This morning, I found myself sleeping on the bottom bunk of Oscar’s bed, there to keep him company after he awoke from a bad dream. It’s not the most comfortable, but if it means he will fall back asleep easily than I know what needs to be done. Besides, at 35 weeks pregnant, this body has been accustomed to getting up more than twice a night. An interesting quirk that I always found fascinating about pregnancy, it prepares you for taking care of babies.
Oh, two babies.
As I listened to Oscar falling deeper into sleep, I laid on my side and felt my chest rise and fall. Such labored breathing these days. Such labored everything. Slower walking. Bending over. The lack of energy. The need for rest. Hormones rage and patience is lost and I find myself wondering how I am going to manage this all. I cry in silence sometimes, for what feels like my inability to parent my children and for the amazing kindness of others.
I am guessing, at this moment, you long to be in my presence. Sounds fun doesn’t it?
But at 3:45am, as I laid on that bottom bunk, I felt a repetitive movement in my side. Hiccups. Our girl. I know it is she because we just had a growth ultrasound yesterday morning. She is breech, just like her brother, and they rest head to head, growing as they should and as my friend Camille would often say, closer to my heart. I begin to wonder what they will look like? Will they feel the need to be together all the time? Will he be as feisty as the movements he makes when I lay in bed at night and will she be as cooperative as she always appears to be at our numerous ultrasounds? I am entering some highly unfamiliar territory and as overwhelming as I know it will be, in this moment I am finally understanding that this is going to be a crazy, wild ride that I have been waiting in line for, for a very long time.
Now it is 4:18am and I sit in the glow of my computer, deciding to pick up the “pen” and begin to write again. It wasn’t intentional taking two months in between my blog posts. It was priorities: work, kids, family, exhaustion, naps and not necessarily in that order. Our babies are well, or “stable” as they say in the hospital. Since July, we have had 3 echocardiograms on our baby girl and have found that she does, in fact, have a hole in her heart. This is not surprising, as they had forewarned us this usually comes with the territory of her heart defect. The good news is that all else looks well and we are prepared. She is a bit smaller than her brother, weighing in at just a little over 4lbs whereas he is just over 5lbs. Our doctors do not seem too concerned as these measurements can be off (and often in the baby’s favor) but have decided, for my next two appointments, we will have an ultrasound at each to monitor whether there is any distress or if they continue to be nice and comfortable and would rather stay where they are.
Next two appointments.
FINAL two appointments.
After that, on October 21st, I am scheduled for a 7:30am C-section. Of course, these kids may disregard the calendar completely and arrive whenever they choose. The average for twins is 35-36 weeks. If they wait until 38 weeks, which I am praying they do, I will pray harder that I sleep like the proverbial baby the night before as I can only begin to imagine the amount of thoughts racing through my head that night. Greg and I have been preparing ourselves for what will happen with our babies and we have a plan, which almost scares me more. I know that no plan is perfect and we have to be flexible. I worry, wanting nothing to go wrong, but if our “ideal” already includes heart surgery, aren’t we already in a bit of a bind?
In the best-case scenario, after the babies arrive, baby girl will be taken to the NICU and baby boy can stay with me. I will be in the hospital for three nights and, in a perfect world, when I am released with our healthy baby boy, our growing girl will be entering her heart surgery and moving from the NICU to the PICU where I will setup home base for the next few days with both babies. It isn’t the most comfortable of settings but the fact that they will allow me to be there with both children is all I need. After a few days in the PICU, baby girl will be on her way to recovery, move to the 4th floor where we will have a big, spacious room and we will work on her feeding and getting her home. Ideally, the hospital stay will be no more than two weeks.
The most comforting of all has been our community of friends and family. You all keep forcing me to say this, but I just don’t know what we would do without you. You make me realize I really need to step up my game and be the best kind of daughter, sister, friend and stranger I have the potential to be. It is the least I could do. Between the emails, phone calls, texts, cards, passing down of baby clothes and offering up your baby goods, your words of encouragement and ALL the kind things you have done for us, it makes this craziness feel doable. Most importantly, it has eased the worry and helped us breathe a little.
So there WILL be updates to come, I promise. Now, once they are born, that may be another story.