My parents came to visit last week. Jon is back to traveling and I'm back to accepting any help that comes my way. Many people at our home church in Pennsylvania are doing a Daniel Fast, and my parents were in the middle of it when they came to our house. So meal planning took on a new challenge. We had a great time trying out new dishes. But the most exciting part for the kids was Poppa's new juicer. Marmie and Poppa would juice for their breakfasts and lunches and the boys were all too eager to lend a hand with the machine.
For the most part, the juices I sampled were quite tasty. I did mess up on the last day though and gave my dad a bunch of cilantro instead of parsley. Marmie and Poppa rallied and polished off their glasses but I couldn't even get past the first sip. Ew.
As usual, it's nice to have a few extra pairs of hands around. Not only to help dress kids, handle many trips to the potty, prepare meals and do bedtime routines, but simply to keep little ones busy. I noticed a huge difference in Julia this past week. She was more than happy to choose Poppa over her Mama, and not having a 15 month old constantly clinging to my legs begging to be held was quite the freeing experience.
With the cheap babysitting we had available I went ahead and scheduled as many appointments as I could during the grandparents' visit. Jack and I toured a preschool across the street for next fall. It was amazing. Both he and I are excited about "the new school." It's also hard to get in to, particularly if you want a morning spot. And I do. Because something about messing with three babies' afternoon naps just doesn't appeal to me. So we're just going to pray and see what God is has mind. Oh, and did I mention there's a car pick-up line? Every time I try to picture me maneuvering Jack, Jude, Julia and a newborn through a parking lot and into a preschool my mind can't take it and automatically shuts down. Reboot. We'll work this out later.
For now #4 is very easy to carry around. We're technically in second trimester territory now, just waiting for my symptoms to catch up. Many days I have plenty of energy. It's been magnificent! Other days it hits me like a ton of bricks and I can barely keep my eyes open at 9:30pm. The nausea is much better, though not entirely gone yet. Oddly enough, the simplest things upset my stomach - brushing my teeth, coughing ... This morning was a close one. It's one thing to throw-up before breakfast, when there's hardly anything to lose. Those times I don't fight it. Five minutes later and I'm feeling back to normal. But after breakfast? After I woke up extra early to take a shower and make oatmeal before the kids were up? After I sat down to eat three different times and three different times was interrupted by another one awake and wanting breakfast. After I made everyone else whatever they wanted and finally sat down to my own, now very cold and gummy, bowl of oatmeal? By the time I finished the last bite there was no way I was giving it up again. So when I started coughing and could feel my stomach flip-flopping I just chugged some orange juice and chased it with a couple deep breaths. Crisis averted, I'm moving on to second breakfast now.
The best news of the weeks is that I finally saw the midwife! It was so fun to be back! There's been some changes at the Birth Center. One midwife is on maternity leave and the one that "caught" Julia has moved out of the state, and now there are three new ones. There are also lots of student nurses around. I don't know about you, but I'm always happy to work with a student. I'm pretty confident, by round 4, in my pregnancies and body. So send 'em in to my room where we can laugh over car births and red flags in my file alerting the midwives that when I say I'm in labor, I really mean it.
So yeah, strong, beautiful heartbeat which is the only thing I needed to hear! I did my best to convince her I'm not really interested in coming in again until I have to. We took care of all my blood work that day, while I had those handy babysitters. And she gave me a referral for my 20 week ultrasound and said not to come back until after that. Awesome! ... And then she measured me. Apparently my uterus is a bit large for 13 weeks. She had me go to the bathroom, measured me again and said something along the lines of "That's more like it" and then went off to talk to the midwife. She came back while I was checking-out and asked me to come back in 4 weeks instead of 8. So as I'm walking to my car it suddenly dawns on me, "I think I've just been put on twin watch!"
Deep breaths. It's probably not twins. It's probably just a very worn out uterus that is so proficient at her job she immediately assumes readiness position. It's probably just that bottle of water I downed while sitting in the waiting room filling out paperwork. It's probably nothing at all but one sweet, precious heartbeat enjoying a luxury king-sized suite. But it would be so nice to know for sure before the next 4 weeks! I've never worried about twins before. Usually I'm too busy worrying about the pregnancy and I don't even think about it until that first ultrasound when the tech casually mentions "oh and there's just one!" and we all kind of laugh and wipe our foreheads. But this time, this time I didn't get that ultrasound. And this time, while I think I can manage with one more under 5 ... two??!! Can you even imagine?
Me neither. So I'm not. I'm just going to think about one little baby sleeping next to our bed. One little baby in that car seat over my shoulder. The 15 bins of baby clothes I can get rid of once we find out that this ONE little baby is a boy or girl. And we'll even go back to thinking about walking one more little baby in and out of preschool every other day. Because suddenly it doesn't look so bad. Suddenly 4 under 5 is totally do-able.