Poop of the Day

My 13 month old twins (babies 4 and 5) are teething, terrible, drooling monsters right now, and I don’t want to overstate things, but it’s no exaggeration to say that this poop story I’m about to tell you was the best part of my day, by far. And that friends, is how you know you’ve reached Parenting Rock Bottom.

I was at the park with my oldest three kids (3, 8, and 10 years old) and we were meeting our equally fertile friends who also have five kids. I left the babies with the man responsible for getting me knocked up (my husband) because I couldn’t. take. another. minute. I thought about cancelling our plans and being a martyr-mother at home with the babies because they “needed” me. I also thought about locking myself in my bedroom and sleeping, but deemed that plan unlikely. I pressed on #momstrong. 😉 The weather was perfect, we got Chick-Fil-A on the way, and ate at the park (Fun Mom Badge unlocked!).

It was all going swimmingly until my preschooler came running over, holding his bottom. “I Have to Poop!” I explained how this charming playground had no bathroom facilities and he’d have to hold it. His bowels remained unmoved moved and (playground) evacuation was mandatory. After a brief consideration of the treeline, we ran for the car (we were only about 3 minutes from home), him holding his backside the whole way, and yelling, “I have to go potty! It’s coming!”

I buckle him into his carseat, and he’s shouting at me to, “Hit it!” (For real. Buddy wasn’t playing.) I zoom off down the residential streets at a feisty 27 mph, heading for the closest toilet. I left my husband’s classic rock station on the radio because my oldest son likes it, and “The Who” is playing: Who are you? Who? Who? Who? Who?

He shouts from the backseat, “Mom! Are they saying, “Poo on you?!” He is equal parts delight and disgust. I press it to 29 mph because clearly if he’s hearing poop songs he’s got something serious on his mind. I make an executive decision that we’ll stop at the plaza where we got dinner. Chick Fil-A’s potty is 90 seconds closer than our house. He squeals. I decide on Chipotle’s potty because it’s at the top of the shopping center and doesn’t have a weird parking/traffic situation. (30 seconds saved)

I’m using all 10+ years of carseat unbuckling experience to get him out of the van as fast as humanly possible. We are waddling at preschooler light speed (adult equivalent: still not that fast, but he’s trying) through this parking lot, him literally holding on the entire way. An older woman passes us and gives a benevolent smile. I think, “You’ve got no idea, lady.” Or maybe she does. He’s not being super stealthy here. Then I hear, “It’s coming! I can’t believe this is happening to me!”

We’re through the doors! The bathroom is 12 steps away! Thank you, Jesus, it’s a single stall bathroom. Apologies to anyone waiting behind us. I do all the things necessary to get him sitting on the potty and the verdict is: Not Fast Enough.

Now he is looking at his undies and FREAKING OUT at “the accident” in the way that only the truly and thoroughly potty-trained can do. Dismay, disgust, disbelief…all happening at the top of his lungs in and echoing bathroom.

The only thing that can be smelled in this bathroom is the poop in the undies. It wasn’t even that much! And now he’s sitting there and saying he “can’t go”. That was it. Just one little turd. Surely, not. I’m encouraging him to finish…going. I think he’s just worried because he wants to go back to the park and play, he just wants to get back to his brothers, and his friends, he’s worried because, you know, there’s poop in his undies. I just want him to finish because, obviously, I don’t want to be repeating this scenario ten minutes after we get back to the park.

In case you don’t know moms have their own spidey-senses that Spidey can’t even come close to touching. This preschooler was at his breaking point. He wasn’t going to “go” anymore no matter what I thought and my job now was to move him from this moment of insecurity back to the park without the ruined undies and with his self-esteem intact, post haste. NBD, as my ten year old would say. And so I start talking.

