With thanks to Joni Burtt Photography, who totally inspired the editing on these. Thanks, Joni!
POSTED BY AMBER
We are on pause. Nothing is happening. This is a time punctuated by the clacking of Kirsty’s needles. Occasionally we turn to one another and growl about how tremendously BORED we are, how these babies are NEVER going to come.
It’s my own silly fault. I have read too many horror stories about twins coming early and convinced myself that mine would be amongst them. Now that I’m at a point where it wouldn’t be a dreadful thing to happen, I’m waiting for it. And ready. I’ve always planned to decline an induction but perhaps that was because I was so sure that our twins would come early of their own accord. I still want to go into labour spontaneously but if they’re still comfortable in there in a few weeks’ time, I might change my mind about the method of eviction for my little womb tenants.
So we are trying to take it easy, to enjoy the silence whilst it lasts! To enjoy each other. To spend time with the little dog, who has known attention and affection for such a little proportion of her life and craves us desperately. There have been times recently when we’ve been happy and laughing and then the sheer dread of losing that has hit me like a brick. Kirsty was my best friend before she was my partner; I’m not ashamed to admit that, selfishly, I’m not entirely sure that I’m ready for our priorities to move away from each other.
We spend a lot of time these days reminding each other of how in love we are. We take short waddles with the little dog and sit on the benches to watch her pootle and sniff. We snuggle in bed at bizarre times of the day and she doesn’t take offense when I shortly drift off to sleep!
It’s all rather lovely, and frustrating, and slow. I just keep reminding myself that nobody passed university textbooks up to their uterus so that their children can achieve an education – they have to come out at some point soon! And if I really want to have a set date, then I really ought to set one via an induction.
POSTED BY AMBER
If you follow my Twitter, you’ll know that I struggled a fair bit with writing my birth plan. They can be daunting things, these ‘plans’ – how on earth do you plan for an event with the potential for so much to go wrong? Not to mention that with twins, my base ‘ideal’ – a home birth – was already more or less out of the question.
My other concern was that if I outlined specific expectations and made them into a Big Deal, I would feel disappointed and inadequate if we had to deviate from them.
When I started to substitute ‘preference’ for ‘plan’, I found that the words came easier. I couldn’t say, for example, that I plan never to have an epidural – but I do prefer not to be given one upon admission, as is routine for twin births. I can’t plan not to be monitored, but my preference is for infrequent monitoring provided that there are no signs of fetal distress.
When I first discussed my birth preferences with one of the doctors, it did not go well. It seemed that for every statement she made about how my birth would likely happen, I countered it with a polite but determined refusal to consider anything of the sort. She was exasperated, I was defensive; we were at what felt like a total impasse.
So she made me an appointment with the consultant and I went away to consider whether I was being entirely unreasonable in expecting some measure of control over what was going to happen to my body.
I decided that it would be easier to articulate my wishes if they were written down. It was at the second draft of the birth plan that I decided to substitute in the word ‘preference’. I was immediately surprised at how much more reasonable I sounded!
So I took it to the consultant and requested that she took my blood pressure before reading it through. It actually worked really well. One of the first things that the consultant said when she looked up from the paper was that she ‘liked the flexibility’ in my Plan – success! Starting out on the right foot made all the difference and we were able to have a pleasant chat outlining our expectations. One of the things that we discussed was that the Plan listed preferences for the best case scenario. Of course we wouldn’t refuse an induction if there was a medically-dictated reason for one, nor an episiotomy if one of the babies needed to come out urgently. But if there is no real need for either then I would prefer not to have it. I wanted to know that I wouldn’t be arguing with medical staff in labour, that my wishes would be respected.
It went really well and I left feeling far more confident than I had when sitting outside in the waiting room. A few compromises were made on my side, certainly, but there were happy surprises too – the consultant didn’t blink an eye at my request that Kirsty be allowed to stay with the babies and me after the birth, for example. This was tremendously important to us. Kirsty is the non-biological (though legal) parent and we had worried that either bonding would be more difficult if she was sent immediately home or that it would be devastating for her to be away from them. Personally, I can’t imagine going through such a life-changing event as watching my partner birth my children and then being turfed out of the hospital for the night! Thankfully, it looks as though the hospital will be sympathetic to our wishes and allow her to stay.
The consultant also booked us an appointment to meet the consultant midwife, so we’ll be doing that too.
It seems strange that letting go of my ‘plan’ has allowed me to feel more in control, but I do. I’m starting to feel really confident in this medical team, I’m starting to feel like they’ll listen to and respect me. It’s a good feeling.
POSTED BY AMBER
POSTED BY AMBER
Oh, Tootsa Macginty. How I love thee.
No, seriously, you guys. I do. And only fractionally less than I love Kirsty, the boys and the dog.
I have Chloe from Sorry About the Mess to thank for this new-found romance – it would probably have taken me a wee while longer to discover this adorable, locally-based brand. And I would certainly have missed the sample sale from which I have just returned had she not tweeted about it. So thanks, Chloe! (Although admittedly, my bank balance is not quite so happy with you as I am. Silly, fussy bank balance.)
Having never been to a sample sale before, I had only the vaguest idea in my mind of what one might be like. This one, I’m happy to say, was vastly friendlier than I thought it would be. Less tussling over tiny clothing and a lot more cooperation and chatting. I did nearly trip over a toddler or two but as I can no longer see my own feet, I thought that fairly understandable (and the parents took it well!). And it was so fun. So incredibly fun. I’ll admit that I love shopping anyway, but surely even the most shopping-adverse person would be able to find some joy in acquiring seriously adorable styles at bargain prices.
Despite the fact that it was a clearance sale, I found that there was plenty of variety in sizing. That said, I suppose that the advantage of having unborn babies to shop for is that I could afford to take any size, season-depending. Although I did get a few baby items, most of what I bought is actually for toddlers – including their Christmas jumpers for next year! There was one hairy moment where I was forced by lack of smaller sizes to buy a jumper aged 5-6 years (yes, forced, I tell you) but I plan to put it on one of my eventual three-year-olds and just roll up the sleeves.
I feel that the ladies helping out deserve a special mention. They were so helpful and friendly, and as one of them is a fraternal twin, she spent some time telling me all about her experience growing up as one. Another sweetheart walked past me outside the town hall and made a point of waving ‘goodbye’.
Best of all, I managed to swing a wardrobe that the ladies estimated was worth £500 for only £150! It feels like my birthday. No, really.
I shall definitely be keeping an eye out for sample sales in the future, although I’m not sure that this one will ever be topped.
Here are but a few of my new acquisitions from today. In the absence of sprog models, Posy kindly agreed to step in and show off some of the jumpers. Hm – I wonder whether Tootsa Macginty have ever considered expanding their range to fit dogs..
POSTED BY AMBER