Thursday, July 31, 2008
... there is no cause for alarm since this is completely normal at this stage ... but I think the twins just dropped. I can breathe again but now feel like there is a bowling ball sitting on my bladder and the skin on my sides is burning with this as yet uncharted direction in stretching. Ouch! This is a whole new world of uncomfortable. I am so glad I don't have to go full term with these guys. I guess when I thought the girls were sleeping, they were actually really enjoying their first taste of Batman this afternoon and have conspired to get ready to enter the world so as to catch more of the like.
Historic scary gingerbread type Victorian home downtown..
We went to see The Dark Knight this afternoon at the local IMAX. O - MY - GOSH .. what a movie. This was my first IMAX experience so that made it that much more exciting. We got there 45 minutes early and there was already a line.. at 2pm on a Thursday.. in Raleigh! Stephen got in line and I sat on the lovely wooden bench and waited. While sitting there I had the distinct pleasure of watching a grandmother walking a new baby girl around the lobby.. cooing to her.. until the sweet pink bundle had a massive blowout all over the linoleum. I tried not to laugh but it was pretty comical and thankfully the grandmother had a good sense of humor about the matter at hand.
Once he got close to the door I waddled over and took my place in line next to him and in we went. Such a good film. I can't but get a little misty eyed whenever I see Heath Ledger.. still such a sad thing that he passed away. This was definitely his best performance ever. Incredible. I would love to see it again but the next showing may have to be a Netflix at home. I was feeling particularly energetic today but if it wasn't for that extra energy I would never had made it. I sat in the seat with my arms propping me up from behind and my belly thrust out in front. No it was not the most comfortable position but it gave them the most possible room and made it difficult for them to kick me in the bladder or back. It worked! They both were awake during the early part of the film but soon they went to sleep and quieted down. Towards the end, some of the louder explosions woke B up but she was still pretty well behaved despite it all. One day my girls will ask me what I was doing the week before they were born and I will say that I was perched on the edge of my seat watching a Batman movie with their father.
I was thinking today about how much I would love to have some peonies in the house when the girls come home. I just checked on Google and they are out of season now. Drat. There is really something about pale pink peonies that is just so sweet. They might be my favorite flower. They are so fragrant and soft.. and for some reason they remind me of cupcakes.
It's really hard to believe that next week this time, I will be in the hospital and there will be two tiny new people in my room with me. Pre-Op visit with "Zim" tomorrow. I have a whole list of questions written down to ask him.. anyone out there have any suggestions? Just in case I have missed one...
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Spent the last few hours outside, sitting in our camping chairs, watching bats and listening to the cicadas while snacking on fresh blueberry muffins and a cold glass of milk. If I could choose anywhere to lay my head tonight it would be in one of the old Vineyard cabins with the screens so I could be lulled to sleep by the sounds of the night insects and the dewy breeze rustling the leaves.
We have been chatting about our life together. Our time in Sarasota and the walks we used to take late at night when the air had cooled. The time spent in Jersey and the friends we made there. The good times... the bad times.. how happy we are that God chose to wait to bless us with children until now. Looking back, we were so unready to become parents.. and He knew that. It's amazing that we are able to say we are ready for this but.. we feel ready. Nervous of course but fully ready and happy that the time has come. Grateful for the incredible life experiences that we have gone through in our 6 1/2 years of marriage. Grateful for the steadfastness of our relationship through thick and thin. The Lord has really been good to us and watched over us in these years. He has guided us to this point and our faith in Him could not be stronger. Anyway, didn't mean to wax so nostalgic and get sappy on everyone but.. it's been a really beautiful evening and I sorta wish we could sleep outside tonight.. in the cabin I mean. Instead I will have to settle for an bed indoors and some Conan episodes on the laptop to lull me into slumber. Nitee nite.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Stephen is off bowling with the men of FR. Sounds like fun right? Maybe the ladies can do this one night at some point in the future - bowling is so much fun! I stink at it but it's still fun to try. Plus bowling alleys seem to always have the most fantastic greasy french fries, and who can say no to that?
