I’m feeling better now that I’ve gotten through the first semester and grades are posted, but this last week has been stressful, and it’s been much aggravated by the fact that I’m going through a twin pregnancy instead of a regular one.
Before I begin, let me preface this by saying that I know I am very lucky. So far both of my babies are healthy. And assuming they make it to term healthy, I will be incredibly lucky to have two babies. I KNOW this. But it doesn’t make getting through the pregnancy any easier.
This is probably going to sound really stupid to anyone who hasn’t been pregnant with twins, and maybe it will still sound stupid if you have, but I’m just really frustrated by how much more difficult it is with two than with one. I just feel like I would have been really GOOD at being pregnant with only one baby. During my first trimester, before I knew I was having twins, things went great. I was running three or four days a week and I was lifting two or three. I didn’t gain much weight, and no one had any idea that we were pregnant. The only real symptom I had was feeling more tired than usual. The second trimester wasn’t too bad either. I started showing a lot sooner and growing a lot faster than a woman with a singleton pregnancy, but other than that, at least for the first half, there weren’t any huge differences. But then I had to stop doing a lot of the things I had always assumed I would be able to do. My doctor strongly recommended not running, not lifting, and it wasn’t long before I lost the energy and motivation I need to keep up those activities anyway.
Now, I’m about the size I would be if I was full term and pregnant with only one baby. I don’t have any stretch marks yet, and I’m really only moderately uncomfortable. If I was at the end of my pregnancy, I’d feel like overall things had gone really well. Unfortunately I still have 8-10 weeks left to go, and I know it’s only going to get worse. I’m not used to needing to sleep this much. I just had to buy two more pairs of larger maternity pants. My coat won’t zip up anymore. My stomach and back hurt a lot of the time. And as I gain the remaining 15-25 pounds expected (and recommended) for a twin pregnancy, I just don’t know where all of that weight is going to go. It’s hard to imagine my stomach sticking out even farther, or for it to become even more difficult to bend over. And I really can’t imagine becoming any more tired.
In addition to the complications I’m anticipating throughout the rest of my pregnancy, there are the complications of the upcoming delivery. My mother delivered three babies vaginally, and I always expected that I would deliver my children vaginally as well. While I wasn’t 100% committed to it, before knowing I was having twins, I had hoped to have an unmedicated childbirth. More than 50% of twins are delivered by cesarian-section. It all depends on how they are positioned when you either go into labor or when you reach 38 weeks completed gestation. If I am able to deliver the babies vaginally, my OB has told me that I basically have to have an epidural. I’ll have to deliver in the Operating Room, which is billed by the minute, and my mother won’t be able to be in the room with me (like I had hoped she would) because I’m only allowed to have one support person in the room with me.
The other frustration I’m dealing with because of my twin pregnancy is the possiblity of going into pre-term labor. When I first found out I was my pregnant and that my due date was April 23, I thought we had timed it pretty well. I figured I’d be able to work through the end of third quarter (April 15). And since first babies frequently come later, that I’d possibly be able to work longer than that. That would mean only missing the last 8 weeks of the school year, and I would have plenty of sick leave to cover that.
Once I found out that I was having twins, this plan had to be re-evaluated. My new goal is to be able to work until spring break, which is April 1. But as my doctor informed me at my last appointment, that is truly best-case scenario. With a twin pregnancy, there is a much higher likelihood of needing bed rest, or of going into labor early. If this happens, I’ll obviously need to begin maternity leave earlier, and I won’t have enough sick leave to finish the school year. Obviously this will be the least of my concerns if the babies are born too early, but right now it’s weighing on me heavily.
I know that things don’t always work out how you plan for them. That’s life. But knowing that doesn’t make it any easier when something comes up that dramatically changes how you thought things were going to be.