I suck. Time and time again I say and re-commit myself to maintaining this log of my experience as a pregnant butch… but alas, for one reason or another I continually disappoint myself. I was prompted to write today by a reader expressing concern because of the lack of posts I’ve had; I was surprised that someone had even noticed that I haven’t been present (thank you for checking in). So, here I go again, re-committing to writing for the remaining weeks of my pregnancy.
So, here is what’s been happening since my last post (on July 2):
I’m now 29 weeks pregnant with the twins (a boy and a girl). Time is ticking away, at a surprisingly fast pace. This pregnancy has been difficult. I have finally been able to discontinue my three-times-a-week IV infusion treatments because the nausea, vomiting and weight loss have slowed a bit. I still take 8 different antiemetic medications on a daily basis and still have random bouts of wicked puke sessions. But, compared to a few weeks ago (or hell, even months ago — before even having a positive pregnancy test) it has improved significantly. One positive (eh) of having such extensive IV treatments for so long is that my health insurance’s family deductible has been met completely. The costs moving forward for this calendar year, which will include the labor and delivery and possible NICU stay, are completely covered. It is sort of nice to not have to wait for medical bills to arrive right after giving birth to twins.
My body hurts all of the time. This pregnancy is nothing compared to my son’s pregnancy. This reflection is a little amazing to me because during my first pregnancy I had gestational diabetes very early (starting at 10 weeks) and developed severe pre-eclampsia that resulted in an early induction. That pregnancy was WAY easier than my current pregnancy feels. Twins are tough. For the last four weeks, I have felt certain that my vagina was going to fall off/out. It hurts so badly. My hips hurt so badly, feeling as if I have bear traps hooked onto either side and they are being pulled in different directions. All the time. There is no relief I’ve found for the aches, pains and discomfort. No soaks, stretches, walking, sitting, standing, laying, pregnancy support bands, heating pads, ice packs, Tylenol… nothing. In general, I would describe myself as having a fairly high pain tolerance; however, I have also found that that higher threshold has its limits. I’ve reached it emotionally. Being in pain for a while has worn me down emotionally — I feel super defeated most days. I try to push it down, and tell myself, that it will get better — but I think my brain and heart are hip to that game and know that it isn’t going to end for a bit.
My poor wife has been pretty incredible throughout this pregnancy (although she might be afraid to be any other way because of how crazy I am at times). Especially during the last few weeks, as my physical limitations and pain have increased, she has done a great job in forcing me to sit and not push myself so hard. As a butch with a provider complex, this is a massive challenge for me. I want to provide for my family in all the ways necessary (financial, household, yard-work, etc)… but having to be the one carrying our babies because of my wife’s medical issues, it forces me, for the babies’ sake, to give up some of my provider needs. I am slowly coming to terms and adjusting to giving some tasks to my wife. My priority has to be the twins and my health; and I’m becoming more okay with that, but still have a tough time.
Our son is 19 months old and he is being a champ about the changes our household is going through — we’ll see if that positivity maintains once we bring his baby brother and sister home from the hospital. He was moved into a big boy room, with his own twin size bed. We were very intentional in completing that transition early (he’s been in his big boy room for the last month) so he didn’t make any negative connections between the twins’ arrival and his displacement. He sleeps so well in a twin size bed, and it makes my wife and I cherish the limited solo time with him even more, as he reminds us on a daily basis that he is growing up and becoming a kid. When we mention babies, he lifts my shirt (even in public) and kisses my belly. He tries to snuggle gently with me, but finds it difficult to not try to horseplay with me. It makes me sad to not be able to roll around the floor with him, as we used to do a few months ago — but we do get some good snuggle bonding. He is going to be such a good big brother, and I make sure to tell him this every night before he goes to sleep.
I have been having some contractions for the last 10 days, but I am not dilating — which is great. The contractions are uncomfortable, but I am able to work through them. They do require some focused breathing, but they’re tolerable. A couple of days ago, I was placed on partial bed rest. My doctor is allowing me to work 5 hours per day for five days per week; my boss has not been told yet… we’ll see how that goes on Tuesday when I deliver the note. My doctor anticipates eventually having to put me on complete bed rest, but is hopeful that I can get a couple more weeks out with the current work limitations. I hope so too because I cannot afford to not be able to work (unless a reader is wealthy and very generous?).
I know why I haven’t been writing — I am exhausted and in pain. It is a challenge to get through the day and evening with just basic tasks, but writing this update today reminds me of the therapeutic value of utilizing this outlet. I hope to find time and energy to try to write, especially as, at the most, I have is nine more weeks before adding TWINS to this family, and these last weeks will likely continue to be as exciting and uncertain as the last twenty-nine have been.