Those Babies Must Be Too Tiny

Before becoming pregnant with our twins, I lost about 120 pounds. Losing all of that weight definitely did not leave me skinny — but it did get me out of the ‘horribly morbidly obese’ and into the ‘overweight’ part of the BMI chart which is outstanding. I’m seven months pregnant and have recently been encountering people who are shocked to learn that, not only am I seven months pregnant, I’m pregnant with two babies. I feel huge. In the last two days, separate people have made comments about how the “babies must be too tiny” or even venturing to ask if there’s something wrong with them since I’m so small.

A couple things with this scenario:
1. Why do strangers feel that is socially appropriate to question the health of my unborn twins?
2. I’m not small! Why do people keep saying that I am — it makes me feel like I’ve done something wrong!

I appreciate the assorted praises I receive about maintaining my healthier weight, in spite of being pregnant with multiples … But please don’t imply, directly or otherwise, that something is wrong or unhealthy about our twins simply because your perceptions of my size don’t match your internal expectations.

Thank you. That is all.

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A Butch and Pregnant Slacker’s Update

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.

Feeling Weak and Worn Out

I must be a whimp or something. I encouter pregnant women that do yoga, mountain hiking, and other super physical tasks. I cannot. I have been so sick and so incredibly worn out that I already feel limited by my pregnancy. My brain never feels rested. My body feels even less rested. Can I just no hack it? Or are my complaints legitimate?

This last weekend, my wife and worked to finish altering our son’s room to accomodate two more babies; just walking around a store for a few hours left me wiped out and drained. Since that shopping trip, I have continued to feel really physically weak; like difficulties lifting my arms to steer my minivan-weak. I feel discouraged and, at times, embarassed, to feel so worn out. My wife and my Mom remind me that I’ve had a lot of sickness this pregnancy, and that I’m pregnant with twins, so feeling worn out and unwell is justified… but is it really?

I don’t remember hearing my sister complain about being worn out when she was pregnant with twins; nor do I remember feeling even a fraction of this worn out during my pregnancy with my son.

A newly developed issue involves my sleep. I have always had issues with falling asleep and staying asleep, and have utilized medications throughout my adult life to assist with capturing sleep. This pregnancy has not really altered my ability to sleep, until a few days ago. I fall asleep at night (sometime between 8pm-10pm) and sleep through the night, and typically wake up around 5am to pee… when I get back to bed, I really fall asleep. Then I have to get up an hour and a half later. It’s like I don’t hit restful sleep until my final hour a half. The rest of the night my eyes are closed, but I’m not getting rest. So, then in the morning I hit the snooze button as much as possible because I’m actually and finally resting.

On a positive and creepy note, our baby girl and baby boy are starting move around in a more noticeable manner. My wife cannot wait to be able to feel them move from the outside. It’s a weird feeling to try to get used to.

Amazing and Gross

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I sent this image to my sister, who has twin girls… I sent it years ago, and just came across it again. It’s amazing and gross all at the same time. I’m not a twin Mom — I’m a twin Lad.

In the spirit of grossness, I have the following in/on my body right now:
3 heads
6 arms
6 legs
6 feet
30 toes
30 fingers
2 vaginas
4 ovaries
2 ovaries
1 penis
3 butts

I have a mix of so many parts right now! Again, amazing and gross.

Back to Pukeville

I’m apparently a full-time resident of Pukeville again (it’s a fictions place to describe my current state of nausea and vomiting).

I had a run of eight solid days without vomiting… Yesterday I felt sick and threw up, but not as much as typical. Today, I feel back to my old sick self. Thrown up the majority of my meals. Sucks to be here again — I thought the twins and I had formed an agreement and moved past this.

Hey, it could be worse. But it’s still discouraging and frustrating as hell.

Twins’ Genders Revealed

As I have previously mentioned, my wife really wanted to find out our twins’ genders through a gender reveal cake cutting with friends and family. I agreed with this, but as time passed, I felt more and more regretful and nervous about the decision. We had our ultrasound on Thursday and the genders were sealed in an envelope and delivered to the bakery that was responsible for baking our little Baby A and Baby B gender cakes. I tried to explain to my wife my reasons for changing my mind about waiting to find out the babies’ genders. It was less about my need for immediate gratification and excitement and more about my fear about experiencing disappointment in front of a group of people and not being able to process the experience in private with my wife. My wife, I believe, just thought I was being overly sensitive and eager and denied my request… until she spoke with her best friend about it. Her friend shared her feelings about agreeing with me about my wife and I finding out earlier and privately about the genders. Shortly after this discussion, I received a text from my wife, telling me that she understood my reasons more and agreed with me.

So, since I was at my office working and my wife was home sick that day… we found out our twins’ genders via Facetime. It was exhilarating. I feel like I enjoyed finding out this way more than finding out in the sonographer’s office. It was nice because we were able to openly express our joy and excitement without feeling that we had to censor ourselves because of the stranger in the room.

