Monthly Archives: April 2009

No words

Yesterday, I found out that one of the babies didn’t make it. I’m not taking it well. Even though it was still somewhat early, I’d grown accustomed to the idea of twins, I’d grown attached to both of the babies.

They tell me these things happen, and its really not in my control, wasn’t my fault. They tell me  at least you’ve got one healthy baby, (which, don’t ever, ever say to anyone who’s lost a twin at ANY stage. Seriously.  Because, yes, one baby lived, but you know what? One didn’t. )

I called my mother to cry and she told me that my stepfathers brain tumor was the bad kind. The say-your-goodbyes now kind. It’s a grade 4 glioma if you care to google.  Even having removed it, the prognosis is very bad.

I’m not taking that well either. I just… feel so helpless about all of it. There’s nothing I can do.

And that fucking sucks.

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Spring Break

Spring break passed uneventfully for us, one trip to the zoo and a few play dates was pretty much it- I wasn’t up for anything extremely exciting or spectacular. I’m still dealing with the extreme exhaustion that seems to be a side effect of the double dose of hormones I’m getting. I hope this ends soon, because I know the man would really like me to be able to get off the bed and perhaps do some laundry or vacuum or file the mountains of shit accumulating in the office. ( Instead I sat on the bed with a book and a box of Little Debbie’s while he stripped the wallpaper and painted the upstairs.)

Have I mentioned how much I love and appreciate him lately?

Still, if you have an in with the gods, I would really like some energy back, and also I have a small request for a break from the health problems as well. Please? I just got over strep, and now they suspect my ear tumor may have grown back and I just can’t take any more of that right now, ok?  Give me a few months to make healthy babies. That’s all I’m asking. Ok?

Wait.. I lied. I’d also like someone to make the dogs calm the hell down and behave. I don’t want to get rid of them, but the big one wont stop well, being an asshole, and I’m worried shes going to step on the babies, or knock me down, and the little one, well, the little one ate my fucking carpet. And the adjoining wall.

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Book Review: Two at a Time: Having Twins

Recently, I scoured my local library for books about twins. I’m desperate to get my hands on any information, because, let’s face it, I’m scared shitless. There are no local chapters of any twin parenting groups. I don’t even know anyone who has had twins. Nor am I able to find much on the internet that isn’t completely frightening. (I’ve already convinced myself that either one twin is going to vanish or they are going to get twin-to-twin-transfusion.)

So, I headed to the library with high hopes and a desperate need for information. And this was the ONLY book I could find in the pregnancy and medical issues section. But, based on the cover, it looked like exactly what I needed. It claimed to be about “The Journey Through Pregnancy and Birth”

It wasn’t until I got home and started reading that I realized that it was by Jane Seymour. (If you, like me, don’t recognize the name at first glance, she was an actress, the star on Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, a fact that is mentioned in just about every paragraph of this book.)

I’ll start gently here and say that overall this book was a lovely memoir-style account of her pregnancy with her beautiful twin boys. I’m sure they will enjoy reading it when they grow up. The rest of us, however…

I was looking for a practical guide to having twins. Medical tips and stories about twin pregnancy -and how it differs from singleton pregnancy- alongside tips about to deal with things like “What the hell do I do when they are both screaming?”
and ” How will I find time to take a shit?” and ” Will I ever sleep again?”

This book, while decently written, was completely unrealistic and unhelpful to the average, non-famous, non-wealthy person. In the beginning, when she talks about how she had a personal trainer to help keep her body in shape, I cringe. (There are sections with suggested exercises, which is about the only tidbit that might actually help the average person.)

When she talks about what to wear- which is an increasing concern for me, as regular maternity clothes don’t seem to be able to accommodate a twin belly- she discusses how her stylist helped keep her looking fabulous, and how the costume designer for her show would make her all of these handmade, tailored to her growing body outfits. That’s all well and good for her, but I’m going to be wearing muumuu’s here pretty soon.

Doctors hover at her beck and call, and her driver and ever attentive husband were there to cater to her every whim. Friends and fans and relatives sent her every possible item of baby gear she could imagine, and when she realized the bathroom off the room she “chose” for the nursery didn’t have a tub, only a shower, she had to “quickly get a bathtub installed” making sure it was wide enough to accommodate two children.

Seriously? Who lives like that? Most of us can barely afford our mortgages, let alone a quick last-minute remodel. We don’t choose our nurseries, we use whatever office, closet or hallway will fit them. If we have an emergency in the middle of the night, we go to the emergency room, our doctors do not come to work with us, nor are we able to afford to take blood pressure monitors and contraction straps home with us to monitor our pregnancies.

That last bit gets me the most.  I almost died from pre-eclampsia the first time around.  Having a monitor at home could have saved my life. But they just don’t give that stuff to normal people. You have to go to the doctor’s office or have someone check your blood pressure a few times a week and hope that you live through the days and weekends where it’s NOT checked.

In the real world, doctors don’t come to work with you, nor do they come to your baby showers. And, we have to actually buy all our baby gear ourselves. No one is going to do it for us. These kids are going to have a used, mismatched bedroom set, made up of whatever we can find on craigslist and at consignment stores. And then we have to pray that two cribs will even fit in the room we have to use for them.

