Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Mambo Kings

Am I supposed to be this miserable this early?

Actually, I'm not miserable every day. It seems to follow a pattern: a day (sometimes two) of feeling quite decent (and sometimes getting a few things accomplished), followed by a day or two of feeling that I am Going To Pop Right This Second. Ugh. My belly right now feels tight as a drum. I'm guessing that perhaps Dexter and Sinister go through a day or two of sudden growth (or that my body finally registers the growth they've been doing all along), and then I have a day or two of my body adjusting to it and stretching. But ye gods and little fishes, on the days when they are growing ... there just are no words to describe this. You know how you're only supposed to fill up your tires to 28 pounds? (Or whatever it is; I'm no car expert.) I feel like I've been filled up to, oh, about 306 pounds at the moment. (Or so. Maybe only 304.) A trifle over-full.

Also, the boys have discovered the joys of movement. Which is a good thing in general, as I hope they will be active and fit little buggers as they grow up. But when they move inside my belly, although it make me happy (in an abstract sort of way), it is Not Comfortable. The funny thing is that I rarely feel any movement with my hands on the outside of my belly ... but oh, the inside is a different tale! Sometimes it feels like they're practicing their synchronized swimming moves, with a slow, rolling sort of motion. Other times they feel like they're doing the mambo. Still other times I have no idea what the guys are up to, except that it feels damned weird and I wish they'd cut it out. Sinister in particular has developed a habit of putting his head (or perhaps his feet) up under my ribs, like he's trying to warm them up there. Not comfy for me, though perhaps for him. Dexter is fond of pushing on a particular spot just to the right of my belly button. (I do have a fibroid there; perhaps he's simply trying to make a little more room for himself.)


Oh, and sleeping. Ah, the classic question: the Back vs. the Left Side -- who wins? Not me, that's all I know. I am a habitual back sleeper (with occasional detours into a side fetal position), but since sleeping on your back squishes some vein or other that's not supposed to be squished, you're theoretically supposed to sleep on your left side during pregnancy. Or if you just can't manage the left side, then even the lowly right side is better than the back. And if you do sleep on your back, your children will all have club feet and excessive dental caries. If not two heads.

So I've been attempting the side sleeping for several weeks now, mostly without much success. When I lie on my side, my belly feels like a huge sack of Jell-o with a couple of five-pound free weights thrown in. (In case you're wondering, no, that's not comfortable.) I tried using a pillow -- even went out and bought a special body pillow that threatened to take over the whole bed, like Godzilla in Tokyo -- but the pillows were way too bulky. I have had some success with taking our blankets and wadding them up to fit under my belly -- sort of a customized pillow. This has the disadvantage of stealing my husband's covers (which is not so bad, really, since he's always too hot at night anyway), and sometimes my own butt ends up hanging out in the cold, but it seems to work, after a fashion. At least I can get to sleep that way.

The real problem comes a couple of hours later, when my body signals me to shift to another position (or get up to pee, which is of course a favored activity these days). First, I grasp my belly and hold it firmly to me, to counteract the squishy Jell-o motion. Then I roll over to my back -- and then I inevitably gasp out loud, since it hurts like a mo-fo! Ooooooooooh .... You know that feeling when you fall asleep sitting up in a chair. and then you wake up? You're okay as long as you're just sitting quietly in the chair, thinking about moving. But as soon as you actually do move ... oh, the pain. Every stiff muscle in your body shouts the same thing: "What were you thinking, you idiot?!"

I never knew bellies could stiffen up. Silly me.

Ah, well. I confess that these moments are balanced, at least roughly, by moments like this one tonight: Since I'm supposed to take a walk after each meal, to help the blood sugar metabolize properly, after dinner I went to our back porch, which is about 40 feet long, and started in on my ten laps of the porch. It was chilly, about 40F, but clear, with a beautiful sparkly quarter moon and diamond-bright stars. Mostly I didn't notice the beauty of the night since I was trudging along with my cold hands in my coat pockets, watching the ground so I wouldn't trip over the seismic cracks in the poured cement slab, and trying not to think about the possibility of my stomach exploding right then and there. But I finished my ten laps, and then happened to look up at the Big Dipper, and for some reason thought, Soon I'll be able to show this to my sons.

My sons.

Holy crap, what a huge and wonderful thought. My sons! I've thought of them as the twins, the kids, the boys, and even "me fine boyos" (which, I'll confess, is what I call my five male cats too), but the phrase "my sons" had never really taken up residence in my brain before. I started crying, of course, looking up at the stars and just leaking.

My sons.

What an amazing and immense thought, since only a few months ago, I wondered if I would ever have children of any sort, let alone children of my body. And now, here I am, with what feels like immense unearned riches poured into my lap like gold, like the finest silks. A wealth that I might not deserve, but will never let go of again while these hands can grasp anything.

By my count, I have 17 weeks of this discomfort left ... but I think, just perhaps, I -- and my sons -- will be able to make it. Together.

Well. Probably, anyway. We'll see what the ol' Jell-o and free weights belly has to say about that.


Blogger casey said...

Yes, do hold on to all you've been given...it is such an amazing gift and journey. Well, even though the journey might be better if your belly were made of, say, latex. Let's leave that to the doctors in England; they're always coming up with some new-fangled scheme.

Anyway, just be glad neither of your sons has found the wherewithall to pound you right in the pelvic floor, which will cause you to drive off the road, even if you're not the one behind the wheel at the time. Perhaps you could treat yourself to a new "pregnancy" blanket, maybe a fleece do-hickey, small, so that folding it a few times won't render it unusable to support your growing belly while sleeping side-lying. Then, you can turn it into a quilt or hang it on the wall or just keep it around to remind you of good times.

Best of luck.

1:31 PM  
Blogger chris said...

I could have written this post. It gets worse. Fun, huh? With twins you totally miss out on the honeymoon period of the 2nd trimester.


Sorry to be such a downer.

8:55 AM  

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