When I thought about being pregnant, I thought about 9 happy months of pregnant glow while I picked out the perfect nursery, finished my dissertation, graduated, and it all ended with a natural, vaginal birth. I'd bring my baby home, I'd breastfeed with no issues and we would live happily ever after.
As soon as we learned we were having twins, I knew most of these thoughts needed to be put to bed.
I'm not getting 9 months of happy pregnant glow. I'm getting 8 months (I hope not less!) of anxiety and exhaustion. There is no second trimester energy or glowing skin. There is no chance at jubilation because I spent the first 10 weeks on some sort of bed rest or restricted activity. Now I live each day praying I don't have to go back on bed rest and can stay healthy. Speaking of being healthy, I have been had more illness since I get pregnant than in the years before. My poor overworked body doesn't seem to have time for an immune system.
We already know I'm not finishing my dissertation and graduating while pregnant. That would involve energy I just don't have! I'm completing 10ish hours a week, but 2-3 of those hours aren't productive because I keep redoing some of the same work in my models. I sincerely hope I will be able to finish and graduate after the babies are born because this is something I have worked really hard for, but I know I need to adjust my expectations.
I've already written about the strong likelihood of a c-section with twins due to my unwillingness to risk a "full birth experience" (which means delivering the first baby vaginally and then the second requiring a c-section). This delivery will happen at 37weeks at the latest.
But none of these things are overwhelming me. I've accepted all of them. I can handle being completely exhausted all the time and my total lack of stomach muscles due to the bedrest in the beginning. I don't need perfect glowing skin. My acne riddled 13-year old skin is just fine. I don't need the perfect nursery. Just a space to being my babies home to me. I have let go of my crunchy sides desires for an intervention free birth and the textbook breastfeeding experience. All of these things were easy to let go of in exchange for healthy babies. I am even excited to let go of these things in exchange for two healthy babies!
But I am overwhelmed by symptoms. I have been told repeatedly by my ENT and his staff that I made a mistake not seeing them sooner. The first nose bleed over 30 minutes warranted a call to their office or a trip to the ER. Allowing continued long bleeds wore down my nasal membranes and made their cure (cauterization) less effective. I know I messed up there, but the nose bleeds are my convenience not a huge baby health issue.
But what about the rest of the issues! How often should I be calling my OB about all the little symptoms? The chastising from the ENT has me not trusting my own judgement of the severity of symptoms.
I am exhausted and weak. This can just be an effect of twin pregnancy or it could be a sign of anemia. Worse, it could be a sign of gestational diabetes and ignoring it could put both the babies and I in danger. How so I know which it is? Should I even bring up exhaustion at my next appointment or am I overreacting?
I am having contractions. But I'm not so good at counting them. One twin book says that any contractions before 18 weeks are a huge issue and I need monitored. It suggests a home hook-up machine (HUAM) that can monitor the contractions and send the data to a trained staff. The other twin book says a few sporadic contractions are normal as long as they have no pattern, unless they start too early in pregnancy, but doesn't say what too early is. Mine started at 15w1d. I let my OB know about them that day and she said to drink plenty of water and lay down. Should that be my response every time I get them or should I be asking more questions? Maybe I should be letting her know every time I get them?
I have a lot of pelvic and anal pressure. I mentioned this to my OB at my last appointment and she suggested a pregnancy support belt, which has been AMAZING. It really helps a lot, but hasn't eliminated the pressure. The twin books both say this is a sign on cervical incompetence, so should I be more concerned? Bring it up again? Or accept that the belt helps somewhat and move on?
I could continue with a list of symptoms that could be something or could be nothing and have me feeling overwhelmed, but I'm sure you get the idea. All of these symptoms can be something or nothing. I can't text or call my OB about everything so instead I sit at home and feel overwhelmed worrying if I'm doing enough for my babies.
When I was talking to my mom about all of this, she said get used to it. I'll worry every day for the rest of my life!