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!
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