Ever wonder what it’s like to be pregnant with twins? Well I’m here to tell you all about it! Follow along here as I take you on my twin pregnancy journey!
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In the beginning of July 2017, Jesse and I took Ella (my step daughter) to Florida to visit my parents and go to Disney World! We had the most magical trip filled with amusement parks, beaches and adventures. It was just what we all needed after our miscarriage (which ended in June after 3 months). When we got home from “The Happiest Place On Earth” we conceived twins!
(Very) Early Pregnancy Signs And Symptoms
I almost immediately started having symptoms: extreme nail growth (this was the first sign because it happened previously too), breast pain, nausea, dizziness, fatigue and cramping. The funny thing is, after being pregnant and having a miscarriage I was used to overthinking every single pain, twinge, etc.; you almost wonder if you’re making these symptoms up in your head. I tried to play it cool while I waited for the two week window to pass.
Around 11 days past ovulation (DPO) I took a pregnancy test and it came back negative. I was disappointed to say the least. That night Jesse’s parents were visiting us and we had a bonfire, drinks (yikes lol) and had a great time. The next day something in my head told me I needed to take another test; it was a VERY light positive (like a squint your eyes, tilt your head and stare for 5 minutes kind of light). In fact, it was so light that Jesse told me there was nothing there. The next two days I took a test and continued to see a light pink line (getting slightly darker). Jesse finally agreed, we were pregnant!
First Twin Pregnancy Appointment
Given my recent history I tried not to get too excited; I was very apprehensive about it all. I called and made an appointment and lucky for me (and my overthinking brain) they asked me to come in at around 6 weeks. They wanted to make sure things were okay this time around. Fast forward to my appointment where they gave me a urine test, blood draw and an internal ultrasound. During the internal ultrasound I immediately noticed the gestational sac and yolk sac (yay!) which put my mind at ease a little. After a lot of looking, typing and clicking the ultrasound technician asked us “are you ready for this?” She then proceeded to tell us we were having twins and that it looked like we were having identical twins as both yolk sacs were in the same gestational sac.
Maternal Fetal Medicine
My OB referred me to Maternal Fetal Medicine (specialists) to determine which type of identical twins I was having; monochorionic/monoamniotic (babies share one placenta and one amniotic sac) or monochorionic/diamniotic (babies share one placenta and each has their own amniotic sac). They found that I was having mono/di twins which was a relief; mono/mono twins are more high risk (though I was still considered high risk).
From there I had one more appointment in August with my OB and she gave me their general guidelines for a mono-di twin pregnancy. I would be seen for a growth scan every two weeks starting at 16 weeks to rule out Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) because both babies shared a placenta. TTTS is when the blood flow from the placenta is uneven between babies which can cause a lot of complications.
Starting at around 32 weeks I would be seen twice a week for fetal testing (a biophysical profile where they test amniotic fluid levels, heart rates, muscle tone, movement and breathing and then a growth scan where they measure the babies). My due date was calculated to be March 31st 2018 but she told me that twins are considered full term at 37 weeks (so around March 10th)! It was a ton of information to take in but I was so excited! Two babies!
Twin Pregnancy: First Trimester
The first trimester was ROUGH to say the least. I suffered from severe, all day nausea; the kind that makes you wish you would just throw up to get it over with. I could barely eat or drink anything. I survived mostly on Gin-Gins (little ginger candies that a lot of pregnant women swear by to fight nausea) and water for a long time. My OB had me try a bunch of different prescription medications for the nausea and nothing helped at all. The smell of any kind of meat repulsed me. I was all of a sudden not addicted to coffee anymore (so weird to me how that addiction disappeared overnight) nor did I want anything to do with it my entire pregnancy.
I didn’t start gaining weight until well into my second trimester because I wasn’t able to eat much of anything for so long (no big deal though according to my OB, we were all fine). Working was difficult and I could barely get through the day with my patients; in fact I left early more days than I can count. However, we got pretty lucky because Jesse found a new job (it was a step up) which meant I wouldn’t have to work full time. We ended up relocating and moving in with his parents while we searched for our home.
I was very fortunate to be able to rest and really take care of myself during this time (I only worked per diem here and there). My best advice for the first trimester is to just take it day by day; rest when you can and don’t over do it, choose nutritious whole foods if you can stomach them and make sure to stay hydrated!
Twin Pregnancy: Second Trimester
Until about the middle of my second trimester I continued to have all day nausea but the other pregnancy symptoms subsided. After that point I started feeling pretty good! I remember craving these San Pellegrino Blood Orange Sparkling “Fruit Beverages” (pretty much a soda, which I never drink) and chocolate milk. Other than that I didn’t have any major cravings!
I continued to have my appointments and the babies never had any complications or signs of TTTS. It might sound daunting to have so many appointments but I was so grateful; I loved being reassured that everything was fine and bringing home TONS of ultrasound photos (I have an accordion file folder and DVD full of them)! I felt such peace of mind every time I had an ultrasound and saw my two little babies moving around. All of the appointments also gave me things to look forward to each week which made the time go by faster.
