Friday, February 27, 2009

The Family Car

The thing about discovering you are pregnant with twins is that it changes your vision for what you expect your life to be. My husband and I were very likely going to stop at two children but now that I am cooking twins, there is no question that we are done. All the fun family vacations I envisioned with a preschooler and an infant seem logistically or financially impossible now that we'll have an extra child. The home I plan to birth these Turtles in will very likely not accommodate three adolescents without a serious reconfiguration of space or an addition. And then there is the car...

We currently own a Toyota Prius and were quite saddened to discover that it simply can not fit three car seats in the back seat. We did the seat check soon after my "diagnosis" with twins but somehow, in my late pregnancy brilliance, I wanted to wait until the babies came before we bought a new car. My reasoning was that I am going to be too tired and overwhelmed to leave the house with three kids so what's the point of buying a new car that is just going to sit in the driveway? In the odd event that we ALL needed to go somewhere, we would just have to take two cars (our backup car is a 1996 Corolla) until I was feeling more confident in my role as a mom-of-three.

Now, in my REALLY late pregnancy, I wonder what the hell I was thinking. I don't want to be buying a car when I am too tired and overwhelmed with baby duties! I want the nightmare of car buying to be over so here I am 38 weeks and 4 days pregnant trying to negotiate the process of NOT getting ripped-off. UGH! I've given up my naps to do internet research and call dealerships with the express purpose of not showing up on a lot looking like I am in desperate need of a car. I want a price settled in advance and then I want to go and sign the papers. I don't want to sit with some sleezy salesperson who will inevitably make my blood boil.

So, fair readers, any tips on getting a good deal? We are in the market for a 2009 Subaru Forester.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Inappropriate Behavior

It seems that pregnancy can bring out the worst in people. I'm not talking about the pregnant woman herself but others. I have encountered enough random people who feel the need to touch, comment, or ask inappropriate questions to last a lifetime. Here's a recent sampling:

"Did you use fertility drugs or what?" This was asked by the lab tech who drew my blood.

"So, just between you and me, how much weight have you gained?" From a woman who recently cut my hair for the first time.

"Well, at least you don't have eight in there." From various people who learn that I am carrying twins.

"Sam, you are HUGE! I mean, you have to be the biggest pregnant woman I have ever seen!" From a neighborhood acquaintance who had not seen me in a while.

I have to admit that I have been so shocked by some of these comments that I have mostly laughed in response. Still, it bothers me. It's no one's business if I ended up with twins because of a medical intervention or because of genetics. How is asking if I used fertility drugs any less invasive than asking about the particulars of conceiving the traditional way?

In regard to the octuplets, I know the comments are meant to be humorous or an attempt to ease any nervousness we have about raising two babies at once but it doesn't feel that way. The octuplet mom clearly has some mental health issues and made a conscious decision to have an army of children. I think about her children and it fills me with an incredible sadness. Sure, things will be easier for us with 3 compared to 14 but somehow these comments just minimize what is ultimately a legitimate and emotionally appropriate anxiety for us.

Now, about my size and weight, shame on everyone who hasn't had the good sense to tell me how good I look or else keep quiet about it. You'd think at this point in my life I would be used to encountering clueless people but alas, I am always shocked that people don't behave the way they should.

It's my 39th week of pregnancy. My hormones are all over the place and I don't have any clothes that cover my belly. People should be worried about what I might say!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Growing Up Is Hard To Do

Everyone with more than one child has told me that when the next one comes along, or in my case, the next two, the first child will seem infinitely more mature than s/he did before there was a sibling. Well, the Turtles haven't arrived yet but Vivi already seems like a really big girl to me. It's a bittersweet feeling.

I love that Vivi is really excited about the pregnancy and the upcoming arrival of her siblings. She really does get it. Lately, she's been "childproofing" the house-- moving things that she doesn't think the Turtles should have access to. When I couldn't find the scotch tape that normally sits in a basket on my desk, Vivi said that she moved it high up on my bookcase. (This required her to stand on a stool to do it.) Cups, remote controls, jewelry, and various small toys have all gone missing at various times. When I ask where they are, I get the same response: "Mama, Turtles can't have that. I put it away."

Yesterday, while I was puttering in the kitchen, Vivi loaded a couple of pretend babies into her stroller, covered them up, threw her purse over her shoulder and said, "Bye Mom. I taking the babies to the library. Keep me posted on the Turtles." She has her own bag packed and ready to go for when the moment arrives.

She also seems mature in other non-Turtle-related ways too. When she needs to go poop, she asks that I give her privacy and shut the bathroom door "all the way." I did this a week ago but I stood outside the door. She yelled through the door, "Mama, are you right there?" I lied and said, "No Vi, I'm in the kitchen." She said, "Mom. You don't sound like you are in the kitchen. May I please have my privacy?" I did give her her space but I was also thinking that my kid seems to be nearing the age of 13 instead of 3.

