the intensity of pregnancy dreams.

Ever since I was a very small child, I have had vivid, lucid dreams. They played a huge role in my ability to world build throughout my childhood and have helped my foundation as a storyteller.

As of now, at 27, I can remember hundreds of dreams in my childhood. My oldest is a dream about a forest, a tree, my mother in a purple dress, and my mother tying my Moses basket into the tree. I was around two or three when I had that dream.

I remember the dreams I would have after taking the HCG shot (trigger shot) a day and a half before my IUI. For the entire week after I would have vivid dreams. It was one of my favorite parts of the two-week wait.

Being pregnant and having a very high HCG levels, my vivid dreams have been all over the place.

They’re their own worlds sometimes. Other times it’s of world’s I’ve build and novels I’ve written. The main characters I recognize from the character profiles I spent hours writing and then throwing to the side.

Other times I’m a kid again. I’m scared and panicky and I have fears of my stepfather coming into my room at night or that I will find my mother dead.

Other dreams are stress dreams of stressful relationships that are currently happening.

And the newest dream stems from my new anxiety – that the babies will stop growing, die, and I’ll be carrying dead babies inside me.

It’s a new, scarier branch off from my recurring tiny dead animal nightmares.

It scares me and it’s caused some anxiety these last few days. Are they still growing? What if they do stop? I think it’s because this week has lead to me feeling both of them move and flutter inside me. There have been more moments where I’ve had to make decisions that protect them, their growth, their childhood. Already.

I’m their mama. They’re not here and I’m already their mama and it’s real. They’re real.

And I already love them so fiercely.

So, here comes the anxiety.

I’m also no stranger to death and this week marks seven years since my mother died. This week (month) is filled with dreadful feelings and anger and sadness and longing.

It makes sense that this fear is happening now.

I usually have an ultrasound to look forward to by the time the anxiety settles in but now that we have graduated from the RE – it’s to the midwife we go next week. Most likely no ultrasound.

So a Doppler has become helpful, kind of.

I’m trying to wake up and walk myself through the fear. I’m trying to center myself and remind myself that my body is working and growing these babies.

Yet it’s like a vivid memory that I have to try to erase, try to pray away.

I think once we complete this move and I let go of worries, anxieties, and situations I have no control over – the stress behind these dreams will slowly slide away.

New ones will arise, of course, but this part of it – this week in particular – will fade away hopefully.

On good days my dreams are so vivid that I wake up feeling like it’s been weeks since I’ve fallen asleep. I wake up thinking I’ve made it to 34 weeks and I spent my entire pregnancy on the Irish coast just living in a cottage, writing books, and spending mornings walking along the cliffs.

On good days I’m lucid in my dreams and I’m walking myself away from people and situations that stress me out or cause undue worry and jump into the air and fly away. I fly to scenes of stories I’ve written, sit by fires and talk with characters I’ve created, and felt my babies move inside me.

Pregnancy dreams are intense.

The life that I live around it isn’t much different.

It’ll be nice to chill out for a bit and hope that my anxieties will settle and fall away.

I could use some stress-free months.

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“be not of those who are shut out as by a veil.”

They vibrate my insides when I walk around too much or drink soda water. I feel it on the outside, my lower belly in specific spots, like there are two small pagers inside my uterus going off at various points in time. Their inch and a half long bodies wiggling around and vibrating my organs.

It’s a weird feeling.

Screen Shot 2017-10-13 at 2.53.45 PMThat they are there and that they aren’t and it’s hard to wrap my mind around anything that isn’t immediate sometimes.

I’m find that most of pregnancy is spent under this veil. It’s hard to see two feet in front of you and all you can do is feel.

It’s hard when most of your feelings are nausea, projectile vomiting, worry and anxiety, and the stress of life around you. That veil becomes darker, less sheer, and you become more blind to the future.

It’s right now, this moment, this second and all you need is for others to understand, but you are quickly finding out that pregnancy is an exclusive club.

And a hard start to pregnancy is it’s own room in that club.

My wife is extremely sensitive. So am I.

It’s weird and it’s a fault of mine to have more expectations of my wife than if my partner was a man because she is a woman. The expectation still from her experience of dealing with hormones from her period and cycle. It’s an unfair expectation and I can’t say that it would be the same if she were a man.

But it becomes hard when your veiled. Your words don’t make as much sense anymore. You aren’t able to preform simple tasks because you’re too tired or nauseated. You’re hormonal and weepy or irritated or needy and I’ve tried so, so hard to control most of it – more so than I’ve seen others do with their husbands – but its hard.

How do you control such hard emotions that you live in? How do you need someone there to take care of you but not want to put too much onto them?

