Everyone always asks, "how do you feel?" And it's kind of hard for me to put a true answer into words. My status is constantly changing for one. Like yesterday for example, my status wasn't good.
I ended up in the hospital with some intense and frequent contractions that showed up after we returned from a road trip to Cleveland. My philosophy this pregnancy has been, "the more I do, the stronger I'll be," which is a real backwards motto when it comes to carrying twins (I learned yesterday). I sat with monitors on my belly for six hours while I waited for a test to come back telling me whether a labor in the next two weeks would be likely.
It was incredibly scary. I'm only 27 weeks and completely unprepared to deliver two babies. Thankfully it ended up being dehydration from the weekend and that test came back negative. Turns out eighteen hours of travel in a car, dancing while carrying a heavy two year old at a wedding, not sleeping well, and not drinking so we don't have to stop and pee, isn't the greatest weekend plan for a person with two babies in her belly.
I'm really thankful for that wake up call though. I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself to "DO MORE" in preparation for a life with four children and it's not healthy. I don't sleep well. Naps are impossible. And I guess a lot of this is the result of having two little kids that need me 24/7.
But guess what? The greatest thing happened last night. When I returned from the hospital, my mom had just flown in from Minnesota. She had planned to come on that date a while ago and she'll be here for the winter (with my dad of course). So she is my angel. They told me to rest and now I have a way to do just that. (Thank you Grandma!)
Hopefully this is just a blip in the road and these twins stay put for another eight or more weeks. Evy and Levi were in there for around 38 weeks and I'd love to get to around 36 with the boys.
Speaking of my last pregnancies, I wanted to share some of the differences I've felt this time around from when I had the singletons:
- Hunger Levels - Not so much anymore, but in the beginning my hunger was extreme. I would wake up after having a huge meal at dinner, and need to eat what seemed like another meal at midnight. I ended up keeping a granola bar next to bed for when the babies started growling.
- Movement - I always assumed the kicks and punches from twins would be much more pronounced than with only one baby. I haven't found that to be so. BUT when one of them makes a big move, it can take my breath away. One time I was driving and almost had to pull over when it seemed like a baby was flipping. A whole side of my stomach stretched out about 5 inches beyond where it's already stretched. (That's just an amazing thing to feel and witness by the way).
- Reactions - I wish I could put together a video montage of all the different reactions I've gotten to my news. Most people get wide-eyed at the mention of twins, but then I tell them I have two more under the age of four and they don't know what to say. The ones that still let words come out, even in their shock, provide some funny moments to think back on. Our neighbor in our old apartment, a sweet elderly lady that always chatted with my kids, stopped me one day and asked, "are you expecting again?" To which I responded with the twin news. She got a stone-cold sober face and said "oh no" while shaking her head and walking away. Nothing more was said...she just kept walking and shaking her head. I don't know if that was a remark on us populating the world again, or if she just couldn't believe my situation. Either way, it was one of my favorites.
- Bump Size - I am truly double the size I was with one. Our new neighbor across the street is due in two weeks (I'm due in late December). I am bigger than she is. Seriously, how huge will I get??
And because I have so many more weeks to go (praying they stay in there!), I thought I'd post my "Pregnancy Survival Kit". These items are essentials to me during this bumpy road...
- Vitamins - I have always been a fan of Rainbow Light's Prenatal One. It's a plant based vitamin and one of the only multis I've found with vitamin K included. Vitamin K is great for blood clotting issues. I also take a prenatal DHA, which is pretty much a fish oil supplement tailored toward pregnant women. It supposedly helps nourish the babies' brain growth. I don't go a day without it. Lastly, because of twins, the doctor told me I should be taking an iron pill. I guess lots of twin mommies become anemic because of the extra nutrients directed to the baby.
- Palmer's Oil - I didn't use this stuff in my last go rounds but I wish I would have. When I told a fellow mom I was concerned about stretching with two, she said I needed Palmer's. She swore by it and knew of lots of other mommies (including twin moms) who never saw a mark after using this stuff. I'm pretty skeptical that anything could have saved me or will save me from stretch marks, but it does take the itching away which I am thankful for.
- Facial Masks - One of my most embarrassing pregnancy symptoms is melasma, a discoloration of the pigmentation in my skin. And where does it occur most? Conveniently on the least flattering place a woman could choose - my upper lip. If I don't have concealer on, I look like Ron Burgundy. So yeah, I probably should have put concealer and sunscreen (really the only thing to prevent melasma) on this list, but in my world those are just givens. Facial masks are an essential item because they not only provide a sense of pampering oneself, but they also hydrate my dehydrated skin. I drink water all day long, but I can tell these boys are taking all the hydration they can get. A friend who I hope starts a skin care blog soon, told me about these Too Cool for School masks that you can buy on Amazon. They're super inexpensive and less of a hassle than going to get a facial. I try to apply once a week but it ends up being about every two.
- Clif Bars - Everyday, if all goes well, I get about a 1 to 1.5 hour chunk of time when the kids are either playing quietly by themselves or napping. During this time, my first priority is to sit at my computer with a Clif Bar (preferably the Nut Butter filled...they are so delicious) and a gingerale. It's a little treat to myself and I look forward to it from the minute I get up.
- My tablet - As I've mentioned before on this blog, insomnia is my worst pregnancy nemesis. Some nights I can be up until 3 or 4 in the morning just dreaming of the day my doctor writes a prescription with the word AMBIEN on it. Those nights I settle in with my tablet and read away. I'm a huge fan of fiction. I love stories that bring me into someone's life from a different time and place. My most recent "good read" was The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. If you're looking for something that makes you see a different side of humanity, check it out. I loved it.
- Compression stockings - Many of you know my love/hate relationship with these. Let me tell you, a North Carolina summer is not ideal for stocking fashion. My inferno legs are ablaze most of the time, but the alternative is much worse. My poor legs throb without these so they are my closest friends during the 9 month stretch. I get the medical grade quality socks that give lots of pressure like these bad boys.
- Pillows, Pillows, Pillows! - I have the hook shaped one, the wedge one (thank you Beth, who recently loaned this to me!), and lots of regular ones surrounding me at night. Poor Mark feels like he's getting pillowed right out of his own bed. I highly recommend the Snoogle from Leachco. I didn't get one of these until this pregnancy and I wish I could visit my old self and gift me one. I know now, they are completely essential.
So, what's in your Pregnancy Survival Kit? What am I missing? I have some weeks to go, so I'd love suggestions!