As peace & quiet settles over our home: big & little kids all asleep, Carl & I decide it was the fastest day ever!
Birth story & details to come. We are all well & happy! xo ~ katrina
When I was pregnant with our third I cried a lot. I had 2 other small toddlers to enjoy (care for), one was 2 years…nearly 3, the other 1 of course. They were darling & busy & fun…but I was physically & emotionally exhausted. I had too many food allergies, was hungry all the time, & probably wasn’t getting enough nutritionally. Our oldest, the builder, noticed this of course, and was convinced that babies in the belly = sad, crying mamas. Once he even told someone that I’d be ok once the baby came out.
Of course, he was right. Surprisingly enough, while this twin pregnancy has been the hardest of them all combined, I didn’t cry much till this third trimester. And I’ve made up for it’s absence earlier. (They are not always sad tears…I also frequently cry during touching Olympic moments…strangely enough, I seem to have discovered more of them this time).
This week, I’ve really only slept 2 nights (3 of which were full of on & off braxton hicks). While I hope desperately it means we are nearly done, I am exhausted. I cried a bit last night as I was alone, listening to my family peacefully sleep. Soo uncomfortable, I couldn’t even sleep on one of my sides as I could feel every bone of one of the babies (scaring me that I could be crushing them), would lose my breath, or feel my heart race.
At about 5:30 or 6 am, I resorted to propping myself with pillows, hoping to fall asleep sitting. After about an hour, my body relaxed enough that I layed on the less-full-of-baby side and managed to sleep till everything was stirring – signaling school preparation was underway.
One day the big kids will tell the twins how I cried a bit trying to get them here safely. They will tell their brothers about
● being just like little butlers: bringing me all sorts of things, helping me up, holding my hands, and letting me hold their shoulders for stability
● Aunt Tonya’s walker we borrowed to ensure a safe journey to my bathroom.
● the table we would eat snacks at in my room to avoid the crumbs in Dad’s bed.
● or the mini fridge Dale let us snag from the office so I could eat at night (that they loved to also eat from)
● the hanging cradle/bassinet that they helped Dad put together that was so hard to not touch and swing
● the dresser full of clothes they used to wear…and a drawer just for diapers (they are facinated by a full drawer of diapers)
● the blow-up swimming pool the mailman delivered to our door (Amazon) that was full of air – not water (also difficult not to touch)
● the kind friends & neighbors that brought us food
● Brenda & Jody: neighbors that made returning from school an everyday adventure
Actually, there are more…
…but the 2 things I hope they remember most is that amidst all the tears, struggle, and excitement: their Dad and I tried our very best (Dad especially) and loved them dearly. That this home was overflowing with love for the big kids, and the littles soon to arrive.
As Carl and I watched the ever exciting ski slopestyle, I realized and shared with him that I feel like I’ve somehow mis-qualified for the Pregnant Olympics.
Without special training, obviously with the lowest times & scores ever known in Pregnant Olympic history…and the fact that I have shown up late enough that I’ve not had the opportunity to even try the course!
But there is my name on the leader board (no, you won’t see me interviewed or even mentioned in media coverage). I won’t be making the next round, semi-finals or finals for that matter.
And no, I’ve never taken a belly picture with previous pregnancies – but it’s the Olympics after all, and we do unimaginable rituals like belly pictures and we proudly wear ugly Christmas sweaters…
Heck, I didn’t even make it to Sochi in time to walk out with my team during the Opening Ceremonies (couldn’t really walk that far anyway).
But here I am…the clueless underdog with a speedskate suit (body) that is clearly slowing me down. Not sure it was made for me and it can’t possibly be my size, but I’m wearing it all the same…
…that’s really how I’m feeling though this 38th week pregnant with our boys’:
● a bit confused (yes, I’m now taking stuff to help me sleep…adds to the overall confusion),
● extremely uncomfortable,
● working through contractions that lead nowhere,
● a bit under the weather (shouldn’t let my thirsty kiddos drink out of my water bottle – ever),
● and wondering if my skin will hold up another 2 weeks if these boys prefer being well-done.
My midwife came yesterday and everything looks great. The boys are growing and growing (measuring 45 weeks now…no, we don’t even bother checking my girth any more). Blood pressure, pee, pulse, their heartbeats, dialation at a 3, 75 percent effaced: all very standard. And so we wait.