I’m pleased to announce two things: 1. I was right about my predictions. 2. We are having a boy and a girl!

Yay! Baby A is a girl and Baby B is a boy. This is exactly what we had hoped for, and what I thought, in my gut, the babies were throughout the entirety of this pregnancy. I am so very thrilled about the changing landscape of our family and can’t wait to meet these sweet babies (of course, I will wait until it’s time… because meeting them now would be creepy and unsuccessful).

Baby boys do not invoke any sort of free in me. Our son has been amazing to raise and watch grow into a wonderful individual. So, I’m not really worried about adding a new baby boy to our family. However, having a girl on the way is scary to me. I wrote about this topic during a previous post (when the doctors incorrectly thought our son was a daughter for 32 weeks of my first pregnancy). I will be addressing it again, as some as changed since I’m now a parent and have fears and concerns that have shifted slightly as my perspective has changed.

No matter: we are having two babies… a little girl and a little boy, and I couldn’t be happier.

Anatomy Scan Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning, we have our official anatomy ultrasound scan… the one during which the sonographer confirms that the babies’ spinal columns are closed, skin stuff is fused appropriately, and that they don’t have cleft lips. Of course, it goes without saying that I hope our twins have all of their parts and that their parts are where and how they are supposed to be. I want them to look strong and healthy, despite how sick I’ve been throughout this pregnancy.

Side Note: I am on day 6 of no throwing up!

The super exciting piece for most expectant parents, including myself and my wife, is having the opportunity to find out the baby’s (or babies’, in our case) gender. Tomorrow, we will request that the sonographer find out the twins’ genders and NOT verbally tell us. This will surely drive me insane, by the way. Instead, we will ask that he or she write down Baby A and Baby G’s genders on a piece of paper, then place it in a sealed envelope. My wife and I — both of us, because neither of us trust the other with not peeking — will take said envelope to a local bakery and they will make gender reveal cakes for us. Each cake will be labeled for the appropriate baby, and inside pink or blue icing will be used in between the cake layers. The outside icing will be dark enough to ensure that we won’t be able to see the pink or the blue without cutting into the cake.

On Saturday, two stupid days later, we will pick up our cakes and get on the road to meet with our adopted family for a weekend at a lake. With everyone present, we will each cut into a cake and reveal a baby’s gender. We will find out at the exact same moment that everyone else will. This is the choice that my wife made, and I begrudgingly agreed because I want her to have as much control and involvement in the pregnancy as possible. I can’t wait. I am so excited to know who we’ll be meeting in about 4.5 months. I want to start using their names. I want to picture them beyond just being babies.

I am currently sitting and typing at my infusion treatment (because of the wicked nausea and vomiting I’ve encountered) and three different nurses or CNAs have asked about the gender reveal. Folks seem invested and excited. I told them I’d be able to tell them on Monday and they all seem eager. I wonder if they’ll be able to access the ultrasound report since the OB is connected to this hospital system… hmm.

I want to make and document my official guesses about the twins’ genders. I have no scientific reason or rationale for my choices… just citing it as a Lad’s Intuition (that could be very wrong). I think we have a boy and a girl. If I delve deeper, I believe that Baby A is a girl and Baby B is a boy. In addition to this being my gut feeling, it’s also my gender breakdown preference. Of course, blah blah, we only care about them being healthy, blah. But I really want a boy and a girl. Two girls terrify me because I think about the ‘tween and teen years and it makes me want to run and hide. Two boys is fun, and I wouldn’t mind… except that we’re likely not having more kids after this litter, and we’ll be left without our girl… which then scares me that we’ll end up convincing ourselves to try for a girl later on and end up with four boys pissing all over the bathroom.

With the aforementioned fears and wants/hopes thrown out there, I’m nervous about not having private time to process the genders. I’ll find out the exact same moment as ten other people… in front of those ten people. What if I feel disappointed? Will I look disappointed too? How will people react to my reaction? And, part of me does not want to have to put on a front if I do have negative or disappointed feelings… this, and my need for immediate gratification, is why I would really like to find out separate (aside from my wife).

No matter what, I will love the twins… I’ll just love them more if they’re a boy and a girl — just kidding.

My Son’s Daycare and Father’s Day

We have had our 16 month old son in daycare since he was 7 weeks old. The daycare has a five star rating, and is among the more affordable locations in our area. I have been consistently happy with their treatment of our son. They seem to genuinely care about his development and well-being, and have dealt with my wife and I being first-time parents with kindness and understanding.

