That's sort of how it went. That life changing moment when the radiographer looked across my wife's already large belly and asked casually "do twins run in the family?"
But hold on, lets back it up a little and introduce myself and my soon to be large brood. My name is Marcus, I live in Raumati South, New Zealand, with my beautiful wife Sarah and lovable Labrador Poppy (the one name we agree on... but that's for another blog). Up until recently, life has been trucking along very well for us. About a year ago, I moved jobs from Head of Video at Fairfax Media to take an amazing opportunity as Video Channel Manager at Xero. What does that have to do with twins you say? Well, living life in the high paced world of online media gave little opportunity to even start thinking of having a family.
My wife Sarah is a primary school teacher taking care of 18 five year old children. You would think that after five years of teaching other people's little darlings it might have put her off wanting to have children, but it was quite the opposite. Sarah has always wanted to have twins! Some might say the stars were aligned and her wish had been granted, but I have a different idea...
In November last year, on my birthday, Sarah and I made a life changing decision to start trying. We had been waiting for the right time, but suddenly it had occurred to us that, like so many people had told us, there just might not be a perfect time and now was as good as ever. So that was it, our minds were made up, we were going to do this. Now I want to say right here, that my thoughts are always with those who have not found this process as easy as we did. In fact, we were totally prepared for it to be hard to fall pregnant, I mean, once you read all the odds on every part of conceiving you would be forgiven for thinking it was all but impossible for anyone to achieve it! That coupled with the fact that when I was a three year old, I had cancer and had been given a year long course of chemotherapy that everyone had told me might have rendered me incapable of creating a 'Wild child' certainly made it seem quite the mountain to climb!
So we were off and love making... Well that's what I thought. You see the part they don't tell you is all the planning, tracking, checking, temperature taking etc. that you have to do to 'give yourself the best chance of conception'! So let me offer you some advice - give it up! Throw away the calendar! Delete the period tracker app - all that's good for is giving awkward reminders that pop up in meetings during work at the worst time! Its far simpler than that (again, I am talking for us), have fun! Put the romance back into it. Even if you don't fall pregnant, this process is not meant to feel clinical, because when all is said and done, you are creating another person (or two persons), and you want to do that with love not a calendar!
Then it happen, the marvel of conception. It was the simplest thing, Sarah had decided to go on a trip with her dad on his motorbike to see some family in Taupo. We had looked at our cycle tracking app, and it meant that she would be away during the optimal time for conception - bugger! Oh well, we thought (or perhaps I thought) if she was going away for a few days I better give her a kiss and cuddle session before she hit the road - and that was it, that was when it happened. It's funny I guess, somehow I thought I would know, perhaps that's just the male ego, but either way I didn't. Then she was gone out the door and on the back of the bike into the morning sunshine.
People always wonder how twins happen, and ours are special, they are identical. Everyone has a theory about how you end up with twins, I'm sure there may even be some truth in some of them but I think I have it nailed. It's simple really - you take a fertilised egg then add six hours on the back of a motorbike and voila you have one split egg! Not too scientific, but I am almost certain that's how it happened for us!
Of course, we had no idea we had twins on the way. In fact, Sarah 'felt' pregnant and although I tried to convince her it was too early to tackle a test (mainly because I hated seeing the disappointment on her face when it was negative) she did. She casually yelled to me in the garage when I was fluffing around, "we did it, I'm pregnant!" I couldn't believe it - we had done it and in only three months, amazing! We had already agreed that we would keep it to ourselves until the three month mark, and although Sarah had not had any morning sickness the excitement was just too much for us to keep to ourselves, so we told our mums and dads! We also told them that they were not to tell anyone and were certainly not to start buying anything, but do you think they would listen - hell no! Within days, mum had combed the internet chat rooms and blogs and decided that the only buggy worth owning was a Mountain Buggy - she had located a second-hand urban jungle in chilli red, in perfect condition and bought it.
Time seemed to drag from there - waiting to finally go to our three month scan. It's funny how all you can think about is, "Is my baby okay? Does it have hands or flippers?" - you just want to see it. It was a welcome distraction to decide on a midwife and meet with her. This was particularly important to Sarah and I, as she had decided that she wanted to have as natural birth as possible and likely we would want to do it at home. Now this is not for everyone, and I don't want to take a stand on drugs or no drugs, but I would like to also say to every person who said, "Don't be a hero" and, "there won't be medals handed out at the end" - back off - as much as it is a choice to have drugs, it is also a choice not to. If you do have drugs, there will also not be medals handed out to you at the end, it is a decision that every mother should make on her own = rant over.
Anyway, so finally the three month scan was here. We now had a plan for a natural home birth and a chilli red urban jungle parked in the garage waiting for our baby to arrive. Then the moment that changed it all. The doctor asked us: "Do twins run in the family?" "You're joking!" "I never joke about twins!" "Oh crap its twins!" "I've always wanted twins". You can decide for yourself who said what.
So extremely excitedly and with some apprehension, we were ejected from the dark examination room into the world. A world ready for our twins, but a world that I was yet to fully come to grips with, I was father of two now. We rang our parents to say one thing, "we're going to need a bigger buggy!"
Follow along with me as I blog my way through becoming a father - twice!