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In your dreams, when you are running as fast as you can from that thing chasing you?  But you look down and see ants moving faster than you are?  And they’re carrying mint chocolate chip ice cream in waffle cones?  And you want some?  But in Belgian Cholate instead?  And then you remember that thing?  And look back?  But now it’s a giant clown fish?  With teeth?  And scary movie background music?  And dangit, where do you remember that music from?  And then you re-realize you’re not running fast enough?  And the ants are giggling?  And you hope that your alarm clock goes off before the end of this scene? 

That’s my pace these days. 

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Belly Shots at 34w0d.



CANKLES and SAUSAGE TOES!  Pregnancy ain’t all pretty, people.

Dear RaJenBabies,

We celebrated your first Easter this week.  And since it was such a Holy Day, we went to the “big” service at church – the one where the choir wears the loose swaddle blankets and the hymns resonate with the sound of angels.  And boy did you both like that part!  Birdie, you especially liked the trombone, and Eagle, not surprisingly, you were beating in tune with the timpani drum.

We usually go to the Contemplative Service at 8:30 and most of the people we know are just waking up around then.  So it was nice to see Uncle Alan and Uncle Mike and visit with the G-Family.  I held Grant for a bit.  He is almost a year old but is wearing 2T clothing.  Eagle, we have some of his hand-me-downs in your closet.  


We are almost ready for your arrival, but we continue to be grateful that you haven’t made any effort to enter the world early.  The honeycomb shades for your room should be coming in early next week.  Everything is washed and put away – sort of. We’ve got diaper stations upstairs and downstairs – sort of mostly.


I’m working my last couple days at the office this week and then I’ll be working from home until you come.  In the meantime, you just keep growing, maturing your lungs and central nervous system, putting on some baby fat.  We love you!

Growing for us more to kiss on with each day,

Mommy and Matou 


We had my first I-am-not-the-boss-of-me-anymore scare last week at our prenatal appointment.  I told you these weekly appointments are unnerving.  Upon arrival, and after the dreaded weigh-in (which, by the way, I’ve gained 38 pounds, which is smack dab in the middle of the you-should-gain-this-much chart in Dr. Barbara Luke’s book Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy), I got strapped in for the Non-Stress Test (NST).  

I have previously referred to this as the Labor Lie Detector test because it monitors any contractions you might be having – know it or not – as well as the baby(s) heart rates.  All this is recorded onto a strip of paper (like an EKG strip) over a period of 20 or so minutes.  

Because I ask a lot of questions, I peppered the doctor as to what they look for.  They want to see at least two ‘accelerations’, or reactivity, per baby during a twenty minute period, and those look like little peaks on the strip.  There is a good description of what the non-stress test consists of and what they look for here.   

Well, apparently, little Birdie appeared too calm (and when compared to our little Taz, also known as Eagle, well…DUH! I mean, this has been a consistent personality pattern since their first ultrasound at six weeks).  And, in fact, there was a deceleration which can be indicative of cord compression or other fetal distress.  And just as I was asking how they go about getting reactivity and the nurse was answering “good question”, THEY TASERED MY BABY!  

Not only did she respond, but we had this chain reaction of then Taz thumping me and me coming a bit off the table. Had I known that was coming, I might have been able to tell them that SHE IS JUST NOT AWAKE AT 8:30 IN THE MORNING!   

Just to be sure, though, the doctor ordered a biophysical ultrasound.  And if you want a good scare, you can read about why they do those here.  As I was getting ready to walk down the hall for that, I asked about the criteria and scoring and what the consequences would be if the score wasn’t what she expected.  She said “well, then we’ll take a walk down to the fourth floor.”  Think. Think. Think. Crap! That would be THE LABOR AND DELIVERY FLOOR.  And then I was thinking to myself “Self, you should have packed the damn hospital bag so this wouldn’t be happening!”

Longer story shorter, Birdie hit all the criteria with flying colors.  She’s merely a bit stubborn and likes to do things when SHE wants to do them – can’t imagine where she got that from.  

Crossing my fingers, AND PACKING A BAG before the next appointment. 

Dear RaJenBabies,

It’s 3:50 a.m. I have been fortunate enough to not have a lot of issues with sleeping, save the part of getting in a comfortable position. But I woke up to pee at 2am and this one song by Daughtry is in my head, except not the whole song, just the first sentence of the first verse. And I don’t even know the words, so I’m going na-nah-na-nah-na-na-nahnah-na-na-nah-na-nah-na-nanah-na-nahnah-nuh-na-nahnah-na-na-nah-nah-na-nuh-nuhnuh over and over again. And my belly was grumbling so much that I had to come into the kitchen to get a handful of Quaker Oat Squares to quiet it. Which led me to respond to a couple emails, which lead me to writing this post.

Another week gone by. Another precious week on the inside, developing, growing. This week, you are somewhere between 17 and 18 inches. And let me get my calculator, wow, that’s 3 feet worth of babies inside me, my little giant tapeworms. We will see the doctor later today and I’ll get put on the Labor Lie Detector Test-that thing that tells the doctor what is REALLY going on and my own answer of Oh Everything Is Great is not even listened to. I meant to pack my hospital bag last night, because I figured if I was Prepared, then I wouldn’t need it. And that’s still the goal right now.