Hey, this is no big deal. This always happens. Stupid park without a potty. This isn’t your fault. The park is so fun. (So sorry to the person who has to empty this trashcan. I have no options.)  Let’s go! We’re just going to take these off… don’t worry about it! No, it’s fine. Look, we’ll wrap them up. Bye-bye! Our friends at the park are waiting for us. Did you know some grown ups NEVER wear undies? So silly!  We’re just going to clean you up. Not yet!  (I’d kill for a diaper wipe by this point) You have any french fries left at the park? Yum! (Can I teach him ‘freeballing’? No. ‘Going commando’? Three year olds have no sense, he’ll surely say it at church.) We’re done! We’re going to zoom back to the park! Nope, no undies! How fun is this? What a crazy day! Let’s wash our hands SO WELL!”

We hold hands as we walk out of that bathroom. He’s smiling big. I haven’t ruined him yet. We walk 8 of the 12 steps towards the door and come to a table full of pretty teenage girls who smile at my adorable son. He grins back, all charm, with his blue eyes, a dimple, and little white baby teeth. “I don’t even have any undies on.”

He just keeps on walking. 4 steps to the door. Back to the van, back to the park, laughing until I almost cried.

The Night Before Homeschool (2017)

This was originally posted on my FB page I started this on a whim just before midnight and stayed up too late to finish it even though we were starting our sixth year of homeschooling in the morning…it’s a pretty good indicator of how I make most of my decisions these days.

Twas the Night Before Homeschool by Jamey Hatter, all rights reserved

Twas the night before homeschool and all through the house
not a child was sleeping, I don’t think we have a mouse.
The ten year old was crying because of the cat,
who had hurt his paw and might die at the drop of a hat.

I, his mother said no, the cat was just fine,
but he kept crying so I poured more wine.
The twins were congested and snot covered their faces
One was up, one was down, they just kept trading places.

Just then on Grey’s Anatomy arose such a clatter,
it was only a simple surgery—what could be the matter?!
Then I heard the toddler and paused it in a flash,
Don’t judge me, I won’t share my chocolate stash.

I carried him back upstairs and filled his cup with water
while I thought about McDreamy, he couldn’t have been much hotter.
I made it back to the living room, but to the closet did look
And all I could see was book after book after book.

Through geography, grammar, spelling, and math,
history, reading, and Latin I must make a path!
(We sometimes do science, but I’m not going to lie
because other days I simply cannot even try)

I have a fifth grader! A third grader too!
A three year old AND twins…what am I gonna do?
Don’t even ask me about socialization
have you seen what’s going on in our nation?!

My kids are smart, they are kind, and they love to read-
so really as a mother what else do I need?
Actually, I can think of a couple of things
that I want them to do as they grow up and spread their wings.

If they get something out, they should put it away,
I need to be sure they work, learn, and play.
I don’t want them to feel like they missed out on school
and so I have to teach them whatever is cool.

The big kids want phones, but that’s a firm no.
Be polite, but speak your mind wherever you go.
Every race, belief, and gender you treat with respect
These are just a few of the things I expect.

But there’s also the laundry, the dishes, the food,
YouTube Kids, teaching fractions, endless attitude,
I need to remember to say yes and have fun,
but it also wouldn’t hurt to make time to go run.

This year will be different! I’m going to relax!
My husband is amazing and I have my Xanax!
We’ll go at our own pace, and I will not compare…
Wait, what are they studying in the co-op over there?

It really will be fine at the end of the day,
because I’ve always been comfortable doing it my way.
All these pieces of my life make my to-do list longer
I wouldn’t even change it because challenges make me stronger.

Tomorrow, to be sure, we get a fresh start
Wait, did I plan anything for art?
I have five kids and there will be plenty of crazy
but for each of those moments there will be two that amaze me.

Everything that’s a distraction from my mind I will shove
and I’ll teach my kids to listen, to think, to and love.
Because really, it doesn’t get better than that
And now if you’ll excuse me, I need to put Neosporin on the cat.

Happy Homeschool Eve to All!

Twins: A Six Month Review

Jellybean and Macaroni turned six months old today so I thought it would be a good time to sum up the last six months.

