This is a topic I've grown extremely passionate about through my pregnancy journeys'. We, as women, spend a lot of time worrying about everyone else, but often don't pay enough attention to ourselves. When we are pregnant our bodies are flooded with hormones and our intuition is on high alert, so when we question things and receive a response from our doctor like "that's very normal" our first response is to quiet our internal voice. In my experience, it's absolutely terrifying to be the sole provider of answers to questions during pregnancy, specifically a first pregnancy. We've never done this before and our default is set to 'this must be normal'. We are not experts and I think we tend to steer away from additional inquiry because this journey is SO foreign to us, and we (for some reason) don't want to 'bug', 'interrupt' or 'annoy' our healthcare providers. During our twin pregnancy I visited labor and delivery in advance of my girls' births over 10 times due to what I perceived as pre-term labor signs. Each time they stopped labor or took additional precautions, to keep those babies in. I continued to have a tremendous amount of guilt around this, like I was some sort of legendary, 'oh here she is again' pregnant patient. Hindsight is always 20/20, but at least for me, I wasn't sure I had done the right thing by wobbling in to the labor and delivery unit at all hours, repeatedly, until after I was validated. It wasn't until after the girls were born at 36 weeks that I heard my doctor say, 'great job listening to your body'. I'm pretty sure my response was 'really??' I know now that he had said it numerous times but I didn't hear it because I was so stinking concerned about the impression I was making on the nurses and others. I'm not proposing that every mom become irrationally demanding, but what I am proposing is that we recognize that we are the only people that can advocate for our unborn children during pregnancy - here's 10 tips on when and why to speak up:
Oh boys....or girls...or boy and girl?!
If you or someone you know is expecting twins, I'm sure you're wondering how big a twin belly actually gets!?
When we found out I was having twins I was shocked! I quickly found that unlike a singleton pregnancy, it was hard to conceal the news due to my rapidly growing belly. In the first few weeks, people started to speculate that I was pregnant even before I shared the news (I waited until 12 wks to tell the masses and nearly 10 weeks to tell family and friends).
So shortly after coming to grips with the fact that we were going to have two times the snuggles and two times the fun, I started to wonder....how big am I going to get? I, of course, began googling immediately. I found quite a few images, some shocking and some frankly a bit annoying (think perfectly poised photo of tall slender mom carrying twins at 24 weeks). Many of the progressions I found were from super fit, soon-to-be, twin moms. It appears they may be the only ones brave enough to share their journey towards monstrosity. In hindsight, I wish I would have done a more creative and detailed job in documenting this twin belly journey, but at the forefront I was too focused on other things like....OMG we're going to have TWINS!!
So here goes - my selfie progression gallery. I didn't document the progression by weeks but I did capture 24 pictures during the progression from beginning to end (I took a picture every 10 days or so) . We made it to 36 weeks, I am 5 feet tall and at the beginning of the journey weighed 120lbs and at the end weighed just over 200lbs. My girls were 6.5lbs each when born and were di-di. Here's the great news for those of you just beginning your journey, 18 months after my girls were born I was back to my starting weight.
Are you a soon to be mom of twins? Have a question about what to expect? I would love to share my experiences with you! To read more about my twin journey click here!
It’s basically a well-known fact amongst those the closest to me that if there’s only a 2% chance of something happening, it will happen…to me. Let’s just cut to the chase, I got a negative pregnancy test 8 weeks into my twin pregnancy. I should also mention that I am an admitted POAS addict. For those who haven’t visited a pregnancy forum, recently tried to make a baby, or just don’t know what the hell I’m talking about; POAS is an abbreviation for Pee On A Stick and I was addicted.
No fancy photos for this post . These are REAL pictures, from my cell phone from a text conversation with my best friend...Check out the dates...Yup, that's right! I knew I was having twins even before I saw a doctor.
When you pick an OB when you’re 18 years old and just need birth control you don’t ever consider that there could be a moment when you’re sitting in front this doctor waiting for him to tell you more about the news you just received from an ultrasound technician.
“There are two heartbeats. Congratulations! You’re having twins!”
I certainly never thought I would be sitting there.
I'm posting this because it was truly the beginning of our Twin Journey. It is an experience that so many mommies of both twins and singletons can relate to, and it is the life experience that made me the mom I am today. I know I've promised to fill your feed with happy, and certainly will, but this is part of my story that I believe needs to be told. We tend not to talk about Pregnancy and Infant Loss because it's uncomfortable. Unfortunately, it is far more common than we'd like to believe, according to BabyCenter.com "about 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage." Not acknowledging pregnancy and infant loss leaves those in the moment feeling lonely, searching for success stories and potentially feeling 'unallowed' to grieve.
Once a year on October 15th, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day I light a candle for our sweet little angel baby boy. In his honor, a few years ago I posted our story on social media and received a tremendous amount of feedback. Nothing fancy just simple feedback like "thank you for sharing your story." When people 'thank you' for sharing a story, I believe it is because it has touched them, they can relate and they're glad to hear that they're not the only one. I believe that mommies (whether we have children with us on earth or angels with us in our souls) are the most beautiful, powerful beings on earth. For this reason, I think it's important to share this story again as I begin my new journey on this blog. I still believe the best way to tell our story is to simply copy the letter I wrote to the our local hospital's (Mercy, St. Louis) program coordinator to let here know the impact Mercy HeartPrints had on my life. I felt compelled to share our story with them at the time so that the program would have yet another story with a happy ending to share for families experiencing similar situations because mommies are the eternal optimists and in these situations we are searching...no, yearning, to hear about someone else's happy endings because that reassures they are possible. After all, I did promise to fill your feed with happy.
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