Week 33: For Father’s Day (Sunday, June 18th) Travis spent the entire day shopping for the last few baby items we need for the twins. We went to Buy Buy Baby to get our 10% discount off of registry items and bought the big Uppababy Vista double stroller, plus a new Clek Foonf car seat, a baby carrier, and a few other necessities. We also went to the Subaru dealership to look at buying a car. We haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but are planning to get an Outback and just cram three car seats in the back seat. It is possible. We measured. The new car seat we bought is Canadian and supposed to be the thinnest available. I am a little worried about needing more car space, but we also have to worry about fitting the car in our tiny Brooklyn driveway and garage, and driving it all over the crowded city. It is stressful.
I am giant. My hands and feet are nearly always swollen now, and I really think my face and legs are, too… but maybe that is just an excuse for looking so bloated. I am still gaining weight and have well surpassed my previous pregnancy max. I know it is totally expected, but it is still hard. The babies could still gain 3 lbs each before they are born! And that is just the babies. I will still probably only gain 40-45 lbs for the whole pregnancy, which really isn’t bad. I am at about 33 lbs gained now (Tuesday, June 20th) but gaining two pounds per week. It all depends on when I deliver…
This is probably TMI, but my milk (colostrum) is coming in. I also have a very, very slight “linea nigra,” the dark line that runs down a pregnant belly. I didn’t get one at all with Ken’s pregnancy, so I guess that the extra hormones from carrying two babies is affecting everything. I also feel like any dark spots on my skin are a lot worse, and I am collecting new ones. I think I have some on my face that would count as chloasma. Sensitive skin and dark spots are all common for pregnancy, but it is new for me. I hope it all fades after I deliver…
I’ll officially be 33 weeks pregnant with twins tomorrow, Saturday, June 24th. Feeling really good to have made it this far and still be going (somewhat) strong. But it is difficult to get a photo that accurately captures how bonkers my belly has gotten… it is huge! And it sticks straight out, which I guess says something good about my ab strength hanging in there? Maybe. Even my roomiest regular t-shirts are no longer up to the task of covering it! And even some of my maternity clothes are getting too small. I am definitely waddling now. My appetite is pretty robust. And the swelling in my hands and feet is really bad some days. But it is feeling much better today (I can make a fist!) and Kenneth and I are both about to lay down for our afternoon naps… so all is good!
Week 34: All pregnancy all the time over here! I had an ultrasound and doctor appointment today, Monday, June 26th. The twins look great, head down and big! 5 pounds each! Eek. I have 10 pounds of baby humans inside my body. So bizarre. I am truly huge. My photos don’t accurately show how giant my belly has gotten. It literally shocks people. I’m feeling fine, but mobility is getting harder and harder. And the swelling in my hands and feet can be pretty bad. I don’t like it. Oh, and my weight is spiking. And I think I still have at least three more weeks to go… these babies seem pretty comfortable. Oh well, all I can do is embrace it.
If/when we ever leave NYC, I think that my experiences of being pregnant in the city will be some of my most enduring memories. Getting myself to midtown for all my appointments, walking/waddling the hot (or freezing) city streets between doctor offices, talking to all sorts of strangers who have something to say about my belly. Subways, buses, taxi services. It is not easy and definitely not how I originally pictured pregnancy, but it has been a great adventure!
You won’t like hearing this, but I find myself thinking about dying during childbirth. I know that I won’t — I am healthy, the pregnancy has been optimal, I have top tier doctors and am delivering at an excellent hospital — but I guess when your body feels so uncomfortable and so out of your control, it is less of a mental leap to consider the possibility that it could actually fail you. I’m not dwelling on it, I just feel like it would be dishonest to not mention it at all. Pregnancy is not a sickness or disease, but it is very demanding on a woman’s body. I am not going to get too political here, but it is hard for me to handle that so many in our current government are so dismissive and disrespectful when it comes to women’s health. If we as a society do not value healthy, empowered women (and in turn, healthy babies) what do we value?
On a more positive note, Travis has been an incredible husband and father throughout the final stretch of this pregnancy. A lot of extra responsibility has fallen on him since I have not been able to keep up with as much of the chores, cooking, and Kenneth wrangling as I usually do. Travis has been cooking breakfast and dinner most days, and he puts Ken to bed every night. He has also been helping me finish setting up the house, despite the fact that he doesn’t find hanging framed photos and baby decorations as critically imperative as I do at this point.
On Friday, June 30th, we finally got our new KING SIZE bed delivered and we went and picked up our brand new Subaru Outback! Buying a car is terrible — everyone lies! — but it feels good to have 100% access to a car now that the babies could come at any time. A car that can fit three car seats in the back and also fit in our tiny Brooklyn garage!
