On Accepting Help

I had postpartum anxiety, OCD, and depression with my first baby. I’m trying hard to make the best preparations I can for myself and my family with these twins so that I can avoid or address it this time. I did a lot on my own last time, not because my husband slacked off or something, but because I was alone while he worked and because I felt very possessive of the baby and in need of control. A lot of things felt very out of control for me then.

This time, I want to accept more help and learn to live with less control, but the help I’ve already had is stressing me out, making me very vulnerable, and in some ways really disrupting me emotionally. I need a particular kind of help to feel okay. I do not currently feel okay. But I’m not in a position to take care of everything myself with such a tiring pregnancy. [Read more…]

16 Weeks

I’ve been reading Barbara Luke’s book on pregnancy with multiples and trying to find ways to eat well and also gain weight. I decided to finally buy a bathroom scale so I can make sure I’m on the right track. Got the thing home and there is a large sticker saying use of this scale is not intended for pregnant women. What? Is that like a gentle reminder that pregnant ladies shouldn’t be trying to lose weight, or is there something specific about this scale that isn’t compatible with pregnancy? I don’t know. I’ve gained maybe five pounds, though, so there’s that.

I’m feeling really useless lately. I do my best to keep up with my toddler through the work week, but as soon as my husband gets home, I’m desperate to lie down. On weekends and in the evening, he does everything. I mean everything. He basically takes on full parenting, all the meals, dishes, housework. He refills my water and gets me snacks. I said today that it’s hard being pregnant. I added, “It’s hard being married to someone who’s pregnant.” He sort of jokingly added, “Yeah, but you can’t complain about it.” [Read more…]

A (Long) Note on How I Feel About Expecting Twins

My mother used to say, “Don’t have more kids than you have hands.”

Or maybe it was less prescriptive: “I didn’t have more kids than I had hands.”

Whatever the semantics, I have always thought of it as real, practical advice. She had two kids. I only ever wanted two kids.

For a long time after my son was born, I struggled to even imagine having one more. He was the kind of baby who slept in twenty minute bursts and who nursed round the clock. If you want a label, he was/is High Need or Spirited. Shortly after his second birthday, he stopped napping altogether. I coped with the high demand of this child with a lot of attachment parenting solutions, not because I wanted to (though much of it was in line with my natural instincts), but more because I was drowning most days, and attachment kept us afloat. If I had a second baby, I knew most of my first approach would not be practical. You can’t lie with a baby for every nap and night-time sleep with a toddler to also take care of. So I decided, Not now. Maybe not ever.  [Read more…]