Saturday, March 7, 2009

Gender, Apples and Other Laughs

Big day yesterday.  A long, thorough ultrasound determined the gender and health of our new twins.  As Doug confidently put it in a text to our families while I lay supine watching eight tiny arms and legs pop in and out of focus - "The stem is definitely on the apple!"  


Or to pluralize for our context, "The stems are definitely on the apples!"  WE'RE HAVING BOYS!!  We're thrilled!  Excited!  And feeling so very grateful!  The boys are healthy - all parts present and organs functioning well.  
I'm always astounded to see the four chambers of the heart working as they do to sustain life.  To watch something, or rather someone, living inside you is remarkable.  It's miraculous.

The boys made themselves known early on - the first image we saw.  So there is no question.  We had a good laugh as the tech started into her measurements of Baby B.  After a few seconds she went back to review past measurements saying, "They keep moving on me.  I'm not sure if I'm just re-measuring Baby A."  She began to appear a bit flustered so I said, "It's alright.  This is just the beginning of people asking them  - now - which one are you?"  She did the best she could - even though they didn't make her job easy.

The boys had the same heart rates - 144 bpm (unless she was indeed re-measuring Baby A) and they measured the same in size and length.  20 weeks 1 day.  The good news is that they are both getting enough from Mom and growing well.  We caught a few frontal glimpses of their faces and a profile that appeared to have Eliza's nose.  It was fascinating - watching them side by side with just a slip of membrane separating them.  They seemed to change positions simultaneously, always keeping their heads together - nearly touching - whether horizontal, or breach.  

We've been known to say in the last year - "Who needs boys when you have these three?"  Our girls have boundless energy.  I can't imagine any life forms exuding greater combined kinetic power!  It will be quite a trip to experience identical twin boys.  

So what about Doug's reaction?  The Daddy of three girls who was raised with five brothers, no sisters?  He was steady, as always, without a loud show of emotion - but he couldn't keep from smiling as the doctor and nurses asked  "Boys or Girls?" on our way out of the office.  Doug seemed to have an impression very early on that it would be a boy (which morphed into "boys"). So it was no surprise for him.  He is looking forward to all the good and "manly" things a Father hopes to do with his sons.  What a blessing it will be to experience both worlds with all of our children!  On his way home, Doug stopped to get balloons for the girls and flowers for his burgeoning-bellied wife.  He is tender and good.  I love him.

Tonight, as I was putting the girls to bed, we slid into a comedy of errors - one tumble, bump or silly comment after another.  Doug is working late due to tax season so we weather most dinnertimes and nights alone.  After baths Sami tripped and bonked her head on the fireplace. The skin was shredded on her forehead - but no blood or tears!  After brushing her teeth, Ali climbed onto the toilet, put a blue headband on, and began to sing sweetly to herself in the mirror.  It was so cute I went to get the camera.  But my return to the scene startled her and she tumbled head first off the back of the toilet, landing on her back like an overturned turtle.  There were tears.

Once Ali was comforted, we resumed some picture taking.  All three girls, however, couldn't sit on the same stool, so they took turns, smiling "cheese", looking anywhere BUT the camera, and leaping from the photo before the picture was taken.

Eliza took this one.  Eventually, I corralled them into the twins' bedroom for "family prayer."  I knelt awkwardly with my legs to one side.  It was a long prayer as I spent most of the time waiting silently for the girls to assume some attitude of reverence.  We've been working on this.  They know what is expected - mostly we expect it from Eliza.  She can kneel quietly, arms folded with eyes closed (if she chooses) but tonight she chose a position far from any act of supplication.  She was on the move the entire prayer talking in a high-pitched voice to her little pink pony.  

My patience waning, I decided to finish the prayer anyhow and closed my eyes.  As soon as I began to speak aloud again, I felt two little hands lift up my shirt and shove a soft, furry animal next to my already protruding tummy.  I couldn't keep from laughing.  I said "Amen" and opened my eyes to find a pink monkey under my shirt, courtesy of Sami.  (As if two monkeys in utero weren't enough!)  When I looked up to see the girls faces, Ali and Sami were giggling. Eliza was standing right in front of me with a stuffed animal under her shirt saying - "I have a baby in my tummy Mommy!"

