I was only 6 weeks along when we found out that there was two. So began the worrying and the series of “just in case” interventions. As someone who is sort of dedicated to normalizing pregnancy as a healthy part of a woman’s life this was incredibly difficult. I don’t know how many junctures there were when we just sat back feeling defeated and certain we weren’t going to come through this with two healthy babies.
These are some of the things that I wish someone had told us right from the beginning.
1. The ups and downs are higher and lower than when you’re carrying one healthy baby. Finding out your pregnant is amazing! Finding out it there are twins is AMAZING!!! I felt so overwhelmed and so shocked and so lucky. Then we were told they were a rare form of twins monochorionic-monoamnionic (MoMo twins) this was scary. We fell hard from the high of twins to face the idea that 50% of MoMos don’t make it. Then we were told it was a misdiagnosis so back up we went. Then we were flagged for twin to twin transfusion so back down. Then we . . you get the idea.
2. You never look “right”. People commented on how big I was until I told them I was having twins, then they commented on how small I was.
3. People are dark without apology. “Oh you’re carrying twins . . . my friends twins were born without heads. Here’s you’re change. Have a nice day”
4. You get tired of ultrasounds. I had over 20 ultrasounds by the end of our 38 1/2 weeks. I stopped even looking at the screen it had become so routine., But at the same time by mid-week I started jonesing for my visual fix. I couldn’t feel secure that they were OK unless a blurry image and technician told me so.
5. People’s standards change. A statement you’ll hear is “36 weeks is full term for twins”. What? Do they develop faster? No. So 36 weeks is not full term for twins. It’s often as good as you can hope for, but 38-40 weeks is full term for a reason and a 36 week baby is not there.
6. The weight gain can be staggering. I put on 30 lbs with the Goose. I put on 30 lbs in the first trimester with the twins. In the end I put on 70 lbs and that’s amazing because by the end I was barely able to eat.
7. A lot of things are done because we just don’t know enough and want to stay on the safe side. Trying to have a low intervention pregnancy with twins is very difficult. The OB will suggest that you do X, if you don’t really want to then you say “what happens if I don’t do X?” In too many cases the OB will say “Then Y can happen. But really, no one doesn’t do X, everyone’s scared of Y so everyone does X” There’s a lot of fear based practices.
8. Everyone will assume that you are finished making babies. Why? if I was pregnant with my third I don’t think anyone would say “oh good and now you can stop” so why when I was pregnant with my second and third did people think this?
9. Many people will pity you and many more will be jelouse. And you’ll feel worthy of both responses because you’ll feel scared and lucky.
10. I knew that it was special to carry twins and that I’d never do it again. I knew that I wanted to cherish it. I couldn’t really get into it though because I was so scared a lot of the time and so very physically uncomfortable all of the time.
Of course, it’s only twins, it’s not like its a set of triplets or quads!