I’m Pregnant with Twins!

The twins

So, last time I wrote a post, I alluded to the fact that something has my mind very unfocused. Well, that is that I’m indeed preggers. Not too long after that posts, we found out it’s twins! They run in my family in the maternal line, so I always knew that it was a possibility. But let me tell you, nothing really prepares you for the shock of seeing two babies on that screen!

I was like a deer in the headlights and while I’ve gained back some of my productivity, my mind is still consumed with this news. We skipped our 8-week scan on the recommendation of my GP who said it’s best to save the money for when we can really see them nicely. So went for the 12-week scan, and woah!

My husband was super excited, he had been praying for twins every day.

I prayed that God just do what He sees as best. He knows what we, and especially, I can handle, and I leave it in His hands.

My Feelings Upon Finding Out There Are Two

But when I saw those two babies on the screen, here is what I went through, not holding anything back:

  • I won’t deny, I said oh s@#$ a few times in my head
  • I felt happy that I only have to do this once!
  • I then freaked out because twin pregnancies are high risk
  • I was happy that from what we could see in that first scan, they were happy and moving around and their heartbeats were good
  • I worried about the financial implications
  • I worried about whether I’d still have a life with two babies to care for at once
  • I was excited about what they might look like
  • I was worried about miscarriage, I after all was a twin, and my twin was miscarried, unfortunately. It’s also not common knowledge except amongst close friends and family, but I’ve miscarried before, a stillbirth at 41 weeks due to umbilical cord prolapse.
  • I was worried that my antihistamine use, which I had decreased for the baby… er… babies, may have harmed them. It is one that’s considered safe, but my GP said to only take when needed… I have chronic allergies, probably dust… it sucked skipping 2-3 days in between
  • I prayed for our babies to be safe and healthy and that I would be too and my husband
  • I dreaded days of extreme exhaustion, constantly crying babies (I had visions of them setting each other off), double the poopy nappies, double the tantrums, etc
  • I thought, ah, double the fun, love, and cuteness 😀
  • Thought how we really need to move now and the fact that technically our lease ends just under two months from the due date, which with twins, in all likelihood is thinking a little too optimistically
  • Fears about having a c-section, which even if my doc says natural is an option too, I will choose to reduce further risks

You get it, there was a lot of freaking out. On my part. My husband is a wonderfully calm man who is a very optimistic person, very practical, and going to be an amazing hands-on dad. He ain’t freaking out, not yet anyway. He was mainly like, are we going to need a bigger car? And then, hopefully joked, about getting an ugly ass mommy van.

The first scan

We got sent that same day for a much more in-depth scan. Like seriously, that scan was crazy. It could see right into their little brains, the separate heart chambers, etc. It was so clear compared to the one at the OB. She could even see they’re both boys.

Don’t worry, he has legs and arms, this was just the way the image was captured
For all his moving around, the OB got a stellar pic of him

They are in their own amniotic sacks, with their own placentas, very low risk for abnormalities, good strong heartbeats and my blood work came back good. So that has been a load off my shoulders. For twins, they are lower risk, even though this is still a high risk pregnancy for both me and for them.

I’m 15 weeks now, and every week that progresses, and every time my tummy gets bigger, which it’s doing very quickly, I feel a little more at ease about their health. But it’s a long way to 36-38 weeks.

I was cleared to exercise, so I do that regularly. I eat veggies like never before, and I never skip my prenatal vitamins. I nap when I’m really tired, I listen to my body. I pray for them every day.

Yes, we are still mostly vegan… we fell off the wagon a bit. Some dairy here and there mainly in the form of pizza with actual mozzarella. Also, I’m on fish oil capsules, because I need a source of EPA and DHA that doesn’t break the bank. But I’ve been making pea protein shakes every day just to boost my protein intake.

I thought it would be helpful for any other people planning to be preggers or for those ladies who are currently preggers to share what how I’ve been doing so far physically, and mentally too.

First Trimester

Weeks 0-4

I wasn’t sure I was pregnant, but we were trying. I already had stopped drinking alcohol, stopped the ashwaghanda, and had bought personal care products that contained as few nasties as possible.

To be honest, I wasn’t really feeling that much different. Slightly bloated, slightly tender boobs towards the end of that, same as I would be getting before my period. I also started peeing a little more frequently by the end of 4 weeks.

