Singleton vs Multiple Pregnancy

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In many ways my twin pregnancy was easier than my singleton pregnancy. I had more experience with pregnancy, so I had some clear ideas about how I wanted this pregnancy to be.

First, I chose to be part of midwife-based care program from the beginning.  The midwives focused on issues like nutrition, emotional wellbeing, and staying active during pregnancy. They were also prepared to look at “alternative” therapies to help with pregnancy like nutrition, supplements, acupuncture, chiropractic care, massage therapy, yoga, and other exercises, which gave me a good foundation for making healthy decision even after my care was transferred to a doctor when we found out about the twins.

Second, based on the benefits in my first pregnancy, I started going for pregnancy massage regularly throughout my pregnancy. It helped with the aches and pains of pregnancy, and with the swelling in my hands and feet. My massage therapist was also able to provide lots of advice and information because of her training in pregnancy massage and as a doula.

Third, I started taking medication for nausea as soon as it became a problem. I didn’t wait until I felt so horrible I couldn’t eat and I started losing weight like in my first pregnancy. I continued to take medication until the day before my c-section.  The nausea improved significantly through my pregnancy, but it persisted through the whole pregnancy.

Fourth, when we found out we were expecting twins, we joined a multiple prenatal class.  It provided some helpful information, but most importantly we got a copy of Dr. Barbara Gore’s book When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads. The focus on the importance of nutrition and weight gain was the most helpful part. I also joined an online chat group for moms of multiples, and borrowed a lot library books. Having information and answers to my questions helped me to feel in control and prepared to make decisions.

In other ways, my twin pregnancy was harder than my singleton pregnancy. From the beginning, I felt tired all the time.  Part of that was because I had an active toddler to chase around, but part of it was growing two babies. Fortunately my schedule as a grad student was quite flexible. I called my routine “self-imposed bedrest” and gave myself permission to only do what I felt I could handle. In a typical day, I would get my son up, fed and off to the dayhome.  I’d come home and nap for 1-2 hours.  I’d get up and work for a couple of hours and have lunch.  In the afternoon, I’d have another nap before picking up my son. I’d get supper ready and clean up.  In the evenings, I didn’t do much except sit on the couch, and eat – I was constantly hungry.

Throughout my pregnancy, I had more doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds, blood tests, and hospital visits.  These appointments were both physical tiring and time consuming, but I quickly learned to bring my book, my water bottle and a snack. I learned to only plan one activity per day, especially if it involved travelling anywhere because I knew I’d be exhausted by the end of it.

The last 6 weeks (from about 32 weeks) the point where my twin pregnancy really started to differ from my first pregnancy. I was big and awkward. It was hard to get motivated to do anything, and it was challenging even to just leave the house. It was uncomfortable to wear my shoes or boots. My balance wasn’t great and it was icy, so I often stayed home for days in a row. I started getting light-headed, so we decided I shouldn’t be driving alone, and eventually walking any distance got to be too hard.  I ended up borrowing a wheelchair from the Red Cross so I could go with my son for his picture with Santa and to do some Christmas shopping. Even doing things in the house was challenging, so I would plan my day with the fewest trips up and down the stairs.

And, the end of my pregnancy was very different. Instead of a mostly natural, midwife-assisted delivery at 41 weeks, I had a scheduled c-section at 37+ weeks.  And, I got to bring home two little girls, instead of one little boy.

How was your multiple pregnancy different from your other pregnancies?

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9 thoughts on “Singleton vs Multiple Pregnancy”

  1. I don’t have a second pregnancy to compare my twin pregnancy to, but I will second that bit about getting prenatal massages. I only had two during my pregnancy, and I wish I’d had more. However, I did have two or three more after my twins were born, and that was fantastic too. After spending 10 weeks on bed rest, my body was so achy and weak. Massages were great for lessening the aches and helped to get me mobile again.
    .-= reanbean´s last blog ..Potty Training: 5 Weeks Later =-.

  2. I was lucky that with both pregnancies I didn’t have any serious complications. So in that way, they were similar!

    I was actually a lot more tired during the 1st tri with my singleton! I think I had just gotten used to less sleep with my toddler. However, I was SO MUCH SICKER with my twin pg and also went on meds for that. Thank God for medication.

    I feel like knew a lot more about what I was in for, and how to manage my aches and pains and pregnancy worries, so in that way it was good to have my singleton first. I was actually in more pain the first time — the second I was already all stretched out I think. I did find I had to sit down and do less with my twin pg, though, throughout the pregnancy.

