Archive for Pregnancy

Wait issues.

Like most women, I haven’t always been kind to myself. In fact, there have been times in my life when, were such things possible, I really ought to have packed my bags and left me, slamming the door and vowing not to come back until I got some help. Instead I had to ride out those awful years, and thank the gods I did, because now I have a pretty great life and some cute babies to boot. (Not that I boot my babies. That would be wrong.)

One of the ways in which I treated myself poorly had to do with weight. You name the eating disorder, I had it, or at least flirted with it. Or maybe just gave it my phone number when I was drunk, but I probably picked up the phone when it called. After college, I thought I was done with all that, but then graduate school came along. I needed money and a flexible schedule, so I started modeling, and, well, I’m sure you can guess how good that is for the ol’ body image.

I got out of the beauty business in 2003, taking a big pay cut for the sake of my sanity. I moved out to LA, home to every homecoming queen, and tried to get used to life beyond looks. And I was doing pretty well. Then I got pregnant with twins.

Let me just say, I loved my pregnant body. I had trouble gaining the recommended amount of weight, which I worried about loudly while being secretly, shamefully pleased. I sincerely did try, eating ice cream and avocados and olives and lots of meat. But each time I stepped on the scale and saw the needle hover only a millimeter above its previous reading, a nasty little voice in the back of my head congratulated me. Eventually I did gain about forty pounds, and I was proud of that.

Now, though, it won’t go away. I’ve lost about twenty-five pounds, while fifteen more cling to my butt and my stretched-out, wrinkly belly. My face is rounder than it used to be. And I am struggling to be all right with this. Because old habits, like cliches, die hard, and my instinct is to crash diet this squishiness away. But I am nursing and have a low milk supply; now is not the time for me to diet. (Oh, and that old saw about nursing being the best way to lose weight? Not so for everyone, as it turns out!)

I have made a promise to myself that I will not seriously try to lose this weight until I’ve stopped nursing. I could embark on a sensible, nursing-friendly weight-loss routine, but I’d be risking a precipitous tumble back into the waters of Crazy, and it’s not worth it. Still, accepting my body as it is is hard for me. Harder than even I would have anticipated.

Wren sleeping on Mama


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A Fine Romance

One year ago, I made one of these for the physician’s assistant who coordinated the clinical trial through which we got our IVF:

my uterus

We kept in touch, and she mentioned several times that the doctor who had actually performed my egg retrieval and embryo transfer was very, very jealous of this little gift (not GIFT). So I made him something too, which I plan to give him at the clinic’s IVF alumni picnic in September. But I thought y’all might enjoy a peek at it first.

egg & sperm

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Let them know this is not okay.

On April 4th, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” ran a story about Thomas Beatie, the pregnant transman who recently appeared on Oprah with his wife. Scrupulously avoiding any appearance of reason or maturity, the anchors mocked Beatie and called him “disgusting.”

Fast forward to the 2:00 mark for the incredibly offensive segment.

I don’t have a lot of time for righteous indignation lately, what with the two babies and all, but after viewing this I clicked right over to the Morning Joe website, where there is a comment form that you can fill out and send in. I only wish it worked like one of the Harry Potter Howlers, and my epistle would arrive on the set and unfold itself in a glory of screaming paper, shredding itself with rage when it was finished.

I wrote:

I was completely disgusted not by the story of the pregnant transman (“Mr. Mom”, 4/4/08), but by your ignorant, bigoted, and offensive coverage of that story. I thought I was watching a group of junior high school students as you and your colleagues expressed such sophisticated opinions as “I’m going to be sick,” “we don’t want the facts,” and “I’m closing my eyes.”

As I sit here with my infant daughter in my arms, I am angered and saddened that you chose to heap your abuse upon a loving couple who have decided to have a child together. I am ashamed that I ever respected Mika Brzezinski back when I was growing up in Hartford, CT. Thank you, Ms. Brzezinski and co., for showing me how unworthy of that respect you are.

(There would have been more, but Wren was voicing her own discontent with the total lack of nipple in her mouth. A baby’s gotta eat, yo.)

(via Feministing)

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Photo post because my hands are too full of babies to type.

36 weeks pregnant with twins, right before c-section

Right before the c-section; 36 weeks pregnant.

Wren under bili lights

Wren tanning under the bilirubin lights.

Together in NICU

Robin and Wren after escaping the isolettes, sharing a bed.

Wren right before release from NICU

Wren just before release from Nicu.

Robin the NICU pirate

Robin, the NICU pirate.

Tiny hand!

Can you find the baby in this picture?

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My new tattoo.

Decided to turn this

34 weeks 5 days (twins)

into this.

My new (Photoshop) tattoo.

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I did promise.

34 weeks, 5 days.

34 weeks 5 days (twins)

34 weeks 5 days (twins)

34 weeks 5 days (twins)

Yes, my tag was showing. No, Husband did not see fit to mention that when he was taking the photos. Yes, my belly is lower than it was – I’ve got ten pounds of baby in there! I’m surprised it’s not dangling around my knees by now. And speaking of stretching, don’t you love my racing stripes? Husband says I look like a classic hot rod.

For the sake of my paper-thin internet anonymity, I can’t show you the full-length shots, so you’ll have to trust me when I say I am all boobs and belly. Despite my diligent efforts to gain weight, I’m only up 35 pounds. My thighs and butt are slightly more padded than they were, but the rest of me has pretty much remained the same.

