I’m HUGE. Yesterday two strangers, independently of one another, sized up my belly and said to me “You’ve got to be having twins.” It’s kinda gratifying, in a way, to finally look as big as I feel. And I feel big. Way, way bigger than I ever got with my own pregnancies (I’m measuring above and beyond 40 weeks) and far more unwieldy than ever before. Bending over to pick up toys from the floor is pretty much impossible. My poor abdominal muscles ache from the strain of hanging on to a 15+ lb. uterus. My feet and hands have finally started to swell. I can effectively use my belly as a shelf for balancing food or my phone or a book anything else I don’t have enough hands or strength for. Oddly, I don’t have much back pain and the sciatica has been minimal. In most ways, this pregnancy has not been that different from my singletons. In fact, I’ve gained less weight than I did with Dean, and I think that has helped me to feel pretty healthy and energetic throughout.
In the exciting family news department: we are buying a house! We’re set to close on November 15th, and I would really like these babies to be born at least a few days before then. I think it’ll be good for me to have something new and wonderful to focus on right after the birth. I already feel sad thinking about my journey coming to an end. Will Urs and Ingmar want me in their life once the babies are born? Will I feel stripped of my surrogate identity? I’ve loved being a surrogate, and I want to hold on to that. Anyway, moving will help me stay focused on the present and the future rather than the past, I think. That’ll be healthy.
As of my last OB appointment a few days ago, my cervix is dilated to 2 cm. That’s no sign, really, that labor will begin anytime soon, but it is a little encouraging since I don’t *really* want to be pregnant all the way up to week 40 (November 21!). Once I got that news about the cervix budging, I finally booked my mom’s flight; she’ll be here next Tuesday, the day before Halloween. And on Halloween, these babies will officially be full-term and Urs and Ingmar will be arriving right around the same time. My goal is for the babies to stay in until November 1, and then they are welcome to come anytime they like. I can’t wait to have my mom here to help with things like cooking and cleaning and childcare. I really am so much less energetic than usual at this point.
Last night we attended a ward activity. It was really nicely put together (not something you can plan on with ward activities, unfortunately) with plenty of activities for kids, lots of good fresh food, and entertainment provided by Knox and yours truly. We sang a few of our favorite songs- the best were “Hard Times” and “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song.” They also had a cute photo booth, and while we were there posing Elspeth and Dean a little girl (probably 4 or 5 years old) said to me that she noticed I have a baby in my tummy. This conversation is pretty typical with kids, now that I have a great big belly. I just smiled at her and said “You’re right, I do!” which is my typical response. But I was surprised when she continued the conversation with “I know who made that baby you have in your tummy!” Knox and I raised our eyebrows at each other, and I said, “You know who made this baby? Who was it?” And she said “Jesus!”
HA!! It took a lot of willpower for us to not snicker. Especially given the highly medically-assisted nature of this pregnancy, the idea that Jesus made this baby just makes me giggle. I mean, yes, from a child’s point of view God makes every one of us. But that is not how I would word the “where babies come from” explanation in a discussion with my own kids. In fact, Elspeth must have overheard my conversation with the little girl, because today she asked me if Jesus made the babies in my tummy. I said “Not exactly” and explained that a doctor put the babies in my belly when they were so so so so tiny, too tiny to even be seen. (This concept is not unfamiliar to her since it has been introduced in a book about surrogacy that we own.) She took my word for it and moved on to the next subject of her chatterboxing brain. I was glad that she asked so that I could dispel the idea that Jesus puts babies in women’s tummies. Honestly. The things people tell their children.