Pregnancy is a magnificent privilege. It is a scary, joyous, overwhelming, wonderful privilege. It is something that if wished for, the experience of it, no matter how good, bad or messy it may have been, is something to be cherished. Those 9 months are very long and you're given an awful amount of time to stress out over your body, the baby and your hormones, all while coming to terms with what's happening inside of you and for what's to come. I was lucky enough to get pregnant after a short amount of time trying and I was lucky enough to have a sister who got pregnant the same exact weekend as me! I didn't know at the time how much I would treasure going through this journey alongside someone so close to me. I didn't know at the time how every second, minute, hour, day, and month of pregnancy would be something to analyze, something that needed discussion. I didn't know at the time how truly special sharing this experience would be, how growing our babies in unison, watching each others bellies grow, and preparing for new life together was going to be a dream come true. This is the story of us, two sisters with so much baby fever that the one above decided to do a double take.
My Dad was given the ultimate 60th birthday present. On March 26, 2016, Caitlin found out she was pregnant. She rushed over before his big dinner and told my parents that little Eddie was going to be a big brother. She later told me and while I was crazy happy for her I was also feeling like crap. That night I fell asleep thinking about Caitlin and dreamt of twins. Having stomach pain all night long and the many babies appearing in my dreams, I woke up with a certain feeling and just knew I had to be pregnant. I took a test first thing in the morning and then I took two more just to be sure. Three big positives later and a few moments to let it all sink in, I couldn't believe we both were pregnant. I was going to have the ultimate confidant. What a gift.
We spent the first trimester sick as hell. We would share barf stories and talk about the only foods that gave us comfort (mostly sesame bagels with butter or cream cheese!) I would cry to her over my train ride into work, how I'd keep my head between my legs and gag along the streets of New York City. She would tell me how sad it made her that she couldn't muster up enough energy to play with little Eddie, how the sickness and exhaustion just took over her life. When we weren't battling our nausea, we would find relief together after those early ultrasound days, happy to hear steady heartbeats and positive progression. The anxiety that filled the days and weeks until we reached the safe zone of month three consumed us so we were overly thankful everyday we woke up still pregnant.
Our second trimester was way more fun. We had our cute baby bumps and weren't afraid to show it! I was feeling more comfortable in my skin, dressing the belly and getting to know my little guy by memorizing his movements. We'd compare sonograms and talk about our check ups from start to finish. We also had the same OBGYN so there were zero secrets. I carried around my second trimester glow, happy for the lack of nausea and spike in my energy. But Caitlin was busy chasing after a toddler, which I was not, so maybe she'll comment on this post and shed some light on how she was really feeling during this time!
The third trimester was difficult but also crazy exciting. I had developed a severe skin rash, PUPPS, which I learned had something to do with the male hormone 70% of the time. Not knowing what I was having (boy or girl), this really annoyed me! As did the itching that never stopped and the luke warm oatmeal baths I was forced to take in the middle of the night. My belly was also tremendous and my feet very swollen, so the itching mixed with basic pregnant discomfort really affected my attitude. Caitlin could not relate to this but she too was 30 some odd weeks pregnant, very round and suffered from severe heart burn. We had our different ailments but had each other to complain too. When the big kicks would come and we could see the babies features, little hands and feet on the ultrasound screen, the bad stuff was pushed aside. Who were these babies? Boys or girls? Would they come early, on time or late? We were so anxious to just get the babies out and searched for signs of labor.
Another wonderful thing about pregnancy that I forgot to mention is how a woman learns to understand her body. You can tell when somethings right, wrong or simply supposed to happen. The night Caitlin went into labor she knew two days before that it was coming. She asked me to go to the mall to "walk it out". This was Sunday, November 27th and our due date was December 2nd. She kept talking about the heaviness she felt - I had nothing like that going on but I put those symptoms in my back pocket so I knew what to look out for. She had asked me to take care of little Eddie when the time came so I went to sleep on high alert that night. Caitlin called me around 2am and told me she was having contractions since before midnight and asked if I could come lay with little Eddie so she could go to the hospital. She never knew this but my excitement for her was masked by a touch of sadness - we were not going to be pregnant together anymore. I had a little bit of that phantom limb syndrome where you feel like a piece of you is missing. I would have to go the rest of the way on my own and that scared me.
Baby Jake was born on November 28, 2016 around 9am and he was perfect. Caitlin and her tribe of four left the hospital 24 hours later. And 9 days later after many walks, yoga ball bounces and cuddles with my brand new nephew, my sweet baby Logan was born. He too was perfect :)