We wait and watch…
…and wait some more…
…they will come out eventually (they have to right?!)…
…and while I may not receive a medal or a mention in this great Pregnant Olympics (of which I’m sure I’ll never again qualify…thank goodness!)…
…I’m so very grateful to have been given the chance, the great opportunity to be their mother & to love these real Olympians!
For what Olympic event are you currently competing that leaves you completely mystified and ever so humble? Hang in there my fellow Olympians…we shall stand and proudly wear our ugly Christmas sweaters together!!! xo ~ katrina
ps. If you can’t get a hold of me right away, please call Carl…I’m probably knocked out on valerian root after all, or trying to breathe through another pesky contraction…you know, the kind you only get with back labor & posterior babies!
My beyond-big-belly is as hard as a rock as I sit here trying to ignore the contractions.
Carl & I laugh that I always get false alarm sessions before the real event…so yes, I’m currently ignoring them the best I can.
I was officially taken off bedrest at 36 weeks and told to get up & start moving. Silly me just assumed I could get up & go…but this belly of mine is so heavy. I try to walk & do more one day & then have to take another to recover.
It’s been great watching the Olympics…celebrating those pushing the limits in their passions. Definitely inspiring my persistence. I explained to Carl that after a week and a half I thought I’d start to feel stronger. He laughed and reminded me that at this point, (where the boys are just fattening up), that it is more about maintaining, or simply keeping up with them strength-wise.
Baby A woke me up last night with the strangest karate double-kick, both legs out to the side. Not that it hurt – just praying he was still head-down. In some ways I feel him pushing, wanting more room and to get out – but not excited about how he is to make it happen. I feel like he’s been trying to back out of my pelvis today, lol.
I rub my belly and whisper to him that the process will make him stronger…that it will prepare him for things to come, and that his younger brother is there for him…ready to follow him out.
And so we all wait patiently…or not so patiently (the big kids have come up with some loud Olympic-style games downstairs. ..no wonder Baby A is apprehensive)!
And what are you patiently awaiting? Happy thoughts wherever you find yourself on the journey! xo ~ katrina
No doubt about it, the highs & lows of pregnancy have been so intense for me with twins. I think we are officially in survival mode! I don’t think this happens with everyone, but it has been one of the most physically difficult things I’ve ever done…probably the most actually (broken legs, complete knee reconstruction &; femur shortening were tough but this may take the cake).
The very very good thing is that we past the 35 weeks…safety zone lung-wise for twins. My midwife will help us deliver at home anytime now (provided we don’t require hospital care). We’re hoping to hang in there till 37 (full-term for twins) or 38 weeks so they can get some meat on their bones.
The boys hit a growth spurt: 38 to 41 week fundal growth over last week and a half…definitely the most I’ve seen – for me at least. My girth grew another 4 or so cm as well ( can’t remember the number).
The nausea has become a constant companion. I’m hungry all the time but just don’t know where to put the food & for the first time during this pregnancy I feel I have truly lost my desire to eat…of course that makes me more nauseated so I’m trying desperately to follow cravings no matter how crazy they sound. Carl brought over the office mini fridge (thx Dale!) so I can eat without going downstairs when alone…and through the night (otherwise these boys get so hungry I can’t sleep). Right now I have greek yogurt, cheese sticks, green smoothies, salad & salad dressing in there. Outside are bananas, clementines, walnuts, peanuts & cashews.
The skin between my chest and belly is visibly non-existent…so miniscule, that it is trying to stretch and is also causing so much pain (hard to believe, but rivaling the pain from my ribs expanding). I’ve resorted to stuffing socks to keep them in the most comfortable position even through the night.
I’ve had vertigo this past week. Working on some acupressure points suggested by Tiffany (seems to be lifting). This has happened with a couple other pregnancies. Sure makes things interesting! (The main reason I’ve not had the patience to write this week).
It’s been very difficult to walk the past few months, but over the past couple weeks, the boys have dropped, and now it is nearly impossible most of the day/night whenever I need to waddle to the bathroom. At first I thought it was just my hips but the pain is particularly bad in my pelvis…feels like they are separating & I have had to have help lifting my left leg onto the bed cause I feel like it has no connection to the rest of me. Carl is on his way to his sister Tonya’s to borrow a walker (thx Tonya!) cause I can’t get to the bathroom without wall & furniture surfing (like my 11 year-old nephew) lol. Carl wants to know how I’m going to get back into bed in the night…I haven’t figured that out yet…
Both babies heads are very low according to my midwife Richelle (I definitely was feeling that, but I’ve only done this a few other times…she’s delivered 3 babies just in the past couple weeks). So Victoria to the rescue: she’s coming tomorrow & will see what can be done with this silly frame of mine.
