Twin pregnancy is very different from what we twins moms call a ‘singleton’ pregnancy. Most twin moms find themselves Googling their symptoms because “Sarah, Amy and Nichole didn’t have this happen”. I will raise both hands because I was that pregnant lady. My life long best friend was pregnant with a singleton at the same time and I was constantly comparing myself to her. All of my ‘abnormalities’ made me feel even more like an alien than I already did. Please stop. You’re not doing yourself any favors by Googling everything. As you will be saying the rest of your life, its a twin thing.
1. Let’s just get this out of the way- you might gain a ton of weight. It’s recommended that you gain 30-50 pounds during your pregnancy. Yes, that is a lot. Yes, that sounds scary to our ever body conscious selves. But that is what comes from growing two healthy babies. I gained 62 lbs by the time I delivered at 32+6. Now here I am, one month postpartum, and I am down 54 pounds of that.
2. How big you get is dependent on your torso. I was so anxious in the beginning when I saw how big some moms got during their pregnancies. My jaw actually dropped at some. But after the 20 week mark when we announced our genders, I started getting a ton of people commenting that ‘I was small for carrying twins’. Their comments really hurt me. The comments made me feel like I wasn’t doing enough for my babies to grow well. Then during my hospital stay, a nurse explained to me that I looked small because I had a very long torso. This essentially meant I had more room without filling out for the babies to grow into. Instead of growing outwards, they just found their way into my pelvis, ribs and back! Once they started moving, it was great.
3. Speaking of moving, you will feel them everywhere. I would feel toes kicking my uterus, a booty pushing my ribs, and arms karate chopping my sides all. day. long. My baby A was most active in the early morning, afternoon time, and baby B was active at night. Twin pregnancy gives a new meaning to the word full.
4. Swelling is rough. Everyone swells at some point, but I was a full blown balloon by week 22. I couldn’t wear any of my shoes, not even my husbands. My pants were tight, sleeves were tight. Everything hurt from the swelling. I never thought it would go away. But let me tell you, a week and a half after I delivered, I was back to my not at all swollen self.
5. Heartburn sucks. Start taking Tums now because it’s already too late. Unless you’re one of those lucky ones!
6. You might get morning sickness your entire first trimester. I belong to a couple twin mom groups on Facebook and I haven’t come across a single woman who didn’t get sick. Oh and P.S.- it might come with motion sickness. My husband drove me to work most days during the first tri. One day around week ten I felt ambitious and drove myself. About fifteen minutes into my drive I had to pull into the Wendy’s parking lot and puked for ten minutes.
7. Another first trimester symptom– exhaustion. You have probably thought you felt exhausted before. Yeah, you were wrong. The level of exhaustion that comes during the first tri will make you think you have narcolepsy. I fell asleep everywhere. I took naps on my lunch at work, fell asleep working, and even took a nap before I drove home once.
8. After your first trimester, start getting everything ready. Twins come early. Mine came about six weeks early after being admitted to the hospital at 28 weeks. Start getting everything out of the way now that you’re not so tired and have a little motivation.
9. Speaking of early, it is very likely you will have preemies. I know it sounds scary, but my best recommendation for you is to familiarize with what premature means and what the NICU is. My babies were in the NICU for two weeks and luckily they were able to come home at the same time.
10. Twin pregnancy comes with a lot of risks. You are considered ‘high risk’ because of it. Gestational Diabetes, Preeclampsia, Gestational Hypertension, Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome, and Preterm labor are the greatest risks. You should learn what they are and what the tell signs of each are. I had a very healthy pregnancy up until week 28 where the swelling grew to my face and hands, and my BP was over 160/105.
11. A c-section is a real possibility. If there are any complications, or baby A isn’t head down, you will have to have a c-section. In those circumstances, a cesarean is the safest route for the health of both you and the babies.
12. You will likely deliver in an OR. Sorry, but twin birth is (usually) not a fantasy birth. If you were hoping for a home or water birth, better luck next time. You probably will not find a doctor who will agree to a natural, drug free birth because of what could happen between baby A and B.
13. Lastly, you will miss this. As much as the pregnancy sucked (let’s be real, it was horrible) I started missing it the very next day. I missed feeling their kicks. I missed feeling their hiccups. I missed holding my belly while I walked and slept. I missed keeping them safe inside of me the most. Even though I have them now to hold and love on, it isn’t the same as feeling their love from inside.