The veil grows thin

Happy Samhain!  (Pronounced Sowen with a long O.)  In theory (pagan theory, anyway) this is the time of year (one of two) when the spirit world and the mundane world come as near to each other as they will.  Beltane, in the spring, is the other time.  Now is when Father Sun passes on and the final harvest is brought in.  Now is the time to honor death and endings and the passing of the cycle of life so that rebirth and renewal may happen.  Do you think that if I tell my 2 year old that, he will honor my request to end his time with diapers?  (Um, probably not, although for the curious I do intend to spring that fun time of life onto him in Decemeber when I can take some time off of work to be home with him.  I’m not holding my breath that it will work.)

In practise, we celebrate just like everyone else.  Mostly because everyone else celebrates Halloween as if they were pagans so we just go along with it.  The kids dress up, we hand out candy, and we go out to greet our neighbors often for the first and only time of the year.  Honestly I think there should be more holidays that call on the hospitality of your neighbors, however that would mean that I’d have to admit that I could set up a gathering at my place and invite my neighbors at any time of the year and I just don’t. 

Due to the candy filled nature of this particular holiday and due to my love of chocolate, I’ve come up with some resolves to get me through this weekend without losing all the ground I’ve worked on over the week in the gym.  ONE piece of candy.  One.  I don’t know whether to laugh or cry it is all so horrid but it is needed.  I did very well weight-wise over the last few weeks only to ruin it on the weekends.  Normal weekends.  I went up FOUR whole pounds last weekend and as of this morning had only managed to recover 2 of those.  So one piece it is.  I’ve decided that I can earn another piece by going to work out on Sat and/or Sun.  All the same, this isn’t easy.

To give an example:  There are pumpkin frosted sugar cookies on the counters here at work.  Pumpkin bars in one of the cubes.  Scheduled trick or treat walks around the building where the management is handing out candy.  It isn’t even 10:30 people. 

Tonight should be interesting indeed.

Yesterday I felt what I knew to be the babies moving.  Actually, baby B.  baby A is, by definition, lower down and harder to feel for sure.  Luke, however, is a very active little fetus and I fear for the safety of my ribcage when those leg bones and muscles get stronger.  With the placentas being on exact opposite sides, fundal and, well, not fundal as I don’t really want to say ‘near the cervix’ as I’m still in my own medically backed up state of denial, I’m hoping it will not be too hard to tell Luke from Leia as they grow bigger and take up more space.

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It’s all in your head

Today is a good day.  Why?  Because I was happy with the results in the gym.  I know.  Actually, I’ve been pretty busy at work too with things that I enjoy doing and I’ve been feeling quite good physically so that helps.  Still, one would think that by now I’d know how to not let the results on the scale after my workout color my whole day.  Anyway, I nudged another step towards normal for today so that is good.  I found out that the graph I had been reading that I THOUGHT was telling me normal weight gain for a twin pregnancy in the 2nd triwas ~2 pounds per week is REALLY telling me that it is about 1 pound per week.  D’oh!  Not that it changes anything practical but it does mean that it won’t be as easy as I thought it would be to kinda tread water while the weeks caught up with my weight.  I thought I was doing so uber well to have only gained 2 pounds in the last 17 days but apparently, that’s very nearly spot on for what I should be doing even if I hadn’t turned into the monster that ate Uptown between week 8 and week 13.  I’ve found that I am where I should be if I had started the pregnancy at 175 pounds.  This means that I have 10 pounds of totally NON-pregnancy related weight.  *sigh*  *Shakes head*  No, today was a good day.  I’m not going to stress about what I’m already fixing.

Yesterday I decided to treat myself to a salad from the Bob’s Produce grocery store down the street.  It’s this little local store that has a really nice salad bar with really fresh (unlike our dumb work cafe) fruits and veggies.  As I went down the line picking out all my favorites like a newbie employee at the office supply cabinet, I came to the imitation crab meat.  Normally, I love this stuff.  I’m not a fan of mystery meat but I’m going with the assumption that it is some kind of fish that just looks like crab meat (without any processing at all, of course) so I try not to think about it too much.  I didn’t get any that time.  You see, P has asked me a few times about if it is hard to avoid eating things you shouldn’t eat while pregnant.  This question baffles me a bit as I’ve spent about 10 years of my life pregnant or trying to get pregnant or nursing and I’ve never actually avoided eating anything.  Based on wanting to be a good little surrogate, I looked up online things that you shouldn’t eat while pregnant and, um, scared the shit out of myself.  While logically I know that most of that is, well, not true, I have a hard time ignoring it when this isn’t MY pregnancy.  Since I didn’t remember what kind of fish is used in imitation crab, and even if I had I didn’t remember what kind of fish the list said not to eat, I just left it.  How fun is it being mental??

