38 weeks and 6 days: The Waiting Games

IMG_0602It starts around three in the morning, this inability to sleep.

There’s nothing to do at this point but make another pilgrimage to the bathroom. On my way down, it occurs to me that I’ve never once paused to be thankful for not tumbling down the stairs during my uneven state of half-asleep hallway meanderings.

In fact, there are a great many things I should really take the time to be consciously be thankful for that have happened over the past few months.

(And in case you’re wondering, getting one more extension on inducing is one of them. We now have until next Tuesday, July 16.)

I can tell I haven’t done that recently – been consciously, list it out, write it down, thankful.

A few hours ago, my husband hugged me before bed. He told me to try to enjoy these last few days of pregnancy the best I could. I snorted like some sort of Spanish bull.

But it’s what I’ve thought about all night, in a roundabout sort of way. How to be thankful for things in your life you don’t feel thankful for.

Nightly bathroom walks. 14 pounds of baby tucked safely between my ribs and hips. This period of what feels like constant waiting, waiting, waiting.

To be honest, sometimes all I want to do is gripe to myself. Feel sorry for myself. Take shower after shower because it’s one of the only sensory things that takes all the discomfort away as I wait for these babies to arrive.

I believed the stories that everyone told me about twins coming early. 36 weeks, 37 weeks, 38 weeks. I ticked them off on my fingers and held my breath. Any day. Any day now.

And yet, this coming Monday marks 39 weeks. I never expected to carry this long. Quite the opposite, in fact. And now that it’s here, I’m having the audacity not to be thankful for it?

I climb back in bed, rearrange my pillows for the millionth time, and wait for the babies to settle in. This is always a reassuring part of my evenings, because I can feel both girls readjusting themselves from vertical to horizontal. I put a hand on my stomach and wait patiently for them to calm. One of them responds, a small movement tracing itself under my palm.

I smile.

For this, I can choose to be thankful. It really can be that simple. Gratitude can be a choice. David the psalmist made it in Psalm 130:

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
    more than watchmen wait for the morning,
    more than watchmen wait for the morning.

He continued to wait – enough so that he wrote down his metaphor twice to remind himself of his intent.

But notice his focus. He was waiting not on the thing that was coming, but on God himself. On God who never failed him, never left him, never gave him any cause to doubt His provision.

So. Here in our little corner of Taylors Falls, we continue to wait. And in my case, take plenty of naps.

38 weeks: Where are the babies?

waiting-room-signAt the beginning of this journey, my doctor gave me a list of all the appointments I needed to make. It was two pages long, and was full of notes for the types of ultrasounds I’d need, tests I would take, and office appointments I’d have to review each result.

The list stopped at 38 weeks. Under the instructions line, it simply read, “Where are the babies? :)”

I wish I had an answer.

(Okay, I wish I had an answer that didn’t involve two heads between my pelvic bones, but tonight, that’s where we’re sitting.)

Today, my dear friend Juliette and her son Jameson came over to hang out, exchange some last minute baby items, and celebrate my first day as a stay at home mama. Jules is expecting her baby girl on July 19, technically 3 days before my actual 40 week due date of July 22.

Since the morning was cool, we decided to take a short walk. On the way back, we talked about the difficulty of this period of waiting. It’s hard knowing that this major life event could happen spontaneously at any time. Midday. Midnight. Mixing eggs for morning breakfast or bending over to pick up a toddler’s pair of shoes.

I remember feeling this exact same uneasiness waiting for my daughter to arrive. And although my husband planned pregnancy distraction activities for every evening, I still went to bed feeling hollow. Aching to hold my baby. Nervous about how she’d arrive.

It wasn’t until the evening when I physically felt like saying “screw it” to the universe and spent the evening mowing down on pizza with Jason and watching re-runs of Kitchen Nightmares that somehow, magically, my water quietly decided to break.

***

If these babies don’t come by Thursday, I will need to make a decision about inducing. Again. Preferably on Friday, when all the staff are available for the 10 person show that will be my little girls’ birthday.

Doctors get nervous about twins that overstay their welcome. And I’ll be honest. The last two weeks have been physically exhausting. I am carrying at least thirteen pounds of baby at this point, not to mention everything else. I sleep in 2-3 hour snatches, can’t really get comfortable sitting any more, and have contractions every day.

Honestly, my best moments are now spent on my feet in the morning, or curled around no less than five pillows at night.

But what I want is what’s best for the babies. I want to trust that my body will naturally know that’s it’s time, that my all-knowing Creator has everything perfectly planned, and that the outcome will be two lovely little girls.

I don’t want to decide when they will come – somehow, that feels like overstepping my bounds in this situation. And yet, I might have to. In which case, I want to make the most informed and healthy decision possible for everyone involved.

But in the meantime, we wait. Pray the babies come on their own. The bags are packed, the van is loaded, the room is ready. And my husband, daughter, and I? We are as ready as we can be, given the unique circumstances that are about to overtake our lives.

Bring it girls, bring it.

love,

mama