Monday, April 30, 2012

12 weeks +

I am officially past the 12 week mark!  I’m 12 weeks + 1 day today =)  I’m soooo relieved to have made it this far.  I know it’s not a guarantee, but I’m much more hopeful than previous to this. 

We have our ultrasound on Wednesday and I’m sooo antsy about it.  I can’t wait to see my babies again!!  It has been way too long (6 weeks).  I keep worrying, what if one of them didn’t make it this far?  I worry about it because even though it seems insane to be having 2 babies at once, I am so hooked on having my twins, it would be so devastating for it not to work out now.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the u/s technician we had at 6 weeks 2 days was right, that they are a textbook case for how twins should grow. 

I’m pretty sure I found both their heartbeats on the Doppler tonight.  I don’t check too regularly, about once to twice a week.  When I found the heartbeat the first time I really couldn’t tell if it was two or not, because it basically seemed to just be localized to one specific area.  It makes sense since they are basically one on top of the other.  You’d think they’d spread out in there, since there are two sides, but I guess it all depends on where they were implanted as to where they stay?  I’m not entirely sure how that works!  But I found what sounded to me like 2 separate heartbeats, because they were found about 3 inches apart from each other.  The Doppler tends to stop hearing the beat if you move it just slightly away from hovering over it, so that’s why I think it most likely was both babies.  And both heartbeats sounded equally as strong.  I also could hear some karate chop moves happening, so they are feisty like their big brother!  Andrew always swiped at the Doppler when I listened to him in there =)

I am so happy and so excited…and then there is the part of me that’s in this weird denial it’s even happening.  It’s not denial that it’s twins because I’m freaked out about 2 babies, it’s denial that I’m even pregnant as a defence mechanism because I’m so scared something could go wrong.  I remember when I went for that counselling session after Baby#2 died, the counsellor said she knew someone who was 5-6 months pregnant and was basically pretending she wasn’t and even denied to people that she was pregnant when it was obvious she was.  She had suffered several miscarriages and just didn’t know how else to cope.  I kind of get that now.  Not that I’m not open about being pregnant (after our u/s everyone who doesn’t already know is going to know!  But everyone I’m close to knows and has since we found out it was twins).  It’s just…it’s hard to explain.

I’ve been having flashbacks lately a lot to losing the last baby, and that probably has something to do with it.  Today was my potential due date.  Basically it was either April 30th or May 2nd.  I actually think if we’d made it to the dating ultrasound and everything was going as it should have been, I’d have found out I was due a bit sooner, because I think the baby was maybe a bit further developed than we’d thought.  But of course I’m the only one who can speculate, and what do I know.  So yeah…today.  My due date with Baby#2.  It’s sad that it didn’t work out.  If it had worked out, I’d have never known about the twins because they never would have existed.  And of course, now that they’re in me, I can’t imagine them not being there.  So I know this had to happen for a reason.  I am leaning toward there is some reason why I was meant to have twins, and meant to have 3 kids instead of the two I was always adamant would be my limit.  I just worry that I’m getting my hopes up, and then what if something goes wrong.  I want to just be happy, and there’s a huge part of me (not just my giant belly, haha!) that IS happy.  Elated, beyond expression.  But I still have a sadness I can’t shake over that loss I experienced, and sometimes I wonder when it will ease up.  Not a single day ever goes by that I don’t think about it.  I don’t always have flashbacks, but often enough.  But mostly it’s just this feeling in me, that’s always there.  This knowledge of something traumatic that I never thought I’d know, that I can’t seem to compartmentalize.  It broke a part of me that feels like it can’t be fixed.

Or maybe it’s more that it’s just a worry, plain and simple, because it was related to pregnancy not working out, and now I’m pregnant again so I’m naturally going to worry that the same thing could happen again.  Once my babies are here and I am 100% telling you I am NEVER getting pregnant again even if someone paid me a trillion dollars (seriously, I wouldn’t do it!), there will be a relief knowing I have my children and I never have to go through the pregnancy part again.

It’s all such a jumble of emotions, because while it’s a constant worry for me now, being pregnant, I also love being pregnant!  There are things about it that are so wonderful and magical and the excitement of knowing I get to meet my babies in 6 months or probably closer to 5, that’s amazing!  I guess there are always going to be hurdles in life to overcome, and I just have to ride with it.