I want you to picture something for me. Picture the inside of your house. Briefly, just go room by room…living room furniture sitting in place, bookshelves full of books, your clothes in the closets, laundry baskets, maybe the errant pile of laundry that is somewhere between dirty-clean-put away. There may be some paper clutter in the kitchen. It’s fine. You have a house, you live in it, and it shows. No worries. You know where to find things and you’re hardly a candidate for Hoarders. Now, picture your family. You, your spouse, any pre-existing conditions children, applicable pets…picture all of you standing happily in front of your house, smiling.

It’s a lovely little scene you’ve just imagined. You’ve built this charmingly flawed (nothing is perfect!) life and now you’re going to bring home twins. So, what are those first six months going to be like?

Well, that scene you just pictured…you have to realize that it was built inside a snow globe. So now, pick it up and give it a good shake. Your house is now wrecked…furniture, laundry, children, paperwork, charging cables, shoes…. It’s all everywhere except where it should be, none of it is together, ever. You can’t manage it, you can’t find it, and you can’t fix it. Why? Why can’t you fix it? Because, honey, those glittery bits falling all over over the rubble of your snow globe life…they’re not snow. Those are your brain cells.

Behold, your ability to entertain complex thoughts, tell jokes, form complete sentences, remember anything gently drifting down brain cell by brain cell from the top of the snow globe and eventually disappearing. I once embarrassed myself trying to order Taco Bell from the drive-thru. Also, I’m sorry to say, but we’ve lost three of the five fish.

You’ll figure out how to get your husband, kids, and day to day life and responsibilities sorted out. You really will* no matter what it feels like now, or in the first days or weeks after the babies are born. Hang in there! The whole not remembering thing…that is for real. Do I have a point or a snazzy ending? I might have, but I forgot. Really. Not really. But seriously, you get one thing to make up for your lack of memory: cute babies.

* This does not necessarily apply to laundry. If you get your laundry figured out, please let me know.

A Twin Birth Story Pt 2:

So, it turns out that when you go to the hospital to have a baby, but you’re not in labor it’s really boring! They checked me in, gave me the never fashionable, modest, or comfortable hospital gown, and hooked me up to the machines. There was the IV drip of fluids, and antibiotics (I was Strep B positive this time), the automatic blood pressure cuff, a monitor for contractions (not having any) and a monitor for each baby’s heartbeat.

This part was boring and time-consuming because Baby Boy, hereby blog-named Macaroni, had a habit of not staying in one place for the monitors. This also made all my appointments for the previous month long and boring. Oh, and then there was the Pitocin since this was an induction and all. They started the Pitocin out at something like one drip every fifteen minutes. Boring, but glad that my uterus wasn’t exploding.

During all this boring stuff I was about 3cm dilated. After a little bit I did start having the slightest of contractions, but as far as contractions go still boring. My friend, Cari, who was being my doula, photographer, and voice of reason should I go a little batty came and that’s when things started to get a little more fun. My labor didn’t increase, but she, my husband, and I were talking and hanging out. Minus the hospital gown and all the wires, we were basically just hanging out.

My nurse was awesome. I’m thinking her name was Grace (If I had to do college over again, I might be a nurse.) was amazing and cool. We should totally be friends. I was getting an epidural for the first time and I was first-class freaked out about it. She held my hands (and helped me keep the IMPOSSIBLE position of pushing out two specific vertebra in my back, which by the way Dr. Anesthesiologist, is NOT a thing an actual person has control over ) and talked me through the entire thing. So I’m hunched over pretending like this is something I can do and we’re talking all about the distillery that she and her husband are opening, her MOPS group, and even though it takes a little longer than I wanted it to it was one simple little poke and over. No. Big. Deal.

Once it was over I’m laying there in the bed slowly going numb and we’re still talking about the distillery because if there’s anything that a 9 months pregnant woman wants to talk about it’s alcohol! Abstaining makes the heart grow fonder!

