Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Top Ten Tuesdays: Ten Questions About our Exciting "Twincident"

I'm no mind reader, but judging from the very overwhelming response to the news that we are pregnant with twins (wow - thank you all SO much for your support, it means so much to us!!), we want to answer a few questions right out of the gates that we have either already been asked - or we think you might ask.  You see, I am not only a very efficient baby-maker (as it turns out), but multi-tasker as well!  I think this might help me manage my inbox while simultaneously quenching your curiosity (wink).  So here goes nothin'...

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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!


Cheryl @Mid-Life Cruising! said...

How great that your family has a rental home that ya'll can move into for a while!

Your honesty is great, and all of this would be a huge adjustment for anyone ... even if they didn't live on a boat! I'm sure your head is spinning.

I'm confident that no matter what your future brings .. it will bring excitement, joy and adventure!

Love the quote .. so true!

Red Charlotte said...

We are cheering you all on!

Christine Wolf said...

Congratulations. Let me know if you'd like any blogging connections. I write for Patch.com and ChicagoNow.com. I've also met some fantastic people at MakeItBetter.com. I can sense a lot of support and FUN coming your way when you're on land. And, I'm in Evanston if you ever want to have a glass of wine. As a mom of three, I'll tell you I'd never want to have it any other way :)

RichC said...

Obviously you didn't answer all the key questions -- like ... "Do you know who the father is?" ;-)

Congratulation guys ... and I thought cruising with "A" child is an adjustment!

Deb said...

My vote for the blog is that you keep on blogging on windtraveler.net. You are, and always will be cruisers, whether or not you are currently on a boat. Cruising is a state of mind and we have all enjoyed your sharing immensely and learned a ton. Since you plan to resume cruising on a boat in the future, your challenges during this layup period are of great interest to many.

Best wishes for your newly expanded family,

S/V Kintala

Behan - s/v Totem said...

What sweet goodness. ITA with Deb... so much of cruising is a state of mind. You've just got an extra adventure inserted into yours for a while!

Unknown said...

I do hope you'll keep blogging! My daughter is only a couple months younger than Isla, so I love reading about her. I will miss your beautiful island and sea pictures while you're landbound, but I'm sure we'll get some amazing pictures of two new little beauties :-)

Unknown said...

Amen to #1! having an internationally adopted son, this tends to be the first question on folk's mind. Did fertility treatments fail. Folks, does it really matter?

One question I would love to know the answer to is...
Will Asante come to the waters of Lake Mi for the 1.5 years of landlubber life??

Again, congrats! Such a blessed (and shocking) event!

boatbaby said...

We went cruising the first time in 2001-2002. We were sure we;d have a short break and head out again. And yet here we are. There was a spell where I was really bummed about yet another delay (like when we found out about baby #2 surprise) but at this stage there are no regrets. It's not a race. You've been there and done that, and you will again when the time is right. As for the blog, if it feels right, then keep writing. It's not about us, it's your thing.

Louise said...

Wow, wow, wow, overwhelmed and excited for you! Congratulations!

Freedom-Kewl Change said...

I love the honesty in answer #10. I know you are thrilled and will be thrilled, but to tell your thoughts now was refreshing.......Congrats

Mel Bowden said...

Oh gorgeous girl, I've just commented on your original post, and am sad you'll be taking a break from the sailing life, but completely understand. If you feel the urge strike you, you can always join us on the road. Not the same as the water, but not a bad substitute, we've found.

RE not bringing the twins up on the boat. I often have moments of regret that were not giving Sienna the same experiences Oscar got living in a house for his first two years, so I think your feelings are completely natural. Try and remember that you can raise multiple kids in the same environment and they turn out completely differently anyway, so don't give yourself too much grief over that. The kids will grow up awesome because they have you as parents, not because they didn't spend 18 months on a boat.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the twins!!! What a blessing! I can totally feel what your are saying in your regrets about not being able to give these babes what you gave Isla. My husband and I lived aboard and were cruising for a few years(we got engaged in The Bahamas!) Now we farm full time and have only been able to escape and cruise in Florida for three weeks or so in the winter with our kidlets. We often long to give them the full live-aboard life and know we will someday but what's so super great is that when children have parents who live a life uncommon, no matter what they are doing, it rubs off and shows! When we do get to the boat everyone thinks we are a full time live-aboard family because our kids are interested in the world around them, unplugged and fun lovin'! This is going to be an awesome adventure!!!!!

SailFarLiveFree said...

SO happy for your family! Your family is blessed and your journey will continue to inspire, whether on land or at sea!

Ken said...

Great news! Just think, you will be able to find out what it is like to eat for 3 people. And next year, cook for 5! Don't forget those super big family hugs.

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