So,you found out your pregnant with Twins? What should you do next? Girl, you better rest, you will need it!
My husband and I tried to get pregnant for 3 and a half years and with the help of fertility treatments, we found out we were pregnant on October 18th, 2011. As most, this is a day I will never forget. I remember getting the call from my doctor’s office and the nurse telling me, “Joann you are pregnant!!” I couldn’t believe after all this time and all the fertility treatments, surgeries, procedures and failed attempts, I was finally going to be a mom! I immediately called my husband and I remember him saying, “You’re pregnant, really?” I was balling my eyes out and I had to call my parents right away. I called my mom crying and she said why are you crying? What’s wrong? I said, “Mom, I’m pregnant!” She was so happy and she’s yelling to my dad, “John, she’s pregnant and she’s crying because she’s so happy.” My mom lived for this moment and I know she was so happy that day, and every day after.
On November 10, 2011, we had our first ultrasound appointment. I was a nervous wreck, but I just had a feeling in the back of my mind, we were having twins. When the ultrasound technician started checking everything out, the first thing I could see was two small circles, and she confirmed, yes, you are carrying twins! That was a super surreal moment and I don’t think it really hit me until I started to feel the complete exhaustion come over me the next few days. I never felt so tired in my entire life like I did the first trimester of my pregnancy.
Today, I thought I would share some tips and tricks for my momma’s out there expecting twins. Hopefully, your pregnancy will be a memorable happy and healthy one to look back on. I wish I could say it will be a comfortable one (and maybe someone out there has had that) but in my experience it was no where comfortable from day one.
Tip #1 – REST! Let me repeat this, REST! I haven’t had rest since September 2011. I’m not kidding either. I can’t even tell you how tired I was the first trimester was overwhelming. I was lucky that I wasn’t vomiting but I had no appetite and was consistently nauseous. I understand you may have responsibilities such as your job that you will not be able to call out sick every other day just for rest, but when you get home, try to find ways of reducing your housework (husband, mom or sibling?) and just sit and rest. I know it sounds obvious, but you’d be surprise how much you don’t rest because if you’re anything like me, I thought I could do it all. I couldn’t but learned that the hard way. Bringing me to tip #2.
Tip #2 – Are your feet swelling? Are you finding it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position? Is getting in and out of the car more like a contortionist showing off the latest moves? Is your doctor recommending its time to go on bed rest? Yes, on February 27, 2012, after my doctor took a look at my swollen feet, said to me, “That’s it, you are going on bed rest.” I wasn’t prepared to hear that! I did think there could be a time as I got closer to my due date that I would-be put-on bed rest, but this was way too soon. Luckily, I had a job in which I was able to do from home. Not everyone can do this, so if you need to go on bed rest very early in your pregnancy, be prepared. Going back to what I said earlier, you are at home and it’s so easy to see everything you need to do around the house to prepare for your babies, do yourself a favor. Sit down, and once again, rest. Can you tell I’m really trying to emphasize the need for rest now before your kiddos arrive and you’ll never see a good night’s sleep again?
Tip # 3 – Start planning on the logistics of your baby’s routine once they arrive and you are home. I was fortunate to have my parents relatively close by to stay with us from the day we brought my boys home. We immediately realized we would need to put into a place a feeding and sleeping schedule for all of us. We came up with working in teams, Team Michael and Team Alex were created to help alleviate the feelings of being totally overwhelmed. Our pediatrician was adamant about us feeding the boys every 4 hours, including waking them up. When I look back on this now, honestly, not so sure I would do that again. Of course, you do whatever you feel is right. So, since my husband had to be at work during the day, he would take all the feedings, etc., from the time he got home from work and my mom would work that shift with him. During that time, my dad and I were sleeping and getting up around midnight for the overnight shift. That was rough. I was tired enough to fall asleep but getting up was torture. My dad always kept it fun though as he would always share his crazy dreams with me while we were feeding the boys. This was exhausting to say the least, but it really worked out best for us with this schedule. So, figure out who will be able to help you, start forming your tribe now. If it’s just you and your husband, it will difficult, but many people get through without help, you will survive.
Tip #4 – Are you having a baby shower? If so, most of us have a baby shower towards the end of your pregnancy. If you are having twins, I would reconsider and have it earlier in your pregnancy. My suggestion would be about 6-7 months. If you are put on bed rest early, chances are as your pregnancy progresses, you may have your twins earlier then expected. My due date changed constantly. My mom wanted to have my baby shower in May, but I was due mid-June. I told my mom I don’t think I’m going to make it to June, let’s do it earlier. We did in April and it was the best decision. I was able to sit comfortably and really enjoy the whole afternoon. If we had waited even a few more weeks, I wouldn’t have been able to sit there and feel comfortable.
Tip #5- Your twins are here, let the games begin! This is my biggest piece of advice because when I think about the first few weeks and months of my boys being home, I wish I had been honest with myself and admit that I was going through postpartum depression. Everyone around me could see it and my husband tried several times to speak to me about it. I wasn’t going to listen to anyone. I didn’t think I had any problems except sleep deprivation, but I was totally wrong. If I had just accepted my feelings and spoke to my doctor about it, I would have hopefully enjoyed this time with my boys a lot more. To top it off, at six months my mom’s cancer diagnosis really hit me hard. Luckily, I had my family around me, and I was able to get through it. But I made it worse by not accepting it and finding a solution to it. It was a long tough road to take that could have been resolved earlier. Always listen to your inner voice and pay attention to your behaviors and how you feel. Be honest with yourself because when it comes right down to it, you’re not fooling anyone but yourself. Having twins is a great deal of work, and if you’re not feeling like yourself, you need to step up and do the right thing for yourself and your family.
Having twins is so much fun but it is a lot of work. Take the time, to enjoy yourself during your pregnancy, remember every wonderful moment you can. Keep a journal of your pregnancy, take pictures of yourself as you progress and make a good doable plan for when they arrive. I wish you a very happy and healthy pregnancy…. now go rest!