Thursday, December 24, 2009

I'll Be Home For Christmas

I’ll Be Home For Christmas . . .

Week 24 is here and with it comes the reminders as to why we started this blog in the first place.  It wasn’t to get all cutesy and share adorable news about Chiara (such as, within a week of moving to the next classroom at daycare she started singing, “Shake your boom-bas, shake your boom-bas” while dancing naked in front of the mirror).  No, it wasn’t for that; it was to let friends and family know what was going on during times when we had news to share but wouldn’t be able to call everyone and give them the update.

We kinda forgot about that this last month or so, mostly because we were in that blissful place where there wasn’t much I could do but take naps and eat triple cream goat cheese.  And so I let my inner Erma Bombeck get the best of me.

But then we had our 24 week checkup.

Here’s the skinny:

(Well, none of us is skinny.)  I have passed my max weight with Chiara by 8 pounds.  The twins are a pound and a half apiece, which puts them squarely in the 50th percentile when compared to lonely singletons.  They are moving a lot and I thought I was crazy to think that I can tell them apart when they kick but then I came away from the ultrasound convinced that it affirmed what I had already intuited: Baby A (to me, the blue baby) is head down on the lower left side and Baby B (the red baby) is transverse with a preference for having his toward the right, although he has been known to flip.  The twins are doing great.

Repeat, the twins are doing great.

Mom is feeling great.  But she’s sick of being pregnant and her body is starting to reflect that.  Had she been carrying only 1 kid, her doctor at yesterday’s ultrasound would have sent her home with orders of bedrest.

But she’s carrying two kids, so he sent her to the hospital instead.  We had been meaning to do a tour of the Labor and Delivery ward, anyway. 

“Can we go home first?”

“Do you have a bag packed?”


“Then you better just go.”

Ah.  So we did.  We checked into the hospital. Five hours later, we saw the doctor.

Which is actually a good thing.  When you are 24 weeks pregnant, and you go to a place where new little people are dropping into the world at unexpected times in unexpected ways, you want to be a low priority.  You want to be the one the doctors keep forgetting about.  You want to be just above “answer text message from wife.”  It’s their way of letting you know that they don’t expect any new little people to drop out of you any time soon.

* * * * *

We got settled right away, however.  In fact, I was in a hospital gown resting in my own private room flipping through movie channels before they had even begun the admission process.*  Bed rest was the important thing to have, so bed rest is what I got.

* BTW - admission takes FOREVER.  First there are the questions about your insurance and where they can come find you if your insurance arbitrarily decides not to cover any of your health needs.  Then there are questions about health history—surgeries, allergies, regrettable romantic relationships—for you, your parents, your spouse, your cousins’ spouses, their parents and then there are some bonus questions about some randomly picked T.V. personality, like Alex Trebec, which I assume is thrown in for extra credit.  There are questions about religious preferences, dietary preferences, and some geography questions (which are a bit tricky if you don’t know all your Russian provinces).  Then there are the legal forms, of course, which all say, “The party of the first clause hereby known as the party of the first clause and the party of the second clause hereby known as the party of the second clause” . . . which is followed by the Sanity Clause, and of course, this being Christmas, and all of you —being Marx Brothers fans or at least savvy Google searchers—know that there is no Sanity Clause. Ba-dum-pum-pum!!!  After they do the legal part (and I am not joking about this) they ask how you best understand and remember information.  Written?  Oral?  Combination?  There were two other choices, but I forgot what they were because the questions were given orally and I am “written” learner.  (Check my file)

I think I’ll put all the technical info in a separate blog post.  For this post, I’d like to just put everyone at ease.

Everything is fine, I’m just in here for a bit so they can take some further precautions to make sure that everything stays fine.  I am not experiencing any kind of early labor, but I do have what they call an insufficient cervix (it used to be called an "incompetent" cervix, but that got scrapped in favor of the less judgmental, but still accurate “insufficient” cervix.  I am totally on board with this one.  I think I would burst into tears if a doctor told me that I might deliver early because my cervix was incompetent.  It’s tantamount to having a moron for a uterus.)

