And that day would be yesterday, so feel free to come out any time now, boys!
I just realized I never updated after my last OB visit (oops!), but my c-section is scheduled for Friday morning, which will be 38 weeks on the nose.
It is really difficult to carry twins to 38 weeks, both physically and emotionally. (Thank you, Captain Obvious.) It seems silly to say I'm surprised by how much so on both counts, but I am. Of course it makes sense that the experience would be taxing, in a theoretical sense, but (1) I NEVER expected to carry them this long so I never gave a lot of thought to what being 37w4d pregnant with twins would *feel* like, and (2) like so many things in life, I don't think you can appreciate the entirety of it in advance anyway.
Getting through these final days is proving to be the hardest thing I have ever experienced. I've never thought of myself as an Amazing Race kind of person (If you know me outside the computer, don't laugh. I'm not delusional - I still don't.) but I would put full-term twin pregnancy up against any of the endurance challenges those contestants go through. So much of it is mental - giving myself pep talks about how short 4 days really are in the grand scheme of things, when the distance from Monday to Friday sounds like an insurmountable ravine of time - but much of it is physical, too. (TMI alert about some of the disclosures to follow.) I ache from head to toe. I am lucky to get 3-4 hours of sleep cobbled together per 24 hour period. I am retaining massive amounts of fluid, as evidenced by my 7 pound weight gain last week (and 5 the week before), despite my food intake dropping way down thanks to my matchbox-sized stomach. The swelling in my hands, feet, ankles and calves was expected, but the giant mass of pitting edema that spreads further across the bottom half of my belly each day has been a surprise. It's tender to the touch and horrifying to look at. All of my organs are compressed and/or displaced which causes nausea and other assorted GI discomforts at least every day or two. I have to hold my belly up to pee or else it crimps some internal part of my urethra and nothing comes out. I have so much sympathy for men with prostate issues now! I have acid reflux that burns all the way up into the back of my mouth. My weight gain alone makes it difficult to move, let alone get in and out of cars, push myself up from lying down to sitting, and complete other assorted daily activities.
All of that said, I know how lucky I am that my body has cooperated to keep these boys in this long, and then to keep me as active as I am on top of that. We had a full weekend - farmer's market, a birthday party for E's best school bud, a (seated) concert Saturday night, house chores and errands - and with the exception of a zoo visit on Sunday morning which I sat out, I was able to keep up and spend just about every minute with my people; our last weekend as a family of three. However, I probably overdid it because by late Sunday night, I felt terrible. I went to my NST and OB appointment on Monday with the goal of talking my OB into putting me out of my misery sooner rather than later. I felt sure that one of my health indicators would reflect that sheer agony I was in and she'd have the medical grounds to move my c-section up. With each test, I awaited the results that would be my golden ticket out... BP? 106/64. (Damn.) NST? Passed with no concerns. (Ugh.) Urine? Concentrated due to fluid retention, but no trace of protein, ketones, or anything else concerning. (Crap.) Weight gain and edema? Severe enough to garner genuine sympathy from my OB, but not quite enough to warrant a pre-38-week section without a second criterion of Pre-E or other health threat. (Nooo!) Temperature? 96.8, my norm. (You get the picture.) My OB was thorough and asked lots of questions, trying to uncover anything else I was forgetting to mention, but all I could come up with was that I just felt lousy all over. She took lots of notes and flipped back and forth through my chart a few times and then turned to face me before saying, "I keep looking through this in hopes I can find some reason to section you tonight, but there's just... nothing. You look great. Well, you don't look great, you look miserable, but clinically, you are doing awesome." After a bit more chatting and a little tearing up on my part, she encouraged me to call as often as I want to this week and come in as needed, but that barring any exciting changes, she'd see me bright and early Friday morning. I left feeling hopeless and sure I'd never survive four more days of this pregnancy.
Yesterday afternoon and evening were terrible. I continued to feel weak and achy and the mere thought of food overwhelmed me with nausea, as did lying on my left side at all, even for only a few minutes. The one upside to the fluid retention is that despite the huge amount of water I'm drinking, the frequency of my trips to the bathroom has dropped way off, which let me get a bit of a nap in while sitting in the nursery recliner. Late last night, I was able to stomach some rice cereal and a banana, and after a long talk with M, I felt better than I had all day. It's amazing what a pep talk from your amazing, super-star partner can do for your spirits. I got about five hours of sleep last night (in only three chunks!) and am feeling even better today. (This post would have been uglyuglyugly had I written it last night as I intended to.) I still feel like Friday is a long way off, but 2 days, 18 hours, 6 minutes, and 14 seconds (per the countdown on my iGoogle page) feels more do-able than the numbers I was staring at yesterday. I'm sure tomorrow's will be even more reassuring. Like it or not, my body is intent on seeing this through, and I'm just along for the ride at this point. All I can do is try to keep my mind and emotions in check. I doubt I could manage this on my own, but I have M in my corner, and we can do this together.
So, 2 days, 18 hours, (now) 3 minutes, and 25... 24... 23... 22 seconds to go and then this part will be over and our babies will be here. I've never been more anxious to meet two little people.
p.s. Speaking of having people in my corner... I want to thank all of you who commented on my last post. Your words meant more to me than you can know. It's been a big couple of weeks for mom-petition in the mass media, and I'm ashamed to admit how quickly I fall into the trap when it comes to natural birth stuff. This could turn into a long post unto itself, so for now I will just say that your comments were grounding and affirming and provided me with a much-needed touchstone, so thanks to all who took the time to reach out. You gals rock. :-)