The Final Countdown

How many of you have read that title and now have the song from the frizzy-haired eighties band going around in your heads?

I apologise.

I’ll even apologise for the fact that the song will probably remain there for the rest of the day.

This isn’t a post about almost twenty year old rock bands with bad hair. We really are counting down to something.

Early on in this pregnancy when we first found out we were expecting twins, Mike and I talked about how this amazing yet different turn of events would affect everything. Suddenly, knowing that we were not expecting one baby but two threw this pregnancy into a whole new light.

Rather than thinking in terms of a 40 week pregnancy which was likely to have a scheduled c-section the week before, with the usual aches and pains and developments of all the other pregnancies before it, we were now faced with the more uncertain maybe/maybe nots of a twin pregnancy. There is no precedent set. I had never experienced a twin pregnancy before and didn’t know what it would entail. Indeed, neither did the medical professionals I was dealing with. This time it’s all different.

Instead we were given all the if’s, but’s and maybe’s. If problems occur then bed rest will happen, but if things take a turn for the worst then…. you get the idea. The things is, there is just no telling.

Thankfully, I have had a pretty uneventful pregnancy. As usual my iron levels have dipped. Now, as I’m coming to the final stages, I’m having to deal with more discomfort and more symptoms which will all go as fast as they came once the babies are born. We are at the stage where Braxton Hicks contractions are being watched and noted for any increase which may indicate a trip to the hospital, as these babies really could do with a couple more weeks staying where they are.

But the problem with living a life and raising a family independent of outside help means that sometimes you need to put extra plans in place. (Edit: I should say here that we do have constant offers of help from our neighbours-on-one-side (aka “The Nice Side”).  They are the ones who looked after the children when I went into hospital for Joseph’s birth.  I know that we have their help if we need it in an emergency or for an appointment.  What I wouldn’t expect from them is to look after the children/run our house/cook our meals/wash our dirty undies etc etc if I were to be hospitalised or put on bed rest for a length of time.  We wanted to put plans into place so as not to burden ourselves onto others more than we need to.  There are a lot of us and it would be a lot to expect anyone else to take on for a prolonged period of time especially when they have their own lives to live and other commitments which do (and should) take priority over us, even though I know they’d be happy and willing to do it).  We don’t know what is going to happen now. We can’t tell if I’m going to hold on until the scheduled c-section date or whether labour will kick off in the next week or two. We can’t plan yet we still have our children to consider and when you don’t have people you can call on (Edit: to cover an indefinite period of days or weeks rather than minutes and hours), you need to think about what you’re going to do.

Very soon after finding out we were expecting twins, we worked out how much money we would need to have set aside for Mike to be able to take a reasonable amount of time off work. By reasonable, we thought three months from the end of September. Our plan was that we hoped any complications wouldn’t arise until well after the thirty week mark. Then if the babies did arrive early and end up in SCBU, he or I could remain with them while the other one stayed with the other children. My mother in law is kindly going to come over as quickly as possible to look after the kids while I am in labour or theatre but she still needs to get over from the next county and there is a limit to how long she can stay for.

We needed to work out finances and put plans into place to cover all eventualities. So we did. And by a wing and a prayer we can cover our costs so that this is possible. He’s taking parental leave to last the rest of the year.

And he’s finishing next Friday!

And boy, am I looking forward to it.

And the kids are looking forward to it!

And Mike is very much looking forward to it!!

So many exclamation marks!!!

I have now reached the stage where the tiredness is so difficult to deal with, and the discomfort and physical limitations are making me desperately slow and turning even the most minor tasks into major feats.  I am so thankful that we planned way ahead to make this possible.

I am ready for a little help.

And I am really looking forward to spending the time with him.

Just one more week to go!

Roll on!


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