How long is “a bit?”  Yeah, we’re not sure about how long that is.  It’s like the DoctorSpeak equivalent of your Mom’s “we’ll see.”  As Cathy, Matt’s sister, mentioned to me, [some] doctors like to give you time to wrap your head around these things, so, “at least until Christmas” turned into “at least until next Monday” which was followed by lots of lovely anecdotes about pregnant women like me who walked into the Black Hole of Bed Rest and emerged three months later. 

Yes, we will be here for Christmas.  Luckily, they have a open door policy for visitors.  Spouses are welcome any time.  There’s even a chair that pulls out into a bed.  Matt spent the night here last night (Tuesday) and will again tonight (Wednesday).  (Jason & Caitlin stayed with Chiara so that he could do that.  Special thanks, guys.) 

And the hospital allows kids to visit, too! 

(This is not the case at all hospitals.  In fact, I have it on good authority that it is not the case at certain hospitals in St. Paul, LA, Columbus and Tampa.  Because of the H1N1 scare, in many hospitals children under five cannot visit.  When we asked our hospital about their visitor's policy and H1N1 they looked at us kinda funny.  They thought we were asking because perhaps our daughter had H1N1.  And for the record, those children may not visit the Labor and Delivery ward.)

Our doctor suggested that Chiara become as comfortable as possible in my room, even going as far as making a nest for her in the corner if she wants to stay the night.  Which was my first clue that I wasn’t getting out of here any time soon.

I’m kind of OK with the whole deal for now, including the prospect of spending both Christmas and New Years in here.  It isn’t until I think of the song that I get all choked up:

I’ll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
And . . . things that blow?
And presents under the tree

I was in my 20’s going through yet another Christmas away from home before I realized John Denver doesn’t make it home; it’s only in his dreams.

It's that last line that makes me really bawl.  (Although, to be fair, I also cry uncontrollably at the bridge of “Frosty the Snowman.”  My dancer friends can back me up on this.  This was quite problematic the year I was in a show with a tap dancing Frosty.)

So tomorrow (Thursday) is Christmas Eve.  Matt and Chiara are going to get a little plastic Walgreen’s tree and put it in the corner.  We’re going to make ornaments out of Chiara’s “art” projects that I don’t really want to keep but can’t bring myself to throw out.  If I can’t be home for Christmas, home will just have to come to me.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

© 2010 Janine Kovac 


  1. Janine! Lots of love to you my friend, and a Merry Christmas! I will come visit when I return.
    Here is one of my holiday favorites, it's fun:)
    Just think of your hospital bed as a a giant sleigh:)

  2. Blessings Way Up Your Family!
    (and your little dog too)


  3. You are in the best place you could be. And think of the stories you will tell babies A and B about this Christmas.

    I have to say I am a little disappointed that there was no mention of Matt's loins' fruit in this post. When I read that in your last post I had a very visceral "EEEEWWWW" reaction. But now, I wonder if you could work "fruit of Matt's loins" into your posts on a regular basis. Just as an interesting side challenge. You could shorten it: FOML.

    And, in regards to a Facebook posting earlier, you should know that we ARE having spotted dick at the Medina Christmas party.
    Just ask the hospital cafeteria if they could whip that up for you.

    Say Merry Christmas to the nurses!

  4. Merry Christmas Janine .....I'm glad you are being taken care of. Better safe than sorry.

  5. Well, neither insufficient nor incompetent shall ever be applied to you; you sit up, keep those legs locked and those babies safe. There will be more Christmases ahead.

    Can I be soemthing other than "Anonymous?"

    Love you,

  6. Will be keeping you all in my thoughts! Love you, Molly.

  7. Hi Janine,
    Take care, enjoy the rest (because this is going to be the last time you get this much rest for some time -- LOL) and know we're all thinking about you and sending postive energy and wishes your way.
    I really love reading your blog, by the way. You definitely have the gift of wit!
    My best to Matty and we'll see you guys next year! Lots of love, Mike H.

  8. Dearest Janine, I'm so glad that you are where you can get the rest and help you and the twins need.....I am convinced that anyone who has danced the roles you have danced can handle any thing that life hands you. I loved reading your blog and hearing your resolve to "dance this role" one more time.....
    Blessings Roxan Lotspeich Slaton

  9. Oh dear... I'm just getting caught up. I'll keep reading!!