Let’s talk birth day

Even with Leia trying to get away with a possible placenta previa, not to mention a breech presenation at just 12 weeks gestation, we’re going to talk about vaginal childbirth for a moment.  Having gone through said event 4 times in my life,  one would think I was fairly well qualified to do it again.  I do have a question, however. 

Pushing out twins.  Is it different??  I’ve been reading up on twin birth stories and most of the time, no one says anything.  Sometimes, however, a woman will state that it is MUCH different to push out that first twin than it is to birth a singleton.  One woman said that she felt she was only able to push on twin B and thus twin A was just getting the second hand push of force through twin B.  This sounds really horrible for the two of them but since it also sounds really horrible to me to be squashed into claustrophobic confinement with your sibling for 9 months I guess I won’t judge what it is like to be a fetus.  Any of you with multiple birth experiences… is it different to push with twin A?

OK, here is something else.  I was looking up different positions to push from.  I came across this picture:    Now, is it just me, or is it TOTALLY wrong that the woman in this picture looks all pleasant and smiley and as though she’s planting flowers in her garden and not actively evacuating an object the size of the pumpkin we just carved last night through her birth canal?  Really?  Has anyone actually birthed this way?  My memory of the actual moments of crowning and pushing were that it hurt so bad there was searing pain through my entire pelvis and I couldn’t even function enough to wipe snot off my face let alone suspend myself in a pathetic attempt at a chin up while crouching on a tipsy bed matress.  Logically, it makes sense… when you think about it with that casual dorky grin the woman in the picture is wearing.  In reality, in that moment of reality, is it actually possible, let alone an effective and positive way to give birth?  Just in case you aren’t in the ‘twin’ frame of mind, I give you 40 weeks: 

Moving right along

It is crazy how fast times goes when you are looking back.  Except for the last 45 minutes when I was on a conference call at work and I SWEAR to you time stopped, these past 13 or so weeks have been speeding by.  I now look clearly pregnant and it makes for some interesting conversations.  The things strangers ask pregnant women don’t exactly fit with surrogacy situations, but it is sure fun thinking of creative answers.  My husband is amusing himself by telling people that his wife is pregnant with twins and they aren’t his.  For that matter, I’m amusing myself by telling people that I’m pregnant with twins and they aren’t mine as well.  I get funnier looks than he does though.

My friend Michelle (linked on the side, life at 100 MPH) gave me a TON of maternity clothing this weekend!  I haven’t tried them all on but the first pair of jeans I pulled out were a size large so I was nervous that they would be too small.  They fit PERFECTLY!  YAY!  I now have to go through the rest of it and find out what will fit and all that.  There are a lot of tank tops and sleeveless shirts, and being due in April means I will either have to figure out how to wear them over longer sleeved tees or they may not get worn.  I’m really excited about the tanks though because I was stressing about what I was going to wear at the gym.  I wear tank tops under EVERYTHING that I wear.  It makes me feel better knowing that my belly is being contained.  Allowing for a tank under everything AND a different tank at the gym means I’d go through a lot.  In the summer I can leave the gym clothes out in the back of my car and they’d dry so I could wear them more than once but in the winter they never dry and thus they don’t smell so great even after just one use.  (Plus, I’m not thrilled with the idea of putting on a slightly damp shirt that has been sitting in my frozen car overnight.)  I think I’m pretty well set now though!  Thanks Michelle!!

Speaking of the gym, this morning went well.  If you include finding a science book review in your son’s homework folder that you (and HE) forgot about that is due today as ‘well’.  I woke him up before leaving and hope that he managed to actually do it.  After my workout I decided to try a shower that is not as warm to see if I wouldn’t get so drained during it.  Normally I need the water just barely hot.  I’m not into the really hot showers.  I left it slightly colder than I was comfortable with today and while I didn’t get so tired, it was COLD so, ya know, pick your greater evil I guess.  Then I almost slipped and fell while walking from the shower to my locker.  You know, trying to hold shampoo, conditioner, razor and locker key in your arms while hoping to keep the ever expanding section of your body that is exposed when the towel wrapped around your girth is becoming ever more inadequate over the weeks AND walk on wet tiles in a slightly public area is tough.  It evidently became more complicated than my grace and balance could overcome when the floor dipped down to a drain area rather steeply AND my attention was drawn suddenly behind me when a staff member turned on a loud machine of some kind in a room off the shower area.  For a very brief (and yet endless) moment I found myself swaying precariously backwards.  I’m certain you are all relieved that I managed to pull through without actually crashing to the ground.  I cannot say things went so well on the scale, but I have the remainder of this week to see if I can’t repair the damage of the gym-less weekend so I’m going to postpone my distress at the number for today.