I did a pregnancy test after about being about 5 days late. The month prior, I had been late by 2 days, so I tested then and it was negative. I think it was just stress, I put a lot of pressure on myself to get knocked-up and freaking out about the ramifications of being knocked-up 😂

When I tested positive, I phoned the doc to book an appointment and went the next day. Blood tests came back positive saying I was closer to 5 weeks by then, which checks out. The pee test at the GP also confirmed.

Scalp eczema 😥 I do get eczema from time to time due to allergies and stress, but never there. My head itched so bad. He prescribed me an ointment, can’t remember now what it was, that was out of stock everywhere. I gave up after trying at the fifth pharmacy. I phoned him to check out a recommendation from a pharmacist, Dermikelp. And he said it’s fine.

Sweet relief.

I switched to a sensitive shampoo and conditioner, Garnier Delicate Oat. Not good for frizz, but it seemed to help too. After a few days my scalp was feeling much better.

My doc also had a lovely chat to me at my appointment about how this isn’t a sickness, I should enjoy being pregnant and feel happy to tell everyone. He cautioned me about my antihistamine and said I was fine to exercise. He explained some of what my pregnancy would entail.

I told the few friends that knew we were trying by this point. Most did not know. And I’d only told my brother that we were trying, mainly cause the month or two before we actually started trying I was freaking out and needed someone who knows me well and loves me and trustworthy to vent to. Decided to tell him with the rest of the family.

Weeks 5-8

What we sent to let everyone know

This is when we told our family, about a week after confirming at the doctor. We also told our closer friends and our Bible study group.

Porridge brain set in, and I felt like an idiot… a lot.

I started noticing, that one cup of coffee that wasn’t decaf in the morning, wasn’t sitting well. Neither was black or green tea. I felt, not nauseated, but like how you feel when you have tummy bug in between puking your guts out. Not nice.

I also realised I had to eat around every two hours, because instead of feeling hungry, I would go straight to nauseated. Also, my usually non-existent gag reflex would sometimes kick in when I would brush the back of my tongue. Had to proceed cautiously.

I bloated, badly enough to look a bit like I ate too much. It became a little more pronounced towards the end of this time, but mostly, I looked like I just ate too much. I liked to say I looked like a Who person. You know, that almost teardrop shape in the abdomen.

My boobs huuuuuuurt. Seriously. Turning over in bed would sometimes wake me up. And call it vanity, but the thought of my boobs sagging, yikes. So I was in a bra all the time. Still am. Oh, and tiredness. It’s a thing. Needed afternoon naps almost daily in the later weeks.

TMI: Gas! So much gas. I get IBS, so gas sometimes happens, especially if I eat something high in FODMAPs. But wow. No wonder I was bloated.

On the upside, I started noticing that my skin feels great, fish oil capsules, hells yeah! Not sure I will continue to take them after I’m done breastfeeding, but it’s very, very tempting.

My CT bestie and husband overfed me on a few occasions here saying it’s for the baby. I told them, I don’t actually need that much food, but they didn’t really listen.

Also, my anxiety levels, seem to have gone down, except for true crime, psychological thrillers, action movies, etc. We watched 7500, and I literally had to pace the lounge because I just needed to get rid of all the anxious tension. Only happy stuff from here on out.

Weeks 9-13

The last bit of the first trimester. Fears of my antihistamine intake are plaguing me.

Week 9

Such a beautiful pose, I know. Still more who-shaped. Excuse the messiness

I saw the doc again, and I was still healthy, and had picked up 1kg. I forgot to ask him about my allergy situation. At this point it made sleeping hard and was spreading to my ears. Sigh.

Anyway, he advised me that my next visits would be with an OBGYN and helped me out with some recommendations.

I was peeing a lot more and needed naps every day. If I didn’t nap in the afternoon, I’d conk out after dinner while we were watching whatever. If I didn’t sleep in an extra hour, I felt like a zombie. Luckily, I didn’t look like one.

Week 10

My pants by week 10 were getting really tight. I could comfortably fit into one pair of jeans by then. One that was slightly too big when I bought it and had a rip at the inner thigh on the one side. Getting into my pants with all the layers I wear in winter… hard.

