Ok girls, up until now, I have been writing about stuff in a linear sequence, but I have to break in today. Today I am 31 weeks and 4 days pregnant. And I look and feel every single day of it. Please don’t misunderstand me. I feel blessed that you are both growing, and are healthy. I thank my lucky stars that I haven’t had a lot of problems carrying you and I hope sincerely that I can carry you all the way to “twin full-term”, but I just have to say, that I am getting really tired of being pregnant. Not the carrying you part of pregnancy, just the condition in and of itself.
There are women who say that they never have felt better than when they are pregnant. That they are born to do this. They glow and say how wonderful they have felt through their pregnancy and they frankly, make me want to vomit a little bit. Or slap them. Or just call shenanigans. I think it must be some type of lie they perpetuate to make sure we suckers will join them in Mommy-hood.
My good friend Michelle describes pregnancy this way: “For 30 years, your body has been all about you. Keeping you alive and doing what is best for you. Then when you get pregnant it is like your body turns on you. All of the sudden, things that have worked one way forever, all of the sudden are different. You are no longer priority number one. If the baby needs hormones, it is really irrelevant that those hormones are poisoning you. The baby gets the hormones and you feel sick.” That Michelle is one smart cookie. And what can you expect? She is a rocket scientist after all.
Now, I heard her say these things, but until you live them, you just can’t understand how TRUE they are. Feeling bloated, crampy, nauseous and bone tried during the first (and for me second trimester) was not fun. But, it was disconcerting too. All my life, when I felt nauseous, the remedy was usually to throw up. If it was something that I ate that made me sick, getting rid of it usually at least helped if not alleviated the issue. But in pregnancy, this is no longer true. I felt nauseous, I vomited, I continued to feel awful, I vomited some more. I still felt nauseous. But even more appalling, quickly afterward, I frequently got hungry. It was like my body was saying “Nope, that didn’t satisfy my whim today, try again.” And each day, it was a different thing it didn’t like. Today Saltines are ok, tomorrow saltines make you sick, but applesauce works. Next week neither of those work. Things you have always loved like peanut butter now couldn’t turn you off more if it was spread of horse manure. Everything just changes.
Feeling hungry while being nauseous is a horrible feeling. You know you need to eat. I mean, after all, there are two little growing beings in there that need food. But, you have NO idea what might go down and stay down, or if that is even possible. You contemplate what might be easy on your stomach. You contemplate what might be the least objectionable food currently at your disposal to throw up. You try to gauge whether you can ignore the hunger and just not eat anything else and go to sleep. I call this “the Scarlett O’Hara I will think about it tomorrow” plan. You learn that this tactic frequently leads to waking up dry heaving…and usually before you have even gotten to tomorrow yet. You learn to choke down crackers while feeling like any minute you could be seeing them again. And this is very bizarre because never in your life before have you tried to eat while feeling this sick and the whole time your brain is screaming “What are you doing?!?” All the old strategies for feeling sick no longer apply and you have no idea what to expect. Sometimes you think you just feel a little bit nauseous and then all of the sudden, it is on you and you have to run to find a bathroom (at these times, the little blue emesis bags were god-sends). Other times, you would think vomiting was imminent and you would wait all night and never throw up, just be convinced you were going to. And then one day, boom. You are just ravenously hungry. No nausea. No explanation. Just today, it’s over.
And then, there was a time there when I was big, but not too big. When I was tired, but not exhausted. A time when I couldn’t run a marathon (well, ok, maybe I could never run a marathon, but you get my drift), but I could still grocery shop, or clean house or help with household painting and floor installation without feeling like I might die. That time seems to have been quite brief. It wasn’t long before I felt like I got huge. Now, other people still say I don’t look big enough to have twins in there. I don’t know what to tell them. Right now you are both approximately 3.5lbs. There is 7 lbs of baby and a bunch of amniotic fluid in there. The doctor measured me at 37 cm. That is what the average singleton pregnancy would measure at about full-term. I have no idea where it seems to be hiding, but it is there. And I feel every ounce of it when I walk around, try to roll over in bed, or lift my arms above my head. I can climb one flight of stairs. At the top I will be quite out of breath and feel slightly dizzy and faint. I wasn’t in the best of shape before you, but I could climb one flight of stairs and hardly breathe any differently at the top. Give me 3 or 4 flights and I might breathe a little faster, but I would think nothing of it. I am pretty much good for nothing right now. Even sitting or lying in one spot for too long hurts.
And I am not complaining here, but Pippa, your stubborn refusal to get down out of my lungs seems to have caused one of my floater ribs to either stretch and separate, or actually cracked it. And it HURTS. If I sit up straight and hold still, it’s fine. It hurts to lay down, but not horribly. But holy cow, twisting or maneuvering to get up out of bed (something I do at least 4-5 times a night now) really stings. And coughing and sneezing pretty much suck donkey balls (as Daddy would say). Now you girls have switched places. In a strange move, you both are diagonally transverse (not up and down, but not really all sideways either) with now Kate’s head lodged up under that rib. And Pippa seems to think it is a blast to either kick or punch me in the cervix. I got news for you kid, banging on the door is not the way you are going to get out. You are going to have to get down there and head butt it. You have to wait a couple of weeks to do that, but you could get down there and get all ready and in position anytime now and that would be just fine with Mom. After all, if I can breathe more easily, you will too. Just sayin’.
It occurs to me that pregnancy is designed so that toward the end, you are so uncomfortable, the idea of labor doesn't seem so bad if you are done with pregnancy in the end. Of course, for me, the idea of two babies to take care of is still pretty scary, but it's seeming more appealing every day.
Ok, so I know you need 4 more weeks of cooking, at least, before you are ready to make your debut. And in truth, if I had to do this for several more months, I would do it. But, boy am I glad it’s getting toward the end. Aside from being so curious to meet you I could just burst (this might be less if you were more willing to pose for the ultrasound, Pippa, I am talking directly to you my girl), I am anxious to give you every chance at health and a good start in life. So, stay in there and cook a while longer, but do me a favor and cook while floating head down the way you are supposed to. Daddy says that he thinks the way you guys are laying would be the most comfortable way to be, like in a lazy boy. You must agree. Whatever, just stay in there for a while, ok?