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When I found out I was pregnant with twins, I was already a mother of four. My first child had been born 22 years earlier and the youngest was just four months old. On the one hand, I was scared to be expecting again so soon. On the other hand, I felt like an old pro. Surely, this twin pregnancy couldn’t be that much harder than my other pregnancies, right? Wishful thinking!
For the first 20 weeks, it was really smooth sailing. I couldn’t believe it. I had zero heartburn, no morning sickness, I wasn’t rushing to the bathroom to pee every 10 minutes, and I felt really good. Like really, really good. I, honestly, would forget that I was pregnant sometimes except for the fact that it made my milk supply completely tank. That part really sucked. I really wish that I had been able to give Caleb the breastfeeding experience he truly deserved but it just wasn’t the same. I did manage to use Motherlove’s More Milk Two which helped considerably, though!
Around 25 weeks into my twin pregnancy, things got absolutely horrendous. First of all, I could barely sleep at night. This definitely didn’t help with my anxiety. Rolling over in bed was really difficult due to the size of my belly and the pain I felt from Pubis Symphysis Dysfunction, which, of course, might have had something to do with the fact that my pregnancies were back-to-back and I was so much bigger the second time. These pictures were taken at 36 weeks *exactly* one year apart.
It was tolerable, however, for as long as I could rely on my arms and hands to push and pull but then severe swelling and extreme carpal tunnel syndrome set in. I cannot tell you how miserable I was.
Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy
Then the itching began. Of course, it was at its worst at night time which further complicated my inability to sleep. Imagine having an itch on the underside of your enormous belly but you can barely move and your hands are too swollen so you can’t scratch it. I finally got tested for intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy and BINGO – I had it!
Fortunately, the Actigall really helped. Unfortunately, it was right at the end of my twin pregnancy so I suffered a while without it. It was horrendous!
Pubis Symphysis Dysfunction
While, I had this with my last pregnancy, nothing can ever compare to how bad my hips hurt and how poorly they functioned to how horrible it was during this twin pregnancy. I could barely left my foot two inches off the ground, by the end. It was unreal. I had to have people help me roll over in bed. I couldn’t get up and down the stairs without someone pushing from behind and pulling from above (we had a LOT of stairs) and, sometimes, I’d just get to the sidewalk in front of my front door and cry because I didn’t think I could make it. It was so bad.
Now, the babies are almost four months old and I still have problems. My hips feel misaligned and weak. It’s getting better with regular exercise but it didn’t disappear at birth, that’s for sure!
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Many, many women have some sort of carpal tunnel syndrome towards the end of their pregnancy (or earlier!). I know I’ve had it in the past but, truly, nothing could have prepared me for this. It was, possibly, the worst part of the twin pregnancy.
My arms and hands were so swollen that the pain alone was unbearable. I would have been able to tolerate the numbness, to some degree, but the sheer burning agony prevented me from working and I lost a very important contract as a result.
I tried arm braces, soaking my arms in hot water, physical therapy, essential oils, increasing my water intake, massage, hot compresses, and chiropractic adjustments. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, worked. Again, it’s four months later and my middle fingers are still mostly numb. It’s improving but it’s taking its own sweet time…
Cardiac Woes in Twin Pregnancy
I had heart problems years and years ago as a young 20-year-old. Without going into boring amounts of detail, I used to have to take medication until I had two procedures that corrected a defect. That is, of course, until the end of this crazy twin pregnancy!
I had to end up wearing a holter, seeing a cardiologist and an electrophysiologist, and being diagnosed with atrial tachycardia and premature ventricular contractions. The cardiologist was pretty set on me needing an ablation sometime after giving birth but the electrophysiologist has encouraged me to give it some time. I can still feel my heart beating fast and irregularly sometimes but I’m going to give my body a year to recover before I do anything more to it.
I’ve been diagnosed with anemia at different points in my life. It was annoying and I felt drained but it wasn’t anything super serious. I’ve heard lots of other people talk about having anemia and taking iron supplements or increasing the iron intake in their diets. I’ve never had numbers so consistently low, however, that a hematologist starts talking about the possibility of me needing a blood transfusion.
Yeah, it got that bad. I started taking iron infusions intravenously a couple months ago. Hopefully, they have given me the boost I needed to recover and get back on a good path with supplements and improved nutrition. I hope those babies know that I love them!
Where do I even begin with this? Yes, most pregnant women get some swelling but, I’m telling you, this twin pregnancy had me looking like one giant puffed up ball of fluid. Good gracious, it was so uncomfortable. We bought every type of compression hose and sock you can imagine. We elevated my feet. They massaged my legs. I drank more water. My doctor told me to try to move around and walk more but, of course, with that stupid Pubis Symphysis Dysfunction, I was not really able to do that.
It took weeks, and I mean, WEEKS, for the swelling to even improve and, finally, I read a post on a pregnancy message board that ended up being a game-changer. The poster said to put on some shoes, tie them really tight and go for a 30 minute walk. Within two walks, my feet were almost normal. How ’bout that?!
What was your experience been like?