July 7, 2008

the october project


I'd like to declare this Jiffer Worldwide Appreciation Week™ as our favorite Wisconsonian transplant is now 39 weeks full of TWINS IN HER BELLY, longer than most twins ever dare to stay. At this very moment, she could either be sitting in Hamburg, staring at her stomach with breath bated, or she's actually giving birth.

with Jiff in late March, Grasse, France

two weeks ago, if you can believe it

Yes, get it out of your system and stare. Everyone in Germany does. They've stopped being clandestine about it, and just shouting when she walks around town. Everyone loves a freak of nature, I guess, but Jiff and Ingo are about to be heroes, taking on twice what mere mortals usually shoulder.

I have to say, at this juncture, that Jiffer is a freak of nature, not from her belly, but because nobody with her laid-back serenity has ever charted such an amazing path in life, and silence anyone who ever thought she wasn't the real deal. When I met her 13 years ago, she was an earthy, beautiful, sarcastic Pi Phi with a cup full of beer; we immediately had a jelly donut fight and then I asked her to live in the Pink House.

She met Ingo on her last night at Carolina, and we all guffawed and secretly gossiped it'd never last. Then she joined the Peace Corps and was sent to Mauritania – known as the worst mission there is – and folks thought she wouldn't hack it. Afterwards, she applied to Columbia for grad school in International Relations and got in, and soon enough, the girl who always came to my room in 1996 moaning about writing papers... was editing Columbia's SIPA Magazine.

She married Ingo nine years after meeting him that night in North Carolina, spent years making the world better in Cambodia and Afghanistan (remember the pictures?) and now that Ingo has become the Anderson Cooper of Germany, they're back in Hamburg awaiting the brood.

I'm hoping she'll tell us, as soon as she can, that the twins are amongst us, so we can stop worrying. Until then, I'll leave off with a couple of things I just found on my computer. This one is an email:

Date: Mon, 25 Sep 1995 13:53:56 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jiffer Bourguignon (jlbourgu@mailserv.isis.unc.edu)
To: Ian Williams (ecstasy@email.unc.edu)
So, ian, what do you do all day? Besides masturbate. Hehehe. I've taken it upon myself to make me laugh since all you could come up with was a Helen Keller joke. I know you can do better. I have play practice tonight til 11 or so. Let's go get a beer afterwards.

And this was a note I wrote on my last day in the Pink House as it was being boarded up:

July 22, 1997
Jiffer honey...
I am the last one here...
Here's all the mail I could find. Remember... stay in touch with me throughout the ages and never let me out of your sight for long. I love you very much and miss you terribly.

Still sums it up.

[UPDATE: another pic:]

Jiff yesterday (week 39)

Posted by Ian Williams at July 7, 2008 11:15 PM
Posted by: cluverc at July 8, 2008 1:45 AM

EXTRA, EXTRA...She's STILL pregnant! We Hamburgers (including Jiff) here have now jointly decided that she'll remain pregnant until Christmas..or maybe Valentines Day. In exchange, the kids will arrive fluent in three languages (which they will be anyway, sooner or later!). Happy to supply updates from the trenches as soon as things get "moving" and Jiff has other things on her mind!
In the meantime, she and her legs are surely grateful for all the support she can get! Corn Mo!

Posted by: LFMD at July 8, 2008 4:43 AM

This post was my SHOCK AND AWE of the morning.

I don't know what else to say other than: Jiff -- you poor woman. I am wishing you a speedy delivery. I can't believe you housed those twins for so long! Do they induce in Germany?

P.S.: Ingo is more handsome than my man Anderson. What beautiful babies you will have!

Posted by: GFWD at July 8, 2008 6:27 AM

Is she trying to smuggle a zeppelin in there?

With that aerodynamic dirigible-looking belly of yours, I'd recommend you stay clear of Lakehurst, New Jersey, Jiffer, until your exorcise those youngins outta yer body.

