Pregnancy & Newborn

Note: I originally drafted this post on May 1, 2013. I was 35.5 weeks pregnant. Five days later, I gave birth to my boy/girl twins.

beached whale pm

This is the part of the pregnancy I feared and dreaded the most. This is the part I Googled when I first found out I was pregnant with twins, horrified by the belly’s ability to stretch both outward and down. The back discomfort I expected to have. The abyss of my dark bedroom.

But that’s the funny thing about letting your fears run ahead of yourself.

Sometimes the reality is not as bad as you expected. How much time did I waste, how much anxiety did I ride out in anticipation of what is now my now?

Here’s what I never expected about the late third trimester of my twin pregnancy:

All the ailments aren’t half as bad when you know the end is so close.

Or maybe it’s:

The ailments are so bad that I no longer expect anything from myself. This means I can finally accept a friend’s offer to stop by, and sit with her on the front porch for two hours just talking and sipping lemony water. And then go back to bed.

I am blessed to have people helping me — our au pair and my mother who is here to stay for 2 months — and I am accepting that help. Doing  laundry, picking up objects from the floor, and grocery shopping are among the things I can no longer do (at least without great discomfort). and I’m crazy lucky to have an amazing support system at home.

Don’t get me wrong–it’s not pretty

My ribs have a permanent jack knife stuck in them, which from the ultrasounds appears to be my daughter’s foot.

Getting from my bedroom to the kitchen downstairs is an extreme sport. Heck, rolling over in bed is an extreme sport.

My walk resembles Frankenstein, with Darth Vader’s breath.

My feet are stumps burdened with carrying a weight far too heavy.

I am hungry, always.

I spend most of my waking hours obsessing about when I’ll go into labor.

(And feeling guilty about not spending time with my boys.)

I poll everyone who comes around, peering into their eyes to look for signs of someone who knows.

baby birthday guesses

Every time I get up to go to the bathroom (1,000 times a day), I’m convinced my water will break. I mean, with all this weight, how could it not?

My favorite past time has become reading other people’s labor stories searching for hints of my own.
My Google search history is crammed with versions of the search, “earliest signs of labor.”

I’ve tried convincing my ob that the babies would be better off living outside me at this point. But they just check my blood pressure, say everything looks good, and send me on my way.

I’ve made no less than four trips to Labor & Delivery only to be sent home.

Except for that one night last week when Ian and I got to spend the night in a deluxe suite. I kept thinking we should really whoop it up.

Unfortunately I was connected to monitors the entire time and didn’t get more than 15 minutes of sleep. Trying to get to the bathroom (all 500 times) with all those cables was a ridiculous production as my (sweet) husband snored away on the pull out bed/chair.

Normally this gift of time would be a dream come true.

But even watching a movie seems too taxing on my brain.

So I sit and start into space and try to spend time with my boys and wait. And wait. And wait.

spending time with my boys

(He’s ready for this whole debacle to be over, too.)


There’s nothing like parties, spring flowers and chocolate to keep a girl’s mind off her misery.

Not long after posting my early third trimester sob story, I was the recipient of not one but two beautiful baby parties.

The first was a complete surprise! It was the second surprise party of my life — the last one was for my 26th? 27th? 28th? birthday — both of which were arranged by my amazing husband.

surprise party for b twins

Why yes, that is me pouring a fine glass of red wine.

I kept wondering why the host at Harper’s was walking us toward the back room. “It’s not like we have kids with us,” I thought. But as we rounded the corner, there it was — a whole party! I later learned, Ian dubbed this “Britta’s OMFG I’m having twins” party. Here’s what Nina had to say about the prevalence of eggs that night.

I loved looking around the table and seeing the beautiful faces of my friends smiling at me. I loved that Shane made a rule that if anyone clinked glasses, he had to kiss my belly. I also loved that he was drinking Gansett, which gave me hope that summer will at some point come and we’ll be boozing on the Cape, just like always.

And I loved my husband for bringing all of us together that evening just to put a smile on my face.

