It’s been a little while since I updated. There hasn’t really been that much news pregnancy or otherwise (I titled this blog post AFTER I started writing it yesterday afternoon. The exciting part will come later), and while little things here and there have happened (like Amelie’s 2nd birthday!) that I wanted to blog about, I’m usually far too exhausted at night to write a blog post. I’ve also had little bites of work here and there which have kept me busy in the evenings and turned me off of sitting in front of the computer for any reason other than work.
Let’s backtrack a little, shall we. Amelie turned 2 on January 31st. I cannot begin to express how thankful I am to have her in my life. I love both of my girls to bits, but Amelie is just the very definition of love and happiness wrapped up into a little body. Sara is sweet and affectionate, but also moody and emotional and stubborn and difficult. Amelie is just all smiles and sweetness. Of course she has her moments like any child does, but they are so very mild in comparison to the theatrics her big sister is capable of. It’s hard not to make it sound like I don’t love Amelie more than Sara, because I don’t. I love them the same, but maybe I don’t like them the same. I do my best not to show it to them. I hug and cuddle Sara as much as I can when she is in a hugging and cuddling mood and not being horrible, but it’s hard. And the hardest part is knowing that Sara is the reincarnation of myself when I was younger.
On Amelie’s birthday I hit 28 weeks. An amazing milestone in a twin pregnancy! The size of my belly basically hit the size of a full-term 40 week singleton belly. The following Monday Amelie started daycare full-time. She has always been super excited to go to daycare. Until now it was only once a week, but as soon as we turned the corner towards daycare, and not Sara’s kindy, in the morning, she would start yelling in the car “Sensei! Sensei! Sensei dai-suki!” (Teacher! Teacher! I love teacher!) But on Monday, at the same corner she started saying “Ikanai. Ikanai” (I’m not going). I had to bribe her by telling her when she got there she would get a snack (considering we were late and it was already snack time when we arrived). There were no tears when I said goodbye, but she wouldn’t look at me. Obviously not happy with the situation. When I went to pick her up though she was all smiles and giggles and we haven’t had a problem since.
While Amelie was at daycare I went to lunch with my friend H and her husband and son who came up from Osaka to go skiing in Hakuba. Tuesday I went to yoga in the morning, and decided to treat myself to lunch after. I was in an Indian food kind of mood after doing yoga, so went to this really yummy Nepalese restaurant (close enough) a friend introduced me to awhile ago. When I walked in there were only 2 other customers, an international couple. The husband looked Indian or Nepalese, but I later found out he is Sri Lankan, and the wife is Japanese. We ate our meals in silence, but at the end I wanted a chai and couldn’t get the waiter’s attention, so the Sri Lankan husband did for me and ordered a chai for himself and his wife as well. And then we got to talking.
Nagano is such a small place, and everyone knows everyone, so we compared notes on mutual friends and acquaintances, and what brought us to Japan, and their trip to America a few years ago with their FIVE kids, and of course my heavy twin belly. I had actually planned on eating super quick and getting home to work on the proofreading project I needed to finish by the following morning, but they were so lovely to talk to I didn’t want to leave. But obviously we couldn’t all stay there forever and we all got up to leave. They paid their bill first and when I went to pay mine, the waiter said that the couple had already paid for me. I was floored! I was extremely grateful, but so astonished at their kindness! And of course being pregnant and hormonal it doesn’t take much to make me cry. The husband said that in Sri Lanka there is no such thing as splitting the bill. One person pays. But it wasn’t even like we ate our meal together! They wrote their phone numbers and mail address on a piece of paper for me, so I sent them a mail thanking them the next day, but I still can’t figure out what I have done to be so lucky and deserving of people’s generosity. But I am incredibly grateful. I’m afraid I’ll never be able to show people how truly grateful I am for their kindness.
After I drove home feeling like my heart was about to burst, I sat down in front of the computer to do some work, but it was time to pick up Amelie before I even really got into. I ended up staying up most of the night, going to sleep at around 2 and waking up at 5 to finish. I had Akinori take the girls to daycare and kindy the next morning because I was so sleepy and groggy I didn’t trust myself to drive on top of the fact that it was snowing. Of course I didn’t let that get in the way of going to the mama-tomo lunch I had planned later in the day.
The moms are all from the class that Amelie and I did once a week at Sara’s kindy until she started daycare full-time. Of course all the other moms had their kids with them. God, it is so much easier to do things without young children in tow. All of the kids who came were little boys between the ages of 1 and 2.5 as well, so it was basically chaos while we ate. One of the moms is a pediatrician. I think we all make a concerted effort not to ask her too many work related questions, but it’s hard. When moms get together they tend to talk about their kids, including their kids’ health issues. I don’t mean to ask her questions, nor does anyone else I think. We just talk, but I always feel guilty if the conversation turns medical, and being pregnant with twins, it tends to turn medical.
