Mum, Guess What?!

I'm Not Complaining, but...

I never thought I would be one to whinge about being pregnant. After all, I know how fortunate I am not just to to be able to get and stay pregnant, but to have had an identical twin pregnancy which (so far) has gone pretty smoothly. Sure, there was the all day nausea and vomiting, but both myself and my babies have stayed healthy - there haven't been any scares or midnight runs to the hospital. At very appointment I have, I tell the midwife how lucky I feel.


This heavily pregnant thing is getting to be quite the struggle. As I leave the second trimester I am the size of a full term woman that is carrying one baby. I still have two months left until my c-section unless they make the decision to make an early appearance. Obviously, I hope they don't - the longer they stay in there the healthier they are going to be and the less time they'll need in neonatal care.

The truth is though, the last 3 weeks have been... lets just say 'trying'. It started with incredible breathlessness, to the point that I felt like I was going to suffocate when I went up the stairs or to get a cup of tea. This made sense when it was found that I have developed anaemia, after being told to only take iron tablets twice per week as my levels were originally pretty high at 10 weeks.

I have another blood test last week, and I am starting to feel less groggy - so time will tell if I have managed to recuperate those all important HG levels.

While the whole feeling of suffocating thing seems to be easing up, the rib and hip pain is well and truly setting in. Leaning on anything seems to set the rib pain off, which makes chilling on the sofa substantially more miserable than it used to be. Going to bed at night is a source of dread - getting comfortable an almost impossible task.

The there's all the other stuff - the aching and stiff joints by the end of the day, the pregnant waddle, the mood swings, the forgetfulness. It seems that over the last few weeks all those pregnancy niggles which I had so far avoided have hit me like a tonne of bricks.


With every grumble I make, every heavy sigh, every complaint, and most definitely with sitting down to write this post, comes an overwhelming feeling of guilt. I am so fortunate to have come this far. I never imagined in a million years that I would get to 27 weeks with identical twins, at least without some complications, if at all. We chose names for the babies at 15 weeks, not knowing at that point if they were boys or girls, because I wanted them to have names in the eventuality that they didn't make it.

Each pain, ache, day of nausea and sleepless night is worth it to keep these little boys healthy and thriving in my belly.  Sure, some days are harder than others to stay cheerful and that's OK. With the third trimester just a week away, I need to remind myself that every extra week or day that they stay in there is a blessing and not to be taken for granted.

Two Sons...

Despite having scans every two weeks, it wasn't until the 20th week that we found out the gender of the twins. The team of sonographers made it clear during the 18th week scan that they could tell me if I wanted to know, but as D couldn't make it I said no. Frankly, I am amazed by my will power.

However, I was fairly sure that I could see that the twins were boys during that 18 week scan. I didn't ask, but I was almost certain. For the next two weeks I started looking at clothes for little boys, and imagined my life with two sons. I didn't tell D that I thought I had seen the gender. He was so convinced that they were girls that I didn't want to sway him, particularly when I could be completely wrong.

Of course, when we walked into the ultrasound room at 20 weeks the first thing they asked is if we knew the gender and if we wanted to, and when we practically screamed 'tell us!' they immediately brought the image up on the screen. There was no denying it, we're having two sons.

It sounds like a cliche but I would have been thrilled with boys or girls, and all I care about is their health. However, I knew that Dan would love to have a son (if not with these two babies then another one to follow!), and to see his face when he got the surprise was nothing short of perfect.

We already have the names picked out (it's a secret!) and I am so excited to meet these two little guys in the spring. Let the planning and shopping commence! 

How I Knew I was Having Twins

People are always surprised when I tell them that D and I knew that we were having twins before we had our first ultrasound.  Truth be told, I was completely convinced there were two little babas from around 10 weeks into the pregnancy but a few days before the scan I decided that I was being paranoid due to hormones.

After all, these are my first babies. I have nothing to compare the pregnancy to, and all pregnancies are different anyway. While searching the internet for symptoms of a twin pregnancy I came across countless women who were just as sure as I was that they were having twins, only to find out there was just one baby at their 12 week scan. Clearly, convincing yourself there are twins when there aren't is a pretty common occurrence.

