How We Found Out We Were Having Twins

My identical twin boys at age 3. Spencer is on the left, and Seth is on the right.

Many of you have heard my crazy story of finding out we were having twins. Yes—it was one of those revelatory moments that you see in movies. OK–it wasn’t quite the Cosby Show scenario where Sondra and Elvin don’t tell their families about the twins until AFTER they are born.

But still.

Finding out we were having twins is one of the most exciting—if not, the most exciting—things that’s happened to me. And definitely the most surprising. Seriously.

Our daughter, Susanna, was born in 2003. After about 15 months of trying to conceive, we succeeded. In hindsight, we believe the delay resulted from undiagnosed endometriosis.

So, when Susanna turned one, we started itching for another baby. My friend, Jennifer, calls that the bewitching age. You know, when the kids are cute and are sleeping great and well before the tantrums and potty training. It’s when you think, “Hey! This parenting thing? I got this! No problem. Let’s do it again!”

A couple of months later, we decide to begin trying for our second baby. We were really uncertain as to how long it would take to get pregnant, if we would succeed, if we would need some type of intervention, or if we even wanted to go through that.

I remember our taking a walk one evening, and Chris and I discussing our contentment with our family of three, if that was God’s choice for us.

And then, about the second month of trying, we conceived. Just like that. I was pregnant.

We would have baby #2 in May 2005. I thought that was so cool because #1 was born in 3/03 and #2 would be born in 5/05. My parents’ third grandchild was born in 3/03 and their fifth would be born in 5/05. Yep. I had fun with all these little details.

Around 8 weeks, we went to my OB/GYN’s office for the first prenatal visit, where they performed a basic ultrasound. Everything looked great and we saw our little pinto bean on the screen—strong heartbeat flashing.

About a week later, I experienced some bleeding. I wasn’t terribly concerned until it progressed during the course of a few hours, becoming quite heavy.

I’m having a miscarriage. This is it. I thought.

I called the doctor on call (not my doctor), and he prescribed bed rest and to call my doctor first thing Monday morning. He offered the rather unhelpful, “Well, if it’s a miscarriage, it will just continue and will happen. If it’s not, it won’t.”


So, I hit the bed and waited. I was stunned when the bleeding slowed down and actually stopped. By Monday morning, I felt so “normal” that I actually had to remind myself to call the doctor.

The doctor was a bit concerned and wanted to see me. I was so certain that there was nothing wrong that I almost didn’t call Chris. But on second thought, I decided I’d need him by my side in case we did receive news of a miscarriage.

So, Chris met me at the doctor’s office. They shuffled me to the front of the line and quickly hooked me up to the ultrasound machine. (Since they made me such a priority I realized this whole bleeding thing was a really big deal after all.) I was getting a little anxious now.

But again, that little baby looked great on the screen. The heartbeat was strong and steady.

“Well, there’s the baby and it looks great. Hmmm, I don’t see any problems or any explanation for the bleeding,” said my nurse practitioner.

But my doctor wasn’t entirely satisfied. He explained that their office ultrasound was like a Volkswagen, and he wanted me to have an ultrasound of Cadillacesque caliber. He was concerned there was some hidden reason for the bleeding—maybe a hemorrhage? and a fancier machine could certainly find it if it were there.

We went across town for our Cadillac ultrasound. The tech got all the probes in place and flipped the screen around. Chris saw them immediately. I was squinting trying to find hemorrhages, not knowing at all what I was looking for or what I was seeing.

“Hmmm … well, there are the babies. And they look great.”

“Excuse me?” I asked.

“There are the babies. Heartbeats look good and strong.”

“Bab-EES??? Babies? Two babies?”

“Yes. Babies,” she said. “Wait. You did know you were having twins, right?”

“No!” Chris and I shouted together.

“Well, you’re having twins, and they actually look great. And how many ultrasounds did you say you’ve had?”

“Two. And one was an hour ago!”

And I proceeded to laugh and cry at the same time, and I’m sure that lady thought I was nuts.


Today my precious identical twin boys are almost 9 years old. I like to say they came to us as a “spontaneous act of God.” In all instances of new life, God reveals himself in a miraculous way. But I have to say that having twins spoke (and still speaks) to me about God in ways that just can’t be communicated otherwise.

Conceiving, carrying, and giving birth to identical twins further displays how amazing our Creator is. Biologically, one’s chance of conceiving identical twins is about 1 in 300. My boys are identical mirror-image twins, which means the fertilized egg split late in the process (at least a week after conception). Mirror-image twins, then, have reverse asymmetric features. For example, one of my boys is left-handed and the other is right-handed. (Isn’t that coolness????)

When I sometimes become distant from God or those shreds of doubt start to creep in around the edges of my mind, I need only look to my twin boys to be reminded of God’s incredibly creative power, that is perfect in its detail.

This is my prayer most everyday:

“[Jesus said,] ‘All things are possible for one who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried outand said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!'” —Mark 9:23b-24

God in his mercy daily helps me believe when I consider my precious kids, especially my identical twins.


How did YOU find out you were expecting twins? I’d love to hear your story! Leave me a comment and let me know.