Back to the epidural. It’s really strange because after feeling every.little.smidgeon. of pain in previous labors you now feel basically nothing. There’s a button to push for bonus pain killer and I did have to do that and there was a little lopsidedness for awhile, but Grace talked me through all of that and there was just all in all much chilling. I would not change my previous “natural births” for anything, but there was no chilling involved with those. It was WORK. Brutal, amazing, personal, incredible, and empowering work. At 11:30, the doctor asked me if I was feeling any pressure. I could tell when I was having a contraction, but no pressure, nothing exciting, 5 centimeters, we were all just chilling and expecting several more hours of the same. The epidural gave me this huge ocean of separation. I could feel my muscles, but eh, they were doing one thing and I was doing another. It was a very disconnected feeling.

A bit later, there was a contraction that was noticeable for sure and gave me the briefest sense of, “that felt weird” but still, there’s NOTHING to it. I was talking to Grace, she was probably doing vitals or something. My husband and doula-friend were on the side of the room talking-chatting-amusing me. There was another contraction. Longer contraction. I felt like maybe I should say something, but I wasn’t sure because again, it was nothing like anything I’d ever experienced before. It didn’t hurt. It wasn’t anything but noticeable. It was 12:04. Grace asked me if I had felt that contraction. I said yes and it felt kind of strange. She nodded, crossed the room to get gloves, and said that she’d check me because “my face looked different”. She was getting gloves. Doula and husband were talking. It had just felt weird and so I moved the sheet away. The next words out of my mouth were,

“There’s a baby in the bed.”

And thus, my daughter was born! She was just there. Grace came running over, one glove on, she hit the emergency button, and started doing nurse-baby things. My friend and husband were now THERE and she was taking pictures and he was holding my hand, and then there were one million people in my room. (Something about being in labor with twins and not being in the OR, and then one of them suddenly being born unattended in the bed!)

There wasn’t a lot of time for thinking, but I remember thinking, “She was born and that was so easy and now I’ll have Baby Boy here, in the room.” As I was thinking that, someone was taking care of Baby Girl (Jellybean) and another nurse was doing an ultrasound of Baby Boy (Macaroni) and then we were all moving. There was mild shouting.

I didn’t get to hold my daughter, and they were rolling me out of the room and down the hall. I didn’t know what was happening except they told me I needed a c-section because Baby Boy was in distress. The anesthesiologist was there and turned my epidural into c-section worthy medication. I couldn’t see my husband. I didn’t get to hold my daughter. I was trying not to cry, but was crying. Having a vaginal birth and then a c-section was exactly what any twin mom did NOT want. Everything had gone from amazing and fine to emergency and it was shocking. Then all of a sudden, Grace was there at my side again, telling me that we said we wanted two healthy babies and that’s what this c-section was going to give me. We’d be fine. He’d be fine. He just needed to be born. Now. Andrew would be right back. We would all be fine. Other people might have said more things, someone might have told me then what was actually happening, but I don’t remember that. I was scared. I felt alone. I didn’t know what was going on. We were booking it through that hallway.

In the operating room, everything was happening around me. Fast. I knew it was happening FOR me, but I didn’t know what was happening. Every now and then Grace would stop back by me and tell me that it was okay and that I was going to be okay (and that I could stop crying, lol). Andrew magically appeared at one point and that was good. I was so glad that my friend was there with Jellybean, but I was still thinking about how I’d never gotten to hold her, and then scary thoughts about whatever was happening right at that moment.

Someone did another ultrasound and then there was my doctor again telling me that my son needed to be born, now, and that they wanted me to push, even though I was 1000% numb and couldn’t feel anything. It was extremely strange. They had to lift my legs into the stirrups for me because I couldn’t do anything, but they said that Baby Boy needed to be born and that since I’d had babies before they thought I could push him out in less than the 12 additional minutes it would take for them to get ready for the c-section because the room was 0% prepared.