I had a true craving today. I wanted a sweet tea with lemon from McCallister's and one of their baked potatoes. So when Stephen got home from work today, I was there all showered and ready to go. Since I have had very few cravings in this pregnancy, the whole concept is still a novelty to Stephen and he gladly headed back to the car to go get this little treat. I stayed in the car while he went in to retrieve the goods and then we came back home and enjoyed it here at the house. I am not usually a fan of sweet tea, but this tea is different. It's not too sweet and is just so utterly refreshing - it was just as refreshing as I thought it would be and I sort of wished I could have had a refill afterward. Maybe tomorrow.
Last night we stayed up late talking about old times. Laughing about old jobs and old memories. Bosses I thought I would never live through and situations that now sound like they must have been fictional. Like the time at the bank, when my boss asked me and a co-worker to agree to stealing $40 in order to fix an out of balance drawer. My co-worker agreed to it and I was left to say " I am not OK with this and I am not doing it." with my face purple and my heart racing. This lead to my co-worker being annoyed with me and my boss being terrified of me, thinking I would turn her in. Good times. I am so thankful for those wretched bosses of old. Nothing builds character like working for difficult (understatement of the century) people, and I have certainly worked with some doozies. My last job was the absolute best of my entire "career". I might never have recognized this without those previous experiences. So glad we can laugh at these things now.
It is a beautiful twilit evening and if I had a lap to balance this laptop on, I would be outside instead of here at the desk. I am so looking forward to fall and being able to spend more time outdoors. I would love to take a walk after dinner every evening and I hope that we can schedule this sort of thing into the girls' lives. Twilight was always my favorite time of day when I was little. It's so quiet and peaceful.
Today I had the biggest desire to hold little baby B. She was struggling to get comfortable in there and I was talking to her, trying to help her relax and all I wanted to do was hold her and stroke her little head. Surprisingly, this is the first time this urge has been that strong. The first time that holding one of them seemed more than a distant concept. I could almost smell her hair the image was so strong in my mind. Can't believe this is actually happening next week. I can't wait.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Today was awesome. I spent pretty much all day visiting. Mom was here in the morning and stayed until after Stephen got home from work this afternoon. Ellen stopped by around lunch time to bring a load of consignment clothes for me to sift through and I found some awesome stuff (good thing she knows my taste in clothes). Then our buddy Julie came over for a little outdoor sittin' and chicken pie eatin', and Matt and Kristen stopped by to drop off some videos to break up the monotony of my daily DVD viewing. It has been a super good time of togetherness with some awesome food thrown in for good measure.
The girls have been pretty quiet today and I feel like they might only get quieter as they grow over the next few days. When they do move I feel sorry for their little limbs as they try to stretch and flail. Soon enough they will have plenty of room to flail around in.
Stephen is working tomorrow but then he will be home for the rest of the time before the babies come. We are trying to really spend as much quality time together as possible. What we would really like to do is go see The Dark Knight at the IMAX theater.. just waiting for a that moment when the girls are not squeezing me to death and I actually feel like sitting in a theater for an extended amount of time. REALLY hoping that day might come soon... there have been a couple of those days recently but alas we had other obligations on those days. Anyway, it's really nice having him home so I am super glad he has decided to take it easy this week and spend some time with us. Oliver is particularly pleased that his Papa will be home.. since this is his last week of being an only child :)
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Ten days and counting.
