yes, another post about babes in my toyland

Phil came home to find me upstairs, in our bed, crying.  I was wearing a robe.  My hair was a frizzy mess, piled into a clip atop my head. 
"What’s the matter?"
"Oh, nothing.  I’m just pregnant," I sobbed.  "And nothing fits.  Everything just hurts, even the sides of this robe when I try to sleep.  And I’m hormonal, okay?"  I said in a tone conveying that it was not okay, not with me.
"Yes, of course it’s okay.  What can I get you?"
"A big glass of ice water with lime and a bendy straw," I demanded.  I have six pounds of baby in me, not to mention two placentas.  I have the uterus of a mother carrying one, and I still have months to go.  And it hurts everywhere, and I need to vent and bitch and cry.  So excuse the damn baby posts.  And excuse that none of it makes sense.  This is for me, my record of nonsense. 

My hair is a nightmare lately, too.  It’s out of control curly.  I hear this happens, a hair change because of hormones.  My cousin Colleen’s kinky curls became bone-straight when she was pregnant.  I look like a muffin.  I feel like a man when I look in the mirror.  I have a lot more freckles. I no longer wear pointy shoes, or heels, or anything feminine aside from jewelry.  I don’t bother coordinating with handbags.  I want to punch people in the face who say annoying things like, "welcome to motherhood."  No shit it’s not about me anymore.  It doesn’t mean I have to be all smiles about everything.  I miss being a girly girl without elastic in her life.  I’m angry with myself for writing blog entries instead of writing in a journal to my unborn children.  I haven’t kept a pregnancy journal, haven’t written love notes to my babies yet.  I need to change that.  I still have a trimester of a chance to get it right.

I’ve already taken a breast feeding class, designed for multiples, at store called Second Edition.  Yesterday I went to a baby sign language class at Babies ‘R Us.  We’ve decided to sign with our babies and have been trying to practice with each other.  We need to practice more.  There are so many benefits to teaching children to sign.  And studies prove that no, babies who sign do not take longer to speak.  In fact, babies who sign have higher IQs and perform better in grammar school.  Not to mention how great it will be to communicate with them at such an early age before they throw fits in the supermarket.

I’m reading Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, which I find extremely helpful in preparing me for the arrival of the babies.  The author discusses the different cries, and how to interpret them (rather than just suffocate them for our own comfort).  There is so much great information in the book, so if you’re pregnant, or know someone who is, it makes excellent reading material.

I’d much rather read about how to take care of the babies once they arrive than read about what to expect during labor.  Our babies have both been head down now for the past three weeks, which scares me.  It means I might deliver vaginally, which means kegel exercises and massaging my perineum.  Dear lord, it scares me, and I think I would prefer a c-section, but whatever happens, it will happen for a reason, and I’ll trust my doctor. 

We went for a tour of the hospital the other day.  They deliver about 400 babies a month.  I saw the labor and delivery rooms, the recovery rooms, all of it.  Then we walked by the nursery.  There are going to be two babies in our lives.  Philip will be sleeping on what looked like a shelf.  We’ll be there for two or three days, depending on vaginal vs. c-section deliveries.  The whole thing makes me want to eat everything in sight.  I don’t know why.  I’m terrified in a general sense.  I’m not afraid of breast feeding.  I’m afraid of being in a room alone with Phil, without my mother being there.  I guess I’m afraid because we don’t know what the hell we’re doing.  On our tour, the nurse pointed out the shower in the labor room.  Phil asked, "Wait, people shower here during labor?"  I knew it was for women who found running water soothing, but I want someone in the birthing room who really knows what helps.  Do I sit on one of those bouncy balls? What techniques work best?  Between the two of us, we’re the blind leading the blind.  Maybe it all comes down to the nurse they assign me?  I don’t know?  How long is the nurse even there with me during the process?  I’m all over the place, and I’m all over the place.  I think I need to get out of this robe and go watch a movie or something.



  1. Do yourselves a favor and let your husband sleep at home. It will do wonders for both of you that he has a good nights sleep, and you will be to drugged and tired to care. Also, keep the babies in the nursery overnight — it will allow you to sleep soundly. Its ALL about sleep in those early days – the more you have, the better everything is. Good luck and know that the fear is normal.

