Wednesday, March 16, 2016

From Belly To Birth and Abdominal Stirrings

This morning I woke up with some rumblings in my tummy and a little bloating. My first thought was, "Oh my gosh, I'm pregnant!" Funny how my recent pregnancy made that my context for abdominal happenings. With my history of infertility combined with the fact that I am not only nursing but using an IUD, that would indeed be a miracle!

Luckily I shouldn't be reliving the joys of pregnancy any time soon (wouldn't that be crazy while raising infant twins!?) from a literal standpoint, but you can reminisce with me if you would like as my birth story was featured today on the blog From Belly to Birth. Megan shares some really interesting posts highlighting pregnancy and the birthing process, focusing specifically on the varied and unique experiences we have as women bringing these babies into the world. Many of the stories are touching reads and also provide good information for women with questions about their own upcoming births or those hoping to understand more about childbirth (guys?).

Feel free to check out my post (and others). While it is very similar to my original post it has a few added details and back story. I was surprised how much I enjoyed reading it back and the emotions it stirred up. I am glad that I documented it as the details get fuzzy after even a short period of time.


Saturday, March 5, 2016

First in the Nation


One of the advantages (and sometimes disadvantages) of living in Iowa is that we get to be very involved in the political system due to our "first in the nation" caucus. This gives us many opportunities to view political ads (make them stop!), meet the candidates, and spend a lot of time thinking about Republicans and Democrats.

Campaign buses: a common site leading up to the election
Abe has been interested in politics ever since I have known him. (Funny enough, although not on purpose, both babies share names with political commentators.) Growing up in Utah, where most of the candidates don't even bother campaigning, I had very little political exposure. I remember being surprised to see my first political add on TV -- "They have commercials for the presidential candidates?"

Abe has taught me to enjoy the involvement we get to have as Iowans and we try to attend events for the candidates where we can. Some of the people we have met or seen in the past include multiple times for Obama (even before he started his presidential campaign) and Romney, Guilliani, and Ron Paul. We have been to rallies, dinners, meet and greets, and the Iowa Straw Poll.

This year we have been quite busy (surprise!) and we were unable to make as many events this cycle as we have in the past. We attempted to attend a Trump rally with Sister but after standing in a winding line (out the door, down the street, and through a parking garage) for about 90 minutes we made it to the doors only to be turned away due to a full venue.
"I don't want to see Trump, I just want to go home!"
The babies and Abe were able to meet Dr. Ben Carson later in the week in the warmth of the indoors.

While waiting during a photo-op, Abe told Dr. Carson he should check the babies' fontanelles. He said, "I was just thinking that" and said they were both "good." Not many healthy babies get an exam from a famous pediatric Neurosurgeon!

We were also able to meet Chris Christie...(I even asked him a question about his policies for mothers and families)

...and Rand Paul. 

And we snuck in a picture with Ron Paul.

The babies were a huge hit at most of the events with multiple reporters wanting to talk to us about them from the local student newspaper to national papers such as the New Jersey Star Ledger and the Iowa Press Citizen and even a reporter from Sweden and another from Ireland. Mister seemed perfectly content with the hubbub and energy of the crowd at the large Rand Paul event but poor Sister found the loud applause and cheering a bit frightening. Poor baby! I guess she isn't a Libertarian, after all.

I wish we would have been able to introduce the babies to all of the candidates (if only we had more foresight and a little more time!). But were glad they were able to get some pictures with a few candidates and they were even the headline feature in a few Iowa newspapers and mentioned in the Irish Times! As an identical twin myself I am quite aware that twins are popular but I wasn't expected to be so interesting to reporters covering international news.

Des Moines Register/Press Citizen: These 4 month old twins are the cutest thing you will see at the caucuses today

Irish Times: Republicans pull out all of the stops in Iowa

One reality of having twins is that everyone wants to tell you about "their" twins, whether that is the set of twins they went to school with, their own children, or their distant cousins. Even Mrs. Paul (Ron Paul's wife and Rand Paul's mother) wanted to talk to us about her twins, her daughter's twin girls who are now in high school.

And although not a political figure, the babies were able to meet local celebrity Kirk Ferentz, the coach of the Iowa Hawkeye Football team while at the Chris Christie event. 

Maybe we will get some more chances for twin photo ops in another four years!