Friday, February 20, 2009

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Hi everybody! I hope this reaches you all well! Kristian and I cannot believe that we only have 4 days left until we meet our son and daughter! If you'd like to see some recent photos & video please click on the production above - I'm trying out this new software called Smilebox and I really like it so far... Use the floating arrow to get through the "pages." Since I normally write a bunch when I post as well as posting a lot of photos, using something like this will keep you, my beloved reader, from having to scroll forever and a day. Tell me what you think! :)

Sorry it's been a bit since I've posted (Meredith, Mary, Kathy...), I'm way better, as some of you can attest to, at staying current with my Facebook page (or as I like to call it: Crackbook...)! The last few weeks have been kind of a blur, I've been wrapping up editing from the wedding season and Kristian has been busy working both at his "real" job and at home getting everything ready for the babies arrival (which has totally turned into a job)... In a lot of ways we feel like we've just been spinning our wheels, keeping ourselves busy, distracting ourselves, and waiting, waiting, waiting. Honestly, I never thought I'd be sitting here at 38 weeks and 4 days pregnant telling you all of this.... It's just crammed down your throat when you're carrying twins, everywhere you turn, that your babies will be early, they'll be small, they'll be premature, etc. I just anticipated them coming around 36 or 37 weeks and I was content with that scenario since that's a relatively safe gestational age. It's a double edged sword still being (this) pregnant, with twins. As you can imagine, I'm extremely uncomfortable, my ankles and feet are unrecognizable, my esophagus is on fire, my skin is very upset with me, I snore like a bulldog and I'm not sure how it's possible that I will ever be considered attractive again by my husband or anyone else for that matter, including myself. I think I'll write into The Biggest Loser, they might take me as a contestant after all this. That being said, I feel, at the same time, empowered and accomplished - like I must have done all of this right for the babies to be so content on the inside. The feel good hormones are definitely coursing through my veins as well, I cry at the drop of a hat, just thinking about finally getting to see, hold, kiss and hug my babies! My pregnancy has been textbook healthy (save my whining above), the babies are growing like weeds and should be perfectly healthy and "ready to swing on somebody" as KK put it, when they come out. It's a huge relief to have made it to this point since a lot of single babies don't even make it past 38 weeks. Their movement with their size right now is so pronounced and fascinating - that part I wish could last forever, it's incredible being able to watch them and feel them. I am so grateful for my health and the health of my babies, all whining aside. Soon I will have my body back and I will miss being pregnant, I know I will.

I've been on a roller coaster ride for the past couple of months, which is, I'm sure, how it goes for all pregnant women... but dare I say it's a little bumpier when you're carrying twins. The dips up and down are intense, and I find myself (depending on the hour) going in and out of bouts of both extreme, immeasurable joy, and then paralyzing fear of the unknown - questioning how on earth I'm ever going to manage sufficiently caring for not one, but TWO babies. I know that feeling like this is all par for the course, but I have been thinking over the past few days that I really have no idea what I've gotten myself into. I feel as "prepared" as I think anyone in our position can feel and we've really, I feel, done a great job at getting our heads in the game... But everything, literally, is getting ready to get turned inside out, and as big of a fan of quiet I am, that's all going to go away Wednesday. No longer will we be able to fly by the seat of our pants and just head out the door without it being a planned production, and seldom will Kristian and I be alone, ever, again. As all of you parents know, there are 99 more things I could rattle off right now that are being "taken away" from us... but as I'm sure you parents would reassure me, you don't look at it like that when the kids are actually here, smiling at you, hugging you, having completely shifted your notion of what's important in life. There's a certain sort of grin that washes over a parent's face when they're talking about their children or when they're with their children that reflects a relationship in life that is like no other... What you gain completely overshadows anything that you've "lost," and knowing that without even really knowing, first hand, yet, brings a smile to my face.

I want to take a quick aside and send a shout-out to my mamma, GramBonnie, BoBo, Mammacita, Bonnie Coleman... Our relationship has always been strong and it's something I've always treasured, I know not everyone has such a great mother-daughter relationship and I'm grateful. She is a big reason why I am the person I am today and someone who consistently shows how a mother should love and care for their children. One of the things that I was most excited about when I found out I was pregnant was how our relationship would grow and evolve... I knew that being pregnant and having a baby is a life experience that we will now share, taking our understanding of each other to a new height and giving us so many joyful memories to share far into the future. I will never forget the day that I told her we were expecting, or, of course, the day we found out we were expecting twins - she was the first person I called walking out of the Dr.'s office. Any of you who know Bonnie know that she loves her babies! The work and effort and care that she has always put into her relationships with me and my brothers is something that I will always be able to reflect on for strength and guidance through my life as a parent. The same effort and care and love that she puts into her passions and her other relationships I will be able to reflect on in my life as someone who simply wants to live their life as a good, caring, strong person. No one is perfect and some days are better than others, my mom has taught me that as well... But you must stay resilient and determined, regardless of the hand you've been dealt, to stay on the path that you've set ahead of yourself - all the while, stopping to smell the roses and to kiss your babies. :) Thanks, mommy, for taking such good care of me, both over the past few months and since the day I was born. If Raya has babies, and she and her brother haven't killed me yet, I look forward to doting on her during her pregnancies the way you have with me. My kids are lucky, just as I was to have your mom as a grandmother - although for not nearly long enough, to have you as a grandma. It's my hope that we all have many, many more years together so that both you and the kids can enjoy each other and all of the memories to be made ahead. And although it saddens us all deeply that Joe can't be here to be a part of all of this, we knows he's looking down on us, watching over us. And what a blessing to have Grandpa Harry in our lives! I know he will be a phenomenal grandpa and I look forward to seeing the kind of relationship he has with the kids - there will be no discipline involved on his part, I fear, but I guess that's alright. :) ---- Okay, that was supposed to be quick - sorry, love you mom. :)

So, Wednesday, February 25, 2009 is the big day. I swore up and down a month ago when they scheduled my c-section for that day that there was no way I'd make it that far. And who knows, between now and then something could happen, but these kiddos have been perfectly happy with where they are - even after I thought I was in labor last Friday (the 13th, eeek!), the contractions fizzled out and I've only had a few since then. So it's looking like a done deal that Wednesday is, indeed, the day. Much to the delight of a couple of friends of mine - Annie Morrow (previously Rudnick, see previous post about their wedding in Minneapolis!), and my sassy hairdresser buddy Suz Pratt - Ollie and Raya will share a birthday with both ladies! It was funny when I first started telling people that the babies would be here "sometime in February" - all of you Acquarians and Pisces started coming out of the woodwork! My sis-in-law Sue, my cousin Katlyn, Kristian's cousin Joe, our good friends Jean-Marc and Stephanie Biewend and their son Seth... and now Annie and Suz are left on the 25th - I was hoping that the day would fall on somebody's birthday!

So I guess that's all for now - the next post will have photos of BABIES! Thanks so much to all of you who have been keeping touch, wishing us well, and saying prayers for us. Our lives are getting ready to change in so many wonderful ways and being able to share all of this with our friends and family makes it all that much more sweet and special! I promise to post photos and updates as much as I can! Lots of love to you all, Joanna