I just felt a few jabs that felt like a little baby trying to get Mommy’s attention =)  I really look forward to feeling a lot more of that in the coming weeks.  So far it’s the occasional somersault or jab but few and far between.  I know there’s so much more to come!  I’m so excited to be past the 12 week mark, and for now I just want to focus on that.

The family van

Well, it looks like we are about to be the proud new owners of a new (to us!  It's a 2002) Dodge Caravan!  We have to embrace the ‘family van’ because it’s really our only option.  I’m actually really excited about it.  James and my first vehicle together, it feels like a big thing for us.  It has been great being able to rely on transit or just walking everywhere for the past 14 years since we moved over this way, but it’s time for a new chapter. 

We definitely plan to still utilize transit – obviously James will be transiting to work every day, (as part of becoming an employee recently as opposed to contracting, he got a sweet deal of a half-price bus pass for the year) and at least until the babies come I will still use transit if I have to go downtown.  But it’s going to be SO NICE to be able to drive Andrew over to my mom’s, or drive to get groceries (this is a big one for me – you have no idea how excited I am about going grocery shopping with a vehicle to bring it all home, not a granny cart or having to ask my parents to drive me!!)

We’re also going to plan some fun outings for the next several weekends after our weekend away coming up.  I want to take Andrew to the zoo, for example, and other places like that, places we really couldn’t get to by transit even if we wanted to.  Places I want to take Andrew to before the twins arrive, because it will be that much more chaotic to do things then.  And I feel like I have to do this stuff within the next couple of months, tops, because once I’m 20 weeks + I am going to be HUGE and might not be up to doing as much.  I’m already concerned about how it will be for me at the zoo, truthfully, because I get tuckered out so easily as it is, and when we took Andrew there 2 years ago I remember how much walking we did, and how tired we were at the end of the day.  I really have to be careful not to overdo it, and it’s ridiculous how easily I feel like I’m doing too much ALREADY in this pregnancy.  I’m not used to feeling so weak, it’s crazy!  Today we walked for about half an hour, then did a grocery shop at Safeway, then bussed home, and I was seriously SO TIRED and sore from the outing!  But I’m just so freakishly tired, and my belly’s growing, and there are aches and pains associated.  Once the belly is getting quite huge, which it will far earlier than with a singleton, I have to take into account how much more debilitating it will be.

So we thought it made sense to get our van now, get me used to driving it before my belly’s hitting into the steering wheel (lol!) and do some of the fun things we want to do before it’s too late for this year.  It’s going to be so nice to have that freedom to go places, I really can’t wait!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Acting out

This past week has been particularly challenging with Andrew.  He can be willful at the best of times – he has a strong personality, and is very determined.  I was exactly like him when I was little, so I understand where he’s coming from, and I know he comes by it honestly!  But I’m so used to him being SUCH a good boy the majority of the time.  He has his moments, as all little ones do, but he’s generally quite easy going, very affectionate, relatively easy to please – and has been his whole life.  He smiles often and shows compassion and care for others.  He’s a genuinely sweet little boy.

Because of his usual good-naturedness, I think it has been extra challenging to have him be not-so-good-natured this past week.  Between myself, James, and talking about it with my mom (and her witnessing the behaviour first-hand), our conclusion is that he’s acting out because of the babies in Mommy’s belly.

Sometimes Andrew will talk about the babies excitedly, or discuss how the babies in HIS belly (he’s got 3 now, apparently) are going to pop out and all be his friends.  He’ll tell me he’s happy about the babies, or he’ll pick out toys from his bedroom and say, ‘I’ll give this one to the babies….but not THIS one!’ 

