Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Twin Factor

Justin painting the bathroom

The crazy cute crib bedding

Another angle on bedding

The Dresser Justin Refinished

The dresser/future changing table
Last Wednesday I went to the doctor who confirmed that my belly was 41 inches. This is a big deal since women carrying one child gain an inch each week. Simply put, I am the size of a woman pregnant for 41 weeks yet I am only 30. The twin factor has officially kicked in. She also put an end to my yoga practice and insisted I not leave Bellingham until the babies are born, so sadly I will not be teaching at the Women’s Debate Institute this year. This stage of pregnancy is a bit weird. On one hand I cannot wait for it to end. I am big and swollen and very uncomfortable a great deal of the time. A good night is when I get up only about seven times. Since the girls are now head down my rib pain has mostly gone away and my bladder feels as though it is always full. Oh the bathrooms I have seen. Loews, school and the local smoothy shop are always safe clean bets. Although I try hard to avoid the ladies room in Walgreens, the Bagelry, Target. Anyway, I want the girls to continue to cook so to speak. If they came before 35 weeks we could be facing all sorts of complications I would rather avoid. Further, the next phase is not going to be any easier than this one. Quite the contrary. So I am in limbo, and since I really have no say on the matter, I will just continue to do what I do.

What do I do? Well my time these days is divided between resting, working, and nesting. The resting front is going well although temperatures are going to be in the 90’s this week and with no air conditioning I might have to trade in the bed for a raft on the lake. Work is also going well although the carpul tunnel in my hands in really slowing me down. Do not be surprised if the commentary on the blog gets shorter and shorter.
I have three days left of summer school left which is great because among other things I no longer fit in the classroom desks. After classes finish I have grading, one conference paper, one conference abstract, and one grant to finish before my hands get a rest. I will try to do it all, but my pace is not my strength at this point.
The nest, however, is going very well. Danna Mauch sent the nicest baby bedding. I can only hope my girls are as cute as their sheets. Mica picked up great knobs for the dresser Justin refinished and it looks awesome. We also had to get a new sink for the upstairs bathroom (long story) which motivated Justin to do some painting before installing it. All and all the nest looks awesome.

For now, I continue to remain grateful for every week of extra growth the girls get. I am pleased at how relatively easy they are to carry around. And I am thankful for the helpful and supportive husband I have. Till next week.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

29 weeks

Nurse Vern keeping me company (who has space to co-sleep babies)

Justin and Jason hard at work

Scout and I in front of our awsome cribs

Well I have a new positive attitude this week. Not only did my grandfather who asks 55 turn 80 this week but I am glad to drink chocolate milk, not worried about the yoga poses that are just not happening, and so excited for my girls Sarah and Sarah. Since I got pregnant in January Sarah Allen and Sarah (Snider) Green were just a few weeks ahead. They confirmed my concerns were just normal, we exchanged discomforts, diaper pail options, and crib choices. Now both my dear friends are no longer pregnant but instead proud mothers. Evan Powderly and Levi Green could not be any cuter and I am continuing to take notes and their Mom's advice for the days to come.

This past week I have better managed my time. Knowing that I am stronger and more conferrable in the morning I try to get more done then and give my swollen feet and marshmallow hands a break in the afternoon. This method seems to be working well. Yesterday, for example, I went with Justin to let the dogs swim in the morning and then to the farmers market. Washington is huge exporter of berries and they are in season. I came home with a batch of fresh blueberries (smoothie central over here) to find Justin and his friend Jason putting together the cribs Jill and Loren got us.
I cannot tell you how excited I was. I passed out on the couch and when I got up they were all set up. See the picture for evidence. A big thanks to Jill and Loren! We hope they will come and out and check them out in person. There is something very real about having clothing and beds for people currently living in my belly. Weird huh? But very cool.
As the day begins to take it toll I retreat to the bedroom where my trusty nurse Vern attends to me. She knows something is going on and has been very attentive to me lately. Further, she has been doing a lot more barking. I think she overheard me tell Justin that the girls can hear us now and wants to get in on the action. Scout has also picked up on the changes and has been sniffing around the girls’ room waiting their arrival.

I am going into my 29th week and all and all things are good. More updates to come.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Stellar Jay

Our hosts and friends, Jen, Steve, and William

Some of the Western Communication dept crew

Our first stuffed animals
Every spring Justin and I find the outside deck filled with tons of small branches and leaves. The Stellar Jay (a big northwest blue bird with a beautiful rooster-like black head) builds a nest near the roof of our house. This year was the first year we saw her babies. One young bird had tried to get out of the nest and fly but feel to the ground because its little wings were not working just yet. Justin, after doing a little bird research, insisted we let the mother deal with the situation (future grandparent please take note). The little guy seemed fine, he hopped around the yard for a day or so, and his mom continued to give him flying lessons (so cute) until one day they both left—flying north to cooler temperatures I assume.

