The Kindness of Others

We have our share of worries (mostly financial / job / logistics related), but if we were to focus on the honest truth, it is this: we have everything we need and more. Maybe we don’t have it all figured out, but the amount of love here is astounding, and not just between me and Kai.

It’s coming at us from all directions. We are lucky to have families who want to help us out…but it’s not just those closest to us who have shown us kindness. A neighbor we barely know brought us a load of baby blankets and gear. An ex-neighbor dropped by with a card and new outfits for the twins. People from our hometowns have sent us money and furniture and so much more. An employer gave me some maternity clothes. My girlfriends who’ve had babies have sent clothes and useful items. The whole world is supporting us, it seems.

We’ve spent so much time reflecting, researching, soul-searching, trying to make more solid plans for what our lives will look like in a few months. Kai is trying to go back to school, I’m trying to find a work-from-home job, we’re educating ourselves as much as possible on child-rearing and twin-wrangling, looking to more spacious living arrangements in beach-radius. And, realizing it’s going to be very difficult at times, we are also determined to make this new existence a reality without losing sight of our goals: to raise conscious, thoughtful, proactive, loving kids who know how to love life, and to be conscious, thoughtful, proactive, loving adults who do the same.

And it seems, based on what I’ve seen lately, that the Universe would support that.

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Glowing? and Other Body Issues

I must have been glowing today, or else people feel sorry for me because my belly is huge. But I think I was glowing, because I was wearing a tank top and Venice Beach souvenir sweatpants, with no makeup and my hair in a pile on my head. I had just done laundry and was pumping gas when a duo of twenty-something guys in the car next to me (who could only see my head above the car, and not my Rubenesque bod), kept checking me out and smiling at me. They continued to do so, the way I remember guys doing back when I was “hot,” and then as they got into their car, they said, “Have a good night,” and watched me as they drove away. I wondered if they could spot my carry-on luggage when they got the full view. Or maybe they saw it all along and just have a fetish for round women?

Strangely, though, right after they left, a car from Minnesota pulled up with a young woman, a young man, and a dog. I was almost done pumping my gas, and the woman, a cute red-haired gal, went in to grab a soda, and when she came back, she just yelled, “You’re pretty!” to me and then got into her car. I blushed and said, “Thank you!” and then her man said, “She really means that, because she only says it a couple times a year.” It was the oddest, sweetest thing, and I must say it made a heavy woman feel good.

Not that I don’t feel beautiful anymore; it’s just different. I mean, this pregnancy experience is like going through puberty in fast-forward. Every day there’s a new surprise, and I won’t lie, some of them gross me out. Every pink part of my body is now swollen and dark. I could give you more details, but it might embarrass you. I feel lucky that my face, arms, and legs still resemble their old selves, and I fear the next few months when they might also become unrecognizable.

At least my husband (who every few days is still saying, “You’re my wife!”) is still into me. In fact, he is more into me than he has been since, like, we started dating. I suppose it’s because I’m a living manifestation of his potency as a man, but he maintains that’s not it and that I’m just “beautiful.” I catch him looking at me in this proud haze, as if in disbelief that he nabbed me, and touching me as much as he can (and not just my formerly tiny boobs, which have now doubled in size!)

I’ve so far kept the stretch marks at bay by slathering sweet almond oil all over my belly every time I remember, which is at least once a day, sometimes twice. Here’s hoping it keeps working. My hair is a mane that rivals Fabio’s. People comment on it all the time. My skin is still remarkably clear, while my belly button is halfway to an outtie. My feet don’t seem swollen yet, nor do my hands. My walk is slowly becoming a bit of a waddle, and I actually have been wearing one of those elastic belts to support my heavy womb if I go on a long walk, or else I can feel them in there, stretching ligaments–it feels like a side stitch, right in the gut.

At 22 Weeks, I’m my own science experiment. I’ve been through more extreme ups and downs in the past four months than ever in my whole life (and that’s saying a lot for me). But I’m more than halfway through now, and hope I can continue to watch with interest instead of letting the abruptness of these changes scare the Venice Beach sweatpants off me.

Live Reactions to an Unplanned Pregnancy

I’m 15-and-a-half weeks pregnant now, and we’ve sent out little twin announcements to family and friends, though we haven’t told the world at large yet. (I’m planning on doing that this week, after my next ultrasound.)

My belly popped out a little this week. It’s only noticeable if I wear something tight, but I’m showing just enough to merit the “is she or isn’t she” stares, especially from people I haven’t seen in a while. So I’ve been telling the news to all the gawkers, partly because I’m excited, partly because I hate pity-looks from those who think I’ve “let myself go.” This means I’ve told all different kinds of people by word-of-mouth. And I’ve received all different kinds of reactions.

Here are the types of reactions I welcome:
-“Congratulations! You’re going to be such a great mom!” (Aw. Thank you. I am reading all the books.)
-“Do you know if they’re fraternal or identical? Do you know the genders?” (Not yet, but they’re in two separate sacs with separate placentas. Hopefully we will know the genders soon.)
-“Those are going to be some gorgeous babies.” (My fiancé is breathtakingly handsome. Thank you.)
-“When did you find out? When are you due?” (We found out about the pregnancy in December, the twins in February. We’re due in August.)
-“Is your family excited?” (So excited. My parents are going to go from having zero grandchildren to three!)
-“I’ve always wanted twins. Or to be a twin.” (I’ve never thought about that, but it does sound pretty cool.)

Here are the types of comments that are pretty irritating: 
-“Congratulations. I think. You’re keeping them, right?” (Dude, if I wasn’t keeping them, why would I be announcing this to you?)
-*Blank stare* (Well, you suck.)
-“Did you get in-vitro?” (Nope. The whole pregnancy was unplanned. But thanks for your concern about my possible infertility.)
-“Don’t even think about lifting that! Put that down!” (I’m pregnant; I’m not an invalid for God’s sake! If this thing I’m lifting was too heavy for me, trust me: I wouldn’t be lifting it.)
-“Kai must be one potent guy.” (Yes, he is. But I drop two eggs and you don’t give me any credit for potency?)
-“I thought that’s why you might have gotten engaged.” (Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence. You’re right: Kai would definitely never marry me unless he was forced to at shotgun.)
-“Get ready to never sleep again!” (Get ready for my fist in your face!)
-“Well, get ready for your stomach to be sliced open.” (Actually, 56 percent of twin moms deliver both twins vaginally.)
-“You’re going to gain so much weight!” (Yeah, and I’m going to lose it when I’m burning 1,000 calories a day breastfeeding TWINS.)