I know I may sound like I am bitter because I don’t have the money and privilege that this woman had, but really, it’s just frustrating. I needed a book aimed at real people, with real solutions for real problems. Not something written by a woman who not only had a day nurse and a night nurse who did all of the twins night time feedings, apparently, but also had a special trailer at her work set up just for her kids, with a nanny, so she could work, but also have her children near her and well cared for.  Do you know how many people dream of having a job with onsite daycare for their children? That they don’t have to pay exorbitantly for? Do you have any idea how much the average person struggles to pay for daycare for even one child, let alone two??

Speaking as someone who can’t afford to work, with just one child, because I’d make less than it costs for daycare, this makes me want to scream. It’s wonderful for her, but not at all helpful for those of us who live in reality. I can’t afford a night nurse. I AM the night nurse. And what I need are practical tips for how to survive that without losing my fucking mind in the process.

In my opinion, this book should have been in the “memoir” section. While being a decently written, easy read, it’s not even remotely helpful for the average person expecting twins and looking for practical tips, guidance, and help.

Does anyone out there know of any books that ARE?

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No one gets out alive.

So far so good as far as my step dad is concerned. They did a craniotomy, and removed the tumor. Tests will take a week or so to see just how bad it was. But they got it all, and left some chemo wafers in there to hopefully keep it from growing back.

And, he woke up, and while he is a little out of it, as can be expected after having 1/2 your head removed, he seems to know who he is and his speech, which they were concerned about as it is controlled by nearby brain functions, seems to be unaffected. Though, it will be hard to tell for sure for a few days yet. My mother, while she had her breakdowns, has been incredibly strong throughout this. When I offered to come down and be with her, she told me No, stay home and gestate. Take care of those babies, we will be fine.

I want to be there, badly. I hope she knows I am there in spirit. Holding my breath. In one moment she told me, “I can’t go on without him. I don’t know what I’ll do.”

I can’t even imagine. Right now the man and I are at a totally different place in our lives, preparing for new life, and yet this fear hovers underneath at all times.

(It’s not helped by watching the series finale of ER the other day, seriously)

Knowing that things can happen in an instant, we still try and pretend that things will be this way forever. That we will have each other forever. With my mother contemplating life without her partner, I couldn’t help but briefly picture a life without mine.

Fuck that.

I can’t imagine. Refuse.

It’s almost a given that I will be the first to go, and I have briefly brought it up-only because I need to legally figure out what would happen to the kid if that did happen unexpectedly- but it’s not something we want to talk about right now, especially with us preparing to bring TWO lives into the world. Still, it lingers, and while being sick is pushed to the back of my mind for the time being, it’s still a  reality.  Something none of us wants to think about. Yet…inevitable.

Not just for me. So please, make the most of the time you have with the people you love. Cherish every second you can, even the crappy ones.  because, in the end, there is always an end.

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Hectic

I know I have been pretty quiet over here. Sorry.

When I called my mother to tell her about the twins, she informed me that she was in the hospital with my Stepfather.

To condense the last few days for you, it turns out he had a brain tumor the size of a plum. Right now, he is undergoing surgery to remove it.

And, as I mentioned before, my ex decided, out of the blue, to send the kids to me for three weeks this summer. No idea why he changed his mind, though I have a few theories.  So, I’m going to have two extra kids outside when I’m 6 months pregnant with two on the inside.  Not that I’m complaining, just worrying what I’ll be able to do at that point, and how I’m going to feed and sleep everyone.

Plus I have been non-stop Googling “twin pregnancy” and have managed to convince myself that one is going to “vanish” or some other random unlikely thing. Google sucks sometimes.

I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed. To put it mildly.

Also exhausted and nauseus. I have never felt so bad while pregnant. (Yes, I’m one of those bitches who never got morning sickness, ever) I assume its just from the super-twin hormones, and it’s totally normal, but man will I be glad when this is over. I can barely get out of bed, and when I do, I’m puking in the Target parking lot.

Also, I’m huge and going to get huger. What the hell do you wear for maternity clothes when you are having twins? Muumuu’s?

Gah. Sorry so whiney. Back soon with real posts. If I can stop with the puking and sleeping long enough to write.

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Senses

I found myself standing naked in the kitchen the other day, peeling an orange over the sink. It was one of those navel oranges with the incredibly thick peels. Bright and vibrant, it came off in these thick chunks. And the orange itself smelled incredible. So much so that I wanted to eat the peel too.

At about this point, the man came in and just kind of looked at me.

“What? I’m peeling an orange.” I say.

” I see that.” he replies.

” Shut up. It smells good.”

” Uh-huh.” Sensing one of those weird hormonal pregnant woman things, he backs out of the room.

Mostly it’s the way things smell. It’s common for the sense of smell to be heightened in pregnant women, but I have never experienced it at this magnitude before. It’s kind of weird.

I find myself standing outside and just sniffing the air sometimes. Right now, I can smell spring. And it smells amazing.

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