Monday, March 12, 2018

Twin Preggo Life, the start of the third trimester

I'm 31 weeks pregnant with twins and let me tell you, this is one of the most humbling and challenging things I have ever done. I mean also, I'm super lucky and have pretty easy pregnancies, all things considered. I also knew that for most people each pregnancy gets a little harder (whether that's cumulative or just age related) but this combo of third pregnancy and twins pregnancy is hardcore. The last couple months I've been feeling rundown and tired but that's to be expected in pregnancy, especially since I'm working part-time AND looking after two littles the rest of the week. It hit me though in early February in a new way and emotionally I was SPENT. So at the beginning of that month after an afternoon of tears, we made a new plan.

A friend had suggested I stop working, but really the work isn't what is exhausting, it's the childcare. Bailey is sweet but she's a way more clingy 1 year old than Avie was at that age. She has constant physical needs that add up over the day. This has been quite the strain on my body and emotions. She's a bit trickier to please than Avie was also. So when my friend suggested I give up work it made me think, if I'm willing to give up my pay by not working, maybe I just take all my pay, and pay for a third day of childcare. Best plan ever. My stress levels went down right away. My body really needed it. It also helped that in those first weeks I got to go away for a weekend with 2 of my best friends, and now a new great friend, all 4 of us moms with young kids. Three of us were heavily pregnant, due within 10 weeks of each other, ranging from 27 weeks to 37 weeks. We rented a house, we ordered fresh prep rather than meal planning and generally did as little as humanly possible. We ate when we wanted, we slept when we wanted, we talked when we wanted (which ended up being quite a lot). It was relaxing and perfect and I didn't realize how much my preggo body needed that break. I dropped a Cheeto on Friday night and didn't have to bed to pick it up. It stayed there until we left. Now that's a pregnant mom in full freedom. And it was lovely. I'm very thankful for that time with wonderful women and such rejuvenation.

I'm the least pregnant one in the group of us preggos and yet showing the largest #2babies

In the last week of February, I ran a conference a week-long conference, followed by our annual Women's Retreat. I knew this was coming, and also knew that as soon as these events were over I was going to be able to work from bed or the couch going forward, and just needed to get through them. Both events went well but it definitely wasn't ideal to have them back to back. I tried to rest as much as possible during both - lots of family baths in the evenings, naps before dinner and early bedtimes. Still, I came back much more tired than I had hoped. I curled up at home upon return and rested, enjoying the break. I had a doctors appointment and my doctor noted that my blood pressure was quite high, especially considering how low it's been the whole time. She suggested looking at a mild bed rest. Mostly we talked about a bedrest from childcare and housework. Work is easy and from bed, but the childcare is physical and never-ending. I also cut my work in half - just training my replacement and getting the basics done. Thankfully we only had 4 days to fill for childcare since we already had 3 days a week scheduled, and Paul was going to be off in 2 weeks for Spring Break, then parental leave. We filled our slots between our sisters and my cousin and Paul picked up the slack in every other area - cooking, caring for the kids before and after work and caring for me. He's amazing. I'm so very thankful. It's been  a week now - I have slept and rested, napped and sat. I am taking this rest time seriously - I have two babies to grow for another 4-6 weeks and I don't take that lightly. We have canceled most plans - though still having friends come here with my commitment to sit on the couch the whole time. I need the social stimulation. But I'm being as careful and restful as I can - and with good results, my blood pressure is much lower and my body is feeling less sore. I see my doctor again this week and will confirm this all, but am feeling very positive about having these two stay in here as long as possible - despite how huge I'm getting! Last week when I was at the doctors I was mid 30 week and she said I was measuring at 38 weeks. Two weeks earlier at 28 weeks, I was measuring at 37 weeks. It's all kinda crazy - what's coming next? How big am I going to get??

The kids and I do a lot of sitting on the couch together now. I don't want to lose this quality time, and cuddles with them fills my heart right up, especially when I can go rest after.

Let's see - I'm 31 weeks and I feel much like I did at 40+ weeks with the other two. I feel huge and sore; whalelike. I also feel calm and excited all at once - a great sense of anticipation. I love the final days pregnant in one sense - it's still a private conversation between me and the baby (in this case babies), and I love that they aren't actually here yet - it's all the dreaming and waiting without the feeding and diapers and sleepless night. I'm also so excited to see their sweet faces and hold them. To meet them, and give them their names and put them into the car seats, and cribs and bouncers we've prepared for them. It's such an interesting time - the now and not yet, all at once.

I wake up constantly to pee and to awkwardly, and with great difficulty, roll from side to side, all through the night. I have less pregnancy insomnia now but still, have restless legs and heartburn. A friend said this pregnancy is marked with my sighs and grunts - nothing I do is subtle anymore. I love how much they move and wiggle inside - they are both head down. The boy is lower, and the girl is higher. My girls have always loved being up by my rib cage, and this girl is no exception. I am so thankful for a few days of good weather so I can slip on shoes rather than lace up or have to struggle to get boots on - not that I'm going out much anyways. I love baths, hot (warm) tubs and pools - anything to take some weight off. I'm also thankful that I bought some maternity clothes that were a bit big in the beginning because I feel like I'm going to need them - I've definitely already outgrown a bunch of my maternity clothes. I have an ultrasound this Friday to see them again, and I can't wait to find out what they weigh and see how they are growing.

The preparation for the twins is coming along well. Our hospital bag is packed and in the hallway, next to the twins bag. We just need to pull together our extra's bag for the hospital - the car seat covers, and pillow, and the breastfeeding pillow. We'll work on that tomorrow, and then leave all of it together in the hallway. We won't install the car seats into the van yet since that will mean moving the girls waaaay into the back already, but the seats and bases are both ready to go, and we can easily just use the car seat without a base to get home from the hospital and work on securing the bases and moving car seats around after they come. We also aren't putting the hospital bags into the van since it's usually quite full and even if we went into labour while out and about, someone could easily drive the ten minutes from our house to the hospital with our bags. Most of it's for post birth anyways. There will be time. As of this weekend, we have a nursery! The student who was in that room moved downstairs to our other newly vacated student room, and we moved the bed, dresser, and crib in there. It's not all pretty or set up but there's a crib. It's enough for now. We're setting up the bed so family can stay there and I'll set it up like a day bed for if I need to nurse in there - though I bet I will end up nursing downstairs with the family like before - I don't love isolation when nursing. I look forward to sorting all the clothes out shortly - though will need to do so sitting and get some help so I don't over exert myself - still taking this rest thing very seriously.

Edited to add: I have been struck down with a cold. I swear, there should be a rule that pregnant women can not get colds. There's enough going on in our bodies without adding something else. Every time I cough it hurts my belly and pulls at my muscles, plus the normal sore throat that comes with a cold. I already sleep in two-hour intervals and with a cold that becomes 1-hour intervals. I'm thankful though that this came this week when the kids are covered so I can hunker back down during the day and sleep, or at least rest. And in other exciting news you couldn't possibly live without knowing - it's official - my belly button is now an outie. 
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