Then, of course, there is the sadness associated with the fact that she won't be my only baby anymore. Snuggling has become increasingly difficult given my enormity and Vivi repeatedly asks, "Mama, when those Turtles come out and your belly goes away, will you carry me again?" Somehow, that seems to be one of the saddest questions I've ever been asked.

Vivi is also increasingly aware that she sucks her thumb and her friends don't. She has asked if the Turtles will suck their thumbs and I said that we'd have to wait and see. Vivi said, "Mama, I a big girl but sometimes I get cranky and want to suck my thumb." I told her that I knew that and it was okay. She would give up her thumb when she was ready.

I suppose no parent wants their child to stay young forever but it is a sad reality at how quickly it all goes.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Practice

Wednesday started off as a really promising day. It was sunny and warm and I got quite a few things done including going to the grocery store, cooking a fabulous dinner for my husband's friend and daughter who were in town, and meeting with my midwife.

The prenatal appointment was the high point. My midwife continued to be impressed with my low blood pressure and absence of swelling. My Group B Strep test came back negative and there was no protein in my urine-- all great signs. She said, "I'm not sure if this is good news or bad news for you but I think you can carry these babies to 40 weeks." I told her it was great news and I was feeling great!

Well, then 4:30 hit and I could barely move. I was EXHAUSTED beyond measure. My husband arrived home from work and I told him that I was feeling really off and I wasn't sure I could be good company for his friends. Then I felt guilty and stayed up through dinner anyway. His friends left at 8:30 and I was in bed at 8:35.

Well, I guess I overdid it because I awoke at 11:00 with a contraction. I told myself that it was just Braxton-Hicks and tried to get back to sleep. I really couldn't. They were coming at 10 minute intervals from 11:00 until 5:30 a.m. I'd fall asleep during them and would be shocked to see that I'd only been out ten minutes instead of the half hour I thought. I was up and down all night- walking the house, rolling on my yoga ball, just willing it to stop. It wasn't that it was super painful. It was more that I really wanted and needed to sleep.

I was a mess most of the day yesterday. Sleeping off and on all day. I couldn't eat and get comfortable. Even though the contractions had long stopped, my back was aching. Finally, I gave up and went to bed for good at 7:00 last night.

My midwife called this "practice labor." Her advice was to have a glass of wine after a couple of hours and it should knock the contractions out. If it doesn't, I'll know I'm in the midst of the real thing. Although the thought of any alcohol is totally unappealing to me, I agreed with her point that I shouldn't have to suffer if I'm not progressing toward anything.

I'm feeling better today and planning on taking things really easy until the real thing starts. I don't think a 40 week gestation is in my future but any extra time I can buy for these babies in utero will serve us all.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Final Stretch

At 36 weeks and counting, we are literally and figuratively in the final stretch of the Turtles' gestation. My clothes are ridiculously snug and the men's long underwear tops that I've counted on during most of my pregnancy are no longer fully covering my belly. The highly-elasticized pregnancy pants are just too tight around my "waist" so I end up wearing them low enough for my butt crack to appear. I've got some skin perpetually exposed that I make for a pathetic site indeed.

Despite the inevitable clothing frustrations, I am relieved to still be pregnant. I finish my 36th week today which means that I officially qualify for a homebirth. The babies are both vertex and a great size and I'm feeling very optimistic that I will have a safe and fulfilling birth experience. I've got my supplies together, a wonderful team of midwives and support people, and an emergency back-up plan. Vivi is looking forward to having a big adventure at her friend Sabine's house on the day the Turtles come. She did promise, however, that if I have a contraction while she is home she "will be as quiet as a mouse."

Our home is coming together too. Clothes are washed. Diapers are stockpiled. Food is frozen. I still have to figure out just how I am going to get Vivi to give up the Turtles' bouncy seats and moses baskets (which currently house an array of stuffed animals all named "my new baby so and so...") but I suspect when we have real babies to put in them, she'll likely part with the supplies.

With all of that, I am still not feeling TOTALLY ready. I remember nesting like a mad woman at the end of my pregnancy with Vivi. A few days before her due date, it hit me that I was done with my projects and I could sit back and wait for her to come. That was a wonderful, peaceful time. I haven't gotten to that point with this pregnancy yet. I feel like I could use two weeks to clean and do a few small projects and then a short period of waiting will be more than welcome. Of course, we don't always get what we want so I'm trying to keep my expectations in check.

So, until the big day arrives, here's a video of Vivi reading to her teddy about the day he was born.


video