My boobs hurt on a whole new level, but were starting to look more like actual boobs than bee stings. I grew out of my AA cups, no more underwire bras which I rarely wore since I needed more robust support. The slightest jiggle hurt. So sports bras it was. I ordered some maternity bras off Amazon, it worked out cheaper even with shipping and customs. I got a 4 pack.

My maternity bras. The cream one I put on in desperation before taking this picture
The brand I bought after looking at affordability and reading many reviews

I still didn’t dare go without food for too long and I steered clear of any beverages other than water, juice, rooibos tea, and decaf.

I tried to book an appointment for the 12-week scan with my chosen OB, but he was on leave over that time. So booked with a different one just for the scan.

Week 11

You can see how quickly I’m growing. Better pose, yes?

At 11 weeks, Paul, my husband, just couldn’t contain himself anymore.

Our fellow band members at church were told, and to be honest, I was still scared something would happen to baby so had initially kept it quiet, but then when it was out, it was out. I figured, more prayer can’t hurt. It was announced at church that Sunday.

This brings me to some more TMI. Skip the next paragraph if you don’t want to know about bathroom things.

Constipation. Being a mostly plant-based eater, and even before then, I was pretty regular. Even just skipping a days sucks. I was now maybe only going every two days. I tried adding extra fibre. Nope. We already have a high fibre diet. My tummy was sad.

Week 12

Had a huge jump in tummy growth, although, I took this at night, might have been bloat

I realise this pants situation isn’t working. Even that one pair of jeans that fit was now squishing so much that the button needed to be left undone. With one of my other pairs of jeans, I would use a belt to cover the fact that the button was open, just in case.

But the zip needed to be down slightly too. I bent over at worship practice to get something out of my guitar bag and felt the zip go down more.

I suppose one of those belly bands that help cover these things would have been useful. Especially since my coat was fitting too snuggly as well on the more bloated days and was not covering.

But I was over it. I bought some leggings and a pair of pilazzo pants that had a stretchy band at the back. I also very poorly modified two pairs of my jeggings into maternity pants.

I really was starting to grow and having been pregnant before, I figured it may just be because I’m all stretched out. Paul suggested maybe there’s two in there and I must say, I considered it.

The scan! At the very end of this week we found out there were two and we had that scan that put much of my fears to rest and the blood tests to make sure the placentas were healthy.

That first OB actually thought I was further along upon seeing me. But the reason for my size was quickly revealed. She discussed some risks, told me I could still exercise since I was healthy and told me that I would need to be monitored more regularly.

She also told me to get off my antihistamines and rather do nasal rinses. Let me tell you, nasal rinses suck. But they are pretty helpful. I need to do it twice on some days. A few times I’ve skipped.

Week 13

My sad attempt at maternity pants is on display

This week, I updated all the info on our medical aid to reflect twins, and I also booked with the OB we originally chose. I will need to phone closer to the time because I don’t remember what time it is. Porridge brain is real people and it’s getting worse.

I also discovered that orange juice is really helpful, I’m a lot less backed up now as long as I drink two glasses of orange juice a day.

By the way, I put week 13 under trimester one just because there is some confusion over whether it’s 12 or 13 weeks long. But my apps, What to Expect and Pregnancy, both say it’s 13 weeks.

By the way, we’ve been checking out all the videos on twins on YouTube and I regularly go onto Twiniversity. I’m not big into Facebook and that, but SAMBA, the South African Multiple Births Association is only available on there, so I check in every so often since joining the group.

My pants that I bought, they feel tight. Seriously???? I ordered some maternity clothes off Shein at the end of this week because I just know, I’m going to need some clothes that are comfy.

Focussing is hard. I am obsessively looking at twin pregnancy stuff and my mind is still processing. I also realise that we probably can’t go to JHB to see our family and friends at Christmas. Sad.

Trimester 2

Weeks 14-15

Yay! The relief. The risks have gone down significantly, although of course, I still have a high risk pregnancy.

Week 14

In this dress, you can’t even really tell I’m pregnant unless I clasp my hands in front

I am still peeing quite often, and sometimes I feel pressure pushing down. I think this is probably gas. But who knows, I may have two babies pushing down with their little bodies, or little feet, or whatever.