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Still pregnant!

34 weeks, 4 days. I swear I’ll post photos soon, assuming Husband can stand far enough away to fit my ENTIRE BELLY in the picture. I am enormous. And very stripy.

Also! through the magic of acupuncture, chiropractic work, and stinky moxibustion, I managed to turn a baby!

Only it was the wrong baby, and I turned her the wrong way.

Little Girl (baby B, farther from cervix) has gone from being transverse to being frank breech, which required a full 180 degree turn and a slide downward. Little Boy (baby A, closer to cervix) is still settled cheerfully butt-down in my pelvis. What a pair.

I’m not scheduling a c-section yet, but unless Little Boy decides to help us out here, we may be looking at doing just that. The doctor has agreed that, as long as my cervix stays closed, we should be able to carry to 38 weeks or so.

In other news, I suck at going on maternity leave. I was technically done with work last Friday. And what do you know? I’ve only spent about 20 hours in the office this week.

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32 weeks pregnant. I’d like to tell you more.

But I can’t, because I’m too freakin’ busy. I wrote you a post earlier – it was brief, but caught you up on the essentials. Then I accidentally erased it.

I’ll try to re-write it later. In the meantime, have some photos.

These were all taken on Friday, at 31 weeks and 4 days along.
31 weeks 4 days (twins)

31 weeks 4 days (twins)

31 weeks 4 days (twins)

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A small post of thanks.

Thank you, mystery benefactor, for sending us three dozen preemie prefold cloth diapers! They arrived this evening, but there was no packing slip or indication of by whom they were gifted. If you let me know, I will send you a proper thank-you note.

It’s amazing how generous people are when they find out you’re having twins (maybe they’re like this for singletons too, but I wouldn’t know). Yesterday I stopped by a woman’s apartment to pick up two Happy Heinys that I had purchased off Craigslist, and along with the diapers she handed me a big bag of clothes that her sons had outgrown. Tonight I stopped by another home to pick up a bag of secondhand Born Free bottles, nipples, and sippy cups that a woman had e-mailed to offer me when she found out about our impending babies. We have also gotten hand-me-down car seats, a CoSleeper, clothing, playmats, a Bumbo, diapers, blankets, a swing, and other things that I can’t recall at the moment because my brain has turned to mush. We have purchased many other items secondhand. We’ve gotten so many offers from people eager to help that I have actually had to turn some down, which goes completely against my nature.

I am thrilled about this in part because, seriously, who can afford to buy all of this new? and in part because I like that we are contributing less to the corporate consumer cycle. But what pleases me most about it is that this is how the world should work and too often doesn’t. People should support others, and pass along what they no longer need to those who do. People should buy less, and recycle more. People should be kind and generous, and evidently, they are. Who knew?

I truly look forward to telling my children about how good people were to our family when they were entering the world.

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I’ve got the full-of-baby whines

It’s hard for a lot of women who are pregnant after infertility to feel okay about whining. After all of the diligent temperature taking and the checking of cervical mucus and the tests and the medications and the doctors’ bills and everything, there’s a sense of guilt if you admit that you’re feeling less than wonderful at any given moment. But happy as I am to have wiggly babies in me, I will confess there are a few things I don’t love so much about pregnancy.

1) Stretch marks. It’s not an aesthetic problem; the damn things are uncomfortable! I’m using three different oils and creams four times a day, and still they itch. And they are tender. Which leads to our next whine . . .

2) Girth. Again, not an aesthetic problem. I just don’t have a very good sense of where my belly is anymore, and I keep bonking it into things. I have to use the large bathroom stall, because I have trouble closing the doors on the small ones without whacking one of my kids in the head. I get stabbed by the corners of my desk, and I occasionally get a little too intimate with people in the elevator. (Excuse me, madam! Is that a belly full of babies, or are you just happy to see me?)

3) The Crotchal Pain of Doom (CPoD). Because my misaligned pelvis is spreading about as gracefully as a giraffe on ice skates, I hurt a lot. I walk like a Weeble, tilting dramatically from side to side. I actually have to lift my legs with my hands in order to do challenging things like putting on pants or getting into the car.

4) Sleeping. Because of the CPoD, simply maneuvering my body into the bed requires a deftness and care to which I am unaccustomed. Husband came into the room last night to find me sitting in the middle of the bed looking, he said, like the world had ended. I told him that I was just trying to convince myself that the whole ‘lying down’ thing was really worth it.

Here is my (non) artist’s rendering of my nighttime positioning:

Pregnant, I sleep with many pillows

The colorful square things are pillows, in case you can’t tell. And once I’m wedged into them, getting back out of bed is both very difficult and very painful. Which makes the last item on today’s list particularly unfair.

4) Peeing. I’ve started keeping track of how often I go to the bathroom each night. On Sunday night, I fell asleep at 11:30, then got up to pee at 12:30, 1:30, 3, 3:30, 4:30, 5:45, 6:45, 7:45, and finally got up for good at 8:30. That was a record-setter, but most nights I get up 4-6 times. I’ve gone twice just while writing this post.

Edited to add: 5) Inability to count.

So that’s my life right now. Stripy, enormous, Weeblish, tired, and full of pee. Am I still thrilled to be pregnant? You bet! Am I ready to smack the next person who responds to my whines with, “Well, you asked for it?” Definitely!

You have been warned.

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