Thursday, September 03, 2009

Twin Belly Memories

As I sit here today holding 2 sweet, towheaded, blue eyed boys, I am in awe. Sometimes I have to remind myself that is such a miracle to have been able to be pregnant with twins-twice! It has been such hard work to get to this point and yet I know it will be harder in the days ahead. But above all, I feel most blessed.

Originally posted on August 31, 2008. (Just 5 days before Nathan and Ryan were born!)

As the days of carrying these baby boys inside my body draw to a close, I have been reflecting on what will likely be my last round, pregnant belly. There is something captivating about seeing your belly expand with new life. Feeling the movements inside just add to the miracle that is pregnancy. I'll admit, I'm sad that I won't experience this again.

If it were up to me I'd still want to have the 8 children I always dreamed of...

Jason has scheduled his consult for his vasectomy. Maybe that's part of the reason I feel even more compelled to celebrate these final days of my belly being ripe with babies.

The picture above is a beautiful handmade soap from Bloomin' Belly Soaps that I carry in my store. Have you ever seen such a gorgeous bar of soap?

Anyway, the babies are showing no signs of coming in the near future. I've read that fetal breathing movements are an indicator that a mother is not likely to go into labor in the next 48 hours. I can very plainly feel (and see) Baby B as he practices his breathing. My guess is that I have at least another 8-12 days left.

In the meantime I have busied myself with projects. I have no desire to do the necessary tasks such as cleaning the garage or pulling weeds. Instead I have been creating. I've started sewing the comforters I intended to give the boys for Christmas this year. Matthew's is a whale fabric and Joshua's is a penguin fabric. Sewing 2 twin size comforters is a great end of pregnancy project! I'm even doing pillow shams and accessories to match.

Instead of sewing Halloween costumes (as I do every year) I lazily purchased them this time. This leaves me time to dig through my art supplies and finish my belly cast. For those who don't know, I love to paint. Mostly I prefer murals and like to do large-scale work. I guess my big belly is just right for that.

The photo above shows the string of beads that my friends made last week. In the center is a cross which will serve as a perfect reminder of Who is in control when the time comes for these babies to be born. On either side of the cross are various beads representing my pregnancy, birth, and babies. Below the string of beads is a handmade glass bead of a pregnant belly that I purchased at the 2007 ICAN conference.

The pictures above were taken around 28 weeks into this pregnancy. My dear friend Nicole even managed to get Jason into a picture. Trust me, this is a miracle in itself. This was the first time I've ever had maternity portraits done in any of my pregnancies.

A couple of weeks ago I received a huge surprise. Melinda Olsen, owner of Earth Mama Angel Baby, called me to say she'd like to use my belly in their advertising and product packaging. I've carried EMAB products for several years now and last year had the pleasure of helping to orchestrate a collaboration between EMAB and ICAN in which EMAB donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their Cesarean Recovery Kits to ICAN. This is a company that I love and I was honored to be chosen to appear in photographs for them.

Three weeks ago I had a photo shoot with a fantastic photographer and his wife. HE took pictures of me and the girls as we wore the beautiful white angel wings that you see on the EMAB products. Four hours later, I returned home and have been eagerly awaiting the proofs from the session.

I hadn't mentioned the photo shoot until now because I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the photos. I'm a pretty modest person and being photographed while I was basically nude was very intimidating. However, I have seen the preliminary proofs (over 175 of them!) and I am thrilled. They are tastefully done and as soon as the photographer has finished editing them (hopefully removing my double chin) I will share them here. The shadows and poses hide everything that should be hidden and the focus is really on the belly. There are some adorable photos of the girls too, although Leila was less than cooperative. Surprising, right? She said "I NO wear angel wings! Sarah wear angel wings!" In the end most of the good photos are of Sarah, who not only looks the part of an angel but acts it as well.

On Friday evening I found a huge box on my front porch. Inside was the biggest gift basket I have ever seen! It was loaded with EMAB products (hundreds of dollars worth of the best natural products ever made) as a thank you for doing the photo shoot. I could not be more thrilled right now and I'm even more ready to have these babies!

In addition to maternity portraits, I also decided to do some other belly art to commemorate this pregnancy. I've done belly casts for clients before but had never done one of my own. Likewise, I have done henna belly art for clients and friends but have never had it done myself. I haven't gotten around to doing the henna yet but am planning to do it this week. I did create my belly cast though. I did it myself in a seated position so it's hard to fully appreciate the size of the belly.

The problem is that the belly does not sit flat at the right angle. Because of the position I was in when I made it, the bottom of the belly is sort of cut off. I'm hoping that when I hang it on the wall I can make it hang properly so you can really see its size.

In this view I have it propped up at an angle. My breasts definitely do not point skyward!

Once I get my paints out of the storage unit I will get it completed. I intend to paint the "tree of life" representing the placenta that the babies shared in utero. I drew 2 quick sketches this afternoon and have figured out how I'd like it to look.

The painting will actually be 2 trees that have grown together. The trunks will be separate but the roots and limbs will be intertwined. Ultimately, it should look similar to the single placenta with the 2 umbilical cords and intertwined veins and arteries. I promise that I will share pictures when I finally get it finished.

That's the news from the House of Twinsanity today.

P.S.- Jason cancelled his vasectomy just 2 days before he was scheduled for the surgery. I know he doesn't want more children but I'm hoping God will soften his heart and let us have just one more.

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