By: Heather Somaini
Six days went by before our first ultrasound. THE FIRST ULTRASOUND! Holy crap! THE FIRST ULTRASOUND! It was a Friday afternoon in August. The weather was great. I had only one thing on my mind: how many?
How many embryos? One was fine, two was good, but three…three was too many. The statistics on triplets were heartbreaking. Premature birth, a lengthy time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit , issues with their sight, developmental delays. It was all too much. Two. We could do two. That would be ok. Yes, they could be born a little early but not detrimentally early, right? We could do two.
I had been talking to my Mom pretty much every day about everything. She’s a rock, solid and almost completely unemotional. She doles out difficult advice with ease and always reminds me that when the best decision you made at the time isn’t working for you anymore, make a new one. Well, even my Mom seemed a little shaky with this one.
We have no multiple births in our family and no one had tried having a baby at my advanced maternal age. My Mom was considered OLD when she had my brother at 25. I was absolutely ancient at 37! I’m surprised they didn’t have to bring me in a wheelchair to retrieve my eggs. (Yes, I’m being sarcastic.)
Ultrasounds are funny things. When you go in for the first one and you expect everything to be perfect, to hear a heartbeat and then it doesn’t go as planned…well, every one after that is a little weird. I wanted to have hope, to think positively, to only believe that good things would happen for us. But then that dark, self-defeating part of me started to seep in and remind me that the last time I expected to see good things, I didn’t. It started to remind me of all the terribly bad things I’ve done over my 37 years and asked me if I deserve to have anything good happen at all. For every person I’ve hurt, even unintentionally, well maybe this is my payback. And then I start to realize that this bad karma is mine and not Tere’s but I’m putting her through this too. That every difficulty in this process is the universe telling me I don’t deserve this thing that I want so much. It’s amazing how I can make a story, and a really bad one at that, out of thin air.
The logical side of me of course would say, if that were true, how did all these other people around the world end up having kids? They couldn’t ALL be good and perfect, right? Yeah, so ultrasounds are weird. I worried at every single one. My heart was in my throat, my stomach was upside down and my knees were weak. I was completely paralyzed with fear that it would end badly.
We went in to see Dr. S on that perfect Friday afternoon in August. The picture came up and he said, “So, what does it look like to you?” I was incredulous but it was impossible to be mad at him. I looked closely at the screen and saw two black blobs. I said “Two?” He said “Yes, and they look good. Nothing to worry about – I’ll see you in two weeks.”
When I hit the sidewalk, I had already dialed my Mom and it was ringing. I told her the good news – two, only two. I swear I heard an audible sigh and maybe a squeal of relief through the phone. If you knew my Mom, you’d know why that is so funny. We were both so relieved.
We kept talking as I walked down Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills. I swear my feet never touched the ground. I was ten feet tall. I wanted to jump and hit street signs – anything to let out all that pent-up energy. Life was good. I was good. The universe told me so.
My friend and award-winning filmmaker, Lisa Udelson along with renowned photographer Cathy Opie, are finishing a documentary about same-sex families told from the point of view of children. Check out a clip and maybe help finish the film here:
Same Difference Kinda cool…