Meanwhile, on the home front, everyone seems to be nesting this weekend. The hanging cradle is all ready, the babies clothes are neatly in their drawers, the library has been rearranged, and the kiddos got started on their Valentines. The builder enjoyed his first cub scout Klondike & the dancer celebrated her first Primary classmate’s baptism.
A beautiful Saturday last week in Heber Valley. Perfect day for the kiddos first X-country ski race. They had a wonderful day. The dancer returned and shouted up to me, “That was AWESOME!” (Reminded me of the neighbor kid with his trike on Incredibles who thinks they are totally wicked!)
The explorer was a little confused that his sister didn’t wait for him. Guess we could have explained the whole “race” thing a little better to him! How was your week of survival?! xo ~ katrina
(After skiing with Auntie Reesa at one of Midway’s free ice castles!)
Well here we are: finishing up 32 weeks! Just over 2 weeks till the safety point (avoiding the nicu), anything after 4 would be fabulous…please, please, boys come before March…it seems ever so far away!
Everyone is hanging in there!
■ My mom helped out last week which was marvelous. The kiddos enjoyed having her to themselves during the last of their Winter break.
■ We’re getting things ready: “oh, you’re nesting,” the designer exclaims, after my expressed desire to spruce up the studio. (The studio is adjacent to our bedroom). “Thank you”, I told him, “it just makes me so happy”. Well there you go…nesting at it’s best, I could have cared less a week ago!
■ The dancer got her 1st shot & 1st round of antibiotics (ever) last night to clear up a staph infection from a sledding crash…grateful to Tiffany for spotting it so quickly merely from photos I sent her.
■ The explorer came down with croup and then two days later broke his wrist jumping out of the apple tree by Grandma’s …again, just tying up loose ends getting ready for these boys to arrive. Let’s get it all out now right!?
■ The designer went to take the builder to school on Thursday…lol, school didn’t start until Monday. The dancer was so very happy. I think it was the first smile she shared today (she loves school & was absolutely devastated to stay home…of course I don’t think the boys mind a bit)!
■ The designer is holding up amazingly well, keeping everyone happy & moving. He started refereeing church ball this week. I’m relieved he’s just through the field should anything start while he is there!
28 & 31 week check ups:
■ Everything looking good, boys growing & me gaining…at 28 weeks I measured 33 weeks & at 31 I measured 36. (But we all know if she measured side to side we’d find an even greater measurement lol).
■ I’d gained another 7 pounds at 28 weeks & 5 more at 31weeks for a grand total of 39 pounds. In previous pregnancies I just stopped keeping track the last month or so. This time I know how crucial it is to give them the best I can nutritionally…which brings me to…
■ No, I’m not talking about all the sweets & goodies that they usually warn pregnant gals about…I’m talking about Turkey. Yup, too much turkey. Between Thanksgiving & New Year’s I think we mostly ate turkey & chicken. I remember telling the designer that I just wasn’t getting enough from the turkey…I was nauseated again every day & even sent him for a burger a couple times. Sure enough, when I went to see Richelle for my 31 week check up, I was low in iron. Mom started cooking red meat every day…I think the turkey leftovers got thrown out, & Richelle gave me some Garden of Life Raw Iron…feeling better already!
■ I’ve been baby mapping (paying attention to where they are in my belly, their orientation, etc.) Happily, they are both still head-down. All 3 of our other kiddos arrived posterior, or “sunny-side-up.” They were difficult labors with back-labor from the get-go. The one beautiful moment was the explorer turning at the last minute thanks to a position Richelle suggested. It made the end a breeze. I’d love to try to deliver these twins anterior…maybe even without the back-labor…well a girl can dream right?! Victoria reminded me there’s always hope and I’m going with it!
■ Baby A is much deeper within & still moving quite a bit, swinging his legs from my center to my right side. He is very sweet about it though, never too rough. Victoria says he’s definitely the bigger one of the two. He’s definitely taking advantage of all the space he can find ;).
