It’s been a minute. But let me say: I’m still here.
Where have I been? Well… I don’t know really. I sort of fell into a black hole of baby-growing. I have never in my life had less energy, less will to do anything but sleep, than over the last six months or so.
I think I intended to blog through my pregnancy, at least a bit. But then I didn’t. Because I couldn’t. After going to work and taking the occasional shower, I had literally nothing left to give most days. Typically, I teach Monday thru Thursday during the term, and this winter and spring my weekly schedule often culminated with three-day snooze-sessions Friday thru Sunday. It was all I could do to scrape myself together again for Monday mornings and say: Once More Into the Fray!
I’m going to be honest about something else here too. The majority of mommy-bloggers and Instagram peeps with young kiddos and multiples I follow — at least the ones I’ve found and come to really like — paint a very rosy picture of pregnancy that has not exactly matched my own experience. They write gorgeous soliloquies on the joys of gestation, on their hopes and dreams for motherhood. They wear nice maternity clothes and seem so darn at peace. For the first few weeks, maybe months, of my pregnancy, I assumed that would be me too. I’d be one of those pacific, joyously radiant twin-moms. But that wasn’t exactly how it went down.
In part, it was because I needed my ‘radiant energy’ to lecture for hours each week on medieval architecture and thus continue to hold down my day-job until summer break arrived and freed me from the obligation to be a coherent professional human and not merely a walking baby incubator (and, as I mentioned above, I have personally found it hard to do both at the same time). There has also been a fair amount of stress related to the ins-and-outs of navigating my twin pregnancy from what you might call a medical perspective. Lastly, I am not always an even-keeled, laid-back lady — as I’ve noted on the old blog occasionally; thus, I’ve done my fair share of worrying and stressing over every detail of our changing lives here in the bungalow… just because.
But in the interest of fuller disclosure, here are a few highlights (and lowlights) from my internet-absence:
1. I published a book!
I suppose this fits into the ‘highlights’ category. My book came out in late-March, and if you don’t recall having seen my name on the NYTimes book lists, that’s fair enough. It was on the relatively obscure (though close-to-my-heart) topic of medieval liturgical furniture. So maybe not “best seller” material. It is also, I should add, expensive to procure a copy — as is sadly the case for most first-run academic books. But I’m proud of my little study, and glad it’s out in the world after years of research and writing. It also marks a professional milestone. To be a professor in the U.S. — and most other places I’d assume — you have to do a lot of stuff. Getting your Ph.D. is just step one. It takes many people years to finally land and settle into their full-time gig after grad school (if you ever get there…), and even then you aren’t in the clear. You really have to get a few articles and a book out if you don’t want to be relegated indefinitely to the rank of “junior colleague” in the field. So, long story short, as an art historian, I’m pleased and relieved to have checked this off of my professional to-do list. And right in time to welcome two sure-to-be super handsome (and time-consuming) kiddos!
2. I fought with my insurance company.
This point (and the next) fall under the “lowlights” category. Remember a minute ago when I noted that my pregnancy experience has not been the blissful march toward motherhood and total contentedness that I see all over social media? This is the number one reason why. We have what we thought was “good insurance.” And yet there is not a single perinatal (aka “high risk pregnancy”) specialist in our network. This is an issue when you have a high-risk pregnancy. I have spent so many hours these past few months on the phone fighting with my insurance company, writing certified letters to hospital administrators, and filing complaints — hours I will never get back. The experience has been so stressful, at times keeping me from enjoying my pregnancy to the extent that I should. Make no mistake, we are super excited about these twins. But I have a lot of angst toward the healthcare system in this country right now, and it interfered with my writing mojo big-time.
3. I went to the hospital.
Speaking of pregnancy and stress, I recently spent four days in the hospital for pre-term labor. It may or may not have anything to do with the stress of negotiating my (and my twins’) standard of care. Anyway, I’ve never really been a patient in a hospital before, and it was very… interesting. I was given medicines to stop the contractions and steroids to help develop the babies lungs in case they do come early. I was treated like a princess by a barrage of lovely nurses and well-tended to by my wonderful ob/gyn team. But I started to break down mentally by the end of day three from stress over the babies… and the lack of fresh air and sunlight that comes with hospital stays. Anyway, the boys and I had a talk and decided that, even though we’re super psyched to meet each other soon, they need to keep cooking for a few more weeks!
4. I insisted we re-paint half of the rooms in our house. Again.
I think the experts call it “nesting”… ? But my husband, who suffered through the latest repainting remarkably well, probably thinks of it as “psychosis.” Anyway, it all started when my soon-to-be sister-in-law, Alyssum, sent me an article she thought I’d like about something called “post-materialism.” I plan to write a fuller post about it soon, but suffice it to say there was a blogger featured who has a very lovely cottage, each room of which is painted white. And in my baby-addled mind I realized with astonishing conviction that our bungalow needed a refresh before the twins’ arrival. So Manny painted. And painted. And painted. That, my friends, is love.
5. I read obsessively…
… about the most boring thing in the whole world: personal finance. Seriously, I read about fifteen or twenty books on investing and personal finance in the space of two months. I don’t think I’d ever read a single book on the topic before — or ever given it much more than five minutes of thought. But with two kiddos on the way, I became OBSESSED. I made Manny sit down with me night after night and talk about the nitty-gritty of what we save. Where is our money? How much do we need / will we need? I researched college-savings accounts, brokerage accounts, Money Market Funds… I even signed us up for life-insurance. Something about expecting twins sent me into a self-induced panic, and I raced to know everything I could about the ins-and-outs of money. I’m glad to say I’ve worked my way out of that one and come out on the other side, probably better prepared for it. But that Manny — he really has been a very good sport these past few months.
So anyway, you see now I’m sure… this is why I haven’t blogged. You didn’t really want to hear about my fights with the insurance company, my opinions on index funds and stock options, or my general craziness…
I suppose I could have shared some of the really good stuff, though — the visits with friends, the dreaming up baby-names, the reckless abandon of eating as much awesome food as one can when expecting twins. In fact, eating should have had its own entry. When you’re expecting multiples, you’re encouraged to eat and eat and eat. At my first doctor’s appointment, they encouraged me to gain fifty pounds, and I’m well on my way now at 30.5 weeks. So my apologies for the lack of burrito-related posts. And cupcake posts. Those would have been fun. As it is, I’m looking forward to getting back into a better headspace and sharing pics of our repainting job and other cool stuff in the months to come!