I shake my head in disbelief. Three kids? Uh..what?
I remember when my wife was pregnant with our first, Will. It was a sobering experience to say the least. You go from really just doing whatever you want, in that you aren’t responsible for another human person. Just that thought was weird. I could barely pay a bill on time, now I had this whole other person that I had to take care of.
Not that I didn’t want it, I did, but it was…unexpected. When I was informed by my wife I said she was lying. I laughed and went back to playing a video game. She them politely informed me that, no, she was not lying and was very upset she wouldn’t be able to partake in the booze cruise for my brother’s birthday.
Times have changed. After years of trying and failing to have another, singular, child we finally got what we worked so hard for. Except it was, also, unexpected. There is always a (very, very) small chance of multiples with IVF, but we never imagined that would be us. Obviously we would accept two (or more) if such a thing happened…beggars can’t be choosers.
Thank the good Lord we felt that way because on the first ultrasound, of what we have decided would be our last try for a while (as we were both mentally drained from the process and loss), the tech nonchalantly says, “…and you do know there’s two in there, right?”
No. No we did not.
And now here we are. I’m a father of three.
I can’t help but to think sometimes about how imperfect I am and now I’m tasked with helping three other tiny humans with becoming all that they can. It’s exciting, unbelievable and frightening. It makes me shake my head. I’m literally shaking my head right now. Makes it hard to type.
Every morning I wait for my alarm to go off, but I don’t actually need an alarm.
I have three alarms that go off, consistently, before the official alarm.
Those alarms are Will, Nora, and Eric.
I can hear Will usually as soon as he opens the door to his bedroom. He’ll mosey on over to our room, snapping his fingers (it’s his new trick) as he walks in. He asks, “Is it morning time?”
Usually, though, before he even makes it up and out of his bed I’ve already gotten up two or three times to put a binky back in one or the other’s mouth. Sometimes both.
Most of the time I grumble as I roll out of bed, little crusty’s caked on my eyes, a bit of drool down the side of my chin. I do my duty, but sweet Lord it leaves me tired.
My kids are all out-of-town at the in-laws for a week.
“A whole week without kids?!”, you say? “WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?!”, you say?
Sleep. Lots of sleep.
I’m caught though between being a bit relived to get a bit of extra sleep and the, albeit it ever short-lived, feeling of not having to really do anything and missing the hell out of them.
How is it that you can miss something that makes you feel so tired and out of sorts?
I miss being woken up at the ass crack of dawn by my son finger snapping himself into our room. I miss the smiles I get from the twins when I walk into their room to get their binky or pull a baby blanket up.
The only truly good part about my kids not being home has been the alone time I’ve had with my wife (get your mind out of the gutter…). Being able to sit and watch a TV show without getting up every few minutes (an exaggeration) or to just pick up and go to the ice cream spot for a sundae or to go to the gym together has been incredible. We haven’t been able to do these things so simply in a long time.
It feels good.
All the same though? I miss my damn kids.
All the mumbling under my breath, all the things I let bore their way into my head, the lack of sleep (which isn’t terrible honestly, just an extra hour would be fucking outstanding), the toys everywhere (ever stepped on a Lego? HAVE YOU?!)…I gladly accept it all.
I actually talked a lot of shit about how great it was to have no children for a week. Turns out I was all talk. Just flapping my stupid lips. I miss my kids. I have since about the moment we got home after dropping them off and we walked into the house and realized how…quiet it was.
So I’ll be happy my kids are home so I can go back to mumbling under my breath, taking a poop that lasts about fifteen minutes longer than it should, and feeling like all I want is just one more damn hour of sleep.
I’m unable to explain how fast things change with babies. If you’ve had a baby then you know.
You blink and they’re doing something different, something more advanced than anything they’ve done before.
It seemed like just the other day they literally just laid there, and I know this isn’t earth shattering, but when you see them every day and all of a sudden they find out they can do something it’s amazing.
So here’s Eric finding his voice (with a cameo from Nora);
I admit here that I took my wife for granted. I don’t mean for it to sound as if I just sat around and did nothing while she ran around all day.
I handled my fair share of duties. I did what I had to do around the house. It may not have been at the exact time her highness wanted, but it did get done.
The thing is I never had my driver’s license until this past summer. I was 32-years-old when I got my license for the first time. It was odd and it was a brave new world for me, I just didn’t know it yet.
As I got more comfortable behind the wheel I began to handle more and more of the duties that my wife handled. It was okay while she was pregnant because she was a freak and working and handling her business all the way until the end of her pregnancy. Like until the day before the scheduled C-section.
Then they were born and here I was as the only one handling the driving duties and all that comes with it. The drop-off and pick-up of my son at school. All the store runs, grocery shopping, running out to get something, etc. My first oil change (a nightmarish two hour long fiasco that ended when Will smashed his face into a chair in the waiting area and entered full meltdown mode).
It might not seem like so much to most, but I had never had to do any of this before. When she ran to the store I could sit home (most of the time). I took the bus to and home from work so I didn’t have anything to do with Will’s drop-off or pick-up. I lived a simple, happy life.
I still live a simple, happy life except now I know all that my wife did (and does). She did all this driving around in addition to her duties at home. She almost never complains about it, she just did what she knew she had to do because it was what the circumstances dictated.
Should I tell this to her with my own mouth? Sure. Except in my family we aren’t so good at expressing ourselves. I find it easier to express myself this way. Better to let a feeling be known one way or another than not at all.
Infertile. Boom. I felt like Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter, walking around with a huge ‘I’ on my chest. I was 26 when I was diagnosed with infertility.
