Once upon a time we moved into a spacious apartment in the suburbs of chicago after a lovely summer visiting family and friends and celebrating Drew’s triumphant finish of his master’s program. Two weeks later as the dust began to settle and the essential boxes had been unpacked, I began training for my new job with long days of woefully boring seminars. These days seemed particularly hard to take as I found myself feeling rather under the weather with an upset stomach and backache, even some dizzyness.
All the tell-tale signs.
Early Saturday morning I peed on the infamous stick and our world turned upside-down. A baby! We calculated that our little one would be due in late April, right around Easter. It seemed like such a beautiful gift, a grace that we would have another child to welcome into the world next easter, even as we were morning the loss of our sweet Selah last year on resurrection day.
I began researching which midwives my insurance would cover (I’m still marveling at the gift of health insurance while working a 30hr/week job!) and found the wonderful women of West Suburban Midwives, a team who has blessed us with their kindness, gentleness and time over these last 14 weeks. We buzzed over for a meet and greet visit to get introduced to the practice sometime around week 6 and I feel in love with the team!
I began calling them well before our first appointment at 10 weeks to ask for advice about how to tackle the nausea that was mounting every day… and lasting all day and through the night. I was on a diet of saltines and water, starving at times but everything I ate felt like knives in my stomach. It was an exhausting two months, Drew was an absolute champ taking care of me and our home. He took over all housework, made a million trips to buy whatever strange food seemed palatable on a given evening and indulged my pleas for nausea-soothing back massages and foot rubs. He even mostly refrains from commenting on my gassy, stinky, hormonal state. The. Best. He’s going to rock fatherhood.
The midwives gave me several homeopathic remedies to try, along with some dietary changes, but nothing did the trick. I had to cut back to part time at work because I was completely shot by noon. I’m so grateful for the flexibility and compassion of my boss and co-workers. It was quite a way to start a new job!
At our 10 week appointment, after filling out all the necessary paperwork and the unpleasant blood draw, we got to hear the heartbeat! It was absolutely surreal, I kept laughing and jostling the doppler out of range, completely overwhelmed with joy. We walked out grinning ear to ear, prescription for Zofran in hand!
The last month has been considerably better, the Zofran takes the edge off my nausea for most of the day and my lovely 8:30 bedtime helps gear me up for the next one. I’ve been able to keep food down and regained all the weight I had lost during the first two months. Although, I must admit, my cravings are much more in the vein of ice cream than veggies, but I am trying to practice a little self-control!
Today I had my 14 week appointment and had to gear up for and hour and half on public transit because poor Drew was stranded in NY with a dead car. Lovely. (He did rock his conference presentation, by the way…he won the academic equivalent of “Best in Show!” and won a cash prize (to be squirreled away for diapers) and the opportunity to be published!)
Anyway, 1.5 hrs on transit is no small feat when you have a bladder that needs emptying roughly every 40 minutes. I found myself contemplating how visible a depends would be underneath my new comfy maternity jeans… it’s probably still a no, right? I arrived a bit early and got to chat with the midwife I’ve come to know best so far, Cynthia, about her day/night: 36 hours and still going strong after all-night deliveries! I caught her up on how I was feeling and told her I was shocked and a little embarrassed that the jeans I bought last week are already filled out with a tight belly … and isn’t that a little early? I asked if it was just bloating and she did a little pressing to look for my uterus and found it all the way up my by belly button! Typically, it takes until about week 20 for the baby to grow that much.
She smiled and said I’m either about a month off on my due-date estimation… or it’s twins.
My heart stopped for a second. It seemed too wild to be true! She whisked me down the hall for a quick ultrasound that revealed the perfect little bodies of two sweet beans. TWO! I was absolutely in shock and so wished Drew could have been there for the first look at our little family…of four! Their perfect little heads sat on top of delicate rib cages and spinal columns, arms and legs wiggling. TWO BABIES. We made TWO PEOPLE! It is just unreal.
I’m scheduled for another ultrasound at the nearby hospital next week so we can get a better look at how these kiddos are developing and if they’re sharing a placenta or not. If they are, I’ll have to switch to a regular OB for my care and birth, which would be a major bummer. However, if these little ones are thriving on their own, with individual placentas, I’ll be able to have a natural birth with the assistance of an OB, a route I’d much prefer to go.
I have so much to learn about pregnancy with multiples and I know there are some increased risks. The possibility of a c-section or other complications is pretty terrifying but I trust I’m in capable hands. For now, we’re just basking in the mystery and beauty of two wee ones!
Any wisdom about pregnancy/life with multiples is much appreciated!!