I stood up to put the twins in their beds, but was halted, crippled by a staggering pain shooting down my leg - sciatica (a result of my awkward - legs to the side - prayer position).  I couldn't even put any weight on my right leg.  I struggled to lift the girls into bed, speaking in wispy, breathless words because of the pain, feeling like an old, very large woman.  I limped out of the room, dragging my dead leg behind me, telling the girls I loved them - while Eliza said, "Just hold my hand Mommy...  Maybe you should call your Daddy...  Here's my blanket."  She was so concerned.

We gimped down the stairs together to her bedroom and made a pit stop at the bathroom.  Eliza went through the motions, but as she put it - "nothing coming out Mommy."  "Ok honey - that's fine" I replied, standing in front of her - legs dangling from her perch.  She then declared this fact. "But there's still stinkies inside me Mom."  "Oh" - I say.  "That's alright.  They'll probably come out tomorrow."  "Yeah" Eliza sighs.  "We have lots of tinkles and stinkies inside us.  They just keep coming!  Every day!"  I laughed right out loud.  I couldn't contain it.  She's right - they do keep coming!  Whether we want them to or not!  Eliza looked at my shaking belly and smiled, "Mom - your babies are laughing too."

Maybe they were.  

15 comments:

  1. I love reading your insights and well written words. Congrats Catherine on two healthy beautiful boys as how could they be anything but? :) I'm so happy for you; thanks for letting me in on your fabulous life :)

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  2. How very fun to be having two healthy boys join your troop! Congrats! Your girls have such cute personalities! So fun to hear your happenings! Hang in there for tax season - we'll think of you at dinner time as we eat without our dad too! Love you guys!

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  3. How exciting - we will have 3 boys as of June and they are definitely fun - and busy! You are wonderful to stay positive and see the humor in life.

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  4. On this very hectic day of client calls and tax returns you made my day. I'm so happy for you guys!

    I'm so thankful that you sent us the card and that I am able to follow your family on here. It keeps me mindful of all the blessings that life has given us.

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  5. Cath, we are sooo thrilled for you. Boys truly are sooo wonderful. They just love love love their Mamas. I love seeing pics of the girls, they are getting so big and they look so happy and loved. We miss you guys and think of you often. Abbey askes me all the time when Eliza is moving back from U-tah. Give the kiddos and yourself a hugs. We love you guys

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  6. WOW! WOW! WOW! That's great news. You are definitely super-woman to be blessed with all these kids. I'm so glad everything looks good.

    Kids are so cute when their moms are in pain. Brig, for whatever reason, always brings me a cup of water if I'm crying. Complete with huge cheshire smile. I love Eliza's way of taking care of you!

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  7. Congratulations on the wonderful news that 2 lucky boys are joining your family! I cannot even imagine how crazy it will be in 18 months!!

    I loved your entry and the funny words of Eliza... Thank for sharing these precious moments!

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  8. I loved reading your post, how cute!!your girls are so much fun. I love the comments Eliza made, to cute!!

    Congrats on the twin boys, so very exciting!! i remember chatting about what gender we thought you were going to have back in November..I hope things continue to go well.

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  9. YAY! Oh BOY oh Boy Oh Boy! We're so excited to meet your boys! Garrett especially can't wait to see if he can tell them apart! Congrats!

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  10. That is so cute. What fun memories that will be when you go back and read this later.

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  11. I'm so excited for you Cath and Doug!!!! You really will have your hands full. But what a wonderful addition to such a wonderful, fun, deserving family. I sure love ya!

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  12. Cath...those stories are so cute! I love to read your posts. Love you!

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  13. Yay for baby boys! Christian was especially happy for Doug :) What a fun family you will hve with the best of both worlds. It sounds like you guys are doing great in Utah, it must be so nice to be close to family right now. I am coming out of the sick yucky phase, but it is still a day by day thing. You were right though, waiting has made everything easier to take and has made me appreciate it a lot more. We love you guys and sure miss you!

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  14. Congratulations on boys! You will be surprised at how much more energy they have. I am sure they will be sweet and loving and full of fun. We are having a boy too and Dave had the same sort of feeling beforehand, he just really felt it was a boy. And at the ultrasound our tech said that he was definitely a boy, "he had the equipment".

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  15. Boys! How exciting! I'm glad everything is going well too! I loved reading about your little trio of girls and their prayer-time antics. Its funny how they're so innocent about being irreverent! :)

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