And I did. I think it took three pushes, which is not my record, but since I couldn’t feel anything I’m still proud of it. 😉 I’m pretty sure the first push was not good, the second push I remember seeing Andrew, and then Grace was back for the third push, not letting me stop even though I couldn’t feel what was going on and keeping me going until he was born. There was my doctor and there was the neonatologist, and they were both trying to get my son out and he was not cooperating. Our little Macaroni was finally born 16 eventful minutes after his sister and whoosh, he was away, and I didn’t get to hold him either

He needed a lot of help. It felt like forever until I got to see him. Grace would go away and come back and I’d cry and ask was he okay, was he okay, was he okay. And she’d tell me that he was fine. He had a rough start, lots of trauma. He’d be fine. I’d have him soon. And I think I just kept crying against my will, from the moment they wheeled me into the hallway. Finally, they brought him out and I was able to kiss his cheeks and then he was gone again, and they were taking me back to my room.

It turns out that as soon as Jellybean was born, he did a quick flip. He was breech, feet first, with the cord coming down before his feet, and then he had his arms crossed behind his head. It’s a classic waterslide position, but not birth position, and he was first class stuck.

Eventually, I was able to hold both my babies at the same time. One fell out, one was basically pried out (the doctor came and told me they were pretty sure they didn’t break any of his bones getting him out), one was fine, one needed resuscitation, but we were all there. I was wheeled into my room holding two healthy babies, my husband was there, my doula/friend was there, and that was the beginning of it all.

I have three wonderful “big kids”, two healthy incredible babies, one amazing husband, and zero time for blogging. I’d take some extra sleep, but I wouldn’t change anything else about it all.

Pregnancy Loss

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. A “rainbow baby” is the term used for a child that is born after the loss of a pregnancy/infant. Each of my children is a rainbow baby because we had a miscarriage before each successful birth.
 
The baby before Peanut… I didn’t even realize that I was pregnant until the miscarriage started. I was scared, didn’t know what to do and then was told by a female OB-GYN that I handled it all wrong. I was 7-8 weeks pregnant. It took us another six months before I was able to get pregnant.
 
The baby before Pickle…The home pregnancy tests said I was pregnant, but the tests at the doctor’s office said I wasn’t and this went on for a week. Finally the doctor’s office called me and said they’d gotten a positive result, but my miscarriage had already started. The doctor told me that it was no big deal and the pregnancy “didn’t really count”. I’d been training to run and had run my first 5k and while logically I know that had nothing to do with the miscarriage, I’ve never done another. We got pregnant with Pickle the next month and it was a very bittersweet time for us.
 
The baby before Cookie…our life was pretty intense at this point, but we knew that we wanted another baby. It was another very early loss so within about a week we found out that we were pregnant and lost the baby. You try to guard your heart, but as soon as you see those “positive” lines you are all in.
 
The baby before the twins. It was a surprise. This is the one that still makes me cry. There were ultrasounds done and there were warning signs as well, but we saw a heartbeat. They told us to relax and not to worry about it because of the heartbeat. I prayed and cried and prayed and prayed and prayed. And then one night at the hospital in a nook that was an emptied out hallway closet they told us that there wasn’t a heartbeat, that our baby was gone. 36 hours later I went on a business trip and I lost my baby away from home with a dear friend to hold my hand and cry with me. I cried for my husband and I cried for our baby.
 
Each loss was a sadness and hurt, but the last one when we heard the heartbeat was so much more grief and loss and death to me. For months I slept with a onesie that we had bought. It was almost a year before we got pregnant again and then found out that it was not just one, but two babies this time.
 
We’re done having babies, but ever life matters and sharing our stories matters because no one should feel alone, no one should have to listen to a doctor tell them it “doesn’t count” or family say “it was for the best” and make them feel that they weren’t carrying a child and a lifetime of possibilities inside them. The more women share their experiences the easier we can comfort and carry the load of the grieving, the more that the medical community will have to look for answers, and the more easily we can all think about what might have been, while still loving what we have before us.

A Twin Birth Story Pt 1: Trying to Get to the Hospital

Let’s get right to it because infant twins don’t leave you much time for leisurely reminiscing. Or leisurely anything else. Consider this Living With Twins Tip 1: Get over your enjoyment of leisure.