  2. hey stephanie – you are absolutely right about caring more about post-delivery than delivery. really, your doctors are in charge of all that and you have limited control.
    but if you aren't worried about breast-feeding, you should be. all i can say is that breast feeding twins will be a herculean task. good luck on doing it but if it doesn't work out DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP! i saw a husband on oprah whose wife had post-partum depression and the thing that was killing her was her inability to breast feed and she KILLED HERSELF! the obsession with breast feeding in upper middle class circles is stultifying and, i think, dangerous for mothers who might feel overwhelmed with the task. a bottle won't keep your kids out of harvard.

  3. Do you have a way for us to send pictures? Because, I have a picture of me, about 7 months pregnant, in my robe, on the couch, cocker spanial snuggled up beside me, a big bowl of pasta balanced on my belly, completely distraught. LOL. "IT" is the lovely pregnancy journal I never wrote to my daughter. Don't worry about that journal, your kids will never read it anyway, but that picture, ohh, it'll get lotsa mileage, trust me :)

    Just take a moment, breathe, and find the humor in the everyday changes. That shoes no longer fit *because no one tells you that your feet grow when you are pregnant!*, that bendy straws in your drinks are NEEDS, not wants, that you want to seriously drop kick thru the goalposts the next person who asks if they can touch your belly….these are the things you will remember when you look back at and remember, not the meltdowns.

    And you are gonna be a kick ass parent, the cool house down the street where everyone elses kids want to hang out because you just understand what it takes. I know this, because you have great parents, and I know that, because you write of them so fondly. They are your guide, and being a great parent is your destiny. You have them to thank :)

  4. I truly think that sometimes pregnant women are overloaded, & overwhelmed, with & by the enormous amount of information they receive. Pregnancy isn't a disease & child-rearing is part of a normal progression in the life cycle. In generations past (mine among them) women weren't treated to every little detail involving gestation, birth, & childhood. We simply lived it. Perhaps I was one of the lucky ones. I made it through the difficulties of trying to conceive, in my semi-ignorance sailed through pregnancy happy as a clam (are clams really happy), had an uncomplicated delivery, & in the ensuing years….yes, my children are now grown…. with my husband, raised them with common sense & a good deal of love. It'll happen, Stephanie. You'll do the very best you can do & you'll still have to parent even when your children have children themselves. No book can guide the way. You'll simply have to be the pragmatist & parent by "doing the right thing." There's no better guideline. As our good friend is fond of saying, "It shall be revealed." Relax.

  5. You need to take a birth class!!!! The more informed you are about what may happen the less anxious you will be. Definitely worth it. By our third child my husband was finally the kind of person I needed and wanted in the labor room. It was awesome and brought us so much closer as a couple. We took the Bradley Method Course, which totally prepared us more than any other class we ever took. I highly recommend it. Look up a class now, as they run longer than most (more thorough!). Good luck.

  6. It's all about the nurse. Anyone who works in a place where they deliver 400 babies a month knows a hell of a lot more than you ever will. Trust them and do whatever they say.

    Vaginal vs. c-section my biggest fear was having one twin vaginally then the other c-section — I did not want to have to recover from two different procedures. Vaginally is so much easier to recover from and I believe that unless there are problems with the birth the babies come out just a wee bit healthier.

    My last bit of advice — don't get too much advice! Remember people have been successfully birthing and raising babies for – well, forever. The human still does have natural instincts and trust yourself that they will kick in when needed. I've never known any intelligent, caring parent for whom that did not happen. Don't know what the baby wants or needs? Look in their eyes. It's all there.

  7. Here in Philadelphia, they have people called "doulas". They're not midwives but rather sort of a semi-pro labor coach. They ar there to advocate for you, help you. They have training and they've helped other women. I think the program is in some way associated with the University of Pennsylvania.

  8. You need a doula (kinda like a midwife). Google it, there will be a ton in Austin. They know exactly how to take care of you during labor and delivery and will be much more help than the nurse. Trust me.

  9. Hi Stephanie,
    You may want to consider hiring a doula to be with you during labor/delivery. My husband and I were both nervous about having NO IDEA what to expect, and decided that having a calm, rational voice present would be priceless. She was a tremendous help, and kept us focused on the important thing– our son– instead of freaking out over details. Best of luck to you!

