On Discovering Newbaby's Gender

baby bump photos at 17 and 19 weeks

Spoiler alert: We're not finding out if newbaby is a boy or a girl. Or at least, we're not finding out until he or she is born. If you're impatient with this decision {as some have already claimed that they are}, you can place the blame squarely on my shoulders. I came up with the idea, and Christian agreed only reluctantly. In fact, Christian agreed partly because he didn't {and still doesn't} think I would last my entire pregnancy without caving.

But I'm not going to cave. I have my reasons for waiting. The first, the one I share with everyone, is that we don't need to find out this time. We already have a boy and a girl, so we're prepared for either.

The second reason is more personal. I've expressed before that I hope newbaby's birth is different in many ways from Max's and Maggie's. And I do hope. I have the dear, sweet dream that I'll have normal labor, and a normal delivery, and right after newbaby is born, Christian will get to tell me "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" and then I'll get to hold him and look at him and meet him {or her}. And I have faith that it's going to happen, this time.

Everything seemed so precarious with my first pregnancy. We had trouble getting pregnant, and then we had trouble staying pregnant. I remember going into the doctor's office at eight weeks, going into the emergency room at 11 weeks, calling the doctor panicked in the middle of the night at least twice, and then of course my hospital stay at 28 weeks, bed rest, and birth at 33 weeks.

I was worried the whole time that I wouldn't get the opportunity to know my babies. I wanted to so badly, and I sucked up every piece of available information about them, just in case I didn't have the chance later. I loved knowing that I had a boy and a girl inside me. I loved it when I discovered that Maggie got the hiccups often, almost every day. I loved being kicked hard from the inside and knowing who it was. I was desperate for knowledge about them. Every evidence of life and personality was incredibly important to me.

But I feel safer this time. I'm not worried. I'm {dare I say it?} confident that everything will be okay. That newbaby will be okay. That we'll get to keep him {or her}, that I can wait to learn everything there is to know about him. That there will be time later.

My third reason for waiting is the absurdly obstinate and inanely petty reason that Christian doesn't think I can. And so, I insist that I will.

baby bump photos at 20 and 23 weeks


A Morning in the Life {1.23.12}

7:15 I wake up because my body won't sleep anymore, and because newbaby's presence in my belly necessitates using the bathroom. I put in my contacts, brush my hair, and put on a bra so I won't feel so schlumpy even if I stay in my pajamas all day. Then I head downstairs to say good morning to my little family.

7:20 It was Christian's morning to get up with the babies; they've all been awake since 5:45. Maggie is in the Jumperoo, and notices me right away. She bounces and smiles and makes happy sounds. She's so excited to see me, but then gets upset when a minute passes and I haven't picked her up yet. Max crawls over to me, climbs up my front for a hug, and immediately gets distracted and wants to be put back down. Christian finishes watching his episode of Boy Meets World, then goes upstairs to get ready for work. I stay and play with my babies.

8:00 Christian and I say family prayer together, then he kisses us all and walks out the door. Max crawls after him. He's sad when he realizes that his Daddy is gone. I decide it's a good time to eat breakfast. Babies eat oatmeal, fruit and yogurt, then Cheerios and bits of cheese and toast for finger foods. I have peanut butter toast, orange juice, and a prenatal vitamin.

8:30 I wash baby faces with a wet paper towel {Max especially hates this}, and then turn babies loose to play on the kitchen floor, tugging and chewing on their booster seat straps and chasing stray Cheerios. After a few minutes they get fussy. Max has crawled over and is sitting on top of his sister; he has also stolen her strap, and she's about to fall over. I carry Maggie back into the living room and Max follows us. I change diapers and turn on a DVR-ed episode of Oswald to carry us through until nap time.

8:35 Babies only stay interested in Oswald and Weenie through the opening sequence, then look for other forms of entertainment. At this point, actual baby toys are passed off as uninteresting. We try reading books and playing with Mommy's phone and banging on Mommy's laptop, but nothing is captivating for long.

8:55 Even though I usually try to make it until 9:00 or later for first naps, I decide that my babies are tired enough to justify a slightly earlier nap time. As I carry them upstairs, first Maggie, and then Max, I talk to them quietly. I remind them of all the fun things we did this morning, and what a good job they did at everything. I tell them they're tired now, and that I love them so much, and that they are wonderful babies -- the best babies in the whole world. I lay Maggie down and place her sleepfriend next to her, then cover them both with a blanket. Max chews on a corner of his blankie to soothe himself to sleep.

9:00 I have time to myself. Some mornings I take a shower, but my hair is looking clean enough today that I go straight to my computer. I check e-mail, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Reader, and then settle into blogging. I already have an idea in mind, so I type type type, then read and re-read and edit edit edit. My babies both make noise after they've been down for about an hour, but that's normal, and it's brief, and they both go back to sleep.

10:45 I can hear Max making awake sounds, so I know that my alone time, and the morning, are over.

*baby photo by meaghancurryphotography


Important Thoughts 24.0

24.1: Last night as Christian and I were getting ready for bed, we were talking about... something. Working? We were talking about something related to working. I don't remember all the details. {You like where this story is going, don't you?} I do remember it was something about working because I remember Christian saying through his dental floss, "You wish you could stop working." And I said through mine, "No, I don't. I just wish I had more energy." And it's true. The work I'm doing now is the work I've looked forward to accomplishing my entire life. I've always wanted to be a mother, and now I get to be -- that's awesome. Our conversation reminded me of this post, which I think is something every mother should read and think about {and laugh at -- if you read it and you don't laugh, I don't know if we can be friends anymore}.

