I was getting dressed yesterday morning and as I turned to the side with only my trusty maternity leggings on (from Target - they are the BEST), I caught a glimpse of the belly and realized that this side shot is the most accurate way to convey the Large-Marge-ness of it all. I promise to try to take at least one more legit picture of my whole self before we are done with this experiment in stretching the limits of the mere mortal body.
Apologies all around for the delay in getting this week's update posted. I suppose it's now technically the 35 weeks + 1 day update. We spent yesterday morning taking care of all the things to get my old Camry sold, and then yesterday afternoon, I spent three hours at the after-hours clinic with my Dacey who has strep. Who knew so much sitting could be so exhausting? But I was quite worn out by the end of the day.
The best way to sum up where I am at this point is to say
I'm in a glass case of emotion!
(Thank you, Ron Burgandy, the Bard of 70s San Diego.)
By the time I went to my doctors' appointments last Thursday, I had managed to convince myself that when we went to schedule the birthday for the boys that surely - SURELY - everyone would agree that 36 weeks would be the ideal timing for bringing these two earthside.
My first appointment was at the MFM clinic. I was disappointed to get my least favorite sonographer. She's very nice, but I have always felt like of all of the technicians, she provides me with the least amount of information. We peeked in on the babies and for once, our Twin B was the one who was highly cooperative - he was awake and just active enough for her to be able to get all the readings she was looking for on him.
Twin A, however, was zonked out asleep, and she had to spend nearly 30 minutes trying to get the respiration reading on him that she needed to see. And I have a feeling that all the time it took to get his readings were directly related to the fact that she didn't work up growth on either of them this week. (Bear in mind we've been monitoring their growth discordance, so we have gotten a growth work-up on them nearly every appointment.)
And then the MFM who was assigned to the clinic wasn't even there, so for the first time since about 18 weeks or so, I didn't get to see one of the specialists before I left.
I was just smooth-running cranky after that appointment.
I plopped myself down in the waiting room next door for the next appointment with my OB, and listlessly skimmed my Facebook feed while I was waiting. Something caught my eye. I have a lot of Jesus-loving people in my friends' list, so it's not unusual at all to see Bible verses sprinkled in amongst amusing kiddo stories and pointed political statements.
Honestly, I get so used to all the Bible stuff that sometimes I just skim right on past it, but this one verse really grabbed a hold of me: Psalm 145:17 - "The LORD is righteous in all of his ways and loving toward all he has made."
I need to say right now that it's been a long time since I've been one to say, "God gave me a verse" about this thing or the other. Regular readers know I've struggled with how we apply and misapply Scripture, so I've sorta stopped doing that. No one was more surprised than me in that moment in the waiting room when I felt the Spirit nudge me and say, "This is for you."
Not too long after that, I was called back to see my OB. She was as surprised as I was that the sonographer didn't check their growth this week. (Just to clarify what the sonographer did check: heartbeat, respiration, and fluid levels. I forgot to mention the good news that it appears that Twin B's polyhydramnios appears to have corrected itself!)
So my OB opened her calendar and looked at where we were and brought up a few dates in the 38th week range. My heart started to sink. I told her I felt absolutely comfortable with and even preferred a date in 36th week. She decided to step out and call over to the MFM office to consult with them on what they feel the best timing would be. While she was out, I just kept repeating to myself, "The LORD is righteous in all his ways." I clearly knew what I wanted in terms of planning their arrival, but more than anything, I wanted God's hand to direct what happened.
She came back with the news that the MFMs felt that we still need to aim for 38 weeks. Basically my medical care seems to defy the stereotype of the disinterested, convenience-driven medical approach to birth. They all genuinely feel that unless it becomes medically necessary to deliver the babies earlier, then we need to wait and let 'em bake.
I fought back tears through the rest of the appointment. I know my OB could tell I was disappointed. She did an internal exam and enthusiastically reported that my cervix is thinning and that all the contractions are making progress. She said over and over that she didn't think we'd make it to 38 weeks, but we do have that date on the calendar to plan for.
So. Unless my water breaks or I go into legitimate labor or there are further concerns about their growth discordance, then we'll go with that date. February 25th. I'll be 38 weeks + 2 days.
I gave myself the rest of the day on Thursday to pout and feel sorry for myself. It's not that don't want what's best for the babies. OF COURSE I do. I am just so, so, so weary of the physical reality of two humans living in my more-unrecognizable-by-the-day-body.
Friday helped me turn the corner on all the pity party stuff. Kyle gave me a great pep talk on how great we are doing and how every day in lowers our chances of NICU time. He knows more than anyone that's been my biggest fear and concern from the beginning. My friend and twin mom Lora Lynn gave me some wise words on her twins and the timing on their birth and how in retrospect, she knew they could have used more time inside.
Through the day, I felt more and more at peace with the adjustment to what I had so hoped would be the plan.
I'm finding it easier now to relax and breathe into the contractions, knowing they are doing the work they need to do. I'm remembering that the later the babies are born, the better chance they have of picking up on breastfeeding easily. I'm clinging to the truth that God is loving toward all He has made, even when it's hard to make that jive with our circumstances. I've felt an almost Zen-like peace in choosing to believe that the later date is God loving both me and the babies in a way that I am not capable of understanding right now.
Believe it or not, I had planned to say more this week, but my heavens. I'm already past 1200 words. I'm confident it can all wait until next week and 36 weeks and an impossibly big belly and hilariously swollen feet and more heaving climbs and dips on this emotional roller coaster that is the end of a twin pregnancy.