Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mama Says

You know what's fun about being a Mama? No two Mamas are alike. Know what's fun about being a M.O.M. (Mom of Multiples)? It's completely unlike being a Mom of a singleton....from what I've heard.

Recently, a friend of a friend found out she's having twins and she's a little freaked out. Anyone who's been pregnant knows that everyone and their mom wants to tell you their birth story, give you (unwanted) advice, and basically scare the crap out of you. I'm here to tell you - it's okay. Having a twin pregnancy is not always as bad as everyone says! Sure, there can be complications, and you have way more doctor appointments than a singleton pregnancy, but that's the fun part!

So...if you, or someone you know, is pregnant with multiples, here's my advice to you (aren't you lucky?)

You will get big, quickly. When I realized I was pregnant, I was already 9 weeks. I thought I was only 6 weeks and my sister kept telling me, "I think there's more than one in there." I didn't even think twins could be a possibility. It turns out, I was further along than I thought and I was having twins.

At about 6 months, my doctor told me I looked full term with a singleton.

Do not, under any circumstances, make comments about how big the M.O.M. is getting. She knows, and she already feels fat and yucky. Don't make it worse. At work, I had one woman make a comment about my lunch, and (when I was wearing an unflattering sweater one day) another man and woman made a comment about how I "have quite a pumpkin under your shirt." I wanted to reply, "Oh yeah, asshole? I'm pregnant, what's your excuse?" I held my tongue. Sweater trashed. Immediately.

Pregnant women have enough to deal with. Pregnant women of multiples have even more, don't make it worse.

The absolute best compliment I ever got from anyone was in Target, around 6 months along. This woman passing me said, "You're so cute." I said thanks and then her son echoed his mom's compliment. Not only did the woman make my day but I then thought her child was adorable. This was right around the time when it was getting harder and harder for me to breathe and I waddled.... it's funny how a remark made in passing can brighten someone's day so much.

Do not listen to books when they tell you how much weight to gain, listen to your doctor. Your doctor knows you, learns your body, and knows when to be concerned. I was very alarmed at how much, and how rapidly, I was gaining weight. I've always had major body issues and was finally getting the legs I wanted...and then I got pregnant. At 5'6", I ended up tipping the scale at 207lbs. (I can't believe I told you that!) But, my two babies weighed about 12lbs., I was retaining a ton of fluid (30lbs. worth), and because my blood pressure was so good, my doctor wasn't alarmed at all.

You may not have to go on bed rest. I know it's common and for the best interest of the babies, but not everyone goes on bedrest. I never did. From the minute I was pregnant with twins, I had people who never even had kids, but "knows someone" who went on bedrest. I was really annoyed that people kept telling me it was just going to happen - especially when they don't have kids! I know, I know, it's common, but I worried enough about my Bambinos, I didn't need people adding to my worries. Thank God for my doctor who had a very, "wait and see/anything's possible" attitude.

Your blood pressure may not skyrocket, no matter what anyone tells you. I had really, really good blood pressure my whole pregnancy. They told me I had the blood pressure of an athlete (ha!) I never worked out, I had been getting into a good workout routine before I found out I was pregnant, but suddenly I was way too tired to wake up at 5:30am and jump on the treadmill or Shred. The last few months of my pregnancy, it was really difficult to breathe (on top of the asthma my pregnancy brought back) so working out would have been near impossible. I did learn to have the nurses check my blood pressure before they weighed me because the one time they weighed me first, my blood pressure was a little high. When they tried again later, it was really good.

Not everyone gets gestational diabetes either. I know bedrest and failing the glucose test are very common for M.O.M.s, but I passed my glucose test. I think my doctor said I barely passed but passing is passing.

I had a slew of other issues: I swelled almost immediately, and the pressure of the fluid pressing on the nerves of my wrists made my hands fall asleep (check out the awesome wrist brace on the 38 week pic above) which was really annoying because it would wake me up. I wore a brace on each wrist to bed and sometimes at work. When I first swelled, the doctor sent me for an ultrasound on my legs to make sure it wasn't a clot, but everything checked out okay. I felt, and looked even fatter than I assume most mom's of twins do, but a few weeks after I delivered, I lost 30 pounds pretty much  overnight. (Not quick enough for my liking.)

I already didn't sleep well, my numb hands waking me up didn't help much, and my back always hurt. Near the end, there was so much pressure in my pelvis, I felt like a baby might just pop out, but those were my worst issues and I was so grateful.

I saw a perinatologist because Baby A was measuring small. She explained that it gets harder and harder to get accurate measurements of babies as pregnancies progress, and even harder with multiples. She told me that Baby A was showing growth each ultrasound which was a good sign, but still I worried. I ended up drinking protein shakes every morning (without my doctor's knowledge*) the last few weeks after much internet research. I think the protein contributed to their healthy weights. At my two week, post-natal check up, I think the nurses said the babies were measuring 2lbs apart at my last ultrasound, right before they were born. They ended up with a 3oz difference at birth, obviously the measurements were wrong.

You may not have your babies super early. I carried mine to 38 weeks, and even then I never went into labor, we scheduled a c-section because Baby A was breech. My doctor has a ton of experience with twins and high risk pregnancies; he told me that of all the twin's he's delivered, my pregnancy was right up there with having the least complications. I was so grateful my Bambinos decided to stay in until 38 weeks so that they cooked as long as needed to be healthy. Sometime I wonder how long they would have stayed in if we hadn't scheduled a c-section.....but just for a minute.

Having a multiple pregnancy is scary and exciting at the same time. I imagine that any pregnant woman worries about her baby, but with multiples, they worries are multiplied (ha!) Luckily, you have doctor appointments twice as often, have many, many ultrasounds, and non stress tests all the time (I only had mine the last few months, some people get them more often if there's complications.) You're given a bunch of reassurance, but hopefully this suuuuper long post helped ease your fears. Of course, this is my story and everyone's different, but it is possible to have an uncomplicated twin pregnancy.

*please check with your doctor before you decide to do anything like this. I didn't and felt very, very guilty that he didn't know, but since it was only the last two weeks, I figured it wouldn't hurt the babies.

4 comments:

  1. Awwww....I loved this!!!!! Loved seeing all the pics again, but grouped together. You had a very Kat Von D vibe going on at 35 weeks, my dear. Fierce and gorgeous momma...I mean, M.O.M.ma!!!! I hated my wrist thing....it was the worst. I just had one but had about the smae weight gain. Whew was I big!!!????!!!!

    Love,Meli

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  2. Your babies are precious! And btw, you still looked cute at 38 weeks!!

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  3. I love this! Gonna have my sister read it. She is pregnant with twins, 6.5 months preg. I ALWAYS comment on huge she looks haha!!

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