I have been dying to tell you this for so long. But you’re not the absolute last to know – I haven’t told Facebook yet…
A couple of months ago, I went to visit my obstetrician. I like my obstetrician: he’s a reassuring man with a deep voice who exudes calm, warmth and good humour. He’s been helping me give birth for almost ten years now. OK, so maybe I did the lion’s share of the work when it came to labour, but he has definitely been a good person to have in my corner. In my mind, he’s the best baby doctor in Melbourne. But I wouldn’t tell him that.
Anyway, I was visiting my obstetrician a couple of months ago and – well – it wasn’t a social visit (excited squeal). I was eagerly anticipating Baby Number Five and very keen to hear that everything was in good order. Mr Knightley was at work, but he wanted to hear the heartbeat too, so I planned to give him a call so he could listen in when the time came.
After the intial boring stuff (checking blood pressure, reading over blood tests, getting weighed on the rude scales that tell me to ‘GET OFF’ before they calculate my weight), it was time for Doc to play with his ultrasound machine. This is the best bit. Doc squirts my belly with cold goo and examines the screen as he presses the wand thingy onto my bump.
And then he stops.
And he takes the wand thing off.
“What?” I say.
Doc just looks at me and tries to frown. But his eyes are twinkling.
“What?!” I demand.
Doc shakes his head solemnly. His mouth is twitching. I wonder idly what would happen if I throttle him with the curly cable from his ultrasound machine.
“WHAT. IS. IT?” I enunciate in sheer desperation.
Doc draws a deep breath. Then he somehow manages to find three words to say.
“There are two.”
It proves impossible to continue the ultrasound for the next few minutes as I can’t stop giggling manaically. My belly is wobbling all over the place and it makes the pictures all blurry. Then I call Mr Knightley.
“Are you ready to hear the heartbeat, George?” (That’s Mr Knightley’s first name. It’s only mentioned once in the whole of Emma, but it’s there if you know where to look. And did you know that Mr Darcy’s first name is ‘Fitzwilliam’? No wonder he’s so uptight! But I digress…)
“Yes.” says Mr Knightley
“Erm…which one would you like to hear first?” And then I burst into a fresh peal of giggles which makes everything impossible again. Mr Knightley is laughing too, although I think I also hear him groan “we’re going to need a new car!”. Doc waits patiently for me to calm down again.
And then I manage to lie still and the three of us listen to two perfect heartbeats. As I lay there, watching two small babies kick their tiny legs and wave at me, I reflect on God’s sense of humour, his abundant generosity and his rather unnerving faith in me.
This is unpredictable, insane, terrifying, a major challenge – and yet somehow it makes perfect sense. I can’t explain it. I have no control at all over this situation, but that’s OK, because I feel in my heart that God does. And relying on God is something I need to get better at.
Now, does anyone know the patron saint for procuring good-quality, second hand, 8-seat people movers?