Too Big for My Britches… Literally.

I’m pretty sure I know where all the pregnant mamas in Wisconsin go during the winter to have a good time. I saw most of them, with their little ones and husbands, splashing around and keeping careful eyes on their children. They go to the Dells, with their massive indoor waterparks.

Obviously I can be counted among their number, and I truly felt among friends as we all enjoyed the water therapy without the body shaming that summer brings with the skinny minny beach bods. Pretty sure this summer will be me wondering when all the water weight will depart, let alone any meaningful weight loss at all. If I can conjure a coherent thought altogether, which might take a full year….

Well, even with all the unspoken cameraderie among these expectant mothers, I felt like… like a fish out of water. Or a beached whale, more like. I am clearly, above all, larger than the others. Twins will do that to you.

Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t bother me. I have been blessed with healthy pregnancies, and, for now, this is no exception. I don’t take that for granted and am incredibly thankful. I am aware that there are many moms out there who wish they were in my place. But that is another post for another time.

I look at myself and my life much like Lizzy and her father do in Pride and Prejudice.

“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?

I have the gift of being able to not take myself seriously, and therefore can enjoy these funny moments without low self-image or insult. I mean, lines can be crossed, but it takes a lot.

So on with my story.

I’m starting to get used to the questions and responses to twins. I get it. It’s uncommon and interesting and emotion is difficult to conceal in the moment. The funny thing about this week, though, was that no one talked or asked questions. 

It was the looks that were amusing. The double-take was most common. I even got bulging eyes. Step asides, cause, you know, I take a lot of room up these days. Plus, it seemed to be contagious, with all the other expectant moms present. I did see some fear-as in afraid that I would give birth right then and there.

My favorite response was in a restaurant bathroom. 

This bathroom was not designed well at all. The sink was right next to the door. So, if you were washing your hands and another person wanted to leave, you had to either wait or ask permission from a perfect stranger to leave the facilities. 

An older woman noticed the poor layout while I was washing up and joked about how the owners must have been trying to save money. 

I laughed. Not a “hahaha” laugh, but a polite singular “ha”.

She jumped. “Are you going to be okay? Do I need to get someone?”

She mistook my demure chuckle for a labor groan.

“No, no, I’m fine.”

What’s the best way to laugh when you look like you are going to pop, but aren’t even close? I guess I’ll have to work on that. 

Some serious thought will have to be put into certain things I usually take for granted during gestation. The waddle came earlier. My love for tunics and comfortable clothes probably doesn’t help the big aspect. Maybe I need to reconsider the chair flop or foot prop. 

Or, perhaps, I will just sit back and enjoy the show… 

Have Questions About This Twin Thing? Me too.

As my mind continues to spin from the shock of finding out we are having twins, I am getting a LOT of questions. And I don’t blame any of you because it is a whole new world for me too. But seeing as I get a lot of the same questions, I thought I’d answer them here, like I’m an important person or something. Ha!

1. Why didn’t you know at your 8 week ultrasound?
Because I didn’t have one. I didn’t go to the doctor until I was 16 weeks-ish along. After going through this five other times with no complications, I really felt that driving half an hour away just to be asked if I have any questions was a waste of my time and the doctor’s time. I still don’t regret that choice. Blood panels and urine samples can be done at any time, really.

2. Didn’t the doctor hear two hearts on doppler?
Nope, just one. I am assuming that if you hear a heartbeat as soon as the wand is on the stomach, you don’t just go searching for another one for no reason. If you recall what Doppler effect is from remedial high school science, it makes sense. Everything else is background noise.

3. Do twins run on either side of your family?
Nope. We have racked our brains thinking of a distant blood relative, but no. My mom’s mom is missing half her medical history though, so there is that…

4. How did the kids take it?
They were in the room with me and were just as shocked as I was at first. But then I heard, “Mom, it will be okay. We are going to help you.” I’ve got tremendous kids.

5. What kind of twins are they?
Fraternal, which is more common. One boy and one girl. They are in separate arrangements, but dear brother was smooshing his spine against his sister, which follows Franklin sibling protocol. Annoy, pester and smoosh if possible.

