Now it Makes Sense - Twin Pregnancy Updates
I was showing really early
Third babies show early everyone says. I started to show a belly before I was ready to tell anyone I was pregnant. Now it makes sense. Even though my babies were the size of a grain a salt, the fact that there were two of them means two growing placentas, and and even greater increase in water and blood volume. Thus showing earlier that in previous pregnancies makes sense.
I can’t get enough to drink.
I am constantly thirsty, and I have to actively work towards getting enough fluids. Drinking a ton of liquids was one of few things that helped with first trimester nausea. Once nausea had subsided, neglecting to drink enough is usually enough for it to come creeping back. The biggest trouble with staying hydrated is not running to the bathroom every 30 minutes. Especially during the night. My goal is to get in as much liquids as possible before 6:00 p.m. so there is still hope of sleeping through most of the night without getting up to pee!
I need more protein.
Whey protein, lean meat and especially red meat seems to help with all sorts of pregnancy symptoms. I am used to going light on breakfast, sometimes just a coffee or a few bites of toast, but it has been helpful to front-load my day with some protein as well as carbs. Having grass-fed beef jerky on hand is always helpful in getting quality calories when I am struggling in between meals. Whey protein shakes are my go-to on workout days.
Food intake in general is a struggle. I have gained about 20 lbs., but the babies only weight a little over 1 lb each. It’s important in twin pregnancy to put on as much weight as you can early, because the babies take up so much room, that hunger is not an accurate measure for how much the babies actually need later in pregnancy. Eating whole foods, and less junk, remains the goal. High calorie dairy is my favorite indulgence. I have been adding cream, and butter to regular dishes, drinks and shakes. Packing snacks of meat and nuts for when I am not at home, and starting the day with carbs and protein (and a little coffee).
Changing My Workouts
Workouts have changed pretty significantly since the stroke. It’s more the stroke doctors, than the ob docs/midwives who are interested in restricting my exercise routine. The stroke doctors are insisting that I err on the side of caution because I there is no explanation behind why I suffered a stroke. With no explanation, there is no way to evaluate risk. Am I at risk when I am olympic lifting? Maybe. Am I at risk when I am doing nothing? Possibly. Using the restroom? Also possible. The only thing the doctors agree on is that being completely sedentary would put me at an increased risk. So I should exercise? Yes, brisk walks are good, just not what I was doing before, just listen to my body. My doctors are not suspecting that my exercise routine caused the stroke, but as someone who is pregnant with twins, I have reason to be overly cautious.
It’s not like I wasn’t listening to my body before. My brain started to bleed in the midst of exercise, so I stopped what I was doing and went to the hospital. But nothing in my scans was telling. I had no risk factors for stroke, and I am still not demonstrating any of those risk factors (high blood pressure, blood clots, preeclampsia). So I am still trying to exercise 3-4 times per week. Yoga has been a huge help in keeping me active and relieving tight muscles and back pain. I strength train a few times per week, incorporating a few olympic variations, upper body work, and squats. But my weights are moderate at best, and that’s okay.
Premature labor is more common with twins, and I want to do everything I can carry the babies to term. I never worried about going into labor early in my previous pregnancies. My sons were both born 10 days after their due date, each weighing 8 lbs. I was wishing my cervix would start to dilate early, but nothing seemed to induce labor.
Now premature labor is something I think about constantly. Babies born early usually have to spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or special care nursery. Provided I can carry these babies to term, they will be less likely to develop a multitude of issues related to early delivery. Babies born at 25 weeks have a 50-80% survival rate. By 27-29 weeks the survival rate increases to 90%. Every day, and every week, is one step closer to full term. I never worried about these things before. Now I know these things.
I am adjusting
Twin pregnancy is harder on the body than a singleton pregnancy. I am measuring 29 weeks currently but I am only 25. This discrepancy means it feels like I am further along than I am because the bump is more sizable and heavier than if there was just one baby.
The little things are harder than I remember. In my last blog I wrote about second trimester bliss: feeling good, but not so big yet to be uncomfortable. I still feel good, and I am fortunate to be free of nausea capable of almost all the things I could do pre-pregnancy. But the second trimester bliss is short lived. I am measuring similar to the beginning of my third trimester, and I have a long way to go.
The best question I get to answer:
Random person at least once per day: Are you having a boy are a girl?
Me: I am having both.