Belly at 34 weeks, 6 days. Still growing...
I have no words.
Last night I sat down to blog about it, but everything that came out was terribly negative and depressing. It was all the unembellished truth, nothing dramatized or exaggerated (like I said, it's been a really tough couple of days). But instead of feeling like I got everything off my chest, I felt buried even deeper in frustration and hopelessness.
Not a great start to the New Year.
So instead of hitting 'Publish,' I abandoned ship. Rather than wallowing in my own misery, I did something I don't normally do: I asked my friends for help lifting my spirits.
Facebook gets a lot of flak these days for making people feel worse about their lives. I don't know what kind of friends other people have, but mine are pretty awesome. Admittedly I'm a bit of a hermit in real life, pregnant or not, but I still have an incredible circle of friends and family who are willing to lend a hand when I can drop my pride long enough to reach out. I'm very glad I did, and I thank each one of you for your responses and support.
Did that make my troubles disappear? Nope; I'm not out of the woods yet. But instead of feeling my own fear, anxiety, and weariness, I began to feel lifted up and filled with strength I couldn't have mustered on my own. People who don't believe in prayer really should stop to reconsider the next time they suddenly feel stronger or more at ease in the face of adversity.
So while I still have the constant contractions, a stinging stomach rash, a bruised belly button, and elephant cankles, once the migraine I went to bed with last night subsided this afternoon I was finally able to feel something other than my own sorrow: Peace.
I came home from my doctor's appointment (after just learning that the daily contractions are, yes, to be expected at this stage, and we won't know if they're the real deal until they result in a baby or two, so yes, keep going into the hospital like you did on New Year's Eve if they get to be regular, even if that's every single day until you deliver) and had some time to myself before Aaron and Evan got home. I turned on the fireplace, sat on the couch, and got to finish my book in solitude. Then I looked around me and thought, "What a wonderful home to bring children into."
And it's not just the cozy fire, although that helps on a day like this. We do have a lovely house, big enough for our soon-to-be family of five, in a lovely neighborhood with more than lovely neighbors and friends around us. We have family nearby, like parents who say yes without question when you call at 6 a.m. saying I am too sick to take care of my son today, will you please take him? Or who bring over dinner even when their day hasn't been the best either, or who come over just to scrub bathrooms, or who call just to check in, or are constantly reminding you that they're going to be there to help when the babies finally arrive.
But more importantly than what surrounds our house is what's inside. Forgive me for getting all Hallmark Channel on you, but in the warmth of that cozy fire as I happily looked forward to seeing my husband and son after a long, pain-filled day, I realized that there is just so much love in our home. It astounds me sometimes when I really stop to think about it, because we're not overly lovey-dovey and we express our affection in silly, obnoxious ways that make people think we must secretly hate each other. It makes me ache when I remember that this isn't the norm, either — that far too many children are born into horrible situations where the lack of love is the least of their problems.
And that's when I realized that, yes, I am ready for these babies. In fact, we are perfect for this job. It's going to be chaotic and tough and really put us through the ringer in ways we probably can't even anticipate for all our worrying. But we have been chosen to be the parents of these two little girls and our son, and we do not take that responsibility lightly.
So, in honor of my 2014 New Year's Resolution: Twin parenthood, show me what you got. I am ready and we will RISE TO THE OCCASION.