How To Survive: A Twin Pregnancy

All of my pregnancies had their ups and downs, but my twin pregnancy was definitely the most intense. I found out I was pregnant extremely early on – 3 weeks in – and I was already feeling the symptoms. By the time I would’ve started to notice a missed period {had I not taken an early test,} I was terrified to discover I was bleeding… I *knew* I was having another miscarriage. However, just in case {and at the prompting of my husband,} I called my midwife and she ordered some blood work.

Much to my surprise my HCG numbers were fine… they were even above what she was hoping they would be. An ultrasound was ordered for 6 weeks – the earliest that would really be helpful to determine what was going on. In the days leading up to that appointment, I had THREE different family members tell me they had a dream I was having twins. Ummmmm… You can probably guess what comes next, but sure enough at our appointment we could see two babies almost right away! The ultrasound tech also confirmed there were also two heartbeats, but gave no explanation for the bleeding.

Because we were having twins, I was automatically considered a “high risk pregnancy” – this meant I had to transfer to an OB rather than use the midwife clinic I was accustomed to. They also set up an ultrasound for me a short time later, and that’s when we learned I had a subchorionic hemorrhage, the cause of my bleeding. They didn’t *seem* too concerned, but I had some restrictions as well as weekly ultrasounds until it resolved: pretty much the whole first trimester.

During those first 15 weeks or so, I was crazy insane tired, and it was a chore to try and eat. Thankfully after that I was blessed with a fairly easy second trimester, followed by the aches and pains of being ginormous for the third trimester. Not to mention the food aversions returning. Our sweet girls were born at 36 weeks & 4 days, when it was determined “Baby A” had not grown in several weeks due to reduced blood flow. {You can read their birth story here.}

*** I hesitated to write this post in the “Survival” series, lest it come across as insensitive to those who have had far more serious complications during pregnancy and even pregnancy loss. Please know my heart is with you, and this post is purely to share some of the things that made my twin pregnancy easier for me personally!

 

 

Focus On Health

Second to getting enough sleep, this was the biggest thing that helped me with my morning sickness and energy levels…

Reduce Sweets – I’ve heard it said that if you’re suffering from morning sickness in the first trimester, you should eat whatever sounds good and not worry too much about it. I would mostly agree with this: your babies will take what they need from you, and if you’re sick all the time it’s unlikely it will cause any weight gain issues. However, I personally have found that foods high in sugar increased my fatigue, worsened my mood, and often made my morning {aka all-day} sickness worse. It’s definitely ok to indulge, but try to make sure you’re getting some traditionally healthier foods in as well, even if you feel like it’s not a lot.

Small, Frequent Meals – This is honestly a good idea, pregnant or not, but I found that it was helpful not to get too hungry or too full {not hard when you can’t eat much at a time.}

Hydration – I’ve always struggled with drinking enough water, but with this pregnancy I discovered something that really helped: bottled water. Between it tasting way better than our tap, and the convenience of it, I was able to stay well hydrated. If you’re not keen on all that plastic {which we of course recycled,} opt for a water bottle you really like to keep handy at all times. {This comes in handy if you want to breastfeed after pregnancy as well!}

Moderate Exercise – I use the term “exercise” lightly here. During my first pregnancy I did pilates and rode my bike to work. I felt amazing! This time around I wasn’t up for much of any activity during the first trimester. As the sickness started to get better, I found that light activity helped keep my limbs moving and in turn helped me feel better overall. Going on walks with the kiddos was one of my favorite ways to accomplish this!