My twins spent nearly the entire pregnancy transverse to the point that they broke one of my ribs (confirmed by x-ray) around 7 months. But right at the time that most twins are being born, 35-36 weeks, Baby A flipped head down and Baby B settled in as breech. Since I had previously delivered 3 babies vaginally my doctors decided that despite the breech baby I was a great candidate to have the twins the same way, if they ever decided to be born.

Like an elephant I was surely pregnant for two years and so (at 38 weeks) I was scheduled to be induced…unlike an elephant. On the day of the induction I was to call the OB unit at 4am to make sure that they had room for me. I figured this was just some strange formality, but let me assure you that it was not.

Middle of the night:
* They call and tell me not to come, they’re full. Call back later.
* Text my doula friend.
* Text my babysitter friend.

Ridiculously Early o’clock:
* I call back. Still full.
* Cry on the phone with the nurse. I’m so pregnant.
* Hang up
* Cry More
* Text all the people

Early Morning
* Have the babysitter come because surely they’re going to call me soon.
* Hubby and I go out for breakfast.
* Post pitiful pictures on FB.
* Still full and can’t tell me when they might have a bed for me
* Hubby and I go to Ikea and buy a changing table because despite three kids and 38 weeks we don’t have one
* Post more pitiful pictures on FB and more texting sympathetic people
* Check in with the hospital. Maybe I can annoy them into admitting me. No room in the inn.

Afternoon
* Most pathetic homecoming ever
* Explain to confused children why I’m still pregnant
* Cry more and take a nap
* Hubby goes for a run
* Continue to gestate

Late Afternoon
* Mope
* Get a Frozen Lemonade from Chick Fil A
* Read book to current baby of the family

Early Evening
* Hospital finally calls!
* Just over 12 hours after I was supposed to be induced we are finally on our way to the hospital!!

Preparing for Tomorrow

For a long time it felt like twins were just a pregnancy condition…like gestational diabetes, or your feet swelling so much that you outgrew all your socks. (Yes, that happened.) It happens to you, but then you have THE baby and everything goes back to normal. But somewhere around my 9,893rd ultrasound (which was today) it started to sink in that both of these sweet rib-breaking, abdomen-overtaking, feet swelling, prolific stretch mark-makers will be coming home with me. Tomorrow.

I could write something profound here on the blog like this: An Open Letter to My Unborn Twins on the Eve of Your Birth/ The Slacker Parents’ Guide to Preparing for Twins

Dear Twins,

You are going to be born tomorrow and frankly at this point it can’t come soon enough. Either the two of you need to leave this body or I need to leave this body because we are out of room, patience, and money to keep paying babysitters so I can go to all of these medical appointments. Also, you seriously broke my rib from the inside while I was pregnant with you and that was not cool. Today’s hijinks and pain levels? Also uncool. And how about the fact that we’re going all the way to 38 weeks for the eviction? Not. Cool. I mean, yes, it’s great that your lungs and brains will be developed and you’ll be healthy and all that jazz, but some babies pull that off and they’re born like two weeks earlier than you. Just something to keep in mind over the next 18 years.

You are babies 4 & 5 for our family, which is amazing and terrifying and explains a lot of our confusion when people ask us if we’re “ready”. There is no ready for one baby, let alone two. But we’ve done our best. Here’s what we’ve got.