  10. I agree with Mama Drama – let Phil sleep at home while you are in the hospital. You will need him to be well rested when you come home with your two little sweethearts, and sleeping on a shelf (I know exactly what you are describing) is not the way to do that.

    I am SO, SO excited that you will be using Sign with your children! My daughter is deafblind and of course, we all have to sign. But I have read so much about how beneficial it is to sign with hearing children. A special benefit will be when the children are performing in school concerts and such – you will be able to sign "wonderful job" and "I love you" from across the room!! Your kids will feel very special about that!

    Just be prepared – they will also learn signs for 'bad words', and that may get them in trouble at school. My daughter didn't think anyone would notice when she signed that her teacher was a "crazy b*tch", (which she was). But unfortunately, one of the other teachers for the hearing-impaired saw her, and a trip to the principal's office followed :)

    I was just as worried and nervous and crazed as you appear to be when I had my first child, and I was only having one!! Somehow it all works out, and you learn as you go. Will you make mistakes? Probably. But those mistakes will be fodder for funny stories as your children grow up.

    It's a scary, scary time, but you and Phil already have the hearts of excellent parents. Have fun, get nervous, laugh at each other, and really, really enjoy this special time, and all the special times to come!

  11. If you want to lessen your anxiety – stop reading! Stop worrying about sign language. Just focus on getting through the pregnancy. Not a book in the world will help you in the tough moments – and you will live a lifetime before either kid will benefit from sign language (if ever) — assuming no one is hearing impaired. Just take it EASY, in every possible way.

  12. As a mom who has given birth twice I just want to say don't be scared of giving birth vaginally. C-sections are much rougher to recover from! Also, your nurses will be your biggest source of comfort and support. By the end of it all you will want to name your babies after them! I had the crazy idea that my doctor would be there for the whole process but he only made a few appearances. Your nurses will be there for you every step of the way!

  13. I had a baby and let me tell you how evil the authors of baby books are. Their opinion is to hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Well let me tell you I was just as petrified of having someone "massage my perineum" which its a good thing no one tried because it wasn't going to happen. All those stories you read about pre-delivery mandatory procedures like shaving and episiotomies and stuff is crap. I went in, had a baby in a wonderful drug induced haze and went home a few days later and now i have a 3 year old. I successfully breastfed her for 6 months which some say is impossible if you let them sleep in the nursery at night. Bullcrap. I fed her during the day when I was awake and she slept in the nursery at night and had bottles at night. Your babies will make it through all your inevitable parental mistakes so it is okay to put yourself first sometimes. It's necessary for your health and theirs. Also in my pregnancy days i was addicted to Baby Story and Delivery room shows and I never saw or heard of anyone with Twins actually delivering vaginally. Which is sad because I had kind of always wanted to see that happen. I think your hopes of having a c-section will probably be fulfilled. I love how you're so honest about your feelings during pregnancy and I hate it when women pretend it's all sugar and butterflies and clouds and sunshine. Pregnancy was horrible but(just as i knew it would happen) I am once again romanticizing about the days of being pregnant and carrying a life and feeling baby kicks and I can't seem to remind myself enough how miserable I was. So I would appreciate any and all posts detailing exactly how horrible being pregnant is/was. Good luck and I hope you feel better.

  14. Stephanie, first of all let me give you a blanket apology for everyone who ever gives you horror stories and assvice throughout this process, okay? Your pregnancy is just that, yours. Yours and Phils. All of these emotions and fears are entirely normal and you are not alone. You dont need to try and be rational, its an irrational time. I hope you have a wonderful labor and delivery nurse and the whole process goes smoothly, which I am sure it will. Unfortunately, I dont think you can really plan for the delivery itself, but you and your husband will learn together as you go, what works best for you. Rest assured. you CANT do it wrong, the babies are coming regardless. That is your sure bet.

    Take time for you. Get a massage, a spa day, something that will make you feel pampered and beautiful. Women truly are beautiful when preggers, even though it means absolute emotional, hormonal, physical chaos going on with their bodies.

    And allow yourself to feel all these things, there is nothing wrong with it. Dont let anyone tell you otherwise, they can just go piss up a rope.

