(My name is Ashley and I am a homeschooling Mom to 5 kids aged 6, 4 1/2, 2 1/2 and 14 month old identical twin boys.)
I recently heard of a friend’s twin pregnancy and I was flooded with memories of my own twin pregnancy. 14 months ago I was 75 pounds heavier, full of water, sore back, sore rib, and very obviously pregnant with twins. The twin pregnancy wasn’t always this obvious. I spent the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy blissfully unaware. In hind sight I believe that being unaware had it’s benefits.
I had an early ultrasound at 6 weeks that confirmed one healthy baby. Looking back there were clues that I was carrying two babies but all the symptoms could easily be explained. I was exhausted……..but I had a 1, 3, and 4 year old and was still nursing. I was extremely sick………but I never felt well during pregnancies and also had little ones to be chasing after. I gained 25 lbs in first trimester and looked bigger than previous pregnancies………but I was pregnant for the 4th time and used food as a way to settle my constantly upset stomach.
At 20 weeks I showed up for my mid-point ultrasound excited but a little nervous. I was hoping for a healthy baby. I can still remember the surreal feelings of looking at the ultrasound monitor with two babies and hearing the gasp of the ultrasound tech. My poor husband was left in the waiting room for over an hour wondering what was taking me so long, frantically trying to keep the younger three entertained by one bag of fruit snacks. When they finally allowed him in the room he was speechless. TWINS! The thought had never even crossed our minds. Even my Dr. was shocked and kept wondering if she had missed any clues. I found it ironic that at my 18 week appointment I measured 18 weeks, however at my 22 week appointment, I was measuring 30. Whatever clues my body hadn’t given away up until that point, it made sure to catch up quickly! By 24 weeks I was the same size that I had been at the end of my previous pregnancy.
Here I am at 12 weeks and then 38 weeks.
Finding out about twins opened up a whole new world of worry. Would I be able to carry full term? Would there be health concerns for my babies? For me? How would I managed with 5 kids under 5? The next few months passed in a blur with regular Dr.’s appointments and ultrasounds. The Dr.’s suspected that I was pregnant with fraternal boys so I never gave much thought to conditions that are specific to identical pregnancies. After the birth of the boys we discovered that I did have one placenta and that the boys had developed late stage twin to twin transfusion. Baby A was 6 lbs 8 oz. and pale and sickly looking. Baby B was 8 lbs 2 oz and bright red and swollen. Again, by being unaware, I had been spared the worry of wondering about their outcomes.
Whether or not I went through my pregnancy with worry or peace, the reality is that my twin pregnancy holds a special place in my heart. I got to experience two active, moving babies causing my stomach to appear unlike anything I had ever experienced prior. I got to watch my stomach grow to proportions I hope it never grows to again. Being pregnant with twins is special…. kind of like they are!
What was your experience of being pregnant with twins like? Were you blissfully unaware or perhaps too realistically aware ?