That's all this was supposed to be, just a dating scan. Liv hadn't really given much thought to the size of her bump, assuming that second pregnancies seemed bigger than first ones anyway. Now, she was discovering, that wasn't the case. She stared at the monitor as the ultrasound wand gently pressed into her belly.
"Lucy had twins," Johnny confirmed, not quite getting the message the technician was trying to tell them. He thought Liv was only asking the technician about the possibility of twins, rather than confirming it. Then again, he was too busy paying attention to Liv's bump, instead of looking at the monitor.
"Ah ... no, love." Liv touched his hand, tilting her head toward the monitor. "I mean ... twins. As in ... we're having."
The technician bit down on a grin; it was sometimes difficult to predict how people would handle this bit of news.
"Twins," Johnny echoed as he glanced to the monitor, still not quite getting it. "Wait ... Are you saying we're having twins?!" he asked, his voice going up at least an octave in mingled shock, astonishment and disbelief.
"That's what it looks like, Mr. Storm," the technician answered, pointing to the monitor. "There's one ... and there's the other. It's quite difficult to get a false positive on twins during an ultrasound at twelve weeks."
"Twins," Johnny echoed again, feeling a little light-headed. "I think-I think I'm gonna faint," he murmured, dropping into the closest chair available and hopefully not already occupied.
"Don't you dare," Liv warned, although her voice was a little weak as well. Twins, on top of three children, two dogs, a cat, and a dragon, and Fliss had moved out ... that was a daunting thought. "We may need to rearrange the house again."
Johnny shoved his fingers through his mop of blond hair and looked over at the monitor again. "Are you sure?" he asked, leaning forward and taking a harder look at the blob on the monitor. Or was it blobs?
"Yup." The technician frowned thoughtfully. "Hang on, let me get a better angle here ... Yup, there we go. Two amniotic sacs, two babies."
Liv felt her jaw drop. Even if she hadn't recognized the baby shapes, there was no mistaking the two sacs. "Oh, my god ..."
Johnny moved closer, as close as he could without getting in the technician's way, though he'd probably be able to make more sense of what he was seeing if he moved back a little. "Looks like two little blobs to me. Blob One and Blob Two," he quipped with a chuckle. "Are you sure they aren't aliens? They kind of look like aliens."
Liv raised a brow, a little too shocked just yet to appreciate that kind of humor. "I'd rephrase that if you don't want to be sleeping in the shed with Lir tonight," she suggested to her husband, one hand stroking over the crown of her bump in slow surprise. "We're going to have six children."
"Half a dozen," Johnny murmured, slowly retaking his seat, as if he didn't trust his legs to hold him upright. He was silent a moment as he tried to wrap his head around it. At least Fliss had moved out. That was one less mouth to feed and sleeping space to sort out. "We're gonna have to build another addition."
"Not necessarily," Liv said softly, aware that the technician was making calculations beside her. "Alexei has Fliss' old room, Maria has the big room - we still have the small bedroom and the nursery. Maria might not mind sharing with Bess?"
"Maybe," Johnny replied thoughtfully. This was something they didn't need to worry about today, but it was something they were going to have to give some thought to in the coming months. "Can you tell if it's ... if they're ... Can you tell the gender?" he asked, thinking that might be a good place to start. If they were of the same gender, they could probably share a room, but if not, they'd eventually have to be split up, if only for privacy's sake.
"Hmm ... Well, I can see only one placenta," the technician mused, pointing to a dark mass on the edge of the screen. "Usually that would signify identical twins, but there is a margin of error. There is a possibility that there are two placentas next to one another, presenting as one. As for the gender, that isn't something I can give you with any confidence right now, but as a multiple pregnancy, you'll be asked to have scans every four weeks, and I'm sure one of them will throw up someone confident enough to give you an estimate of gender."
Johnny paused a moment to take that in before looking to Liv with a smile on his face and reaching for her hand. "Twins, Livvie. We're having twins. Er, you're having twins." He chuckled. "I'm just the sperm donor."
"Oh, this is definitely we," she corrected him, laughing a little as she shook her head, squeezing his hand. "You are much more than just a sperm donor, sweetheart."
"I did donate the sperm, though," Johnny pointed out with a grin. At least, in a manner of speaking he had. "It was only a matter of time, you know," he said further.
"Is it wrong that I was sort of hoping we might dodge the bullet?" Liv asked in concern. After all, they'd watched Lucy almost meltdown over her own twins when they were tiny, even with all the help on hand.
Ah, but Lucy wasn't Liv, whose superpower was not only being the Multiverse's Best P.A., but wife and mother, too. Johnny chuckled and gave her hand a soft squeeze.
"It'll be okay, Liv. We got this," he said, confident that if they could handle everything else they'd been dealt in life, they could certainly handle twins. And they'd have plenty of help.
She smiled, relieved that Johnny, at least, seemed confident they would manage. "So when can we expect them?" she asked the technician.
He considered his calculations as the stills printed out behind him. "Your full term date will be around the beginning of March, but most twin pregnancies tend to come to a conclusion around 38 weeks," he told them. "So if I were you, I would aim to be ready for anything by the beginning of February, just in case."
"Six months? That doesn't give us much time," Johnny said, with a worried frown. Thankfully Bess was almost three and out of diapers. Two babies at the same time was going to be hard enough to handle, besides a toddler, a teen, and two not-quite tweens.
"Good god, I have another pregnant Halloween coming," Liv suddenly realized. She had not yet done Christmas pregnant, but she figured if Vicki Granger could do it, so could she.
"You'd make a great pumpkin!" Johnny teased, though his wife wasn't quite that big yet. His smile softened and he leaned close to touch a kiss to her cheek. "Congratulations, Mama," he whispered.
She laughed again, smiling as he leaned in close to her. "Couldn't have done it without you, Daddy," she whispered back. It was going to take a little while to feel calm about having twins, but at least they weren't in full denial about it. "We should get moving so we don't hold up the waiting room."