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.

no more negative nellies

image via Flickr user AMERICANVIRUS under a Creative Commons license. Image links to Flickr page.

People seem to have two parallel reactions when informed that we’re having twins. The first is the excitement that Jon says only happens when the person having the twins isn’t the person expressing the excitement. The second reaction is to attempt to terrify us.

Now, I don’t think people are actually intentionally attempting to terrify us, but they’re doing it anyway. I liken it to a hazing ritual, or the way the old-timer attendings like to make medical residents feel small and sleep-deprived because “that’s how it was in my day.” In terms of baby-having, this usually involves telling us we’ll never sleep again, we’ll never have sex again, we’ll never have money again, I’ll never not have a baby attached to my body again, I’ll never finish school, etc. And the thing is, I think most of the people making these sort of statements mean well– they might be telling us something they wish someone had told them before they had a baby, or maybe they’re passing on something they found genuinely helpful.

But the thing is: we’re freaking out enough, thanks. Anything you could possibly say to us has already crossed our freaked out, holy shit, what’s gonna happen to us minds, and then some.

I’m worried about bed rest and NICU time. I’m worried about whether or not I’ll ever get my PhD and become an English professor like I planned. I’m worried about how the dynamic of my marriage is about to change. I worry that I’ll never be able to go to the grocery store again, because you can’t put two infant carriers in one shopping cart. I worry that I won’t be able to have that special first-baby bond I see with my friends and their firstborns, because I’ll always have some other baby with needs distracting me from cuddles and eye gazing. I’m worried I won’t even be able to keep two tiny humans alive. When I really get on a roll, I worry about double terrible twos and threes. I worry that we’re going to be shut-ins who never leave our house. I’ve got plenty of worries.

And Jon does too.

So the other day he made a declaration: we’re not gonna take it anymore. We are not afraid to get rude with people who are saying things that scare us, and we’re not afraid to tell them to knock it off, because we are trying our hardest to think positively and be excited, and it’s really taking some effort because right now, all we can think is HOLY SHIT. I’m literally already growing out of my pants, and I’m only at 8 weeks, and shit is just gonna keep getting real. So, if you know us and speak to us, could you maybe help us be excited and not scared out of our minds about this? I know everything in our lives is about to change, for better or for worse, and we could sure use some stories about the better parts right about now.

insane, crazy, giant news

So, you may have noticed that the blog has been quieter than usual. It’s because I’ve been keeping some really big news under my hat, and I’ve been unable to even think of anything else, let alone write about anything else. And today that news got bigger and crazier, and though we were planning to wait a little longer for the reveal, we just can’t keep this in. So, we’re telling the world…

THAT WE ARE HAVING TWINS.

I’m not kidding, I’m not joking, and no, I don’t even believe it, but the doctor tells me the two fuzzy blobs on the screen are in fact two babies. Two babies that I will be birthing in April. Holy crap. Totally insane. What was already giant, life changing, you will never sleep again news has now doubled.

In case you doubt me, or you enjoy looking at fuzzy blobs on ultrasound images (if you don’t, that’s cool, I never know what I’m looking at and find ultrasound images a little weird, myself), here is my proof:

Apparently this is happening, people.