But in the past week, there has been more resistance to the idea of ‘the babies.’  And he generally takes it all out on me, specifically.  I’m pretty sure it’s because he’s resentful that our routines have already started changing to accommodate for them.  I’ve been Andrew’s #1 since day one, and having been home with him his whole life so far, he’s grown accustomed to me being a certain way with him.  I try to be as close to that person as I can be, but it’s true, I’m not quite the same now.  I can’t be.  I’m often so sick, that all I can do is lay down.  He doesn’t like how that cuts into our together time.  I don’t particularly enjoy it either, so I can well imagine how it makes him feel.  I also can’t do some of the things I would normally do with him, some of our horsing-around type play, because I have to be careful to protect my growing belly.  At least several times every day, I hear myself say, ‘Be careful of Mommy’s belly, Andrew.’  I’m constantly reminding him of the babies, because I have to be careful when he’s playfully kicking me or wanting to jump onto my lap.  I can’t even hold him on my lap the way I would pre-pregnancy, because my belly is already big enough that it’s uncomfortable to have him leaning right against it.

I try to compensate for what I can’t do, but I’m also so tired most of the time, often very nauseous, or having to say, ‘Ok, we can play that game, but I’m going to have to go throw up first!’  which kind of puts a damper on the fun of things, I’m sure.

As a result, there have been more tantrums, more outbursts, more yelling out, ‘I don’t like you, Mommy’ or ‘Go away!’  He’s started telling me he outright hates me, and that he doesn’t want any babies.  Did I mention that yesterday he said I would only have one of the babies, not both, because two was too many considering he didn’t want any at all.  Today we went to my mom’s because I was so exhausted and he had me at my wits end by 10am.  After I got him a snack in the morning, I actually went into the bathroom and sobbed for a good 5 minutes.  It’s mostly just hormone-related (I can’t even remember the last time I cried before that, so I’m doing pretty well all considered!) but I’m sure it had something to do with the way he’s treating me.  Just as he’s grown accustomed to me being his #1, I’ve grown accustomed to him being mine.

And ultimately, I know I still AM his #1.  He still wants Mommy when it comes down to a lot of things.  And he still usually tells me he loves me, particularly at bed time, without me having to necessarily say it first.  He loves me, and I know this is just him acting out because he’s feeling weird about the changes that are taking place.  It’s going to be a tough transition to suddenly have to share me, and it’s a double whammy with it being twins.  It’s going to be challenging for all of us.  I just hope this behaviour changes for the better soon, because I’m not sure how many more bad days in a row I can handle!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's party time! Every day apparently...

The past few months, Andrew has taken to exploring his imagination more than ever.  His latest obsession is talking about his ‘friends.’  He does play with other children from time to time, but generally doesn’t see the same kids on a regular enough basis to say he has real friendships yet.  I’d like to socialize him more, although there will be plenty of opportunities for that once the weather is nicer (which will hopefully be soon…sooooo sick of Vancouver rain…) and we can hit up the parks more regularly.  I’m not too worried about it, because ultimately at his age kids don’t ACTUALLY play together, not really.  They play around each other, and might have some interaction, but they’re not really hanging out together per se!

Anyway, he has enough imaginary friends at this point, that I don’t think he’s too concerned about having real friends at the moment.  Almost anyone is his ‘friend.’  Although he prefers really, really bad guys.  The more bizarre the superhero, the better.  I asked him if he was worried about having bad guys like Venom at his parties (he’s constantly throwing parties for his friends), but he assured me that all the bad guys are good guys when they’re with him at his parties.  The past few days, his new thing is that ‘bad guys aren’t actually bad, they’re just upset.’

So apparently he has parties for his friends all the time, but I’m not invited, and neither is James, or Fifi!  Although today he said he MIGHT invite me to one of his parties so I could meet all his friends, since he talks about them so much.  Whenever he sees ANYTHING, he reports on how his friends do that, or his friends have that toy, or his friends go to that place.  He’s also decided that he actually lives with his friends, and when Papa drives us home from their place on days when we’ve been over visiting, he tells Papa to drop me off, then take him to his friend’s house, because he LIVES there with his FRIENDS, NOT with Mommy and Daddy!

