Some of you may not already know what we at Clan Dillingham were considering some pretty big news: I’m pregnant again. No, we’re not insane. We planned this pregnancy to grow our family and fill the house with even more love (and the ensuing chaos, of course). We always knew if we were blessed with more kids that we would want them to be fairly close in age. It’s of our opinion that that provides for more efficient child rearing, since the closer the stages the kids are, the more they will have in common and thus keep themselves busy and out of trouble. Plus, I’m no spring chicken; at 36 years old, we knew we didn’t have too much time to spare.
Ever since we decided to have kids, Stephen has always said that he wants an “army” of rug rats. That way, he will finally have the musicians he needs to start his dream band. They’ll be like the Partridge Family of the Carolinas. Moreover, he is an only child, so he would get to fulfill his fantasies of living in a multi-sibling household. But I, on the other hand, knew that my aging and increasingly tired body didn’t have what it would take to birth and raise the aforementioned army of tots. So, I had always thought two would be the logical number for us.
Well, the title of this blogÂ was my reply yesterday to the (internal) ultrasound technician at my first prenatal visit when she notified me of some shocking news. Here’s how the exchange went …
Tech: “Hi, I’m Tammy. Just sit back and relax. This will be a little cold at first.”
Tech: “Everything looks good. Oh, there’s a heartbeat.”
Me: “Wow, that’s amazing.”Â
Tech: “Ooh, and there’s a heartbeat.”
Me: “How awesome,” I said calmly, assumingÂ she was showing me one heart from two different directions.
Tech: “No, you don’t understand. There are two heartbeats. You’re having twins!”
Me: “What?!?! Oh my God … Lordy … are you sure … how can that be … man … oh God … but there are no twins in my family … what?!?!”Â
Tech: “I take it this comes to you as a surprise.”
Me: “Uh, yeah!”Â
According to my midwife, these two rascals were the result of pure chance. They are what is known as monozygotic twins (a.k.a. identical twins), “when a single egg is fertilized to form one zygote, which then divides into two separate embryos,”Â says Wikipedia.Â “Division of the zygote into two embryos is not considered to be a hereditary trait, but rather an anomaly that occurs in birthing at a rate of about three in every 1000 deliveries worldwide.Â Most of the time inÂ monozygoticÂ twins, the zygote will split after two days, resulting in a shared placenta, but two separate sacs. These are calledÂ monochorionic diamnioticÂ (mono/di) twins.Â Monozygotic twins are genetically identical (unless there has been a mutation in development) and they are always the same sex.Â There are estimated to be approximately 125 million human twins and triplets in the world (roughly 1.9% of the world population)Â and just 10 million monozygotic twins (roughly 0.2% of the world population and 8% of all twins).”Â
I am eight weeks along in my pregnancy, due approximately November 24. However, it is common for twins to come a little early. But since “Pancho and Lefty” (our current nicknames for the kids in utero) are not sharing an amniotic sac, the chances of them making it close to or all the way full-term are much better than if they were sharing a sac. We will find out the gender in about 10 weeks.
Poor Houston, he has no idea what’s in store for him — pure double trouble! But we here at Clan Dillingham are firm believers that big families are happy and fun families, and I’m sure he’ll be the best big brother ever!
I’ve included a few pics from Houston’s professional pics back from November because I didn’t have time to download and edit any recent photos and post them with this breaking news, but also because these adorable images are just a reminder that our family has been triply blessed. No matter how much sleep deprivation, nausea, sore nipples, stress-induced headaches, hormonal breakdowns, lack of adult time, massive debt, cramped quarters I/we experience, we are the luckiest people in the world: not only do we already have one angel to call our own, but we now have two more on the way!