Friday, February 27, 2009

My request and God's surprise

Approximately 9 months ago:
I prayed and asked the Lord for twins. Honestly. I've always been fascinated with twins and obsessed with babies in general from the time I was little. And I reasoned that this would be a good time to have twins as it didn't REALLY matter whether I'd have 4 or 5 kids - I mean, at that point everyone just looks and doesn't really bother to count the swarm around you. They just think - wow, they sure have A LOT of kids! And I'd had the experience of the 3 I currently have under my belt so to speak. But it was one of those moments when I really felt connected with God.

I then proceeded to forget all about that prayer for the next 6 or 7 months.

From the beginning, this pregnancy has been different. Maternity clothes at about 8 weeks, more pressure, more tiredness, more hunger (I remember having 2 eggs, some toast, and a can of Progresso soup for lunch one day). I just thought, well, it must be my gestational diabetes kicking in earlier and my body just starting to get worn out from pregnancies.

At 22 weeks, I felt huge. I couldn't believe I was only about halfway done! I imagined myself confined to a wheelchair for the last couple of months of the pregnancy. It hurt to walk, it hurt to move, it hurt to sleep. I thought maybe my size was just my own perspective, how I viewed myself in my mind, but when I commented about feeling so big, one of my friends actually agreed with me. Okay, so it's not just me. A few days before my first ultrasound, we had a get-together with some couples from church and there was some joking going on along the lines of, "Are you sure you're not having twins??" I chalked my size up to having extra amniotic fluid as is common with gestational diabetes. LOTS of extra. I started to worry. If people were noticing, maybe there really was a problem.

The morning after this get-together - the Sunday before my Tuesday ultrasound - I woke up at about 6:30 and I was shaking. I woke up already shaking. And with the strong impression in my mind, "We're having twins!!" I couldn't go back to sleep. Baby movement was on my mind. Wait a second, how could there be movement up here and down over here at the same time?? All through church I was noticing this.

Come Tuesday (it was Dec. 16), I had dismissed totally the possibility of having twins, telling myself it was highly unlikely, and I was just being melodramatic about things. Apparently haven't outgrown that.

When the tech brought me back for the ultrasound, Brian and I both were straining to see the screen. I was expecting to see these huge pockets of amniotic fluid. As it was, I couldn't see anything because the screen wasn't facing me yet, and when I asked about it, she replied vaguely that she needed a few seconds to set things up. And a few seconds later, "Well, I can tell you this: There's two in there!"
It doesn't matter how much you think you've prepared yourself, this is very shocking to hear!! So we needed to reschedule the ultrasound because we needed two time-slots in order to check out both babies, but we were allowed to see a few minutes of the two of them on the screen. Surreal. All we could do was laugh.

So even after several doctor's appointments of hearing only one heartbeat, after measuring not big enough to be of any concern, according to the doctor, here we were with twins. Just a warning: twins are VERY commonly diagnosed through ultrasound and NOT so commonly through hearing two heartbeats.

And turns out I didn't have excessive amniotic fluid or even a large uterine growth. Nope, just another baby in there.

It was a while before my mind went back to that prayer. Was God preparing me back then for something He knew He had in store for us? Or did He decide to grant me my request? Or was it both? Isn't God delightful?

Assuming we'll have at least one boy, we've chosen one of the names to be Isaac, appropriately meaning, "Laughter".

Friday, February 20, 2009

On having twins

?? Who knew that:

* It would be handy to bring along a red flag to my clinic appointments so that when they call my name, I can wave it and let them know that, yes, even though it will take me 3 minutes to get up out of this chair, I AM here. And no, you don't have to call my name a 3rd time!

* The Valentine's candy I would most appreciate would be a bottle of Tums - with sweet messages written on them of course - you could fit whole sentences on those babies! (That's the Tums, not the ACTUAL babies, for those of you who need clarification - you know who you are!)

* My body would actually get used to being this size and I would start walking more normally than I did 2 months ago.

* Thanks to information from my ultrasound tech: for all the moving around and actual swatting and kicking they do to each other in there, they do NOT come out bruised - generally.

* Everyone would have a doubly firm opinion on the genders of the babies - almost like a word from God. If only everyone would agree...

* These babies have a defined personality even within the womb - "Baby A" is rambunctious, "Baby B" is quiet and laid back, preferring not to show profile at all in any of the weekly ultrasounds.

* Even after several months of "largeness" I could still forget and go ahead and kneel on the cold hard floor of Cub in order to look at their $3.50 mascara (did I mention we're having 2 BABIES? Time to crack down!) only to realize that I was stuck there and needing several attempts at getting back up.

* When I go into Target to buy a roll of wrapping paper, I WILL need a cart.

* When I go into the post office to mail a package, I will need to lean my entire upper body on the counter as I wait in line in order to catch my breath. I guess my purse AND a 2 pound package is just too much weight to add.

* Having dreams that I'm on fire indicate that when I wake up, I will be reaching for the bottle of Tums due to my SEVERE heartburn.

* My husband would start "accidentally" buying items labeled low-fat, that we've never bought low-fat before. "Are you saying I'm fat?"

* Due to 3/4 of my maternity wardrobe not fitting anymore, I often go around with half my belly showing. And other than the occasional "you probably shouldn't wear that shirt out of the house" comment, my family has ceased to notice. Add to that the constant belching and LOW-ride jeans and the Miller Lite beer...
Oh yeah, no alcohol. I am, after all, on insulin.
Oh and I'm pregnant too. Alcohol's not good.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Too crazy for me!

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3 little monkeys INSIDE

Sometimes we just need to have a "get the energy out" session. Usually, it's when the kids have been ultra-obnoxious during dinner and patience is running thin.
Here's an example of one of these evenings we had recently:

* Have a spinning contest
* How many legos can you put in the bucket with a spoon contest. Carrying the bucket back to the starting line in your teeth could be optional, but the boys loved the extra challenge.
* How many times can you run around Daddy? 10 times? How about 100? Sam - mission accomplished.
* Gallop, skip, jog around the kitchen/dining room loop. You're out if you knock your brother to the ground and then just keep going without stopping to help.

Or, just put the bucket on your head and be so happy you drool.

Ahhh, winter in Minnesota.
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8 is great?

It's an interesting debate. Should she really have the right to have 6 embryos implanted in her uterus? Should she really have the right to 8 more children after she already had 6? Should she really have the right to government assistance when this was, in fact, her own choice?
And as my husband pointed out, where are all those pro-choicers speaking out for this woman and declaring that "it's HER body!"
Bottom line: No babies were aborted in the making of the octuplets. And for our country, that's a nice change.
The other bottom line (double underline, maybe?): All those babies are blessings, regardless of the choices made to bring them into the world. God's plan is inscribed on each of them more firmly than their individual sets of fingerprints.