Hello x2!

I had a whole post thought out for yesterday, but this happened instead!

Albeit being born much earlier than we had hoped for, both girls are doing really well. They’re getting some extra love and care from this hospital’s amazing NICU staff, who are all very pleased with their weight and breathing. I’m completely in love with my two beautiful girls, and will absolutely give a more detailed update when I have the time and energy. Everyone who has been rooting for us: thank you for calming our nerves and having nothing but faith in me. I love y’all!

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Odds

Last Wednesday at my weekly appointment, my OB/GYN asked me if I had made up my mind yet about what I wanted to do about birth control after the twins are born. She knows this pregnancy was unplanned, so it’s been a topic we’ve been revisiting for weeks now. My answer hadn’t changed.

‘I really don’t know.’ I told her.

Because I don’t. I’ve lost my faith in birth control. I lost it the minute I got pregnant straight through the Depo shot, which I was told was The Safest Option. Virtually no chance of getting pregnant, they said. You have a better chance of winning the lottery, they said. They even said that when I did wanted to have children, it could take up to a whole year before I would be able to conceive. I told them I could live with that.

Yet here I am, a very pregnant non-lottery winner. And they ask me what gamble I want to take next? Apart from neutering my husband (oh relax, I wouldn’t do it myself. I’d have the vet do it!) and Abstinence (which to Sam sounded even less appealing than being neutered), I don’t see a way to not get pregnant again. Except maybe using all forms of birth control known to mankind simultaneously… Which, my doc informed me, was not an option.

So she whipped out her chart. ‘Let’s have a look.’

‘Just give me three things I can use on top of one another.’ I pleaded.

‘Two.’ She haggled.

‘Fine. I just don’t want to get pregnant again.’

The moment I heard the words come out of my mouth, I felt bad. ‘Not that any of them are unwanted, though. Just…’

‘Just that four in one year is enough.’

Four in one year is enough.

Right before my 24th birthday last March, Sam and I first started talking about maybe having children in two years. Or three. Maybe four. Would six be pushing it?

We weren’t ready yet, we thought. We lived in a very small split level studio smack in the middle of Amsterdam’s Red Light District, because it was all we could afford at the time. Sam had to travel for work a lot, and his second job involved working nights. I was still in school. We. Weren’t. Ready.

Yes you are, God said, here, have two!

And he was right. We got our shit together, we settled down (which, I’ve learned since then, is not a bad thing), we got excited. And somehow, after all that growing up, relocating and organizing, we ended up being able to give two more beautiful children a home the moment it became clear that they needed one. Today, I have no doubt in my mind that this is how it was always meant to be.

But I also know that this is it. This is my family.

So yes, birth control. I went home with folders and flyers and I Still. Don’t. Know.

If anyone has the answer, do tell.

Pineapples

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these! Although not really, since I’ve been working on a pregnancy scrapbook. But it’s been a long time since I’ve done one online, so I thought it would be fun to give it another go…

How far along? 31 weeks and 1 day!
Babies are the size of a: Pineapple, which is crazy! They’re about 15.2 to 16.7 inches long and weigh about 2.5 to 3.8 pounds each.
Gender: Baby B is a girl. Baby A is still a mystery. First, we were told girl. Then boy. Then girl again. We decided to just let it be a surprise.
Total weight gain: 30 pounds. Remember when I was worried I was never going to gain weight and keep it on? Pah.
Maternity clothes? Miraculously, my low-cut jeans still fit me just fine! But I do have a handful of maternity dresses and shirts. My pre-pregnancy ones just aren’t long enough, and nobody wants to see your crotch when you’re wearing a dress.
Stretch marks? This will probably make people hate me, but nope, no stretch marks anywhere (knock on wood…)
Sleep: I’d love some. Obviously I can’t lay on my stomach anymore, I can’t breathe if I’m lying on my back and my back starts to hurt the moment I turn on my side. I have a very hard time getting comfortable and falling asleep. Then, when I finally do start to doze off, one of the babies will kick me in the bladder and to the bathroom I go again!
Best moment this week? Sam woke up in the middle of the night and got to feel one of the twins’ 3 AM dance offs. His excitement was too cute! That, and finding a somewhat formal dress for Sam’s parents’ 35th anniversary party. Sadie informed me that I looked like a princess. It may be a 2-year-old’s opinion, but I’ve decided to believe her.
Miss anything? Sleep, definitely sleep. And the ability to breathe normally, instead of like some horribly out of shape person. When I picked up Cole from school yesterday he asked me if I ran there, because I was so out of breath…
Movement: They’re all over the place, it’s fantastic!
Cravings? Milk is still my drug of choice. Other than that, Dairy Queen Sundaes.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Poultry. This hasn’t changed since the beginning of my pregnancy.
Labor signs: Nope!
Symptoms: Shortness of breath, Braxton Hicks contractions and back aches. All very lovely.
Belly Button in or out? Out.
Wedding rings on or off? On, still!
Happy or moody most of the time? It balances each other out quite nicely. Or at least I like to think so.
Looking forward to: Finishing up the nursery! I’m still waiting on a few items that I’ve ordered from Etsy, but they should be here this week.

The Scary Pregnant Lady Society

At the beginning of my pregnancy I swore to myself that I would steer clear of those pregnancy messaging boards. No matter how many questions I had that had to be answered Right Now, I would not create an account to ask them. Instead, I’d just write my question down and save them for my doc. After all, I see her every Wednesday. I could wait a week tops for answers, right?

Wrong.

I realized that was not an option the very first time I woke up at three in the morning, wondering ‘what if, what if, what if‘. And that’s how I ended up with an account at one of the bigger message boards out there.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against message boards in general. I think they can be a wonderful place to talk to like-minded people. It’s when you’re like-minded people are a bunch of hormonal crazies that letting them all have a say becomes dangerous. And mean.

