The Beat Goes On

One of my favorite shows these days is Jon and Kate Plus 8. In case you're not familiar with the show, the basic premise is this: Couple suffers from infertility. Couple gives IUI a try and has twins about 7 years ago. Couple wants one more child, so they give IUI another try. Couple has sextuplets, who are now almost 4 years old. Couple now has 8 children.

8 children

Despite the chaos that rules her daily life, Kate is able to stay sane. In fact, each time I watch the show, I'm in awe of just how in-control she seems to be, most of the time. If I was in her situation, the camera crew would have a field day. I would either spend the entire taping sitting on the floor in a corner, rocking back and forth or screeching like an harpie. Apparently, there's a lot of criticism of Kate on the Internet. To the haters, I say, try living a day in her shoes first before you judge.

In addition to being a pretty damn good mom, Kate is the queen of organization. She has system or a list or a plan for even the most minute tasks in her family's life. She's maximized every square inch of space in their house. She's got shopping for an enormous family on a budget down to a science. And she meticulously plans and packs well in advance for every family outing, large or small.

And if she can maintain her composure and keep all 8 kids alive day in and day out, then I sure as hell can do it with 3.

I wouldn't say the news has completely settled just yet, but I'm getting there. And we've made a few small decisions.

The House

For now, we plan on staying in our house. We have 1,500 square feet, not counting our finished basement. I know some of you make due with less, which makes me believe I can too. So while a bigger house might be nice down the road, we're staying put for now. Babies don't take up that much space when they're young, and the prospect of moving between now and November isn't something either of us want to tackle. We plan on moving out some furniture, and making some other adjustments to our living space to prepare for the babies down the line, but as of now, we're staying put.

The Car

The hubs informed me that there is no way three car seats can fit in the back of my Jetta, so a vehicle change for me is inevitable. It might be as simple as switching cars with the hubs. He drives a gas-guzzling behemoth of an SUV, which I loathe, but which will give me the seat space I need for three kids. He could then take my much-more-fuel-efficient car on his 30 minute drive to work everyday.

My Career

I've already heard at least a dozen times from various relatives that I need to start "cutting back" on my work load. Others have asked me, "Do you still plan on working once the twins are here?" My plan is to work up until my due date or until my doctor tells me I need to spend all the remaining time I have left in the pregnancy flat on my back mainlining ice cream. I'm not working because I absolutely have to (although my income does help pay our bills). I'm working because I want to. I like what I do and I'm extremely lucky to be able to make money as a writer working from home. When the twins (gah! I'm still not used to typing or saying that) are here, obviously I'll need to stop working for awhile, but once I figure out which end is up, I plan on starting right back up again.

My Escape Prospects

Thank you, all of you, for your support and suggestions on how to get out of the house with three kids. As I am a complete idiot most of the time, I never even considered sticking one kid in the sling, and Isabella and the other kid in the cart. Duh. I know that once I start living life as a mother of three, it will just become my new reality. I will discover new ways to accomplish things and I will become resourceful simply because I will have to. I'm glad you all have the confidence in me that I don't often have in myself.

Cats and Boobs

The cats are staying put, without a doubt, and I do plan on breastfeeding in some form (whether exclusively or in conjunction with formula), for as long as I can.

I am only 11 weeks along in this pregnancy. There are (hopefully) many more weeks left to plan and I'm certainly not going to stress myself out trying to do everything at once. What's the point of that when I can spread out the craziness over six months to maximize the enjoyment of all involved?

Yesterday I received my doppler in the mail. And with Isabella crayoning beside me, I squeezed out approximately one gallon of gel onto my belly, and after about five minutes of searching, I found first one heartbeat, and then the other. The news that I'm carrying twins might have knocked me off my ass, but hearing the galloping heartbeats of those two babies made me realize what I had forgotten over the last week- that I am damn lucky to be a mother. There are plenty of women who don't get the chance to mother one, let alone three. And while the image of my future family might be slightly different than the one I always envisioned, I will always be grateful for the gift to expand my family at all.

9 Responses to “The Beat Goes On”

  1. # Blogger Marie

    Hmm. Weird comment there.

    When you start mainlining ice cream, I will be there to comfort (and join) you.

    And when you start thinking about what you'll need 2 of, lemme know... I will add to my yard sale scouting list!

    I know this must be overwhelming... though I have to admit, I am so excited for you Kristi!  

  2. # Blogger Jesser

    J&K+8 is a fave here too. It's always great to see someone who has it so much more chaotic and yet does pretty darn well.

    And just like her, you'll develop a system and work it out. Very stressful, but still an incredible miracle.  

  3. # Blogger My Wombinations

    you sound like you are adjusting already! Wow. This is so exciting. Hard to believe you are almost in the second trimester already!  

  4. # Blogger Pregnantly Plump

    I think your plans sound like good ideas. And you guys will find what works for you. I've been told that the work triples once you have two children, but then, after that, it's about the same. Have no idea if that applies to having two at once, but maybe it will.  

  5. # Blogger Mom24

    You sound like you've had a chance to catch your breath. I'm glad you're doing better. I can appreciate that you're not wild about hubbies vehicle, but look at this way--you're actually helping the environment if he's driving it less. I'm assuming at least for a while, you would be driving it a whole lot less than he would.

    Keep watching Jon and Kate--you're right, you can do this, I think 90% of it is attitude. That doesn't mean it won't be hard sometimes, but you can do it.

    I'm so jealous of your doppler. It would have been so nice to have reassurance so close. That time before you really, really start feeling them so regularly can just make you crazy. At least it did me!

    I'm so glad you're doing better. I hope you get a chance to really enjoy this. What a special time.  

  6. # Anonymous Amy

    So good to *see* you feeling better, Kristi. I'm sure you've got the right idea in getting organized as soon as possible--you're going to be a fabulous mom of twins, and I bet Isabella will love getting 2 siblings at once.  

  7. # Anonymous Lis Garrett

    It's been my experience with kids that everything happens quite the opposite of how you intend it to be. Remember when I wrote that we prepared a lovely nursery for Bridget only to have her co-sleep? With three active kids, we make due with a fairly small space (and one bathroom for five people). We just push them outside as much as possible!!  

  8. # Blogger Damselfly

    Wow, I'm still amazed at this news. I was just joking with my husband that the best thing would be for us to have twins next time -- a girl and a boy, so Fly could have both a brother and a sister. That could happen to you!  

  9. # Anonymous Laura McIntyre

    I know my situation is completely different than yours but i do have some of the same worries. Three young children at once seems almost impossible. Im sure you will handle it wonderfully and in the would not change a thing  

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    mother to a daughter
    born in August 2006 following
    IVF and girl/boy twins born in October 2008 following FET. Come along as I document the search for my lost intellect. It's a bumpy ride. Consider yourself warned.

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