The Surprise


Sometime between engagement and our wedding, Dave and I discussed kids. I specifically remember him saying “well I hope you’re ready to have kids shortly after the wedding because I am more than ready.” This of course made my heart skip a beat because I’ve wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember. Growing up my favorite toys were baby dolls and my play activity of choice was “house” (and let me tell you, I was ALWAYS the mom). If you ask any of my best friends, it is no surprise that I am the first one off the market and have a baby on both hips. Although the both hips thing… not quite what I had imagined all those years.

As we had planned, shortly after the wedding, we began trying for a baby, and six months later I was standing in the bathroom at 4:30am silently shaking and wrapping up the gift I had gotten Dave for when this day would come. I totally caught him off guard by telling him he was getting an early Christmas present. It was one of the craziest moments of our young lives together and I could hardly compose myself to go to my work meeting that morning.... I didn’t hear a word of that meeting by the way!

We waited and prayed and finally the big appointment to listen for a heartbeat came, and it was there! 170 beautiful beats per minute. It can be difficult to find a 9 week baby’s heartbeat using the Doppler, so of course when we heard one… why the heck would we ask our doctor to go searching for another one? We were over the moon and the thought of twins honestly never crossed our minds, despite our completely packed family history of twins.

We made the big announcement a week or so after that because I couldn’t contain myself anymore. The next day we went in for our first ultrasound. I drove, Dave selling grain or something on the phone, we walk in excited, nervous and so ready to see this little gummy bear looking thing on the black and white screen. I spent plenty of time googling pictures of what an 11 week baby looks like on ultrasound, and don’t even try to tell me you didn’t/wouldn’t do the same! I hop onto the table, Dave takes a seat next to me and I can not thank God enough for giving me my best friends mom as our sonographer. She squirts the jelly on and says, “I told the radiology girls if they hear screaming, it’s twins!” Dave and I laugh nervously, she puts the ultrasound transducer on my belly and BAM. I see it. She sees it. Dave literally clueless as her and I are screaming OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD. She drops the transducer and I yell for her to put it back on. There we were, seconds into this ultrasound and I could easily identify a big black blob with a white line down the middle, which only means one thing: THERE ARE TWO BABIES. **The reason I can’t thank God enough for knowing our sonographer so well is for what followed those initial omg’s. It was a judgement free zone.
Dave keeps asking what is going on and if something was wrong because I definitely did not have a smile on at that point. I yelled “THERE’S TWO.” And his response was “HOLY SH**!!!” with a big ol’ grin and only a slight glimpse of panic in his eye. I continued to shake, swear, panic, cry a few tears and repeatedly stated that this wasn’t my life, I must be watching someone else’s ultrasound. All I could think about was that our whole plan of adding a cute little baby to our family just went from something totally doable and dreamy, to an insane amount of stress, exhaustion and that literally everything was going to change. I was so scared. From working in the medical field, I already knew that twin pregnancies increase your chances of complications significantly and there was a good potential they could come early and need NICU time. I love to have a plan, and it completely went out the window on February 1st 2017 at 3:20pm.

We spent the rest of the afternoon re-announcing our now even bigger news to our close family and friends and then had to backtrack on social media and correcting our original announcement that was made just a day earlier. I continued to shake until I crawled into bed that night, wondering if I was going to be able to sleep, but the mental exhaustion from the news knocked me right out. I woke up around 5:00 am the next morning, laying quietly in bed and I could sense that Dave was doing the same. Finally, broke the silence by saying, “do I need one diaper bag or two?” (side note: I made it to this point in writing the story without crying... but this part got me!) 

We stayed in in the dark for awhile longer talking about how the stroller we had picked out wouldn’t work anymore, the nursery would need to be in our larger spare bedroom now, and most importantly that it was going to be OK. We were meant to be twin parents and we were going to rock it.

Although I spent the next five months trying to figure out which baby was the “extra” one, I immediately quit questioning it the moment they were born. Both of those tiny babies were meant to be in this world 

constantly flipping my plans upside down. Neither one of them were “extra”. Both fully intended, both amazing in every way.

And here we are almost a year and a half from that terrifying, life changing day. All four of us alive, happier than ever, fed, well rested (thank Jesus), and so very thankful for that surprise of a lifetime.


Karli Ellens