This is a long, overdue update.
First, all is well.
Thank you so much to everyone who has reached out to me while I was absent. That I was still even in your thoughts, prayers, and ‘wonderings’ means so much to me. The silence wasn’t intentional – just super-busy at work, behind on projects that needed (and still needs) to get done. Being a perfectionist, I’m always waiting for the right time to post (the right ‘milestone’ weeks, the right pictures) – and that being said, that time never comes.
So, I still have midterms I needed to finish writing, work to be graded, and editing that needs to me made on a class book from last year…but I have a little bit of extra energy, my husband is asleep on the couch before his night shift, and I feel a bit of motivation – so here goes, summing up the past 2 months as succinctly as I can.
The last post I wrote was when I announced we were having twins, at about 13 weeks. Currently, I am 21 weeks (and 3 days), and it has been wonderfully uneventful. Babies A, B and I are all doing well. No complications thus far, no concerns…all is well.
Shortly after my last post, my OB (well, all of the doctors at the practice) decided to transfer me to the high risk doctors for the duration of the pregnancy. The main reasons for this are #1, my age, and #2 – the type of twins I’m having. For anyone interested, I’m having ‘monochorionic, diamniotic’ twins – ‘mono-di’ for short. The simple explanation is that they are identical, have separate amniotic sacs but they share one gestational sac as well as a placenta. With this kind of pregnancy, the risk for complications is higher, especially that placenta would not feed them equally and that they wouldn’t grow equally (also known as ‘twin-to-twin-transfusion-syndrome’ or TTTS).
Basically, what this means is that I go to the doctor every 2 weeks for a sonogram where they check the heartbeats, the amniotic fluid, and my cervix; every 4 weeks, they compile a new set of measurements to make sure the twins are growing properly. To be honest, it’s very reassuring to go every 2 weeks. The doctors keeps apologizing, like it is an inconvenience to me, but I actually prefer it.
And so far, all has been well. I had my big 20 week anatomy scan, and everything looked great. No sign of TTTS. Their heartbeats were both 157. According to ‘The Bump,’ they should be about 10.5 oz. Baby A was 12 oz. and Baby B was 11 oz. They did all the measurements, and there was only an 8% differential (anything over 20% is concerning, so they were well below that). They were wiggling around like crazy but ‘very well-behaved,’ according to the doctor; they were actually able to get all the measurements they needed not just from one but both.
The past two times sonograms, Baby B had his/her butt in Baby A’s face. This has convinced my husband that we are having boys. However, my sister said, “Maybe Baby B was saying to Baby A, ‘Does my butt look big?'” – therefore concluding that we are having girls. Regardless, I have a feeling I know who Baby B will take after…
Speaking of gender, we are waiting to find out. The doctors were able to tell last week what we are having, but we didn’t want to know. So, we’re holding out.
I haven’t felt them moving yet…just a few flutters this week, but nothing too significant. The doctor told me that usually between 21-22 weeks, so I am hoping to really feel them any day.
My belly is definitely getting big (I’ll post pics on my next update). I have a very good friend who is 32 weeks pregnant, and I am definitely catching up; there isn’t much of a difference between us at all. I’ve gained 17 pounds so far, and right now, it is mostly all belly, thank God. But I have a long ways to go, still. Another friend sent me a picture of her mom pregnant with twins at 37 weeks. Sweet Jesus. I’m definitely going to get A LOT bigger.
I’m still feeling pretty good at work. If all goes well, my last day will be March 27, which is 36 weeks. The doctors said that they won’t let me go past 37 weeks, so, if I can go until then, my due-date is April 2 (but I’m praying for Easter babies). Thankfully, I have enough sick time to get paid through the end of the school year.
That’s most of the physical stuff. As for the emotional side? Well, it’s been a really happy time. It’s such a switch to have happy doctor visits and laughter as we are looking at the sonograms. My coworkers and students and everyone else have all been so excited for us which has multiplied my happiness, too.
It’s been really happy for me and J. too. I guess I didn’t realize what a toll infertility and TTC had taken on us. Sure, we have our bickerings and our concerns about finances and space once the babies come, but life has been so much more relaxed and enjoyable for us, with this incredible blessing to look forward to. Sometimes, it feels like we are in a honey-moon stage all over again. And it is so refreshing. Like we can breathe again and this burden is lifted off of our shoulders. It’s been a very happy 20 weeks for us.
Spiritually, I’m still doing my best to fight my fears. I certainly have them, but I’ve been trying really hard to not feed them. I can tell that, sometimes, my prayers are laced with more fear than faith. Sometimes, I feel like I subconsciously keep God at arm’s length because I’m not sure what He may allow me to walk through or what will happen. But I am trying to overcome that, too – because underneath that fear, I really do know that He wants me to celebrate this miracle WITH Him. It’s His miracle. I’ve had to be very conscious to stay away from anything that might feed my fears – from books to articles to TV shows – and to fill my mind with lots of faith-filled Scriptures, devotionals, music, etc. And it’s been helping. I feel like I am starting to experience this pregnancy with hope and anticipation rather than the fear of what could go wrong.
So, we are halfway there. More than that, actually – about 15 weeks to go. We haven’t done anything concrete to get ready – like registering or the nursery or buying things. I’d say that after the holidays, we’ll put that into motion.
It still feels surreal. Sometimes, I look down at my belly and it is hard to believe that I’m legit pregnant. And when I’m praying for the babies – usually on my way to work- it’s just about daily that I am brought to tears over God’s graciousness to us. I still wonder about that. I know so many have been persevering so long, waiting so long, have been through so much heart-ache. Why did God choose now to answer our prayers? Why us? I don’t know. We are no better and no more deserving than anyone else. It’s hard for me to try to understand. But I am completely humbled by what God has done for us. Undone. I don’t know why He did this for us, but I am brought to tears every time I try to absorb this reality.
I can clearly remember last December. I had just had miscarriage #2 – my 2nd within a year’s time – and I was so worn-out and broken over this whole infertility trial. I remember just wanting to forget TTC and just feel like a normal human, trying to enjoy the holidays. But even then, God gave me the word ‘hope’ to hold on to.
A year later – 5 months pregnant. Today, I decorated the tree, and I saw the snowflake birthstone ornaments for Baby #1 and #2. It brought back all kinds of memories, and I felt a pang of sadness for my 2 babies that I never got to meet. As happy as I am to have A and B growing inside me, I never want to forget #1 and #2. But I admit, sometimes remembering is really painful and – right or wrong- I sometimes choose not to go there. Or at least not stay there. But right behind those ornaments was the ornament my secret Santa got me last year – an angel and star with the word ‘hope’ on it.
This year, our hope is becoming reality. And for anyone who is still waiting, especially my girls waiting for their babies, that is my constant prayer for you: that you don’t lose hope, that God will make your hope become reality. Soon.
I really pray that Christmas reminds you of that. That Christmas gives you hope.
Really, that is the heart of Christmas: God made Hope reality. That’s what He did. That’s what He still does.