Finding Out The Gender
The second trimester brought me through the holiday season so I was able to celebrate while feeling pretty good; we found out we were having two GIRLS in November which was so amazing! I remember going into my ultrasound appointment at 15 weeks while the technician was doing her thing and she asked “has anyone told you what you’re having?” My answer was no and I told her that I hadn’t anticipated knowing for another 2-4 weeks (because that’s what they told me)! I got so nervous because I was alone and I felt bad that Jesse wasn’t there (but I let her tell me anyway lol). I would have been happy to have boys or girls but I was ecstatic to find out it was two girls!
Feeling My Twins Move For The First Time
The second trimester was also when I started to feel the babies move! What an amazing thing; it was the most magical fluttering feeling! Needless to say the second trimester was pretty happy and healthy. Oh and my belly REALLY began to grow towards the end of this trimester, I mean wow did it grow!
Twin Pregnancy: Third Trimester
My third trimester started off great; we had two big baby showers with our families and one small one at Jesse’s work. It was so much fun celebrating with everyone and showing off my twin baby bump! I’m not going to lie either, I never got tired of people saying things like “there can’t be two in there”, “how are there two in there?” etc.! My twice a week appointments started in the third trimester which started to feel pretty daunting. I started having a really hard time driving myself to my appointments (45 minutes each way) because I had awful back and rib pain. There was no way I could ask someone else to take me twice a week though so I pushed through.
When Twin Pregnancy Got Difficult
During my third trimester I started to have more pregnancy symptoms: difficulty breathing (I carried high and those two babies up in my diaphragm made it so hard to breath), pubic bone pain (I had to get help out of bed because I couldn’t separate my legs without excruciating pain) and the heartburn; oh the heartburn! I thought I knew what heartburn was but boy was I wrong. Two babies all up in there, pushing on all the things; my heartburn was absolutely horrid. I had to sleep at a 90 degree angle (not exaggerating) every single night, propped up with pillows, popping TUMS like they were candy and eating the blandest food you can think of. There was definitely no relief from the heartburn until the babies were out!
I would get significantly winded going up and down the basement stairs (we stayed in the basement until we moved out) because of those babies pushing on my diaphragm. One day Jesse and his dad said to me “gee, maybe you should exercise” because I was so out of breath. I tell you what…MEN! They don’t know anything. I should have drawn them a diagram of the babies and my anatomy at that point. I won’t give too much away (birth story post coming soon) but as soon as the babies were out of me I felt the biggest sensation of relief; the pressure on my diaphragm disappeared immediately and it was the craziest feeling!
End Of The Third Trimester
Towards the end of the third trimester things became exponentially harder; I required assistance to put on my shoes. I remember getting a pedicure with two of my girlfriends (mind you it’s the middle of winter in Maine so I’m just wearing some slip on snow boots) and by the end of my pedicure my feet had swollen so much from sitting in a dependent position that I had to have my friends pull down the pant legs of my skinny jeans and then put my boots on for me. THEN when I got home, my boots were literally stuck to my feet because they were so swollen. Jesse had to pull (with all of his might) to get them off of me. It was quite a moment.
Another third trimester thriller: sneezing. Nothing prepares you for the loss of control of your own bladder. I’m not going to go into more details because I’m sure you get the picture. I’ll just say that I now laugh and share those memes of the moms sneezing with their legs crossed; I get it.
Twin Pregnancy Maternity Photos
On March 1st I decided we better take some maternity photos before it’s too late. We got all dressed up with Ella, went out in the snowy backyard with the mountains in the background and my mother in law took some beautiful photos for us on my iPhone. Good thing we got that done because I had a false alarm on the 6th and the babies came on the 8th (in the middle of a snow storm)!
My final thoughts: having twins you just have to realize that two babies mean a heavier load that you’re carrying, more aches and pains and it all comes sooner than if you were having a singleton. Take time to rest, especially in the third trimester, don’t over do it and ask for help when you need it! As difficult as it might feel and be, cherish your twin pregnancy as much as you can because you WILL miss it.
My Biggest Twin Pregnancy Tip
My biggest tip for you is a huge regret I have because I didn’t do it; start a pregnancy journal immediately. Document it ALL: symptoms, appointments, funny stories, how you feel and everything you can think of. I so wish I had kept better “notes” so that I could go back and read them. It all goes by so fast and once those babies come life truly becomes a blur! So buy a super cute pregnancy journal and write it all down girl.
And just remember all of the things you go through during your twin pregnancy get you one step closer to meeting your TWO BABIES! Let me repeat, TWO BABIES! Twice the love. Twice the cuddles. Forever. It’s the best feeling in the world and I can’t wait for you to feel it! You can do this mama!
Next on the blog: my identical twin birth story!