The 35 weeks that I was pregnant was the most magical and the most hellish time of my life. Carrying two human beings for 35 weeks was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my entire life. I joined a Twin Talk Group on Facebook yesterday and someone posted because she was having mono/di twins and she was scared. All the emotions of my own pregnancy came rushing back. While I was pregnant I could not understand why or how someone would do that more than once. I was miserable. My bubs are sixth months old and Kyle and I were talking about how much we would want a baby girl. I forgot how miserable I was, it does happen. Until I read that post. All the emotions and misery came rushing back.
I found out that I was pregnant on Christmas 2015. For about a week before that I was super tired, falling asleep by 8:00 every night. The girls in my office that I worked at would put lotion on and I would be able to smell it all throughout the office. I knew something wasn’t right. My husband went out on Christmas night, even though he thought I was crazy to get a pregnancy test. I had already taken on test the day before that and it was a faint positive. He didn’t believe me, so he went out that night to get another one. Sure as shit it was positive. To be honest, I was not sure that I wanted a baby. I was absolutely terrified. I don’t know how to be a mother. I was scared shitless.
Nevertheless, that following Monday I called my OB/GYN and made an appointment for the first week of January. Within four days of my appointment I woke up and I was spotting. I thought maybe it was a fluke and I went to work that morning. When I went to the bathroom at work, I was still spotting. I knew something had to be wrong. I was scared. I called my doctor and they asked if I could get to the doctor within the hour. I said I could and I would be there as soon as I could. I left work and rushed to the doctor for an ultrasound, my husband left work and met me there. During the ultrasound we heard the baby’s heartbeat for the first time. The baby was fine and my emotions came flowing. That little lima bean was my baby and hearing that heartbeat was such a sweet relief. Bleeding during pregnancy is so scary. After the ultrasound we met with the nurse practitioner and she told me that I had a hemorrhage and a cyst on my ovary. I was told not to worry but to be on lifting restrictions. No big deal. The still wanted me to keep my appointment four days from then just to get checked out and meet with the doctor. I took the ultrasound picture of my little baby and was excited yet still scared shitless. I was excited to see the little thing in four days and hear the heartbeat again. I was lucky in the early days Kyle was able to go to all my ultrasounds with me. At the next ultrasound the tech was super nice. She was talking to us throughout it. She measured the little lima bean. She said 2 cm times two. I mentioned this part of my story in another blog so sorry for the redundancy. But Kyle and I both said, twice?!? She said I just measured baby twice. She then stopped and said oh wait there is another one. All of a sudden two little balls popped up on the screen. We were having twins. TWINS! I was shocked. She printed out the pictures and we went back to the waiting room. I sat there with the ultrasound pictures. I probably looked like a ghost. I could feel a couple of people stare at us. They were probably trying to figure out what kind of news we just got. After that we met with the doctor. She told me that I would have to go see a maternal fetal specialist because of the risk you have with twins in addition I also have an unclassified autoimmune connective tissue disorder. We left still trying to process how in the hell we were going to manage twins.