■ Baby B is squished between his brother and I. Sometimes I worry about laying on my left side because I feel like we are sandwiching the poor kid. A couple months ago he would protest when he got poked or squished. I would gently rub my belly & talk with him a bit. Now he seems to have settled in, no more protesting, he doesn’t even move around as big as before. I like to think he finds comfort in his brother being there.
■ I’ve seen a video of twins fighting in the womb…these are sweet boys…nothing like that…yet. (Though no guarantees when they are out). We’re getting excited to meet them!
■ There is something about having two heads between the hips of this 5′ gal…I’ve been waddling since the beginning but lately it has become quite comical. I have to swing my legs around during the process or they get stuck. I think I should get me some chaps, a hat, & a cap gun…seems appropriate!
■ Over the months I’ve found various ways to get on & off the bed. Mostly for variety I think, but I realized yesterday that I’m all out of tricks & only one works now. ;). To climb on, I back myself up like a diesel truck, slow & steady, swing my one leg up, leeean back & somehow swing the other up there. I only missed it a couple times…dangerous business this backing up of a diesel…!
■ Getting off the bed is also a feat: pushing a bit with my arms behind me, swinging both legs around till they teeter a bit off the side of the bed…making sure not to slide off too fast, & making a steady landing. Then I carefully stand up straight, of course with my legs wide, wait a minute to check my balance & then git my cowgirl walk a goin’. The dancer watched me yesterday, we laughed together, and she noted, “it’s hard getting up when you have twins!”
■ The cake of awkwardness right now is my somehow getting high-centered when trying to roll from one side, or my back, to the other. It is really perplexing but there it is! It just started & I’m not sure what to do about it…lol!
■ Even more than my hips spreading to make room, it’s definitely been my ribs expanding that has caused the most pain (14 inches). There have been 4 strong episodes that were very difficult. We tried massage, a warm bath, & lavendar oil this last time (a week ago), but mostly it just took time…meanwhile it was so hard to breathe!
■ The 2nd most painful part for a while now is the lack of space/skin between this belly & my chest. There is no room for a brazier, & after wearing one for a while, my belly simply falls asleep!
■ Yet with all these struggles, I know we’ll make it & it could always be worse right? While at my appointment last week, one pregnant gal was dealing with candida & yeast infections…and another…gosh can’t remember, but she was sick with some sort of infection & on antibiotics. I can barely walk, but I’ll take it!
■ The other night, the designer & I were readying for bed…he went to grab our laundry & when he got back I moaned a bit. “You ok?” he asked. “Oh yeah, I think I just pulled something,” I replied. “Just laying there?” he asked with surprise. I laughed, “I sneezed!”
■ ☆★☆ stars, stars, & more stars…I’ve never seen so many! It’s like being in a tweety bird cartoon. They circle around my head like a halo & I can’t quite pin-point the cause as it seems to occur ever so randomly!
We’re getting so close it seems, looking forward to being up playing with the kiddos outside, inside…reading together on my bed is nice, but so much more to look forward to very soon! What are you looking forward to most in the near future? xo ~ katrina
The kiddos return to school tomorrow. It has been a long break. Nothing like those of past, where after a warm breakfast together, Carl went off to work & the rest of us geared up to hit the slopes. We’d x-country ski all morning, sometimes take a sack lunch on the trails…but usually make it back in time for lunch with their Dad. Then we’d cozy the afternoon away napping, reading, playing with Legos or trains, painting, & cooking.
It was really what saved this California girl…it was what made me fall in love with all four Seasons & living in the Rocky Mountains. Special time shared together inside & outside. I could have never predicted it would be skiing at Soldier Hollow…but I’m forever grateful.
This year, of course, has been different. Instead of playing outside with them in the snow, I’ve watched the kiddos build their snow forts & sled from inside our warm home…almost always from my bed. Grateful to an architect who understood our love of these surroundings & the desire to bring in the outdoors at every turn.
I have felt the great strength & majesty of mother nature sweetly cradle these boys & I in her love & grace. Instead of feeling like a prisoner, I have felt blessed to enjoy her beauty each day. How grateful I am to a loving & all knowing Heavenly Father who knew just what would bring me peace at this time.
Papa took Carl & the kiddos to visit our friends Dave & Joanne in Oakley for a horse-pulled sled ride. They had a blast. So many adventures to be had in this Winter Wonderland! What are some of your favorites? Enjoy it for me please! xo – katrina