I walked into my first prenatal doctor’s appointment in February 2020, with my husband by my side and no mask on my face, you know pre-Covid days. It was an afternoon appointment and I was pretty sure I was the last appointment of the day. Which turned out to be positive for everyone involved, because I would eventually call my doctor’s office and apologize for the words that came out of my mouth that day.
My sweet sweet so funny husband came with me purely to make sure there was a heartbeat and hold my hand. However, before we got started he decided to make a joke we will never forget. He stated sarcastically to my OB-GYN, “we’re just here to make sure it’s not twins.” As this was my 3rd pregnancy I felt very confident in what to expect.
My doctor put her handheld doppler ultrasound machine on my stomach and we immediately saw a bean size baby. There it was. Clear as day. We stared in bliss at this 3rd child we were bringing into the world. Then my doctor ever so slightly moved the wand and she and I both saw it at the same time. Another bean. She responded with “Oh..” I responded with “You’re kidding!” My husband responded with “What?”
The tears and laughter came simultaneously. I couldn’t stop either one from happening. My emotions were labile. I needed to get out of there. I needed to pee. I needed to think. I excused myself to the bathroom while still wearing my open-to-the-front gown. I sat on the toilet and the anxiety came.
“What if I miscarry one?” “What is that called? Vanishing twin?” “How are we going to pay for 4 children in child care?” “I’m going to need to get a mini-van?” “What if they’re pre-term?” “How am I going to carry twins to term?” “This is our life.” “We never pictured 4 children.” “This was supposed to be our last baby.” “How are we going to do this!” “I can’t do this!”
I somehow pulled myself out of the bathroom and went back into the cold exam room. My husband remained calm. Completely calm. “Why is he not freaking out?” I thought while also grateful for his ability to support me through my current state. We were told my pregnancy is now considered high-risk and there would be additional doctors and appointments. I was entering a whole new world. I was told my twins were di/di which was the lowest risk type and they were measuring on track. I am only aware this was told to me because I called my doctor back the following day. I processed zero of this information at the time.
We are somehow creeping up on two years since that day. I went through a rough pregnancy, bought a mini-van, delivered 2 large babies equaling almost 14 pounds, spent the longest days of my life with my daughter in the NICU, and somehow survived the first year with 4 children aged 5 and under.
Although this process has been full of waves and emotions, some scary and some peaceful. It has led me to become a better person and therapist. Upon having my twins I recognized first hand the anxiety, the fear, the sadness, the bliss, the exhaustion, the chaos, and having to repeat that cycle, again and again, every day. I recognized the lack of support we provide our new mothers. How we allow them to think that they are ‘crazy.’ That they feel they have to do it all. That if they’re drowning that’s on them. But can we just stop! Can we remind moms that they matter? That their mental and physical health are important. That they are enough.
So in case you have forgotten, I’m here to tell you that you are enough. You matter. And your feelings are valid.
Lauren has been in Lafayette for over a decade now. She attended UL and then LSU where she earned her Masters in Social Work an unmentionable number of years ago. She has since opened her own private practice and is specialized in perinatal mental health. She lives with her husband and 4 small children which include a 5-year-old, a 3-year-old, and two one-year-old twins. They have recently welcomed a puppy to the family, because what’s one more addition at this point? Lauren’s hobbies include reading all the books, drinking all the coffee, and eating all the macarons. Lauren is passionate about supporting mothers and all the emotions motherhood brings up.