I began researching books and the internet to find out what it would all be like – during the pregnancy and after they arrived. Some of the tips helped, some didn’t apply to me and some just plain scared me. Below is what I have found helpful, as I round the corner with the end of this pregnancy in sight:
When I found out that I was expecting twins, I have to admit, it came as a huge shock. Contrary to what seemed appropriate, my initial reaction was to cry. And they were not 100% tears of joy – there was fear, concern, shock and dismay all mixed in there.
1. Be okay with not feeling 100% okay with the news. It’s completely natural. It’s a very surprising and shocking piece of news for some parents. I experienced a good month of shock and dismay – but as I slowly began to work through it, I realized we’d be okay. We’d make it work and it was a blessing.
2. Be prepared to look full term early on. By the time I was 28 weeks, I was measuring the same as I did when I was 2 weeks late with my son a few years earlier. Friends and family would straight up tell me I was huge (thanks so much!) and strangers would ask me if I was due … like, yesterday.
3. As with any pregnancy, but especially a twin pregnancy, be prepared to purchase a few more maternity pieces in the end. Wait to see how large you get and anticipate needing an extra pair of pants, some shirts for the last month or so. As it happened with me, I was in all Mediums – and they fit everywhere but in the belly. So, I’ve had to ‘graduate’ up to a large just to cover the belly, even though that size looks big everywhere else!
4. Moisturize that belly! With the growth of the belly, be sure to get a good moisturizing oil or balm made specifically for this purpose. I used Bio-Oil, but there are several others out there at varying price points. The goal, get a good regiment going of applying the oil to your belly, sides and even back to help the skin stay moisturized. Dry skin will itch and be more prone to the marks.
5. Eat Small Meals. I know this is a tip for all pregnant women, but with twins inside this belly, there is no room. I found myself feeling hungry and would then eat a big meal. Big mistake. You’re setting yourself up for some extreme discomfort. I’ve now learned to break apart my meals – i.e. breakfast – fruit at 7am, oatmeal at 8:30, etc.
6. Consider a good pregnancy support band. I had no need for one of these with my small little ‘basketball’ belly when I was pregnant with my son. But now, I feel like I’m carrying around a cannonball and the pressure is weighing heavily on my legs, pelvis and back. A good support band can help redistribute that weight and take some of the strain away.
7. Get a wedge pillow. Or any other type of support pillow that makes you comfortable for sitting or sleeping. The reason I suggest a wedge pillow is strictly for the belly. My belly is so long, rather than wide and it needs it’s own pillow to support it. A wedge shaped pillow has been a lifesaver at night. I use the body pillow to lay along my back and then pull between my knees (a huge complicated mess that leaves my husband a few feet to sleep within). Bottom line, find something that works for you……
8. Speaking of sleep – take naps! Nighttime sleep can get pretty restless, so nap during the day (if possible). Even a short snooze after dinner can help you catch up. By my 6th month, I was unable to sleep through the night. The constant up and down to use the bathroom and discomfort really took away from sleep.
9. Weight Guidelines. Don’t get too caught up in your weight gain. There are two babies- so your gain will vary greatly from any past single pregnancies or if this is a first, different than what many magazines or books say.
10. Get Support: Look into a Twins Parent or Mom of Multiple Group in your area. I found two in my area that plan meetups and have new moms/big sister programs to offer support. They plan events for families and just have a really great network. Your local hospital might be able to direct you to any local organizations – or contact the National Organization of Mothers of Multiples. Many of the groups will let you attend some events before the twins come. I was able to attend a few “new moms” meetings before to help me get to know some moms and hear a little about what they’re going through in the first few months! I know this will be a great resource for me after delivery, too!