we’re having…

One girl for sure, and the doctor says she’s 80% sure the other twin is a girl too!!

Baby A, so-called because she’s the closest to an exit, gave us a great view and no doubt about the fact that she’s a girl. Baby B was turned to the side and there was a lot of umbilical cord in the way, so we can’t be positive until the next appointment on my birthday, December 16. This means Tinycat just might be our only baby boy, though my stepmom, who is known to have some fairly accurate dreams, swears we can’t be sure about Baby B, who is definitely a boy in her dreams. We’ll see!

We’re excited, and I can’t wait to finally narrow down our list of names!

turnips: a week 16 pregnancy update

I’m now 16 weeks pregnant. 4 months! That seems crazy long! According to my What to Expect app, the babies are now the size of turnips, which Jon says reminds him of “those Harry Potter plant babies with the creepy faces.” Which is now exactly what I’m picturing inside of me:

Gotta love Ron’s face in that picture. I have a love-hate relationship with that whiny git. And yes, both Jon and I are huge Harry Potter fans.

Maybe I can start picturing them as something other than screaming turnip monsters if they cooperate at my doctor’s appointment tomorrow afternoon. There’s a chance we might see the babies’ sexes if they’re in decent positions on the ultrasound. So, I thought a little poll might be fun:

In our “real life” no one who knows us has guessed two girls. Almost everyone is split between two boys and one of each. I don’t have a “feeling” one way or the other, but I’m kinda hoping for one of each, just to get to have both experiences (not that I think gender=set experience or even expectations, or really wish to conflate sex and gender, but that’s a whole ‘nother super femininisty pregnancy post that I’ve yet to write). The idea of two boys scares me, but that’s just because I grew up with sisters, so I have very little experience with little boys. What do you think I’ve got in there??


weeks 12/13

So, it’s been a bit since I’ve done a pregnancy update, huh? Tomorrow marks 14 weeks, but since the pic I’ve got is from the middle of week 12, this is sort of a combined update. Check out the bump on the beach (ignore the windblown hair):

I’m feeling pretty good as I start Trimester #2. Still sleepy pretty much all the time, but not AS sleepy as I was before. I spend a lot of time like this, still, though:

Tinycat is an excellent nap partner.

Still no puking, but I feel the general queasiness has increased. Everything makes me want to gag. Getting some of my own hair in my mouth? Gag. A seatbelt touching my neck? Gag. Trying to wear a scarf? Gag. Brushing my teeth? Gag. Even the sheets and blanket touching my neck in bed? Gag. It’s super fun.

Though I’ve written about struggling to get the calories and protein level recommended by my multiples pregnancy book, I’m gaining weight right on schedule. About 14 pounds, for those of you keeping track at home. It’s a weird thing to be cheering myself on for every extra glass of milk I drink and pound I gain, but I want nice big, healthy twins, so I’m doing it.

The reality of TWO BABIES seems to sink in more and more as my belly grows and grows, and we’re starting to think about all the stuff we need for the twins. One of our big concerns is that we might need a bigger car. We have a 6 year old Pontiac Vibe and are a one-car family. We’re a little concerned that my tall husband won’t be able to scoot his seat back far enough to drive with a carseat behind him, and not sure our backseat is big enough to have one seat behind the passenger and one seat in the middle. We really need to get some carseats and just try it, but we’re researching cars and trying to figure out what we need, and stressing out a little bit. How do you know what kind of car you need? Do I really have to get a minivan? How the heck are we going to afford these kids?

FAQs: people asking about my womb edition

One thing about being pregnant with TWINS?! is that everyone has lots of questions. Most of them are actually kind of rude! But I figure people aren’t generally trying to be rude, but just don’t realize how rude they’re being. Surely no one would ask me prying questions about my sex life and lady parts in the full knowledge of just how rude that is, right?? (Wait, don’t answer that.)

Here are a few of the questions we’ve been getting a lot:

Are they natural?

Well, I’m pretty sure they aren’t synthetic… is that what you mean? Of course it isn’t. The person really wants to know if I had some sort of fertility treatment, which is kind of private, right? The answer is no, these are just freak of nature twins, but the question still feels a little weird.

Do twins run in your family?

Ah, everyone is an amateur geneticist, but most of them only have part of the story right! The answer to this one is also no, not unless going back a few generations counts, and the scientific truth is that twins outside of your immediate family do not “count” toward making you more likely to have twins. Also, only the mother’s family counts, because the only kind of twins that happen genetically are fraternal– which only occur when the mother releases more than one egg that gets fertilized and implanted. It has nothing to do with the father or his family. Identical twins happen when a single fertilized egg splits into two or more embryos somewhere along the way– this just happens, and the genetics of the parents have nothing to do with it.

Are they identical?

We don’t know yet, and without a genetic test it’s possible that we’ll never know. For now, I can tell you that the twins appear to be di-di, meaning they’re in two separate sacs. This could mean that they are fraternal, or it could mean that they are identical but split within 3 days or so of conception. If we find out they’re two separate genders, we’ll know for sure before birth that they’re fraternal. Otherwise, the placenta(s) could tell us, or they could look markedly different, or we could get genetic testing done.

Are you going to have more kids?

Seriously?? I haven’t even had these yet. How bout we wait and see how it goes first?

10 Weeks

First official belly pic! Taken last night after we went and saw a play. Thank God for wrap dresses that still fit.

I’m now at 10 weeks, which means if you’d like to compare my belly to someone with only one baby inside, my bump is supposed to be comparable to someone at 16-18 weeks. The babies, whom Jon is calling Bjorn and Bjork (no we don’t know genders yet), are now the size of limes.