    Dude…I totally offered assvice after apologizing, catch that?

  15. Wow! Lots of great advice! If Phil's OK with being the outfield coach, a doula is a great idea. Knowing your painkilling/anesthesia options well in advance (for vag or C delivery) is important. Have you made a list of all the things making you feel all over the place? Does your OBGYN practice have a midwife or nurse practioner who you could meet with you to discuss things before or after a regular checkup?

    When did a preg. journal become obligatory? The only time one of your children will want to hear about your pregnancy is if one or both are girls who one day become pregnant. And then she/they'll roll their eyes at how old-fashioned and wrong everything was that you did. Besides, you have this blog. And your commenters. We're your journal!

  16. Dude, it's your blog. You can say the hell whatever you want to say. Like others, I am so glad that you are honest about pregnancy. I have never been pregnant but hope to some day. I suspected it wasn't all sugar and spice.

  17. Stephanie,
    Thanks for sharing so much of your life. I agree with the people who suggested a Doula, she's just for YOU and she knows so much. Also your nurse will be Very helpful. It is a scary time and lots of thoughts ramble through the brain. You are reading, and wondering, and taking classes and doing just fine. It does hurt and you will have miserable days. But you'll also have glorious days filled with wonder at how on earth two tiny humans can actually live inside of you and marvel at the closeness you share. Try and enjoy what you can of this time, it will pass altogether too quickly. You are beautiful, and you will have beautiful blessings to hold outside of yourself, soon enough.

  18. I had my Mom in the room the first time I gave birth. It made me feel safe. And it made my husband feel safe to know that I felt safe. And it felt right to have my mother there when I became a mother.

  19. Stephanie – listen to these people – get yourself a Doula. Her job during your labour has nothing to do with your twins and everything to do with you. Her goal is to make you as comfortable as possible and help YOU during the labour. Mother oriented vs. baby oriented – allowing you to leave the babies to the nurses and doctors and concentrate on getting yourself through the labour. Doulas can also be extremely helpful in assisting with early breastfeeding attempts. Think of the soothing qualities of a mother or sister combined with the expertise and know-how of your ob gyn who only cares about making you comfortable and easing your pain. My nurses were awesome but my Doula was the one still whispering in my ear when my husband had gone "to the other side" to watch the baby being born and help with the cord etc. etc.

  20. Alls I know (from a Dad whose 3 kids arrived one at a time) is that:

    1. You'll know the babies' different cries right away. It's instinctive.

    2. The maternity nurses will save you. They are superheroes.

    2a. Phil will be relegated to "Best Supporting Ice Chip Fetcher" at BEST. Ohgoodlord, my wife looked right past me all three times and focused on the nurses in the room. I said all the right things, did all the right things that they said to do. I. Was. Invisible. (Only later did I realize that was for my own protection and safety.)

    3. Our firstborn was 3 weeks early. We hadn't even toured the "birthing center" at the hospital. In fact, when we arrived at the hospital (we had both been at work.. my wife had to drive herself to the hospital after her water broke) (stickshift) it was surreal. She'd not had any contractions yet, and it felt like we were visiting a museum. "Yes, um, can you direct us to the birthing center. Oh, and where's the gift shop?"

    4. Get out of that robe and go watch a movie. You're all going to be fine!

  21. Stephanie, I remember the flat-out fear before giving birth…totally and 100% natural…and a lot of it absolutely unnecessary. My mom gave me the best advice as I was fretting about what I'd be like in the delivery room "Honey – those people have seen EVERYTHING…there is NOTHING you can do that would surprise them." Such true words.

    I had an amazing nurse from Australia the first time – she helped me with different positions and solutions to a 9 lb. baby, face up, no drugs…and we got that sweet boy out, happy, healthy and safe. The second and third times were easy-sneezy.

    I agree with the doulah suggestion above. I agree with the pamper yourself suggestion above. I agree with don't read the horror stories above. But mostly, know you're going to be a great mom – and in a few mere months, this birth will be behind you and you'll have precious babies to show for it.

    I'm with ya – you're doing great.

