Psych! NOTHING could have prepared me for parenting twins. Oh sure, I bought the books the doctor recommended. I actually read the one on being pregnant with twins. It wasn’t too bad. The other thing that helped is that my husband is a personal trainer and we own a gym, so my core was very strong until it filled up with babies. So other than being a ‘geriatric pregnancy’ as well as a multiple, it was pretty healthy and comfortable pregnancy – at least until about 33 weeks. That’s when it dawned on me that this might be a little harder than I thought. The last four and a half weeks were very uncomfortable physically. I couldn’t really move and pretty much slept in 30 minute increments. When the babies came (at 37 ½ weeks, via C section) they were very healthy and got to come home with me within 48 hours and that’s when the fun began! Bisky is almost two and a half and between her and two newborns the littles almost took both me and my husband out!
Now, it’s still early so I can’t say for sure but I think we may have turned a corner and can say somewhat confidently that not only might we (my husband and I) survive – but we actually want to! This is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but not THE hardest. When you make bad choices in your youth and sometimes just by virtue of being alive, you inevitably get to go through hard things. I have found that keeping a perspective of knowing I’ll be looking back on whatever it is I’m going through someday helps me get through it (my discomfort today will not last forever) and helps me guide my responses (what will I want to have done?).
To that end, my writing has helped me. Not only does it give me something to do that feeds my soul when outside forces are trying to kill it (okay, in the beasties’ defense, they probably aren’t TRYING to kill my soul) but it somehow reminds me that the story carries on and as long as we keep going, we get to turn the page. Reading has always been an escape for me, but writing is an even better one, because it feeds the need to control in a healthy way, allows me to feel productive and is something I can do no matter what. Sometimes I even learn from what I’ve taught my characters. In Chocolate Covered Rice Cakes, Joely tries to “do what she’ll want to have done” and in Grief, Inc Holly works to create a life of meaning and purpose. In that sense, both writing and parenting reflect a need to leave the world better for having been in it.