A few terrifying things about twin pregnancy and postpartum

Hello everyone!

My writing blog mjpankey.com has been lagging a bit lately because I’ve been super preoccupied with being pregnant with twins!  They were born at 36 weeks and 4 days on 27 Sept, and the whole experience was, quite frankly, a bit terrifying, for multiple reasons.

The first, obviously, was that I was going to have two more babies instead of the one that my husband and I initially planned on.  Our twins are natural, no IVF, so discovering that there were two in there was a bit unexpected.  My husband is an identical twin, but supposedly identical twins are random and don’t run in families, but…..they also seem to do just that more often than not.

The second terrifying thing on my mind was that twins are often born early, sometimes much much earlier, than singletons, and are almost always of lower birth weight, and are at higher risk of issues at birth which may require significant time in the NICU.  I can’t tell you how many times I googled the average birth weight and NICU interventions at every new week of gestation to try and worry less about them if I went into labor early.  It was very nerve-wracking.

When I reached 28 weeks it was the most scary time, mainly because this is when preterm labor becomes a higher risk with twins, and every week after the risk increases substantially.  My midwife told me at this point every week was a bonus.  Not very reassuring.

The third terrifying thing was that one of my girls was measuring a bit smaller than her sister, about a pound difference, so for a couple of weeks there was some concern that they may have to schedule an early delivery sometime around 34 weeks because of IUGR.  Thankfully all the other factors they were checking showed that both were still thriving, but it was still a huge concern.  To boost their growth, my midwife recommended drinking two protein shakes per day, which I did faithfully.

The fourth terrifying thing that is still a concern for me was how my son is going to react and adjust to his sisters.  He just turned 2 years old on 8 Oct, and he’s been our whole world.  Now, I’m worried not just how this will impact him, but how I am going to be able to continue giving him all the attention he needs from me, plus give my girls the attention they need too.  So far, I don’t feel particularly successful on this front and it started before the girls even arrived.  Being massively pregnant seriously limited my mobility and ability to play with him and do things with him, especially since playing on the floor is a default with toddlers, and that became nearly impossible for me to do.  Now between breastfeeding and just being exhausted and tired I’m still not able to devote much attention to him.  My husband has taken over our breakfast routine which means I basically only see him for dinner after he comes home from daycare, and for story time before bed.  This is an area I will definitely continue to work on because I’m not happy at all with this arrangement.  I miss spending time with my son, and I can see how this is affecting him, even though he seems to be excited about the babies, he gets frustrated easily and looks sad a lot.  I’m used to having a happy toddler, and this change really upsets me.  I’m sure other moms have and are experiencing this as well, so if you have comments or tips on this, please share!

The fifth terrifying thing is just how gigantic I became during my pregnancy.  I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to dress myself or drive because my stomach would get too big to get behind the wheel.  Thankfully, although dressing became quite a challenge, especially putting on socks, I was able to drive and work right up until I delivered.  I went to work Friday morning and had the girls the same Friday evening.  I was fortunate that my job is a desk job and requires very little walking, because just walking from the parking lot to my office hurt.  Getting into and out of my car really hurt.  I went from 127 lbs to 183 lbs, 16 lbs of which I gained in the last three weeks of my pregnancy, a lot to put on my joints in such a short time.

Now, as many new moms are, I’m concerned about getting my body back.  Two weeks postpartum and I’m now 153 lbs, and all of my swelling is gone.  Babies, placenta, extra fluid, etc. is no longer to blame for my additional weight, which means there’s 26 lbs of fat between right now and my original weight.  Okay…… there might be a couple lbs of milk in each boob at any given time to be fair, so we’ll call it an even 20 lbs (not kidding).

Sixth terrifying thing is that we’re going into flu season.  I received my flu shot just 4 days before going into labor, which is nowhere close to the recommended 2 weeks prior to delivery that is recommended to pass antibodies along in utero.  So I’m concerned that my girls did not receive a sufficient amount of antibodies to protect them, and I’m anticipating returning to work at the end of 12 weeks, which means they’ll be in daycare mid December.  Not the best time frame.

So…  I’m going to devote a little bit of blog time to this topic in addition to content on writing as much as possible.  So twin things, mom things, toddler things, and fitness things are going to consume some blog space.  I hope that you all will share your experiences too in the comments.

Below is a pic of me at 36 weeks, and 2 more at two weeks postpartum. I’ll be posting weekly pics as I progress through my fitness routine. More to follow on that so please subscribe!

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