Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Breaking Radio Silence ;-)

Hello, blog! Long time no see?  Or rather... long time no "publish"?  In the last couple of months, I have sat down to write several times - specifically about being pregnant with twins and what this experience has been like - but each time I did I came up short; unable to adequately communicate what carrying two children in my belly has been like. Now, though, I'm exactly 34 weeks pregnant with my two little ladies and the reality of their arrival is in the "could literally happen at any moment" category.  So it's time to write while it's still relevant. ;-)

Speaking of pregnancy relevance, we haven't done any kind of maternity photo shoot for this pregnancy nor did we do one for my pregnancy with Piper.  I, of course, take the occasional bump picture for my own documentation, but I've just never been too excited about formal "belly" pictures. Piper's birth confirmed this for me all the more.  Once she was here, I didn't care to look at pictures of me with a swollen middle.  The magic and beauty of pregnancy was irrelevant compared to the magic and beauty of my little girl.  I've revisited a few of my personal belly pictures from my pregnancy with Piper, but only to marvel and wonder at the fact that all that time, it was Piper in there.  Anyway, to each their own, of course, but that's why you'll never see a formal (paid for) maternity picture on my social media or in my home.


This pregnancy has been tough.  Much tougher than my pregnancy with Piper.  From the very beginning, everything that I experienced with Piper came harder, faster, more intense, and earlier.  In my first trimester, I was more nauseous (though I never threw up!! Hallelujah!), more tired, and HUNGRIER.  Oh my gosh was I hungry!  It was one of the small signs that I took note of early on that lead me to suspect there might be more than one baby in my belly.  I just... ate. so. much.  The second trimester felt nonexistent.  During my first pregnancy, I often referred to the second trimester as the "golden days".  I felt great, slept great, had a cute growing bump, and generally enjoyed every aspect of pregnancy.  This time, however, I think I had about two or three weeks of "golden days" and then jumped straight to the third trimester.... which has been not-so-awesome.  The third trimester with Piper and my 'extended third trimester' as I like to call it with the twins has been full of insomnia, fatigue, restless leg syndrome, stretch marks, and general misery by the end of the day.  I will never forget the day I actually entered the official third trimester of my twin pregnancy; week 28.  I nearly cried, realizing that it was only at that moment that I was actually entering the last third of my pregnancy... when I had been experiencing the symptoms of it for so long.  It was a dreadful day.  I couldn't help but think about how uncomfortable I had been all along, and that I still and so far to go... with no improvement in sight.  Anyhow, twin pregnancies generally don't go full term, so I have had that to look forward to and hope for, but looking ahead at 12 more weeks of added misery on top of that which was already being experienced was daunting, to say the least.

Now I suppose I should clarify about my "misery".  Thankfully, it comes and goes in waves.  My body seems to be doing an absolutely incredible job of adjusting to the demands of two babies relying on me for everything.  There are days when my body aches; when I wake up in the middle of the night and can't sleep because of it.  Usually those days are tough, but they are (at this point) immediately followed by several decent days.  My body experiences the pain, and then somehow adjusts to a new level of discomfort.  So each week, I seem to reach a new plateau of what I can handle.  Now, my body isn't just doing this miraculously on its own.  My mind is also playing a significant role in this process.  I am constantly having to evaluate what I can handle and when I can handle it.  I've had to learn to say "no" to invitations for play dates or times with friends.  I've and to learn to accept that the tv, while raising a toddler, can actually be my friend at times and that I'm not a bad mother if I have to lay down while she watches some Thomas the Train.  I am learning to ask for more help and to rely on my husband more heavily.  I haven't been grocery shopping in weeks because walking all over Meijer and then loading groceries and then unloading groceries sounds like hell on earth so I let Josh do that.  I suppose this is all very good practice for once the twins get here as I will need to establish even more boundaries and I will need to be even more ok with asking for help.