  • You actually have the most decorated and coordinating room in the house.
  • I need to get your dad to hang up those last two shelves.
  • Nothing from Pottery Barn, sorry.
  • Loads of clothes. Really, loads and loads of clothes. I may only have to do laundry twice before you’re three months old.
  • Some diapers. I didn’t buy too many because since you’re the longest-gestating twins known to mankind it was hard to say how gigantic you’re going to be.
  • A bassinet in our room until you don’t fit head to toe anymore.
  • Two rock and plays from Auntie Cari, this may be the only item we have two of!
  • Guess not, two carseats, but only one of them is currently installed. I might do the other one tomorrow, we’ll have to see if I can squish into the backseat of the van. Otherwise your dad knows how to install carseats at this point, we’ll get it done before we bring your home. (Legal requirement)
  • Definitely should have done some freezer meals, but didn’t.
  • We have a semi-developed plan of who will watch your brothers.
  • I have an awesome diaper bag and stroller. I’ve been assured the not-so-small fortune is an investment in my sanity and in our ever leaving the house again before you’re four.
  • Moscato. We don’t have any yet, but I swear I’m not coming home from the hospital until the house is well supplied because I have damn well earned it over this pregnancy.
  • Netflix…I owe you an apology here. We’re going to bust you out of your cozy (abused) womb and bring you home and snuggle you up all night after your brothers are in bed while filling your head with our saved up seasons of Orange is the New Black and Game of Thrones. I can’t wait, but I also can’t help thinking there’s something a little twisted about that.
  • That brings me to my last point about the rest of your life: We used to be Attachment Parents (APs), but now, we’ve grown and I like to think of us as NPHD Parents. No Permanent Harm Done Parents. This will explain most of our parenting decisions, standards and goals, your brothers, and your childhood.

    We’ll see you tomorrow, sweet babies and I’m sure we’ll get this all figured out.

 

All Alone In the Internet

I started to freak out as soon as I found out that we were having twins. It was a happy/shocked/nervous freak out, but it was instantaneous. I spent the rest of the ultrasound laying there with one hand under my head so I could see the screen, and the other hand pressed to my forehead laughing like a mad hatter. I’ll be sure to let you know when the happy/shocked/nervous freak out ends.

The other thing that I did as soon as I called my husband and told him was start to look things up on the internet. I knew (know) NOTHING about twins and where better to get factual, unbiased information to base the next 18 years of your life around than the internet?

I quickly learned that everyone says having twins is HARD. And the only thing that makes it harder is if you’re one of the poor saps who already has a toddler at home and plans on keeping that toddler and raising the twins. The posts of these women who have Gone Before & Now Can Give Advice make a continuum from “Just shy of terrifying” to “Join a cult and start marking your calendar for the end of the world”. It was less than reassuring.

There were a few random article or blog posts directed at those women with alternative lifestyles like a woman who has twins first and then is ballsy enough to get pregnant again. Those fall into two categories: One where the twins are older like 6 or 24 and then she gets pregnant but is still freaking out or Two the women are freaky fertile fields and they have two kids TWO. KIDS. ALREADY. and then go and get themselves knocked up and are now having twins. There’s not much directed at them probably because they’re never heard from again after the birth of their babies. Four children is obviously the point that your sanity is gone (whether those children were on purpose or not because who has more than two kids anyway?!) and society just quietly sidles past you without making any sudden movements or eye contact.

And just like that I found myself all alone in the internet.

Pregnant with twins:
Pregnant with twins and a toddler at home:
Pregnant with twins and a toddler at home and OMG another child:
Pregnant with twins and a toddler at home and OMG another child, oh, and the first-born too:

Not only will I in 17 days or less have F.I.V.E. children (5). Four of them are boys…the three I already have, and one of the newbies. Oh, and we homeschool so when I say I “have” them I mean in the hardcore, I’m with them all all day kind of way, which I love, of course, but whoa.

I have yet to find a charming how-to-do-twins blog that address my reality. There are big family blogs, much bigger than mine (will ever be), and there are blogs of mega-multiples (hats off to you, ladies!), and then the closest that I’ve found is Amongst Lovely Things and she is my hero. She is also not a how-to blog. However, anyone who knows me knows that I don’t follow directions that well, hardly ever, but I’m taking her presence as a comfort that I’m not really all alone in the internet.

17 days or less, I’m really really hoping for less at this point. My plan for how we’re going to manage the whole five-kids-twins-homeschooling-four-boys-one-girl-no-sleep-wth-is-happening first year is really just the Laugh or Cry Approach because when those are your choices in life (and they basically always are) I like to laugh as much as possible, cry when necessary, and then get back to laughing.