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Nerves and Newborns

One week. Just one week and they’ll be here. By this time next week, Lord willing, I will be snuggling two little baby girls!

I am excited, and nervous. Mostly nervous if I’m honest. And actually more nervous about the c-section than twins. It’s all just kinda strange, lying there with your arms outstretched like Jesus on the cross.

There I lay alert and awake on one side, while on the other side of the curtain it’s quite a different scene. Blood, guts, babies. I’m just glad I’ve never watched a c-section on T.V. I probably never will. (By the way, I can’t believe they actually show those.)

I know that I shouldn’t be thinking about this because it doesn’t help or change anything. And you might think that since this is my fourth c-section, I’d be less nervous, but that just isn’t true.

My third baby was my first planned c-section. So it wasn’t until the third time around that I truly knew I was going to have a c-section. It was planned a month or so ahead of time. And all went well. According to plan. Recovery wasn’t too bad. So why all the nerves?

Well, you see, now I know. I know what it’s like to quietly and calmly prepare for this major life event to just “happen.” There’s no labor, no physical build up…it’s just kind of…strange.

We calmly drive to the hospital. I check in like I would for my regular doctor’s appointments. They walk me to a room where I step into my hospital gown like I’m putting on pajamas. I stuff my clothes into a little plastic bag. My hair and makeup have been done, because, well, I had time to do them. It’s not 3 am. Then I go and lay on a hospital bed where they strap on monitors to check the baby(ies). The nurses hook up my IV with little commotion. Just another day at the office. I sit and wait for a while until they call my name.

I walk/waddle (whatever you want to call it) to the operating room, where just an hour or so later I will be wheeled out lying flat on my back on a hospital bed not able to move from the waist down. And I’m holding a baby. This time, two.

Strange, right? I think so.

Two. Two babies. This time they are going to hand me two babies!

What in the world?

I’ve been thinking a little about that moment. What will it be like? To be handed one beautiful baby, and then a few minutes later be handed another beautiful baby that looks exactly like the first! It’s wild, I tell you. Wild.

Even now just thinking about it tears come to my eyes. It’s so overwhelming. As many emotions as I feel about it now, so many more will be swirling through my system at that moment. (And a few drugs too)

But here’s some good news I was reminded of just the other day: the instantaneous overwhelming love connection you have with your baby. There’s nothing like it. I remember it clearly each time.

It wasn’t something I mustered up, it was a connection that just happened. Because he was my child. Because he had been moving around in me for the past 6 months and I was finally getting to meet him. And maybe also because I’ve been part of a miraculous moment. Life is truly a miracle.

God has amazed me in this pregnancy time after time. His hand has been present in every thing. So, I’ll have to remember He goes before me and behind me. He is the Creator, the one whose breath gives life. Who gives peace in storms, and operating rooms.

Thank you all for your prayers and words of encouragement. It’s exciting to think about meeting these girls so soon.

twinsies

 

The Belly

IMG_3684It’s official guys, I’m huge. Last Tuesday, at my weekly doctor’s appointment my belly measured 44 weeks! And, ahem, I’m only 34. In the span of two weeks I gained eight pounds and my belly grew 8 cm. I’ve entered the stage of the freakishly abnormal belly and it feels like it.

I am starting to get some comments. Mostly I get “any day now,” to which I smile and nod. Sure. Whatever. I am getting tired and don’t need to explain the whole long story. (“Well, I’m actually having twins, and actually there is three weeks left, but actually even more than that because my actual due date is December 17. Actually.”)

Then there are others who might be too scared to say anything as I waddle past them. And there are a few chosen ones to whom I decide to disclose the entirety of my situation and there is inevitably a nod of understanding and almost a prideful smile for noticing that I am larger than the average belly. Then there are the people who say things like, “I was gonna say, there couldn’t be just one baby in there!” I am starting to get those more and more. It’s okay. I’m not too offended. I am carrying twins after all.

And then there are my friends. My good, true, and sweet friends, who keep saying I don’t look “that big for twins,” and tell me I am looking good. Thank goodness for good friends.

For the record, the above picture doesn’t do my belly justice. If you think I look big here, you should see me in real life! In some weird amazing way, I think I look smaller in pictures than I am in real life. My honest mother agrees with me.

In the picture, I am smiling. And yes, I am doing well. Really well all things considered. But the amount of sighing and groaning I do come afternoon and evening would put an overweight middle aged man to shame.

