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Can't wait
Expecting twins any day

August 25, 2003
The Iranian

I am now positive that I have been having a sympathy pregnancy in precise synchrony with Varinder's pregnancy. The evidence is as follows:

I put on an awful lot of weight after she became pregnant.
I break wind more often as a result
I sleep for much longer periods especially during the day
I have unusual cravings, most recently Miso soup
I have minor contractions which are only relieved after I break wind

Varinder, who is expecting our twins, isn't happy.

"You promised you'd lose weight so you wouldn't look stupid running around the park with them!"

"I will lose the weight..." I promise her.

Her bump is now enormous. I can honestly say that I never thought a human frame could expand so much even though she is expecting twins.

One evening a few weeks back she shouted at me to run downstairs and take a look at something.

"What?" I wheezed, having run as fast as I could, thinking a tiny leg or an arm had suddenly poked through.

"Are these lines stretch marks?"

I thought long and hard about what to say and decided honesty was the best policy.

"Yes, those are stretch marks"

"Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!"

Poor V had spent every morning applying various oils and vitamins to avoid getting stretch marks. Nothing had worked and her stretch marks, which at that time were faint shiny lines, are now large, red, itchy scars which have migrated past her belly button and around to her sides.

Last weekend, after days of applying ice, I decided there had to be something better. After explaining the state V was in to our local chemist, he suggested 100% Aloe Vera gel. That evening I squeezed a palm full onto her belly and smeared it all over. V lay back with a look which was the very picture of ecstasy. We now keep tubes full of the stuff in the fridge.

Having a pregnant wife makes me feel very special. We are no longer simply a couple. We are expecting permanent houseguests who may stay for 15 to 20 years with us. What is more, we have no choice about it. They will need to be suckled, played with, educated, encouraged and discouraged as they navigate their way through life.

The first thing to do when 'houseguests' arrive is to prepare the nursery for them. We called up John Lewis, a large department store, and asked for an appointment with a baby advisor. The idea being that she takes you around and helps you create a list of everything you need to buy -- in the hope that you buy it from John Lewis.

In our excitement, we decided to make a day of it. We arrived early and had breakfast before wandering into the camera department. While I was looking the other way a member of staff approached V and asked her how many weeks gone she was. V explained that she was 30 weeks and expecting twins. The man smiled and told her that his wife had been pregnant with twins too and that they had lost both of them at 31 weeks.

It wasn't 'til we were in the lift going down to the baby section that I noticed V's expression.

"Wassup preggie?"

When she told me what had happened I didn't know how to react. Was the guy suffering from shock still? Or was he plain stupid. Surprisingly, V took it far better than me. She kept asking me to calm down and let it go.

My mood already simmering with rage, we were introduced to our personal baby shopper. She was a young Indian assistant who seemed to want to sell us everything she could without explaining why we needed it. After we had clearly explained that we were expecting twins, she walked us to the pushchair section and showed us the singles. V and I looked at each other, then at her before looking at the double pushchairs a few feet away.

"Shouldn't we be looking at those?" I asked her

"You want to take them out together yeah?"

"Well yeah!" I replied.

I came very close to asking her whether she had any kids of her own. But the whole afternoon was wasted on us. What should have been an exciting afternoon turned into a horrible one.

V is now 33 weeks pregnant. We have been told that she will have to have a caesarean section at no later than 37 weeks. The reason being that they are both in the breech position and very unlikely to turn the right way.

A few times a day, every day, V lifts her top to show me the amazing movements going on in her huge bump. We can make out the heads, elbows and bums (which I smack gently) as they squirm around. In fact we are so impatient to become parents that we even considered falsifying the growth charts so they will bring them out sooner. You see, we get to look after the maternity files ourselves, so we really can falsify the plots.

With 4 weeks to go we have made some plans. V's mum will come to stay with us for about a month. We'll wait to get the pushchairs when we can test drive them with the twins inside. We will get one cot bed (instead of two) which they can share for a while. And finally, we will get a webcam so my mum (who lives 200 miles away) can see them everyday too.

The only thing we haven't planned for are their names. Since we want their sex to be a surprise, we need to find two boys and 2 girls names which we like. The names cannot be overtly Iranian or overtly Indian. We want names which will merely hint at their mixed backgrounds. So far we have mulled over, Keanu (boy), Nia (girl) and Maya (girl). We have read every baby name book imaginable and have even opened books on random pages to see what names come up. Keanu, Nia and Maya are the only ones we really like.

Any serious suggestions? My next report will include pictures of our chimps. We can't wait.

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By Siamack Salari



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