Father’s Day was last weekend, and the daycare made cards for all the Dads last week. This situation is something that my wife and I have talked about for years, even before having kids. We decided, really because we celebrate Mother’s and Lad’s Days with our dogs, since we’re those lesbians, that I would celebrate on Father’s Day and my wife would get Mother’s Day. Our dogs always remember the days and seem to do some pretty excellent shopping for the occasions. But, I always worried that our kids would be left making Father’s Day cards because that is the activity for the classroom — completely ignoring the fact that our kids have a Lad and not a Dad.

On Friday, I picked up our son from daycare and received a homemade Lad’s Day card; it was the same that the Dads received, but mine was personalized to reflect our family. It was wonderfully sweet. I appreciate the fact that they continually treat my family as a normal as any other family.. I’m happy to have them taking care of our sweet boy.

Feeling Alright…

I am pleased to announce that I have not thrown up in four days! Four whole days. This is the longest stretch of puke-free days since becoming pregnant. It’s amazing and exhilarating. If I weren’t so exhausted, and easily winded I’d shout my joy from the rooftops. In addition to not throwing up, I’m actually craving foods. A lot of food. This is new during this pregnancy too. I’m feeling alright. I am still getting infusion treatments for hydration purposes three times a week, and there’s no way I’m changing any part of my system now that I’m starting to feel human again. No way.

Tonight, I’ve been starving… eating weird foods like Skittles and waffles (not together), and grits. I am so happy to want to eat and to not throw it back up. I’ve maintained my weight (as opposed to the continual weight loss I’ve been encountering)¬†over the last five days. My doctor is going to be super happy when I tell her the good news — if it keeps until my next appointment.

Feeling more normal feels pretty awesome.

 

Thoughts About Twins

I’m going to try to focus on the non-medically centered stuff for this post, with the exception of this one update: in addition to the mutant virus and wicked headaches that I’ve had, I found out yesterday that I also have developed an Upper Respiratory Infection with double ear infections. My OB provider mentioned wanting to just put me in a bubble — so now, I’m taking more medicine and waiting for the inevitable yeast infection that will result from the high dose antibiotics I’m receiving. Yay me. I’m convinced my wife is going to trade me in for a model that isn’t falling apart as much as I am.

So, twins… we’re having twins. At 17 weeks, I think that I’m now fully adjusted and acclimated to the idea of having two more babies in our family. There are some days, however, that I seem to forget for a brief second that two babies are growing inside of me… but then I throw up or pee with urgency, and am quickly reminded.

Initially upon finding out, I was nervous and scared… then it shifted to financial stress and scared… now it’s shifted to nervousness about energy and abilities and excitement. For years, my wife and I thought we wouldn’t have kids because of her reproduction issues and my feelings of disgust associate with me becoming pregnant; so, the fact that we’ll have three kids is a wonderful thing. I’m not religious at all, but if I were, it would totally be a time and situation that I would discuss being ‘blessed’. But I’m not, so I won’t.

Here are some of the thoughts/feelings/questions have associated with the twins (some, of course are more or less rationale than others, but it’s how my brain works), these are in no particular order – so don’t try and read into the numbers too much:

  1. Our son is amazingly beautiful — what if the genes thin out with twins, and we end up with a less adorable baby?
  2. Will we have enough attention for both twins?
  3. Will we have enough attention for our son (who has really had all of our attention since his birth)?
  4. Will the anatomy scans be wrong about the twins’ genders, like it was for our son?
  5. Will I be a good Lad to three kids?
  6. Will we be too broke to do anything fun after the twins arrive?
  7. Will my bikini body ever come back? (I do NOT wear a bikini — butch bikinis don’t exist)
  8. How far will I make it before giving birth?
  9. Will I be on bed rest?
  10. When?
  11. Will it be hospitalized bed rest?
  12. Will I have to have a C-section to deliver the twins?
  13. Will we have a baby shower (we didn’t get to have one because of early induction with our son)?
  14. Can all three kids sleep in one room?
  15. When will my wife and I get to sleep again — 2020?
  16. Will I have to quit my job because of childcare expenses?
  17. Will the twins be healthy?
  18. Will my 100 pound weight loss keep this pregnancy free from gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia?
  19. Will I ever stop throwing up?
  20. Will the twins feel like special individuals, or will they feel like a unit?
  21. Will my wife and I be able to maintain our kick ass relationship after officially being outnumbered?
  22. Will I ever feel confident as a parent of three?
  23. Will our son have doubts about his value and importance in our family?

Even though I clearly have some worries, I am thrilled to be having twins. I love being a Lad — It’s, without a doubt, the role/activity/job that I have loved the most in my entire life… there’s nothing else I can imagine doing from this point on in my life. I actually feel like I am a really good Lad, so I tend to think that adding kids to the mix will just allow my Landers to blossom even more. I’m excited about expanding our family with my wife. She is an outstanding mother and the twins will be lucky to have her as their Mama. It’s going to be stressful and scary, but I also think it’s going to be amazingly fun and exciting time in our home and family.