So, I shrugged it off as best as I could, though there was still that nagging feeling in the back of mind.

There were two main reasons for knowing I was carrying twins before I found out at the scan. The first was the immense and debilitating morning sickness. I felt nauseous from the moment I woke up in the morning to the second I went to sleep at night and I couldn't move without throwing up. The nausea started at 5 weeks and the vomiting at 7 weeks, and didn't start to ease up until 16 weeks. I still struggle with morning sickness now, though thankfully I throw up rarely thanks to the help of some medication.

D told me daily that he had never known anyone to have morning sickness like I did, but when I brought it up with my midwife at my booking appointment she wasn't too fussed as I hadn't been admitted to hospital with dehydration. Which is fair enough, after all there isn't a great deal that can be done. For D, this was the big giveaway that it was twins. She did however joke that maybe there was more than one baby making me feel so ill!

The other clue was the size of my bump. At 9 weeks I could no longer button up my jeans and bought a bump band. At 11 weeks I was forced to buy maternity clothes. At first D and I wondered if I was simply noticing the bump earlier because I have a naturally small and flat waist, though a quick look online seemed to point out that those with strong and small stomachs generally seem to show later on in the pregnancy rather than earlier.

The extreme sickness and the bigger than average bump were what started me down the twin track, but there was something more than that too. Put simply, a gut feeling. I've always been very in tune with my body, and I simply got it in my head that I was having twins and that was that. Perhaps that's why I started wondering if I was being paranoid and hormonal just days before the scan.

Looking back, there were other signs too. All my pregnancy symptoms came on quickly and strongly, which I initially put down to just being over sensitive to the hormones but I now know to be due to having double the amount of hormones coursing through my body. I also got a very early positive pregnancy test, days before my period was due, after having a weekend of nausea and what I thought was a stomach bug but what turned out to be early pregnancy symptoms.

So, when we got the news that there were two babies I wasn't shocked or surprised, though there is still a part of me even now which can hardly believe that this is really happening. However, it is very much true, and in a few months I'll be meeting my babies. I can hardly wait.

'There are Two Babies...'

Dear Mum,

I will never forget that moment. I had waited for 13 weeks for my first ultrasound scan, and for the last 3 of those weeks 'D' and I had been wondering if there was more than one baby in my quickly expanding belly.

When the ultrasound tech first put the wand on my stomach and immediately lifted it off in a hurry, then turned around to ask me face to face 'is this your first scan' my initial thought was that something was horribly wrong. I had spent the week feeling convinced that there would be no heartbeat, or simply no baby. 

So, when I quietly informed her that yes, it was my first scan, and she turned back to doing the scan and declared 'there are two babies!', I was over the moon. I burst into tears, but these weren't tears of sadness - simply pure emotion.

When I first started thinking that I might be having twins, at around 10 weeks, I was worried. I would joke to D that there better not be two babies because I would never manage. After all, I don't know how to care for one baby let alone two at the same time. I thought that I would be anxious, terrified, maybe even distraught. The truth is that when I heard those words I felt nothing but amazed and delighted.

Our scan was the last scan of the day at the hospital, and as there were two babies to check over, the appointment over ran. When we left the room we sat together in an empty waiting area while our report was drawn up, and we talked about how having twins simply felt right. Like this was always supposed to happen. Despite the fact that we never imagined having twins, or have any twins in the family, the fact that we now had two children on the way seemed completely normal. There was no fear, only elation.

It turns out that the twins are identical. It all feels incredibly special, and though it makes my toes curl to say it I really do feel blessed. It's so easy to focus on the hard parts of life - but D put it perfectly the other day when he said 'we really do lead a charmed life', and we do.

Of course, there is one thing that I would change. I would love for you to be here. I know that the only thing you felt like you missed out on in life was being a grandparent, and my heart aches that my children won't get to meet you. But they will know you. They'll know all about you, and rest assured that you are still their grandma. Nothing can change that, not even death.

This is the place that I can put down in writing all the things that I want to tell you, from those first movements twitching away in my beach ball of a belly, to the antics of two identical toddlers learning about the world around them.

We're in for a long ride, and it's going to be quite the adventure.
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