The worse is adding in a cross country move to the mix and it’s so easy to feel so overwhelmed that you start to not be able to even know who you are. You’re just this mess of something that is desperately trying to survive and remember exactly why this is worth it.

Then you see them.

Their legs crossed and arms moving and they look so much like tiny humans now. They have teeth growing under their gums and their organs are starting to work and they are developing sexes and their brains are growing, growing, growing so fast.

We hear their hearts ticking away at night – Esther is easier to find while Agnes is farther back – cushier.

They are there.

They’re growing.

And I am doing that – I am following the map that my wife left inside me and I am growing these two humans who will have thoughts, personalities, needs, and who are noble.

In these moments of realization, the veil becomes a bit more sheer and you are able to start to see a little bit farther.

You’re their mother – their mama. You are nurturing them and caring for them. I am already making decisions about their health, their wellbeing, and where they will spend the first moments of their lives.

I’m fiercely protective over them – over their autonomy, over the magic that we want to create for/with them, over how we are going to live our lives once they are here – and I am a dreamer when it comes to them. I fall asleep imagining them on our bed wiggling around, kicking each other, reaching for each other.

I imagine their conversations about the world at three years old, seven, ten, twenty. I imagine who they will turn out to be with autonomy, independence, and a home that fights against injustice. I say prayers from Abdu’l-Baha as I drift off to sleep or when I am too stressed. I read the texts for guidance.

We are one forth of the way there (or a little over one third, two babies become tricky with timing).

I pray they continue to thrive, to grow and be nourished by my love and warmth and thoughts.

They’re safe here, inside me.

I’ve started my weaning period of my hormones. I didn’t want to stop cold turkey even though their placentas are doing more than enough right now.

We are moving in a few days.

I’m on a stronger medication for the vomiting and nausea that makes me feel semi-normal.

I’m trying.

I’m trying to be conscious. I’m trying to feel them more. I’m trying to believe in hope rather than feel hopeless.

The veil is there and I’m sure it’s there until they’re born, but today its a bit easier to see through it than others.

we’re moving to the mountains.

i was going to write this long, elegant post about moving, stress, anxiety and how hard pregnancy is but it didn’t sound right. the words rolled around my mouth too much and, maybe its because i’m violently vomiting everything out of my body, but they simply didn’t come out right. like they were covered in bile.

we are moving – 17 hours away – from the place i’ve called home for over 27 years. i am 9 weeks pregnant and dealing with the worse hangover ever and we are moving – in 13 days.

yes, this is stressful. yes, this is probably all too much. yes, i am crying a lot.

i’m mourning friends and the idea of community and the stories my house here won’t be able to tell and i’m getting sicker and the medication isn’t working and it’s a lot. it’s hard to function most days and there was a moment a few days ago that i was so stressed out that i began to cramp and it just freaked me the fuck out.

everyone says when your pregnant you’ll just feel it. well, i don’t. i don’t feel pregnant or like this is real or that my body has created these two tiny inch long humans with really strong hearts.

it’s a messed up feeling. being so sick, being so unable to really function, trying to find balance on shaky legs and just not feeling like you are finally pregnant.

after a year and some change of trying – it’s a bit of a bummer but, honestly, how can i feel anything other than miserable right now?

i bought a doppler in my fit of anxiety when i was so stressed the other day. i’m finding that all my previous ideals are being thrown out the window. medication? give it all to me.

medication? give it all to me.

multiple ultrasounds? i’ll take them all.

doppler? well, fuck yes i want to try it.

you get to this point of survival. you begin to ask yourself the question – whats worse, this flawed study that might have found a negative effect for something or the stress you’re putting on the baby because you are dehydrated/anxious/over stressed, etc?

you start to see things in a light of baby will be more okay if i’m less stressed.

this process is slow. it becomes slower when there is huge life changes – and i really don’t recommend huge life changes when your pregnant, it adds to the misery – but you adapt and try to find peace with it all.

i know that agnes and esther (my pregnancy names for the babies. no, we aren’t naming them that. no, we don’t know the sex. i just really hate non-names for humans when i’m trying to bond with them) are thriving. they’re growing fast, their hearts are so strong, and they are wiggling and wiggling.

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i’m showing already. my uterus is swollen and it presses on my bladder and i feel it when i lie on my right side.

time is going slow but there is change happening.

it’s just a lot at once.

i’m trying to find ways not to over stress. i’m trying to make space to cry and to grow and to feel.

and i’m trying to give myself space to find ways to connect with these babies and to experience pregnancy and to ask for things.

we’re moving to the mountains and its a lot.

i’m pregnant with two babies and its a lot.

but i’m also madly in love with my wife – more than ever. i trust her and know that she is powerful and she can handle me leaning more on her.

i’m excited to teach my babies about the magic of the mountains and the stars and for snow-covered holidays.

they’ll be born in the same city my mom was born and their creation story is magical and we have always been the couple who leaped first into the water without testing it.

and guess what? we have thrived.

so far, pregnancy is hard. you don’t really feel it, you feel miserable and sick most of the time but its also magical.

my wife gave my body a map to follow and my body has eagerly accepted that challenge. these two are thriving, just like us.

i can handle this.