  22. My godson was taught sign from the time he was an infant, and I have to tell you it was amazing to have him be able to effectively communicate at five months. He could tell you he wanted to eat, drink, sleep, that he wanted more, that he was all done, please, thank you, and for some reason, that he wanted the ceiling fan turned on. He was less frustrated than most babies, and he is now two and testing off the charts. He speaks well for his age, and was stringing together sentences by eighteen months. The only advice I have is to make sure you speak when you sign to the babies.

  23. I agree with people who said that you need to send the babies to the nursery at night. Take the help at the hospital while you have it. Also do send phillip home to sleep. You don't both need to be sleep-less.

  24. any woman who has not at many points felt ugly or fat or non-girly during her pregnancy is just lying! complain all you want…

  25. I actually respectfully disagree with Mama Drama and the others who suggested that Phil sleep at home. Most hospital birthing areas have a great space for dads to sleep (ours actually had a fold-out bed). And truthfully, you won't be getting much sleep anyway.

    Don't resist sending the babies to the nursery at night when you are at the hospital and need to sleep, however. That's my advice.

    Baby Whisperer is a good book, but do take with a grain of salt. She talks a lot about scheduling, and if there's one thing that I learned, it's that newborns are impossible to schedule.

    It's a little cheesy, but do read The Girlfriend's Guide. I loved it.

    Best wishes to you!

  26. Order the DVD "the Dunstan Baby Language". There's a woman who understands what babies are saying. She was on Oprah a couple weeks ago. Amazing! The DVD provides the baby cries for you to hear, so that when your little ones arrive you will understand what they're saying right away. I'm going to order now, just in case I ever get pregnant.

  27. It's not about getting it right. It's about getting through it. No first time parents know what they are doing and no woman in labor knows what she's doing either. You just do it and try different things to get to the end of it. For me, the idea that helped me a lot is that during labor you have no control, so the only way to have control is to give up control. Weird, stupid , too zen? Yes. Please don't worry about signing the babies up for classes and worry about tummy time and signing and everything else a "good" mother is supposed to do. There is incredible pressure to do everything "right" and it can lead to much more mother-guilt than necessary. It's all very frightening and weird and life changing and you wonder where the old you went and when she will come back. It ain't easy. YOu are doing great!! Just keep it up and don't be afraid to ask for help.

  28. I can relate to everything you just wrote about. I am due in 5 weeks with our first baby and was totally freaked out. I was worried how clueless my husband and I are, about being alone with the baby, how to know exactly what it wants, etc. I was also worried my husband would be clueless in the delivery room and wouldn't be able to take care of me the way I needed him too. Taking a birthing class was nice because it got rid of a bunch of preconceptions I had about giving birth and made it a bit less scary… and it showed me that most men are clueless about what goes on which made me feel better in a weird way.

    If you are still concerned a doula would be a great thing to look into.

    I agree with you about the not wanting to hear the "welcome to motherhood" comment. I would make comments about being uncomfortable or how nothing would fit but my Ug boots and my husband would say "remember, this is something you wanted"…. we had a little "chat" and he doesn't say that anymore… :)

  29. " I still have a trimester of a chance to get it right."

    Stephanie you are a sweetie but you must stop worrying about everything in your life being perfect. You seem to need the "perfect" home, perfect wedding, perfect high earning baby names, perfect baby shower that wasn't etc… Now I really am not picking on you and I apologize if I am overanalyzing because I say this trying to be helpful ,not mean. I just wish you could see that all that isn't important at all in the whole scheme of things. Love is everything Stephanie. You have to start by loving you, celebrating you, really getting to know you.. Then you can relax and learn to breathe in your own life. I promise your babies will thrive more on just laying on your shoulder as you whisper sweet songs to them than by reading your pregnancy journals when they are grown. If you want to do that, why don't you write each baby a letter before they are born. On their birthday each year, add another letter and give the book to them when they get married or are expecting their first child. Stephanie you are an amazing woman and from your posts about your childhood, I don't think you have always had the easiest time of it. Please stop worrying so much. Let life just flow a bit on it's own and you , Phil and the guppies will be that much richer for the ride. I wish you the best sweetie and I think you are going to be an amazing mom once the babies are here.

    PS Vaginal birth is much easier on your body than a C-section. Can you have an epidural? If you can, insist on one because all you'll feel then is pressure and little to no pain. I had my oldest with no pain meds at all and yes I was terrified but it wasn't as horrible as I thought. I do think you should hire someone to come help with the babies for the first few weeks who will teach you and Phil as well as help you so you can both get some sleep.