 

Take It Easy

While moderate activity is definitely a good idea, I was surprised at how easily I could “overdo” it. One of the most frustrating things for me during this past pregnancy, was seeming inability to accomplish much of anything. I either had no energy – and was well aware of it – or I’d have a period of feeling like I should try and tackle everything, only to do way to much and regret All The Things. Sigh. Which brings me to my next point…

 

Accept/Ask For Help

Obviously I am aware that not everyone has the option of getting extra help, which really stinks, but if you can: do it!! With previous pregnancies I got by with a ‘lil help from Netflix {ok, I use this even when I’m not pregnant too} and occasionally asking family to watch my big girls when I got desperate.  With My Twin Pregnancy, I literally could not function during the first trimester. I had someone at my house a few hours EVERY weekday, and I liiiiiterally slept for hours. Sometimes I questioned whether I was “overreacting” to have people here that often, but it was seriously a lifesaver in terms of my health and my sanity.

Grammy snuggles are the best <3

 

Get A Body Pillow

This one’s pretty straightforward – but seriously A GAME CHANGER when it comes to sleep. Have I mentioned how much extra sleep is needed?? Ha! I just bought an inexpensive $15 bodypillow at Target, but I know they make a wide variety of fancier ones, including ones specifically for pregnancy. Any of them are definitely better than nothing!

 

Leggings

Ok, so somehow I lived most of my life not understanding the legging thing. {Except for my daughters, of course} I literally had never tried them, and I fought with uncomfortable maternity pants or lived in baggy sweats for all my other pregnancies. Guys. Maternity Jeans are the worst. But this time my belly was extra sensitive to ANYTHING snug {perhaps from expanding faster? babies’ positioning? idk.} Discovering seriously leggings changed my whole mindset  about clothes.

But really, this tip isn’t really necessarily about leggings, the point is finding comfortable clothes can make a huge difference for how you feel during the day and can even help you get more done! {AKA, there’s really no reason to ever have to wear real pants.}

 

If you are in the market for some new leggings, they don’t have to even have to be maternity. My  favorite pair was another Target find at $10 in the juniors department. {They happen to also be the ones I’m wearing in the feature image for this post.} Buying “regular” leggings also meant I could easily wear them post-partum as well!

This also seems like a good time to give a shout out to compression socks. When I hit my third trimester, I started getting leg cramps at night – compression socks definitely helped me find relief!

 

Crowd Control

People tend to lose their filter when it comes to pregnant women – especially if they find out there’s more than one in there… The comments and questions will never end. The only way people will interact with you is by asking you “How are you feeling?” or my favorite “You look tired.” Yep. I sure do! Also, the belly touching. I know some women don’t mind it, or even welcome it: I am firmly in the camp of do not touch me ha.

 

That being said, I have found it’s easiest to just roll with all the repetitive questioning. Definitely throw up some boundaries when it comes to the unwanted touching, but don’t let yourself get too worked up over the comments. In general, the vast majority of people are just trying to show that they care and aren’t really sure what to say.

 

Trust Your Gut

Finally, I have to include the cliche “trust yourself” tip. One of the things I had to adjust to during this pregnancy {besides a whole new doctors office and a million ultrasounds} was paying attention to all the additional things that come up during a multiples pregnancy. If you sense something is “off” or have questions, do not hesitate to call your doctor or bring it up at appointments. That’s why they are there. Also you’re going to receive lots of advice – usually about feedings and schedules and someone’s third cousin who had twins and did things a certain way. It’s definitely nice to have a plan, but at the end of the day you and your babies are unique and need to do what works best in your own family.

And somehow, when the day comes that you get to meet your sweet little blessings, all those aches and pains and comments don’t seem so bad after all <3…

 

 

*Note: The links I included in this post are only for reference – I am in no way being compensated for sharing them 🙂

  • http://www.southerninlaw.com/ Kristy @ Southern In-Law

    Growing a life is incredible as is – but growing multiples totally blows my mind!

    I found it really interesting that you said to reduce sweets – because I always do that without thinking when I’m sick. All of a sudden the nausea turns me from a sweet lover to someone who will only touch savoury foods! Sweet foods just make the nausea worse.

    • Kate BROhaha

      Yes! Non-pregnant sick me needs to go off sweets as well ha! Crazy how much it impacts us!