Cassie Shepherd

February 18, 2013

Twice As Much To Love, Two Blessing From Above


I've never been a fan of people asking me about our family plans. If you remember, I posted about that here last June. I feel like when two people decide to have children (or not to), or think about trying for the next child, or how many children they want…ecterea…it is a very personal choice. In the almost four years Mitch and I have been married I'm guilty of making a lot of judgements myself, but I'm constantly trying to be aware and naturally that has led me to be more open minded. And, now I find myself in a whole new realm of open mindedness.

I was always one to say, "When I am pregnant, I will never tell anyone before my first trimester is over." And, on that January morning when I surprisingly tested positive, that is exactly how I continued to think.

Of course, I told Mitch.
It was a Saturday and he was working in the ER.

"Do you have a minute to talk?"I asked.
"Sure, what's up?"
"Well, I took a pregnancy test this morning."
"And…" Mitch cautiously said.
"It is positive."
Mitch, obviously in shock, responded, "What does that mean?"

I write this, not only because we look back and laugh, but because I wanted to clarify that Mitch and I weren't exactly expecting this pregnancy. This isn't my way of saying we were absolutely shocked, but it is my way of saying we weren't "trying." This is also my way of clarifying we were not and have never used fertility assistance.

Now, obviously, you can draw a handful of conclusions on what this means. If in a perfect world we had a perfect plan, we were leaning toward "trying" this Fall. Mitch would have been graduated and I wouldn't have to be pregnant in the summer. But, in case you didn't know, Heavenly Father's plan always comes first.

So, I was pregnant and for the most part, we were happy. I was never not happy, like I didn't want this. Neither of us felt that way. But, it was a bit of an adjustment to accept. During the first few weeks of my pregnancy I felt really guilty for not wanting to tell everyone. I think I had this vision of what it would be like when I did get pregnant - all joy and happiness. However, my hormones and emotions just weren't quite matching up.

I don't know how else to say this, but I was just plain depressed. I think the weather contributed to this, but mostly, I think my pregnancy hormones took over. I never anticipated these feelings. With my job, I preach support. If my clients don't have support from their family and friends, they give up. With only Mitch to talk to, I finally decided we needed to tell our families because I knew I needed some extra support.

We announced to them on Super Bowl Sunday. We stopped by each family party and took a plate of baby carriage cookies decorated in pink and blue that said 9-13 for September 2013. They all loved it. They screamed and cried. It was fun. However, I still felt like everyone was more excited than me. Fortunately, within a week of being able to talk to my family and a few close friends, my depression mostly subsided. I guess I'm just not one to be able to hold my feelings in.

I've wondered if some of my depression didn't come from a subconscious effort to avoid getting too attached to the idea of being pregnant. We all know people who have miscarried. And, it is still a fear that I have. I'm still at a high risk time for miscarriage. Like everyone, my chances will go down after 12 weeks and substantially after 20 weeks. But, all I can take is one day at a time.

My OB doesn't do ultrasounds until week 20. It is hard to think I might have gone 20 weeks without knowing the status of my pregnancy. So, I volunteered for a research study that enabled me to get free ultrasounds. It is called nuMom2b and I would highly recommend it if you are or will be a new mom sometime in the next few years.

My first appointment was the morning of Valentine's Day. It was very appropriate. I was praying that this appointment would give me a peace of mind and I would finally be able to accept I really was pregnant. We started the ultrasound within a few minutes of getting there.

As I laid there watching the TV, I couldn't quite figure out what was going on. At one point I remember thinking the ultrasound was picking up a double image - not even processing what that could mean. Finally, after a few seconds the US tech said, "Guess what guys..."

I instantly had a shooting pain in my stomach - something was wrong. I even remember playing her next sentences through my mind...
"The baby isn't growing like he should be. I'm so sorry."
I thought, "Okay, how do I react now? What am I feeling? It's okay, this happens to lots of people."
I don't know how these thoughts crossed my mind so quickly before she finally said,

"…there are two babies here. Looks like you're having twins."

I was in total, complete, and utter shock. 

I've never experienced shock like this before. I don't even remember what I said. The next 10 minutes are a complete blur. I remember her pointing them out and seeing both of their little heart's flutter away. I remember smiling. I remember laughing and looking at Mitch, who was just as shocked as I was. He knew, by reading the ultrasound, there were twins before the tech had said anything, but I don't think he had processed it enough to put it into words.

I do remember joking with Mitch, while I was laying there, this was happening because we waited so long to have kids. Heavenly Father needed us to catch up. :)

I think our families were in almost - not quite, but almost - as much shock as we were. By that afternoon I felt like the news had spread like wild fire. Announcing your pregnant is one thing, but announcing you're having twins is apparently a much bigger deal. I knew it wasn't going to be something I couldn't expect our family and friends to keep to themselves, so we gave everyone the go ahead to talk and decided to make the announcement public. Which, essentially means, we decided it was time to announce of Facebook. Why is it that Facebook makes everything feel so much more official?

Finally, I was really excited. It was exactly how I envisioned I was supposed to feel. Maybe it was because I saw those little heartbeats and couldn't deny they were apart of me. Or maybe it was that for the first time I completely understood my pregnancy - I was aware of both of my children, not just one. Everything had aligned.

Since, I've felt an overwhelming peace that this is the way it is supposed to be. Yes, I am scared to death that something will happen to one or both of them. There is also a side of me that feels like these spirits are meant to come together. I don't like writing that because if something were to happen to one, I'm not sure what that would mean. I've tried to distinguish between my feelings of fear, faith, and knowledge, but it isn't so simple.