In between that time our family had some rough times. On February 8th we were having a fire in our fireplace because it was chilly that week. The fire had gone down to just embers and we had went to bed. We awoke about an hour later to our two cats bellowing. They are annoying but they never meow like that. Kyle jumped out of bed and ran downstairs. He shouted back up for me to get up and call 911. I didn’t ask questions I just acted. To make a long story short we had a fire. An ember at some point must have fallen out of the fireplace and inbetween the hearth and the floor burning our subfloor. It was the most disgusting feeling I have ever felt watching someone go at your house with an axe and watching the firemen take the hose into our house. It could have been so, so much worse. We actually didn’t lose any of our personal belongings, but we did have to stay in a hotel for two week and our house was in disarray with restoration for about a month and a half. We had numerous contractors in and out. We were truly lucky but it was still alot of stress so early on in my high risk pregnancy. I spent the time in the hotel absolutely miserably sick . I will never be able to eat a Frosty from Wendy’s as long as I live. I didn’t have morning sickness I had all day sickness. During the week, I must have been better about eating and making sure my stomach never got empty. But on the weekends I spent all day throwing up or being so nauseous that I didn’t want to move. `
The weeks during that time kind of ran together, but three or four weeks after the ultrasound where we learned we were having two babies we had an appointment to have a high-definition ultrasound. This was a pivotal ultrasound. We were finding out what kind of twins were going to have. It was wild to see how much the babies had changed in such a short amount of time. My babies were not little balls anymore. They looked like tiny babies with little flippers. We watched Baby B dance around waving his little flippers. I remember a tear running down my face. Those were our little babies dancing around in there. After the tech took down some measurements she said the doctor would go look at the results and come back in and tell us what kind of twins were having. When the doctor came in he told us we were having mono/di twins. This basically means that the babies were sharing a placenta but had two different sacs. They were identical. He told me the risks are much higher and that it would be something I would go into with my maternal fetal specialist. My heart dropped, it sounded like it would be a rough journey. I left there and went immediately for my first appointment with my maternal fetal specialist. Little did I know it was the first LONG, LONG wait to see him of many. Meeting with him was the most overwhelming doctor visit I have ever had in my life. He confirmed that we were having identical twins. He told us that the risks were much more than with fraternal twins. He explained they shared a placenta and that the risk for Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). He explained that at any point one baby could be getting all the nutrients and the other may deteriorate. He explained about a dozen disorders that they could have. He scared the shit out of me. He told me that he would be starting me on Folgard (folic acid) and progesterone to held decrease the chances of miscarriage. He told me to take care of myself, drink lots of water and eat. It was about 45 minutes of sheer terror. I can’t tell you everything that was said because I am not lying when I say that everything went dark for a few minutes. We were there so long that I was starving when we left. Kyle took my hangry ass to TGI Fridays. After ordering a drink, Kyle looked at me and asked if I was okay. All of a sudden I just had a full on panic attack. I started hyperventilating, I didn’t want to be there anymore. I lost my shit. The doctor had scared me so bad. I had two humans living inside of me and their wellbeing could be out of my control. It took me a couple of days to calm down. But I filled all my prescriptions and decided I would do whatever it took to cultivate these humans and if something happened it wouldn’t be due to my neglect.
I am convinced that my doctor did that to scare the shit out of me and to make sure that I heeded everything he said. I decided to have all my care with him instead of my regular OB/GYN . He seemed to know his shit and I already trusted him. Every visit at his office was a waiting game. I hated it. I hated going there and spending all afternoon. I missed a whole chunk of work every time I had an appointment. I finally had it set up that I would work from home at night on days that I had an appointment. I always had a high-definition ultrasound prior to my doctor appointment. I tried to make my appointments for around noon, but it would be 5 or 6 before I got home. I had to go in every two to three weeks. There were so many appointments and they all run together. The ultrasounds weren’t fun either. It’s not like in the movies. I guess because they were for necessity not just for the normal anatomy screenings, etc. in a singleton pregnancy. It was torture going in. Laying there for an hour while they did your scan. It just was not what they make it out to be in the movies. Nevertheless, I can complain about the waiting that I had at the specialist’s office but when you got to see him, he made you feel like you were the only one in the world. His care was like something I’ve never experienced with a doctor and I knew I was in good hands there. The ultrasounds and appointments went uneventful for some time. We found out we were having two baby boys. I had wanted girls but now that they are here I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Everything in my pregnancy scared the shit out of me. When it got to the point I had to do kick counts that was honestly the worse. Do you know how hard it is to count two babies kicking you? Impossible. One baby was super calm and the other was an Irish riverdancer. It really was impossible. I would sit there and stress about it for hours. I called a couple of times and they would tell me to drink some juice or a large amount of water and then lay down on my side for an hour. How in the hell am I supposed to do that at work? Luckily I had an office and I would lay down on my floor in my office and do what they told me. I am convinced that the babies would just screw with me. I got huge overnight it seemed like. By May I felt like a whale. My feet and calves were so swollen that none of my shoes fit. It was hotter than Satan’s ass crack outside. I was miserable. I bought summer dresses and sandals, that is all that I wore. I sweated constantly. I sweated in places that I didn’t know that I had sweat glands. By late in the second trimester the nausea had finally gone away. But then came the swelling, back pain and round ligament pain. I felt like my crotch was stretching and on fire. When Memorial Day weekend hit, I had family in town and I decided that I would go to a the Science Center and a walk through zoo. I kept up all weekend, I may have been waddling but I was a trooper. Then on Memorial Day I woke up sicker than a dog. I was in the bathroom all morning, I felt sick. Really sick. My husband was at a meeting. I told him to come home if he could. He told me that he would leave the meeting but I told him that wasn’t necessary. But he knows me and he left and came home. When he walked through the door he said he had never seen me look like that. He grabbed a bucket and told me I was going to the hospital with no ifs, ands or buts about it. On the way to the hospital, I did something I’ve never done before. I threw up in the car. I’m not a puker and that was awful. At the hospital, they told me I had severe dehydration. I had pumped water all weekend. That’s when it dawned on me how pivotal the next months towards the end of my pregnancy were. I knew I had to take it easy.