I know I say this all the time, but Matou is phenomenal. She works and then she works overtime at home, taking care of the three of us, and the two dogs, and the whole house. She makes dinner just about every night. She does the laundry. She gives my hip massages like the physical therapist showed her. She runs our errands. All I do is give her lists and she gets it all done, with no complaints. Provided you have some patience in your personalities, I’ll claim that you got that osmosisly honest from Matou.

I move a LOT slower these days. When I stand up, my body goes through a rebooting process reminding my hips and legs that they can and should move and rotate. I have never had such worthy pain or discomfort. You will be worth so worth it! And when you are teenagers and I don’t know how to respond to your adolescence, I’ll be able to desperately holler “do you know what I went through for you?” And you’ll say “I didn’t ASK you to!” and it’ll be textbook teen years and that little bit right there will make me somehow feel like I did something right.


I am winding down at work – I’ll stop at the end of the month – that’ll put us through to just about 35 weeks – and take a couple weeks to focus on resting and growing you before we get to meet you on the outside. Until then, I’m keeping my mental legs crossed. Unless you decide to make your own grand entrance. But if you do resort to that kind of dramatics, I’m going to say that you got that feature more strongly from Matou’s side of the family.

Lately, the two of you have created an Octupus Zone in the middle of my belly. I call it this because, Eagle, your head is down, bum pointing out to my left and limbs toward my button. And Birdie, you are head up, bum out to the right, and limbs toward my button, too. So when you two are snuzzling in or exercising, there are 8 limbs moving in the midst of my belly and we can’t figure out who is who. It’s just one Octupus in there.

Matou and I are going to figure out how to use our new video camera that the guys at work gave me and we’re going to record the movement and post it for viewing.

Loving every bit of you both,

Mommy and Matou

 Dear RaJenBabies,

Here we are at thirty-two weeks and I am in bed giving a try at this “resting” thing. A message you haven’t received, what with the undercurrents of limbs moving across the expanding sea of my belly.

Our doctor said that my belly is TERM size. Which proves the statement made in one of the books that I read – that twin mom’s tend to look 6-8 weeks further along than they are. And do you know why we are on the high side of that estimate? Because you are HUGE!

Little Eagle, you are a whoppin’ 5lb1oz and baby Birdie, you are not to far behind at 4lb8oz. Still running a couple weeks ahead of schedule and at this point, if we make it to our ‘term’, you’ll be 6 pounders at birth. But the doctor did say, since you are as big as you are, my body may decide at any time that it’s had enough and we’ll do this thing called pre-term labor. And she said she won’t stop it once we’re past thirty-two weeks. Which means that you’d possibly come sooner than we expected. But listen, we’ll handle it, ok? We have good doctors and good facilities and good sherpas and it’s all going to be ok, no matter what.


In other good news, we found out your cousin Putter is going to be a girl! So with E! and her sister, Sara (in your aunt’s belly), that makes FOUR girls and ONE boy in this batch of chickies from my side of the familia.

Two weeks ago?  That pain in my side? Well, after the ultrasound we have an idea as to what was happening that day: Flipped a Birdie. You went breech on us. Guess you finally had it with your brother kicking at you all the time. So it looks like we’ll be scheduling a c-section now.

You are both active and seemingly comfortable in your tight quarters. Birdie, you are head up and your face is nuzzled up toward and against my spine with your feet massaging my bladder. And Mr. Eagle, you are head down against my cervix, limbs toward my barf box belly button.

Just like you have a birthday coming up in about five weeks or less? I had my birthday, too. I turned 1,768 weeks on Saturday. And your Grandma G was here to celebrate it. You know what else she did? She washed all your 0-3 month clothes and organized your room and put all your things in logical parenty places. Which should make sense to me with as many weeks as I turned, but I’ll be really honest with you, RJBs, we don’t have a clue. So go easy on us without an instruction manual, ok?


Our doctor said the three of us are doing very well, and that was great news to hear. Next week we go have a non-stress test, which I call the Labor Lie Detector test – because I can say whatever I want to the doctor, but once you’re strapped in to that monitor, they know what is really going on and there’s not much room for negotiation.   

Holding on tightly,

Mommy and Matou

Dear RaJenBabies,

Here we are.  Thirty One weeks.  It’s all going by so fast!   It does make it easier to go the day-to-day when I can feel you both move around so much.  Matou, too.  

The house is coming along. Floors are done downstairs. We decided to convert the “office” to one of your playstations. Now just for convincing the dogs that the space isn’t theirs. We washed your sheets and blankets and goodness that took two loads right there and you’re not even four pounds yet.

You’ll be born at most forty-seven days from now, which I’m sure will pass in a blink of an eye.  That’s like Lent plus Creation.  And to us, you are both just as important.

Today, one of my co-workers asked me if I was taking any time off for spring break – and my answer was: yes, in about six years.  And that got me to thinking about college tuition and this thing I read about low administrative cost 529 Plans in Utah.  And then I had to scold myself for growing you up into independent adults before your even out of the womb.  