  30. Stephanie–The Baby Whisperer was my bible for my 2 kids. And no, it is not impossible to get the babies on a schedule–in my case it was essential( I needed sleep due to severe post-partum). They were very happy and healthy. That book is about respecting your baby–not forcing them onto a schedule. E-amil me with any questions–I feel like I could write a book about it myself.

  31. Um, you want the babies without the pregnancy. Sorry, doesn't work that way. You should have adopted if you wanted to remain a girly girl. God have mercy on your children.

  32. Thoughts of delivery re: my twin pregnancy scared me the-hell-to-death too. I scheduled a c-section and felt MUCH more relaxed going into it. Your chances are really good with twins you'll have one anyway. Maybe ask the doc what your chances are?

    We let the nurses take them the first few nights. All the people who say that are right. I don't see why your hubby can't stay in the room with you…mine did. He left during the day to work. The hospital experience was great fun and we'll both never forget it.

    Agree with some of the above that there is such a thing as TOO much advice. Your mother instinct will take over and you'll know instantly what to do with both the babies. I finally had to stop reading and say to people–"oh thanks for the advice, that's one way to do it." and then do whatever works and whatever feels right!

    I felt really pressured by the breastfeeding lactation "specialists" who come around the hospitals to help new mothers. One of them made me cry. She was known by the nurses, patients and doc's there as the "Nipple Nazi." 'Nuff said.

    The rest of what you're feeling is "mother guilt" stuff that is completely normal and natural–and in my view, "mother guilt" never goes away!! (Shouldn't I be doing something for my kids right now instead of writing blog comments??) Hang in there, it's all normal!!

    P.S. I never wrote in my pregnancy journal either!!

  33. Do you have friends and family to talk to? Phil sounds like he's doing an okay job, given the circumstances, but it sounds like you need more than just him. You listed a bunch of books and classes, but the best comfort will come from close conversation with people who have gone through this before. Aside from talking to your cousin about her hair, I don't get the sense that you're reaching out to – or can reach out to – anyone at all. You sound so very isolated. Everyone gets hormonal, that's fine, but to be so alone seems sad.

  34. Oh Stephanie, I remember those feelings of being terrified. I remember one doc appointment I had towards the end of my pregnancy and the doc said she could feel the babies head. I totally freaked out and all the way home I kept thinking, "I'm not ready to be someone's Mom!" and I drove right past my street! I still feel that way sometimes 10 1/2 years later! I got obsessed with labor and just read my labor books over and over again and in the end, none of it mattered. The nurses were great. My sister had a midwife/doula and that helped her a lot.

    About parenting, I remember when everyone left and it was just me and my husband with the baby. We had some hilarious moments with sleep-deprived laughter, frustrating moments, and beautiful moments. It will all come together for you and Phil. The fear is natural.

  35. Millions of people go through it all without the same comforts as you. Many don't have a hospital, much less a freakin' shower. Stop to realize that you have it made.

  36. Okay, Im going to be in the minority here b/c I had a c section.

    I wanted a c section and knew I'd probably end up having one. It was fast and easy. I had contractions for about ohhh 15-20 mins (bad bad bad back labor) and then they couldnt get a good reading on the kiddy so they wheeled me off to a c section.

    They told me to count to 300 and I would have my baby in my arms. I felt a bit of pushing on my stomach but that was it and there was my beautiful baby and without the cone-puss head!

    I was up and walking within 48 hours. It's not nearly as bad as everyone tries to make it out to be. And you can have a flat tummy again after a c section so dont let that scare you either.

    Whomever said to take advantage of the nurses in the nursury and sleep is absolutely right.

    We had a problem with my kid passing the hearing test for his right ear (he failed three times) and I refused to let the nurses take him from me. I stayed up for two nights with him when I should have been resting b/c you dont get much rest in those first couple of months once you're home.

    Oh well.

    Live and learn.

    Great thing about c sections (other than the obvious with uhhhh down there) is you can schedule when you want to have your next child. It's great.