I love hearing all the stories Andrew comes up with, whether they’re about his friends, his parties, or ‘the goo monster’ or whatever else his brain might be conjuring up.  There’s no doubt about it, his imagination is definitely running wild!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

11 weeks with twins

In contrast to being out for almost 7 hours yesterday, today we stayed home.  Sometimes on a weekend day I’ll feel a bit disappointed if we don’t really do much, but today I was relieved to not have any plans.  I was still feeling pretty tired from yesterday.  Last night we started watching Sherlock on Netflix (It’s kind of different, but I think I like it – we’re half an episode in) and I couldn’t even watch it all, I was so tired.  I started feeling as though I had flu symptoms, very achy and exhausted and my head even felt a bit warm, but I think I was just out of sorts, not actually sick.  Those symptoms were gone by morning, but I think I just have to take it easy as much as possible.  I KNOW that in weeks/months to come I’ll look back and think I couldn’t have POSSIBLY been so tired at this earlier stage, or uncomfortable, or what have you…but I am!

Since James gets up with the boy in the mornings on weekends so I can sleep in (it keeps me from throwing up as much through the day, which is sooo helpful…in fact, I didn’t throw up at all this weekend, yay!) he was pretty tired by after breakfast time.  So he went off to rest while the boy and I spent time together.  First we read at least 10 books, and he’s liking slightly longer story ones these days, so that was fun.  Then we did some painting.  Andrew decided he wanted me to paint his feet so we could do footprints, then hand prints, then he decided he also wanted a belly print!  It was funny, he seemed to get a kick out of seeing where his belly button is (the only spot on the paper where there was no paint!)  Then he had to have his second tubby of the day, to wash off all the paint.  He was a really good boy, totally cooperative and not the least bit whiny.  After we had done a bunch of things he wanted to watch a show, so I put something on for him and then I made some homemade buttermilk biscuits.  Then my mom texted to see if they could pop by after dinner, because they wanted to give James his bday present since they didn’t see him on the actual day, so I decided to make a Lemon Meringue Pie so we could offer them dessert.  Both things turned out really yummy!

I didn’t feel nearly as sick the past few days as I’ve been the past…few months, I guess it’s been.  Which is not to say there wasn’t nausea involved.  Oh, there was nausea!  In fact, there IS nausea – since it tends to get quite bad later at night.  But nothing compared to how it ‘usually’ seems to be, so maybe, hopefully it tapers off.  One can always hope!!  Although I do think a big part of it is the extra sleep I get when James is home to look after Andrew in the mornings.  Yes, theoretically I could go to bed way earlier and get that extra sleep on weeknights, but I seriously have SUCH a difficult time falling asleep at night that it’s so difficult for me, and just doesn’t seem to happen.  So…it is what it is, right?!

Today I am 11 weeks pregnant.  Tomorrow feels like a ‘milestone’ day for me.  I was 11 weeks +1 day when my last pregnancy ended.  It’s very vivid in my mind, and so hard to believe, on so many levels.  And to think that I’m right at that place again, 11 weeks +1 day tomorrow, only this time with twins.  And this time with not a single drop of blood the entire pregnancy so far (and hopefully it will continue to be that way till delivery day when I’m as close to full term as possible!)  I have very severe pregnancy symptoms, whereas within a few days of losing the last pregnancy, I had all but lost most of my symptoms.  A lot was different than what’s happening now, and I want to take that as a sign that things are going well now so I shouldn’t worry so much.  But it’s hard not to…And it’s also hard not to think about what my babies look like inside me right now.  Two babies that look just like the little baby I lost.  It’s weird thinking about it, because I’m so sure that baby truly was 11 weeks along when it came out, so I feel like I can perfectly picture what my two little ones look like inside me RIGHT NOW.  It’s so strange, yet so amazing.  Part of me thinks there was some sort of power in that little baby I lost, and that he or she either came back to me, or somehow helped to make it so these twins would be here with me now.  That might sound silly…When people said after that loss, that it’s possible their little spirit could come back ‘when it was ready’ I wasn’t sure what I thought of that.  It felt comforting, but at the same time the loss felt so absolute, like there was nothing more true on this earth than the fact that they were gone.  And maybe it is that way, but it just seems beyond coincidence to me that things happened the way they did, that I’m pregnant with twins, which puts a whole different spin on the entire thing.

I’ve been wishing the weeks away so I could get over this hurdle, of getting further along in this pregnancy than I got in the last one.  Tomorrow will mark that day, and now we’re that much closer to our next ultrasound, which I’m hoping will REALLY put my mind at ease.  So we’re getting there!  And it feels really good to be getting there, and in all honesty, to really be feeling the life that’s growing inside me.

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