Nervously sitting inside of the gynaecologist office waiting for my name to be called, I counted in my head how many weeks I could be. I remember my leg shaking and heart racing as I tried to think of when my baby could be due. Of course I was driving his or her future father crazy with my millions of questions about being a great mom.
I was asking him about my weight and health being a problem, and what if this and that. The only one in our house who didn't have a worry about important things, like eating, was the dog. How in the heck am I'm going to remember to do stuff for a baby.
The sonogram tech was extremely nice to us, joking about babies and daddy not fainting. At one point she jokingly asked “One or two?" And I thought we were just kidding so I answered "one” with such definite response. “Two" she said with the biggest smile.
I on the other hand blacked out into a sea of swear words and the sound of laughter. Their father found my response humorous and wasn't at all surprised about the second baby. Of course I researched everything about being pregnant with one baby.
Now, the hunt was, I needed all the information on being pregnant with twins. The thing is, being pregnant is hard on the body with one baby, but having two...the body is in over drive. I learned through mom groups of twins the extras that comes with job.
It was the stuff doctors didn't tell you to look out for, experiences only another mom could explain that's not really mentioned by medical specialists. Here are the 7 things about being pregnant with twins I wish my doctor had told me. Let’s face it, being a mom is wonderful, being pregnant with twins is, um, hell.
Those days are gone after those sweet babies get a little length to them. You will never experience being uncomfortable as much as you will while being pregnant with twins. Most doctors will warn you about the chances of low birth weight and everything that might go wrong. The risk of twin pregnancy ending before the normal 40 weeks is high.
Most doctors are hoping to get to the 32 weeks gestational period to be safe, 34 weeks is like extra gravy on the development of the important organs. The thing is, as the weeks go on, the space in your uterus decreases at a quick rate with two growing babies.
Someone will always be sitting on your bladder, kicking you in the ribs, kicking each other which look like a tidal wave as your stomach rolls back and forth, or sitting on the sciatic nerve. There is no such thing as cold, it can be the middle of winter and you'll feel like Hades is sitting in front of you playing patty cake.
There's no such thing as a comfortable pregnancy when you're expecting twins
Two babies have the ability to be in a whole variety of weird position and depending on which position, there goes sleeping in a bed or walking like anything other than a penguin for the tenth bathroom break in 20 minutes.
During the development stages in your womb, your babies are going to be flipping and flopping for months. They'll move into all kinds of positions that are going to drive you crazy. Some days it will feel like a baby is sitting in a nook of your rib cage or stretching out in your pelvis.
Fortunately getting up and moving around usually does the trick to get a baby to shift. It's getting up that’s the problem!
6 Baby Position
Here’s the thing, when you’re talking to doctors they explain different baby positions with technical terms, and who can pronounce them, really? What you need to know is that there are 4 positions your twins can be in. Cephalic which is head down, transverse is when they are crossed like a “T”, Breech and Double Breech when one or both babies are feet first.
When there are two, those positions can change the whole game plan for an easy delivery. You pray for head down because that means no C-section and a natural childbirth is what's best for you and your babies. No worries though, just you with your legs in the stirrups, grunting for all its worth and…pooping.
Sorry, but this is an embarrassing possibility of childbirth, but don’t worry they’re professionals.
For most of my pregnancy my twins were in a cross position with one baby laying width wise and the other length wise. At all times a baby was positioned in such a way that I needed to sleep sitting up. Try laying on your side the doctor said, but baby one didn’t like that position, and told me by kicking me for hours. The living room chair might become your best friend for last 5 months of the pregnancy.
It's scary if one of your babies is in the breech position, or worse, both babies. Have a backup plan with your obstetrician, for a safe delivery. Ask the doctor’s office about their delivery rate and familiarity with birthing twins. Talk about their usual birth plan, ask questions to put YOU at ease, so if by chance you have to deliver early, you trust the team with your life and the lives of your children.
5 "Twin Skin"
I am so sorry to inform you of this completely horrible badge of honour of carrying multiples! For some I hear it's not so bad. Maybe you have a nice flat six pack that you developed through an intense work out regime and the lower part of your belly is elastic enough to stop from becoming a floating reminder of your pregnancy.
Or you could be like me, a nicely plump woman whose last crunch was over a decade ago in your high school gym class, and after pregnancy, the lower belly is just an extra tire, slowly deflating as you struggle to remember to eat and chase your running toddlers.
You'll most likely have a floppy belly after you've birthed your twins
Either way, life is unfair and you should know up front about the admittance fee for the mommies of twins club. Love the pooch or you'll cry every time you see it, and that's what "twin skin" is all about.
4 Double of Everything
Take a deep breath now, because once your home, the nurse isn’t checking on you every hour. The cafeteria will no longer bring you weak decaf coffee and horrible Jell-O, you’re running the ship. Having a schedule already in effect is best for a semi-smooth transition. In the hospital you probably already had set times to feed, try to keep it.