  37. I love the idea of teaching the babes sign language! A friend of mine has been teaching her 2 year old son and it's going great- so cute too to see them sign "thank you" or "more" or "please." Precious.
    Hang in there… watch a couple good chick flicks! And no need to excuse the baby posts! It's all you and your thoughts and it's what we love about this blog. Keep it coming! :)

  38. Having twins means you are likely to get a lot more attention at the hospital. That being said, nurses usually are assigned to more than one patient at a time. However, your doula is there from the moment labor starts to up to two hours after birth. She can also be there to help you breastfeed and to call after you get home with BF questions. Doulas are still good for c-sections because they are still there with you and "know" how all of this works.

    Look at for doula info. I'm here in Austin and due with my first in April. The doula that I plan to use is Dawn Martin.

    Quite frankly, I'm reading your blog these days because of your pregnancy posts. :) I'm also planning to sign with my baby. I've only heard great things about it. (Like fewer tantrums!)

  39. as someone already mentioned-it's all about the nurses. they will be your best labor coach. your husband can help , but you can let the nurse"run the show".i lucked out w/both my kids in that the nurse/midwife who taught the birthing class we took at our local hospital ended up being my labor coach for both of my kids.i was scared to death from eveyone's horror stories about labor,but in the end it was not as bad as i had built it up to be in my mind.i remember thinking"this is it? it's not going to get any worse than this?" you will be fine and get thru it all. don't let anyone scare you with their stories.good luck!

  40. Hey Stephanie! This is my first post to you. Im one of those silent admirers! When I read that you want to teach your kids sign language even though your husband and you can hear….brought a smile to me. I lost most of my hearing late in life. I was 17. I still can hear ok with my hearing aids. Anyway, when I had my first child at 23 I taught her the basic signs. Mostly so when we are in public places and shes not acting very well! I would just sign to her to stop and that she was being bad. Be a good girl for mommy. She understood that I was not happy with her and stopped whatever it was. I loved it! Didnt have to make a scene or let her get away with stuff in public ya know? I think all parents hearing or not should teach their children sign language even just a little. Way to go Stephanie!!

  41. My coworker forwarded me your blog asking if I remember being pregnant with my girls. Of course-they're only 19 months old but it doesn't take a picture to remind me what I looked and felt like just 2 years ago! My best advice is to just keep laughing. Having two babies at one time is amazing but ridiculous! Every day is a challenge but every day is exciting. Just live one day at a time and don't get caught up in unrealistic expectations. Spontaneity is our new way of life. Oh, and by the way, you'll have to give up the jewelry once those babies are grabbing and pulling at you!

  42. I agree with nh. Babies aren't any less real life blog-able than men and sex and dating. It's real. And I say to enjoy the ability to have rapid mood swings and breakdowns with a viable excuse! I'm not pregnant and I still have those days.

    Write what you want- and hell hath no fury like a twin-pregnant redhead scorned by nasty commenters. Beware evil commenters, beware!

  43. I'm one and a half weeks into my second trimester with just one baby…and I So get what you're saying. My first trimester was all day sickness, just about everyday and I thought I'd go nuts if one more person told me to relax. So many people thought that during my stress and nausea I would like to hear how wonderful THEIR pregnancies were. It pissed me off. I think you're doing great, and I love reading your perspective on this. Thanks.

  44. i echo the advice on having the babies in the nursery and not in the room the first night. don't let the world guilt you into believing you HAVE to have them in the room with you that first or second night. a few good nights' sleep early on is soooo crucial.

  45. Hang in there. You're going through totally normal stuff. Some days are good, some days are bad, but you'll get through it! And get yourself a doula. Especially for the first baby (babies). Dad is there to support you emotionally, the doula will support you in every other way. My husband wasn't a great coach until our last baby who we had at home, and then he was the best doula ever! And don't be afraid of a vaginal birth. It's painful sure, but there are ways to manage and cope with the pain (get yourself a doula!). I think we scare each other to death by recounting the "horror" stories around each other's births. They're not all horrible and in fact can be downright beautiful and empowering.

    It's your blog, say what you want, we'll keep reading.

  46. Ha ha ha! Momma needs to take a chill pill! It all works out in the end! Yes, you feel like pooh but it will be nothing compared to how you will feel when you are in the thick of things once those babies come home!

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