But it’s hard to not think about what you might be when you grow up with all that rearranging of my guts that you are doing.   And I wonder, will you be carpenters?  Architects?  Urban planners?  Twister champions?  Because it sure seems you are honing your skills by moving my stomach up somewhere up near my left lymph node in my neck and how my intestines are wrapped around my spine.  And then I wonder, how are they doing that, getting up so high?  And then I feel that feeling and go:  oh yeah, they can do that because they are using my bladder as a trampoline.  It all makes sense.

Falling more in love with you every day,

Mommy and Matou

Friday morning, as I was driving to work, I was saying my morning prayers.  Something I learned from the Beloved.  And as a bonus, it helps one not get worked up while sitting in traffic.  Because it’s hard to be pissy and self-righteous when you are in the midst of giving thanks. 

And that’s what I was doing.  Giving thanks for our neighbors for what they did for me on Thursday.  That morning, I was in so much pain, that I couldn’t finish getting ready for work.  And instead, I crawled back into bed, all cold sweats and shaky, to try and sleep it off.  That didn’t work. 

By 10:15am, the pain had not subsided at all.  So, despite my best efforts to not be one of those women, I called the doctor’s office and left a message.  I typically have a pretty high tolerance for pain, so either it was a lot of pain, or I was having an uncharacteristically wimpy day. 

I knew I needed to eat lunch, but had no energy to make anything, much less get out of bed.  So I sent a text to the back neighbors, who often go home for lunch to check on their pups.  The same neighbors who can see the deplorable condition of our ungroomed, over-weeded back yard and STILL LOVE US. And despite them having plans, they said they’d bring me some lunch anyway.  Is that not SO SWEET?  Our neighbor brought me lunch and was setting it up on the tray for me in the bed when the nurse called me back.  She wanted me in.   

Having overheard this, and correctly assuming that I wasn’t really in any condition to drive myself, our neighbor cancelled her own appointment and drove me to mine. 

As it turns out, all is fine.  Had my first 3rd trimester pelvic exam – completely uncomfortable, but over before I knew it.  They put me on the monitors during which time I learned the RJBs DO NOT like being confined (they get THAT honest!) as they were trying to kick the dopplers off the entire time.  I was having some contractions, but nothing out of the ordinary.  And my cervix was closed.  I did have some blood in my urine, typically indicative of a bladder infection, but I’ll learn more when the culture results come in.  And the fetal fibronectin swab came up negative, meaning I am not at risk for pre-term labor, at least not in the next couple weeks. 

At the end, the doctor said “unfortunately, I think one of the babies is likely sitting on a nerve that’s causing the pain.”  But my response was that that was GREAT news, because for me, the pain is relatively temporary.  The fortunate thing about that diagnosis is that (a) the RJBs are doing well, and that (b) I’m not currently at risk for pre-term labor. DID YOU HEAR THAT, MOM?

And I am grateful for having wonderful, loving neighbors – without whom I could not have made it through the day – that helped me, took the dogs out, fed me, drove me to the doctor, and tucked me back in bed. 


Taken at 26w0d on January 30, 2008 .

Because nothing says “kicker” in Texas like jeans and a white shirt. And nothing says “woman” universal than an inappropriate amount of flesh showing.

OK, this was not my work attire on Friday. This is just the only full-frontal belly foto that will be published.  Ever.  

A special thanks to robalyork, one of our 2 1/2 husbands, for the borrowing of the shirt.

Dear RaJenBabies,

I am so proud of you both for reaching this milestone.  And relieved.  Of course, we still have more work, more growing, more resting to do, but things are progressing well.

We had a doctor’s appointment yesterday, but it was mostly just a check-up on me.  I think taking the extra iron has helped me feel a little better, or maybe it’s that I grounded myself this past weekend and didn’t let myself leave the bed much and had our taxes to do to keep me occupied.  Mr. Eagle, your heartrate was a steady 158 and Little Miss Birdie, your heartrate was an excited 166.  We’ll get to see you on the RJB-TV in a couple of weeks and we’re looking forward to it. 

Even though we haven’t seen you in two weeks, we can tell you are growing because you feel different from the outside.  Like BIGGER.  Matou and I can feel a knee or a bottom or a back at times.  And it’s a pretty interesting to watch what seems to be a tennis ball move slowly across the underneath of my belly.  The space I have to give is not keeping up with the space you need to grow.  So I can also tell/feel that you are moving outwards a bit.  And I can feel my abdominal wall stretching to accomodate your movements.  It hurts at times, but it is also special to know that the two of you are making yourselves comfortable in the kangaroo pouch that I can provide. 

Matou finished the floors this week!  The house is quite in disarray because of it, and it’s pretty cluttered in general as we move things around to where we want them to be.  But by the end of this weekend, the furniture will be back in its proper place, maybe with a few changes on what goes where.  We have about two more weeks worth of work to do at the house, general spring cleaning stuff that has to happen anyway, and then I think we’ll breath a big sigh of relief. 

For now, every evening when we sit together to watch a TV show or just talk, we both lay our hands on you and we just sigh and sigh over our drippy love for the two of you.


Mommy and Matou

More Photos!

The Aforementioned