Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Twin Preggo Life, 35 Weeks

3 years (and 5 days) ago was Avelynn's Due Date - April 5th, 2015, Easter Sunday. It took her another 2 weeks (almost) to make her way into the world. Currently, I'm 35.2 weeks pregnant with the twins and therefore about 1-3 weeks away from baby time. It's eerily similar to my pregnancy with Avie in some ways (very pregnant at Easter Dinner, enjoying the spring transition from winter and wearing the same sorts of maternity clothes, same nursery preparation timeline, similar timing off work), though mostly it's very different! With Avie, I didn't have kids yet so that was drastically different right off the bat.  I finished work officially at the end of February and had March off, which was excellent. I got to putter around, beautifying the nursery, buying pretty things for the baby, visiting friends and resting, lots. 

April 5th, 2015 - My first pregnancy (with Avie)
An Easter Sunday walk with on my due date, then pics of me during week 40.

This time we have kids - so the workload is just so different. I finished some big projects as of the end of February but was still working through March to train my Mat leave replacement and even now am doing a little bit of catch up work to clean up the year (I can do this from the couch). While I did set up the nursery, it was more about getting the basics in there, rather than any beautification. I would love to start decorating and making it extra special but life happens and so that won't be happening. I'm also on a year of no spending so I'm not buying pretty things for the room (though I am sure I have more than enough pretty things around the house to make their room special if I had the time and energy). I am getting a chance to rest - but that has been greatly hampered by first the flu, then a cold, and now a new cold. So the rest is hard to come by - though there is not much activity either. 

Easter weekend - I sat on the couch but our family made Easter awesome for the kids

The biggest difference is probably the toll this pregnancy is taking on my body, versus the relative ease with which I swanned through my first pregnancy. I never got to the "get this baby out of me" stage with Avie in my pregnancy (aside from the 4 long days of labour - I definitely felt it then). Pregnancy was easy - I could still sleep, I could still take walks, I could do most of life. In fact, once I was on Mat leave in the final months of my pregnancy I started weekly walks with my parents (and my Dad walks to lose weight, so it's not leisurely). 
This pregnancy I stopped walking with my Dad probably 3 months ago - it was just too much and put me out of commission the next day. My sleep is tricky - lots of flipping back and forth due to leg and hip pain. And the biggest difference is that I'm on modified bed rest - and boy do I need it! Paul is doing 90% of all the housework and childcare. He's been off for three weeks now (2 weeks of spring break, then into Parental Leave until end of August), and that's been a real blessing. There were two weeks before that where he worked and I was resting - so we had childcare help each weekday. We've been making it through - and when Paul was working and doing all the house and kid stuff people sent meals to us, which was also such a blessing! 

And belly pics this time! Pics of me at 32-34 weeks in my twins pregnancy.
Meeting my bestie's baby, lunch with the other preggo twin moms, Easter family photo.

This modified bed rest has been an interesting time. I love the break - my body just needs it so much. Standing for more than a couple moments is exhausting and often painful. I have about 10-30 minutes a day that I have the energy to do things, so each day I pick a task to complete (putting away some laundry, organizing newborn clothes, making labels for the drawers, pulling a meal together to freeze for later using leftovers in the fridge, etc), but other than that I mostly move from the couch to the bed or to the bathroom. It's very exciting. I am taking my resting very seriously - we want to keep these babies in as long as possible to get them as healthy as possible. Having to split our time between kids at home and babies in the NICU would be tricky, so we're doing what we can to keep them in me at least until 36 weeks. People keep asking me if I'm bored on bedrest and honestly, nope. There's so much resting to do! Reading books on twins, reading blogs, writing blogs (like this), catching up on a little work, napping when I want (since that will be off the table once these two are out in the real world), watching Netflix, watching the kids play. And it's paying off! The report from the doctor just keeps getting better and better - good blood pressure, standard heart rates, normal baby growth, etc. 

The hardest part though has been that, due to being sick 3 out of the last 4 weeks, we have been quarantined at home without visitors. The two weeks of bedrest I wasn't contagious had visitors swinging by, which helps keep me sane. The sick times have been extra hard - you can't rest when you're sick and pregnant - it's more like surviving. No drugs to help, and the big belly and coughing just don't go together well. All that plus no visitors? No thank you!

Anyways, the interesting thing about this time is balancing rest and wanting to still be with the family, and help where I can, while being wise about what I do. Sometimes I can change diapers on the couch or help read books, and sometimes (if the Braxton Hicks are especially strong, or I'm especially sore) I just can't. I love sitting on the couch watching Paul and the kids interact but it's hard to have to sit here while he does everything for them. They have so many wants and needs and there's only one of him. He takes it like a champ but we're a team usually, so it's hard not to partner with him. I know that realistically I am being a part of the team by keeping these babies healthy and inside, but that's a much more passive job. We're both super aware though that inside babies are easier than outside babies - right now there is no breastfeeding two kids, no middle of the night feedings, not poopy twin diapers. It's just me lumbering along, eating whatever the babies crave. I'll take it for now!

We're getting pretty close to twin time though - once these two are on the outside everything changes! People keep asking us what help we need and honestly, we just have no idea. What will we need? What will be our pain points? Where will we struggle and where will we thrive? What benefit will there be to being third-time parents, and what reality is there to the twin newborn struggle that is unavoidable no matter how many times you do this newborn thing? What we do know is that when we go into labour Paul's mom will drive up from Portland to take care of our girls (and us once we return with babies) and after a week with her, my Auntie Sandy will come help for a week or so. Somewhere in there, or after that, we will probably have a night nanny 3 days a week for a month - we met the most lovely lady through my Dad who specializes in being a twin night nanny and charges decent rates. It's definitely a luxury (thanks to a gift from my Grandpa) and one we are so thankful for. The main thing we have heard about having twins, from the moment we got pregnant, was to use your savings for help in the first 2 years as needed. That your sanity now, was worth more than savings in the future. We have no idea what it will look like but have taken that advice to heart. 

For what I do know - the twins room is entirely ready. I added the labels to their clothing drawers last night and made up the bed (for helpers) in there earlier this week. The room is clean and organized, just awaiting two new little people. We have the infant car seats sitting at the ready in the garage, and the new Quad Stroller all set up and ready. So now, we sit and we wait. 

The new twin nursery with a bed for family to stay in when they come to help. 

Organized drawers! Boy, girl & neutral

Our crazy quad stroller - newborns up top, the 1 & 3 year in the front

And while we wait we entertain our sweet sweet girls and enjoy our current normal, knowing things will change very soon. It's some of my favorite type of waiting - there is so much fun to be had in this season. Bailey is being so sweet lately - she's so close to walking on her own but loves walking around the house with the baby walker or with someone's hands. She crawls like crazy and can make her way up the stairs faster than I can (scarily). Avie cracks us up all the time - she says the funniest things - its pure toddler. The two of them are a delight to spend time with, and Paul and I are enjoying time together as well. It's good to connect with each other before babies come - to build our partnership deeper before the chaos of '4 kids 3 and under' hits. And on that note - I'm going to head to bed...pregnant and uncomfortable, but definitely not waking up to feed anybody :)
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