Amazing how different an unplanned pregnancy and a planed pregnancy are…
When I was pregnant with the twins I:
– wouldn’t lift anything. Now I lift 40 pounds of baby every day multiple times. I can’t NOT pick up my 13 month olds.
– wouldn’t eat lunch meat, smoked fish, skip a vitamin, drink caffeine, eat a hot dog, etc. Now I eat anything that is fast and easy and in front of me. Oh, and vitamins? Hell, I’m lucky to remember to brush my teeth at night. Vitamins usually don’t make it into the routine.
– would think non-stop about names, the nursery, the perfect stroller. Now, sometimes it is days between baby thoughts. I am so consumed with life with three kids that #4 sometimes doesn’t make it into my brain.
– looked forward to the chaos twins would bring. We knew it would be tough, but we wanted them so badly and for so long that the chaos was something that we would love, something we would willingly deal with. I think this time both my husband and I are more logical about the chaos another child brings, not naïve or blissful about the impending chaos.
– was willing to “take whatever we got”. This time around I had the DNA test done at 10 weeks. Knowing this baby won’t have Downs was a huge relief. I think I am more realistic about how life would be impacted if we had a special needs child and how the lives of the three children we have would be impacted well beyond our deaths. If the test came back positive for a child with a disability I don’t know if I would have gone through with the pregnancy. I don’t know if I could have ended it, but I do know I am happy I wasn’t faced with that choice.
– my hubby felt my tummy all the time. My parents asked to feel the babies move. This time around my hubby hasn’t asked once to feel it, nor have my parents. I am sad by this, but I understand why. This pregnancy has very sucky timing. I think we all know that this is going to be a very tough time when #4 comes. How will I manage with 16 month old twins and a 7 year old??? I don’t think anyone but my 7 year old is happy to be adding to our family at this time. She doesn’t understand how difficult it will be. How costly it will be. How stressful, exhausting, chaotic it will be.
I know things will get better. I am excited to meet #4. See who she looks like. Hold a newborn and cuddle her. Sing to her in her room. But each time I think of the positives I also think about the uncertainty. How will we manage??? And at what cost? We have no spare time now. Where will the time come for #4? How much more strain can our marriage take? How much time can we spare from our 7 year old before she gets lost in the shuffle? Add the stress of returning to work in late August (I am a teacher), then only taking 11 weeks after #4 comes… I see us snipping at each other more and more. My husband and I joke that even if we wanted to get divorced we couldn’t. We couldn’t afford it, nor would we want to take on 4 kids at a time as a single parent. We aren’t getting divorced, we aren’t even thinking that, but we do know we need to bond again. But there is no time in the day… After everyone is asleep we do all our chores and then fall into bed.
God, how I hate the looks I get when I go out in public. Every Ta.r.get run, every food shopping trip. EVERY time I go I get “boy you have your hands full”. At my OB appointment this week the nurse said “this wasn’t planned, was it?”. I think people look at me and either 1-pity me (or maybe they are wondering how I handle it) or 2 – thank God it isn’t them. The looks and comments have shifted over the last 3 months. When I wasn’t showing people would say how cute the twins are, or think they are funny by saying “double trouble”. Now I get “how far along are you” or “how do you do it?” or “do you know what you are having? oh my, 4 girls, wow I feel bad for your husband” with a smile on their face. I smile back and walk away and try to explain to my 7 year old that people can be weird or think they are funny but aren’t. Sometimes when I go out I keep walking when people stop me and I say loud enough for them to hear me, “come on sweetie, we don’t talk t strangers” hoping they think I am trying to protect my family instead of just not wanting to give them a moment of my time. If my daughter isn’t with me and I only have the twins I keep walking and don’t stop. I don’t care if they think I am a bitch. I don’t have time for their petty comments. The comments of “omg look! twins! how cute!” I give the obligatory thank you and then keep walking. But the one that annoys me the most is when we are out and they are dressed in matching outfits in a double stroller and someone asks if they are twins. No dimwit, I have two random babies that I dress the same next to each other in a stroller, but no, they aren’t twins. Idiots.
Anyway, life as we know it is changing. I go back to work in 25 days. The twins are getting bigger and doing more and more each day. Ava is on the verge of walking and babbles non-stop. She is an awesome sleeper and is a happy smiley baby. She likes to drink more than eat. Grace shows no interest in walking and doesn’t babble too much, but can imitate sounds and loves to make others smile. She has a devilsh grin and knows when she is doing something she shouldn’t. She likes to eat more than drink. Ava is the bigger twin at 20 pounds and weighed 4 pounds more than Grace at their 1 year check up. She was only taller by one inch. Grace is like a string bean – long and skinny. She still wears some 3-6 month clothing. She has such a skinny belly – most clothes fall down. She does best in dresses and rompers.
Maddy is my champ. She loves her sisters, sometimes too much. This is an ongoing theme since they were born. She doesn’t always play as gentile as I would like, and many times initiates the screeching with the twins. But she helps me when I need it, and entertains them in the car, and loves them to pieces. I did have to put her in camp for this month. I felt she was home to much and not socializing with her friends. I am home almost all day with the babies because of naps, and Ta.r.get trips and grocery store runs are not too fun for a 7 year old. She was having lots of play dates at our house, but then I was going days on end without leaving the house and going a bit stir crazy. So we put her in gymnastics camp 4 hours a day and she LOVES it. She didn’t want to go at first because she is shy, but now she asks the moment she wakes up “mom, how many more hours until camp?”. We really don’t have the money to be spending on camp, but we know it is the right thing for her at this time. Next summer we plan on signing her up for full day camp.
Here are some “smash cake” pics from the twins first birthday. Hope everyone is enjoying their summer!