Years ago, my doctor causally mentioned something about Polycystic Ovaries (PCOS) and I might have issues getting pregnant, but didn’t make it seem like a big deal. Basically, my body doesn’t ovulate regularly. I was only 20 at the time, and babies were FAR from my mind and my biggest side effect was that I didn’t get my period regularly (No period?! How is that a BAD thing??!! haha). Fast forward to a few years later, and I was pregnant with my son without even trying. He was the best ‘oops’ we ever made! Seeing how quickly this happened, PCOS was the farthest thing from my mind.
Ever since the day Will Jr was born, I instantly wanted another baby. This kicked into high gear around his second birthday as we began trying. Once 6 months passed with no success, we started the process of seeking help, and this is where our journey began…
It was August 2012. After some initial tests, I was officially diagnosed with infertility relating to my PCOS. Will and I were incredibly optimistic and assumed that we would just get some pills, have sex….and get pregnant. That sounds easy enough, right? Wow, we could not have been more wrong.
Our sense of positivity gradually begins to weaken failed cycle after failed cycle. It was a crushing blow to my sense of self-worth. I wasn’t capable of doing the one thing women were put on earth to do- carry a child. After medicated cycles with my obgyn, we were ultimately referred to a reproductive endocrinologist at a fertility clinic. I never expected my life to lead down this path, but we were prepared to do whatever it took to have another child.
After meeting with the Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE), I was overwhelmed with information but excited about the possibilities. Given my age and history of conceiving a child naturally, it seemed like a ‘no-brainer’ that this would work. Wrong…again. Obviously, if you know us personally, you know we are expecting twins any day- so yes, it did ultimately work but it wasn’t without failure and losses along the way.
The journey to conceive was such an emotional roller coaster for Will and I. We put everything we had mentally, emotionally and physically into each cycle. There are so many more lows then highs in the world of infertility. It made us question our faith, our relationship, and even whether we were meant to be parents again. It completely messes with your mind.
As our journey lead to Invitro Fertilization (IVF), I quickly became a pro at giving myself shots each night of hormones to stimulate egg production in my ovaries. Eventually these eggs would be injected with Will’s sperm and strategically placed into my uterus. How could that NOT produce a baby, RIGHT? Ha!
It was exhausting to go through this process time and time again… and still no baby. I think as the ‘infertile’ one in the relationship, I had extra pressure on myself. I often times felt like I was holding my husband back from the family he was meant to have, because I couldn’t physically give it to him. One of the hardest conversations to have is telling him each time a cycle failed. He was just as emotionally invested as I was. Maybe he wasn’t the one giving himself shots or going to appointments every other day…but he was right there with me being my moral support and talking me off the ledge when I felt like our situation was helpless. Having to tell the person I love more than anything that it just didn’t work…again..and again… was crushing. It just didn’t get any easier. Although we always picked up the pieces, held each other up, and continued on with whatever was the next step.
We were determined to beat infertility! After 4 failed cycles with Clomid (fertility drug), One failed IUI with injectable meds, 3 IVF cycles, and two babies who didn’t stick around long enough for us to meet…we were quickly approaching 2 years of fertility treatment. We were emotionally drained and trying to decide what was next after our 4th IVF (a break? adoption? a second opinion?). This last cycle (#4) ended up being our miracle cycle as we became pregnant with these two babies that are currently bouncing around in my belly. I am still in shock.
As my due date is quickly approaching, I can’t help but think how fortunate I am to be in this position. There were so many days were I never thought I would be lucky enough to bear another child. I am forever grateful. These babies will never understand how much they were wanted and loved before they were even born.
I won’t say she was angling to get the go ahead to stay home even though she says, “I feel great!”
Clearly this is atypical. My wife is a weird person. Just trust me.
At this meeting with the doctor she was told that her c-section was scheduled for January 16, 2015. This would all be contingent on her holding off labor until then, of course.
She could and might go into labor before January 16. We were told that between 32 and 36 weeks that there’s a 50% chance that she would go into labor and that the average for twins to be born was 35 weeks.
We’re sitting at 34 weeks as of this past Wednesday.
It’s just takes my breath away a bit that there’s an actual date. My twin babies could have the birthday of January 16, 2015.
I’m going to be a father of three by January 16, at the latest.
Sweet baby Jesus that’s weird.
It wasn’t all that long ago that I was having trouble being responsible for myself, let alone three other humans.
While dates in your life coinciding is a random and most coincidental thing, if the c-section was for January 17 that would have meant the twins would be born exactly ten years – to the day – after our first date.
That’s another wowzer right there. Ten years with the same person. The poor girl.
So in conclusion, four weeks from tomorrow (or today if you are reading this on December 19!), at the latest, the twins will be here and our lives will forever change, again. How many times should I expect my life to change? Like two more times? five? ten?
When we play a game, any kind of game – video, board, card – and it’s my 4-year-old son versus myself, I want to let him win all the time.
I don’t. I resist the urge to sit back and play passively. I don’t hold back.
It’s not like I just throw him into the water and expect him to swim (metaphorically, of course). I show him how to play and try to guide him, letting him know what’s right and wrong, before crushing him.
I remember my father not letting either my brother or I win at anything unless we legitimately won.
For instance, I didn’t beat my father in a one-on-one game of basketball until I was 18-years-old. He fouled me, trash talked, and generally gave me very little room to breathe. At the time I remember being pissed I couldn’t win. I also recall it making me work harder on my game. I practiced more, I worked harder.
Now, I’m not taking my son out to the court to rough him up just yet. It’s still a bit of a mismatch. Although I am grossly out of shape, but that’s beside the point. Continue reading →