Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Twins v. Singleton

I have gotten the following questions several times and wanted to address them here:
  • What's it like carrying twins?
  • How is it different from just one baby?
  • Would you rather have had the twins first?
I know many women carrying multiples will have totally different experiences than I do, but this is how it has been for me.  Carrying twins hasn't been that difficult or that much different from my pregnancy with Olivia.  I haven't had any bleeding, cramping or trips to L&D.  Sure, I'm much bigger this time around but I still feel pretty good.  My stretch marks are getting a little bit longer and my belly button has popped this time around.  It would make sense that there is more movement but the boys have not yet woken me up from sleep with their kicking and squirming and O never did either.

I am a lot more tired with this pregnancy and I can't stand or walk for an extended period of time because my back starts to ache.  With Olivia I worked up to the day I was scheduled for an induction.  This time around I am out at about 35 1/2 weeks (one week from Friday!).  I am taking myself out because it is just too much for me and I want to have some "me" time for at least a few days.  I don't remember having many Braxton Hicks contractions with my first pregnancy but this time around they are more prevalent but not frequent.  There is a lot more that goes into doctor's appointments for a twin pregnancy, much of which I have enjoyed.  Yes, I have to go to a lot more appointments - monthly growth ultrasounds, weekly NST's at the hospital started last week, weekly BBP's at the perinatologist started last week too, and weekly OB appointment will start after this week - but it has been nice to hear heartbeats more often and see the boys moving away on a regular basis.  It can be a lot to keep straight but it has worked out so far.

The first trimester of my twin pregnancy was actually easier than the first with my singleton.  I had no morning sickness with the boys.  The only time I had any sort of issue was if I waited too long to eat or if I ate too much.  Then the nausea would hit me.  But I avoided that like the plague and really felt pretty good.  With Olivia I was nauseated every day almost all day long for about 6 weeks between week 6 1/2 and week 12.  It was not fun.  I walked a lot during the first part of this pregnancy but was very careful of any pain that I had because I remembered how bad it got with O and I've been lucky in that the SPD hasn't really reared its ugly head too much.  The emotional side has been the same as well - the insecurity, self-confidence (or lack thereof because of how gigantic I feel that I am), etc.  I remember it from when I was pregnant (and post-partum) with O so I'm hoping I can deal with it a little bit better this time around.

The hardest part with a twin pregnancy, for me at least, has been the unknowns.  I don't know when they are going to come (of course I didn't with O but I really didn't think that she'd come really early), I don't know if I'm going to be able to attempt a vaginal delivery yet, I don't know how I'm going to take care of TWO babies and a toddler, and on and on and on.

As far as having twins or a single baby first I really can't decide.  Having had Olivia first it really will help in knowing what the hell I am doing with a newborn.  I've had some practice and have more confidence in my abilities to take care of a newborn.  Of course I know that having two is going to be a lot more work but maybe with my experience it'll make it a bit easier.  On the other hand if I had had the twins first I wouldn't have had any idea what I was in for.  This being my second pregnancy I know how difficult it is going to be taking care of one baby, let alone two.  They say ignorance is bliss and I was totally ignorant before Olivia was born.  Not so much this time and it makes me a little bit (okay, a lot) nervous.

At the end of the day it doesn't really matter to me how alike or different the pregnancies were (though I have to say it has been nice that this one has been so "easy") as long as there are two healthy babies born at the end.  My goal is to make it to 36 weeks at a minimum.  That would be January 26.  Of course 38 would be more ideal but I'm going to be interested to see if I still feel that way when 38 weeks actually rolls around.

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