Apparently I am now pregnant enough that it’s apparent to particularly observant strangers, like the cashier at my Kroger who looks just like Whoopi Goldberg, if Whoopi wore glittery cat-eye glasses. As I walked up to the checkout with a cart full of ice cream, milk, and cheese, she said, “What are you gonna do with that lil boy in there?” I seriously looked under my cart to see if a child had snuck onto the bottom rack. “What boy, where?” “In THERE!” she said, pointing to my midsection. “Oh, there’s twins in here, but we don’t know what they are yet.” She decided it’s two boys and told everyone else nearby, “SHE’S GOT TWO LIL TWINS IN THERE!” Meanwhile, the young woman bagging my groceries told me she had twins once, but lost the pregnancy. Um, I’m so sorry for your loss? Why would you say that to a total stranger? It’s like, “Hey, here’s my new puppy!” “Oh, I had a puppy once, IT DIED.” Womp womp.

Overall, I’m still feeling pretty good. Still no puking, though I feel constantly on the verge– I had to sit apart from my family while they ate funnel cakes at the Food Truck Festival yesterday because the smell was making me gag. I’m still fall-down tired all the time, but I’ll take napping over puking for sure. I’m attempting to follow a diet from When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads, which means I’m supposed to be eating 3500 calories per day, with at least 176 grams of protein. And you know, we have all joked how awesome an all you can eat diet would be, but it’s HARD. I’ve always been kind of an intuitive eater– I listen to my body, eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m full. But my appetite is like it was B.T. (before TWINS?!), and when I’m constantly on the verge of nausea, shoving food into my face when I’m not feeling it feels almost torturous. Still, I’m trying not to whine too much about having to eat more ice cream. I should probably say for those of you who are familiar with my food values, I’m eating a lot more meat these days. I wasn’t happy about it, but getting that protein level is pretty much impossible otherwise (one cup of beans has about 14 grams of protein, for example), and Jon assured me that for 9 months, I can prioritize the babies over the environment.

I’m growing out of my clothes already, and I’m rigging up my pants with rubber bands and covering them with belly bands. I already bought two pairs of maternity skinny jeans, and the stretchy waistbands are HEAVEN.

We’re going to the OB on Wednesday, so maybe we’ll get another look at the babies. I kind of hope so. The more I see them, the more real and less surreal this all becomes.

my baby just cares for me

Mush alert.

Being pregnant has given me the warm fuzzies for my husband. I feel closer to him because I know we’re basically jumping off a cliff together, and because I know that we’re making something beautiful together, and because there’s no one else in the world I’d be willing to take this kind of adventure with. But I’m also feeling the love because he’s taking excellent care of me.

I shouldn’t be surprised– he’s always taken great care of me. When we were dating, we were in a car accident one Thanksgiving. I was driving us to my grandparents’ house on a wet road and hydroplaned while trying to grab my ringing cell phone (don’t phone and drive, kids!). The car spun into a ditch, and the airbag did a doozy on me. It turns out, thanks to mild scoliosis and an extra mutant vertebra that’s shaped like a wedge, I had a perfect spot for a compression fracture of my spine, and to this day am a quarter inch shorter on my left side as a result. After the accident, when deciding whether I would go back to college or go home with my parents or stay with him, he was adamant that he would take care of me. And he did– he fed me my pills on schedule, let me sleep in a recliner, and kept me supplied with my favorite ice cream until I felt well enough to go back to school.

A year into our marriage, we moved to Charleston, SC, where he was doing his residency in pediatrics. I had a hard time with the move, far away from everyone I knew and loved, in a strange new place, working a job I didn’t really like much, and for the first few months I was pretty much a mess. One day, I attempted to go for a bike ride with our dog Bessie, and she pulled me off and I scraped up my knee really bad. Bleeding and hysterical, I called Jon. I’m sure it sounded awful on the phone, because he biked all the way home from the hospital, bandaged up my knee, which was really not as bad as my hysterics made it sound, held me, hugged me, kissed me, and then biked back to work. He never said anything about how crazy I’d acted about that skinned knee. He knew it was just an emotional catalyst that broke the dam that had held back my sadness and depression about the move, and he loved me through it. Eventually we made friends and settled in, and when it came time for us to leave Charleston, I was sad then too.

Last winter, I got the flu. People who tell me they think they have the flu, I have one response for them: “Do you feel like you’re dying? Do you think maybe death would be preferable to the way you feel right now? OK, maybe then you have the flu.” It was the sickest I’ve ever been. I had a fever of 102 for 8 days straight. I coughed so much and so hard that I bruised my ribs and was sore for a month afterward. All told, I was sick the entire month of December. Jon was working lots of shifts in the ER, and, in between, when he should have been sleeping, kept me dosed on meds, made sure I was fed, and prevented our house from falling apart. He held me as I coughed and cried and promised me I’d feel better one day, even though in the middle of that illness, I didn’t really believe him.

Now he’s dealing with me, hopped up on a double dose of twin hormones, admittedly acting insane a lot of the time, the kind of pregnant person they make jokes about. While he did jokingly reassure me that my insanity isn’t a new development for him to deal with, he has made me feel so cared for. He encourages me to nap when I’m tired, he picks up the slack that I’m leaving in all the things to be done around the house, he bought me Miralax and reminds me to take it (and he’s not grossed out by talking about gross pregnancy symptoms like constipation!), and he helps me find things I’m willing to eat. He gets me wet washcloths and anti-nausea medicine and holds my hand as I sit next to the toilet and cry, because even throwing up makes me cry these days.

In other words, he’s doing what he’s always done: taking amazing care of me. Just like I know he will take amazing care of our babies. And maybe I’m hormonal and mushy and this whole post is making you want to barf (hey! welcome to the club!), but telling the story of this latest adventure would be incomplete without a little insight into the awesome partner I have along the way. This whole thing would be entirely too terrifying without him.