Everyone keeps asking me when I’m going to be hospitalized, so I was explaining that I’m putting it off for as long as I can possibly keep the doctor at bay, and I don’t get why I need to be anyway if everything is fine with me and the boys. And the doctor mom said “Twins are high risk. Lots of stuff can go wrong, and when it does it tends not to be just one thing.” She was also saying that in this day and age there are lots of people who sue hospitals in Japan when something goes wrong at their child’s birth, which makes hospitals extra cautious too. So basically, the hospital is interested in protecting themselves, which is what I suspected. Anyway, I’m still not sold on the idea.
Thursday was my regular check-up at the hospital and everything was looking so good I think the doctor was genuinely disappointed he couldn’t find one reason to even suggest I might need to be hospitalized any time soon. Both boys are still head down. The one closest to the exit and on the right is 1296 g. and the one a little higher up on the left is 1185 g. Their bladders were both the same size and they have plenty of amniotic fluid. The saloon doors are tightly sealed with 37 mm. between the bigger baby’s head and the outside world. I’m not retaining any water, and I only gained a kilo since my last appointment, which puts me at 13 kgs. up from my pre-pregnancy weight, which I think is kind of excellent. I think it’s actually where I was at about the same time with Sara. And it’s perfectly normal to have gained this much with twins at this point, and the midwife even praised my lack of weight gain. I know I shouldn’t let the comments that they make according to Japanese standards get to me, but it’s kind of impossible to completely let them roll off my back.
Anyway, the midwife kept going on about how wonderful it was that everything looked so good, and the doctor said it looks like we’ve still got quite a way to go before the twins get here. I was feeling super awesome top-of-the-world fabulous when I left the hospital. I measured my waist around my belly button at home, and it was 105.5 cm., which is bigger than I ever was with Amelie, though not with Sara. My measurements with Sara were all over the place though. Getting up to 109 cm., then going back down to 107 cm., then up to 112 the week she was born. Who knows? All I know is, I probably have a little ways to go before I enter unknown tummy expansion territory, and the possible threat of stretch marks. My bare belly, and showing my face has a much bigger impact than just photographing my clothed belly I think. I’m big!
I was thinking about how well I am actually doing with this pregnancy yesterday morning. I was thinking that when I got this big I would just be dying to give birth already and the last trimester would be sheer torture, like the week or two before giving birth to Sara and Amelie were. I just wanted them out of me! I was done! But so far I don’t feel like that. Even the crotch pain that had been causing me so much trouble in the last few weeks seems to have gotten better.
Friday I debated going to yoga or staying home and resting. Resting won out. I didn’t even take a shower all day. I got a bunch of laundry washed and folded and that was about it. I had planned on doing lots more, but I have a lot more energy in my mind than in my body, and I figured I won’t be going into the hospital anytime soon, so I still have time to get the cleaning and organizing done that I want to before the babies arrive and while both girls are out of the house during the day.
I think I had started to get too cocky about how well I was doing because around 6 p.m. last night I got a funny cramp in my lower belly, like a period cramp, that came and went, like a contraction. And then again. I was in the middle of writing this post, so I put away the computer and laid down on my left side, and continued to cramp, and I was getting more and more nervous, which probably didn’t help anything. I never really had Braxton-Hicks with Sara or Amelie, just tightening around my upper belly, and I don’t know if that’s really what a BH contraction is or not. So I asked on FB if people who had experienced BH contractions could tell me if there was a difference. Most people said there was, which made me even more worried, because what I was feeling was what I remembered “real” contractions feeling like.
So I called the hospital and Akinori called his sister to come and stay with the girls and we went to the hospital. I was a little surprised at how long it finally took them to see me, but I guess I didn’t sound like I was too urgent a case on the phone? I guess I have always assumed that if someone went into pre-term labor you’d want to get in there and stop it as soon as possible before it progressed to a point where you could no longer stop it. Luckily that wasn’t what was happening to me. A doctor gave me an internal exam and said there is no change in my cervix length from yesterday, he did an ultrasound and found that both babies’ hearts are beating happily, they are both moving around like the little fish that they feel like, they both have plenty of amniotic fluid. I then did an NST (non-stress test), and the nurse was surprised that she was able to find both of their heartbeats so easily. I wasn’t. Since I’ve known I’m having twins I have never had a problem finding both babies’ heartbeats right away. They’re good little boys. Let’s hope that’s a sign of things to come!
Although the nurse found their heartbeats right away, they were both awake and squirming and they kept moving out of reach of the sensor and the annoying alarm went off 3 or 4 times in the 40 minutes I had the monitor on. I felt bad that the nurse had to keep running back. There was only 1 or 2 contractions that registered mildly on the NST, but it was enough to convince the doctor to send me home. Yeah!
Honestly, after we got to the hospital the contractions seemed to let up quite a bit, instead of getting stronger so I was pretty sure it was just a false alarm, but I’m glad we went. Akinori is pretty shit in these types of situations and tends to panic, which drives me nuts. When I’m in labor, I need someone to calm ME down, I don’t want to be the one doing the calming. I suppose I should be used to it by now as we are on round 3, but jeezus! Can he not get used to it too? I have my fingers crossed we won’t be back at the hospital until my next check up, and that will prove to MY doctor, who will obviously find out I’ve been to the hospital, that I still don’t need to be hospitalized. I’m still holding out for a natural birth sometime around 36 – 37 weeks. We can do this babies!