 

some answered questions about the babies.

We heard their heartbeats yesterday at our 8-week appointment. We saw them wiggle and wiggle and wiggle. They’re alive. They’re growing. And we can’t help but think they’re magical.

We are honoring this time as they grow and grow inside me, but we look forward to the moment that they enter earthside. We have many hopes and excitement for these two little ones. We have stockpiles of cloth diapers and baby sweaters ready for their arrival. We are dreaming of their little feet and faces and the people they can become.

We are excited to share our excitement with you.

Here are the questions that we’ve been asked a ton of times and know we will be asked a ton more:

Are you having twins? Are they identical?! 

– Yes, we are having babies. They come from two separate embryos, so they are fraternal. We are encouraging people to say ‘two babies’ versus twins so that we can change the language of grouping children together (i.e. “the twins”, “the girls”, “the boys”).

Do you know what gender they are? Do you want boys or girls?

– We will not announce the SEX until they’re born. We won’t know their gender for a while. Depending on that child it could be in toddlerhood or later in life – their choice. Until then, we are happily going to dress them in our favorite colors and styles (Shilpa really enjoys Patagonia outfits and Sweaters while I’m more of an Amish dresses and wool pants kind of person). Their sex does not equal gender and we refuse to attribute traits and ideas to our children when they are encouraged to freely express themselves.

How did you make this baby? 

– Pull up a chair, we will love to tell you this story.

Who is carrying? 

– Mama.

Do they have a dad? 

– No. They have a Mama and an Amma.

I’ll still be documenting on the blog. It has been hard (and really lonely) not being able to post anything these last several weeks. I feel like I’ve come up with a ton of posts in my head wanting to share the journey and haven’t been able to talk about it. I am so grateful that we are sharing this news now. 

Hey babies!

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It is with great excitement that we announce TWO new Raos who are making their appearance in late April/Early May.

We found out while on a trip to the great outdoors four days after our embryo transfer. The line that we got was dark. We tested for days after and the line stayed dark and dark and dark! They were so eager.

Our first beta was 9dp5dt (9 days post 5-day transfer) at a whopping 1225 (we needed over 8). We were praying that by the next beta it would have gone up 4x.

Our second beta t 13dp5dt was over 11k!

We first saw them at 5 weeks and 6 days. They were tiny blobs with barely flickering hearts.

We saw them again at 7 weeks and 5 days and they were measuring ahead! They had the brightest flicker of heartbeats and wiggly little bodies.

Pregnancy has been really hard. I am nausea medication (Diclegis) because I had extreme vomiting. The nausea is still here and so is the exhaustion (thanks, Diclegis, and babies). With two, my body is growing so fast and still in shock of all the hormones BUT it has done a great job and these two babies are thriving.

Yes, we are excited for them both.

 

 

the waiting game. 

we are playing the waiting game. 

isn’t this all just a waiting game for one thing or another? like we are leapfrogging from one moment to the next? 

I feel like for the last year our hearts have lived inside our throats and our bodies are trying to find stability in it’s new normal – constantly changing normal. 

there is anxiety in the waiting and waiting and waiting. 

but there is also stillness. there is me just breathing deep and feeling and visualizing and believing. 

there is me taking a moment and a step back to assess the situation before we move forward to what is next. 

there is just me being still and hearing my mom tell me to ‘let go, let god’.

at some point you realize this is all science and magic anyway. 

we’ve always been that – science and magic. 

I’m going to try to believe in that and find my peace with all of this. 

it’s not settling in. 

my mom has been dead for nearly seven years – october 20th. time doesn’t make it seem any less, it doesn’t heal this wound. time becomes irrelevant. 

some days it feels like years without her. 

other days, like today, only a few days. 

I wish she was here today, yesterday, the day before. 

her response would be exactly what I needed, what I wanted. it would be excitement and pride and hopeful. 

she understands all things are temporary but they should be celebrated. she understands there is a time for everything. 

I wholeheartedly miss my mother. I wish she was here to experience this life with me. 

so, without her, this is how I cope. her Facebook page that I have memoralized. a page where I write to her about how badly I miss her or how angry I am that she is gone or how she should be right here. 

infertility is hard. fertility treatments are brutal. this is not a road we should or want to walk alone. it’s bump and Rocky and my body has brusies and scars and sometimes it’s nice to have that support network that we can lean back on. 

my mother would have been that for us.