I still remember the day I saw those two blue lines.
They were faint.
So faint it was almost impossible to believe they were there.
I had taken the pregnancy test on a whim.
At the time, I co-owned a faux painting business called “How Great Thou Art” and I spent my days sponging walls with glaze and striping walls and designing stenciled walls with layers of plaster and paint. Our company was about to start a job creating a one-of-kind finish on kitchen cabinets that required specific products. Products with labels that made you stand up and pay attention. Labels that were serious and meant business and warned you about catastrophe and doom and gloom—especially if you were pregnant.
So just to be extra careful.
Just to be extra safe.
Just to eliminate any doubt or worry.
I took a pregnancy test.
And there they were.
Two faintest of faint blue lines staring back at me. If I squinted they might not even be there. I couldn’t believe it.
WHAT? I was pregnant?
It wasn’t possible. How could this be?
There were two tests in the package and because I didn’t believe the first test, I took the second one.
It came back negative.
There was nothing.
Not a blue line or two in sight.
I immediately called the doctor and explained the situation. I patiently told them that there really wasn’t any way I could be pregnant and those blue lines were probably a mirage and I had taken a second test that was negative and what in the world did it all mean?
And did they understand that the lines were super faint?
I wasn’t pregnant? Was I?
They told me to come in and have a blood test.
I might not be pregnant, but they wanted to be sure.
The next day, me and myself and my pregnancy tests went to visit the doctor.
They drew blood and told me I’d have to wait a few days.
Two days later they called me.
Yes, it looked like I was ONE WEEK pregnant. That’s why the lines were so faint. That’s why the one test showed up as negative. They couldn’t believe the lines had shown up at all. But then they mentioned that something wasn’t right. Something looked out of the ordinary. My HCG levels were off and didn’t look normal.
They tried to prepare me and my tender heart for the road ahead.
Just in case.
Nine weeks went by.
Nine incredibly long worry-filled weeks.
Each week seemed like it took a year.
Finally, it was time for my doctor’s appointment. I went with my grandmother and a box of tissues and a carton of chocolate chip cookies.
Just in case.
Just in case the news I got wasn’t the best.
They added goop to my tummy and swirled the ultrasound wand in the goop.
Over and over and over again.
Nervously, I peered at the screen. All I could see was a whole bunch of black and white dots and some black and white swirls.
No one said anything. It was silent and still in that exam room. Just the whir of the ultrasound and the fan of the air conditioning unit.
I wanted to scream.
I wanted to yell.
I wanted to demand, “SOMEONE SAY SOMETHING.”
But I didn’t.
Instead, quietly and softly I whispered, “Do you see a heartbeat?”
The doctor paused.
He turned and looked at me with a solemn expression.
I braced for the worst.
“You aren’t going to believe this,” he said.
“THERE ARE TWO HEARTBEATS.”
I couldn’t believe it.
That’s why the levels had been off. That’s why the HCG didn’t look normal. That’s why the pregnancy test showed up positive after only one week.
I WAS HAVING TWINS.
I literally cried and laughed and screamed with tears running down my face all at the same time.
The nurses came running. They thought that something was wrong.
Something was wonderfully, amazingly, awesomely right.
And here we are.
Sixteen years to the day.
And I’m sitting here writing this post and once again, I have tears streaming down my face.
Sweet, amazing, beautiful daughters of mine, I am so incredibly blessed to be your mother. It seems like only yesterday you arrived into the world full of tiny ballerina toes and wisps of blonde hair and wistful blue eyes that spoke directly to my heart.
Do you have any idea how much I love you?
I can’t help it.
I loved you from the very first moment I saw those two tiny heartbeats.
A black and white grainy screen with lines and swirls and two beating hearts.
And the moment…
…that forever changed my world.
Happy sweet sixteen.