What do I even title this post?


So much to talk about. Where do I start? I guess with the reason I’ve been password protecting my posts for the last 6 months. I got pregnant in March, but for some reason I really didn’t feel comfortable telling people about the pregnancy. I guess somewhere inside me I knew it wouldn’t work out, and it didn’t. I ended up having a D&C at the end of of May. It sucked, and it was hard. It’s still sad to think about and I wish it never happened. The worst part was all of the worrying and not knowing before the D&C. The first doctor I saw was not very forthcoming about where the pregnancy was headed even though I could tell from the first ultrasound pretty much that it was bad news right from the start, so I spent about a month in complete turmoil and it SUCKED!

On to the good news! After the D&C I got my period back relatively quickly and in July I was able to get pregnant again! I was much nervous than happy about it all, and I freaked out when the ultrasound didn’t show anything at all the first time I went to the doctor at 4 weeks 6 days. But there was a strong heartbeat the next time I went back and the doctor sent me to get my mother and child handbook, which made me think he was fairly confident about the pregnancy this time around as I was still only about 7 weeks and a bit at the time. I had another appointment at 9 weeks where they took blood, took a look inside my belly and told me to come back in 2 weeks for the results. That appointment was yesterday, and it was supposed to be my last at this hospital as I planned to move to the midwife clinic so I could give birth there from my next appointment.

The nurse calls me in first and says the results from my blood test are back and the doctor will go over them with me. She asked about my morning sickness which has been god-awful-horrible until the last week or so. I really felt like I just wanted to die a few times over the last month or so it’s just been so miserable. I haven’t even really gained any weight this pregnancy so far, which is unheard of for me! But my clothes have been getting tighter, which is also a new thing. Even with Amelie I was still wearing my regular clothes until I was 5 or 6 months. I didn’t really start showing until I was well into the 6th or 7th month. I just looked kind of fat, and since I still have plenty of clothes from when I was quite overweight, I didn’t really need maternity clothes until I started to really look pregnant. Anyway, the morning sickness has gotten better in that it is no longer 24/7. When it’s bad it’s bad, but at least I can sleep now.

The doctor then called me in and I got up into the chair and he started the internal exam, and I was looking at my screen on my side of the curtain and it looked like he was having trouble finding the baby. It looked like something was wrong. There was too much stuff on the screen is the only way I can describe it. And the doctor then says, “Kaneta-san, I’m so sorry.” and I start freaking out because I think he’s about to tell me the baby is severely deformed or I have placenta previa or something like that. He just keeps saying “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.” WTF?! Tell me already! And the the doctor says “You’re carrying twins.” And all I could say was “Huh?” and the tears started falling, and then I started laughing, and then I started crying and then I started laughing again, and then it turned into hysterical laughter. And the doctor kept saying “I’m so sorry I didn’t find the other one sooner. Let’s have a look through your tummy.” So I get dressed and go to the other ultrasound machine in his office and there they are, TWO babies!! Two healthy heartbeats, two bodies of practically the same exact size.

The doctor explained that it is standard to find twins at the 5 or 6 week exam as they are much easier to see because everything is still so small and compact, and there’s not much room for error. He said it’s very rare for twins not to be discovered until the 12th week and he kept apologizing. I knew that twins meant I wouldn’t be able to give birth at the midwife clinic anymore, but the doctor said I couldn’t give birth at that clinic either because they don’t have a NICU, and twins are fairly high risk, so the only places that will take women pregnant with twins are hospitals equipped with NICUs. The doctor said I needed to come back again next week and then I will be going to the Red Cross hospital here.

I think he was so shaken up from the news that he even forgot to go over my blood tests. He also told me that I have lots to think about, so prepare all my questions for next week. I think he was probably just as thrown as I was. Of course when I tried to call Akinori to tell him I realized my phone’s battery was dead, so I called him from the pay phone in the hospital and he didn’t answer. He called the pay phone back though. It felt very 1993. And I told him we were having twins and he just started laughing and laughing. And then he said “wow, we’re good.” He thinks he’s fucking superman now. Wonderful. He’d better turn into Superdad, Superhusband and Superprovider super fast!

