I think I remember you saying that you originally started your blog thinking that it was going to be about raising twins, yes? But I don’t think I’ve ever heard you describe your pregnancy with the twins. You know, how did you find out there were two in there? What were your immediate thoughts/how did that change (if at all)? That kind of thing. If you’re at all interested, I’d love to hear about that!
It is unwise to ask a woman about her pregnancy unless you don’t have anywhere else to be that day.
Okay! I will tell you about the twins, and about that pregnancy, and so forth, and I will try—TRY—not to go on so long that everyone goes off for a drink refill and never manages to make it back.
I found out at a routine appointment, when I was nearly 14 weeks along. The obstetrician couldn’t find a heartbeat, and he said he’d really like to have an ultrasound done. They had an ultrasound machine/technician in-office, so I went to the waiting room and spent 45 minutes trying to think about how VERY NORMAL it could be not to hear a heartbeat at 14 weeks. VERY NORMAL. Even though they’d heard it at 10 weeks with my other pregnancies. NORMAL.
The technician called me in, and she was brusque and unpleasant: she was already overbooked, and I was the third unscheduled patient an OB had sent her that morning, so she was in a hurry and acting crabby. She found the heartbeat almost right away, and I was so relieved. But then she kept taking measurement after measurement after measurement, and I was puzzled because she was only supposed to check for the heartbeat, and I knew she was in a hurry so why was she doing all this extra stuff? Since she was looking anyway, I said, “Is it too early to tell if it’s a boy or a girl?” and she said, “Hang on…hang on…in a minute I’ll have something to tell you…” I couldn’t tell from her tone if she was answering my question or if she had some bad news about the baby. Then she said, “It’s twins.” I started laugh-weeping right away.
I went home and emailed everyone I knew. Then I took Rob to kindergarten and told everyone there. Then I went home and started panicking about needing a minivan. Seriously, that was my PRIMARY CONCERN: the stress of buying a car.
I found the whole pregnancy much more stressful than my first two, but also much more exciting. Everyone had been kind of “Oh, how nice” about the third pregnancy—until I found out it was twins, when everyone hit the ceiling. I don’t think there was even as much fuss about my first pregnancy as there was about the twin pregnancy.
But I was constantly worried that something would go wrong. I felt like I now had three times as much worry: not just worry about “the baby,” but worry about “Baby A” AND “Baby B” AND “the twinness.” I was worried that something would happen to one baby, and I’d lose not just that baby but also the twinness of the babies—and plenty of people told me stories about this happening. I also worried about prematurity.
Oh, and I was soooooo uncomfortable. I was close to full-term size at the beginning of the third trimester (at 28 weeks I measured 36 weeks) and I was so discouraged about how long there was to go. I was so tired I used to need to lie down for awhile after taking a shower. I took a nap with William almost every day while Rob was in kindergarten. By 30 weeks I had to stand sideways at the sink to do the dishes because my tum was too big to reach around, and I found it very difficult to walk even from one end of the mall to the other. I started sleeping semi-upright in a recliner because it hurt too much to lie down. I felt crampy and contractiony every time I walked. The babies hurt me when they moved. My legs swelled up from my hips to my toes; I bought backless slip-on shoes 2 sizes larger than my usual size. My ribs felt cold and painful. I outgrew maternity pants a month before the birth and had to wear men’s drawstring pajama pants. Every evening I couldn’t believe we were only one day closer. It was like the last couple intolerable weeks of pregnancy, but for three months.