My sweet little baby girls are getting restless. They are just as uncomfortable as I am I think. They keep pushing their little backs against my sides in a coordinated effort to increase the space in there. I almost made it to the church picnic tonight but at the last minute, my belly got as hard as a rock, making it really hard to move so... I stayed home... again :) The 4 of us (A, B, Ollie and I) napped to the final episodes of LOST Season 3. I did manage a shower today, though it didn't happen until after lunch. Actually still able to shave my legs, which I can't help but be surprised by. This task is made infinitely easier by all the bars and rails that some kind soul installed in our shower. Stephen is plugging away at lesson plans and syllabi, making super headway. I have been watching YouTube videos of C-Sections (both twins births and singletons) and Googling random last minute sort of questions I have like "breastfeeding after C-Section" and "C-Section scar" and the ever present "breastfeeding twins". Attempting to self educate in these areas, you know.. read the good the bad and the ugly to be prepared for all scenarios. That's just my style.
Stephen and I sit outside every evening now, for a few hours sometimes, soaking in the last bit of sunlight and watching the birds at the feeder. It's very relaxing. Yesterday we witnessed a hawk being chased by two mockingbirds. The hawk took refuge in a tree near our place and the neighborhood exploded in a cacophony of outrage and warning as every bird in the vicinity squawked in alarm. Soon the dogs in nearby apartments joined in and the hawk took off from it's perch and soared over our heads and out of sight with a black bird and a single mockingbird still in hot pursuit. It let out a little cry as it flew overhead. We think it must have robbed a nest or something. Still the whole scene was pretty incredible to behold, particularly since we are in a city setting and not out camping in the woods somewhere.
The girls are at it again, practicing their infant yoga or something in there... gotta go lay down and see if they will go to sleep so I can. Nitee nite.
Friday, July 25, 2008
I could totally go for a Nathan's hot dog, crinkle fries and an ice cold beer right about now.
This morning we rallied the troops and headed off for the DMV to get my NCDL renewed, reissued.. whatever. There was a rumor that I would have to take the written test again to get it back.. but thankfully that turned out to be false. I couldn't even watch as the guy took my NYDL away. The last vestige of my being a pseudo (read fake) New Yorker. I am not too proud to admit that I loved breakin' that puppy out when called for. Plus, the NY licenses are so much better. They are this really super bendable plastic, not the brittle hard plastic that NC uses. Oh well.. it's over now. No one will know that I used to live in Brooklyn unless I choose to tell them. Now I can just sit back and wait for my southern accent to kick back in. Sigh.
Stephen and I were loving on Oliver last night when we made a sort of admission to each other. See.. we love this dog. Can't really describe exactly how much we love this dog. We snuggle him, and talk to him, and play with him and give him kisses all day. It's a little overkill most likely but we are super attached to him. We have raised him from a tiny little puppy. He depends on us and loves us unconditionally. We love everything about him and he can rarely do any wrong in our eyes. He is our precious, lovable, adorable little man. So.... we have been told over and over that we can't even imagine how much we are going to love these girls once they get here. Well, apparently we really can't imagine it. I have tried and I can't wrap my head around it. It's like this concept that I know about but don't really understand. Last night I said to Stephen "Can you imagine that we are going to love the girls more than we love Oliver?" He laughed and admitted that he could not imagine it either. How silly is that? We had to laugh. How insane are we that we can't imagine loving any little living thing more than we love our dog?!?!? But that is just the honest truth. We both then agreed that we are really excited about experiencing this new love that we will feel for our little girls. We have no idea what it's going to feel like but we can't wait to experience it.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
