Last Saturday was my due date. November 2nd. The girls are officially full term now.
Now I can finally stop obsessing everyday how I should still be pregnant.
Obviously, I never expected to make it to 40 weeks. I did, however, assume I would make it anywhere from 36 to 38 weeks. I was having such a complication-free pregnancy that it didn't really occur to me that these babies would be born before October. I mean, it occured to me, but I thought I was in the clear. With both girls being head down I was actually and unbelievably on my way to a vaginal birth with twins who wouldn't need to be in the NICU.
I have to be honest. I was aware of preeclampsia as something bad that could happen in pregnancy. I didn't really know details or how bad it could be or that I was at high risk for it. I certainly didn't know what symptoms to look out for. I think after all the trips to Dr. Google during IVF I just couldn't do it anymore. I skimmed pregnancy books and read up on symptoms of pregnancy, but didn't really get into possible complications. I was already in so much disbelief that I was pregnant and I think I didn't want to live in constant fear. This wasn't a conscious decision. That's just sort of how it went. I left it up to my OB to let me know if something was wrong instead of anticipating the worst the whole time. Knowing what to look for wouldn't have made a difference anyway. I was in the hospital 3 days before this all went down and my blood pressure was normal. No real signs of preeclampsia. Or at least nothing that couldn't be considered a normal 3rd trimester symptom. It seems like overnight I went from ok to severe.
I was really sad and angry about my pregnancy ending so early and abruptly. Then I felt guilty because Paige and Riley were here and healthy, so why was I sad? I just wasn't ready for them to be here. I was supppsed to have October babies not September babies. I was still in that place where I was nesting and anticipating. I was enjoying feeling them move and wondering what they were going to look like. I was really physically uncomfortable, but I didn't want them out yet. This was probably my only pregnancy (I am 39 and it took me 3 rounds of IVF so unless some miracle happens this was it for me) and I felt cheated, once again, out of the normal experience. I didn't get to go into labor. I didn't get to hold my babies in the moments after they were
born. I had to set an alarm to wake up in the middle of the night to pump instead of being woken up by baby cries. I didn't get the obligatory picture of me holding them in my hospital bed to text out to all my friends to announce their arrival. In fact, it took me about a week to tell most people they were born because it was such a crazy time. It just all felt so unfair. Once again, the universe was pissing all over my parade.
I cried a lot during those first few weeks. I mean, A LOT. So much that I started googling post partum depression. Thankfully, it seemed that I was still within the normal range of post partum emotions. I started getting jealous of pregnant women again. Not because they were pregnant and I wasn't, but because they would probably have the "normal" birth experience I had wanted. I was jealous of them getting to their due date and and getting to wait anxiously to go into labor. Then I was reading a book about preemie babies and it described that most mothers feel exactly how I was feeling when they have preemies. I was so happy to realize I wasn't crazy. I had to mourn the loss of my pregnancy and all those things that come with a normal delivery. It's a grieving process. It made perfect sense. I am gradually getting better. By the time I got to what would have been 38 weeks, I stopped obsessing over what it would be like if I were still pregnant and the fact that I should be pregnant. I stopped crying every day. Now that I am past my due date I can go days without thinking about it. But, it's still there and probably always will be. Just like infertility.
Now I look at my beautiful girls and remind myself that it doesn't matter how they got here. All that matters is that they are finally here.