I lug these two precious girls around all day, and by the end of it I feel incredibly uncomfortable. There’s not room for all three of us in here anymore. I am getting squished. I have no idea where my major organs are these days and I am seriously in awe at times that my body can keep on functioning. 

I can feel my skin stretching so much that it hurts. And I can’t even really tell if I have stretch marks because I can’t see half my belly. When standing in front of the mirror there is only so much twisting and bending I can do…like, um, none.

Thankfully, it isn’t much longer. November 24 is D day. My scheduled c-section. I think, praise God, I am gonna make it. Or at least close to it. That leaves me about two more weeks. Holy Moly.

I can do this! I just might not be able to get up off the couch by myself for the next two weeks. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Trusting God When Things Are Good

It’s November 1st! The birth month of our precious baby girls. I am so happy, relieved, and amazed to be here, 33 1/2 weeks pregnant and rolling (not quite literally) into the month of November.

Honestly, it feels nothing short of miraculous.

I remember all the feelings I had early on in pregnancy. The fear of having twins, the fear of losing twins, the fear that all these different things could go wrong with my monochorionic identical twin pregnancy. All the risks were clearly presented and I wrestled through every single one. What if this? What if that? What if? What if? What if?

And now here I am, 33 weeks, still pregnant, walking around a harvest festival on Halloween with healthy babies in my belly, eating candy, and feeling pretty good (well, for pregnancy standards). No twin to twin transfusion, no gestational diabetes, not even bed rest. I am amazed. Amazed at how God has carried me through this pregnancy with no problems!

But even as I type these words above, fear creeps in. Don’t get ahead of yourself, Brooke, I caution. They could come today. They could be in the NICU for a month. There could be complications with the delivery. There could be, there could be, there could be.

Sounds a lot like my “what ifs” from earlier.

Sometimes I wonder when I am going to stop being afraid and just trust God. When will I remember to not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow has enough worries of its own (Matthew 6)? When am I going to learn to fully trust Him with my whole heart, and not hold anything back?

Through this pregnancy He has proven again and again that He is LORD over it. So what am I afraid of?

I haven’t even told you dear friends of all the amazing ways God has confirmed His plan of twins for us through the mouths of my doctors. Through this process I’ve seen probably seven different doctors who have all have said wonderful things about how the babies are growing and how I am doing. They have said things about my frame being good for carrying twins  (a shocker to me), how my placenta is placed perfectly, my cervix is basically amazing (a longer story than these parentheses can hold) and how the babies are growing “even stevens” in the womb. In addition to the glowing reports of my cervix, not once, but twice have I heard the phrase “made to have twins” directed at me.

Me? Made to have twins? From the mouth of a medical professional?

Yes, I think I finally believe God has made me to have twins. I often think back and marvel at that conversation with my mentor when I was 8 weeks pregnant. I was blubber crying at the scary, shocking and overwhelming news we were having twins. I was mourning how life would change, how my body would change, how much sleep I would lose, etc. etc. But her calm quiet words keep coming back. She assured me that this had always been part of God’s plan for my life, even if it never was part of my plan. And if it’s always been a part of His plan, then He has prepared the way for it to unfold. He has gone before and after. He’s already been there. Every one of my days has been written in His book before even one of them came to be (Psalm 139). Even the day I will give birth to twins, and the 100 other difficult and wonderful days that will come after. I believe it.

It’s all starting to make sense. Yes, He planned it, He prepared it, He made my body capable, and He (not me) will carry these babies safely into this world. It’s all in His loving, gentle, wise hands. All He asks of me is to stand firm and trust in His good and sovereign character.

So I will try to do just that.

Hi! I'm Brooke

Hi! I'm Brooke

Writer/Mother

Brooke lives with her husband and their five energetic children outside of Sacramento, California. She loves Jesus and pizza and has a thing for throw pillows. Her dreams are big, her God is bigger, and her laundry room is a giant mess.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” 

Ephesians 3:17-19

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Brooke Frick

Brooke lives with her husband, five kids, two horses, cat, dog, and ever fluctuating number of chickens (dang bobcat) on a ranch outside of Sacramento, Ca. She writes from her fixer-upper farmhouse (and sometimes Starbucks) about her failures, her motherhood, her adventures in ranching, and the God who sees her through it all. Her dreams are big, her hands are full, and her laundry room is a mess.

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