Stretch Marks

Yesterday morning I woke up and recalled the three dreams I had during the night.  In one, Thomas, in a notably miraculous fashion, informed us that he needed to poop and wanted to do so in the potty.  So, that dream was basically like parenting Heaven and I smiled at the thought of Thomas, in the next decade or so, not announcing his poop victories in a post-feat manner.  In another dream, my family [mom, dad, and siblings] started to drift away from the Catholic Church and entertained attending a non-denominational parish.  I found this dream uncomfortable for me to wrap my early morning mind around, so I continued my dream roll call as I put on clothes in the dark, laboring over whatever elastic material lay victim to my senseless groping at the floor.  Then I remembered the nightmare wherein it was this very morning and wherein I had looked down at my belly and saw my flesh riddled with stretch marks in every direction. My jaw dropped and then my face turned upside down at the thought.

Here's the photo we took yesterday morning for hitting 22 weeks. One of the photos.  I quibbled with Paul over positioning during five takes and then begged to take another photo, one last photo [this one], where I didn't look miserable.

Because all I could think here was STRETCH MARKS, STRETCH MARKS, MY BODY'S GONNA BE RIDDLED WITH STRETCH MARKS!!!

Thomas's arrival brought on plenty of difficult, but my body was more or less the same minus two things.  A c-section scar so low, light, and thin I will forget about it for sometimes one or two weeks at a time.  And then this collection of teeny tiny stretch marks so faint around my belly button they're worn more as a token of pride than anything else, something any sensible mom doesn't mind having as part of her motherhood story, especially as a stamp of the one particular kiddo who helped her earn it.

But let me get something straight.  There is no sentimentality or symbolism on this blessed Earth that is going to make me happy to look into the mirror one day and see highways of red running their way across my skin.

I talked to my friend, Angie, yesterday about my fears.  As we talked more and more about it, the air left my chest. I about doubled over from the sensation of being trapped inside a treasure chest of pregnancy horror.  Right before hyperventilation set in, the bell rang for class.

And do I have more important things to be worrying about? You bet your skinny self I do! With the twins due to make their arrival in no less than 14 weeks [hospital's policy to induce at 36 weeks], I've got a whole host of things which trump the I-might-not-get-to-wear-a-two-piece-after-this card.

To name a few...

I've got to solve what will be the most complicated math problem since whatever I did in that Algebra class my freshmen year in college: car seat configuration for two babes and a toddler in what clearly isn't a Suburan or a van or anything, ya know, spacious because we're stubborn about not spending money on cars like that.

I've also got an epic level of nesting going on in the house at the moment.  Paul worked from home yesterday to welcome a small truckload of furniture into our abode.  And now Paul and I are up to our happy eyeballs in even more plans for a little flare and jazz here and there throughout our house. And who wouldn't be? We've envisioned me hunkering down for like forever and then a few days after the twins are born.

I've become unproductively obsessed with making and freezing meals for after said time when babies are born. So there's that. There's other sorts of lists too: consignment sale lists and diaper research/buying lists and delayed honeymoon lists.  We're like list making machines over here.

And I have to figure out how to peacefully prepare for equal chances V-bac and C-section.  [Btw, that can about make a woman go crazy right there.]

Oh, and to top it off, I've been writing my personal mission statement this week.  And nowhere in there do I get an allowance for vanity freak outs.  There isn't some kind of you may pass go and collect $200 for selfish moments where I'm more concerned about the color of my skin than whether or not I've eaten enough  protein to successfully encourage growth in my two very littles.

Thomas watched the boys on their latest kick and punch tour of my womb two nights ago and said, "Look, Mommy. My brudders are coming out of your belly." and then reeled back with two eyes wide open as if they were in fact collectively cracking the shell of an egg of which I happened to have been hosting atop my personage.

So there you have it.  Even my three year old son is lucidly aware of the horror.