Well, here I am, in the home stretch of what seems like a two-year journey. The twins will be arriving soon.
I’m so large and awkward I feel like a freak of nature. My lungs are being crushed and several times a day I cannot catch my breath. If my husband or son gets too close I feel claustrophobic and can’t breathe. I have so little space left inside of me that I need to compensate by making more space around me.
I wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air, massaging my leg cramps (if I can actually find a way to reach them), and trying to find a comfortable position with tears of frustration and insomnia running down my face. Carrying two babies is frightfully hard and during those moments alone in the dark, I feel scared of everything.
If That Wasn’t Hard Enough…
A couple of weeks ago our landlord called to say he was putting the house we are renting up for sale. I can’t say much more because my lawyer told me I shouldn’t. But if I can wildly understate the situation, juggling private showings and open houses was not something I had anticipated.
And then I was put on bed rest with a mild case of pre-eclampsia. I now visit the hospital twice a week for non-stress tests, blood work, and to monitor my elevated blood pressure. As a precaution, I received two steroid shots to help the girls’ lungs develop.
Temper Tantrums (Mine, Not My Toddler’s)
I have had two temper tantrums and I am not proud of them. The first one consisted of me throwing things into garbage bags because I could not stand the clutter anymore. I admit, I was slightly manic doing it, but it felt great when the house was clean!
The second happened last week. A friend came over less than 24 hours after I had spent a portion of the night in triage being monitored after my blood pressure skyrocketed. I was exhausted, scared, hungry, and feeling generally yucky. She came over to discuss the landlord situation (they are friends) and I unequivocally stated she should not get involved. She badgered me and I couldn’t catch my breath as I raised my voice to ask her to leave. My husband came running from the other room, worried that I was getting upset, and also asked her to leave. I haven’t heard from her since, and I sobbed for two days, grieving for a 20-year friendship that seems to have died in vain.
Contractions and Dilation
Yesterday I went in for the first of my twice-weekly NST tests only to find out I was having contractions every three to four minutes. So, all weekend when I was complaining about a non-existent tight waistband bothering me, it was probably contractions. I feel pretty stupid for not recognizing them, but I’m sticking to my excuse that I had to be induced with my son so I never experienced those initial, mild contractions before.
Once we determined I was having regular contractions, this lovely resident wanted to start swabbing my cervix for a couple of things. And so this resident checked my cervix. Twice. The first time immediately and the second after being monitored. For whatever reason God blessed me with a high cervix. I think it lies somewhere near my breastbone and is IMPOSSIBLE TO REACH without a considerable amount of pain. After clenching my jaw and not breathing for the 10 minutes it took her to find it, she determined I was 1.5 cm dilated. Not at all what we were expecting during our regularly schedule programming. They determined I wasn’t in active labor and released me.
Time to Move On
That, I think, is the worst of it. Here’s the good part: the girls are doing great! Every test indicates they’re healthy and thriving, growing and thrashing about in the mosh pit that is my uterus. If I were to deliver them tomorrow, they would need to stay in the NICU for several weeks, but they wouldn’t be fighting for their lives.
I am doing everything I can to keep them in my belly for at least another three weeks. Only three weeks! OMG, I get to meet my daughters soon! The excitement and delight at their imminent arrival has finally registered. When I see and feel them moving, I daydream about what they look like and all the mother-daughter activities we’ll do one day. I can sense the bond these twins already have with each other. They are head to head, nose to nose, their heartbeats are practically indistinguishable, and their weights are almost identical. Their last ultrasound showed hair on their keppes and I spend way too much time wondering what shade of red will sit on each of their heads.
Most of all, I cannot wait to see the wonderment in my son’s eyes when he meets his sisters for the first time. He already knows their names and kisses my belly calling them out. I’m not sure if it feels like my heart will burst from the kvelling or if that’s just my high blood pressure acting up. As crappy as I feel physically, and as stressed out as I feel mentally, I also feel extremely proud that I have carried these girls this far. I have gone beyond what I thought I could.
The next few weeks are going to be a wild ride and I will definitely need to take a break from writing. But I promise to be back with plenty of stories to tell. Until then, and while I still can, I am going to get some much-needed bed rest.