Editor’s note: We are grateful to share this essay from Nicole Carpenter. Nicole is is a Mormon woman, blogger, entrepreneur, wife and mommy to four young children, including a set of identical twins.
~by Nicole Carpenter
Learning I was expecting twins was a shock. Realizing I might lose one was hard. But through faith, the power of prayer and my Heavenly Father’s blessings, I am the lucky mom of two healthy boys.
I’m a busy mom. I’m changing diapers, running car pools and watching soccer games. Every night it’s dinner, dishes, baths, prayers and bedtime — all times four. My husband and I have four children six years old and younger. But we didn’t plan it this way.
A year and a half ago, I was pregnant with our third and final baby. My husband and I received quite the shock when we found out baby number three was actually babies number three and four! We were expecting identical twins. I was never one of those little girls that hoped someday I’d have twins. Yet there I was, lying on my back, staring at two heartbeats on a black and white monitor. All I could do was laugh out loud. It was a nervous laugh, I assure you. Two babies! Me?
Things weren’t quite right with those little heartbeats, though. The first one we saw, later to become “Baby B,” was the size of a lima bean; his heartbeat fluttered on the screen. The second heartbeat was found inside a little embryo that looked like a pea and measured six days behind his duplicate. They clearly did not look the same, and the doctors prepared us for what was called a “vanishing twin,” when one twin just reabsorbs. I tried to brace myself.
I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I believe life begins at conception. The fact was we were expecting twins. I already had a five-year-old and two-year-old at home. I knew if only one of those babies lived my life would be much easier. What did I hope for? One baby? Two babies? One healthy baby and one disabled baby? The doctors had told me that if “Baby A” did live, he could have birth defects. But I knew I had seen two heartbeats. And once I had seen two heartbeats, I wanted them to become two babies.
I could not pray away my baby! I was an emotional mess. I cried for days.
Our next appointment was two (very long) weeks later. I spent much of those two weeks kneeling in prayer to my Heavenly Father. I believe he has a plan for me and for our family, and I had decided to pray for his will to be done. If this baby did make it, we would love him no matter what.
Finally it was time for the next ultrasound. We were elated to see that not only was he still there, he had been growing! He still measured six days behind his brother, and we still held our breath. We saw specialists throughout the entire pregnancy. “Baby A” continued to grow, always pacing five or six days behind “Baby B.”
Several months into the pregnancy, I remember the day our perinatologist pulled us into a conference room near his office. Holding my husband’s hand, I listened to the doctor tell us they could not find a reason for my baby’s delayed growth. There were no indications of a syndrome or abnormality. At that point there were no signs of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. All medical indications were this baby should not have lived, but he had. “We cannot explain it,” the doctor told us.
He kept speaking, but his words began to fade and I was overcome with such emotion. A warm tingly sensation consumed my whole body. In that moment, the Holy Ghost confirmed to me that though the doctors could not explain it, I could. My baby was growing and thriving because of the power of prayer and the blessing of our Heavenly Father. Our God is a god of miracles.
My twin boys just celebrated their first birthday. “Baby A,” who we named Davis, continued to measure a pound less than his brother Mason up until just this month. The first year has been a blur. A happy, sleepless blur. There were moments when I was completely exhausted and wondered how I’d balance it all. I’d stop and realize that this is my Heavenly Father’s plan for me. He has faith in my ability to be a good mom to these four children. If he thinks I can handle twins, then I can handle twins!
Our home is crazy. We’re now running the big kids to and from school, soccer and dance and trying to teach the babies how to safely crawl down the stairs. We have two, always-messy highchairs and toys everywhere, and just last week the twins sneaked into the bathroom and unwound the entire roll of toilet paper!
But when life gets out of control and my mommy superpowers fail, all I have to do is pick up my miracle baby and know that these boys were meant to come to our home, and they were meant to come together. Our lives have been richly blessed ever since.