Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Expectant

it's strange being an expecting parent, even more so i think when you're expecting twins. at first it was nothing but excitement, especially during the first trimester. every week i excitedly went to the mayo clinic web site to see how the twins where the twins were in their development--week 5: hearts begin to beat, Week 8: fingers and toes form, Week 9: movement begins, and so on. It felt like the literature of creating itself, and i found it completely astonishing, both for what it was saying and how it was said ("The cavities and passages needed to circulate spinal fluid in your baby's brain have formed, but your baby's skull is still transparent...The arm bud that sprouted last week now resembles a tiny paddle. Your baby's face takes on more definition this week, as a mouth perforation, tiny nostrils and ear indentations become visible...Your baby will develop webbed fingers and toes this week. Wrists, elbows and ankles are clearly visible, and your baby's eyelids are beginning to form. The ears, upper lip and tip of the nose also become recognizable...The bones of your baby's skeleton begin to form")

the second trimester as been far more difficult. i have a real hard time with anticipation. if these babies are arriving, i want them here now. i hate not getting my way.

there are the changes my wife is experiencing that make all this more real yet not because we have to wait so long. during the preganancy we have been emotionally closer and more in tune than any point in our marriage, which is great. but there is also a bit of a distance. all this stuff is happening to her body. she is getting bigger, and can feel the babies inside her. sure, i can put my hand on her stomach feel them move, but she has, essentially, an access to them that i don't have. for as much as we are experiencing this together, we are also having vastly different experience, and because my role in many ways is more observational, i have a nagging (and ultimately unavoidable) sense of being somewhat cut off, of loneliness.

and then there's the increased possibility of premature birth and time in the NICU. i do not like one bit the possibility of my children being in anybody's care other than their parents'.

aside from all the joy and excitement, there is an immense amount of loneliness and terror. at home at night for the last month or more i have been able to do little more than cook dinner and watch tv. it's nice "quality time," but there also things i should be doing, chapbooks to make, poems and reviews to write--all of which is being done in only the most minimal way.

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