Wish me strength over the upcoming holiday (Samhain to me, Halloween to most of the rest of the world) in that I can make it without overindulgence.  Or – hope that my children have managed to learn NOTHING about sharing and refuse every single request their mother may make against the trick-or-treating stash.  Maybe everyone will hand out playdoh.  Not that the 2 year old won’t eat that… but at least it won’t tempt ME.

Speaking of the 2 year old – we spent this weekend trying to get some things around the house cleaned up.  I had a LOT of laundry to do thanks to ever so slowly not getting through it all in the weeks past.  I was busy hanging up laundry items in Ash’s room when the little two were in Gavin’s room and being rather… quiet.  I went in to shoe them out of his room and Jessie came out telling me that Asher had opened the cage to the crickets.  (AKA, Flower food)  I run into the room and there is Asher spraying the water spritzer into the open cricket cage effectively drowning any of the unlucky captives that didn’t make it out when the top came off.  Seems they were thirsty.  While kicking them out of the room and putting the cage back together Jessie admits that she ‘helped’ (duh) and I try to tell them WHY we don’t want to free the Flower food into our house.  I don’t think I got through.  The lid turned into a handy strainer while I dumped the water into the sink and left the crickets in the cage to either live or die as they could.  I then spent the next 10-15 minutes capturing tiny crickets as they ran around Gavin’s room to put them BACK into the now lake-less cage.  I got a number of them but many made their way down in to the vent where I could not get them.  As I later found, they found their way from the vent into the room directly below Gavin’s room (the TV room) and now we have the relaxing sounds of the outdoors conveniently well established in our TV room via much cricket chirping.

So when is the blessed event?

Yep, we can mark that one down – 13 weeks and 5 days – the first stranger comment on the pregnancy.  Being someone that is really very reserved when it comes to striking conversations with strangers (at least, those that I’m not angry with for some reason or another), I have always been put on my toes when I encounter the ‘talker’.  That stranger that will tell everyone next to her about her entire life story.  Anyway, I’m thankful to look pregnant and not just fat.

I have to admit, I was looking forward to being able to get the ‘fun’ maternity clothes this time around.  You know, the non plus-sized ones with things like the band BELOW the belly rather than the 5 yards of fabric in the totally ganny-panty sexy  style of ‘the panel’.    Some shirts that emphasized the baby belly by cinching IN instead of tenting OUT in a billowous tunic that in the right gale might be able to give you free airfare on your next flight to whatever state or providence or country neighbors your own.  I was.  But then I saw something while sitting in the doctor’s office that no one should have to see. 

There I was, reading some political page turner about how Obama’s wife believes in ‘families’ (I personally think that’s a pretty safe thing to state you believe in but whatever), when in she walks.  The girl was very pregnant.  At least, I think she was very pregnant.  She was also quite overweight so, ya know, the margin of error on that one is worth a 2 year old or two.  She was wearing some ‘under the belly band’ maternity pants (again, I THINK she was, I didn’t actually see the band.  They could’ve just been low rise pants) with a zip front hoody.  Her belly.  Not, mind you, her CLOTHED belly but her actual skin exposed belly, was hanging down outside of her sweatshirt and over her pants by a good 4 inches.    I’m not saying that her shirt did not meet her pants.  It did, in fact, it overlapped her pants.  So, here, you wonder… does she not know?  I mean, isn’t it cold?  She leaned up against the counter to check in and in doing so, squished her hanging belly up against the counter… isn’t THAT cold? 

So, anyway, now I’m paranoid about exposing skin between the under the belly band and the shirt.  Not that it is a big deal now.  The thing is, I’m gonna get bigger.  I’m told a LOT bigger.  Maybe those granny-panty panel pants aren’t looking so bad anymore.  Plus, that damn band has a habit of rolling over itself when I’m sitting or bending over so I’m constantly pulling my dumb pants up.  In true spirit of ‘the grass is always greener’, I’ve decided that what I’ve been coveting so in regards to maternity clothes for the non plus-woman is maybe not so totally perfect.

Lastly, because it is my blog, I’d like to brag about how I’ve made it into the gym every day this week.  It is amazing what a difference it makes in your life.  I mean, not just getting the exercise, although I’ve noticed I sleep better at night and am a LITTLE less tired during the day, but also in your outlook.  When I’m putting in the effort, and weighing in each day, I pay so much more attention to what I’m eating.  It takes away the ‘mocha in the morning’ (decaff, of course) draw that I face every time I drive past the shop.   It gives me the resolve to ask myself if I’m actually hungry (in which case, I find something healthy) or if I’m just wanting to eat.  I’m excited that I’ve managed to hold my weight steady over the last week and a half.  Now, not to worry, P and J!  I’m not restricting calories or anything like that at all!  If I’m hungry, I’m eating.  Anyway, I was 176 at my last appointment.  I’m hoping for 180-185 at the next appointment.

