This time last year, I was so remarkably uncomfortable. I was a massive 186 pounds on 5’2″ frame at exactly 38 weeks pregnant with the horrible itchy PUPPPs rash across my stomach and legs. I’d essentially lost my job for being pregnant but had quit on my own with Aug. 13, 2012, being the first day of my vacation before the end of my employment. That allowed the peace of mind to have insurance still covering delivery whenever it happened, though I knew it would be within the month.
With the threat of losing the babies and the journey through infertility to get to this point always in mind, I’d stayed ridiculously hydrated through a hot Chicago summer and only had two pre-term scares. The first, at nearly 32 weeks on a Sunday, watching “Sunday Best,” I had a series of contractions that also squeezed my head. Four an hour was bad; I’d had six, seven, eight and was on the phone with the hospital. I wasn’t in labor; apparently, that was the nature of being pregnant with twins. I sang with my church choir through my eighth month, finally giving up after a month of promoting our CD release. Two Sundays after a Saturday afternoon funeral and backing Aretha Franklin that night, I thought my water broke and left the choir loft mid-service. The embarrassment of people watching me tip out while the pastor was preparing to preach was enough for me have several seats for a while. Or maybe it was the shame of explaining that, no, my water didn’t break and that I’d most likely peed on myself.
I was at the hospital every Monday the last six weeks for a non-stress test, measuring the babies heart beats in response to my regular but normal contractions. And because my blood pressure rose a little higher each visit, a nurse would always say I might deliver that day. But every time, they’d send my uncomfortable big butt home to keep the babies cooking. The Monday a year ago, I felt guilty for wanting these babies out, mainly to be able to breathe normally, to see my feet, to stop hugging the Mr. only from the side and to stop that junky itch from the rash. My blood pressure was 190/89. Even though I was not pre-eclamptic (yet), I was admitted and scheduled to have the babies that day.
I’m hoping in finally recounting the last days of pregnancy, labor, delivery and ultimately motherhood, you’ll forgive my long delay in writing anything at all. The twins are great as they approach a year old tomorrow, and I’m feeling good and confident that I can keep them alive. It wasn’t always that way. I’ve got dark days to shed light on by retelling the story. And what a tale it is.
In short, it’s like the VH-1 “Diary” tag line: You think you know, but you have no idea. Stay tuned.