Monday, June 3, 2013

Process

This weekend went by in a whirl. Not externally (that was pretty boring, especially since Keith went in to work both Saturday and Sunday), but internally. As you can probably imagine I have a lot to process after Friday's news! Just half an hour ago I parked in front of the building and lugged Michael and the diaper bag up the steps, unlocked the front door while balancing both, went up ANOTHER flight of steps, unlocked a final door, and sighed in relief to step into my own apartment. I can't imagine doing this with two newborns added to the mix. I mean, I won't have to--we won't be living here anymore--but still, the idea of unloading and transitioning from car to house after a shopping trip is kind of insane.

This is the kind of thing I was thinking of when I would tell friends I thought it might be twins (I was measuring ahead and feeling very early movement), and then immediately say "But I hope it's not!" But honestly, even though thoughts like that pop into my head all the time now (TWO more cribs? Will three car seats fit in our car? When to wean Michael?), I can say that they no longer freak me out. I kind of shake my head at them in disbelief, but also amusement.

Because the thing is, all of that craziness will pass. It is/will be a part of reality, but it isn't ever going to be the most important part. The most important part was seeing my babies moving on an ultrasound screen. There is no way that you can see that and not have your anxiety put in context by love. There are your children.

The stages I've gone through have been interesting. Keith and I walked away from the hospital overwhelmed, happy ... a whole mix of emotions, but unable to fully wrap our minds around it. Telling people helped make it real, and as it became more real it became less fearful and more joyful.

And then yesterday I woke up terrified, not of having three under two, but of everything that might go wrong with delivering those babies. The fact that trying for a natural, vaginal birth might not even be possible; the fact that my babies may come too early and spend the first days (weeks) of their lives not being held and nursed and spoken to but in a hospital getting their heels pricked ... oh, I was so scared.

So that is where I am at in the process right now. Working on letting go of fearing things beyond my control that may or may not happen. Especially fear of getting a c-section. This is a fear I never dealt with when I was pregnant with Michael, and suddenly it is huge for me.  Luckily I have a friend who gave birth to twins via c-section and had a wonderful, positive experience that she was gracious enough to share with me. I think that's what I need right now. Not stories of vaginal twin births--I know it is possible, that my body is capable, yadda yadda.

Before this pregnancy I would have said that c-sections are not evil, they do not make your birth experience less valuable or your body a failure. You make a baby for nine months and bring it into the world! That is amazing no matter how you deliver your baby. And once they are born, how they were delivered won't matter, but the fact that they are here.

9 comments:

  1. C-sections and NICU stays suck. They are really, really hard.

    But...they are necessary. They bring babies into the world that otherwise might not be with us.

    My advice, if you end up in that scenario, is to let yourself be sad. I have to let myself be sad that Claire was literally just cut out of me and that, as a result of her NICU stay, we had a lot of difficulties with nursing. It really sucks that I couldn't see her for six hours or hold her for three days and there's no way around that.

    But, also, remind yourself to be grateful. So, so grateful. Every single birth feels like a miracle, but it is truly miraculous that Claire is alive today and that she is a healthy little girl. Things didn't go according to my plan, but she is still here and that's all that matters.

    Of course, I would absolutely not wish that experience on you and we will be praying for a healthy, safe delivery for both you and the twins.

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  2. Being pregnant has been an interesting, wonderful, scary experience. Our little girl doesn't want to grow so they are inducing me early. It is very scary to know that our little girl won't get to have a regular labor process and is at high risk of being born by c-section and having a stay in the NICU. I have become very thankful for friends who have had a birth experience they weren't expecting. I am very thankful to know Caitlin and hear success stories from crazy situations. I know it is hard not knowing what is going to happen. That is how I feel. I just trust that God put this little girl in our lives and he will take care of her. I saw you talked about another twin mom. I was wondering if that was Karen. I let her know that you were expecting twins and she said she would be happy to pass on her twin experience thus far. Know that all of you are being prayed for by lots of people! Prayer is very powerful! Lots of love to y'all!

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  3. My best friend's little girl arrived early (but big!) and they had to stay in the NICU because her billyruben (sp?) levels were really high and she was very orange. After staying under UV lights 24-7, she looked purple. Anyway... Yes, if the babies come early and you have to stay in there for at least a week, they will get their heels pricked hundreds of times. However, holding your baby is part of their healing and growth process. My best friend was able to hold and nurse Ava without problems, and the nurses and doctor's at Children's Hospital are very, very kind, supporting, and understanding. So even if you worry about heel pricking, know that holding your twins will not be an issue.

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    1. Ugh... it's late... please ignore the grammar errors in that post...

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  4. I can't give you any BTDT stories for c-sections, but I can commisserate on the stairs situation! That is pretty much exactly our set-up (stairs to the door of the building, and we live on the second floor). All I can say is, it's amazing what you can do when you have no choice, haha! If you had told me that I could get my six-months pregnant self, two two-year-olds, and a double stroller, plus a diaper bag, from the sidewalk to our door, in one piece, in ONE TRIP, without dying, I would have said you were crazy and there is no way... but I've done it more than once!

    So, it's probably applicable to so many things in parenthood... you think you can't, until for some reason you have to, and then you do, and it's ok, and you make a funny Facebook status about it. :)

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  5. If you trust your doctor all will be well, praying will help too! Good luck :)

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  6. I love your thoughts on C-section; they are so true. So often we women kind of glorify the birth process and hyperfocus on all the things we want from it, but it's kind of like a wedding - at the end of all the wedding festivities, the important thing is that you are MARRIED, so it doesn't matter if anything goes awry! The same is true with labor and delivery - it doesn't really matter how or when it happens, the important thing is that you have a sweet baby - or in your exciting case, TWO sweet babies! I just delivered my third baby and was so struck this time around with the thought that once she was not, and now I have this beautiful creature in my arms with an eternal SOUL! Incredible. I don't know you and just found your blog through Ginny's YA, but I really enjoyed reading your processing about your big news. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Congratulations! I clicked over from Jenny's blog and saw your news - I had twins in November and also had 3 under 2 (and have 4 under 4 until my oldest turns 4 next month). It's definitely tough but manageable, with God's grace :)

    I weaned my daughter when I was 20 weeks pregnant with the twins (although I didn't know I was having twins until 30 weeks) - she was almost 18 months, and my supply was totally gone and I was having trouble gaining weight. Honestly it went great because she knew Mom had to save the milk for the little baby (well, babies...). Some people DO nurse through their twin pregnancies, it really depends on your supply.

    If you're on facebook, definitely check out the group "Naturally Parenting Twins" - there's tons of great support there and NOBODY judging moms for having C-sections because they're so often medically necessary with twins. I was fortunate enough to birth mine vaginally, but I definitely spent a while mentally preparing for a C-section because the likelihood is so much higher.

    Prayers!

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  8. Hey, Rosemary! About the C-section fear - it was my worst fear too. I remember sitting in Lamaze class with Kyle when they showed the C-section video, and I turned to him and whispered, "I can handle absolutely anything - including an episiotomy, ew - but I will flip my sh*t if I have to have a C-section." Well, lol, guess what. And I can honestly say that it wasn't that bad. It wasn't scary, I didn't feel a thing, the doctors were awesome, everyone was very kind and informative...besides, you're so in the zone, so completely focused on getting the baby out healthy (as you already know), that it almost doesn't matter. I know it doesn't help for me to say, "don't worry," but...don't worry! And if you do worry, or want to talk, I'm here :) Prayers!

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