After having spoke with other mommies about their pregnancies and deliveries I decided to write about how my #1 Tip for Parents: Do What Works for You applies to pregnancy. Just like with parenting there will be a barrage of information coming at you. Friends, family, books, doctors, doulas, midwives, strangers and others will be telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. (Heck, I could write a whole post on the comments I got from strangers, but I digress.)
At the end of the day, you have to go with what you think works for you. Part of it should come from your gut and part of it should be based on educated research. Even doctors are often making recommendations based on statistics, which is good for them, but you are not a statistic. Even for almost sure things, there is always one person different from the other 99 people, and you might just be that one.
So, I am going to share with you my pregnancy experience. Not so you can do what I did, just so that you can see that life isn’t always like television.
Although my twin pregnancy was relatively straightforward and since it was my second pregnancy I was blasé about it and yet more involved at the same time. I knew relatively what to expect, but at the same time, there were now two babies in there. I was having di/di twins. This means they have their own amniotic sacs and placentas. There is a 75% chance this type of twin is fraternal and mine were, although it was two girls. This is the “safest” type of twin pregnancy because they do not share resources per se, so things like twin to twin transfusion syndrome are not really on the radar.
Ultrasounds: Yikes, I must have had three times the amount I did with Sawyer. I allowed them because they have been shown to be safe and I really did enjoy them 🙂 I loved seeing the babies grow and kick in there, and it was also reassuring to see with my own eyes that they were doing well.
Gestational Diabetes: When I went in for my one hour diabetes test I somehow “flunked” it. What I mean is that my levels were questionable and so they wanted me to come back for the longer test. I had the hour test on Thursday and they called me with the results the following Tuesday. They told me I had to come back in on Thursday for another test. I knew there was nothing wrong with me and I was really annoyed at the fact that they expected me to drop everything and come in. I worked full time and had a toddler. They told me it was then or nothing. So I said nothing! We waited until my appointment the following week to retest since I was going anyway and you guessed it, everything was fine.
Seeing the Perinatologist: I love health care. I went for a regular appointment and was told everything was fine. Then they called me the next week and said I had to see a peri right away. I asked three separate people and no one could tell me why. So again, I waited until my scheduled appointment (only a week away). It turns out the twins had about a 1lb size difference so they were worried. But at the ultrasound that day, they had closed the gap and everything was fine. Glad I didn’t rearrange my life for that one.
Working: My job involved physical labour and a desk component. Everyone around me told me to “take it easy”. Two colleagues of mine also had twins and they both said their twins came early so to be ready (this was a story I heard often). Based on my research and my doctors advice I did agree that after 24 weeks I needed to slow down since the human body wasn’t really designed to carry two. But I enjoyed my job and told everyone that I was going to work until I decided I was ready. Yes, it was tough. Yes, I exchanged my chair for a yoga ball because of the pressure. Yes, I did stop carrying things over 20lbs and exchanged my shoes for…yikes.. crocs! However, once the bad weather hit and I was the size of a house I knew I’d had enough so at 35 weeks I packed my bag and settled into life at home with Sawyer. It was almost Christmas by then anyways and I wanted the time off to be with family (I normally work holidays).
Having A C Section: This was my biggest battle. Of course, I want what’s best for my babies so if I went into labour and June wasn’t head down of course I would consent. But you see, I was 37 weeks on Christmas day and 38 weeks on New Year’s day so I have a feeling they really wanted to book me for a scheduled c section rather than have me go into labour and interrupt their holidays if the babies were breech. I understand where they are coming from, but this is my body and these are my babies. I refused.
All of the research I had done said that second babies don’t turn as early as the firsts do, and sometimes even the act of going into labour could turn them so I wasn’t worried. Okay, that’s a lie. I was petrified of the surgery but I knew it was too soon to tell. Since I had already had a 9lb 5oz baby I figured (rightly so) delivering smaller twins would be easier (it was, except for my wonky tailbone that healed curved after Sawyer broke it on his way out). I had read new research that shows babies ingest helpful gut bacteria on their passage through the birth canal that helps their digestion and makes them less prone to weight gain later in life. It also squeezes the fluids out of their lungs helping prevent breathing complications. Also, I had read that it interferes with nursing and since I had my heart set on nursing twins, I didn’t want to make it any harder than it all ready was. Plus, I would have two newborns and a toddler to care for. How could I do that when I was supposed to heal and not do heavy lifting? Nope. Not unless it was necessary.
Sure enough, sometime between 36.5 and 38 weeks June turned head down so when they did my 38 week ultrasound we were good to go! See And the Verdict is…
Induction: Where I live they don’t let twin pregnancies go past 39 weeks due to an increase in infant mortality. I really didn’t want to be induced since I thought they were doing just fine in there, and I have read studies that show that every week counts later in life (mind you the results were based on singleton pregnancies). I researched it and wanted to do what was best for the girls. Based on the last two ultrasounds their growth had almost stopped. That combined with the fact I was worried June might turn again led me to say yes. I didn’t think they would necessarily benefit from more time in there so they were born at 38 weeks and four days weighing a decent 7.5lbs and 6lbs.
Looking back on it now, it is all just a blur. When you are pregnant, especially wit the first, it feels like forever. Every event seems so big. But after you realize it was just the very beginning and not so big after all. I wish the best of luck to any pregnant mothers out there and remember, do what works for you!