I know with full faith, I would trust Heavenly Father that the future events are in His hands and there isn't anything I can do to control this. But, I'm scared. I'm scared to let go of control and accept His plan. I want so badly for everything to go smoothly. To deliver two healthy babies who will grow and have a life in our family. I'm sure this is nearly every mother's feelings, twins or not, so I know I am not alone.

If anything, I know I can rest assured that clearly Heavenly Father's plan is for these little ones to come now. I'm grateful that I have the Gospel in our lives. I've found peace in my Patriarchal Blessing and my dad also gave me a Father's Blessing yesterday. What will unfold over the next six or seven months may not be up to me, but I will do my part the best I can.

I could probably go on for another two hours, but I'll save more for another day. Though, I should probably take a moment to also clarify that while Mitch's mom is an identical twin, males do not usually carry a twin gene. It runs only in the female side. We do not have twins anywhere in my family. The only way we are pregnant with twins is by chance…and, of course, because this is what Heavenly Father apparently wants.

We'll get to the pictures now. I'm just over 9 weeks. These pictures were taken at 8 weeks 4 days and they said that is about what the babies were measuring at.


I'll do my best to explain this for those who aren't pros at reading ultrasounds. Letter A represents Baby 1 which is the one closest to the cervix. Letter B is Baby 2. In the future, I'm hoping it'll be easier to see Baby A, but the doctor and US tech both said since that one is on the bottom - it is harder to get a good picture.

In the two dark circles, the babies are on the bottom. The spoon shaped object near the top of Baby B's sac is the yolk sac and probably won't show up on our next US. I think it is rare to see those. 

Both of their heads are on the left (I think) - it is easiest to see that on baby B. In the picture below you should be able to see the arms and legs a little better. They won't be more apparent for a few weeks. 

At first, we thought Baby A was much smaller, but they measured about the same and there isn't any reason to be concerned right now. The picture is just a little deceiving because it is blurry. We saw both of their little hearts flutter on the US so that is really reassuring. 

Zoomed out.

Again, zoomed out.

This is Baby B (the one on top). 
Baby A's close up was too blurry so I didn't post it.
Again, the head is on the left. 
You can see an arm on top and two legs on the right.

So, that's it! I'm due September 22, but I won't last that long with twins. As long as all goes well, we anticipate the twins to come as early as the middle of August. And, I don't think I'll go much longer than the first week of September.

Here's to a happy and healthy six more months! 

12 comments:

  1. Oh, my darling daughter, I adore the pictures and I love your sweet explanations of everything. I can feel your love for your two little ones already, and I, like you, have the deepest feelings that everything will be fine and you'll deliver two beautiful little spirits into this world. Having worries and questions is normal, as are the odd symptons you're feeling as your body prepares to take care of these new little "intruders" for the next nine months. Your mind and your emotions have to become adjusted as well as your body. Just relax and go with the flow. Heavenly Father is in charge... Remember that and smile.

    I love you!

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  2. I absolutely LOVED reading this!!! I love your outlook on everything. We definitely have a loving Heavenly Father whose timing is always perfect. Whether we think so at first or not!
    Love you!!

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    1. Love you too, Debbie! Thanks so much for everything you've done for me! I love how close we've become and am grateful for your consistent love and concern. It means everything to me.

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  3. I am SO excited for you! You learn so much during pregnancy and birth and motherhood. You're in for an incredible journey! Like I told you earlier, I have no doubt that you can handle this. It's no mistake the Lord is giving you twins. You will be such a wonderful mother. Love you, Cassie!

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    1. You always know the perfect things to say, Deanna. I'm sure blessed to know you and appreciate what a great friend and support system you've always been for me!

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  4. I have to agree with your statement that Heavenly Father's timing is all that there is. I have had issues with staying pregnant, and I am not saying this to scare you, but to make a point. With my current pregnancy and with Carson's I had a loss the prior month to them, I thought that was the right time, but little did I know it was not, it was supposed to be the next month for what ever reason. With Carson's it was perfect timing, Robert had just gotten a new job, and with this pregnancy, not sure yet, maybe I was not ready to have 2 children yet, but who knows. I would never take back any of his timing, they have been perfect. Good luck in the pregnancy, and let me know if you need anything or need to chat! Denise Dickens

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experiences Denise! It is nice to know I have support right around the corner! I really appreciate it :)

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  5. This is so exciting! Scott wants to have two sets of twins and be done with it, but I guess we'll just see. You are going to be a great mom and everything will work out as it is supposed to!

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    1. TWO SETS? He is ambitious. :)
      My best friend told me a story the other day. She works in Labor and Delivery and a Mom had come in. She had one set of spontaneous (like me) twins. She got pregnant again and went in for her 8wk appt. She told her husband to not even bother coming because she'd be fine. Much to her surprise she was pregnant again with twins! She said she was so shocked that she cried. Her first set of twins were only three so she was in for a handful!

      Thanks for your support Kailey!

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  6. Congrats, Cassie (and Mitch)! Thanks for sharing your story so far. I'm excited for you guys, and I totally understand the being scared part. If you ever need anyone to talk to, I'd be happy to step in. I obviously don't have experience with twins, but we've definitely had our very scary, and very sad pregnancies, but we're just about done with a 2nd very good, very healthy pregnancy. Yay! Keep your chin up and trust in Heavenly Father with everything you've got. I'm so glad to know that he knows us better than we do and that we can take that leap into the darkness because He'll always be there, no matter what.

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    1. Kiara, it was fun to run into you the other day. Thanks for all your words of encouragement. What you said, about Heavenly Father knowing us better than we do, has played through my mind dozens of times since this pregnancy. In hindsight, if this pregnancy had happened even one or two months later, I'm not sure we wouldn't have been in the same place emotionally and financially. It really was the perfect timing and if you asked me that four months ago - I would've thought completely differently. I really do appreciate your support. It is always comforting to have friends close by. Thank you.

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