6. How are you feeling NOW?
Still tired. Still big. Still achy. Less sure.

7. When are you due?
40 weeks is June 4. I did a little research on twins, and they typically come a few weeks early. My nurse said we will come up with a better idea as we continue to monitor these cherubs. Which we will. As a matter of fact, I will be making up all those doctor appointments I tried to skip. Irony can be cruel.

8. Wow! Twins!! What about homeschooling? And you’ll need a bigger vehicle. Better hurry and get that house sold! How are you guys going to manage double everything?
These are exactly the first thoughts we were thinking. But then, I stopped. Jesus said not to fret over tomorrow, that we need to take each day as it comes. That doesn’t mean we don’t prepare, but I need to focus on one thing at a time, and it needs to be what the Lord shows as the next priority. If I think of it all in one chunk, I start to get woosy. And that’s not good for the baby… babies.

9. Are you guys trying for a reality show?
Nope. We only intended to have four. Things outside our control keep happening that have us still makin’ babies. I know this is God’s plan for our family, but, for reasons maybe I’ll talk about in another post, we haven’t intentionally planned this. We just give thanks and accept the new life, or lives, God gives us.

How This Pregnancy is Different (6th time’s a charm?)

Right this moment, I am lying in bed while my kids make dinner. Am I taking advantage of child labor? Maybe. Resting from a difficult day? I’ve had worse. Lack of sleep? Yes….

The real reason I am in bed here is because I can. There’s enough semblance of order in my house and excitement about cooking, that I can rest at 5 in the evening while people less than half my age do my job for me. For free. 

When I found out about children no. 4, 5, and 6, I googled “# pregnancy”. I wanted to know what to expect to be different from each pregnancy. Information was sorely lacking. And then, I realized something: pregnancy is different because of the various factors that play in to any pregnancy, not just a higher quantity. 

But for those out there, like me, I want to fill the google void with how this,  my sixth time expecting, is different.

1. I’m tired-er.

Is it my advanced years or the amount of kids already vying for my attention? I don’t know, but I am exhausted. Every pregnancy chart says I should be full of energy, but not so much for me. So, I’ve changed some habits. I am conscientious about getting enough protein daily, starting to exercise more intentionally, and being consistent about taking my prenatal vitamin. These things have helped me tremendously.

2. I’m bigger. 

The joke before we announced at 16 weeks was, “She’s just a little chubby.” I was popping pretty early on. The great thing, though, is I love tunics. Tunics hide baby bumps or at least put you in that grey area of “is-she-preggo-or-is-it-just-the-shirt?”. And they even look cute when the baby is obvious. Tunics, people. Save your hard earned $$. 

But seriously, I am only a little smaller than I was with Natalie (my firstborn) full term. Being big makes maneuvering difficult, whether it is turning in bed, or climbing stairs, or getting out of the car. I’m not sure how this will end in 20 more weeks. I’ll keep you posted.

3. I’m surer.

Don’t be deceived. I still am not a child expert. I am confident that this child will throw us curveballs that the others never thought to throw. God will give us wisdom to handle whatever comes our way. He hasn’t failed us yet.

My older children are capable and happy to help with the little ones. I keep my feelers on for signs that I am over loading them and adjust accordingly. But watching your girls sweetly helping their baby sister? Priceless. 

I was very nervous telling our children about no.6. “Not another one!!” was the response I was expecting. But in disbelief, I watched them get excited about another child. Excited. At that point, I knew we would be okay, that there was still plenty of love to go around. 

So I’m more relaxed. People can think what they want. I know what we need and don’t need for the baby. Our other five children are thriving despite our lack as parents. It will be okay.

4. I’m achy-er.

Once again, this could be my age or the fact that I was overweight before I got pregnant. It could be because it is winter and I have the bones of an arthritic knitter. I was raised to suck it up and get over it, so I haven’t started a pain reliever regiment or anything like that. Motion is lotion, so I try to stay moving. See 1 & 2 for reasons why I stop. 

So, for the google searcher out there like me, take heart! You will be just fine. Now is a great time to start teaching your younger kids to help out more. You will be surprised at how much they want to help you. 

Now, I finished writing everything above right before heading out to my 20 week ultrasound. At said appointment, I discovered that we are having twins. Twins. So, I am going to leave you with that cliffhanger, and ask you to stay tuned for “What it is like to discover twins living in you.” 

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