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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Denial, Coping Mechanism, or just plain Clueless?

I just got back from Applebees where a group of twin (or more!) moms get together every month. It's not something organized by a leader or larger organization, but of all the different "groups" I've tried out lately I think it's the one I enjoy the most. All of the women there have already had their multiples. They actually formed as a branch of one of the other "Moms of Multiples" groups in the area, but I don't feel weird or left out because my babies are still waiting to arrive. It's nice to just sit and listen, tucking away tips for later, but the girls are also great about asking me how my pregnancy is going and all the "good" questions/comments that only people who have gone through the same experience can bring up.
However as I drove home tonight I realized that tonight, and in the last few days, I've answered about a thousand different variations of the question "how are you feeling about the fact that in 6 days or less you will be a twin mom?" and that I really have no idea what I've said or what the real answer is.
I'm not particularly scared at the moment, or nervous. I'm excited for sure, and maybe just...apprehensively optimistic? To even begin to answer this question I have to start with the fact that I'm scheduled for an induction but honestly feel like a ticking time bomb; I'm fully aware that just because we have a date does not inhibit the babies from coming sooner. So I fill my days with fairly mundane tasks that I know I won't have time to do later even though there is also a sense of urgency- should we wait until Friday to make that trip to the grocery store when we will stock up on all the last minute stuff we think we'll want to have around?
And then there's delivery. There are always unknowns, obviously, but since these are my first AND there are two babies, the unknowns are kind of compounded. Will both babies remain head down? Will Baby B have some sort of distress from Baby A's delivery that causes an emergency C-Section? Will induction go fast or slow for me? Will it be hours between the twins' births? Will they be 100% healthy or are there unforseen problems?
Next we move on to after the fact. Everyone wants to know how I'm going to tackle this or that obstacle. Then a lot of them smile and say "you say that now, just wait! You'll eat your words." Which is probably very true, but then why ask what I'm going to do? I frankly don't have a clue what feeding or sleeping times will look like, I haven't scheduled help for the first month(s) like so many people have suggested because I just have no idea when I'll want help or what our particular struggles will be (ps. I know we'll want food and dog-walkers:), what was a nightmare for one person might not be the thing we struggle with and vice versa.
Then there's my husband, who is so pleasantly oblivious I just have to giggle. Just now he sent me a text saying: "We're having our babies on Sunday, right?" And a few days ago he momentarily forgot the girl name we settled on (which he basically picked out himself by the way), and also the boy's middle name. He's hardly touched the book I got him when we were newly pregnant but he's "test driven" every toy we've gotten. Don't get me wrong, he has been very supportive and excited in the last few weeks and I honestly don't expect him to be clued into every detail right now, I think that would be a very unrealistic expectation for a first-time dad. But it's still pretty humorous to recognize how differently two people who are married to each other can prepare (or not prepare) for the arrival of children.
All of this is to say, as I sit here on a Tuesday night, 5 (or 6? or 2?) days before we meet our babies, I'm not sure if my lack of fear and nerves and generally unconcerned demeanor is denial, some kind of coping mechanism, or just plain cluelessness. I imagine it's a combination of all three. As bad an example as this might be it sorta reminds me of the days leading up to any other major life change I've experienced- like leaving for college or getting married. You reach a point when you know there are going to be obstacles, stumbling blocks, frustrations, mountain top moments, and probably an argument or two, but those things don't phase you like they did 3 months ago. Now it's just time. Time to get started, to figure out those things that will be hard and those that will be wonderful. Time to realize what it means to be a mom and a parent with your spouse.
There are two things I know for sure tonight, September 28th, 2010- it's time to get going, and no matter what our struggles, it's going to be great :)


tim and nancy said...

Max...you are wonderful...and I am so proud of you. You, and Andy, are going to be great parents. God bless you sweetheart.

Bradi said...

"Blissfully Ignorant" is my favorite descriptive catch-phrase for where you're at. And I ditto Dad's comment. You guys are gonna be great parents-you already are in some ways- and as you said you have no idea what to expect, but you'll figure it out as EVERY PARENT DOES whether you're having one or six kids all at once. It will be your normal, your reality, and you'll handle it JUST FINE and it will be both scary and funny all at once sometimes and you'll make lots of mistakes but you'll do lots of things really great too. I CAN'T WAIT until Monday morning when I get to see you guys go from 'blissfully ignorant' to blissfully happy. It's gonna be great. :)

Jennifer said...

As I have helped close to 100 couples prepare to become parents through the classes I teach, I can say that all the feelings you are feeling are normal (I even have one couple at the hospital in labor right now!) We all get together after the babies are born and every time, I am always amazed to see how the dynamics of the couple whom I had gotten to know over a period of six weeks so easily changes to embrace a baby (or babies in the case of the one set of twins I had in class). Even the moms who I really wonder about prior to the baby, make it seem easy when I see them after. Of course I'm not silly enough to actually think that it is a breeze all the time as I have been there, done that a few times myself, but I guess that I wanted to say that no matter what your individual challenges will be, it is amazing to see how these challenges just become something that the moms incorporate into who they are and I'm sure you'll be just the same. Everybody finds their own way of doing things so that it works for them and you are totally corrrect in recognizing that what works for one person, may not work for you. In a matter of weeks, you'll be saying you can't even remember what it was like before the babies were born - and wouldn't want to either. Yes, your life will change in ways that make you cry tears of joy and tears of sadness and frustration (those hormones changing in the weeks following birth can make us a little crazy) but it is an incredible journey that will forever change you both for the better. Can't wait to hear...good luck and remember as many moments as you can...they all go so fast.