When I turned 30, my friend Brad welcomed me into the new birthday decade by proclaiming I had become a legitimate adult. And here at 28 weeks, I feel the same way about the babies. They are now legit. We’ve made it through the first and almost second trimester, and if something were to happen and they were born tomorrow, they have a very good chance of making it it through okay.
For some reason, this gives me a sense of accomplishment. Although, in reality, all I’ve really done is eat more.
I know I’ve said this before, but my job really has been that of a welcoming host for two tiny guests. And once I get over feeling all science-fiction about it, it truly is amazing. The human body can support and sustain not only one, not only two, but in my (and many other cases) three people at once. And for those that have carried triplets, quads, quints, etc., I am floored. Downright amazed.
My body, at times, seems like a machine I have little control over. Maybe a car is a good analogy, because even though every male member of my family can take apart an engine and diagnose it in a matter of minutes, I get befuddled on how to unhook the hood latch. Really, all I do is put gas in the car and drive it.
This pregnancy has been similar. For all my fears on how to handle carrying twins, it really hasn’t been that difficult. My body knows how to do the work. I just eat and shuttle myself through my daily activities, albeit a bit slower each week. And when people ask me How different does it feel to carry twins vs. just one baby?, my answer is usually the same: honestly, not much.
Yes, they move more. Yes, I’m bigger. Yes, I can tell which baby is doing what. And yes, exercise is pretty difficult these days. But here are the surprising things. I’m not really that much hungrier. I can still pick up Ellis and carry her up the stairs, give her a bath, and pick up her toys at the end of the night. I am not making more than one nightly pilgrimage to the bathroom. I don’t have any weird cravings. And sometimes, I feel completely normal.
Normal is reassuring at 28 weeks. I’m now down with grad school for the semester, and I have one Board meeting left before the babies arrive. The to-do list is slowly starting to have more check marks. Ellis read books to herself for 32 unsupervised minutes last night, and didn’t manage to fall off, down, or over anything. And Jason? Allow me to brag on my buddy for just a moment, because this week Jason was named the principal of Taylors Falls Elementary School – something he’s wanted for a long time.
I know everyone talks about pregnant hormones, but this week I’m happy to say that sometimes, it’s possible to feel very even keel. And those moments need to be recorded, celebrated. Scott Russell Sanders, in his essay Writing from the Center, says something I’ve long been thinking about. “The truth about our existence is to be found not in some remote place or extreme condition but right-here and right-now; we already dwell in the place worth seeking.”
My truth, this week, is being thankful for right-here, right-now. There are so many difficult things about pregnancy, but there are also a lot of really great milestones. And I want to mark them all, good or bad, for what they can teach. This week, life has amazed me, and I’m fully acknowledging my gratitude for it.
After all, this week, we’re legit.