On the Imminent Arrival of Twins

4 Feb

On Getting Ready

We’re approaching Friday as if it is the day we will bring Baby Girl and Baby Boy into the world. What this means is that today has been a strange and busy day of preparations and waiting. Of rest and list-making (I made one last list tonight). Patrick woke up Finn and together they made a wonderful breakfast of waffles and bacon. We shared a family meal, with Finn eating more slices of bacon than any person under 30 lbs has a right to eat. This would come back to haunt him and us. Then from nowhere, I was hit with fatigue that knocked me off my feet. I spent the rest of the day falling asleep on soft surfaces around the house. Meanwhile, Finn was keeping Patrick busy as Patrick tried to clean and get things done around the house before he had to dash off to a meeting at work. I woke up near noon to hear Finn in the bathtub and see Patrick walk in with a large stain down his work clothes the likes of which hadn’t been seen since Finn was a newborn. The bacon was, apparently, a bad idea.  Patrick looked harried as he tried to wash poo off various surfaces, get Finn dressed and passed to friends, and get out the door in time to make his meeting. As soon as he got home from work and got Finn into bed tonight, it was a mad rush again to clean a few last things, get a few last tasks done. In fact, he’s still going as I type.

On Bed Rest

The rushing was par for the course for us since the sentence of bedrest was pronounced. Patrick madly wearing many hats without a spare minute from morning to midnight while I watch helpless from bed/couch. I learned early that if I ventured too far from a pillow, Patrick could sense it and would order me back to bedrest. The first day was a difficult adjustment for me. It wasn’t until I was speaking to my OB on the phone and he said “I don’t think you understood what I meant when I said bedrest…” that I finally surrendered.

But if by this time tomorrow I could be holding two new babies, how am I supposed to sit still? How can I sit here while Patrick exhausts himself preparing for something that there’s ultimately no preparation for? How can I not be spending every free minute holding Finn and stroking his cheek while he sleeps, knowing that it will be a rare moment when we’ll be able to sit quietly and cuddle?

On Fears

Since we decided we wanted to add a new baby and even doubly since we found out we were expecting twins, I’ve worried about Finn. The love that I have for him is so incredibly strong, how on earth would I be able to feel the same way about another child, let alone two? In addition to that, how could I take time away from him and give it to someone else?  I’m assured by veteran mothers that this is all possible and I know that I’m just going to have to have faith to believe on their words.

The fears that came with new motherhood are coming back. Uncertainty of whether I’ll be a good mother to newborns. Each baby is different and these babies may be harder than what I was used to with Finn.

There were dark days in the weeks after Finn was born that I rarely talk about. I was hit with post-partum depression- although it was much later that I recognized what it was. I think I hid it well, Patrick doesn’t really remember it. But I remember the loneliness, the feeling that this perfect child deserved so much better than me, the inability to stop crying, the claustrophobia of panic. It went away after a while, but those days were hard and I’m scared that they’ll come back again. I’m heartened though that I have more weapons in my arsenal this time. I have the bonus of being on familiar ground, surrounded by friends who love us, with a child who thrived despite my inadequacies.  I look back on my panicked anxious self of two years ago and I know that that was not me. I hope that if I start going through it again, I can take a step back and say “this is not me!”

On Risk and Reward

Tonight Finn had the worst diaper rash I had ever seen. He was miserable, walking like a cowboy who had been riding for days and crying fat tears when he sat down. We stripped him of his clothes and put him into a bath. He asked for my help sitting down and clutched my hand as he tentatively put one knee down into the bath and then the other, and then finally his red little bottom. He instantly started screaming and reached out his arms to be taken out. We wrapped him in a towel and lotioned him, then laid him on the bed to air dry while we tried to entertain him. His normally cheerful face was bright red and soaked with tears. I felt like my heart was breaking.

I was reading an article tonight written a long time ago by Patrick’s boss and our friend on raising children. I hope he doesn’t mind if I quote part of it:

“To plunge headlong into the parenting business is to forgo security, financial as well as emotional, and to submit to a lifestyle which is, after all, quite daring…A gift borne of the impenetrable mystery that is God, a child is certain to break your heart, if your heart is set on anything in particular. Ben may reject his father’s love, Paul disappoint our best hopes for him, Clare contract an ailment which breaks us all. This incontestable element of risk is the terror of parenting and one of its greatest joys.”

He goes on to describe parenting as a gamble. As we add two distinct children to our family, knowing deep down that we will in fact love them like we love Finn, we increase the risk of having our hearts broken again and again by everything from being helpless to stop the pain of a diaper rash (or worse) to witnessing rejection by crushes, to watching them make choices that we know will hurt them, the list is endless.

But I’ve been reading back over blog posts and our many files of pictures that describe the adventures that we’ve had since Finn joined us. This whole blog would be devoted just to pictures of him that make me laugh if I wasn’t more careful about it. The word for what Finn brought with him when he came into our world, and what I know these twins will bring as well, is joy. Pure true joy that has changed our lives. The risks are there, but the rewards are much greater.

I don’t know if tomorrow will be a day that will change our lives or if we’ll be sent back home by the Dr. for a few more days of bedrest and percolating thoughts. I know there are people out there praying both ways, especially since tamales and LeAnn’s Cookbook are involved. But sometime very soon we’ll be welcoming our newest little Masons into our lives and I know that all of our thoughts and fears and worries will be irrelevant as we finally get to stop thinking and just do it.

We’ll be keeping you posted.

UPDATE: Everything went well at the Dr.’s office this morning. Things haven’t progressed, so we decided that I’m back on strict bedrest through the weekend. We’re scheduled to be at the hospital Monday morning, where we’ll induce labor and try that option rather than a c-section. Yay! Sorry to everyone who picked dates after Monday, it looks like you may be out of the running.


5 Responses to “On the Imminent Arrival of Twins”

  1. Kay February 5, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    Beautifully written,Melissa. You both are now and will continue to be wonderful parents who will face your trials and struggles head on and will come out victorious. Good luck today and always.

  2. Liz February 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    Shoot, I’m really sorry about the diaper rash. I didn’t notice anything when I changed him. I feel awful about that.

    Can I just say “amen!” to what Kay said? Parenthood is such a leap of faith. Good luck today in whatever it may bring!

  3. Melissa February 5, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    Thanks friends!

    No worries Liz. It may have come on quickly. I’m thinking there was some high acidity involved.

    Thanks to both of you for watching him yesterday, it was a huge help!

  4. Kirsten Christensen February 6, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    Have a happy weekend together, Melissa. Look forward to reading the news about your twins’ arrival!

    By the way, wanted to mention something we discovered for diaper rash when Hal was a baby. It is amazing and so gentle and clears up even the worst diaper rash (which preemies can get so bad that their thin skin comes off sometimes — ouch!)

    It’s Weleda’s Calendula Baby Cream — not the Diaper cream, which I also tried but without any great results. The diaper cream is thick and white like many diaper creams, but the Calendula Baby Cream is pale yellow and very smooth and absorbs quickly and always made a difference very, very quickly — after a single application, in our experience.


    Putting some baking soda into a bath can help neutralize the acidity, too.

    all best,

  5. emilia February 8, 2010 at 6:06 am #

    mel, i’m so so so excited for you and your family. can’t wait for the arrival of two new gorgeous souls.

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