- Did you use fertility treatments? Fertility treatments are amazing. We have several friends who have struggled and ultimately conceived beautiful babies because of them and some who, sadly, have not. We feel very grateful and lucky that we have not had issues in this department. These twins were of the "spontaneous" variety. However, having friends who have gone the fertility treatment route and hearing how incredibly painful this can be, I would caution anyone from ever asking this very personal question to a mother, let alone a mother of twins - as this can be very offensive and insensitive to some.
- Do twins run in one of your families? Fun factoid: the "gene" for twins can ONLY be passed through the woman, meaning a man has absolutely no say in whether or not a couple will conceive twins - even if he is a twin himself. Another fun fact: identical twins are always a "fluke" and not genetic at all. Chances of conceiving twins naturally go up for a woman in her thirties because ovaries that are starting to wind down sometimes begin to "double drop" eggs. Our twins are fraternal and, yes, they run on my side of the family. Regardless, we never saw this coming!
- How far along are you and do you know the genders? I am 14 weeks right now and no, we don't know the genders yet, but you better believe we're going to find out. Originally I had promised Scott that #2 would be a surprise (because we found out with Isla) - but Scott and I both agree wholeheartedly that we got our "It's a boy!!/It's a girl!!" surprise moment the second we found out there were TWO in there. We want to find out to prepare as best we can. And, to be honest, coming up with one name was borderline impossible for us. Coming up with four? No way, Jose.
- Are you going to give birth in the islands? No. Twins are a different ball game right from the get-go and because of the many risks and potential issues involved with carrying two babies, we are going to play it safe and deliver stateside with a practice that is very experienced with multiples in a first-rate hospital equipped with the best medical care and a top rated NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) just in case.
- How does this affect your short-term cruising plans? This effects our plans hugely. I am due March 13 and when we thought it was one baby the plan was to cruise north until February - ending in St. Maarten whence we would store the boat, come home, have the baby, live with my parents for 4-5 months (much like we did with Isla) and move back on the boat and continue life as "normal". Because twins tend to arrive at least three weeks early and because there are a slew of risks and complications associated with a twin pregnancy, we will be fast-tracking all this and plan to cruise north beginning in October and flying me home from St. Maarten in early December before my third trimester so I can be closely monitored and be around the best medical care possible. Twins are a challenge if you live in a four bedroom home with a minivan and a night nurse, twins on a boat with no help? No thank you. We will be moving home full-time and plan to pause our cruising plans until the twins are a year and a half or older (of course all of this is subject to change). We're going to need all the help we can get, which means being close to friends and family. We feel very lucky that we have so much support on the home front.
- What can we expect from the blog? I have no idea right now. I know that I want to chronicle this next adventure, and I also know that our "future" plans include more cruising so I'm not sure how I'll do this. I might just shift the focus of this blog for a while, or perhaps I'll start another blog. There is already some interest from a popular "mommy site" for me to do some blogging for them, and there is no way I'll just stop writing (though I will have a LOT less time and posts will most certainly be more sporadic). But I'm still figuring out what this all means. If you have any ideas, I'm open to your suggestions!
- Where are you going to live? We are going to move back home to the Chicago 'burbs and live with my parents, much like we did with Isla. Eventually, we will be moving into their small rental property next door that they have very generously offered to us. That way we have our own space in which to find our groove and figure out our next steps. We have no plans to root ourselves anywhere "permanently" anytime soon, but we do plan to live at home for the foreseeable future while we figure out life as a family of five.
- Are you going to buy a bigger boat? Not going to lie - there has been talk of a slightly bigger boat with three cabins at some point. But we're not making any decisions right now. And yes, our resolve has even begun to weaken and we've hypothetically considered catamarans - though buying a new boat anytime soon is not happening. We've got enough fish to fry right now!
- How does this affect your long-term cruising plans? Our long-term cruising plans have been all over the place since day 1. Scott and I decided not too long ago that we would start to cruise part-time because neither of us (but mostly Scott) can stand sitting still in one place during hurricane season. We envision cruising in the winters and taking summers off to visit friends and family. And we definitely plan to hit the Bahamas again when we start cruising as a family of five. All this, of course, is totally subject to change - but for now, we plan to resume a life afloat - but not for a good long while.
- How are you doing? I have good days and bad, to be completely honest. Twins is a huge shock to anyone, and not only did we get the twin news - but now our life and life plans are going to change dramatically for a considerable while. I know this is what has to be and it's all for the right reasons and what is best for our family, but moving back to land for such a long time really has me in a funk. I really loved giving Isla the life we have been able to give her and she is seriously one awesome kid, in part, because of it. Not being able to do this for these babies really tugs at my heart and makes me sad. I love living on a boat with our baby and I was really excited to do it with two. Like I said yesterday, this is a major game-changer and even though we know this is a huge blessing that will enrich our lives in more ways than we can imagine, so many huge life changes at once is a hard pill to swallow sometimes. But if there is one mantra I live by and find terrific comfort in, it's this line from the incredibly powerful poem "Desiderata" by Max Ehrmann:
"...whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should."
Thank you again for the tremendous outpouring of love and kind words - you have no idea how happy it makes me to have you all as a huge, loving, extended "family" of sorts. Having you with us this whole way has been such a blessing and we thank you for your continued support!