Good luck.

Posted by: Anne at July 8, 2008 6:28 AM

Fantastic belly!!! Good luck to you, Jiff. Can't wait to see pics of the babies that are making your belly-button do that crazy thing at the moment.

And, ummm, Jiff is so slender. I had to say it, since with only one kid in my uterus in the last stages of my pregnancy, I looked about as slender as an ocean liner. Jiff is simply all belly at the moment. All twins. Gorgeous.

Posted by: cullen at July 8, 2008 6:42 AM

Jiffer IS Mother Nature incarnate...I'm still laughing at the '95 post. Nice inter-netting back then, and hilarious. Those Pi Phi gals rock it. Congrats. This is awesome international news. Blessings!!

Posted by: Zia at July 8, 2008 7:30 AM

I can also state that she's really delighted at being the subject of your blog entry today :)
She's hanging on in there and so are the twins, I think it's because they have realised that to get out they have to go a bit too close to her feet...

Jiffer Worldwide Appreciation Week™ has my full support...

Posted by: LFMD at July 8, 2008 8:10 AM

I am back . . . I keep wondering when those babies will get to the business of birthing themselves!

Jiff -- you are the talk of all the cubicle-dwellers here at the Insurance Job. Just thought you'd want to know. . .

Posted by: Claudia at July 8, 2008 9:42 AM

Go, Jiff, Go! You're amazing!

Twins are the best thing that will ever happen to you. :)

Posted by: jif at July 8, 2008 11:05 AM

Nice to see some things do not change at all - i.e. my sense of humor circa 1995.

Thank you for the support y'all! I was just at the doctor's today and apparently have inherited my mother's "cervix of steel". Nearly 15 pounds of pure baby in there and they still can't seem to make a dent in it. I've tried running, jumping jacks, prunes, parsley, red wine, sex, and spicy foods - anyone have any other suggestions?

LFMD - so happy to give the cubiclers something to talk about this morning! The other day, a random saleswoman asked me if I was having twins and when I said yes, she said, "I thought so. I've never seen ANYTHING like THAT (pointing to belly) in real life.... only on TV." I almost smacked her. And I held up the check out line in the grocery store when three of the checkout ladies got into an argument over whether the pointiness of my belly meant I was having two boys, two girls, or one of each. But today was a new low - two women walked by us as we were running errands downtown and said, "Did you see THAT?!?! Must be TRIPLETS!"

That one, i thought was a little unwarranted. Why is it that a HUGE belly turns you into public domain - to be stared at and audibly commented about .... I mean, you wouldn't do that to a man with a beer belly... or even someone with something hanging from their nose. You'd most likely politely avoid it. But a big belly apparently invites loud comments and unabashed gawking...

Anyway, that is just the cranky rant of a way too pregnant woman who is puffy all over and waddling..

But thank you all for your kind comments and words of encouragement.. from your mouths to their ears!!

OH! AND THANK YOU TESSA for my brest friend!!! Just arrived today!!! Love it!! Thank you!!! xxx

Posted by: Caroline at July 8, 2008 2:06 PM

Hey Jiffer! Congratulations! I have 2 friends who don't know each other who each heard an old wives' tale about eggplant. One had eggplant parmigiana and the other had something Indian. They both gave birth the next day! Can't hurt to try it, right? Good luck! -Caroline

Posted by: scruggs at July 8, 2008 2:27 PM

Yes, eggplant parm is a favorite. Both in Charlotte and Atlanta, there were specific Italian restaurants you were supposed to order it from if you were trying to move things along. Both had pictures hanging up of babies supposedly born within some close time frame of a meal there. I had eaten it when due with our first and had our son 2 days later (but he was due then, anyway).

Jiffer, you are all belly. You will be back in your regular jeans in no time!

Posted by: chip at July 8, 2008 5:56 PM


Best of luck with the twins.


Posted by: Ian Williams at July 8, 2008 10:59 PM

Chip was always a softie.