I have no doubt a lot to learn from the Stellar Jay. Lesson one, how to make a nest, is going well. While my physical body is nesting what are now 2lb plus babies, it is, I keep reminding myself, a temporary arrangement. So Justin and I are working hard to make our home an equally suitable home. Justin is in charge of putting stuff together, this week’s highlight in the pack in play the girls will sleep in together in our room until they are snuzzing more than a few hours at a time. My job is to collect and organize. This week I resolved the crib problem, Justin will for sure love putting these bad boys together, and made progress in other significant areas thanks in large part to our friends Jen Hays and Steve Woods (former UVM debate coach).

Jen, Steve, and I all work together in the communication dept at Western and we live less than a ¼ mile away. Jen and I have become good friends, we walk (or more accurately we did walk and will walk again). She is an amazing gardener and has tried to teach me how to grow a northwest garden (still a work in progress). And this weekend they invited some of the dept. members to their house for a cook out in our honor. It was a great day, with awesome food and friends who brought I might add, very thoughtful and useful gift for our girls. We are especially excited about the diaper genie.

See earlier that day we went to a birthing class. It was somewhat useful but since we know I will be having a C-section the breathing /pushing part seemed less interesting. It was however, nice to run into another twin mom about my age who is part of the Mother of Multiples club. We also got tons of handouts, one of which described how many diapers a parent should expect to change in a week (over 75) and then times two. Yes, we were really excited to get the diaper genie, now if only it could do the changing for us.

Personally I have been feeling emotionally better , yet more and more physically uncomfortable. Last week my sour mood was in part a result of a yoga class in which I could not seem to accomplish much. Even down dog seemed like a challenge. Yet after learning that my tingling hands and sore wrists were not a result of trying to hold myself up in yoga but instead pregnancy induced carpel tunnel, I felt a bit relived. I got some black wrists guards to sleep in and that seems to be helping. They are truelly sexy, surely what every husband hopes their wife will sleep in. Justin jokes that I look like a boxer in bed.
This week I officially enter month 7. Summer school is over in 3 weeks and naps are a regular part of my to do list. I have given up weighing myself; surely the Stellar had gain weight just sitting on those eggs. I have been reading about raising babies (not on the flying chapter yet) and am enjoying the northwest summer watching Vern and Scout swim in the lake. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Mood of the Moment

The super cute Graham kids- our 4th of July dates. As of latley we all go to bed at the same time.

Justin and Phoebe sharing some chips.

I started the blog to answer the requests of friends and family who wanted to see how I looked and felt about my long awaited journey through pregnancy. I anticipated people harassing me to post regularly which is why I have tried to stay firm to the Sunday night updates. What I did not anticipate was that there would be Sunday nights when I just did not feel like writing. Tonight is one of those nights. The reality is I want only to report happy news with only a touch of this hurts and that too. I do not want to sounds like a complainer; I know the post pregnancy will have its challenges so I am honestly trying to save my political capital with friends and family for that. It is not as if anything has really changed. I had a wonderful week with Justin and pups swimming, we had a great time celebrating the fourth with friends (see the pictures above). But at this moment I am just feeling the literal and figurative weight of pregnancy. My yoga teacher encourages us not to pretend, so here is my list of complaints tonight. Mind you Justin has advised me not post such a list in fear that people will call worried etc. I believe his exact words where – “no negativity on the blog.” Please do not prove him right. Please know that I will wake up tomorrow, drive to work in our new (to us) car, teach a class, do some research and be the happy pregnant women I am most of the time. But at this moment, the moment I promised to write, I feel fat, swollen (the nacho bar at the 4th of July party did not help this), worried that I will go into labor too early, wish I could have a chance to delivery naturally, overwhelmed with writing projects I hoped to get out by the end of the month, pissed the crib I picked out is no longer available, and really disappointed that my non-existence yoga and running routine has left by body unflexible, slow, weak, and without definition. There it is. Please resist your temptation to feel sympathy. I know that I am lucky. Lucky to have a kind supportive and loving husband, happy healthy and snuggly dogs, an amazing beautifully crafted home in the awesome state of Washington (which is currently the 70’s during the day and 50’s at night), a big belly with two happy and kicking girls inside, and a fantastic job that I truly look forward to going to. Trust me; I know there are not too many people who can say that—and I am grateful. It is just at this moment I want to wallow, thanks for giving me the space to do so.