In October, as readers of this blog know, Kris and I learned that she was pregnant with twins. What you don’t know is that a few days after we received the momentous news, I found Kris sobbing in our bedroom. She was in the hormone-swinging first trimester, and I assumed that something minor had (once again) set off my normally even-tempered wife. I comforted her as best as I could, rubbing her shoulders and brushing her hair back from her face.
“Everything will be fine,” I told her, day-dreaming of the calmer second trimester.
Kris stared at me and stuttered, “But—but we’re going to have to get a minivan. A minivan!”
“Is that why you’re crying? Seriously?”
“Yes. Well, not only. But yes!”
This one was easy. Confidently, I assured her, “We are never going to own a minivan. You know that. Besides, we agreed when we decided on IVF that we would rather give Alex two siblings than none, remember?”
We’d known ahead of time, of course, that IVF carried with it a higher chance of multiples than artificial insemination, the route we’d chosen with our first two pregnancies. But the odds of getting pregnant at Kris’s age even with IVF were less than 25%. If she did manage to make the cut, there was only a 1 in 4 chance of twins. BOGO, some friends jokingly called it: Buy One Get One Free. But none of us really thought it would happen.
Fast forward twenty weeks, and Kris and I are well adjusted to the idea of our upcoming additions. As the days tick off—33 weeks and counting!—I am becoming increasingly excited about the moment when we will hold our beautiful newborn daughters in our arms and weep with joy. I am thankful that I know a little more what to expect this time around. I also know that the experience will rank among the most profound of my life.
Still, as recently as Alex’s birthday last month, I was proclaiming loudly and proudly that Kris and I would “never own a minivan!” Then suddenly, last week, some unseen switch went off in my brain, and I began to fixate on the reality of traveling with two adults, three children, two dogs, multiple bags and packs, a dog crate, a double stroller, and all of the other detritus that comes with old dogs and young kids.
Not to mention the safety issues involved in family transportation. The day we brought Alex home from the hospital, just over two years ago now, Western Washington was in the grip of a late winter snowstorm. Shortly after we guided the car into our development, Kris and I stared at each other in horror as we began to slide backwards down an icy hill toward a blind corner, our day-old newborn daughter sleeping peacefully behind us in her car seat. Fortunately, a school bus had stopped all traffic on the cross street a few moments before, so we were able to reverse safely onto the main road and find an alternate route to our house. Kris and I usually relate the tale these days in a manner designed to elicit laughter, but the terror of that moment still returns to me on occasion.
And so, my friends and family members, it is with great humility (humiliation?) that I share our latest news: Night before we last, we traded in our capable Nissan hatchback for a used minivan with three rows, six airbags, and far less environmentally friendly MPG ratings.
While the cheap Dutchwoman in me is certain I could (should) have negotiated a better deal, the about-to-be-parent-of-newborn-twins-and-a-toddler in me is just relieved to have completed the entire transaction, from test drive to purchase, in slightly over 24 hours. We do have other things to think about right now, as you might imagine.
“You know, this means the transformation is complete,” Kris said last night as we rehashed the last few days of lengthy model discussions and used car negotiations.
“What do you mean?”
“We have now officially gone from soccer players to soccer coaches to the final stop—soccer moms.”
“Oh, no,” I whispered, picturing the high-waisted mom jeans almost certainly looming in our future.
When she heard the news of our vehicular about-face, my sister-in-law, G, promised to send us a pack of those stick person decals that hetero families so proudly display on the rear window of their Caravans and Suburbans.
“You’ll have to put them on the new car and send us a photo,” G suggested helpfully.
“Never!” Kris and I declared in unison.
This time, I’m pretty sure we mean it.