It still hasn’t completely sunken in for me. I went shopping after the hospital and I was shaking the entire time. Nerves, excitement, adrenaline. SO much to think about! I then went to get my second mother and child handbook since each child needs one of their own. I called my parents who were obviously shocked, but seemed happy for us. And then I came home and posted on Facebook. I wasn’t going to post about my pregnancy for at least another week, and possibly not even for another month, but all of a sudden I felt like I needed a lot of support. It’s actually helped me in allowing reality to sink in. I don’t think it’s all fit together in my brain just yet, but I’m getting there.

It makes a lot of sense now. My horrible morning sickness is/was due to having two babies wreaking havoc on my hormones instead of one. My stomach is actually showing a bit already and Akinori and I both thought it was really early to start showing. There is so much to think about, and I am so worried. I have heard so many horror stories about twin births, and premature births, which is so much more likely with twins. I know many people who were preemies or who have had preemies and you would never have guessed the child was born anything less than 100% fighting fit. But I have friends with twins and their story isn’t quite as happy. I need to do more research and ask lots more questions, but I really would like to know the odds of something going wrong etc.

I just started teaching 2 new belly dance classes at a culture school, and I swore to them this pregnancy wouldn’t effect anything. The class ends about 1.5 months before my due date, and I taught classes until a week before I gave birth to Amelie, so I didn’t think it would be a problem, but I have serious doubts that I will be able to teach when I am 34 weeks, and I wonder what the doctor will say about it all. I’m hoping it will be okay for me to teach until I am at least 20 weeks. I guess that’s just another question I need to ask.

It’s all pretty ironic though. Akinori has always wanted 4 kids, and I wanted 3 to start out, but he somehow convinced me along the way that 4 would be a good idea. However considering our financial situation (and my miserable morning sickness) I was thinking we really needed to rethink that plan. I didn’t want to wait another 3 or 4 years to go back to work full-time. We just can’t afford it. Obviously I won’t be going back to work for another year at least, but our family will be complete much quicker now and I don’t have to worry about taking more time off my career (if there is a career for me to go back to). Plus I didn’t want to be giving birth in my 40’s. I was so tired after Amelie’s birth when I was 35, I was terrified to think of how exhausted I would be as a 40-year old mother to a newborn, 2 toddlers and 1 elementary aged child. Don’t have to worry about that anymore either! All taken care of! Someone is definitely looking out for me! We have been doubly blessed for a reason, lots of reasons really. Now I just need the strength to survive it all!




About Brenda in Nagano

Originally from Chicago, I knew I was destined to spend the rest of my life in Japan the moment I set foot in the country at the tender age of 16. However, I was quite intent on spending that rest of my life in a major city with a full on career, until my Japanese Prince Charming came trotting down from the mountains of Nagano to sweep me off my feet and whisk me away, turning my whole life plan on its head. Two months after moving to Nagano I gave birth to our little Princess Charming, so now I am officially a SAHM and teach a little belly dance on the side.

16 responses »

  1. Congratulations again! I think all of your reactions are pretty normal! I’ve always liked the idea of twins, but the thought of having two newborns to care for is pretty nerve wracking! I was so happy to hear that your husband can take time out to help you though, because I think that will make such a huge difference. In terms of your clothes feeling tight early, actually that happened to me this third pregnancy too, which is why I was also concerned about a multiple pregnancy, since I rarely show until much much later and can fit into normal clothes, but I think with me it was more of a gender issue with the way I was carrying. Plus i was really ready to stop working much sooner than before. Anyway, enough about me!! It sounds as if you are getting yourself prepared (as much as you can be) with the pros and cons. I think looking at the positives will really help. And I know what you mean about the age issue too, since we are pretty much the same age. Risks are higher with multiples, but there are also more risks at carrying babies in your 40s too. Sounds as if everything is happening like this for a reason. Please let me know if I can be of any help. That’s a serious offer! And I know it’s annoying to hear, but take it easy πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks for your comment and your congratulations and your offer of help! I am trying to be as positive as possible, but every so often I start crying again. Not because I’m at all sad, just totally freaking out! Life will be a bit crazy here until mid-month, and then I hope to be able to start slowing down, and to be able to get out to see you and your gorgeous new bundle!