24.2: I got my very first nasty anonymous comment on the blog last week, and it was not pleasant. {Don't go look for it -- it's not there anymore. I deleted that mess like I would step on a cockroach if I found one in my kitchen.} In a way I felt validated as a blogger, because all the big-time blogs get nasty anonymous comments, so maybe this was a sign that someone thought I was important enough to try to bring down. On the other hand, it just sucked. The worst part was that, since this person chose to attack me in a way that left them zero percent accountable for what they said, I had no way to respond. I couldn't say, "Hey! All those terrible things you're accusing me of? Stealing intellectual property, copyright infringement? Yeah, I didn't do that. And I can prove it!" Nope, I just have to let it go and move on.

24.3: It was amusing to hear a couple people mention in the comments section of this post that strangers often mistake their child's gender. We had to visit the pediatrician on Tuesday, and when our doctor walked into the room, he said, "And how are these two girls doing today?" Shock! Amazement! I was shocked and amazed! Max, besides looking like the most boyish boy that ever was a boy, was wearing a gray rocketship sleeper and clutching his blue blanket. Why, if I had two girls, would I dress one in a pink polka-dotted bumblebee sleeper, and the other in rocketships? This guy may have been smart enough to get through medical school, but was he ever dumb. {But really, he was a very competent doctor and other than thinking my bearsy boy was a girl, I actually liked him a lot.}

24.4: I think so many things my babies do are adorable, but the sweetest thing has to be giving hugs and kisses. I never want to forget these first demonstrations of affection. Max gives hugs by laying his head on my shoulder and putting his arms down by his sides. Also by crawling up to me and putting his head in my lap, or just gently butting his head into mine. Maggie likes to reach up with one hand around my neck and grab onto my shirt while wiggling her bottom. I can count the number of {very wet and sloppy, but no less dear} kisses that Max has given me on one hand; Maggie will give me a kiss almost every time I ask. She also gives kisses {hers are neater and quicker than her brother's} to toys, the mirror, and family members who have been very, very good. I kind of can't wait until they can speak the words "I love you."

*this post is part of a link up with E TELLS TALES


I Never Want to Hear...

Being a mother of twins has opened me up to a world of strained conversation with well-intentioned strangers and, often, the same questions over and over and over. There are some things I never get tired of hearing; for example, whenever someone introduces themselves and says that they also have twins, I always reply, "I've heard that it gets easier." I love the encouragement that unfailingly follows. However, not being a great conversationalist, and not being someone who particularly enjoys small talk, I do get frustrated from time to time. Here are six sentences that I wouldn't mind never hearing again:

"You've certainly got your hands full."
Easily the most-heard comment from strangers, it mostly just makes me feel like I look incompetent. Right? I know people are trying to be nice, but the implications are unflattering.

"So are you getting any sleep?"
Again, more than anything, this just makes me think I look tired. Of course I'm getting sleep, my babies are almost ten months old. Ask me again when I have two fourteen-month-olds and a newborn. And speaking of...

"It will be so much easier with just one."
Maybe with just one, but add in my other two (for a grand total of three babies), and I don't think it will come anywhere close to easy. When I was pregnant with Max and Maggie, this comment took the form of, "It's good you're having twins first because you won't know how much harder it is." Um, I can guess.

"Are they identical?"
I try to be nice when I get this question (which is surprisingly often). I try not to reply, "You know that's impossible, right?" Because just to clarify, identical means that they have the exact same genetic makeup, not just that they look alike (more on this in a moment). So boy/girl twins can't be identical. They're fraternal.

"They sure do look alike."
Well, not really. They're both white babies with blue eyes, but otherwise I think they look about as alike as Christian and I do. Honestly, it's like they have zero features in common. Maggie has my eyes, nose, cheeks and ears, but ginger hair (we're not sure where she got it) and Christian's mouth. Max has Christian's eyes, nose, cheeks and ears, my hair color and mouth, and mystery donor dimples.

"He's drooling."
I feel like someone might as well say, "He's breathing on me." Notify me when he spits up; I am uninterested until then.

Is there anything you've tired of hearing as a mother? Have you ever gotten any of these comments and questions? I'd love to hear your experiences!

*image by Stefany Alves



When Christian and I discussed our family's goals for 2012, we decided on three. Three seems like a good number for us. Considering how we fall onto the couch after the babies are asleep in their beds and sigh our grateful sighs that the most stressful part of the day is over, three is enough to be thinking about.

For the first half{-ish} of the year, we want to work on welcoming a healthy and happy newbaby into our family. We know that we only have control over this to a certain extent, but it is our dear hope that newbaby will come into the world in an entirely unexceptional manner. No early labor, no extended hospital stay, no superfluous thumbs that need to be surgically removed later.

For the second half, we want to try very hard not to get pregnant again. A large family is our dream, but three children every fourteen months is kind of a break-neck pace, and not one we want to keep up. {Christian did the math. At this rate, it would only take us six years to have 15 kids. Yowza.} Let me emphasize, we are so incredibly grateful for the blessing of children in our lives. We just also want to partake of the glorious blessing of successful family planning.

Our third goal is to watch all 15 seasons {and 331 episodes} of ER.

*image from The Glow