Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Twin pregnancy: Week 17

This pregnancy thing is getting real. 

I'm 17 weeks along, which in a twin pregnancy is almost halfway there. Sadly, that does not mean I'm free of the fun first trimester symptoms, like nausea and if-I-have-to-take-another-step-I-will-literally-collapse exhaustion. Now, I also get to add on belly pain and acid reflux so bad I'm not so sure I'll have an intact esophagus after all this. 

I'm also pretty noticeably pregnant. It's hard to objectively say how far along I actually look, but at my 15-week appointment the doc said I was measuring about 17.5 weeks (excellent for twin growth). Even though I felt so big, I had only gained 7 lbs., so it must be all in the gut (I flatter myself).

Now, at 17 weeks, I feel crazy big -- ridiculous, because I'm not that huge. I don't have a pic this week, but it's just that compared to when I was pregnant with Evan, I look more like I did at 22 weeks: 

Oy. And I can definitely feel it. I have crazy pains all throughout my belly -- sometimes like cramps, sometimes like muscles stretching, sometimes like shocks of lightning, always like there's a bowling ball pushing down on my pelvis. It is unpleasant, to say the least. And it's only going to keep going.

The irony is, some days I feel enormous while others I worry that I'm too small and the babies aren't growing enough. Such is my paranoia. 

But all that -- that's just me being whiny. On top of the not-so-fun aspects of double pregnancy, I am really getting excited about having twins. This is largely due to the fact that, at my 14-week appointment, both the fetal-medicine specialist and the ultrasound tech were about 75% sure we are having TWO GIRLS!

Baby B with her little hand underneath her chin

Notice the line across the middle with Baby A's face peeking from the bottom.

It was still pretty early to be sure, but at my next ultrasound we should be certain. All I know is, with the kind of wacky hormones I've got going on, I know there's at least one little lady in there. There's just no other way to explain the crazy. (At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

The funny thing is, I had no idea how much I wanted two girls until they told me that's (likely) what we have. When I was first pregnant, before I knew there were two babies in there, I thought I wanted a boy. I get boys now, and Evan would have a buddy. Plus we have all boy stuff. But when they said two girls, I could not believe how excited I was. I guess I wanted this all along but perhaps didn't dare to hope. 

It's funny how, along with seeking out some sort of crystal ball to help you get any potential glimpse of the future, your mind also turns to the past when you're pregnant. At least it has for me. I've been thinking a lot about myself as a little girl. 

When I was young I was a very typical girl. I loved playing dress ups, spent hours coloring and drawing princess dresses, and watched "Cinderella" so much I had each and every word memorized. I loved to read and even used my beloved toy kitchen to play library. When I was 3 or 4 I was in dance class, but then I discovered sports and that was it for me. I was kind of on a tomboy incline from then on out. 

Now, at 31 years old, what has changed? I still love sports and play a grown-up version of dress ups whenever I get the chance. I love words almost more than anything, and I still have "Cinderella" memorized. 

It's amazing how, no matter what happens in life, so much of who we are is boldly evident almost from day one. As a parent, this is both daunting and endearing. It's fun to wonder who these little people will be and hope our mini-me's actually become the best versions of ourselves -- and yet the challenge is to understand their complexities and love them no matter how baffling they and their actions may seem. (I feel this almost daily with a wild and wacky little boy who is so often such a complete mystery to me.)

So while I may daydream of two little dark-haired, dark-eyed darlings who will twirl their princess dresses and stay up late reading their favorite books, I know that I don't get to choose who they are or who they will become. I can hope and pray they turn out OK and then do everything in my power as a parent to steer them to correct paths, but it's up to them to decide who they are going to be. They come to this earth with a spirit all their own and an important mission to accomplish. I only hope I can love my children for who they are, no matter what they may ultimately choose to do, and encourage them to be the absolute best versions of themselves, not just figments of my pregnant, idealistic imagination.

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