  2. Yeah!! This is so exciting! C will be a wealth of information I’m sure but there’s a lot of services out there for multiple mums, too. My neighbour had twins and there is a city sponsored multiples playgroup and support group and homehelp before and after birth etc etc. And of course all of us here to come and provide extra cuddling arms. πŸ™‚

    • That’s reassuring to hear that there are services offered by the city for multiples. I know Jankenpon here has a monthly multiples playgroup, and there’s a monthly multiples playgroup at Nisseki for the babies who were born there. BUT, I am definitely going to need lots of cuddling arms for the new ones and the older ones, so um…maybe you should consider renting a place closer to Nagano for a few months? Transferring the girls to school here? I’m sure the walk would be shorter anyway! I think right now, aside from the actual living through pregnancy and birth problem free concern, I am most worried about having enough hands to take care of everyone after they arrive.

  3. Congratulations!! I’m sure there’ll be lots of pleasant surprises with twins. As my cousin with twins told me, it’s impossible to spoil either one of them, and they’ve never done the thing most kids do, complaining about leaving somewhere fun – they’re happy in each other’s company.
    Great ultrasound pic πŸ™‚

    • Thank you for listing more positives! And stuff I had never even thought about! Please keep them coming! I’m sure everything will work out in the end, but right now it’s more scary than anything.

  4. So happy for you. This is wonderful new, especially after your difficulties in the spring. I’m from a family of 6, which included twins (numbers 4 and 5). My mother didn’t know she was even having them until she was in the delivery room. We all had a great time playing together as children and lots of support now as adults, with so much family around. I hope that everything calms down (your morning sickness) and you can enjoy the rest of your pregnancy. Let us know if we can help. My mother used to ship us off to reletives for a week at a time, to give herself a rest, and we loved going. (she had the first 5 kids in 3.5 years). Sincerely, Nancy

    • Thanks for your warm thoughts Nancy! They are very appreciated! It’s always reassuring to hear other’s experiences with twins too, so I appreciate you sharing that with me. Your mom is amazing! 5 kids in 3.5 years is just craziness! Shipping the kids off to relatives for a week sounds great!

  5. Congratulations again!! I loved reading the in depth story (as opposed to the short, but sweet, version on FB!) πŸ™‚

    I don’t have any experiences with multiples, but just think…they’ll already have a built in playmate and you have the two older girls, so no one is going to get left out! πŸ™‚

  6. When I found out I was pregnant with Ryu (which I must admit was an accident and we had no plans for 4 children anyway) I was freaking that – what if it was bloody twins and I suddenly went from 2 to 4!! Gaaahhhhh. But I think you’ll be fabulous and fine and stay calm and carry on – well, for at least ten minutes of each day. Imagine 4 Kaneta adorable girls! That will keep daddy Kaneta on his toes. I hope he pulls through. Although I’m sure he will as there will be no other choice.

    All in all fantastic news. An angel coming back to you.

    Hope the sickness thing is better soon and you can enjoy a few clam weeks of belly dance classes.


    • DH has had is heart set on 4 kids for as long as I have known him, and when I was pregnant with Amelie, having already experienced 1 pregnancy and natural birth, I thought it would really convenient to have twins and get the whole child-bearing business over and done with that much quicker, but I certainly never imagined that it would actually happen! All I can say is that I am eternally grateful it didn’t happen when we were trying for #4!

      And yes, this time the angel brought a friend so as not to be lonely I think πŸ™‚

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