Friday, January 31, 2014

And so the adventure begins!

I remember the day I found out.
It was December 15th.
I walked into my doctor's office, and waited to be called back for my ultrasound.
I didn't know why my doctor wanted to do an ultrasound on my first visit, but I was excited at the prospect of seeing the tiny baby growing inside me, the tiny baby that I felt a fierce protectiveness over already, at however many weeks I was (I was guessing between 8 and 10, turns out it was almost 11).

Perhaps my fierce desire to carry this baby to term came from the fact that I had miscarried a baby (a very physically trying experience for sure!) about six months prior.  Perhaps it came from the fact that my youngest was already 2 years and 3 months old and my arms were aching to hold a newborn again.  Either way, I wanted that baby, and the thought that I could lose it was always at the back of my mind (a mom's thoughts after a mis, I guess).

So I shrugged when the ultrasound tech asked why I was having an ultrasound, but hopped eagerly onto her table to 'see' and 'hear' my baby's heartbeat.

What absolutely shocked me, was the image on the screen.
It showed two dark ovals, with one white embryo in each!

I fought tears as the technician pointed out the miracle I never expected and printed images off for me to bring home.

It was a loooong hour that I waited to see my Doctor.  As I waited, and as she asked me what I thought about it all, I tried to process my feelings.  Excited? Yes! Nervous? Yes!!

I held it together as I left the office and drove to the restaurant where Dean was waiting.
I couldn't say a word.  I simply handed him the ultrasound pictures, then burst into tears when his jaw dropped.

I laugh at myself now for crying, and at Dean's befuddled expression to my tears.  But it was just so much to take in, so much anxiety and so much joy to hold in any longer, that I stopped trying, despite the fact that people milled about us, and despite the fact that I'm not usually a crier.
Dean said a tentative "well, it's kind of exciting, isn't it?" (and later "it's going to be a great adventure!")
To which I laughed through my tears and said "yes, yes, of course.  It's just very overwhelming".

I don't know what his thought process has been, but mine has been realistic.  While twins is quite exciting, I am not looking at it with rose colored glasses.  From the first minutes I knew, I was full of doubts about my ability to do this.  I know how demanding one baby can be, I'm trying to imagine doubling that workload. I wondered how this house will keep running, how the kids will get fed and bathed, and how I myself will eat or sleep while caring for twins. I wondered if I can stay sane through their first year of life.

Oh, I know it will happen.  I know we will get through it.
But I know that it will definitely be a bed of roses - beautiful yet thorny.

So, the clock keeps ticking...very I take this twin pregnancy day by day.  It feels like July is eons away (funny how it almost feels like my first pregnancy again).  I don't know if I want July to be here tomorrow, or not until next year.  I do know that I still feel that same fierce protectiveness for these babies, that same determination that I will have both these babies, as scary as it sometimes sounds.

I suppose I should enjoy this pre-twin period of my life, and do as many projects, work as much as I want, while I can.  That is actually quite hard to do, as I feel more pregnant than I ever have at this point (17 weeks as of posting). I can't go about my normal busy life; these twins are a constant in my thoughts as I experience the exhaustion, the hunger, the nausea, the stretching and tightening, the insomnia (much of it caused by worry), and did I mention the exhaustion?

But I have decided that it doesn't pay to worry about things I have no control over.  I can't worry about bed rest in the coming months, preterm labor, breech babies, C-sections, breastfeeding multiples, or finding time to shower.

I will instead take it day by day.

And every day is a beautiful day when you have two healthy babies growing inside you.

at 13 weeks
I am looking forward to what kind of beauty amidst the chaos this adventure will bring!
And I am most definitely looking forward to the day I can hold both my babies in my arms.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

a spoonful of memories

I recently had the privilege of borrowing my grandmother's scrapbook so I could make copies of some of the photos for a family tree project I am hoping to create for my kids.

What fun it is to go through that book!  I get to 'see' so much: my dad as a one year old, chubby cheeked baby, relatives of mine that I've never met, my grandmother in her wedding gown, my grandparents smiling and looking in-love on their first anniversary, my dad as a cheeky teenager, my grandmother holding her infant children.
A wealth of memories must be contained in that book, and I am sure she is eager for me to return it to her.

I was quite surprised to come across a photo of myself, as most of the book is comprised of photos taken before I was even born.

I wasn't quite three when this photo was taken.  September must have been a beautiful time of year back east, kind of like here, because we were wearing short sleeves.  And it brings back a few flitting memories I have of the time Grandma used to watch Kelton and I during my mother's work day.

Grandma had a low stone wall that ran across her yard, perhaps on the edge of it and the great big woods (I have no idea how big, because I've never been back).  Kelton and I used to love to play on that wall.

The memory of that wall triggers another memory.
Grandma (or was it her sister?) had these wooden bowls, that looked like they were made of wooden squares all patched together, overlapping each other.  We were eating cereal and Grandma (or perhaps it was her sister, I'm not sure now) had just told us not to add any more sugar to our cereal. We, of course, did not listen and helped ourselves to a large amount of sugar from the sugar bowl on the middle of the table.  When Grandma came in later, she scolded us for not listening and taking more sugar anyway. "But how did you know!?" we asked her.
"Because the sugar is scraping on the bottom of your bowls each time you spoon a bite!" she said between laughs.

And the more I think about it, the more I'm beginning to think it was Grandma's sister who owned those wood bowls and scolded us.  I'm doubtful I could remember something so vividly from the time I was 4 years old.  And it sounds exactly like something my two living brothers would do and say.

I am going to have to pay my great-aunt a visit, and ask her if she has or had those wooden bowls and see if she remembers that particular incident.  I think I best bring my brothers along as well, and we can reminisce the summer weeks we spent in their home and relish in their company while we still have the opportunity to do so.

And you know something? Every now and then, I have a hankering for a bowl of cheerios or rice krispies with (just one) spoonful of sugar sprinkled on top.