Yesterday I met someone who looked like I did 3 years ago, she was heavily pregnant with twins. Truth be told I think I looked more weeble like than she did but perhaps that’s because I had been looking down on my gigantic watermelon stomach. I spent the rest of the day remembering the pregnancy and the birth and trying desperately to figure out where the time has gone. In another month my babies will be 3. Old enough to indignantly tell me ‘we are not babies.’
The girl I met yesterday has a child already who is 1 year and 2 months old, her twins are due any day. That my friends is one hell of a short age gap. At 2 years and 2 months between our eldest and the twins we felt like we had 3 ‘babies’ in the first year. She really will feel the strain; 3 bottles, 3 sets of nappies, 3 special chairs, 3 cots, 3 seater pram, 3 baby car seats. Wow. I tried really hard not to look too horrified when she told me and gave her some ‘helpful’ tips (ignore the babies if they’re not crying or let someone else look after them unless they are attached to your boob). I then scuttled away and breathed a sigh of relief that the waking 12 times in the night, sorry, not sleeping during the night, the triple nappy changes, the trebled crying days, are over (except the last one on occasion).
At 30 weeks into my pregnancy I was the size of a house, it was summer and as you know from the last post; hot, sweaty Israel in July does not a comfortable place make, least of all when you are carrying 15 kilos in your stomach. My diaphragm was so crushed I had difficulty breathing so I whiled away the hours watching endless crap TV (BBC’s Coast to Coast for some reason became a particular favourite), reading books and readjusting position on numerous chairs to find somewhere comfortable that I could a) breathe and b) not topple over. I walked with a stick, not because there was anything wrong with my legs but I was in danger of the weight pulling me forward and losing balance. Anything done standing up (washing up, cooking, teeth cleaning) was done leaning on my forearms. My solace was the swimming pool.
Luckily our local pool is across the road and I would frighten children and adults by sporting a bikini (no costume would stretch that much) and lowering my blue-veined gargantuan stomach into the cool water and letting the weightlessness take over. “What’s that Daddy” I would hear as children pointed at me non too elegantly perched on the edge of the pool. I didn’t care, blessed relief and once I was in the water no-one was any the wiser. On visiting a friend’s pool I made everyone turn away when I got in and out but my friend cheated and her word’s to her husband will follow me to the grave, ‘ oh my god, its gigantic, you have to see’, and his facial expression when he made the mistake of doing what she said.
After 8 weeks of being housebound I was fit to explode, mentally and physically. I rarely left the house – no maternity clothes would fit me and I took to wearing mens xxl t-shirts and shorts (not a good look) and so at week 36 with number 1 son staying at his grandparents I decided to clear some boxes, big mistake, then I went to Ikea, bigger mistake, then I made husband go back to Ikea with me to buy and load up my purchases, really big mistake. This last trip I did without the aid of my stick and promptly tripped over a paving slab – luckily husband was there to catch me. This organising I believe is called nesting in the baby books, in my book it’s called being just plain stupid. That night with husband baking overnight at work, my waters broke. Alone and cursing myself for bringing on labour – I was determined to make it to 38 weeks – I calmly called husband and told him to get the hell back asap.
That night I lost 11 kilos and gained my 2 babies. Most of the rest of that year, and the year after if I am honest, is a bit of a blur. Now we are almost nappy, bottle and pram free it all seems like a distant memory. Only the skin that was stretched beyond repair on my stomach remains as my body’s evidence of the amazing job it did to change and adapt to the needs of a twin pregnancy.
So good luck to the girl I met the other day and well done for making it so far, congrats to all the other twin mums out there and those in the middle of the discomfort, indigestion and continual eating that carrying 2 people around in your stomach brings. Sorry, but in my experience that skin will never go back, no matter how flat your stomach becomes - Angelina Jolie and J Lo, did you get it cut off? Twin skin, a badge of honour. Happy upcoming birthday to my babies, you will always be ‘the babies’ at 3 or 53, sorry.