Later that week, my sweet friend Monica threw me a baby “sprinkle”

monica and b

Seeing as this is my third time around the block, I didn’t feel right accepting her offer to throw me a baby shower. Especially since the people we’d invite have already given me carloads of gorgeous hand me downs for these bambinos. So instead we had a “sprinkle” — a lovely weekday lunch gathering masquerading as a non-shower. Look how pretty!


Monica filled us up with spinach pie and a delicious Greek pasta salad, among other delights which we ate on the back porch overlooking the Hudson River.

Chocolate ganache cupcakes from Sara Bakes Cakes

For dessert, Sheri brought pumpkin whoopie pies and cookies, and I’m pretty sure Sara sprinkled more than fairy dust on her “pink power chocolate ganache cupcakes.


The best part was they sent me home with a week’s worth of sweets, which kept the party buzz going and my mind off my third trimester twin pregnancy woes.

daffodils on porch circle

Daffodils found on my front porch later that week (thanks Patty!)

Thank you, dear friends, for the sunshine.

(Stay tuned next time when we’ll be right back to our regular complaining sessions.)

This. is. brutal.

My four year old's portrait of me

I’m rounding the corner on week 32. For the past few weeks, the hamster wheel of my brain keeps asking, “How much longer? How much longer? How much longer?”

Weeks do not go by quickly when counted every time one sits down to pee.

On an unusually cheerful morning this week, I decided I needed a project. The kind of thing I could start doing and look up five hours later. (Other than stalking other twin moms on Facebook groups and pinning motivational posters on Pinterest.) Something I could do in a semi-reclined position that didn’t involve client expectations should I, I don’t know, fall asleep or something. Something that would give me a sense of satisfaction when completed, but that didn’t feel like busy work (like allll those photos that really should be uploaded and backed up….).

So you’re looking at it — my new blog design!

Unfortunately it only took me two days. But there are plenty of little tweaks to keep me busy. Being able to drop in snippets of CSS, hit “refresh”, and see the results right there on the screen bring me joy like no other. It’s so empowering! I can copy and paste CSS! Hear me roar!


Meanwhile, people keep asking, “Is a twin pregnancy really that different from a ‘normal’ one?”

I think I’ve handled those questions with dignity.

But part of me just wants to yell, “Have you taken a look at me??? I can’t sit with my legs put together! Have I not told you about the knife in my ribcage? Did we not talk about my ruptured eardrum from all the acid reflux coughing? Would you like to know how many times I’ve been to the triage room at Labor & Delivery thanks to extreme cramping?”


The truth is, most nights end in tears.

My stomach feels like it is bruised from the inside and on fire from the outside. Rolling over in bed is excruciating thanks to my upper ribs, which feel like they are being pried open with a metal instrument. Because of them, I can no longer do simple things like lift a chicken out of the oven. I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t go to Target or Whole Foods alone anymore.

The motto around here seems to be, “Mommy doesn’t feel well.”

Which just makes me feel so much worse. My boys are keeping busy thanks to their amazing babysitter, but I can’t help feeling guilty that we’re not spending these last pre-twin weeks going on fun adventures, doing cool projects, and soaking up our time together as a family of four.

At 30 weeks I weighed the same as I did the mornings I gave birth to my two sons (which makes sense I have about 7 pounds of baby in me). And the ultrasound tech informed me that from here on out, the twins should gain about 1/2 a pound a week. Each.

I’ve stopped weighing myself.

My body seems to be stronger than my mind.

The doctors’ only job is to make sure the twins are healthy, which means they have no interest in my long list of complaints. “Everything looks great!” they say, and I hobble home.

I know this is temporary. I know this is a blessing, even though I never in a million years imagined myself as a mother of four.

I know that soon, I’ll look at singleton babies and wonder where the other one is.

So I’ll carry on, and try to stop complaining.

I’ll snuggle my two boys as much as I can, and hope that that’s enough for now.

three bellies

I’ll try to look past the piles of dirty laundry, the crushed crackers on the kitchen floor. And I’ll try to stop counting.