Parenting Tales, Points to Ponder

The Tale of Joseph & Joshua

Five years ago on this very day, I received some pretty significant, life-changing news. On this day in 2007, I got the completely unexpected news that I was having not one baby, but two babies. If there was ever a time in my life that I can say I was a complete basket case, that was it. It has since strengthened my faith in lots of ways. You see, I was the type of person who secretly pitied parents of multiples. I had even told friends and family that I was so glad I had only had one baby at a time and had no idea how those people did it. I’m sure the good Lord had many chuckles at my expense on that one!

If you’re not familiar with my family, here’s what it looked like at the time: I had a 5 year old boy, a 3 year old boy, and a 1 1/2 year old daughter who had just started to walk. When she was a little over a year old, I was feeling ready to have a 4th (and last!) child, wanting to keep everyone semi-close in age. Actually, since I had so much fun with my little girl, and she was such an easy baby, I was dying to have another little girl. How cute would it be to have two little boys and two little girls, right? I got pregnant right away and was having a pretty normal pregnancy for awhile. At 20 weeks, our church’s preschool/kindergarten class was going on a field trip to a local crisis pregnancy center. They wanted to show the kids what an ultrasound machine looked like and, better yet, how cool would it be to show them a real baby on the ultrasound? Since I hadn’t had an ultrasound yet and I was the perfect gestational age to be the “model,” I was willing to have the kids see my baby on the screen. So, off I went, willing to bare my belly for a roomful of little people. We divided the kids into two groups, bringing one group in at a time. For the first group, the volunteer tech plopped the wand down on my belly, and there we saw a baby right away. Notice I wrote “a” baby–that’s because we only saw one. She pointed out the different body parts, not really needing to move the wand around much. Then the second group of kids came in, and again she plopped the wand on my belly and we saw one baby on the screen. Great, I thought, I finally got to see my baby once before my 26 week ultrasound. Well, soon after that I noticed some major changes in my pregnancy. For one thing, I suddenly got HUGE–much bigger than I was with the other 3 kids. Also, I had about zero energy for being in my second trimester, when normally I would have all kinds of energy at that point. Oh, and did I also mention that this baby was way more active than the other ones? What in the world was going on? People tried to tell me that since it was my 4th pregnancy, I was bound to be bigger and more tired.

Well, the day of my real ultrasound rolled around, and I was honestly a little nervous, thinking that maybe they would find something wrong. My husband stayed home with our other kids, as we didn’t want to drag them all along. Besides, I’ve had lots of these before, it’ll be no sweat. The tech this time, as she led me back to the room, asked me all kinds of background questions. How many other pregnancies have I had? How far along was I? How old are the other children? Do I have any medical problems? and so on. The room dimmed, warm gel was squirted onto my now watermelon of a belly, and she started with the wand down at the bottom.

Right away we saw a baby head, so she said “oh, there’s the head,” then the wand was slid up a little to look at the baby’s abdomen.

“There’s your baby’s belly.” As the baby’s abdomen came into view, something else came into view as well.

“Oooohhh…” was the response. Then a pause.

“And there’s another head. And another belly.”

“You’re kidding me, right?” I said as I knew she most definitely was NOT kidding.

“No, there’s two babies there.”

I burst into tears. This could not be happening to me.

My life was over. Lord, how in the world could you do this to me? I can’t handle twins! Good grief, and did you have to make it the 4th time around? And why oh why did I not find out until I was 6 months along?

Then I laughed. And cried. And laughed. And cried some more. The poor woman probably thought I was nuts!

The rest of the ultrasound went by in a blur of measurements for both babies. I took the two pictures printed out for me and, trying not to look like a complete mess, went out to my vehicle. I drove home in a stupor, many thoughts swirling through my mind. I do have to mention that I stopped on the way home for a milkshake–a very large one at that! Darn it, if I was growing two babies, I needed that milkshake!! I arrived home having no idea how I was going to break the news to my dear husband. He was upstairs on the computer, the other kids playing on the floor.

“Well, how’d it go?”

“Yeah Mommy, did you see the baby?”

“Um, well, it’s a good thing you’re sitting down.” I held out my two pictures, my hands shaking.

“Not one baby. There’s two babies.” The tears came on again.

I’ll never forget the look on that poor man’s face. Bless his sweet heart for reacting the way he did, because I needed him to be a rock, not a mess like me. He stood up, smiled, wrapped me in a hug, kissed me, and said, “Well, Mommy, it’s going to be alright.”

For the next day or two, I really was a basket case. Lots of tears and having a big old pity party for myself. There were glimmers of joy but lots of “why me’s?” as well. How was I going to take care of all these little ones? Would I ever have any kind of life? How would we afford them all? What about my other kids, weren’t they going to feel completely neglected? Fortunately I had lots of people praying for me, once they heard the big news. Lots of calls, cards, and overall encouragement. I was reminded that God didn’t expect me to do this alone, which was very comforting to me. I soon got over my pity party, realized how blessed I was, and put my faith in God to help me through the upcoming challenging times.

Now, looking back, I can tell you without a doubt that those two little boys were one of the best things to ever happen to me. I didn’t get the little girl I had hoped for, but God knows what we need and what’s best for us way better than we do. Joey and Josh are my little sidekicks, my littlest loves. I can’t ever imagine having one without the other. They will turn 5 at the end of March and I can’t believe they are not babies anymore. In fact, I’ll probably do another post in honor of their big birthday and some more posts about raising twins too.

Oh, and before I sign off, I thought I’d mention another interesting fact in this tale. When I was lying on that ultrasound table, crying and contemplating my news, I noticed something that didn’t hit me until much later. You know how ultrasound techs and other medical personnel usually have their certifications, etc. framed on the wall? You want to know what the name of that tech was?

It was Faith.

3 thoughts on “The Tale of Joseph & Joshua”

  1. I can verify that the dynamic “J” duo are a blessing to many. As their Grandpa I can’t imagine life without them. God bless ALL of you parents out there, and grandparents too. Your positive influence will matter!
    PS – Jeff and Rachel, you manage it all well.

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