I had a terrifying realization on Saturday. Saturdays are my "victory days", because it means that I am able to say I'm in a new week of my pregnancy. And as all mommies know, every day--every week that you continue to stay pregnant, exponentially increase our odds for healthy babies. I've seen two amazing children born micro-preemie that have blown their doctors out of the water, and those babies give me hope. Hope, that if my body isn't able to make it another 10 weeks, that we will all survive and thrive.
Saturday, as I hit my TWENTY SIX WEEKS mark, and thought *phew* only two more weeks and then I'm in that "so much safer" zone. I mean, delivering at 28 weeks would still be so incredibly early and scary, but according to the Docs, it's a heck of a lot less scary than 25-26 weeks. It's mind blowing to me the difference that each week on its own can make to a baby's development. I was speaking with my sister-in-law who finally put into perspective how close I really am getting. She said, "Wow, in two months you'll be done." I laughed at that for a micro-second, and then realized...10 weeks...that's 5 MFM appointments. 2, maybe 3 more measurements...OH MY GOSH THAT'S TOO SOON. Because I have monochorionic twins, (sharing a placenta) it is not advised to go beyond 37 weeks, because the placenta just begins to die off. So, technically...after today I may only have 4 more appointments with my fabulous Maternal Fetal Sonographer, who I have come to adore. She's so sweet and makes me laugh. She is super fast and accurate at the same time. It also means that I have only 10 weeks of growth for the babies. I'm not that huge at the moment. I mean, I would have imagined myself so much bigger--not that I'm at all complaining, but the thought that two 6 pound babies will need to be in me at the same time...I have this feeling I'm going to wake up one day and not be able to get out of bed. As if it will just happen one day. I'll admit, the past 2 days I've felt the growing and can see it. Exponential. AH!
So, am I ready? Am I really ready for two new babies? I have a car that fits 3 children...and 1 infant seat...and absolutely no baby clothes, because I was so certain we were done having children that I gave them all away. And to be honest, I'm too terrified that going and buying anything before they are both here, would be jinxing them. I know this sounds crazy. I'm not a superstitious person by any means, but I cannot bring myself to buy anything for these boys. I just want them here first. I want to hold them. It's almost like I cannot fully grasp what is coming my way. It was only 8 weeks ago that I was treated for Twin Twin Transfusion Syndrome. Seeing my babies were in danger. It scared me. It numbed me. And then, like THAT it was over. A bad dream. A practical joke. And by the end of the week, I was just like any other twin pregnancy mom. I try to think through it, and still cannot put my experience into comprehensible words. I'm reading this book--Toughest Teeniest Twin Soldiers-Living and Dying through TTTS. It's difficult for me to read. This woman lost one of her babies. He only had a 2 vessel chord, and then her babies contracted TTTS, so it was all too much for them. It's difficult to read because I feel the chaos all over. But, I owe it to her, to myself, and to all TTTS warriors to read this book. To honor the memory of her son. To honor the erratic experience that is TTTS. They have an Ebook version for $9.99-which is what Chris got me. It's been cathartic to see that I'm not the only one who struggles to express in print what going in for a regular check up and receiving devastating news does to you. My twins and I are fortunate that, as of my last appointment, all signs of complications due to TTTS had been reversed, corrected, healed. I have an appointment today at 1:30 to measure the babies. And even though every ultrasound since my surgery has only shown amazing and miraculous news, I'm always just the tiniest bit tempted to not go. I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach that I'll get bad news all over again. But then I think of my heros, Amanda and Johannah. These amazing women and their husbands, Peter and Ben. These parents whose babies were born at just shy of 24 and 26 weeks. These parents who prayed, and cried, and dedicated their lives and sanity to the survival of the sweet spirits that many doctors may have given up on. These parents who met with, and continue to meet with countless doctors, hoping for the best of news, but ever ready for the bad. These parents who now hear everyday how "normal" their child appears. How "perfect" and how "smart, well, beautiful, healthy..." and live through the anguish of knowing how far their child has come in the fight of their lives, while others see only a happy child. I'm sure it's a double edged sword--the desire to shout back YA WELL YOU HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA WHAT IT'S TAKEN TO GET HERE while at the same time relieved that not everyone will HAVE to know, or will see right away the dangerous path they've trodden.
Charlotte-approaching 18 months-born at 23 weeks 6 days. You can read about her amazing and inspiring life at Understanding Prematurity.
Joseph-now 3 years old.
At 26 weeks, the only "set" of anything I may have is a set of adorable, snuggly, loving kids and the good ol' mother nature given feed bags. But I also have the wisdom of those who have gone before me. The help of a loving husband and his Nana, who in no doubt will be there to make sure I don't get lost in PPD. A mother and father who take my 2 older children regularly, to make sure they feel loved, and are getting the attention and adventures that 4 and 2 year olds crave. In-laws that adore my children and shower them in love, tiny treasures, laughter, tickles, and who my kids know beyond everything else loves them. My family-near and far-have proven to love me and my children, and I have no doubt that should things go "normal" or everything go horribly wrong that they will continue to be there. The other things will come as we have a need.
So when the countdown beings to give me shortness of breath, hopefully I'll remember...I have everything I need--and so much more.
So it was Joseph and not Joshua--the correction has been made. That's what happens when you name your kids so similarly and then move them to Chile and not have FB until recently, so that I can never see them. Just saying***
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