By MATTHEW NASH
Several weeks ago I wrote a column about a secret that my wife and I had that we were having a hard time keeping to ourselves. Most people were able to surmise by the end of the column that I was alluding to a pending addition to our family. My wife is pregnant and our new arrival is due in the middle of February. The admission that the stork was on the way was not the end of the secret.
I have four children right now. They range in age from 11 to 23 years old and the oldest even has a wife of his own. It has been many years since I woke up in the middle of the night for feedings. It has been more than a decade since I had to change a diaper.
I am not as young as I used to be which has been pointed out by a few, well meaning “friends.” From the time that the pregnancy was planned and later announced, friends at work joked “wouldn’t it be funny if you had twins.” It turns out the joke is on them.
Early in July my wife Amy and I were sitting in the exam room where ultrasounds are performed. This was our second visit to this darkened room, the first confirmed the pregnancy and showed basically a black dot that was described as the size of a grain of rice. At that time we posed the question to the technician performing the procedure if there was a chance of multiples and we were told it was too soon to tell.
As soon as the procedure began and the inside of my wife’s uterus was televised on a flat screen TV, my wife reached out her hand as I sat on the chair next to her examination table. Almost immediately the technician announced that she didn’t need to worry about being the mommy to one baby, there were two babies in there.
After the initial shock of the twins was wearing off there was the question of how to tell friends and family about the news. At the time that we discovered that two babies were on the way, there were still several friends and family members that didn’t even know that we were expecting. We couldn’t start telling people we were expecting two babies when most people didn’t even know that Amy was pregnant.
I started to brainstorm on ways to reveal the announcement in the most spectacular way possible. Amy wasn’t as excited about the “big reveal” she was more concerned with the particulars surrounding the birth and raising of two new children at the same time. Her biggest meltdown (so far) came when she began discussing child care with her co-workers. The dollar amounts that they were quoting her seemed outrageous and now we were planning on doubling that number.
We considered throwing a gender reveal party where we opened up a present and a helium balloon would fly out of the box the color revealing the sex of the child. We figured we could have a large box with two smaller boxes inside each one revealing the child’s gender. The only problem with this plan is it couldn’t be implemented for a few more weeks. It will be the end of September before we see what each child was.
We couldn’t wait any longer to start telling people because we were worried they would notice that Amy was progressing significantly for so early in the pregnancy. We were also having to mislead our love ones when direct questions were asked. We also had the new grandma who was interested in buying things to spoil her first grandchild. It was time to let people know that we were going to need two of everything.
We allowed grandma to go ahead and buy a crib for the new “baby.” With the newly delivered box sitting in our living room a few days later a brilliant idea struck. Even though it was still early on, we would go ahead and set up the nursery. We would then invite friends and family over to see what we had done.
One by one family members were led into the room that early next year will be my children’s nursery. Each one had a different reaction and a distinct amount of time before they realized exactly what they were looking at. Some of them had to be prodded to notice that they were looking at a room with two cribs. We had gone ahead and ordered the second crib and assembled it in the nursery to announce to our families that we were going to be having two babies.
The world now knows that Amy and I will soon be the parents of twins. In a few short weeks, if the little ones cooperate, we will know the gender of the two who we will welcome into this world early next year. Mother and babies are progressing nicely and everything has seemed to go smoothly. We look forward to the new arrivals and excited to be on this journey together.
— Matthew Nash can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org