Whoever tells me that pregnancy is wonderful I may throttle with my bare hands. May I just say (and no offence, dear babies) that pregnancy is bloody hard. A friend of mine who had twins told me that it was the most physically enduring thing she had ever done. When my babies at this stage were the size of red kidney beans I took this information on board but thought ‘ah, she’ll be right, mate.’ Now, many weeks later I know EXACTLY what she means, and I didn’t even suffer from 5 months of morning sickness like she did. Now don’t get me wrong, I am so very lucky to have conceived, and I cannot wait til the little critters arrive, but being pregnant with twins is like a non-stop session of Bikram yoga, minus the sweat. In fact, the other evening, I was talking on my mobile with my best friend in Oz, and after climbing the stairs in our house she actually stopped mid-sentence and asked if I was ok I was panting so much. This panting may have been exacerbated by a large chunk of stollen hanging out my mouth. Now I deem myself a relatively fit person (well, was) having walked for over an hour Mon-Fri as my daily exercise, but now, well forget it. Even rolling over in bed is like climbing the Himalayas. And when I wake up at 3am (that’s right, folks, I am STILL not sleeping through the night) I no longer feel like I can climb the Himalayas upon waking – for I AM the Himalayas.
Alright, alright, enough of this bloody moaning. Let me give you a glimpse of my life over the past 4 weeks – where the hell has that time gone?!
23 week scan – Foal A (we call them Foals now) showed his/her little face and it was beautiful and cleft palette free. Of course I cried again. Seeing that little nose and lips made all the panting, moaning, sleepless nights and discomfort drift away.
Next for that week was the Survival class which was put on by TAMBA. Armed with gas masks, Kalashnikovs and bullet proof vests we and about 60 others waddled into a lecture theatre in some college in Holborn. To be honest, it wasn’t as good as what I thought it would be. I thought it would be about how we would survive (funny, that) and yet the lecturer seemed to just go on a bit about her twins and what they’re like now aged 17 – that they hang out in each other’s rooms when they’re going through a tough time. Not being funny, but don’t all sisters do that anyway? I need to know, dear woman, what the hell I should do when one wakes up screaming and the other one is fast asleep. Do I wake the other one up to feed it? Or do I leave it be until it starts screaming just as I’ve nodded off 45 minutes later? I think I have just answered my own question.
Having lost a bit of enthusiasm for the lecturer I began eavesdropping on the couple behind me. Lecturer woman did provide this handy tip – have someone stick a casserole in the oven and turn the heating on just before you’re due to come home from the hospital – there’s nothing worse to coming home to an empty, cold house with nothing in the fridge for dinner. Fair point.
Couple behind me:
Man, sniggering: “Yeah, right, imagine me sticking a casserole in the oven – as if.”
Woman, hissing: “Stop it, Russell. You have GOT to take this seriously. This IS happening whether you like it or NOT.”
I do wonder how Russell is going to get on in 3 months’ time when his twins are screaming the house down and he’s burnt the casserole.
Next on the list of appointments for that week was the Consultant. You know, the one that looked at me like I was dressed as Big Bird when I requested a Caesarean.
I walk in the room – and the Consultant has either changed from a white haired white man to a black haired black man or I am having hallucinations from a stollen overdose.
“Hello, I’m Dr Cannotrememberhisname. “
“Hi – I thought I was meant to be seeing the Consultant?”
“Would you like to see the Consultant?”
“Well, you tell me, your team made me an appointment with the Consultant and now you are here. It’s a little like ordering fries, and being served mash. To be honest, I don’t actually care who I see, unless of course you are the cleaner or Head of IT, then we might be in for an interesting time.”
He was the Registrar, which, according to Holby City, is one under the Consultant, and he did look kind of medical, so I was ok with that.
He scanned my tummy. And there they were, hearts beating (Foal A at 147, Foal B at 157 – and no, people, it is a myth that you can determine the sex of a baby by its heartbeat – they can range anywhere between 120 and 160 for both males and females). Ah, little poppets kicking like mad.
I say to Dr Registrar: “Oh, please don’t let me know what sex they are – I want it kept as a surprise.”
Registrar: “Oh it’s ok, I don’t know how to do that anyway.”
This is a slight worry. You are a REGISTRAR scanning my belly with a piece of equipment that costs more than my car, and you don’t know how to tell the sex of a baby?
“You’re not the Head of IT, are you?”
The appointment comes to an end and the receptionist makes me another for 2 Jan.
“Now, Eliza, just make sure you have an ultrasound before 2 Jan so we can assess that when you next come in.”
I trundle off down the hall to the Ultrasound Dept.
“Hi. I need an Ultrasound appointment before 2 Jan please,” to the girl sitting behind the counter who looks remarkably like a Bratz doll (Remember them? God they used to be hard to get out of the packaging for my nieces at Christmas – the poor things had more ties around their wrists than those infidels in Homeland).
“I can’t make you an appointment – they need to raise a form.”
Of course they do.
“Could you please call them and ask them to raise a form?”
“No, I can’t do that.”
Ah yes, that’s right – of course you can’t. For I am 25 weeks pregnant with twins and I must spend my entire afternoon waddling from one hospital department to another, knee-deep in bureaucracy.
Finally the appointment is sorted – from my desk at work a week later I might add.
Finally, I must tell you of my Asda car park moment. At 5am one day, having watched the last rerun of Friday Night Lights and thinking dear Lord what the hell am I going to watch now in the early hours, I found a cute little rocking horse on the Asda website that I simply had to have for my dear Foals.
I picked it up two days later from my local Asda. Got it out of the box, took one look at it before popping it into the car boot, and began crying.
Husband: “Why are you crying?”
Me: “Look at its little furry ears.”
Husband, looking slightly concerned that his wife has well and truly lost the plot: “Ah, come on now, it’s raining. You need to get in the car.”
“But imagine our babies riding this little horse with their cute little bums and ah god, look at its little furry ears,” I snort.
My husband deserves a medal. I have given him a new nickname of Scaffy, short for scaffolding, because, quite honestly, that is exactly what he is – and we’re talking ultra-strong, ultra-supportive scaffolding that doesn’t come down in a typhoon. That’s my husband. Did I tell you he works in IT? But he doesn’t know how to use an ultrasound. Snort.