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.

Houston during his first professional pics back in November 2007.

Well, the title of this blog 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.”

Me: “Okay.”

Tech: “Everything looks good. Oh, there’s a heartbeat.”

Me: “Wow, that’s amazing.” 

Tech: “Ooh, and there’s a heartbeat.”

Me: “How awesome,” I said calmly, assuming 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?!?!” 

Tech: “I take it this comes to you as a surprise.”

Me: “Uh, yeah!” 

 HL's hamming it up in November 2007.

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,” says Wikipedia. “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. Most of the time in monozygotic twins, the zygote will split after two days, resulting in a shared placenta, but two separate sacs. These are called monochorionic diamniotic (mono/di) twins. Monozygotic twins are genetically identical (unless there has been a mutation in development) and they are always the same sex. There are estimated to be approximately 125 million human twins and triplets in the world (roughly 1.9% of the world population) and just 10 million monozygotic twins (roughly 0.2% of the world population and 8% of all twins).” 

Houston sporting his cowboy boots in November 2007. 

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!

“Gock, Gock, Gock!”

That’s Houston’s favorite word these days. He’s loving the “G” sound and will add variations, such as “gack,” “geck” and an elongated “guh” or “gah.” It’s a pretty versatile word, considering he uses it to express both joy or displeasure.
Here’s a breakdown of other recent highlights:

Houston after a walk in his Kelty backpack carrier.

*We bought a backpack carrier in mid-March and he enjoys taking walks in it, rather than in the stroller. Once I get the car back, I plan on taking him hiking on the nearby lake trails.
*March 26, Houston pulls himself into a sitting position in his crib.
*March 27, Houston has his 9-month pediatric appointment. His stats were as follows: he weighs 22 lbs., 13 1/2 oz.; he is 30 1/4″ long; and his head is 18 1/2″ around. He is in the 75 percentile for both height and weight.

Houston cruising in his crib.

*By March 31, Houston can cruise in both his crib and playpen when propped into a standing position by Mommy or Daddy.
*April 1, Houston gets good news at has his eye appointment: his astigmatism has improved and the doc says he is pleased with Houston’s Horner’s eye. Yay! Houston also crawls backwards quite easily, but forwards with funky legs. It’s like his arms are ready to crawl, but his legs aren’t quite sure what to do yet.
*April 2, Gramsey and Papa visit. By the end of the day, Houston can pull himself into a standing position in crib and playpen, and also improves on his forward crawling.
*April 4, Houston has a play date with Mason (the son of Nora, my old co-worker). The day ends with Daddy moving Houston’s crib to its lowest setting, so that he won’t be tempted to jump out.

Having fun with Mason & Nora in April 2008.

*April 5, that’s Daddy’s 30th birthday! Granny and Grumps babysit so that Mommy and Daddy can go to Charlotte to see Dale Watson with Adam. It’s the first time Mommy has spent the night away, but both Houston and Mommy do fine. In fact, Houston had a ball hangin’ out at home with Granny, Grumps and Duke.
*Since 4/6, not really a highlight, but Houston has had diarrhea with no fever. The nurse says she thinks it’s a stomach virus that’s going around and that it should clear up within a week. In the meantime, Houston is staying hydrated with Pedia-lyte, which he thinks is quite delicious.
*April 8, Houston’s two teeth finally pop through his upper gums. They’re coming through quite nicely, although I haven’t been able to capture a shot of them yet. He is pretty protective of the new additions to his mouth.
*Other randoms … Houston is really into sniffing fabric. Hand him a burp rag, a onesie or a sock, and he immediately takes a whiff of it. Perhaps he likes the smell of his detergent or maybe it just feels good on his nose. Either way, whatta weirdo!

Houston pointing with his index finger -- a favorite thing to do as of late.

*Another favorite thing for him to do is to constantly point with his index fingers. He uses them to poke at himself or at anything of interest to him, like people’s faces, buttons, tags, etc. Granny even taught him how to touch index fingers with another person’s extended finger, to which the person should say, “ET, phone home.”
*Also, Houston’s crawling greatly improves daily. He went through a stage where he would use his left leg to crawl, but would sort of drag his right. Then he was crawling with his right, while trying to stand with his left during the crawl. I suppose his left leg is his strong, dominant leg, but Houston’s unique style of crawling is surely something to see!
*Obviously, he’s very mobile now, crawling off the mat as quickly as I can place him down on it. He also keeps trying to cruise on moveable things like the recliner, the ottoman or his racer, so I have to keep a close eye on him.
To see all the late March pics, click here. And for the few early April pics, click here.