The babies are use to this schedule and so are you. Besides, 3 hours maximum is the amount of time those babies might sleep before a feeding and diaper change. How you choose to spend the time between naps is up to you.
Cleaning the house for easy maneuvering, or showering because you were peed on twice in four minutes might be best. Remember the tooth brush? Rinse off the layer of dust first before you use it. Basically, I’m warning you that some things may slip, like combing your hair. I didn’t know where my brush was for a week.
You'll double the naps, clothing, diapers and anything else baby related
My suggestion, nap right along with your babies, you will need to let your brain rest and catch a couple of winks whenever you can. Limiting your sleep depravity is the best way to stop yourself from becoming overwhelmed.
You need to start early on getting baby things. If you can afford a storage place for bigger items, or even totes, get it. When you go through 300 diapers in a month, buying diapers while they are on sale is the smartest investment.
Tape the receipt to the box so if the size is two small, you can exchange the box for the proper size. Cruise through clearance baby clothes and buy two of everything, always the next size up for longer wear. Having a child is expensive, purchasing clothes as you need them can get pretty expensive, especially with twins.
3 Milking Cow
If you're not planning to breastfeed, you won't understand the 3 am feeding with your eyes half open and sore nipples problem. It's not the glorious noon feeding when you’re wide awake with a cooing baby, drinking the pumped breast milk out of the bottle.
It's this time of night, while trying to balance one baby on one boob, and the other baby isn't latching right, you feel like a milking cow. Save up and buy a good breast pump, it can help you in this sutuation. Also, buy the best reviewed nipple cream you can find, because it's still going to hurt, but it limits peeling.
At some point you'll expect a visit from farmer Brown
Buy a GREAT nursery chair that is comfortable with sturdy arms to help when yours are feeling a little weak. It should also have a thick cushion so your butt doesn’t fall asleep, and a head rest. Go lazy boy!
2 Swollen Feet
Every woman expects to get swollen feet during pregnancy. This swelling is called edema. My feet swelled so badly, my family was calling me, 'Baby Hulk.' What I found so sad about my swollen feet was my shoes! I couldn't fit in them even after the birth of my twins.
If you're a shoe lover, I'm so sorry sweetie, but those cute heels are not your friend. You may think wearing them for an hour wouldn't be too bad, but carrying the growing load will say otherwise. The constricting heels will only make your feet want to swell further.
You might have to love a whole new shoe size
The kick in the gut is this, there's a strong possibility those beautiful shoes may not fit afterwards. Why? While the ligaments in the feet relax as does everything else in your body, sometimes they don't go back to the original size. You may experience swollen feet after having the kiddos, a thank you from your body for becoming pregnant.
1 Morning, Noon and Night Sickness
There are some lucky women who have no problem with morning sickness. Those are the women to be jealous of, because carrying two could mean the worst morning sickness you'll evere experience. There's always a baby moving around, and half the time, everything you smell will make you want to toss those cookies you stuffed your face with just an hour ago.
Since all your other senses are stronger, smelling the wrong thing could have you running for a bush or sticking your head out the car window. Speaking of cars, motion sickness is the worst. If it's already an issue, carry a paper bag might be a requirement.
One trick is to suck on a hard candy to ease the queasy feeling. Try peppermint and ginger candies to start, since they're the best for an upset stomach. A hot tea with ginger can soothe your tummy issues, since you need to stay hydrated, it's a win-win situation. Irregardless of what you do, you'll be sick, and it's gonna suck.
You might even pee on yourself, yes, I said on yourself. Just take a deep breath and go change your undies, then move on.
During my twin pregnancy had many issues with the worst case scenarios. I was always hot and cranky. I would have family and friends over enjoying a good conversation one minute, and the next, my head is over the back porch banister regurgitating my snack with wet pants. It's hard and crying is guaranteed.
Your experiencing the wonders of child bearing with a double dose of everything. You'll have to remind yourself that if no one understands, then that's ok, because you're going to fart, burp, and vomit without apology and keep going. There's stuff going on inside you that’s amazing. There’s also stuff going on outside you that makes you want to pull out your hair.
No one mentioned these things to me when I was pregnant. All I heard was the generic child birth is beautiful stuff. This list is what I should have been warned about. I'm passing my learned knowledge on to you. Consider it fair warning from one mother of twins to another. Join a mothers of twins group to talk about the things a parent with singletons would not understand.
Get support from women who've had twins, they're the only ones who truly know what you're going through
Twins are different from having two babies close in age, and before you roll your eyes at the tenth person to tell you what they did when they had a one year old and a two year old--breathe.
It takes a special someone to bring twins into the world. We're a part of an elite group of women who can take crap like a solider, kiss a boo-boo better, and cook dinner at the same time. Our house maybe a complete disaster area, but our children are happy and healthy. We get double the tantrums, but quadruple the love, and that's all that matters.