On a roll here...
I don’t think it’s a secret, but I never really thought I’d ever get married, let alone have kids. I somehow ended up with a husband, whom I adore, and two fabulous kids. Let’s call it one of life’s little surprises.
After Grace and Willy were born one year and four days apart, I figured we did our duty for humankind: I replaced myself, Rob replaced himself – with a namesake, no less – and that was that. And, I’d been pregnant and/or breastfeeding for two years straight. I’d had enough.
Besides, not to brag or anything, but Grace and Willy were seriously like the best babies ever. I thought for sure I was screwed after Grace turned out to be so easy, but Willy was easier than her. No way could I ever have another kid…my luck surely would have run out on the gentle natured-ness of children - especially considering the gene pool.
Rob straggled into the house after a long flight and dumped his suitcases on the floor. The kids accosted him and said, in unison, “What did you bring me?” Benny peed on the floor, barely missing Rob’s foot. Xiao Li scurried off to get the mop.
I ransacked his suitcase for the pee tests I’d asked him to bring me, while the kids got reacquainted with their dad. After Rob mentioned he thought I could be pregnant, I’d made daily trips to the drug store on the hunt for a pee test. I got the same irritating response each day. “Jin tian, mei you. Ming tian you.” (Today no have. Tomorrow have). Except tomorrow never had.
I uncovered a year’s supply of Children’s Tylenol and Gummy Vites before I found 3 Sam’s Club packs of E.P.T. tests.
“One probably would’ve been enough,” I laughed.
“Well, ya never know.”
Rob doled out the trinkets he’d brought the kids and I ran to the toilet. I’d already drunk my weight in water in anticipation of Robby’s return, so I was more than ready to open the floodgates.
The following is NOT an exaggeration. If you’ve ever taken a pee test, you may think I’m exaggerating. I assure you, if there is one part of the book that is based on 100% straight up fact and zero hyperbole, this is it.
Within fifteen seconds, not kidding, fifteen seconds that all-telling hot pink stripe was staring me in the face. I practically burned a hole in the thing like I was peeing laser beams.
No. No. No. No. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO! NO!
“Honey?” I whimpered.
There was no answer.
“Honey?” I said, but my voice was still weak.
There was still no answer. He probably couldn’t hear me over the kids’ excitement to have their Daddy home after three long weeks with a very crabby Mommy.
“HONEY!?” Just as I screamed for him, he poked his head into the bathroom. Unable to speak, I handed him the stick.
“Well, what does it mean?”
“Take a guess.”
“I guess some people would consider it ‘positive’.”
This could explain a few things…
Dr. Wang was a miniature woman. She looked like one of those tiny old women I’d seen on the street who still wore the tattered Mao grays leftover from the Cultural Revolution, except she studied and practiced Gynecology and Obstetrics in the US for twenty five years. I learned that she had recently moved back to China to retire. Easing her way into retirement, she worked a few shifts a week at the International Hospital in Xin Tian Di helping nervous expat ladies deliver babies in China.
She looked at my chart. “It says here you’re pregnant.”
“Uh, yeah…I had a positive pee test...yesterday.”
We discussed my gynecological history. I explained to her that I’d had an ectopic pregnancy and lost my left fallopian tube, but had two successful pregnancies after that.
“Wow, you’re fertile.”
“Well, we need to do an ultrasound right away since you have an ectopic pregnancy in your history. We have to make sure this baby is in the right spot.” She patted herself on the belly. “Follow me and we’ll get it done today.” She stood up, smoothed her lab coat and marched out the door.
I shuffled behind her, my head hung low. I ignored my surroundings, eyes fixed on the industrial tiled floor.
I followed her through two sets of double doors and into a darkened ultrasound room. A cheerful technician swiveled around in her chair as we entered the room. She apparently didn’t speak any English, aside from “Hello,” because the next five minutes of conversation was conducted in Chinese.
I stripped down and took my spot on the bed while they talked…and talked in a language I couldn’t understand.
The conversation ceased and they went to work on my ultrasound. The tech squeezed some goo on my belly and Dr. Wang said, “This will feel a little cold.”
I know the drill.
The tech did her thing and I simply stared at the industrial tiled ceiling.
After a few minutes, the tech erupted in conversation. Dr. Wang hustled around the bed and took the ultrasound wand from the tech. She moved it around and pointed at the screen. Both women smiled gleefully and chattered in high pitched squeals.
What’s the fuss ladies?
I looked away from the ceiling and caught eye contact with Dr. Wang. She pointed at the screen and said, “There’s two babies in here…see?”
For a moment my mind was blank.
“Are you fucking kidding me?”
Both ladies looked at me funny, like no woman had ever dropped the ‘F’ bomb after hearing she was going to have twins.