The doctor visit went well. Once again we were met with happy smiles by the doctors who keep asking if I have had any problems or issues or whether or not we have any questions.. to which we respond with a resounding "No.. and none that we can think of..". The doctor beams at us and tells us to "keep it up!". I did manage to gain 5 lbs in one week. Wow. That is about what I was going for. Feeling very pleased with myself, I queried the doctor on the merits of my continuing with my massive protein intake. He said at this stage in the game there really is nothing I can do to add too or take away from whatever the babies weights will be. He said that not gaining or even my gain of 5 lbs could simply be fluid fluctuation and there is no need to pay special attention to attempting to put on weight. Well then. That settles that. It's back to my beloved fruit and veggies for me. I will keep eating protein at major meals, or course, but I am glad to be able to stop force feeding myself London Broil before lunch time! At any rate, Friday 8/1 will be our pre-op appointment with Dr. Z (the man who is to perform the C-Section). Hard to believe we are really that close. I put the finishing touches on packing my hospital bag today. Now I just need whatever outfit that I choose to take along to wear home.. I have to wait to put that since I only have 2-3 that still fit me at all and need those accessible for wearing every day. Yes, I know I will still look pregnant when I leave the hospital. From what I have read, I will look about 5 months pregnant. How inspiring :)
As far as A possibly being a boy... it's not really possible. They are identical, which means they have a shared placenta - something you can't really fake or overlook. Also, fraternal twins would have a greater line of separation.. ours still have that tiny thread of a protective membrane. So .. yeah.. they are still girls. I just think it's funny how many folks have had dreams about one of them being a boy :)
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I would give my life savings at this moment to feel that salt water mist on my face. Heck, I would give my life savings right now to be able to take a nice walk down the block.. that is.. if I had any life savings :)
I have finished the baby books. Now if I could only remember what I just read. My bag is packed for the hospital. Doctor's appointment tomorrow to check up on everything. Feel like I have an "Indian Sunburn" on my tummy. Every time baby A kicks at it, tears well up in my eyes because of the pain it brings. Yeah... nerves or not I am pretty much done with this whole being pregnant thing. It's been a good ride and now I am glad there is so much light at the end of the tunnel. I should enjoy all the eating I am doing, and I am trying too believe me, but they are so demanding right now!! I eat every 2 hours or so, always something with lots of protein, and like clockwork 2 hours later I am starving and have to find something else to force down. I wake up in the middle of the night in agony because I am so hungry!! This after eating a snack right before bed! I crawl out of bed and hobble on my barely functional hips to the kitchen to drink a glass of milk and try to find something else to eat by the light of the fridge.
Last week at the doctor's office I was measuring at 45 weeks.. 45 weeks!!! I remember looking at Googled pictures of twin bellies right after I found out about these two and wondering how it would even be possible for me to get that huge.. and yet.. here we are :) Despite my whining, we are in pretty good spirits around here. Everything is ready. We are ready. They are almost ready :) I can say this, I am glad I have been pretty mood swing free up to this point. The emotional weather around here has been a bit unpredictable lately :( Poor Stephen. I am likely to burst into tears over nothing at all. I know it will all be over soon and I will have a whole new set of things to burst into tears over :) Anyway.. that's the news from Lake Wobegon.. where all the men are good looking, the women are in their PJs and all the children.. are above average.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Went to the doctor today, again, and everything looks good. This is 34 weeks, so that means that if I go into labor at any point from now until 8/6, they won't try and stop it. One thing that did concern me was my weight gain. For the 3rd appointment in a row I gained nothing at all... one of those appointments I had actually lost weight. So far for the pregnancy I have gained 42 pounds so that is good for the pregnancy as a whole. However these are those crucial last few weeks when the babies put on the weight they need to stay strong and healthy on the outside. I don't know what I am doing wrong but the doctor just suggested that I try to eat more, even though I don't really feel like it right now. Cheese, yogurt, peanut butter crackers.. stuff like that. I guess it doesn't help matters that all I seem to want to eat is fresh fruit and veggies.. not too many calories or protein there. So I had a hamburger for lunch with a baked potato and several servings of yogurt this afternoon. Hopefully when I got back next week we will see some results from my face stuffing. The doctor was not too too concerned about it but I am because I really want them to be able to come home with me from the hospital and not have to hang out in the NICU at all if we can help it. Wish me luck.