BTW – I’ve decided I’m calling these two Luke and Leia.  I know, that will make you think I’m not cool.  Hey, if this is the first indication of that, you aren’t paying much attention anyway.  Leia, because she is the strong womanly type, is baby A, holding up baby B, Luke.  Luke has issue running away from the heart doppler whenever we try to find his heartbeat.  I told P after our last US that the tech told us there was a 50% chance we’d be having a boy and a girl.  He asked if the tech really said that and I repeated that it was, ya know, 50%, so it could go either way.  Hehe.  No, we don’t know the sexes but I’m going with Luke and Leia until told otherwise anyway.

Yuko update, 4 months in

I am now almost exactly 4 months in after the Yuko treatment.  I have to say that it still looks the same as it did to me the day after washing it.  Not AS straight as straight ironing it, but absolutely tamed.  I was worried about this lasting at least 6 months to bring down the cost per month, however I think now that it won’t be an issue.

Part of why I worried is that my hair grows so fast.  That doesn’t seem to be much of an issue here though because the new growth is obviously right at my scalp and is being weighted down by all the rest of my treated hair.  Since I don’t have actually CURLY hair, only frizzier than hell hair, it seems to be growing in without notice.  I cannot see a line where the treatment started or stopped.  Most importantly, I can still wear my hair down with nothing in it and it does not take over my head.  I love that part.

The scary part?  I would really like to go get about 12 inches cut off (another locks of love donation) as it is quite long now.  I’m nervous to do that because those 12 inches will all be treated hair and I could very well be left with enough non-treated new growth to start to frizz out again.  Since I cannot redo the treatment while pregnant (no specific orders on that one, I’m just assuming) I might just wait until April/May to have it cut so that I can redo the treatment at that time if I need to.  Then I think – ack – do I really want to have to have this long hair, getting longer, until May?

I know, I know, you were all bored out of your mind.  Still, I get a few search hits on the Yuko treatment so I wanted to give an update.  I’m still totally in love with it, 4 months later.

I was going to say….

I had been planning on writing today about how my teeth hurt because I’ve been sleeping while breathing with my mouth open because anytime I find myself anything less that vertical, my head decides to become the poster child for congestion.  Am I sick?  No, this happened with the other pregnancies too.  I don’t know why and I don’t really care.  I just know that an entire night with your mouth open and your fragile pregnant gums exposed to dry air means that now I wake up to hold a mouth full of water for a few minutes to try and reintroduce moisture.  Well, I HAD been planning on writing that.

This morning I checked my phone on my way out of the gym.  I don’t get reception there so I always check to see if I got called while in the basement.  I had a voice mail on it that had evidently been left Sunday morning so… ya… clearly I need to check that phone more often.  I listened to my voice mail and it was the totally sweetest little message from J.  He had been out shopping and found this baby store that he was so excited about and he was thinking about the babes and he just wanted to call.  I was very touched by this message.  I was really touched by the part where he said that he wished I was there to share it with him.  See, I like to be involved in general because I’m pretty nosey and overbearing and all that.  On a certain level, at least, I am aware of this character, um, trait.  Generally not enough to avoid doing it, but at least aware.  Thus, I get nervous that I am pushing and inviting myself into people’s lives when maybe it is more my idea than theirs.  OK, probably it is more my idea than theirs.  It was so very touching to have him call and just say that he wished he could share that with me because for once, I could know that it was totally instigated by someone that was NOT myself, and that feels great.  Plus, he was extremely cute in his message.  Thanks J!

I got an e-mail then today from P sharing about when he was telling his coworkers and the response and his excitement and all that as well.  More of the same.  Just very fun to hear.  I couldn’t imagine doing this for a couple that was long distance from me or that didn’t at least talk to me often.  That boost of being able to deal with the downsides of pregnancy with more grace and less whine because you really see what you are doing this for regularly is so awesome.

So while I wanted to talk about how I get winded these days just taking a freaking shower  (Which, to my shock, I found was true even AFTER my 25 minute workout during all of which I was on my feet… I guess showers are just draining.) I guess I can curb my enthusiasm for talking discomforts.  Plus, being at only 13 weeks, I’ve got lots of discomforts to whine about coming.  I made the mistake of reading the bump fairy’s update today (linked on the blogroll) and she really messed with my state of denial for what is to come.

Thanks for the notes, P and J.  I love seeing this through your eyes and very much appriciate how much you are happy to include me.