Week 35: Practice contractions have definitely picked up and some of them have been pretty intense. It is hard to know whether these two babies are going to come tomorrow or wait another whole month! I still feel that they will come between 36 and 38 weeks… which is soon!
On Monday, July 3rd, I had a biophysical profile ultrasound. I will have one every week from here on out because of my “advanced maternal age” and the fact that I am carrying twins. They check to make sure both babies’ hearts are beating, that they are moving, and that they are practicing their breathing moves. Both babies passed the test this week (despite being a little sleepy) and the ultrasound tech said that they have a lot of hair! There is an old pregnancy myth that says the more heartburn you have, the more hair the baby will have. Apparently it actually has some scientific credibility! I certainly have had plenty of heartburn!
I’ve officially gained 40 pounds, which is what I had hoped to gain for the entire pregnancy. If the babies hang on for another month, who knows how much I will have gained. Ugh. I am trying not to be dramatic or waste time worrying too much about my looks, but man, this pregnancy surpassed my previous singleton pregnancy weeks ago in terms of how much it has destroyed my body and how uncomfortable it is. At 30 weeks, I thought everything would be ok and manageable. Now, my body feels completely out of control and beyond the realm of total recovery. The stretch marks are really getting bad and are all over my stomach. The pressure on my pelvic floor is scary. The swelling in my hands and feet (and numbness) is so bad that I can no longer wear any of my shoes! Or make fists! And the weight gain just feels so daunting and horrible. I know that I will (mostly) recover eventually… but there is a lot of trauma, work, blood, sweat, and tears in between then and now. Oof. It feels overwhelming.
Today (Thursday, July 6th) is my very last day taking care of Kenneth on my own. After this, either Travis will be working from home or we will have family in town to help. I do need it and I am so grateful to my family for coming to my rescue. I really can’t get on the floor with him, lift him much, or go up and down the stairs endlessly, but it makes me a little sad. Ken and I have done everything together since he was born. I have taken care of him almost exclusively and I hate that his care has suffered because of this pregnancy. It also breaks my heart that it won’t just be me and him anymore. I know that he will enjoy having siblings and that I can’t just spoil him forever, but he will always be my first baby. I love him so much and am worried about changing his life so drastically.
As I get closer to the end of week 35, things just keep getting harder and harder. This is definitely the worst my body has ever felt, especially for an extended period of time. I have a lot of pain (like in my pubic bone and hips), heartburn, and discomfort, and it is just really hard to move around and get sleep. I still have better days and worse days, and I can generally get some stuff done in the morning, but by evening I am a mess. I know I only have a few weeks left, so I am trying to stay positive and just rest as much as possible… but it still feels completely bonkers that women have gone through all of this for each and every human who has ever existed. Thank you, Mom.
Week 36: My belly seems to have dropped down. It sort of slopes toward the ground instead of sticking straight out. I have more room for my lungs, but a ton of pressure on my pelvic floor. This should be a good sign that the babies will be coming soon, but it is no guarantee of when. I am super uncomfortable at night and can barely move around. It is getting painful. I don’t really sleep for more than an hour at a time. And my weight keeps rising (I’ve gained 45 pounds) but at this point I am just trying to survive, so I barely have the energy to worry about it anymore. My belly is just all stretch marks now and the swelling in my hands and feet never relents. I have basically just gotten used to having numb, tingly hands, but they do make me more clumsy. (I have a super sore left thumb related to the swelling, which is pretty annoying.)
The good news: On Monday, July 10th, I had another biophysical profile ultrasound and the babies look good: moving, hearts beating, practicing breathing, with good fluid levels. And on Tuesday, my mom arrived to help out with Ken for the week – yay for Grandma! It has been going well, but I have barely left the house except for doctor appointments.
On Thursday, July 13th, I had my weekly prenatal doctor appointment… and there was bad news. My blood pressure was up to 140/100. Eek. I made them take it many times just to be sure. Then my doctor had a hard time finding baby girl’s heartbeat, which scared me a little. Thankfully, my mom had come to the appointment with me because my doctor made me go get admitted at Labor & Delivery (in the same hospital as the doctor’s office) to be monitored. As soon as I got into the hospital bed with the monitors all on me, my blood pressure started to drop. I was slightly nervous that the babies might be coming very soon, but I was discharged within a few hours and told to monitor my blood pressure three times a day. Travis and Ken were out together at his work field day and were able to come pick us up from the hospital in the car.
The end of this pregnancy has gotten very difficult. I can’t really even flip over in bed and I am so swollen that even my roomiest maternity clothes and maxi dresses are nearly not fitting. My mom thought the blood pressure scare was a sign that I was in early labor, but she and my grandmother both went full term with their twins, so it is hard to know when they might arrive… we’ll just have to wait and see…
To be continued…
Read more of my Twin Pregnancy Log: