Don’t Forget the Journey- with Twins

I feel like I’ve been pregnant for 30 years. We got a positive pregnancy test at 3 and a half weeks. After two consecutive losses and a total of three, my OB recommended taking the test as early as the instructions said and if it were positive, she’d put me on progesterone immediately to try to help prevent another loss.

Our journey with growing twins has been perhaps one of the most wild rides of my life. I think back to the positive test and am shocked and so thankful that we’ve made it this far. For those wondering, we weren’t doing fertility treatments, and it doesn’t run in the family. I just ovulated twice and we were trying really hard 🤷‍♀️

A couple of things I learned shortly after learning I was growing 2 babies. Read What To Do When You’re Having Two by Natalie Diaz. Get connected to Twiniveristy on social media. Connect with other twin parents for advice, support, and hand me downs. Perhaps most importantly, have no shame in how many times you call your doctor. None. But also know they will likely make you come into the office since you’re carrying multiples.

As for the actual journey, if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. I could’ve never imagined the complications, the physical pain, the anxiety, the planning. And we’re not even there yet. I am proud of how far I’ve come but I’m also just in constant misery. Like, there’s no need to ever ask me anymore how I’m feeling; you can just assume miserable. If I’m not, I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops. However, I also know this too is just a season and I will likely forget some of it. So I don’t want to forget my journey with twins.

At 4 weeks, not even a week after finding out we were pregnant, my Mamaw passed away. I didn’t get to tell her our happy news.

At 5 weeks, I went to get evaluated by a psychiatrist because my mental health and anxiety were so out of hand with worry about losing this baby. I was diagnosed with a trifecta of depression, anxiety, and PTSD and was offered several treatment options, but I wanted to wait until our first ultrasound to decide how to proceed. I was also bedridden for a day or two with terrible dizziness.

At 6 weeks, I already had to purchase new maternity bras and pants. Pro tip I wish I’d known, go on up at least 2 sizes in both… otherwise you’ll be waiting on clothes to be delivered while you’re barely squeezing into what you own. I would also highly suggest used maternity tops, but I’m a big fan of new maternity pants because the belly bands are tight and not stretched out, and I’ve needed all the support I can get.

Due to our previous losses, my OB allowed us to come in at 7 weeks for our first ultrasound where we found out we were pregnant with twins. My gut response was, “You’re kidding right?” And then I squealed and screamed and cried in pure joy because we could see two tiny babies with heartbeats in my belly. I’m pretty sure the entire waiting room heard me. Shock and panic came later, but immediately it was joy and thankfulness.

Literally 3 days later, I started gushing blood and rushed back to the doctor for an emergency ultrasound. We were relieved to learn our boys were okay, and that I had a subchorionic hemorrhage. I never knew that was a thing but apparently it’s much more common in women who are pregnant with multiples.

For the next 13 weeks (from 7 to 20 weeks), I bled or spotted almost nonstop, ended up with 2 subchorionic hemorrhages, a hospital visit because of one really bad bleeding episode that nearly caused me to faint due to blood loss, 13 OB visits, and 12 ultrasounds.

By week 10, I’d already spent over $1,000 in medical bills, after finding out we were pregnant in February.

10 weeks

At 12 weeks, we had a small impromptu gender reveal after taking the Natera test to check for chromosomal abnormalities. It also tells you the gender.

2 boys! There was lots of nervous laughter.
12 weeks- we got this very sweet ultrasound picture with both of our little fellas in it.

At 14 weeks, I started carrying a small pillow around to work with me to put behind my back. I also started parking on the first floor and avoided stairs because of the pressure and bleeding from the hemorrhages.

At 16 weeks, I purchased Tummy Tape (https://mytummytape.com/) for the early on heaviness of the belly. I also could no longer sleep on my back because the weight of the boys was too much.

At 18 weeks, we learned I had previa placenta that’s was blocking my cervix and could be very dangerous if it didn’t move on it’s own. The doctor had me work from home until my 20 week appointment to see if it helped the bleeding from my hemorrhages and if it would help the previa placenta move.

At 19 weeks, we took our 2 year old to the Newport Aquarium for her birthday. I had to rent a wheelchair because I couldn’t walk for long but we had a wonderful time ❤️

At 20 weeks, we confirmed that the rest from work from home was helping and the doctor told me to work from home for the rest of pregnancy. I started using my belly band in addition to my tummy tape. I always had to have a pillow behind my back and a donut pillow when sitting on hard chairs. And I could no longer see my toes.

20 weeks

At 21 weeks, I finished our baby registries. Preparing for twins required more research than I expected.

At 22ish weeks, I mostly stopped picking up my 2 year old. I change her diaper in the floor so I don’t have to lift her. When she says “Mommy hold ya”, we either hold hands, sit on the couch together, or someone else picks her up and hands her to me. I don’t care for it.

At 22 weeks, Seth and I took our baby moon, which consisted of a day out to lunch at Joella’s and a Marvel movie in theaters. Mama couldn’t handle much more.

At 24 weeks, the heartburn and indigestion became constant. Indigestion was so bad I literally had vomit just hanging out in the back of my throat. Fans must be on in every room in the house. I often got winded simply from talking because these boys are squishing everything. And my belly button was almost a full outtie.

At 25 weeks, I had my work baby shower. My back pain got so bad that I had to scoot to my next destination because picking up my feet to take a step makes me yell out in pain. One weekend, I cramped for 24 hours straight and was called in to check for preterm labor. My cervix was still closed and I wasn’t dilated but was told to pay attention to the pain and discomfort level. On a fun note, Seth finally felt the boys for the first time.

Love my work family!
Gotta do what you gotta do.

At 26 weeks, unrelated to pregnancy, we were at great risk of losing our Adult Ed program. For almost 2 weeks, I used every spare moment of time and energy I had trying to save our program by speaking to the news, multiple legislators, and making videos for social media. Thankfully, our program has been approved for at least this full year.

At 28 weeks, puffiness started in my face, hands, and feet. I ended up at the chiropractor with my entire pelvic region off kelter. I failed my 1 hour glucose test. But on a fun note, we had our friends and family baby shower and got the majority of the rest of our registry items!

At 29 weeks, I failed the 3 hour glucose test and began figuring out life with gestational diabetes. At 29+5, I got admitted to the hospital for a preterm labor check. 2 cervix checks and a preterm labor swab later, everything was okay except there are ketones in my urine likely from dehydration, and I’m 1 cm. dilated.

At 30 weeks, I’ve had 5 appointments. 1- My new weekly chiropractor appointment where I learned my sacrum (tailbone area) was getting out of whack. 2- I had 3 new car seats installed into my backseat. That made everything feel much more real. 3- A follow up check up with my OB from our short hospital stint. There I learned that insulin is almost inevitable because I can’t control my fasting blood sugar. So it’s just a matter of time before I have to learn about shots. 4- A prenatal lactation consultation, which was amazing! I feel much more confident to try to breastfeed the boys than I did with Jaclyn. We have a plan 🎉 5- I went back to the doc for UTI symptoms. My urine sample had no indication of an infection and my symptoms are similar to those of a kidney stone. They didn’t do a scan or ultrasound to check just yet so we shall see. In the meantime, I’m in lots of pain from cramping and internal shooting burning pain. And the urgency / frequency to pee is unbearable on top of the usual frequency of using the bathroom in your third trimester.

30 weeks
So far, Jaclyn is pumped about the 3 car seats.

We’re still a maximum of 7 weeks til the boys arrive. I’ll fully complete our journey once they get here but goodness what a ride it’s been so far.

At 31 weeks, I started insulin for my gestational diabetes- 20 units at bedtime. The nurse practitioner zoomed with me to teach me how to do it. I give it to myself which feels like a small miracle every time.

I went on what I’m guessing is my last hoorah this week to a Kids Stuff Consignment presale and had a ball. I got the remainder of the clothing we needed for the boys and some fun seasonal clothes for Jaclyn. I also got a great deal on a toddler bed for her to have at my parents’ house in the next couple of months. By the time we left the sale, every muscle in my entire body was aching and screaming at me.

I had a perinatal therapy consultation via telehealth from a woman who also happens to be a mom of twins. Many factors of this pregnancy puts me at high risk for PPD or PPA and I’m trying to get ahead of it. I liked her a lot! Next steps, trying to find a day and time to do a prenatal visit with both me and Seth so he can also hear the warning signs of the post partum mood disorders so we don’t waste anytime if I’m struggling.

On a non-pregnancy related note, Jaclyn started potty learning this week. After 3 days, she was peeing in the potty with minimal to no accidents and pooped in the potty on day 5!

At 32 weeks, they upped my insulin to 22 units because my glucose readings didn’t go down.

At 33 weeks, we got to labor and delivery around 7:30am because I had been having severe, nonstop cramping for the last hour and a half. I couldn’t walk or stand longer than about a minute. The color of my pee immediately alarmed the nurses so much that later they told me they’d be talking about my urine for a long time. There was so much blood in it that it looked like grape koolaid. Pain meds and an antibiotic through an IV saved me from the cramping; I was also mighty dehydrated. I got an ultrasound for a kidney and bladder scan. There were no signs of a kidney stone now so the theory is I passed it while at the hospital. There was another theory that it was some sort of infection but the culture came back clean. I stayed overnight just to make sure all was okay.

I also have some sort of sinus stuff going on. My primary care doctor didn’t want to immediately give me an antibiotic since I’m so pregnant. The pharmacist disagreed with the meds that were recommended and I walked away nothing. I spoke to my OB’s office and they okayed some over the counter meds but I’ll go to urgent care over the weekend if I feel worse.

In the meantime, my glucose numbers are fluctuating and they’ve upped me to 24 units for awhile.

At 34 weeks, the increased units of insulin helped! My blood sugar is finally normalizing to acceptable numbers. A sinus infection resurfaced more in my chest and via cough. I ended up back at urgent care for more meds.

At 35 weeks, I am large, exhausted, and very tender belly. Lots of folks were checking in to see if I’m still pregnant and how I’m doing.

At 36 weeks, I was convinced I was in early labor. My Braxton Hicks contractions became more frequent and tight. I had sporadic cramping and an increase and change in discharge. I mostly stayed in bed all weekend and was an absolute bear. My belly dropped even more from just Sunday to Monday that everyone was freaking out that they would just fall out.

At our 36 week and final ultrasound, we got a good report and learned that Gabe was 6 lb 13 oz and Luke was 6 lb 8 oz. I begged the doctor to take them this week but she said only if I go into labor. I was 3 cm dilated.

I cancelled as many appointments and meetings as I could. I’ve mostly been in the bed working all week and the plan is to work through Friday. 36 weeks and 3 days was the first time Seth slept on the couch because I had to sleep so reclined in the bed. My belly is just so heavy if im reclined at all, the boys’ weight shifts and it hurts to get up to go to the bathroom every 2 hours.

I sat on the side of the tub and shaved my legs and by the end my entire body was trembling from exhaustion.

My maternity pants are so tight they leave lines in my belly. My bigger man clothes sit way too low and fall down. So I’ll be riding the rest of this pregnancy out in dresses.

The weekend before the c-section, my belly itched so badly I could cry. And with our c-section timeline, I’m not allowed to lotion now. So I’ve started putting ice packs on my belly to ease the itch and the boys don’t care for it.

37 weeks- the day before our c-section

The morning of our c-section, my entire body felt different and was preparing for labor. By the time we got to the hospital, my cervix was contracting and I feel sure if we hadn’t scheduled the c-section, the boys would’ve made their arrival that day anyway.

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