For my birthday in mid April, Jordan and I decide it would be lovely to take a trip to Noah's Ark. I've never been before, so am rather excited and in anticipation of what to expect. It's a Friday during term time in the Spring so of course not too busy. Just as well as although I have come to terms with the fact at this point that a small child is an inevitable part of my future, children - namely large clusters of them, still pretty much terrify me!
It's funny how you never seem to really notice that many pregnant women, or young families until you're in a similar situation yourself. Perhaps it's simply down to the fact of your priorities changing, your focus is now on all things baby, that you notice all things baby more often.. As we were walking around checking out the wildlife, we noticed a couple with twins, around 1 years old, in a buggie. Wow! What a handful that would be!
A few seconds later we see another pair of twins, possibly around 4/5?, running around and then join the family.. Two sets of twins!? Incredible! We smiled and exchanged pleasantries with the couple, and continued to explore. Of course, you can't have an experience like this and not let it play on your mind.
"Wow, twins, wouldn't that be amazing?!" Jordan mused at me, and then looking at me with curiosity and possibly the slightest hint of concern, "There's no chance... it could be..."
"No. No I'm almost certain there's no chance, it doesn't run in either of our families."
Fast forward a week or so and everything is carrying on. I'm toying with the idea of BotNX... can I still fight? Would I be able to at least still duel but step out of the group fights? I'd still been training with the intentions of going. I only felt a little bit of increased exhaustion but nothing I couldn't handle.. Would it be ok? I can't be that far along.. I just didn't know how to decide.
I spoke to a good friend of mine and expressed to her how important the world championships and my team were to me, but how I knew I needed to do what was best for the baby. She suggested giving it to God, and asking for a clear answer. I had full trust that God knew best. If He wanted me to still compete, then nothing bad would happen to my baby. If He wanted me to step out of competing, as much as it would upset me, He would let me know and it would be for the best. I had my first midwife appointment booked for that Wednesday. A week and a half before BotNX. I prayed and left it with God, I asked him to make it clear to me whether I was meant to fight or not.
At 1.30am Tuesday 23rd, I woke up. I must need to pee. I make my way downstairs to the toilet doing my best not to wake Jordan up. When i look at the tissue, panic overtakes me.
Why am I bleeding?! F*@K... no. No no, not now. This can't be what I think it is. Don't do this to me.
It's too late, all rationality has left me. My mind racing. Tears streaming uncontrollably down my face.
God, Father, don't let me lose her. Don't let this happen please Father. Don't let me lose my baby.
I try to calm myself but it's useless. I don't feel anything... surely I should feel something?! There's nothing.. why can't I feel anything anymore?!
I wake Jordan up, trying my best to compose myself and speak English.. He does his best to calm me down. He mentions something about bleeding being normal.. after a while of sobbing and cuddling I try to sleep.
I manage a few hours until I wake up again. No, this is wrong, it's dripping down my leg this time as I rush downstairs. This is far too much than what the NHS article described it as, something's wrong.. I message my mum. I leave a message on the number for my midwife. I can't go back to sleep. I'm surprised I have any tears left in me.
The midwife rings back. She's very calm and friendly and does her best to console me. She advises an Early Pregnancy Walk-In Clinic so I can get myself scanned and find out what's going on. We get ready to go and I stay silent, praying, trying to focus on the task at hand.
Unfortunately, this Tuesday has followed a bank holiday weekend, and so the clinic which only takes walk-ins for about 2 hours.. is possibly the busiest clinic in Bristol (yes an exaggeration but it was ridiculous!). After about an hour of waiting with our minds racing, my name gets called. This isn't for a scan, but merely to assess why I'm there and, as the lovely nurse tried to eloquently put, work out if I was in urgent need of being seen or if I could wait till the next day.
Well, you can probably guess it. I wouldn't get seen until the next day. It was soul crushing. I just wanted answers, but I was forced to be patient. The good news was that as they now had my details, I could arrive early and be one of the first people to be seen rather than going through the full walk-in process again.
The next 20 odd hours were numbing. Trying to get on with my job.. to distract myself from overthinking. I felt empty.. hollow. The unknown can be such a cruel thing at times.
Finally the morning came round once again. We get ready to leave and I can't help myself.. "Jordan... I'm really sorry, I don't want to upset you, but I need you to be prepared for the worse.."
I couldn't let myself hope, I could only wait.
Although we're one of the first to arrive at the clinic, we still have to wait and it seems like an eternity. Jordan holds my hand and squeezes. It's all I can do to squeeze back until my name is called.
We enter the room and the sonographer, another friendly chap, sets me up on the bed and starts the scan.
I stare at the ceiling, one hand holding Jordans, the other one my forehead, trying not to think, preparing myself for that horrible news i knew was coming...
"So.. any history of twins in either of your families?" The sonographer queries.
Without really thinking I reply, "No." Still staring at the ceiling waiting for the awful news..
But Jordan, he's a lot more switched on than me at this point and realises the significance of this question. "Are... are you saying what I think you're saying??"
..I look over at Jordan, puzzled... and then... PING and I flip my eyes over to the sonographer exclaiming "NOOOOOOOOOOO!" in disbelief.
He nods, smiles and turns the screen towards us so we can see for ourselves. Two tiny blobs. Two definite sacks, there, right there in front of us
Love, relief, amazement, blessings. I do not know exactly how to describe how I felt at this moment. After I had been so convinced of the worse, so much so that nothing would even give me a slither of hope, and then to discover that it was double the blessing. I can quite honestly say that was the happiest moment of both mine and Jordan's lives.
A double miracle.
Once we're out of the scan, I'm on the phone to mum. She had been just as tentative as me about the situation but had been as supportive as she could without trying to get my hopes up. Of course she was ecstatic, and when she found out it was double trouble i get a "oh yes, I meant to mention that to you, twins runs on both sides of the family"
...... Thanks for the heads up mum!
It was a miracle day, a day full of the answers I was looking for and some answers I didn't know I needed:
Number 1: I definitely wanted my baby. There were no more doubts in my mind! I hadn't been ready but it was confirmed that it was what i wanted most in the world.
Number 2: There was no way, after all this, that i was going to compete at BotNX, and that was ok.
Number 3: This was not part of my plan, but it was meant to be.
As I sit here and reflect once more on our miracle, feeling the twins kicking me with ever increasing strength, I feel so abundantly blessed. And although I still get the worries and fears that pop up during pregnancy about what is and what will be, I have full trust that everything is going to be just the way it's meant to, and I cannot wait to meet our little lovers.