In other news, I have been obsessed with Montauk lately. I love the pictures of Stephen and I there at our 5th anniversary. I love the thought of a winter beach. I loved the quiet of the deserted sand as we wandered around at sunset. I have watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind every day for the last 3 days straight and cried every time at the scene in which Clementine whispers "Meet me in Montauk.." into Joel's ear as his last memory of her fades from the screen. I thought it might just be a fascination with the genius of Charlie Kaufman's skills as a screenwriter. So I tried watching Adaptation one day. Brilliant film, but it didn't hold the same magical quality as Eternal Sunshine. I have seen this movie so many times I am surprised that the DVD player hasn't mutinied and refused to play it for me. For some reason it is very comforting to me. The movie, the place, it's like drinking a cup of hot herbal tea that I am not allowed at present. Soothing. I took a look at the calendar today and I could use the comfort. As I have said before, I think I am as nervous as I am excited about this new venture of ours. I was struck recently by the sheer permanence of the situation. As in, once they are here.. they are here... forever. As someone who (sad to admit) rarely sees projects through to their conclusion, this was a startling thought. Of course I liken their arrival to my marriage to Stephen. That is forever and, though it has been hard at times, it has been the greatest joy of my life thus far. I take comfort in that.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Doorway to the little girls room .. the rocker there belonged to my grandfather Percy and we really liked having a piece of family furniture there to rock them in. Love the color too :)
The cribs.. A is going to be on the left and B will be on the right. That is where they are right now and I am so used to thinking of them that way that I just thought I would keep it the same once they get here.
Better view of A's side with her sweet quilt made by Grammy Mary. How adorable is that quilt ?! The chair is very special too. It came from her great grandmother and grandaddy Shingler. Angie rescued two from the Sunday School of their church. Larry used these chairs when he was a little boy in Sunday School. When the babies are mobile we will strip them down (in case of lead paint) and re-paint them but for now we like the look of them. More family items. Love that.
Here is B's side with a view of her sweet quilt made by Mary's good friend, Donna. Once again.. how adorable is that quilt ?! You can see B's little Sunday School chair here too and their basket of stuffed animals.
Final view of the room. The pillow in the chair was made by my Gram. If you are curious about the piece of art above the car seats, that is none other than Luke Skywalker there watching over the girls. Our good friend Matt gave us this before we left Brooklyn and it works perfectly.
So there you have it. We are ready for little baby girls to inhabit their space. Gigantic thank you to all those who contributed to their future comfort. I stand in this room and look around and can't help but be overwhelmed by the love and generosity of the people in our lives. You are all so precious to us.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
From the first tiny bump..
.. to a pretty substantial belly...
... to the parade float that is my current condition.... see why I am not a big fan of having my picture taken these days ??? Just don't feel like myself at the moment.. can't imagine why that could be..
Fixing dinner last night.
Fried green tomatoes have to be one of my top 10 favorite foods that I only eat once or twice every couple of years. Such a treat.
Grammy Mary enjoying her southern fare.
The finished product, with black eyed/field peas to complete the picture. Makes me wish I had a big garden to grow all this stuff myself. Sure couldn't find fresh shelled peas or country ham easily in NYC. Hmmm.. score one for NC?
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Today has been a particularly eventful one. This morning I received word from a good friend that she has been admitted to the hospital for some rather serious stuff. Then, right after that, I got a text message from one of my preggo buddies here that her water had broken and SHE was also in the hospital waiting for her labor to get going. That started the day off with a bang so to speak. I crept around the house most of the morning reminding myself that A) the squeezing sensation that I was feeling was the same thing I felt yesterday and the day before at the doctor's office and nothing to worry about and B) yes, my "water" was still intact. I also let the girls know that they should ignore all of the frantic conversations buzzing in the house concerning things like "labor" and "induction" and just focus on growing big and strong since this was not their day to enter the world.
We went to the hospital to visit my ill friend and then headed to the farmer's market to pick up the ingredients for what promises to be a summer feast! Fried green tomatoes to start, beef kabobs with locally grown sweet onion, yellow squash and zucchini, fresh black eyed peas and roasted corn on the cob. Mmmmmm. As you can see all of this is still in progress.
