Sunday, March 16, 2008

Whole new perspective (aka: holy shit!)

At 16 weeks, my baby should be 4.5 inches long and 3.5 ounces – about the size of an avocado (which rhymes with Otto – the fun baby name of the week). At 16 weeks, I should be gaining a sensible amount of weight and should be basking in the glow of the second trimester and starting to nest (or something equally productive). Right?

Well, here’s how the last few days have gone for Bubba and me….
Friday, the 19th:
*Off to job #2.
*Put on jeans that just fit me (although snugly) last week. They no longer fit. In fact, instead of leaving the button un-done, I couldn’t even get the button within two inches of the buttonhole!
*Yikes. Since I had no alternative pants, I just tucked the flaps in and wear my shirt over the top.
Saturday, the 20th:
*Realized that I needed new pants.
*Lay down “the law” about spending ridiculous amounts of money on clothing that I’m only going to wear for a few months.
*Set off with Bubba to the local thrift store.
*Stare in complete shock and dismay at the assortment of available maternity wear. This stuff would be acceptable if I were a picnic table at a luau or maybe a clown in the Thanksgiving Day parade. Hideous. Ridiculous. Floral. Hot pink. Barf! Here’s where it gets funny.
*Head to the used furniture section to sit in an equally frightening pink floral chair. Sit down and start to cry. (“I’m going to be fat and dressed poorly! Waaaaaaaa…..”)
*Consoled by loving wife and dad’s crazy British wife.
*Go to another thrift store where we find some fairly decent stuff. Crying finally subsides.
Sunday, the 21st:
*Remain rather calm for most of the day. (So unlike me lately.)
Monday, the 22nd:
*Take the entire day off from work for morning strep test (yup – it’s strep) and afternoon amniocentesis (since I’m of “advanced maternal age”).
*Meet with genetic counselor about risk of Down’s, trisomy 18, etc.
*Lay down on table and get gooped by Sandra the Sonogram lady (henceforth to be referred to as SS). Strike up a conversation while she checks out my tummy. Here’s where it gets interesting.

SS: How have you been feeling?
Me: Great. No morning sickness…. Blah, blah, blah
SS: Have you had an ultrasound before?
Me: Yeah. We had one in December. It was just a quickie at the doctor’s office while the room was free. It was cool. That’s when we got to see the heartbeat. We just got to hear it last week.
SS: Both of ‘em?
Me: Both of what?
SS (very slowly): Both heartbeats.
Me: WHAT?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!? (It’s a good thing I have lost most of my voice from the strep. Otherwise the entire clinic would have heard me.)
SS (with mortified look on face): Your doctor didn’t tell you that you’re carrying twins?
Me: WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

*Crying begins and cell phone rings. It’s Bub – calling to check in since she couldn’t make it to the appointment.
Bub: How’s it going?
Me (crying): Not very well!
Bub (panicked): What’s wrong?
Me (crying): There are two in there!
Bub (confused): Two in where?
Me (crying): Two babies!
Bub (startled): WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Me (crying): Two babies!
Bub (disbelieving): This is not a funny joke.

*Everyone has been joking with her for months that we’ll have twins. It has worked well to freak her out. True to form, she freaked out.
Me (crying): I’m not joking.
Bub (beginning freak-out session): Really, honey. This isn’t funny.
Me (getting irritated): I’m not kidding around. It’s twins.
Bub (verge of full-on freak-out): Stop teasing me.
Me (very irritated): I’M SERIOUS!
Bub (fully freaked out): LET ME TALK TO THE DOCTOR!

*I hand the phone to SS.
SS: Mmm hmmm. Mmm hmmm. This is not something that we joke about around here. There are two babies in the uterus.
*SS hands phone back to me.
Me (crying again): So?
Bub: How did this happen? What’s going on? How? How? What….?? I gotta’ go. (Hangs up)

*I stop crying and stare dumbly at the monitor while SS takes measurements and spreads goop all over my skin.
*Phone rings. It’s Bubba again.
Bub: Are you OK?
Me: Yeah. You sound weird.
Bub: I had to go throw up and call my mom. She’s not home.

*Ultrasound continued and SS took all measurements. The reason nothing fits is that even though I’m at 16 weeks, Tot A is measuring at 17 weeks while Tot B is measuring at 16.5 weeks.
*Doc arrives to stick me (twice) for fluid draw. Really not that bad; just a bit uncomfortable.
*I continue to resist temptation to find out sex of babies. I love surprises (even though you can’t tell through my tears). Bub declares that we are DONE with surprises. This one is the big one that I get through this entire experience. I’m starting to agree with her.
*I leave hospital and call our doctor whose very surprised response is “Wow. You’re fertile!”
*I stop at dad’s work on the way home to share the news. His clever response is “It’s a good thing you’re gay. Otherwise, you would need your own zip code.” (Dude, you slay me. Can’t you see the red eyes and puffy face? Hold the jokes; I’m freaking out.)
*Called fantastic and wonderful friend – a lesbian mom of twins – begged her to move back from Alaska.
*Spent night on the phone with dad (who has already picked out another name for Tot B), mother-in-law (who can’t wait to shop even more), brother (who thinks this is hysterical) and lesbian mom couple who have been with us on this journey since last year.
*Slowly telling others (work, friends, family) in the past couple of days. Everyone is super excited about this and completely overjoyed. Everyone, that is, except us. We are both still in shock. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve always wanted more than one kid, and I can’t wait to be a mom, but I certainly didn’t expect it to happen this way. After all, there are NO twins in either side of my family (I even checked my genealogy book which goes back five generations. None!) There are NO twins in our donor’s family. I was taking NO fertility medicines. This is truly a shocking experience for us.

Now, everything that needed to be done will need to be done two months earlier! It’s our understanding that twins are usually delivered a bit early, so our due date will move from July to mid-June. Although I’m relatively healthy, I have a family history of diabetes, and I wasn’t at my ideal body weight at conception - which increases my risk of elevated blood pressure. Therefore, it’s a possibility that I could be put on bed rest. (Of course, I’m doing everything I can to avoid these things, but I’m a realist. I’m planning for them – just in case.)

All I can say that in the course of three short days, my perspective COMPLETELY changed. I no longer care what my maternity clothes look like. I’m now growing two people: Ava and Otto – the avacados!

Holy shit.

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