    I was hoping for midwife care too but transfered to perinatologists after finding out it was ID twins. We had some TTTS scares so we were monitored heavily. That was different, but I was used to being in a medical setting so not too bad. Helped ease my worries!

    I was on modified bedrest for a few weeks with my twins, but then they stuck around just like my singleton and had to be induced! This time (with the twins) I was able to labor standing up, though, and it went MUCH faster. I was able to manage the pain longer without meds. And the pushing stage was so much faster too! A twin hospital birth, even a vaginal one, is still quite a production, so that was different but I didn’t mind it.

    I feel really lucky, actually, to have had experience with pregnancy, birth and parenting before having the challenge of twins. I think I was so much more prepared!
    .-= Kristin from Intrepid Murmurings´s last blog ..Juggling =-.

  3. In the beginning, my twin pregnancy was almost exactly like my singleton pregnancy. I guess that is why we didn’t discover that I was carrying twins until the sixth month! I was bigger and more tired but nearly everyone chalked that up to it being a second pregnancy and having a 2 year old at home.

    The end of the twin pregnancy was quite similar too. Only instead of delivering one child in a birthing center at 40 weeks and 4 days, I delivered my twins at home at 39 weeks and 4 days. I had three more midwives there but in the end, it was exactly the birth I had hoped for when I thought I was cooking just one baby.
    .-= Samantha´s last blog ..Compliments? =-.

  4. I am the other way around – twins first and now 19 weeks along with a singleton. So far, this pregnancy has been much easier. Even chasing after two 15 month olds. I have way more energy than I did at any point with my twins and, now that MS is over and I’m in the second trimester, no real discomfort. I hope it stays this way for awhile because I’m really enjoying it!
    .-= Nicole´s last blog ..More on Nap Transition =-.

  5. Don’t hate me for this but my twin pregnancy was WAY easier than with my singleton pregnancy even to the very end. No morning sickness, no extreme fatigue, I gained about as much weight as I did with my first and I felt great up until the day I delivered at just shy of 40 weeks. I ended up being induced and had a vaginal delivery that was also way easier than with my first. Throughout my pregnancy I read everything I could get my hands on about multiple pregnancies and was throughly prepared for bed rest, pre term labor, back pain etc none of which ever happened. If only caring for twin newborns would have been as easy as caring for a singleton newborn!
    .-= Cristal´s last blog ..Hoping not to eat these words later… =-.

  6. My twin pregnancy was only different in these ways: I got bigger much quicker and was alot more tired; I delivered sooner (at 35 1/2 weeks, vaginal delivery); and it has been HELL to lose the weight afterwards! (see other posts about this!) Whereas after my singleton pregnancy I was back in shape in no time. Sigh.

  7. Oh no, this is scary to read about twin pregnancies being easier than singletons! We have 20 mo old girls and would love to try for one more in a couple years. I’d love to hear more about people’s experiences with adding another when twins were their first!

  8. My singleton was first and I had a lot more morning sickness with him. Also I couldn’t eat much at all the first trimester. I got pregnant with the twins when my son was 3 months old so it’s hard to say how much of a role he played in my twin pregnancy. With the twins, I was so much more hungry, never sick, tired but in a different way than my singleton, and popped very quickly (initially thought it was just because I had been pregnant so recently). I did go on bed rest at 23 weeks with the twins vs 32 weeks with my singleton, so I made sure I got lots of rest (I could sleep all day and still go to bed and sleep the night through). I was officially off strict bed rest at 35 weeks and was so tired by then, I still didn’t do much. I delivered my twins at 35 weeks 4 days vs 38 weeks with my son.
    .-= Amy´s last blog .. =-.

  9. I need help I currently have twins and just found out I’m 4 weeks pregnant. I really need to know details on how it may differ for me if now it’s a singleton pregnancy. With my twins I had no pregnancy symptoms at all other then heart burn and delivered via c-section 10 day prior to what would have been my 40 week due date I had no complications but had several prenatal visit. I really want or need to know how different it may be with singleton I’m already experiencing symptoms this time around such as dizzy, nausa, headache, backspin, mad tired, irritable as hell, but want besides all tht I want to know how many prenatal visit I will have oppose to the tons I had while pregnant with twins. Thanx to all in advance

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