Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Belly Diaries - 32 weeks

Hello again darlings

Well, your mama is still pregnant! That's the very best news of this week.

I had a growth scan and learned that one of you is struggling a little bit with growth, so we need to keep a very close eye on you. I have been having lots of extra scans and monitoring. All our fingers are crossed that you were just having a little break from the hard work of doing so much growing and needed a little rest. Hopefully by the next scan you will be back on the chart.

If not though, it means we just get to meet you both a little sooner than we expected. So that's exciting! We've been down to visit the special care nursery, because if you are born in the next week or two that's where you will stay for a little while.

I'm constantly reassured by all the kicks and wriggling around that you get up to in there, so keep moving!

I love you so much
Your Mama

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A slightly different baby shower

The big news from today is that I won't be going home from hospital before my boys are born. So, a hospital based baby shower it is!

I'm allowed to go downstairs to the garden in a wheelchair, so I think we will have it outside. I miss fresh air. And the weather up here in Brisbane is fabulous at the moment.

It's not going to be the perfectly coordinated event I had in my head, but I think it will still be lovely. It will just be so nice to see my friends. I've had visitors but I miss my lovelies.

Thankfully I have already made the martha pompoms!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Belly Diaries - 31 weeks

Hello again darling boys

Do you want to know the best thing about this week? Although I'm in hospital, and there have been a few little scares, I have been lucky enough to listen to your gorgeous little heartbeats at least 4 times every single day. They're amazing - so strong and vital. And it's so wonderful to be able to feel you and hear you at the same time.

You're doing so well in there - getting nice and big and strong: I think you've had a growth spurt this week, because your Mama's tummy has really popped out. Your dad thinks it's amazing watching you grow every day. He loves feeling you wriggle around. Especially today - it's his birthday!!

We can't wait to meet you.

All the love in the universe
Your Mama

#13. You're the only person truly responsible for your happiness

We humans always seem to think that happiness comes from outside of us. A friend, a partner, a lovely day, a good job. And it's easy to blame other people, other things, outside forces for our mood when it's down. But ultimately, we are responsible for our own happiness. Recognise those things within your control and act to change them if it will make you happier. Those other things that really outside of our control? Well, let them go. If they're not in your sphere of direct influence, then don't let them influence you.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pedis, pressies and parties...

...these are the little delights are on my agenda for today!

My mama and sisters are coming up to visit me today, and they are committed to giving me the best pedi I've ever had!

It's T's birthday tomorrow, so I have sneaky deliveries of pressies arriving (thanks Mama and lovely mum-in-law) for a bit of a present wrapping session.

And I'm organising a little in-room birthday shindig for T with cake and friends so that his birthday doesn't get forgotten in the drama surrounding me and our boys at the moment.

I'm looking forward to today :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

You've made your bed......

Well, kind of. It's been made for me.

I'm back in hospital and apparently this is where I will remain until my babies are born. This could apparently be any time. The general consensus seems to be in about 2-3 weeks. I am convinced I can hold them in longer.

I'm a bit of a Pollyanna by nature. I count my blessings regularly, refuse to lose my temper, and generally get about with a stupid smile on my face. Sure things go wrong sometimes, but it's never that bad, or at least that's how I try to look at my world. I much prefer being happy to being negative and miserable - I just don't have the energy to be grumpy.

So, I have decided that I am going to keep the boys in. Until at least 34 weeks. And preferably to 36 weeks.

I have what's known as an irritable uterus. It's apparently rather common with multiples. Basically, the weight of my two babies combined is the same weight as one full-term baby. So in a really basic way, my body thinks it's ready to go.

The other component is that my twins are going through a rapid growth phase, which means that my uterine muscles are almost constantly stretching. This upsets my body, because it knows it needs to contract in order to push the baby out, and so, in order to counter-balance the stretching, it has started contracting.

And this is where the problems start. Ongoing contractions will put me into premature labour, so I'm on meds to stop the contractions. I've had steroid injections to strengthen the boys' lungs in case they are born very soon, and now it's just a waiting game.

I miss T. I see him every day, but I miss sleeping beside him. I miss listening to his breathing. I miss snuggles on the sofa.

