In Chinese culture, the character ‘double happiness’ is often seen in weddings to signify good wishes, love, and luck for the new couple.
For Tai and I, however, the idea of doubling our joy has a meaning that goes a little bit past the wedding. A year and a four months past the wedding, to be exact.
We are expecting…twins!
This is why I was so elated last week: I had just had my first ultrasound and seen them, like two little ping pong balls bouncing around inside my body. It was shocking, overwhelming, and pretty miraculous. I wanted to stay quiet here until another ultrasound confirmed their heartbeats.
I started to suspect something was up in Costa Rica and this is actually the reason I’ve not been writing as much as I usually would about the trip. My suspicions were so tied into the magic of the whole experience, good (yoga in the open air shala, orange-turmeric smoothies, napping in the hammock in front of my villa), and not so good (headaches, vomiting en route to the resort, finding las cucarachas in my toiletry bag (outdoor showers and all…)). Those suspicions were confirmed once I was back home, and the news of twins came just a few days ago.
I know that for many moms-to-be, it’s important to wait until after the first trimester before spilling the happy news that there’s a baby on the way. It’s true that the risk of miscarriage drops somewhat after the first 12 weeks. And of course, there’s something very sweet and romantic sharing such a thrilling secret with just your partner and maybe a few select family members.
But here’s my pickle: I’m a natural oversharer who likes to blog about her GI symptoms, who is still a month away from the end of the first trimester. I have a reserved, cautious husband who likes to keep private matters private. Time for a compromise! We made a deal that after our first sonogram I could start telling my closer friends and get blogging. He would unroll our news more gradually. Facebook, the vile voices of the unwashed masses, would be off limits for awhile. Fine. It’s a limboish state of half staying quiet and half shouting from the rooftops, and here’s how I’ve been passing the time while champing at the proverbial bit. If you have time to bide or a secret of your own to keep, I hope my tried and true suggestions are helpful!
The Girl Gone Well Compendium of Things To Do Whilst Keeping Your Pregnancy a Secret
1.) Don’t keep it a secret: tell one or three close family/friends. If something did go wrong, you’d want these people to be there for support anyway. This will help ease the need-to-tell-someone-now anxiety while still keeping your news sacred.
2.) Shop! Maybe not for clothes, but pick up a little something special to commemorate this meaningful time. Maybe a scarf, or a lovely perfume (one that doesn’t nauseate you, that is), or a new journal. Better yet, get an aromatherapeutic pedicure.
3.) Take a bath! I’d love to do this, alas, the one bathtub in our apartment is in my husband’s bathroom (again, compromise: I get the shower cubby but I also have a window). I don’t enjoy going in there on a good day; going in while pregnant, nauseous, and fragile is asking for trouble.
4.) See if you can finagle a way to work from home every now and then. You will undoubtedly get more done without all the office distraction (this is one of the many points on which I disagree with Marissa Mayer), and you can do important things like wear your comfy pants, wrap up in a blanket, and use your own loo. Added bonus: If you can unplug from the internet while you work, you’ll avoid the temptation to lurk on scary, fear-inducing pregnancy boards and forums.
5.) Don’t worry about every tiny thing that passes your lips. As long as you aren’t craving bathtubs full of gin or packs of Marlboro Reds, you’re probably not hurting the baby. Of course you want to keep it healthy and sensible, but if you start panicking about that .0408 % caffeine in your decaf coffee, you’re going to start driving yourself crazy (baby might get annoyed with you too). Ditto soda. I recently read a book called Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven that, while full of a lot of valuable info, has an entire chapter devoted to the evils of soda. And while I guess it’s true that no one really needs to be drinking Big Gulps, there are days when I can handle nothing but ginger ale. So high fructose corn syrup be damned, ginger ale it is. The point is, relax and don’t let anyone make you feel guilty if the only thing you can keep down at any given time is a bacon double cheeseburger. Your body knows what you need better than a book.
5.) Reinvent exercise! Keeping physically active during pregnancy is essential, but that doesn’t mean you have to go crazy about it. You can do pilates (let your teacher know you’re pregnant first), pre-natal yoga, or take a walk just to get the blood flowing and the muscles engaged. If you have a few days when it’s all you can manage to walk from the bedroom to the kitchen, sigh, and turn back around again, don’t get down on yourself. Make bed work for you by using it as a platform for lots of glorious stretches. Here’s one of my faves: lie on the side of the bed with one leg hanging off and barely touching the floor. Press that same leg’s hip out a down a bit, maybe with a slight arch in your back. You’ll get an awesome hip flexor stretch.
6.) Get crafty. Pinterest is a goldmine for crafty baby crap – I mean – project ideas. I’ve actually been stringing together shells and other doo-dads found on the beaches of Santa Theresa in Costa Rica. God only knows what for. A mobile? Window décor? Hopefully I’m not creating a choking hazard in the process. I’m also sketching a lot, and I’ve been writing letters to the babies. It relaxes the mind while still keeping you active and engaged.
7.) See what’s happening inside your bod! Call it science, call it the grace of God, there is no way you can deny that the journey from conception to birth is utterly fascinating. Right now, I have two grains of rice that are going to turn into beans any second.
Most important, relax and enjoy the adventure!