The girls were very healthy at their latest appointment on Thursday. "A" weighed in at a nice 4lbs and 9 ozs while "B" followed with a very fine 4lbs and 10 ozs. Everyone is very pleased with their progress and told me to keep "doing what you are doing". What I am doing is not much of anything. I spend a day out visiting.. then have to take the next day to recover from such things as riding in the car or sitting in a chair in the restaurant visiting... it is apparently very strenuous to do such things while carrying about 9 lbs + of baby around. I am sure everyone out there would love to see a picture of my enormous self.. yeah ha.. well.. I am not feeling very photogenic today so.. too bad for now.
Stephen's mom has been with us all week and will be staying until Monday. Larry is in Peru and she thought it would be nice to come see us while he was away. We are so happy that she did. We have had a wonderful visit and she even cleaned the house to practice for when she will come and help out with the little ones.
I still find myself a little blank minded lately. I am reading Baby Wise and the Baby Whisperer to get an idea on how to feed these guys and put them to sleep once they arrive. But these are not particularly stimulating literary topics. I tell myself that once this is done or that is done I will settle in and just focus on what is ahead but then I find more things to add to the list and I am beginning to think that settling part might not occur. I hope it does. I sort of hate that all I can think of to write about is the dull day to day around here and what is going on with the twins but .. there you have it. I smell our appetizers.. I think I will go sneak a taste :)
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
..is ready! Well, almost. We are still waiting for the bookshelf, FLOR, and the quilts (made with love by grandma Mary) to arrive but beyond that we are ready. We have diapers stocked up, all the clothes and blankets washed, cribs made up, black and white mobiles put together and mounted, art hung.... I will post a more complete picture once we have the missing pieces but I thought this would at least give everyone an idea of where the girls will be spending their first days.
We are pretty much ready as well. Stephen has a good start on his lesson plans for the year, the apartment has settled into a comfortable routine, I feel like I might burst at any moment. Frankly it still doesn't seem real. We try to talk about being parents and we end up laughing and agreeing that we still don't feel like people expecting babies. The girls like to press their feet and arms out through my belly and when we press back at them they respond with more little presses and pushes. When Stephen says goodbye to them in the morning before heading off to work on his bike, they kick at his cheek in response. Already we feel like we are developing a relationship with these little creatures that have been growing inside me. Still, it doesn't feel real. I keep a movie or pod-cast going at all times when Stephen is away at work. I can't handle the silence in the house. I don't know whether it's the city noise I miss or the voices in my head that I am trying to drown out. Will I be able to breast feed twins??? Will they be comforted by my voice?? How bad will the C-Section really be?? How long will it take me to get my tummy back?? Will I ever get it back!? How will I manage at home alone with two infants?? Will Oliver behave himself ? Will we make it on Stephen's salary? I find my mind going numb quite frequently right now. Numb and quiet. I feel peaceful despite all the unanswered questions. Maybe it's all that pod-casting. The reality is that I really won't understand what it means to be a parent until they get here.. I feel like we have to be in the middle of it before any of this will start to make sense. The other things will just work themselves out. The Lord has taken care of every step thus far and I know He will continue to do so. Still.. I will keep my distractions going for good measure.
Monday, July 07, 2008
Our first born turned 4 years old today! My how time flies. It seems like only yesterday that we were headed home from NC with my birthday present.. a tiny puppy about the size of a large hamster. We spoiled Ollie all day today. He got lots of treats and love and cuddles. After dinner we took him to the pet store to "choose" a birthday present. He went for a new octopus and a brown bear. After that we took him to his new friend Jackson's house where, after a getting-to-know-you period, they ran each other ragged in the back yard and shared Oliver's special frosted birthday cookies from our friend Emily. Jackson's mommy, Kristen, even got Ollie a birthday present! What a lucky pup! He is still a little worn out and his currently passed out in his bed.
If you are wondering whether we will be taking our daughters to a store to choose their birthday presents when the time comes.. it's not in my plans...but it sure was fun watching Oliver snuffle through the bins and pick out his little bear :)