When I was pregnant with twins, there were few things that I could do from my BT (before twins) life. Running, yoga, eating without getting heart burn and sleeping more than 30 minutes a pop – these were all distant memories. Let’s be honest: some days I longed for a moment in my old skin; longed for but with a tinge of guilt (hello mom-guilt: what a new spin on an old favorite).
Pregnant with twins, I was pretty limited in what I could do. I had to be put on a modified bed rest situation about 3 months out from having my lovelies. Little did I know at the time (and boy oh boy I’m glad no one told me), I would take them full term for twins at 38 weeks and they would each come in weighing around 7 lbs. I would hobble around the house and do chores, taking breaks every couple seconds while sweeping or vacuuming when I could no longer bend over. I’d walk the dogs down the block and by walk I mean slowly waddle, the neighbors probably afraid my cervix would fall out of my you know what any minute. On one such walk I had to stop and actually fell down, or better, teetered down in slow motion on a stranger’s front lawn. I had to wait, dejected, until my husband could walk me home. This was a block and a half from our house.
I learned pretty quickly that modified bedrest meant that I basically could not do much of anything. Most evenings I either watched Netflix or read or looked at my phone, mostly instagram posts from other moms and blogs about pregnancy and all things twin. You see, part of why I feel called to talk a bit about my experience is because reading other twin moms’ experiences really saved me during this time. Even though I was alone (and treated like an alien by most of my single and still hip, childless friends), with this online community I felt a part of. Importantly, I also felt Hope.
Another lifesaver? A show called Escape to the Countryside. I think it’s several years old but it’s a cross between House Hunters and Lord of the Rings. Well not really lord of the rings but that sounds good and much of the landscape pictured looks a lot like New Zealand.
It’s more like House Hunters in Europe where all these English folk, mostly from London, are looking for a new life and home outside of the city. Each episode has a charming host with a thick accent that takes you through a series of homes selected and then a “mystery property,” usually something with attributes not anything near what the searching couple are looking for.
As I rolled around on the couch, propping my swollen self and belly up and nibbling saltines with a side of canned peaches, I would escape to all these marvelous places with rolling green hills, ocean vistas and en suite potties; with names like Yorkshire, Cheshire and Lancashire.
It was like fresh air. Interestingly, during many of these episodes my husband and I would have some great hormone-enraged standoffs. Two of my faves: when I sobbed uncontrollably about how much I hated his brown recliner and how it could not possibly fit with our green-white-gray nursery color scheme. Note: I’m rocking Henri in this tawny recliner as we speak. And the other: when I cried so hard I threw up after googling an image search for “twin pregnancy belly.” Note: please don’t do this.
So Escape to the Countryside, this was my baby moon since I was way too sick in the first trimester and way too pregnant by the second to travel.
I wondered at the time about a place called “Whelmedshire” (in the show they toured all sorts of shires). How was I ever going to do this thing called twin parenting? What on earth was going to happen to my body? How was I ever going to get over my old life and jump into the totally unknown – much like the people in the show who left it all in the bustling city to travel to the countryside. Was twin parenthood going to be nothing more than a perpetual state of “overwhelmedness?”
Well, friend, let me tell you I’m loving this new life and my beautiful twinnies. I’ve escaped to new lands, albeit on the way both my husband and I have gotten pretty muddy. They are going to be 4 months old soon and every day is an adventure as I care for them and watch them develop into tiny humans. What a blessing this life is; there is nowhere else I’d like to venture to than right where we are.