Yes, our second pregnancy was planned; it was not an oops quarantine baby, but we did not expect the twin part. Now that I’m almost to the end of my second and final pregnancy, I look back and can see all the similarities and differences between carrying one vs two babies. There are times where I wouldn’t wish a twin pregnancy on anyone, but other times where it’s been fairly normal.
Let’s start with the morning sickness.
Both of my pregnancies had me dealing with morning sickness until I was about 16 weeks. With my first, I was able to still function at work and go grocery shopping — I was just slower. I could not handle cooking chicken or pork though. Even the thought of having to cut it up was nauseating. My husband had to make his own dinner for a while. This time around, it was very hard to function because my sickness seemed to intensify with movement and it’s very hard to not move a lot when you have an 18-month-old at home. There were many days spent on the couch with my daughter watching Sesame Street — thank you quarantine for not having to go anywhere. However, I would occasionally get a few days of reprieve. After being sick for 5-7 days, I would be gifted three days of feeling normal. Those normal days had me wanting to do everything I couldn’t the rest of the time. I was able to cook and eat most things this time, but I would have to start dinner early because I needed breaks and it took me twice as long to make. I don’t know why our society doesn’t do meal trains for your first trimester of pregnancy because it would be a great help.
Let’s move on to the belly.
Oh the belly. My first pregnancy I could hide it up until about 13 weeks. With my second, I was showing by nine weeks or earlier. I know they say you start to show earlier with your second, but I didn’t think it would be that early. This also made me think I was having twins. I didn’t get stretch marks with my first until about 30 weeks. I know, I know; it’s really up to genetics as to whether you get them or not, but a woman can try and hope right? My belly was also shaped like a bullet. I was all front carrying with some swelling. With the twins, my belly has grown faster and rounder, making it harder to wear clothes. I’ve outgrown all of the shirts I wore during my first pregnancy. My belly has accumulated more stretch marks and is more basketball shaped than my first belly. It constantly feels numb and occasionally itchy from the marks. I can feel it against my thighs when I walk up stairs and it just hangs out on my legs when I sit down. In order to reach my plate at meal times, I have to sit with my legs open, that way I can lean forward without the belly completely getting in the way. Getting up from a sitting position is a struggle and I have to take a second or two to regain my balance. Very surprisingly, I haven’t swelled at all this time and am literally just belly.
The aches and pains have pretty much remained the same with both pregnancies except that they started earlier with my current babies.
During the third trimester with my first, I would get numbness in my thighs if I laid down or sat for too long. This time, it started in the second trimester and so far, only happens to my left leg. However, it also occurs when I’m standing without moving for too long, like when I do the dishes. The hip pain has come as usual, but it’s only in my right hip. It has intensified in the last two weeks and I have awoken to constant pain until I take a bath. I’ve cried because it hurt so badly. I’ve not had issues with varicose veins in either pregnancy, about which I am thankful.
The one major difference this time is that I have been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes, which I am still not convinced I have.
I failed the first glucose test but passed the second test with my first pregnancy. This time around however, I was not allowed to take the second test after failing the first. The way it was explained to me is that when you are pregnant, your body produces more hormones that produce glucose and your placenta blocks insulin from properly doing its job. I was told that I had an 80% chance of failing the three-hour test even if my sugar levels were normal. The reason is because I have two placentas and more hormones working against me. I haven’t really changed much of my diet other than not having fruit or milk before noon and no white rice. I’ve kept the rest of my diet pretty much the same and it’s all been good.