All my life I've been a planner, an organizer, a look-to-the-future sort of gal. But I have recently learned that just when you think you have everything planned as well as you possibly could, life throws you a curve ball.
That's what happened during my second pregnancy. Not surprising to anyone who knows me, that pregnancy had been in the planning stages since my 4-year-old daughter was born. Then, at six weeks along, I suddenly had to have an ultrasound done -- an unplanned event and the perfect time for that curve ball to come swirling at me.
I heard the technician say, "Oh, my gosh," and knew what she was going to say next. I even beat her to the punch.
"Don't tell me that there are two in there."
All she had to do was smile, and I knew I was right. Two? What was I going to do with two babies when I had planned for only one?
Since both my mom and dad have fraternal twin siblings, I knew it could happen to me. But I always told myself that it wouldn't. I have many cousins, none of whom have twins. I had convinced myself that it was skipping a generation.
I was wrong.
A few months later, after the initial shock subsided, I knew it would be tough, but I was getting used to the idea of becoming the mother of twins and a kindergartner at the same time.
The planner in me already had figured out how we would survive financially. With that out of the way, I was even letting myself feel excited for their arrival.
My husband was excited the minute I told him the news. He is an identical twin and knows all about the special bond that twins share.
Then, at 16 weeks, what I thought was false labor turned out to be the real thing. I can't fully put into words how I felt when the doctor told me they needed to get me ready for the delivery. The contractions were painful enough, but they didn't come close to the ache in my heart.
Hours later, I was giving birth to two babies who were not yet ready to be born. After my previous anxiety of preparing myself for being a mom to two babies at once, I was suddenly faced with preparing myself for not being a mom to two babies at once.
Nothing can get you ready for something like this. Saying goodbye to my babies was the toughest thing I've ever had to do.
It is estimated that up to 50 percent of pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Many women have one so early on that they don't even know they are pregnant.
I was aware that this could happen to anyone. But I never actually thought that it would happen to me.
I was wrong -- again.
Just when I had everything under control, the unexpected happened. While I was pregnant, several people told me that God gives us only what we can handle. So now I can't help but wonder if God had second thoughts about my being able to handle having twins.
If I've been taught one lesson, it's this: You can't plan for everything when you're unaware of what the future holds. I didn't foresee getting pregnant with twins. I certainly didn't foresee losing them before I ever had them. But here I am.
I'm not ready to give up. If I'm blessed with the chance of getting pregnant again, I will prepare to do the best job I can.
That's my plan anyway.
Lynn M. Lombard of Akron, who has always been a planner, realizes there are some things we have no control over.