It is hard to know what qualifies as ‘overdue’ when one is carrying twins. The NHS prefer for identical twins to be delivered at thirty-six weeks and fraternal twins to be delivered at thirty-seven, and at thirty-nine weeks today I’m well past those dates.
One would think that one wouldn’t make the same mistakes the second time around, and yet again I’ve let myself believe that these babies would be early. At first it was something to fret about, and then as thirty-six weeks approached and passed quietly confident and a little smug. I told myself that I was happy to wait as long as the babies needed, that we hail from a line of long gestators because some babies do need more time and that so long as they were happy and moving well there was no reason to rush things. And then thirty-eight weeks came and went.
And now, to be honest, I’m just a little bit bored. And impatient. And deeply, deeply hormonal.
The lead-up to labour is a funny old time. I am sure that I would have an easier time waiting if only I didn’t have the hormones turning me into a complete lunatic. Over the last week or so I have swung between euphoria – “We are having our babies soon! I love everyone!” – and what feels like the worst PMT ever. I have been restless and anxious, not helped by a couple of episodes where I’ve been convinced that labour was imminent and then just as the sunrise kicked in – everything stopped. On one of these occasions I actually declared my intention to stay home to my boss, who was then rather surprised when I turned up at noon, deeply irritated with the state of the world but particularly my uterus, was sick in the work bathroom before brushing my teeth with the handwash – ugh! – and getting on with the working day. I think that we all thought that it wouldn’t be very much longer after that but oh yes, STILL HERE.
Actually I feel rather like the lovechild of an unexploded bomb and an elephant.
I had hoped that my body was waiting until my boss went on annual leave and that my water would break spectacularly as soon as he walked out of the door, which would have been the perfect timing. I even packed myself a spare pair of knickers for the office that day, just in case! But it didn’t.
The day before yesterday we had a growth scan, the first scan that I’ve managed to lie through without passing out since the anomaly scan at twenty-weeks (thank you, patient sonographer and last week’s iron infusion!) and it was really positive. The girls are clearly happy and growing well, looking to be following a similar growth curve as their older brothers. At this point they are predicted to weigh 6lbs 6oz and 6lbz 10oz so we are expecting newborn-sized newborns rather than particularly dainty little ones. We found that when the boys were born, at 38+2 weeks, our bigger twin was more than ready to come out but the wee one, Balthazar, would have really benefitted from a little while longer inside, so it’s a relief to know that these two have had those few extra days in which to plump up and mature.
I’ve been distracting myself with assisting Kirsty with our YouTube channel, Meet the Wildes, and collaborating with Channel Mum on this fantastic vlog about ‘bump shaming’. I am always amazed as to the extent to which women seem to become public property when they’re pregnant and some of the things that people feel that they can say are truly astonishing. I’m lucky in that I don’t suffer for body confidence but I am sure that for somebody who is a little more fragile, these comments could be really damaging. We are taking back the power and we’d love for you to have a watch and share some of the things that people have said to you. Also, how gorgeous do we all look? I never thought that I could be persuaded to take my top off for the internet but I have really enjoyed participating in this project.
And now we wait. And wait. With a nursery mostly decorated and a moses basket rocking gently beside the bed whenever we brush past it, and two little girls kicking and squirming like a sack full of angry cats. As much as I hate to say it, it’s such a lovely thing to be waiting for that I can’t be too angry, even with the hormones surging around my body like some kind of freak tidal overflow and the constant braxton hicks that are just painful enough to get my hopes up on a regular basis. It’s better than Christmas. Better than Christmas. A few-times-in-a-lifetime thing. New babies. Fresh new human lives, and we get to welcome them in to the world, hopefully on their own time and in our own home.
I can’t be mad about waiting another week or so for that. Not for long, anyway.
Come on, little girls! We want to meet you…