? No matter, her exit was next.
She pulled out a diaper wipe she’d stashed in her purse to wipe her hands clean of fast food grease. She sang aloud the end of the song, belting it out as if Amy were actually in the backseat singing along, and it gave her nerves some temporary peace. Singing with her daughter did that for her. Jenna had long memorized the entire soundtrack, and she began to wonder what soundtrack was next in Amy’s queue.
When she finally reached her exit, she was suddenly compelled to turn left, rather than right. Turning right would take her home. Left took her to her favorite big box store. Van made enough as a school principal to support them. They were both diligent savers and knowing he’d encourage her to shop whenever she wanted, today she had decided to do just that.
Jenna parked near the entrance. She grabbed her reusable shopping bags, still unsure of what she was planning to buy. Maybe just a decaf frappuccino from the Starbucks inside the store. Maybe several packs of diapers. First, she had to go to the bathroom. Tiny as they were, her littles were already adding that extra pressure to her bladder. The tea she drank added to her discomfort.
She walked up and down the aisles—the same ones she’d gone down a thousand times. She’d memorized the layout of where everything was for little ones. She was looking at small outfits, size 2T for Amy, wondering which ones she should purchase for the winter. Should she aim for 3T? Amy was due for a growth spurt. Jenna made it through the toddler section, no more emotional than usual. Then she came upon the baby aisles. She ended up spending a few hundred dollars on diapers, wipes, and nursing pads—all essentials she knew she’d need. She didn’t purchase any outfits. She and Van wouldn’t know the genders of their twins for a few more months. Jenna also picked up a new toy for Amy. Amy was going to have a very active role in welcoming her siblings into this world. Before this impromptu shopping spree, she and Van had already agreed not to leave Amy out. She too has her little life-changing.
By the time she was ready to pay, she was physically exhausted and nauseous. When she was finally behind the wheel, she’d received a text from Van. She checked the time. School was out in another hour. She adjusted her short, brown ponytail and picked up her cell.
Van: Hi Sweetheart, how did it go?
Jenna: We are all healthy.
Van: Let’s go out tonight. Can your mom watch Amy overnight?
Jenna: Great idea! You know she’ll be thrilled to have her overnight.
Van: I love you, sweetheart.
Jenna: I’m shopping for baby stuff, I’ll be home in 10 mins. I’ll pack a bag for Amy, we can drop it off and go out to dinner.
Van: LOL, I’m game. I knew you’d go out today to shop.
Van: You did the same thing with Amy.
Jenna: You know me too well.
Van: I’ll be home by 3p
Jenna: See you soon honey. I love you!
Van: I love you, too.
Slightly reenergized, she threw her SUV in drive and headed home. She left all the evidence of her shopping in the family mobile for Van to take out when he came home. Jenna used whatever energy she had left to pack a quick overnight bag for Amy and settled in for a quick nap. No sooner than she closed her eyes, she was awoken by the sweetest kisses of her loving husband. “Hey, sweetheart, welcome home,” she whispered against his lips.
Van smiled at her, his hand on her belly. “Listen, I need to tell you something about this pregnancy.”
He looked alarmed—the same look she was sure she had at the doctor’s that morning. “Nothing bad. Van, I have ultrasound pictures to show you. Want to see a picture of your baby?”
His dark brown eyes lit up. “Yeah!” She leaned over to the nightstand where she had all the papers and pictures from her appointment. Jenna showed him one of the ultrasound pictures.
“This little blur is adorable.”
She cast her gaze over to him again. “Want to see a picture of your other baby?”
He froze. At that moment of blissful realization, she didn’t think he’d ever looked cuter in the ten years they’d been together. “What? You’re joking, right? Are you serious?”
“Van, I wouldn’t joke about something this big. Sweetheart, we’re having twins. Paperwork is right behind you to prove it. I spent much of the morning in traffic trying to figure out how to tell you.”
“It was perfect, sweetheart. Oh my goodness. Twins.” Van was talking more to himself at that point than to her. She understood. Jenna did the same while she was waiting in the lab to get her blood drawn. She did it again in the car while sitting in traffic. Van turned to her, excitement in his eyes. “We’re definitely celebrating tonight! Care for another shopping spree? I believe you need more maternity clothes sweetheart.”
“I’d love to!” He leaned over and gave her a passionate kiss. The kind of kiss a husband and wife share when they have a special moment just for them. The kind they know will be just a little rarer with three little ones underfoot. The kind that promises a lifetime of happiness and more kisses to share between them as they raise their growing family.