On the other hand, how long will it be before I get another chance for a few weeks' feet up, with everything being done for me? 25 years? Ha. I'm going to enjoy it for what it is. The rest I always feel I need :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Blog This Challenge - What's on your bedside table

I love books. I love their smell, I love the rustle of pages, I love the way they make me think in a different way, I love how they give me an insight into other ways of life, and I love the way I can escape into another world, even just for a little while. I love to have them in my house, forever. I like being able to re-read them, look at them, remember how they made me feel. It's for that reason that I don't use a library, although I know it would be a waaay better financial decision :)

This is my bedside table - it's usually this full. Lots of books, some flowers, and more often than not a half-finished or empty cup of tea. I'm not reading all of those books at once, but this is my current 'reading pile'.

My reading pile usually includes two novels 'on the go' at once, a book that I have read previously that touches me somehow, and which I can revisit at any time, just to delve back in for a minute, a few 'to read next' books, and something 'instructional'or 'educational'.

And while I always make time to read - every single day - I've been known to choose reading over sleep (!) - I admit I have more-than-usual time on my hands at the moment. I am about 7 weeks away from giving birth to twin boys and have found myself on bedrest because of threatened pre-term labour. So I'm enjoying more reading than usual.

Last week I finished Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert. I really liked it. I couldn't always relate to it, but I thoroughly respect her raw and brave honesty.

I also finished Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. This one fascinated and appalled me in equal measures. I've always thought there is something sinister about those travelling circuses earlier this century, and the exploitation of people was appalling. But it was magical too. There's something spectacular and compelling about the illusion of performance.

Right now I'm reading The Shifting Fog, by Kate Morton. I have a big soft spot for historical fiction. Plus, she's a Brisvegas chick!

I'm also reading some pregnancy, birth and baby books. I'm especially trying to understand what it's going to be like with two little munchkins, so I have a few twin books there for reference.

In my 'to read next' pile are The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne, The People's Train by Tom Keneally, and My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok.

Ah, books. I love you!!

It's beginning to look a lot like...... Christmas??

I've started to get excited about Christmas. Yes, I know, it's not even mid-August.

Am I losing my mind? Quite possibly. But I can explain.

My beautiful mama and sisters have been spending some time with me while I've been cooped up, and are helping (ie doing the actual work while I point from my reclined position) me to tackle some of those jobs on 'that list': you know, the one that grows and grows and grows until it's so full you feel like you'll never get to the end of it, so don't even start.

One of the things I've wanted to do for a very long time is get rid of the junk in my drawers. And with the imminent arrival of two little beans I've realised space is what I need. So to the bins we (well, they) went!

While tossing and binning stuff (oh, so much stuff), we came across my Christmas magazine stash. Oh, I forgot how much I love it. Every year I go a bit mad in the lead up to Christmas and buy almost every single home, lifestyle and cooking mag so that I can plan the 'Perfect Christmas' - from door wreath, to nail-polish.

This delightful discovery, coupled with my realisation that this year is going to be our first year with two brand new little additions to our household got me so excited I could barely contain myself.

I have spent hours slowly reading, savouring, listmaking, and dreaming about Christmas this year. I can't wait (and not just because I can almost taste that sweet bubbly champagne that I've been missing now for months)!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

#12. It's lovely to meet you

When you meet someone new, make sure you say how lovely it is to meet them. Because it is! Meeting new people is one of the most wonderful aspects of an interesting life.

Next time you see them, you say "lovely to see you" or "lovely to see you again".

And when someone asks "how are you?", keep your answer brief and immediately ask them how they are. They'll appreciate your manners. And you never know, a new friendship might begin.

The Belly Diaries - 30 weeks

Hello boys!

As I'm writing this, you're both awake, wriggling around. I think you're saying hello to me. One of you has managed to figure out where my ribs are and it feels like you're using them like monkey bars! Not entirely comfortable I must say, but I still love it.

Well, all eyes have been on you this week, that's for sure. Ever since we thought we might be meeting you sooner than expected, everyone who already loves you is torn between not being able to wait to meet you, and wanting you to stay put just a little bit longer. Especially me and your dad.

We're getting really really excited now (who'd have thought we could be more excited than we were only a few days ago!), and we're working hard to get all the last minute things done just in case.

Your Grandpa Phil and your Daddy have been working hard building in the garage. When you get older, Daddy will show you how to use a hammer and a drill and all those other exciting gadgets.

