Wednesday, March 9, 2011

11 Weeks



I'm eleven weeks pregnant today. Nothing scary has happened for so long that this is starting to feel normal. I think I'm even taking it for granted a bit - that I'm pregnant and we're having two babies. But I don't see that as necessarily a bad thing. It just means that success is becoming normal again. That's the way it should be.

I forgot to mention last week that I finally stopped the meds. Since we were going on that weekend trip to Williamsburg, Adam and I decided to end the progesterone injections and the estrogen pills that Friday. My nurse at the infertility clinic told me to expect some light spotting, which I dreaded, but it never happened. I also didn't notice any immediate change in my pregnancy symptoms. What is strange, though, is that as soon as we stopped the twice-a-day, pain-in-the-literal-ass injections, I completely forgot about them. I didn't revel in the fact that we no longer had to do them - the whole thing just disappeared from my mind. A couple of days ago I threw out all of the old meds and needles and that had more of an impact on me than the actual stopping. It was such a relief to have my bathroom counter back and to throw that stuff away, thinking that I'll never need it again.

I keep thinking that my fatigue is easing up a bit, but then I keep being wrong. I guess what is happening is that I'm having a good day here and there, so that's progress. I still spend more than twelve hours a day in bed, though. I'm glad American Idol and Survivor have started up again so I can break up my reading with a different lazy activity.

I'm starting on my quest to understand what I'm going to need to do to prepare for the twins. I've signed up for a newsletter and I found an on-line magazine. I plan to join my local chapter of Mothers of Multiples, but I have to wait until twelve weeks for that. That group is holding a big consignment sale a week from Saturday. I want to go, but I still have no idea what I'll need. I might just go to browse and mingle.

I did buy two maternity t-shirts. I haven't even broken out my old maternity clothes yet, but I really wanted to buy something new, and it felt great. I don't want to wear anything else but my two t-shirts. Why do I love maternity clothes so much?

I've been thinking more about what to do about Sammy's schooling. My original plan was to homeschool her after Montessori primary, which would begin in June 2012. But when I found out we were having twins who will be nine months old at that time, I realized that I was in some deep doo doo.

My first instinct was to keep her in Montessori for first through third grades. That's not a bad option, but it is expensive, and I was really looking forward to starting homeschooling, so it's a bit of a let down. Now, I'm thinking that maybe I shouldn't rule out homeschooling right away after all. If we don't accomplish all that much the first year, it wouldn't be the end of the world. I don't feel any kind of time-pressure to complete Sam's schooling. In fact, I've always imagined that we're going to run out of pre-college material long before she is 18, and that she'll be taking classes at a community college and/or doing other things in those teenage years. So that's not the big issue. The big issues are that I don't want her to be bored and I don't want her to be isolated. I've always planned on doing actual school at home for just a few hours a day and then doing a lot of activities (academic or otherwise) with other kids after that. Will I be able to get her out of the house when I have two toddlers to schlep around with us? And I don't want her mind to stagnate. I don't think it will hurt her to get a half-year or even a year behind where she might have been in regular school, but I do think it will hurt her if she is not challenged for a long period of time.

A couple of people have gently suggested public school to me, but that is not on the table. In regard to my children's education, I follow the doctor's principle: "First, do no harm." Considering the state of our educational system, I think that maxim applies here even more than in medicine. I mean, if I had to work, or if something else made it impossible to do anything except send her to public school, I'd do it, but it would be my last resort.

So, that part is not really a report on my pregnancy, but that's the kind of thing my pregnancy is making me think about. I've actually been quite stressed for the past week or so. I can't sleep at night, and my mystery pain has not-so-mysteriously returned a little bit. I notice that I constantly have my hands and feet clenched, and I have to consciously relax them throughout the day. Adam and I had to make a major life-decision last week. He was offered a job in Williamsburg, Virginia, and we seriously considered moving. In the end, we decided to stay here, but it was a close call, and the whole process was intense. That kicked my stress into high gear, and I'm having to work really hard to get out of the cycle, since there are so many other new things to think about lately, and I have so little energy to address them.

But I do notice that I am much more self-aware about stress than I was even a year ago. This level of stress is what I used to live with all the time. Now, I have skills to fight it, and I'm using them, and they are working. That's a good thing, because my whole life is only going to get more intense, more chaotic, and more busy from now on. And damn if I don't see that as a challenge and an opportunity, instead of a burden that comes along with my values. This is what life is all about. This is the way it should be. This is normal.


  1. I think you can plan to go ahead with the homeschooling, at least to see how it goes. I don't have twins, so I totally could be wrong, though! When my youngest was born, I had a 2 1/2 year old and a 6 year old. The 6 year old was already reading lots, so I just picked out one "school-y" thing that I would get done each day (we didn't actually do it every day, and it never took more than 20-30 min, often not all at once). We would talk about science & math when they came up (my strengths), and of course we'd still read stuff together when I could manage. But mostly I tended to the baby, probably for about a year!

    As for interaction with other kids - have you considered hosting a weekly something-or-other? I did this with a single infant (again - twins could change everything!). During the time when it was hard to get out to do things, I hosted a "Science & Play" group at my house - moms and kids came over (moms stayed), the kids played for 2 hours, the moms chatted, and I'd do a little science-y demo for the kids and we'd talk about it. The "Science" was 10 minutes or so, and required very little prep. I'd wear the baby in a carrier, or he'd be in a swing or bouncer. I always found it easier to have people over than to get out of the house.

    I'm glad the stress of last week is behind you, and I hope that the research about twins you're starting helps alleviate the stress of the unknown so you can enjoy the ride!

  2. Thanks, Stephanie. Yes, it's really hard to try to get a grasp on how different it will be with twins. I didn't do well with one infant. Multitasking is not my strong point, and I'm not a high-energy person. But, as someone else reminded me, the co-op stuff might save me. That is part of what I'm going to research in the next few months. Thanks for your input!

  3. If you do decide to homeschool her, perhaps you could hire a part-time tutor to help out if you get too busy with the twins. Help make sure she gets the schooling she needs, without the expense of montessori or the horrors of public school.

  4. ...or maybe some part-time help with the twins so you can give some undivided attention to teaching? That's got to be cheaper than Montessori, right?

  5. Hah, true. I was focusing on the teaching part of the problem, and forgot that it had two sides :-)

  6. If you live relatively close to the university, you could hire someone to do what I did in college, which is work a couple of hours a day as a "nanny" to take care of the twins while you educate Sam and maybe take her out. I used to get paid pretty basic wages to do just that.

  7. I swear, until these comments, the idea of a nanny or mommy's helper just never occured to me. I have it in my head that I can't afford even a part time nanny, and yet as Amy says, that would cost a hell of a lot less than Montessori elementary! Duh! Must be pregnancy brain. I'm definitely back to planning to homeschool now. Thanks, everyone!

  8. [...] to hire a mommy’s helper for a few hours a day and give it a shot. Thanks for all the helpful comments!) This won’t start until June 2012, but I’m so excited about it that I have to start [...]