And Then There Were 5
by Codie Elaine Oliver



September 20, 2018


9 Minute Read


And Then There Were 5

I’m about to share with you all what is possibly the greatest news of my life. I am 29 weeks pregnant with twins!

Photography: Aleah Clark

It is still a shock to say “twins.” I met a woman last week who has teenage twins, and she said it is still a shock for her. I’ve always wanted twins, but it was sort of a joke, just a silly thing that anyone would want because it’s so unique and cool. But that doesn’t really happen to people who don’t have twins in their family, right? Wrong. Sure, with IVF and even with women of a certain age (the latter which I fit into), there may be more eggs present that get fertilized and then BOOM –– Twins! Nope, that is also not what happened here. Somehow, between 1-3 days of fertilization, my little tiny fetus became TWO. IDENTICAL. BOYS.

But let me back up.

Growing up, one of my biggest fears was not having a family. For starters, my parents divorced when I was 11, and people say you’re more likely to get divorced if that is your backgroundIn addition, I’ve read all the stats about the alleged “Black Marriage Crisis.” To combat this feeling, I even co-created the Black Love series.  

But along with whether or not I’d ever get married, came whether or not I could have children. My fears weren’t based on anything other than knowing that it does not come easily for everyone and wondering – or worrying about – what it would be like for me.

So with all of that in mind, when I became pregnant with my son Brooks, I was supremely grateful.  But I was also very, very afraid. I wouldn’t let Tommy announce it before 6 months (you’ve typically cleared the miscarriage window at 3 months pregnant). And even then, I was so cautious. I didn’t drink coffee even though you can drink up to 2 cups a day while pregnant. I didn’t drink wine well into the third trimester although the occasional glass is fine. I stopped working out afraid my heart rate would go up and harm the baby. But, honestly, it all turned out great. My pregnancy was really smooth, and we have the most amazing tiny human I could have asked for. It was almost too good.

Photography: Aleah Clark

CUT TO: This spring. We were editing the second season of Black Love and a Mother’s Day special called Motherly Love, and Tommy and I were at each other’s throats about creative differences. We were working around the clock, arguing about everything, there was not enough food in the world, and all day in and day out I was guzzling coffee to make it through. But even with the understanding that I was under the pressures of deadlines, something just didn’t sit right. I took a pregnancy test, and there you have it. Number two was on the way. I was about 4-5 weeks in.

But let me tell you, I was not even trying to talk about it. Trust, I wanted more kids, but I was swamped and totally over my husband.  

A friend even said that the baby was probably a girl and that she wouldn’t let me take any mess – which is why I was sticking to my guns on issues with my husband where I may have conceded in the past. I had to agree with her, this “baby” was definitely different – as was my work/home life.

Unlike everything we had done in the past, Motherly Love had Tommy and I both feeling pretty burned by the other. We just did not see eye to eye on anything. This Producer and Director duo had a professional falling out, and unfortunately we still had to go home to each other every day (or not: some nights were spent at the office). But we pushed through, as you often do in marriage, knowing that even if emotions were high right now, we’d get through it.

I waited until 11 weeks gestation to see a doctor, and I only went then because my midwife told me that all babies grow at approximately the same rate for the first 10-11 weeks, so if you’re trying to determine an accurate due date, that’s the best time for an ultrasound. After that period, genetics take over and the growth of the fetus is impacted. So on Tuesday, May 8th, we went to get an ultrasound.

It was a good week. The night before, we had screened the first episode of Black Love season 2 for friends and family, and everyone had a great time. I was still hiding the pregnancy, though it was really, really hard. Motherly Love was airing that very night of our doctor’s appointment, which was kind of poetic given the news we were about to receive.

So now, the Doctor’s office.  Routine ultrasound. Very unexpected results.

I swear I could see it myself, two little ovals, but I thought I was being silly. Then the doctor asks, “Is this your first ultrasound with this pregnancy?” to which I thought, “Duh, I’m pretty sure we told you that already.” (I did not say that.) I politely replied, “Um, yes.” And the nurse exclaims, “Can I tell them!?”

It takes seconds for both me and Tommy to register where her excitement is coming from, but we are still in disbelief when the doctor says, “One. Two. It’s twins.”

From then on, I giggled uncontrollably simply in shock and joy. The overwhelming feeling which I’ll never, ever forget was just how much Tommy and I were even more bonded now. I felt love wash over me. Nothing else mattered but us staying as connected as possible.

I won’t bore you with every emotion I felt after that. I giggled for weeks afterward, no exaggeration. Some days I still find myself just laughing at this scenario. Carrying twins has made me feel closer to my husband and closer to my Creator. They’re literally a miracle. But with that, the fear was pretty strong as well. All of the “what ifs” of one baby had become multiplied. I’ve been terrified to share this gift but also desperate to connect with twin moms and moms of three. Well, here I am, letting the cat out of the bag.

Photography: Aleah Clark

I have been blessed 100 times over with the gift of family. I have no idea how I’m going to accomplish everything on my hypothetical vision board (maybe I should actually make one of those), but I know I’m committed to the partnership I have with my husband and the development of three Black men in America. I have to rise.

I hope you’ll indulge my motherhood musings here on BlackLove.com as I attempt surviving three kids under three, tandem breastfeeding, all the developmental milestones – and regressions, adjusting to my new body, and God-only-knows what else!

But even with the flood of unknowns, what I know for sure from the birth of my son Brooks and the surprise of two upcoming babies (at once) is that our family unit is what matters. Tommy and I have to provide them with the tools not only to succeed in the world as smart, ambitious Black men, but as loving, respectful husbands and fathers one day. That starts with us and the example we set at home. Life with Tommy and these boys has already provided me some of the most rewarding and enriching gifts of my life and I owe them everything I have to give. With that, I welcome an incredible journey as three becomes five.