Emotionally this pregnancy has been a lot more draining as well.  In fact, at this point, I am generally sort of tired of talking about it.  Almost daily I have this conversation with a stranger:


Them: "When are you due?!"
Me: "Well, I'm technically due August 19 but I'm actually expecting twins so they will probably be here by the end of the month."

(Now, here is where the conversation forks into either Reaction A or Reaction B)

Reaction A:

Them: "Twins?! Wow! ::Looks at Piper:: Oh WOW. You are going to have your hands fullllll...."
Me: "Yes of course, but my heart will be full too!"
Them: ::Attempting to recover from their discouraging comment about how busy I will be:: "Oh yes, yes of course!"

Reaction B:

Them: "Twins?! Wow! Do you know if they're boys or girls?"
Me: "Girls"
Them: "Oh gosh. YOUR POOR HUSBAND. What does he think of all of this?"
Me: "Actually, he's thrilled.  The way I see it, he is building a permanent fan club. He is such a good daddy that these girls are going to be so in love with him!  I'm the one who will have to work hard to make sure I have a great relationship with them!"
Them: ::Attempting to recover from their discouraging and rather sexist comment about having three girls:: "Oh yes, yes of course!".

It just gets exhausting, you guys.  and if you think that people tell you horror stories about singleton pregnancies, just hang out with a twin momma for a little while and BUCKLE UP. 

"Oh my friend was on bed rest for SIX MONTHS during her pregnancy with twins."
"My cousin's abs tore apart and never went back together."
"Well, just prepare yourself for their time in the NICU. They will probably have to go there."

Again, it's exhausting to hear these things all the dang time.

Rarely, someone will prove the masses wrong and have a perfectly delightful and appropriately encouraging response.  I cherish these moments in my heart and I seriously don't think I'll ever forget them.  There was one couple I ran into at a recent concert in our little town that blessed me so completely that I nearly cried.  After asking about my pregnancy and learning that I was expecting twins, they followed up with, 

"Wow. That is so amazing. How fun! You are going to have so much fun! and you know what, we can tell that you're already a great mom.  Look at how well you're doing with your daughter! You are going to have such a blast. Wow. We won't even say 'good luck' because you don't need it. You're going to do great."

I don't know who that couple was, but they left such an impression on me!  and their words of affirmation were so timely, so needed.  They felt like angels sent from above to whisper truths to my weary, tired heart.

So, I suppose this is as much of a pregnancy update as I need... for myself and for whoever else might care to read this.  I must say how deeply thankful I am to have had a rather uneventful pregnancy.  The girls are both doing great and so am I.  They are big and healthy and so am I.  Twin pregnancies are often considered high risk and I have had no reason to consider myself in this category.  What a blessing!  I realize this and try to temper my complaints with the honest truth that I truly am so thankful for the relative ease with which I have carried two babies.  

The truth is that I am constantly living with such misery and such unspeakable joy that I don't know how to handle them both in my body at the same time.  It's hard to find the words to express how it really is to be pregnant with twins; to wrestle with such a level of personal discomfort all while knowing an incredible miracle is the cause of it.  Needless to say, I am so thankful to be 34 weeks pregnant and almost done.  I am truly so eager to look into the eyes of second and third daughter and welcome them to the world with all of the love they deserve!

Me at 32 weeks!


  1. You are doing such a good job Leslie! You are an amazing momma and doing such a great job of growing your girls big and strong. Keep up the good work, can't wait to hear about how they are doing once they make their appearance. A healthy twin pregnancy is such a blessing, and you are doing so right by it!

  2. Loved reading the update, Les!

    "And my heart if full also!" is my favorite comeback when others comment about my kiddos' ages! So true! The McCracken family's heart is so full of love and grace! I'm so excited that two more lil princesses get to experience life with you and Josh as their parents!

  3. Been praying for you! Thank you, as always, for your vulnerability. Praying for peace and patience over the next several weeks until your precious girls are here.

  4. So exciting!! Hang in there with the discomfort...they'll be in your arms soon and it will be so worth it. Blessings! Oh, and you look great!