Especially when it comes to the Very Important Topics like breastfeeding, circumcision and birth plans. Because even though they’re all important topics to discuss, sure, there’s no need to get nasty.

Really, there’s no need.

If we were all in our right minds, we would probably realize this (Boob Nazis aside). But in the middle of an hormonal fit… Eh. On top of that, every pregnant girl who stood at her kitchen counter at 4 in the morning eating peanut butter straight from the jar, or purchased a baby wipe warmer because it ‘seemed nifty’ can tell you that we suffer from poor impulse control.

Stuff all of us in one place, and people are going to get hurt. It took me about 5 minutes of browsing around to realize why I was so against signing up in the first place…

… When one momma-to-be called another almost-mother an ‘inconsiderate bitch’.

Hi, Kettle? This is Pot. You’re black!

I won’t log on again. And to protect myself against moments of poor judgment and temporary amnesia, I asked Sam to change my password into something I would never guess.

If I could give you one piece of advise, it would be that you do the same. The last thing you need when you’re already stressed over something is another crazy pregnant lady piling on negativity.

Eat a tub of ice cream to calm your nerves instead.

The Art of Growing Up

There’s a quote from the TV series Friends that goes like this:

Monica: Excuse me, what’s wrong with a woman eating alone?
Chandler: Well, obviously something. She’s eating alone.

I used to believe that everyone shared Chandler’s opinion. That anyone who passes a girl sitting at a restaurant alone must come to the conclusion that this girl is sad with a capital S. That she must not have any friends.

Needless to say I was never very good at eating alone. I like to pretend that I was, and there have been occasions where I sat down somewhere for a bite to eat without company… but never without a shield. I’d have a paper, or coursework – something that let other people around me believe that I was a Busy Girl who needed to multitask, and not some pathetic loser who besides eating alone also spent her Friday nights alone at the movies, or at home with her cats.

If I could help it, I wouldn’t sit down at all. I’d grab something I could eat while walking, so I wouldn’t feel like I was on display.

But this has proven to be an impossible thing to do during pregnancy. I can be walking down the street perfectly fine one minute, and nearly fainting because I’m starving the next. And as tempting as Eating While Wobbling sounds, it’s just not an option. These days, I need to sit down and rest while eating.

During the past 31 weeks, I slowly made my peace with sitting down somewhere and having a big meal all by myself without some sort of buffer. These days I’ll sit at a table, chin firmly placed in hand, elbow firmly placed on the table, smiling at people who catch my eye while I wait for my food.

You always hear people say that becoming a mother forces you to grow up, and I’ve always thought of this as a negative thing. No more impromptu nights out, no more spontaneous city trips. No more this, no more that. No more nothing. Never once did it cross my mind that I might be gaining something apart from a child and a buttload of responsibilities.

But I’m gaining so much. For one, I’ve gained a massive amount of respect for what my own body is capable of, which is a big deal for someone who had major body image issues. That, and the amount of soul searching I have done since I found out I was pregnant made me a lot more confident in general. As a result, I’m much more at ease with myself as a whole, and far less concerned with how people might view me. Because I Know Who I Am now.

No more need for buffers, shields or masks.

Come get to know me.

I Made My Husband Break The Law

I nearly clobbered my husband to death with an empty milk jug today. He committed the unpardonable sin, you see. He used up all the milk. We had no more milk in the house. None. Zip. Nada.

‘Why would you even do that?’ I wailed, waving the jug in his face. ‘Why, man? I NEED MY MILK!’

His response was backing away slowly with one hand up and reaching for the car keys with the other.

‘I’ll go out and get some.’ He said in a high-pitched, panicked voice.

‘That’s right you’re going out to get some!’ I shrieked, hitting him in the arm with the jug. ‘You’re going right now!’

‘I am! I’m going right now!’

He came back half an hour later with 6 jugs of milk, and a speeding ticket.

No joke.

One Day, Maybe

I’m a girl’s girl. Always have, always will be. Don’t get me wrong, I can hold my own when it comes to guys – growing up with 5 older brothers will do that for you – but when it comes to friends, I prefer my core group to consist of girls. À la Sex and the City, sad as that may sound (but not as sad as living in a world where Sex and the City seems to become more and more outdated).

I want the brunches, the lunches, the drinks before dinner and the movie nights in. I want the shopping trips, the occasional gossip, the make-up tips, the somewhat arrogant simultaneous snort when a grownup wearing Crocs is spotted. I want to be able to completely bitch something out and have nodding heads instead of raising eyebrows. Because a guy would just not understand, you know?

Maybe you don’t. Maybe I’m weird. But nevertheless, these are things I absolutely need in my life.

The hardest part of moving was leaving my girlfriends behind. Because although it was something I had certainly done before, never had I ever spent such a long period of time in one place. These girls, they were not merely friends. They were my tribe. They had my back as much as I had theirs, and we survived our early twenties because of each other.

Sometimes I miss them so much it physically hurts. We stay in contact, of course, but that doesn’t help me deal with the little pangs of jealousy whenever I see a status update from the lot of them out and about, having fun. Without me. Because I’m oceans away.

I desperately need a new tribe. As much as I adore spending time with Cole and Sadie, as much as I adore my husband, as much as I adore all my sisters-in-law… I need some grown-ass lady friend time with kick ass woman that are not related to me by blood or marriage. Is that too much to ask for?

Apparently so.

Making friends while pregnant is hard. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a relatively young mom, but I don’t seem to fit in anywhere. No 30-something woman is quite on the same wavelength, and no 20-something year-old girl wants to hang out with a pregnant chick who also happens to be caring for a 6 and 2-year-old. I’m still hopeful that there are other misfits like me out there, preferably in my area, but until then…

I miss my tribe.