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Preparing for two 'bambini'

Jul 18, 2013 By Clair McFarland

Yes, I am pregnant again -- this time with twins

Although this is an unusual public proclamation, the reader must know that I'm expecting.

That is to say, the Husband and I are expecting, but in instances such as this, I don't usually apply the pronoun "we" to a man who winces at being called "pregnant."

He is not pregnant. I am.

This is my third time through the gestational ringer, so when I felt that first hint of digestive narcolepsy, I knew what was up, even without --ahem --"using" the amazing EPT stick.

Once, however, my state of being was confirmed by the pink plus sign, I proceeded through the less-agreeable pregnancy symptoms with optimism. After all, I figured, by round three, I know the ropes. My plan was to treat the whole endeavor like a fun and fattening hobby, no complaining allowed.

There are a few things that really do make pregnancy fun. For starters, it's nice to get ready for a new baby. The mama-to-be feels his first flips, his final womb-punches. She folds his waiting outfits three times each. She forces him to listen to Taylor Swift before he knows any better.

Then there are the oddities that accompany having a planet-shaped cocoon for a torso. It's an enigma that sets even the regular characters of one's life off-balance.

Some people keep their wary distance, while others flock to admire the beach ball, their hands outstretched. In the latter group, there seem to be a disproportionate number of new moms, men over 70, and people of Italian descent. Call it a generalization, but I can't hear the word "bambino" without feeling a phantom hand on my belly.

So my pregnancy optimism was going strong, due to these factors and my excitement over finally being in the right frame of mind to read "A Light in August" and to watch "What to Expect When You're Expecting," the comedy. (Passing warning: The pregnant girl is to avoid watching "Alien," "Breaking Dawn" and "Milo and Otis.")

I sailed into my first ultrasound appointment, on a cloud.

In the ultrasound room, I beamed and strained to peek at my newest sweetheart.

Then I saw: There were two of them.

Turns out, my new "sweetheart" is a set of identical twins.

Here my ecstasy did not fade, but it brought with it a million questions, many of which my doctor had to answer. To summarize: "Will the babies be OK?" "Will I be OK?" "Will the octogenarians and kind Italians run away in fear once my belly turns into a mammoth?"

The doctor pulled out a lot of tact to answer that last one.

Anyway, we're making some unexpected changes around here. We are making baby-supply purchases we didn't expect to make, investing in pregnancy comfort props we never needed before (hello body-pillow!) and shopping for what I'm sure will be the most adorable Suburban in the world. (Sarcasm.)

But we're happy. Sometimes I'm dying to complain about the lightning pace at which I'm expanding, or the little pains in my legs after a long day, or the scary procedural possibilities that await me in the delivery room.

Then I remember how many women would do anything for my discomfort, for my worst days, and for my complicated little babies. So many Americans experiment with harrowing fertility treatments, or wait on adoption lists for that little "bambino," all in the hopes that a baby who is just right for them will make it out of a safe womb and into their arms.

As for these babies, they're mine, and I'd have it no other way. But I also hope that the pregnant girls who are less inclined to buy Suburbans and cribs may give others the opportunity to do so. I speak vicariously, but confidently, when I say that such a fun and fattening endeavor undertaken for another's sake wouldn't just change the life of a childless couple, it would make it.

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