Wow. What a difference a week makes. This is my official seven week photo. I feel completely different from week six. I am exhausted. The sort of exhausted you feel after you’ve done something amazing, like climbed Mount Everest. Except, I haven’t climbed anything. But I am doing something miraculous — every second of every day — I am growing two babies. I try to remember that as I feel guilty for missing yoga and lying in bed as my body, after 60+ Days On the Mat, feels as if it is turning to mush.
When I found out I was pregnant, I had all of these grand ideas that I might write three or four times a week and go to yoga three or four times a week and suddenly, last Thursday, it all came to a grinding halt. I left Ellen’s yoga class barely able to keep my eyes open. Hunger alluded me. Boomer and I took to the bed. I ate ginger cat cookies from Trader Joe’s with a Vernor’s ginger ale chaser. The nausea was never-ending. My morning sickness was all day long sickness.
On Thursday night I drove around aimlessly in search of something that sounded good. My dreams of the perfect uber-healthy pregnancy diet came crashing down around me as I realized the only thing I could stomach was waffle fries from Chick-Fil-A. What!?! I know. It was all I could get down. I even bought a chicken sandwich, two bites were all I could do.
By Friday night the only thing I could mutter was, chicken pot pie. I really wanted dumplings, but I was too nauseous to cook, so pot pie was the next best thing. There were no other options on my menu. I had to have homey-starchy-creamy-chickeny dish. Full of calories. I texted Jonathan at the gym — Please get me a chicken pot pie. My loving husband drove to Northridge and picked it up for me at Marie Callender’s. I ate the entire chicken pot pie. A large one. I devoured it as if I had never seen food. If I were a dog I would have licked it, but held back.
Within minutes of finishing this glorious meal, the nausea was back with a vengeance.
By Saturday, I had discovered Preggie Pops, which appear to be very expensive sour sucking candy. I had a smoothie. I went to the mall. Something happened while I was at the mall. That moment I swore I would never have after all I have been through to feel all of these glorious pregnancy symptoms.
I went into Gap Maternity and determined within minutes, despite the snugness around my middle, I was not quite there yet. Right outside the store there was a merry-go-round and a big play area for kids. As I walked through I smiled at all of the cute little children. Screaming. At the top of their lungs. Over and over again. Screaming. For no apparent reason. I sat there watching them play; waiting for Jonathan. I finally heard one scream too many, and while sipping my uber-healthy papaya-kale smoothie I became paralyzed with fear. Time stopped. I watched all the screaming little children in slow motion and thought, “Oh, God, what have I done?” My adult life as I have known it was coming to an end at a rapid pace. The days when I could pack up and go anywhere would soon be over. The peace and quiet would be gone. I was having two. Two. Two at the same time!?!
As these thoughts are swarming my brain, I stare at the germ-infested play area and imagine myself walking around bathing everything in hand sanitizer from now until the end of time. After seeing one too many snotty nosed kids wipe their runny nose on the play rocks; I started calling the play area, Germ Kingdom. Laughing to myself, I turn my head to the right and I see them. The twins. The most adorable boy-girl twins holding hands as they stepped down into the play area. The little boy looks at his sister as she clings to him; she clearly did not want to climb. His mother encouraged him to do it anyway. “Let go of Sissy’s hand,” she said. He looked at her with a very stern face and said, “No Mommy! Not without Sissy!” Instead they sat on a smaller rock together and ate goldfish. Their little orange-dusted hands covered in all kinds of germs. My heart began to melt, despite the nausea and the fact that I am feeling fluffy and exhausted. I thought to myself, maybe our twins will be the quiet ones sitting on the germ-y rock sharing goldfish?
Over the weekend I read this blog written by a mother with twins. It was all very insightful, but one of the things that struck me the most was how connected her twins were — even in their cribs. When one of her twins (Tuck) had to leave the room to get a breathing treatment at night, her other twin (Finn) would cry and cry. He wanted to know where his brother was. It took them awhile to figure it out, but when they realized it, Finn’s crying fits stopped. He needed to know where his brother was. It was that simple.
I thought about Mawmaw and her twin sister, my great-aunt Lucille. They were very close growing up. Dressed alike. Worked at the same place. They did everything together, but then they grew-up. Life happened. I wonder if they always felt connected despite distance, or does it fade? I hope our twins are close. I never had that experience, and honestly I know lots of people who have brothers and sisters who are not that close to them, but the ones that are close — I think it is a pretty special relationship.
If you have brothers and sisters, you’ll always have an experience of knowing people who knew you before you were fully formed. They knew you while you were a kid trying to figure yourself out. If they were younger than you, maybe they worshipped you, if they were older, maybe they wanted to kill you. Either way, they knew you. You have an experience with siblings (for better or for worse) that you can never have with anyone else. I never had that and I always wanted it, so I hope they’re close. Always close.
After eating very little throughout the day, I suddenly got hit with an overwhelming desire to eat the rest of my enchiladas from dinner last night. When the hunger hits, I feel almost inhuman. I cannot shovel it in fast enough. I am shoveling right now between sentences. I am wishing they were Uncle Julio’s or Joe T. Garcia’s — but grateful to have any enchilada at all.
The dumplings are growing and despite my momentary bout of fear — while surrounded by screaming children in a mall — I love every second of all that I am experiencing. I just hope that the nausea stops long enough for me to get the house ready for the dumplings. For someone who once professed to be a news and political junkie, I am currently oblivious. I have no idea about sequesters or budgets or who is doing what to whom. And you know what? I don’t care. I really just don’t care. They’ll have to figure it all out without any anxiety about the state of the world from me. I’m way too busy looking at baby beds. And car seats. And fabric. Lots of fabric.