I remember in vivid detail the first visit with the doctor where we found out Meredith was pregnant with twins. The detail isn't that impressive because once the nurse performing the sonogram said, "There are two babies," Meredith and I barely spoke the rest of the visit. On my side there was a fair amount of staring at the ground, closing my eyes, then opening them again, just to make sure. The doctor came in to speak with us wearing a smirk on his face. He has twins of his own and the first year was fresh enough in his memory that our impending journey was more than humorous.
The next few weeks were pretty tame. We did some broad scale planning and discussed various odds and ends related to the next few months. We played the name game quite a bit and that generally consisted of Meredith throwing out somewhere between 10 and 15,000 names and me reacting with grunts and groans. We loved the names Jude and Sloane but coming up with a second boy or girl name was hard. Our most significant difference in opinion in this category fell under girl names. Meredith loved boy names for girls and I did not. Some people like it and that's fine, but I didn't want to have to introduce my son Jude and my daughter Joe Bob. Names are also difficult because you've come across someone with just about every name you can think of at some stage in your life. If you had a particularly bad experience with a Joe Bob, you probably don't want to name your son (or daughter) after them. Anyway, I always won the name game. There are no rules to the game and scoring is sketchy, but if you flip flop on names enough in a week, you win.
I also distinctly remember registering. Registering before a wedding made sense to me because you're starting a new life together and you'd rather not eat on plastic plates that make everything taste like hot pockets, and you want at least three glasses to look the same. Registering for a baby, or babies, seems ridiculous. I'm not saying it's unnecessary because that is completely wrong, but the number of options available and the blurred line between need and everything else is overwhelming. Car seat A costs $150 and passes all the safety inspections. Car seat B costs $250, has 8 air bags, a parachute, and emergency oxygen...and passes all the safety inspections with the exact same ratings as car seat A. These options are available for everything! Stroller A is good, Stroller B is marginally better and $200 more, but stroller C is used by celebrity X, can fit in the back of most SUVs the size of a Hummer or larger, and costs $1100 more than your first car.
Meredith has been great throughout the process. She was pretty tired in the beginning, but the last few months have been pretty normal. I can count the number of times she came at me with a knife in a hormonal rage on one mutilated hand. Now she's at a point where she's mildly uncomfortable in just about any position, but her non-pregnant husband thinks it's totally worth it. One thing in particular has really surprised me and that's how people react to the sight of her and more so, what they say about it. I expected females to be overly nice and guys to be completely awkward and free of logic and/or sense. However, I must say the guys have fared better in this category. Granted, there are far fewer guys in this survey but they conducted themselves really well. The females are all over the board. Friends and family are great, no worries there. Randoms are the ones you need to worry about. I never knew this, but apparently when a woman gives birth to her last child she loses all recollection of what it was like to hold another human in her body for 40 weeks. Words like "huge" and phrases like "big girl" do not score well on the appreciation scale. I know I've been caught giving some of these women looks that are similar to what I would give a guy trying to tighten a screw with a squirrel or a child starting in on their second tub of Elmer's paste.
Overall, time has flown. In one week we went from an empty room to a nearly complete nursery. We've been filling in the odds and ends since. The stroller is the last large purchase we have to make and that's happening this week. We are so close and it feels like we just started. I'm not nearly nervous enough yet but I'm very excited. Actually I am a little nervous about the first poop. I hear it's like black tar and all I can think of are those commercials where they're trying to wipe oil off of a seagull and it's not working at all. I'm fairly confident the Lava soap that mechanics use isn't baby sensitive. Some nerves also hit me about how I'll be on no sleep for 17,000 hours straight. I'm afraid late night infomercials paired with the struggles of feeding two babies simultaneously will have me trying to MacGyver some sort of contraption that is not safe or useful. I'm not nervous about Meredith though. She's been a trooper throughout and I know she'll do great once the little ones arrive.
Meredith has frowned on the idea of Halloween costumes on one-day-old babies, but I'm sneaky like that...