And today, your Mama is having a photo shoot for a magazine. Just think - your first ever professional photography session and your first appearance in a national magazine! I'll keep a copy for each of you to look at when you grow up. You'll be able to see what your mama looked like with nearly-ready-to-be-born twins inside.

As ever, all the love in the universe
Your Mama

Saturday, August 8, 2009

#11. There are always three sides to a story. Yours, theirs, and the truth.

This is something your Nana (my mama) has told me my whole life. It's stuck with me - mainly, I think, because it's true.

Keeping the sanity

There seems to be two schools of thought regarding bedrest.

There is the "omg, enjoy it while you can" camp, which tends to come from mums with little ones, and I can hear the exhaustion in their voices, the desperate need for sleep, and the yearning for some time to themselves.

The other is the "bedrest sucks arse, you poor thing, you're going to lose your mind", which tends to come from others who have 'been there, done that', and hated it.

I expect the reality falls somewhere in the middle. But I am determined not to let it get the better of me. I have come up with a three-pronged approach to keeping me sane:

Every day, do something tangibly useful to our lives. This might be ordering the groceries online, paying our bills, organising people to come and help with cooking/cleaning, finally organising all our photos, etc

Every day, do something baby related. By this I mean reading some books about babies or child development, buying anything else we need, keep going with my Belly Diaries and letters to these little ones.

Every day, do something indulgent for me. Mani, pedi, body scrub, facial, hair treatment, hmmmmm

I'm hoping this will balance out my days. That I'll be able to relax but still feel useful. I need to still be able to contribute to our home as much as I can (I don't want T to have to be responsible for absolutely everything. He already works so hard and such long hours it just breaks my heart to think of him having to shoulder responsibility for everything in our lives), but I recognise how important it is that I take this bed rest situation seriously.

So, that's my plan. We'll see how it goes.

I've been home for one day, and already I've done an online shop, organised my mama and sisters to come over once a week to clean, chatted to my beautiful mother-in-law about bringing around some dinners, and I've painted my fingers, toes, and made myself a brown sugar and vanilla body scrub.

Ah, I may need to slow down a little ...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

#10. Being alone is not the same as being lonely

Enjoying being alone is something that is well worth figuring out. When you've mastered it, you'll understand why. Don't get the two confused my little ones.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Belly Diaries - 29 weeks

Hello boys

Well, there's no photo this week, I'm sorry. The reason is that your mama is in hospital for a few days after a little fright yesterday with some early contractions.

We need you to stay put just a little bit longer my darlings, so I am going to stay in hospital for a little while, and then I will be on bedrest until it's time for you to make your grand entrance (please not for quite a few weeks yet!).

Your dad is being amazing, as usual. Bringing me books, yummy treats, hugs, and keeping me company as soon as he finishes work. I miss him most at night when he has to go home to catch some sleep. But it's all for the very best.

So stay put little ones.

All the love in the universe
Your Mama

Monday, August 3, 2009

Exactly how hard is hard?

It's no news that I'm expecting twins. Pretty soon.

It's also pretty obvious that I'm pregnant. Very obvious actually.

This delightful combination of information means that I find myself in rather personal conversations with random strangers rather often. I don't mind usually. I'm a bit of a chatterbox and generally pretty happy to have a chat with anyone who cares for one.

However, I am not impressed - at all - by the overwhelming reaction most people have when they find out I'm having twins. In almost every single case they gasp, reel in horror and mutter something about "you poor thing", or "oh no", or LAUGH!

Am I missing something?? Do all these people know something I don't? Is the universe playing a big joke on me? And, actually, is this not just plain rude?

I don't think I'm naive. I know that nothing can really prepare me for what is about to happen to my life. I know it's going to be different to anything I've experienced before. I know it's going to be immensely challenging, I'm going to be tired, there's going to be un-solvable crying, and un-sleepable nights. I know there will be plenty of moments when I'm not sure I'm 'doing it right'. And I know this is going to make me feel crazy, tired, cranky and out of control.

But won't the good bits be wonderful? And am I not going to witness life and personality emerging from these gorgeous little darlings? And isn't there also all the lovely stuff, like that baby smell, and newborn cuddles, and toothy grins, and unconditional love? Doesn't the hard stuff just make the lovely stuff even better?

Am I really bonkers for being so excited about it that I wish it was now - even the hard stuff? Because that's how I feel. I can't wait. For all of it.