At the beginning of my first pregnancy, I had no idea what I was in store for. Excitement overtook me and all I could think about was the day I’d finally be holding my sweet baby in my arms. But by the second time I saw those two pink lines, I felt like a seasoned pro. I’d already experienced the sickness, cravings, spotting, mood swings, and weight gain, so bring it on! It was nothing I hadn’t already experienced before, or was it?
No matter if you’re on pregnancy #1 or #10, they’re all unique from the others. And let’s face it mamas, do we ever really know what to expect? That answer is definitely “no”, but I do know that a lot of us experience the same things during pregnancy. As a twin mama, I’m here to share some tips based on what I went through, in the hopes that it’ll be informative and helpful to some other expecting mamas of multiples out there.
1. Morning sickness (or all day sickness for some of us) will not necessarily be worse while carrying multiples. I was much sicker with my daughter than I was with my twin boys. And you may not experience any type of sickness at all.
2. You will more than likely show early on. I mean, there are two (or more) humans growing inside of you! Embrace that bump.
3. Your heart is going to start beating very fast around the middle of the first trimester. Your blood volume has more than doubled to nourish multiple babies, and it takes a while for your body to get accustomed to this. Once it does, your heart rate will go back to normal. Just hang in there for those few weeks and take it easy.
4. Being tired takes on a whole new meaning. I never had that second trimester burst of energy with the twins. It’s okay to nap when you can!
5. You’re probably going to be very emotional at times. This too is normal. My emotions where all over the place. One minute I was crying over a cute kitten, the next I was ready to karate chop the next person to ask me a question. You’ll eventually stop feeling this way. But, it may take until after those babies are born.
6. You may have weird cravings. I craved certain scents. I wanted to smell Pine Sol and spearmint all day, every day. Neither of which I wanted to smell again after the babies were born.
7. You’ll gain a significant amount of weight. This is true for any pregnancy, but especially true when carrying multiples. I was only able to carry my boys to 32 weeks, so I only gained 25 pounds. It’s those last few weeks where the weight really comes on. Just eat healthy, drink water, and stay a bit active. You’re bringing two or more new lives into this world, and you need that extra weight!
8. You will swell. And if you’re one of those women that doesn’t, you’re lucky. So don’t be too hard on yourself when you feel like the Goodyear blimp walking around. It’s short lived.
9. Say good-bye to sex. After the six month mark, it gets very uncomfortable and somewhat painful (at least it was for me). You will struggle finding a position to sleep in, much less have sex in. The belly is big and the back aches. Just keeping it real, ladies.
10. You may not feel baby movements very often. This is especially true the further along you get. They are cramped for space in there and won’t have a lot of wiggle room. But it just makes it that much more special when you do feel a kick here, or a jab there. I loved feeling and seeing the boys move. It’s such an amazing thing to experience.
11. Breathing is very difficult in the last trimester. The babies are getting bigger and there is only so many places they can go in your abdomen. Your lung capacity will be compromised. Don’t be alarmed when you start sounding like Darth Vader.
12. It’s not “two for the price of one”. I heard this so many times during my pregnancy. No. Just no. You still have to buy two of just about everything. Double the diapers, two cribs, two nursing pillows, double the bottles, etc. etc.
When it’s all said and done, your arms may be full, but your heart will be too. Every ache, every pain, every bought of sickness, will all be worth it. And honestly, you won’t even think about the hardships when you’re holding those beautiful gifts in your arms. If you’re anything like me, then you may even miss being pregnant. There is something so wonderful about the big belly, and knowing your babies are safe inside of you and with you every step of the way.
written by VHS contributor// Ali Jenkins