We're having a boy and a girl!
It's as certain as you can get while they're still inside. We saw their relevant parts over and over again during an hour-long ultrasound, as well as having seen them last week at the OB. Two doctors and one ultrasound technician all came to the same conclusion. Check it out for yourself:
I'm walking on air today!
Of course, this is what we had hoped for, but even if we were having two girls or two boys, it's awesome just knowing. It makes all the difference in the world to me to know their sexes. They have identities now. No more Thing 1 and Thing 2, and we can even dispense with Baby A and Baby B. There is the boy (formerly known as Thing 1 or Baby A), who is lower down, and in a head-down position right now:
And there is the girl (formerly known as Thing 2 or Baby B), who is up higher on the left, and in a breech position right now:
Everything is normal. This was the big, diagnostic ultrasound - the one where we discovered the problems with my first pregnancy - so it was a milestone for us to get through it. I was a bit nervous throughout, but it was also just incredibly awesome to be able to sit and observe our two future children for a solid hour. They were moving around the whole time, too. We saw them yawn. We saw their arms and legs moving around. We saw their four-chamber hearts beating. The coolest thing is that we got to see them drinking the amniotic fluid. Both of them just opened up their mouths and clearly swallowed. The boy's bladder was empty when we began the scan, but after he drank, the tech went back to check and it was full. Awesome!
The tech tried to get us some 3D images, but there was just too much movement in there, and they're too close. Who cares, when you get to see one picture like this:
So, things have been changing quickly lately. I'm growing like crazy, as I mentioned before. I'm starting to grow out of the smaller maternity clothes that I had from my pregnancy with Sam. There is about a pound of baby in me right now (half a pound each) but I've gained about 15 pounds. That's really not all that much, and when I think about how big I was at 20 weeks with Sam, I'm not really all that huge after all. But that will change.
Other things are happening, too. I feel a lot of pressure on my cervix, but the doctor checked and everything is good. It's just that the boy happens to have his head jammed right there. The girl's head is what has been causing me to feel movement high up. Her head is way up on my left side, pretty much at my waistline. My bladder feels like I'm in my third trimester. It's squished so it doesn't hold much, and it's hard to release everything in there properly. I think my lung capacity has shrunk - one flight of stairs does me in. The size of my belly is becoming a physical impediment - already it's harder to reach my feet, and harder to get up from deep chairs or from lying down. I'm also getting nosebleeds (not gushing) and tingly hands, which are normal pregnancy symptoms.
But, really, I'm feeling great. I'm actually feeling better than I did a few weeks ago. There was a kind of awkward stage there for a while, where my body seemed to be adjusting. Now, even though I'm bigger, it feels more comfortable. And I'm really enjoying feeling the babies move. I'm finally back to loving pregnancy! It probably won't last long, though, because with twins, things can get uncomfortable pretty quickly.
Tonight, I went to a meeting of my local Mothers of Multiples group. It was a meeting for new and expectant moms, and it was fun and helpful. Some things were scary - like the woman who had six pediatrician visits in five days, plus a trip to the ER, just because a bad cold was making the rounds in her home. But most of the women weren't freaking out, and they seemed sane, and some of them even bragged about getting their babies to sleep through the night or, at least, on the same schedule. I asked the group if I was crazy to consider travelling when six months pregnant (assuming I get the doctor's ok). Almost all of them thought it would be doable if there was no medical reason not to travel. But they did warn me that I might not want to - I might just be too exhausted from lack of sleep or plain old fatigue. It depends. One woman was 20 weeks along and she said she was in constant pain already. Another said that she cancelled a trip at five months because she would have had to bring along so many pillows and wedges to help her sleep it would have been ridiculous. I know I probably shouldn't predict how I'll feel, but so far, all of my pregnancy experience tells me that I'm going to feel ok. The day before Sam was born, I was squatting, lifting, and bending while boxing up packages for an eBay business that I had started. I was also walking the dog every day in the middle of summer. I was a bit uncomfortable, but it was really not a big deal. I know I won't be like that if I make it to 38 weeks with twins, but, if I'm feeling this good now, I don't see why I won't feel like that at 28 weeks, for OCON.
Anyway, for now, I'm just going to try to enjoy this pregnancy while it lasts. I feel sorry for all men, who will never get to experience growing a life in their bodies. The only experience I could imagine that might compare is seeing the earth from space. It's something that strips away every mundane aspect of life and shows you the essence of what it means to be human. With pregnancy, you get to experience the more animal side of human nature (especially during the birth!). I imagine a trip into space would concretize the rational side. If I'm lucky, I'll get to do both in my lifetime, but right now I'm enjoying what I've got.