Two to Kiss, Two to Love: Twin Pregnancy
Growing up, I always used to tell people, "I'm going to have a boy, then identical twin girls." I have wanted twins my entire life. I used to take a picture of myself, then take another one, and put them together on the computer to pretend like I had a twin. (Insert hysterical laughing here.)While pregnant with my daughter, my singleton, I got sick around 8-weeks-pregnant, would feel the need to vomit, would vomit, and would feel fine. Around 13-weeks, I felt totally fine, and only randomly threw-up two more times in my pregnancy with her. During my twin pregnancy, I had been super sick only at 5.5-weeks-pregnant. I kept telling my mom (one of the only people who knew I was pregnant) that I must have been having "a spawn-of-satan son or twins." I was extremely sick and felt disgusting. I always felt nauseous, whether I threw-up or not, and I was already so sick of it. She was the only one who would listen to me say things like that, so she was the one who got to know my secret thoughts. For a week, I kept having dreams, and thoughts all day, that I would be having twins. But you can't wish yourself to have twins. That's just crazy. So I kept telling myself to stop it, because there was no way I would be pregnant with twins. At 6.5 weeks pregnant, I went to my first doctor appointment. I always went earlier because I had suffered a miscarriage before my singleton. That morning, I woke up at 5 a.m. feeling like I was having twins. My appointment wasn't for hours, yet I couldn't go back to sleep. It was ridiculous. Who wants to miss out on sleep while pregnant?! But alas, I couldn't. I just kept thinking about having twins. While at the same time, telling myself to STOP IT because I couldn't have twins. After being awake forever, my husband and I finally made our way to the doctor, where I proceeded to share my secret thoughts with him that I was pretty sure I was having twins. Upon arrival at my doctor's, she asked how I was doing. I proceeded to tell her the same thing I told my mom: either spawn-of-Satan son, or twins. She took out her portable ultrasound machine and said, "hey Jackie, look, two sacs." Sure, that makes sense. Ha. I was SO EXCITED. I don't think I can explain in perfect detail the level of enthusiasm to which I responded to that remark. After trying to find both heartbeats, but only finding one, she told me she needed me to go down to the huge ultrasound machines, and get a closer look - the same thing she told me when I had my miscarriage. I told her to just tell me if the heartbeat wasn't there; I didn't want to go down and get another ultrasound for them to tell me the same thing. She said she was "cautiously optimistic." We headed down to get another ultrasound. I told the tech to just tell me if there wasn't a heartbeat. Don't sugar coat it, don't wait, just tell me. Thankfully, two beautiful heartbeats popped up, the best sound a pregnant woman can hear. According to the doctor, I had the least risky type of twin pregnancy you could have: two separate placentas, two different sacs. If you didn't know, you can have several types of twin pregnancies. One where they don't share anything (like mine), or one where they share everything- same placenta and same sac. Or, they can also share the same placenta but have two different sacs. I was on cloud 9 for days, while also worrying that something was going to happen to one twin, or both, and that they would end up dying in the womb or something. However, I got past a certain point in my pregnancy where I didn't worry as much. Even though I was so excited to have twins, I'm here to tell you, a twin pregnancy versus a singleton pregnancy is VERY different. If I had a choice, I would take the twins and NOT the pregnancy. When I said I wanted twins my whole life, I didn't mean a twin pregnancy too. Could I just have one without the other? I think the best thing about a twin pregnancy is feeling the two babies move and play with each other. It's a very cool feeling. When you can see it on the outside of your skin, you can start guessing who is who in there! BUT beware of the next few things, because they aren't so fun! With a twin pregnancy, your body comes up with 1000 new ideas for torturing you, and it's all doubled. You'll soon realize this, and every time you listen to a pregnant mom (who is carrying a singleton) complain about their pregnancy, you'll just stare at her. Because at this point, when you're large and in charge, you'll think to yourself, "you only have one baby in there." Your skin will stretch to limits it has never seen. For twins, my belly was relatively small, but my thighs...OH MY! Rub that cocoa butter on heavy twin mamas. The only stretch mark I got during my twin pregnancy was on my thigh, and I lathered lotion on every day. Just keep at it, and most importantly, drink TONS of water. Keep your skin hydrated! Also, keep your skin, especially your face, covered in SPF every time you go outside. This is something I learned the hard way when I ended up with pregnancy mask (chloasma) all over my face. I thought it was like the line on your belly (linea negra) and would go away afterwards, but it does not. :( If your babies get big enough, your ribs could break. Yes, for real. Nearing the end of my pregnancy, I had this huge pain at the top of my ribs. I called the nurse to figure out what it could be, and they had me come in to do a non-stress test. Baby B decided it would be a great idea to start moving to the outside of my ribs. And was there anything I could do about it? Nope. I would just sit and push on her as hard as I could to try and move her out of my ribs. The nurse who did the test told me that she had a 13 lb baby that actually broke her ribs. Fortunately, my ribs did not break, but THAT sounds awful. Especially because the chances of you having 13 lbs (or more) of babies in your belly is quite high with twins. After all, there are two humans in there, and they still try and get to a healthy size. Mine were 6 lbs 12 oz, and 6 lbs 6 oz. With my singleton, I was never swollen. But with the twins, it looked like my legs had decided to try on a fat suit PERMANENTLY. Wouldn't that be nice if you could take the "fat suit" off? I remember the day I wasn't swollen anymore. I looked down at my legs, and screamed, "I HAVE ANKLES!!" I weighed more during my twin pregnancy than I have in my entire life. Going up and down the stairs became exhausting (and this is coming from someone who still exercised through the entire pregnancy). I could barely breathe because the babies were taking up all the space! So elevation of any kind was particularly hard. A pool was my best friend. I felt so light in the pool. Sleeping will become non-existent, because, well, how do you get comfortable with a HUGE belly? You can't. It's impossible. You need about 50 pillows surrounding your body to try and make it seem at all doable. This is when I wished I had one of those huge body pillows to sleep with. Nothing you own will fit you anymore, so buy the largest maternity clothes you can get your hands on, or just forget that, and invest in a bunch of mumus.
And then, one day, just like that, your pregnancy will be over. And you will have two of the best blessings of your life at one time. And you will look at those babes, and love them SO much. It will make you forget the woes of being pregnant with them. Almost.
*The “Two to Kiss, Two to Love” series is a helpful series for all you twin mamas out there! If you have a twin related question, comment below, and I’ll answer it for you!*