20 weeks and pondering thankfulness

We stayed put this Thanksgiving and spent the morning snuggled up watching the parade, brunching and plodding around in pj’s until well after noon. It was a lovely, leisurely day of Skype calls with family, daydreaming about the year ahead and even a little house cleaning. On Friday we were generously welcomed into a family celebration of some good friends who we work and worship with, stuffed full of delicious food and good conversation.

And now it’s Saturday and I’m nestled in on the couch, feeling the thumps and bumps of our two little beans, thinking about what it will be like to have two 6 month old babies in our home this time next year. These little people who are today only about a half pound and 6 inches long will be learning to sit up on their own, taking in the sights and sounds and smells of their first thanksgiving.

I’m eager for this new season of life. It brings with it the feeling of excited anticipation, imagining all that I will learn and experience in the coming months and years. I’m grateful to have something daily and practical to orient my life towards again, to see a new pattern of life emerging where there were only many question marks. And true, the questions marks still loom as we plan and dream about where we’re headed next and what sorts of jobs and communities will mark our way; but this new rhythm – this rhythm of new life, such a beautiful gift.

Our extended family has just begun buzzing with the excitement of a cousin’s wedding next August, making plans to travel to the midwest to celebrate together. I too am looking forward to the event, to seeing so many people I love finally gathered in one place for such a joyous occasion. And then I pull up my trusty google calendar and notice the long expanse of empty, unscheduled days that stretch into the fall. I don’t know if my returning to work next year will be an option or necessity, the pattern of those weeks and months is a mystery. And yet, with each month past my “due date”, I’m able to imagine season after season not based off of my work demands or vacations, but around the growth of two precious little people.

Pretty amazing.

Here’s the less reflective side of things:

Our little brother and sister are officially over halfway to their entrance into the world! Monday marks 20 weeks and at 38 my midwife/OB team will induce labor. This means our twins will be in good shape to enter the world just about anytime during the month of March, although the longer they stay put, the better.

With every week I’m feeling like I’ve finally, really become a pregnant lady. The little milestones are small: finding I can no longer tie my own shoes, needing a shove to stand up from the couch, groaning every time I change positions… and then I start to fall down the rabbit hole of googling images of women full term with twins and I just have to stop. I can’t fathom how my body will make any more room for these crazy little people, but I suppose I’m just along for the ride at this point! At 18 weeks I was measuring the same size as a 26 week singleton pregnancy, I can only guess how much farther “ahead” I’ll be by my next appointment with all the growth that’s happened over the last few weeks!

Last night as we were driving home I could actually feel somebody’s little hand or foot repeatedly pounding on my bladder. I always thought the needing to pee compulsion was just from the extra weight of the baby, not from ninja-baby bladder attacks. It’s such a strange sensation that feels exactly as it sounds – a tiny rebellious hand punching into an over-filled water balloon over and over and over. Rude. My mom voice comes out real quick when I sense that the two of them are up to all kinds of mischief. Unfortunately, (and I suppose it’s a sign of the years to come) neither of them seem particularly affected by my reprimands or pokes. As I keep telling Drew, it’s like nobody is supervising them in there, who knows what they’ll do next! Still, I am loving talking to the two of them. Somehow it feels a little less cooky and more like a conversation to know that there’s two little goofballs bumping out some morse code responses beneath my skin. (oy. isn’t that a lovely word picture? maybe it is still pretty creepy.)

This week we’ve got our 20 week ultrasound, a fun two-hour event to measure every last bone and organ in each of our little ones. Drew says he’s bringing a book so he doesn’t spend the afternoon with a headache, trying to make out the fuzzy screen. I might try to sleep. Is that permissible? They make those rooms so dark and warm! We’re both just in it for the 10 minutes of baby viewing at the end.

Soon, I’ll start seeing my midwife and their collaborating OB quite frequently, just to keep an eye on things. I’m feeling so thankful after talking with our insurance company (never thought gratitude + insurance reps could go hand in hand!) and learning that all our birth expenses are completely covered, even up to a month of NICU stays, should that be necessary. Thank you God for Elim’s health insurance!

Hopefully we’ll get some good head-shots of our little crew this week and I can share them soon (because who doesn’t love grainy ultrasound alien-baby photos?!), but until then,

Happy Thanksgiving!

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