Sunday, January 28, 2007

Getting it out of the way

Yes they’re twins. One boy and one girl. No, they’re not identical. Yes, he’s bigger than she is. No, she’s older. Yes we’re lucky. Yes, we’re tired.*

Linda’s post got me thinking about the various things people ask about twins.

Of course, we always get “Are they twins?” Which is reasonable, I suppose, especially since B is so much bigger than M, though the last person to ask looked dubious as if to say “Are you sure?” Well, yes, actually. I gestated them, I got GD with them, I sat in my recliner for months with them, and I was in the room when they were sliced out of my abdomen. I did, in fact, say “You’re really going to have to trust me on this one.”

One time, we got: “Are they twins or are they two separate babies?” Um, yes? How else do you answer that?

And really often we get comments about how lucky we are (yes, we are, thanks) to have a boy and a girl. “You got it all out of the way at once.” This puzzles me. I know that boy/girl twins are the holy grail for some infertiles, and that after going through hell to get to this point, many of us feel extremely blessed to get two babies (of any gender) out of one pregnancy (or out of one round of treatment, IVF or otherwise). But the random people who make these comments aren’t coming from this world. I think they’re coming from some version of Pleasantville - where the family ideal is one boy and one girl (and maybe a dog in a cute matching doghouse).

Every time I get one of these comments, I cringe a bit. Some of it is a desire for normalcy privacy (will I ever be able to take the kids out in public without being a spectacle?). Some of it is the discomfort when our admittedly good fortune crashes up against the moments I wish I’d had my kids one at a time. Some of it is the discomfort of brushing up against my inner debate about family size. See, I’m not sure we’re done. I love my babies to pieces, and I certainly don’t want any more right now, but I can’t say yet that we’re done. I can’t get rid of the baby things, even as we outgrow them. It helps (or doesn’t help, depending) to know that we have 9 fairly good embryos just waiting on ice. To know that it’s a possibility. And I think I might want that chance. To do this again. To feel a baby inside of me. To experience the full pregnancy, to take childbirth classes and think about delivery options. To keep holding the baby I have asleep in my lap, rather than handing her off so I can nurse another. In some ways I want a do-over.

Given what we went through to get here, I don’t want take my luck for granted, but I also don’t think family building is something to get out of the way. I don’t want to belittle the experience I already had. And in some ways I feel protective of my future potential children, that I not betray them now by agreeing that our family is perfect just as it is, even though, in this moment, it is.

Does that make any sense?

* I was going to post about how we’re working on the sleep situation again, but I don’t want to jinx it, plus I don’t actually think it’s all that interesting. We’re working on it. Period.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Playgroup Adventures

I took both babies to playgroup yesterday by myself. This is a first. Usually J comes with me. Or I don’t go. But the kiddos are starting to be okay playing on the floor or whatever and not starving all the time, so I could swing it.

Everyone seemed far more impressed by this feat than I thought was warranted.

One of the other moms held her own kid plus another kid for a minute and said something to the effect of “Oh, so this is what it’s like for you!” (To be fair, I know she didn’t mean that in the way it sounds.) And then I took one of the kids so she didn’t drop him. Apparently, carrying two 5-6 month old babies takes practice.

Topics for discussion included crawling (one of the other babies is working on it), swim lessons (whether 6 months is too young and what’s the point anyway), and the big one: how many kids everyone wants and when. Yeah. I had to sit through a whole lot of “I think we’ll start trying again when he’s one” or “We want them spaced three years apart, so we have some time” or “I just can’t imagine being pregnant again yet, but my sister-in-law’s coworker’s cousin had a baby the same time and is pregnant again...”

I’m becoming a bit disillusioned by this playgroup. It’s not the first time I’ve felt like the odd one out. And the twin thing is only part of it. For the most part, my priorities and values are divergent from the group. That may be because the current group is all the moms who have not returned to work. No, that’s not it. Because there are a couple of people I think are my kind of people. But it’s big, and chaotic, and it’s hard to explain our differing views and needs and expectations.

I did comment, gently, that while I hoped things went as planned, people shouldn’t just expect that they could so carefully plan things. I suppose for some of these women, that’ll mean they get pregnant a year sooner than they’d like, but whatever.

My mom got a holiday letter from a family we’ve known since I was tiny - the older daughter and I were in a playgroup together, actually. In the letter, the parents mentioned that the daughter and her husband were planning to add to their family this year. I don’t know if I’m more bothered by the notion that they think they can plan it, or by the fact that the parents announced it in the holiday letter. Eeesh.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Project Sleep Part 2: Sleep dreams

The other night, as I lay in bed contemplating how long it would take for my left boob to explode, I tried to draft an ode to my new best friend, the cr@ni0sacral therap1st.* We took MissM to a CST - we’ll call her Dr. Fingers - that day in the hopes of working on her reflux and gas and sleep issues, and Dr. Fingers spent much of the time working on M’s suck. And making her cry a lot. And we paid a lot of money for it and we’re going back in 2 weeks. So that night I nursed them to sleep as usual around 7, and then they each got placed in their cribs around 7:30 (B in a minicrib in our room, and M in a crib in the nursery) and then at 2ish B-Boy woke up to nurse (he’d been fussing earlier - he’s learning to roll over and it seems to wake him) and then I woke M up to nurse so I didn’t explode. How amazing is that? Of course the next night we were back to her fussing as soon as we put her down and me holding her for the next hour. But I’m hoping that’s due to the lousy naps they got so I can continue to compose love letters to Dr. Fingers.

So yeah, the naps still suck. If we catch his sleep window, we can put B in his crib awake and he’ll settle himself and sleep (we’re up to 40 minutes of sleep sometimes, though still often just 30). The other day M drifted off in a bouncy chair after about an hour of being clearly sleepy. Yesterday’s first nap was fine, if still too brief, for B, and nonexistent for M. The problem, I think, is that with her health stuff it’s been a long time since she’s gone down in a crib sleepy but awake. Or fussed and then settled. And we haven’t really pushed the issue, because it generally seems like her fussing is discomfort, not just fussiness. So I’m hoping as we get the last of her physical stuff under control that we’ll be able to help her learn to sleep in her crib. (Not quite sure HOW yet, but this is the hope.)

And in other news, I think we’re starting runny mushy goo solids this weekend.

*I’m afraid my mom is going to search on this topic, so unfortunately for people looking for info on CST and babies, I’m not going to pop up in their searches (unless they know to call it CST, hrmm). In general I try to leave in the searchable key words and phrases since that’s how I found some of the most useful help when going through fertility stuff, and how I found many of the bloggers I now consider friends. But this time I can’t risk it. Which is funny, because we’re at the point where it would mostly be okay for my mom to read. But then there are the archives, and I’m just not sure I want to go there. In fact, I may already have said too much.

Monday, January 01, 2007

One two, one two three

I was all set to write some sappy post about the New Year, and about resolutions (I’m still thinking about making some, maybe) and how incredible it is to be starting a new year as a family instead of as a duo. But instead I bring you the couple in the UK who are probably thinking about all of the ways to NOT get pregnant in 2007, since 2006 brought them twins AND triplets. Apparently without any fertility drugs. I never thought I would say this about anyone (other than maybe the mythical crack-whores and fertile SILs), but I think there might be such a thing as too much fertility. Way too much.

So, um, Happy New Year. May we all have just the right amount of fertility (and general happiness) this year.

And may MissM pass her gas easily and without discomfort. Poor thing.