The last months of my pregnancy were not fun. It was filled with doctors appointments every week. I couldn’t sleep. I had insomnia, I was too big to get comfy and I had heartburn so bad that if I could sleep it kept me up. I was swollen all through my legs and feet. The pain in my crotch was so bad that I had trouble walking. My ass would go to sleep sitting at my desk. I was gaining weight like a sumo wrestler. I told myself that I wouldn’t be one of those women that were scared to gain weight during pregnancy but it hit a point that I was gaining so much, how could anyone be okay with that? I gained 72 pounds during my pregnancy. I gained a middle schooler. I looked awful. I wasn’t glowing and if I gave the illusion I was glowing it was just sweat. Not to mention, I had very large breasts before getting pregnant but my breasts had grown 3 cup sizes. THREE! The last couple months were filled with stressful kick counts and rising blood pressure. I felt like I was starting to have contractions and the doctor put me on procardia to prevent them. During the whole time, the biggest fears of TTTS were relieved at every ultrasound. The babies were always within ounces of each other and they were developing right on point.
The last two weeks I think I cried every time at the doctor. It was getting rough being so uncomfortable. I just was not happy. I knew that growing these humans was the most important task of my life. I tried to hold it together. I knew the longer they were in the less the likelihood that they would be in the NICU. At 34 weeks I could no longer physically go to my office and run around like a chicken fetching papers for my boss. I had to tell them I was going to work from home until I delivered. That was absolutely the hardest but most wise decision I made. I was able to work from home with my feet up. My swelling had almost gone away and I was able to relax. I am convinced that is the only reason I went another week. As 35 weeks crept closer I was just plain miserable. How could I make it any longer? At 35 weeks on the day, I had an ultrasound and an appointment. Both babies were measuring 5lbs 10oz and they looked great. My cervix on the other hand was shrinking. I won’t repeat the whole birthing process because I already talked about that. But at my 35 week appointment it was time to stop the procardia that was preventing my contractions and I was 3 cm dilated. My blood pressure was also high that day. The doctor decided it was in the best interest for me and the babies that I be induced. The day had finally came! I entitled this surviving a twin pregnancy, not because I had anything major go on but rather in the fact that being pregnant with twins was scary and hard. It was the hardest thing I have ever done until taking care of them. I had to make sure that I was eating well (if I could keep it down), that I was drinking enough water and that I was taking all the proper medication to ensure that I could stay pregnant with these two little babies. It was rough and uncomfortable. No one understands unless they have done it. I know there are women that have rough singleton pregnancies but there are so many other worries that come with twins. I think women should get credit where credit is due and women that have endured 9 months pregnant with twins deserve some credit.
The biggest pieces of advice I could give a mom that is pregnant with twins is to take care of yourself, make sure you trust your doctor whole-heartedly, heed the doctor’s advice, get plenty of rest and drink tons and tons of water. Do anything in your power to make sure you are taking all the precautions that you can but don’t spend time stressing over things that you cannot control. It won’t do any good for your blood pressure, believe me.