It’s Mama-Bear here…
The amount of twin pregnancies I have heard about recently is amazing. Seriously. Watch out, world- the twins are coming!
I figure why not start my “be prepared” list? Which is comical, because let’s be honest. Nothing. I repeat, NOTHING can prepare you. Did I want twins? Nope. Did I get excited once I found out there were two? Absolutely. And I was a nerd. Every forum, google page, in-person group, Facebook group I could join-I joined. I needed to know it all. Have control. But maybe that’s why the twins are here in my life… to show me that I have no control. Zilch. Zip. Nada. Talk about a wake up call.
So let’s talk pregnancy. What can you expect?
THE UNEXPECTED- You can plan it all. Go for it. Just know it won’t go the way you planned. The whole control thing? Not going to happen. These two little beans will completely control your life… not only for the pregnancy… but beyond as well! No two pregnancies are the same; every multiple mom will tell you that. Don’t worry about the stories you hear.
THERE ARE TWO- So if you’re like me, twins were never a thought. They were never a possibility in my mind. Imagine my surprise at my second ultrasound when I was told “Well, it still might be too early to see both of their heart beats”. Ummm… what?! I was preparing for #4 and quickly learned… in a matter of seconds… that I had to be prepared for #4 and #5. Acceptance is the first major hurdle. It will definitely seem surreal some days, even if you were trying for two (or more)…
THE DOCTORS- Most likely you will not only continue to see your OB, but you may possibly start seeing a MFM, as well (Maternal Fetal Medicine, or high risk doctor!). If you do- be prepared for the ultrasounds. Super fun to see the babies all the time but super stressful with every measurement and hoping that all is ok. The most amazing moment was when we saw them trying to hold hands through the membrane that separated them!
THE BATTLES- as in the sibling battles that start in utero! Seriously- they go to town on each other. One usually ends up pushing the other one into the corner somewhere (because there’s not a lot of places to push them). Mine went at it so much, Grif Grif actually came out with blue lips! The nurses first thought he wasn’t getting oxygen but we figured out the blue mark perfectly matched his sister’s heel! Tiny but Mighty.
THE EVER-GROWING BELLY!- I think that the belly starts showing before you even know you are pregnant… or before you even know there are twins! BAM! There it is! No hiding it. And it is breathtaking at the end to realize that there are two babies actually in your stomach growing. And then you start to panic and wonder how your skin will ever go back after stretching so much! There were time I actually thought my stomach could not stretch anymore. But it could. And it did. And its still recovering.
THE ACHES AND PAINS- I don’t know if it was because I was older or because of the twins. But it was not like the other pregnancies. The heartburn started earlier, the breathlessness (because really, where do your lungs go?). The hips, the back, you name it. Its not pleasant. Then there’s the contractions that start early. Just your body’s way of preparing, they said!
THE HICCUPS: Well- maybe not every twin pregnancy- but mine had hiccups every night at the same time- and never with each other! Man- it was surreal feeling it. Both on their own rhythm but both at the same time.
THE QUESTIONS: Do twins run in your family? Did you do IVF? Are you serious? How many kids do you have? There’s really no preparing for them and no avoiding them (unless you don’t tell people you are expecting two!) There are some pretty creative responses out there, but I always loved the conversation starter. People are obsessed with multiples. Be ready, because it won’t change.
THE WORRY: Seriously- the worry was intense. I wish I could have blocked Dr. Google from my phone. Every little thing sent me into a panic. The nurses knew me by name. My doctor was used to my calls. Instead of one to worry about (which is a ton of worry), now there were two. We had trips to the hospital- one that resulted in me staying for a few days longer than planned. Some twin pregnancies are there awhile or even most of the pregnancy. It may seem difficult at the time, but it’s worth it in the end. And they are used to the calls and the questions. It will be ok.
I will leave you with a to-do list (from some tried and true multiple moms)
- Join a Multiples Club! Google Search can be your friend here!
- Take naps- its ok. (aka- take care of yourself)
- Be humble and accept help
- Pack your bag and be prepared for their arrival by 24-26 weeks
- Educate yourself- find a doctor with experience and find a level 4 NICU
- Go do all the things- it may not be as easy once they make their entrance!
- If you will be going back to work- start looking for childcare early. Placing two is not the same as 1
- Enjoy the ride! Life is about to be VERY different!