Posted by: chip at July 9, 2008 4:36 AM

I love Jif. In fact, I propose here and now that the defintion of "to jiffer" be changed to "to carry twins beyond what one would consider a reasonable and likely timeframe" from it's current meaning of "to render a manual transmission or other significant automotive component unusable."

Jif, seriously, you'll be a terrific Mom and I wish you and Ingo many, many years of joy together with your children. Those are some lucky kids.

Posted by: LFMD at July 9, 2008 5:58 AM

Jiffer, I am now keeping tabs on your pregnancy with more interest than I am with the Brangelina twins. . . . and that is saying a lot for me!

I showed my daughter your photo last night, and she was all "WOW" and then I told her about what it was like when she was in my belly. Nine years later, I still miss the feeling of her moving around in me, kicking me and doing somersaults. I got so sentimental that I went to bed wishing I were pregnant! And I thought I was "one and done"! The time goes by so fast! Before you know it, your kid is as tall as you and ready for middle school.

The dynamic duo will be here before you know it. Enjoy the last few moments of pregnancy and all that good bellyness.

Posted by: Seth at July 9, 2008 7:44 AM

Alte Schwede!

Posted by: jif at July 9, 2008 9:09 AM

LFMD - have you noticed how you have not seen a single photo of Angelina since the Cannes film festival, which was back in mid-May? Same with J-Lo? I think women with twins go into hiding from the public after the 6 month mark... And did you see that nicole kidman gave birth... um, hello? At 9 months - or however far along she was when she gave birth - she looked like me when I am bloated - not pregnant! So annoying!

Posted by: CM at July 9, 2008 9:35 AM

Jif, you must have nerves of steel in addition to a cervix of steel, because if people were making so many comments while I was walking around, I'd just go home and hide.

Posted by: jordi at July 9, 2008 9:41 AM

hey, jif! i only had one baby up in me but he was a bruiser, and i was consistently shocked at how entitled strangers and acquaintances felt to exclaim in awe or dismay at my battleship-like middle.

maybe it's partially a counterpoint to the way obesity is stigmatized these days. pregnancy is one of the only places we still have permission to be *BIG* (although even that has limits) and perhaps that extends to a sense of permission to talk about it.

or maybe it's related to the vague sense of ownership people seem to feel regarding pregnancy, which manifests in everything from discussions of reproductive rights to strangers butting in if a pregnant lady has a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

and now i will butt in as well! you look gorgeous and your belly skin looks amazing (mine was the bane of my pregnancy)!

put down your arms, cervix of steel!

Posted by: LFMD at July 9, 2008 12:14 PM

Jif - I am still bloated and trying to get rid of my baby weight. . . . nearly a decade later.

Not only do I think Angelina is in hiding, but I have a conspiracy theory that she has ALREADY given birth and is trying to pull herself together before presenting herself to the public. Sources say that she is "resting" in the hospital, pre-birth. Yeah, right.

I agree with Jordi and the rest. . . you look wonderful. Not swollen or filled with water like I was. I can't believe you have 15 pounds of pure baby! Most of the twins I know were premature, little guys. I envision your twins popping out with full heads of hair, full mouths of teeth, and speaking in full sentences! They are probably already bilingual!

Posted by: laurie from duke at July 10, 2008 7:54 PM

Jif - My twins were born at 38 weeks, in NC, in August, so I feel every single rolling, back-breaking ounce of your pain. A week before the babies were born, I was asked to leave a store because they didn't feel comfortable having me in there. To this day, 6 yrs later, I still don't fully know what that means, though I did leave. Hopefully the Germans are at least more polite.

I'm not 100% sure I agree with Claudia that twins are the best thing that will ever happen to you. But they definitely do happen to you! ;) Sending you warm wishes for all the best of luck.

Oh. Also. The My Brest Friend is the perfect thing for twins. Far far more useful than the Boppy. Good choice Tessa!

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