I still wake up in the early hours and usually have to pee, but then I just lie there trying to sleep. My nose usually chooses this time to make a noise which doesn’t help. And most of the time, I am tired, I just can’t sleep.

So I end up sleeping in. I am riding this train for as long as I can, sleep is important and next year, sleeping in will probably be a distant memory. I work on deadlines and from home, so luckily I can sleep in.

My mind is still MIA, well, not lost, it’s just directing it’s thoughts towards baby things. My violin teacher tried to schedule a lesson and I was just like, I just found out recently that we’re having twins, my mind has been in a tail spin. I haven’t practiced. But if you want to listen to whatever comes out, I’ll do the lesson. Mercifully, he said we can reschedule.

Work-wise, I am lagging, luckily, no hard deadlines for the client I currently have work to do for. She’s been very understanding.

My tummy has been hurting in the lower abdomen as my uterus grows. And on days where it hurts more often, the next day, my tummy is a little bigger. I finally plucked up the courage to look up what twin skin looks like. I’ve been terrified of getting loose skin ever since I saw how big twin moms get. My fears have been confirmed.

Between being absolutely determined to have a tummy tuck, nearly fainting at what it costs, and lecturing myself about how that money is way better spent on more important things and that I should stop being vain, I’m slowly coming to terms with it. Should have been more confident in my bikini before, because those days after December, will be a distant memory.

I’ve started wearing preggy socks because my feet don’t seem to like being stood on for longer periods of time anymore. I also took off my wedding ring at Twiniversity’s advice, it already was tight since my lockdown weight gain. I took it off while I still could.

I also have noticed I could watch some action movies and true crime without anxiety, and I’m currently addicted to Chicago Fire.

Week 15

Excuse the crazy hair, excuse whatever those white spots are, I didn’t notice on them on the top or on my phone after I took the pic, but here they are.

This week is almost halfway done. I am looking rounded for sure. My tummy is growing quickly. At least in my opinion, and Paul’s. I also discovered, I almost have cleavage 😀 But they’re heavy. Not comfy at all.

I still sleep like poop and my nose still hates me. But I discovered, a single cup of coffee (we ran out of decaf, last month’s extra scan took a huge chunk of our remaining money for the month), does nothing bad to my tum-tum.

I had a bit of an eczema flare on my hand. But that’s sorted out. I haven’t noticed too much swelling yet, at least. My feet seem happy about the compression stockings. Not very sexy, but practical.

I’m becoming more and more convinced that I’m feeling them. They love sitting on my bladder. Also, might just have been randomly twitchy muscles, but I think I may have felt them kick a bit last night.

It’s a bit scary not being able to really feel them and just have to wait for the doctor’s appointment in two weeks. But who knows, maybe I am starting to feel them.

Also, I was worried about picking up weight, because when I weigh myself I’m not picking up weight really. Could be my scale. But my tummy is growing little by little, so they must be growing. I’m still waiting for my appetite to go crazy, so I guess my body is happy with the amount of food I’m eating.

I was against taking the covid vaccine before, just because I felt that I would be able to fight it off just fine whereas the possible long-term effects and more scary side effects of the vaccine freaked me out. And just because people are vaccinated, doesn’t mean they can’t get covid and spread it. So I had no qualms about that.

But, I know I’m now high risk and have seen the stats. I don’t like my chances in my immunocompromised state. I am going to chat to the doctor first, but I think I may get the vaccine since it at least doesn’t seem to cross the placenta. We will see.

Well, this post has been a lot longer than what I usually do. And from what I can see, the week 12 picture keeps misbehaving no matter how many times I fix it. My apologies. It’s been quite a crazy time and kind of overwhelming.

I’ll post more digestible posts, in two week updates regarding my pregnancy. We are still struggling with names, and Paul has been looking up cots and prams and all that. We watch videos on how to raise twins.

We both have been keeping an eye on what’s out there to rent despite the fact that it’s still a ways off. Our lives are changing in a crazy way. But thinking of what our boys will look like, which eye colour, especially since Paul has brown eyes and I have green eyes.

We’re on an adventure, and so far things are okay. I do worry about making it far enough that they would be okay and about complications, but I’m also just taking it day by day. I have a good feeling this time.

Have a great weekend everyone! 🙂

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