Welcome back to the wonderful world of twins! As promised, I am concentrating this blog on the pregnancy itself, so here goes...
No doubt on hearing the news you were expecting two at once, you were thrilled and petrified, all at the same time! It is certainly a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but worth every second when you hold your two little bundles in your arms! And let me tell you right now, all the horror stories that people tell you about twin pregnancies are a pile of old poop.
*First rule of being a twin mummy - ignore anyone who tries to put the frighteners on you*
Everyone (after they've done the obligtory 'Oh twins, how lovely'/'Will you have any more?'/'Will you dress them the same?'/'Are there twins in the family?'/'Are they identcal' etc etc) will then move on to give you some scare story about their husband's auntie's cousin's sister who nearly died when....blah blah blah. For goodness sake, just look interested, but learn to zone your brain out while making the appropriate noises. You do NOT need to hear this nonsense while you are busily growing beautiful babies.
I heard just about every story going when I was pregnant and early on was scared witless - this was my first pregnancy (scary enough), I was having twins (OMG!) AND I was going to poo myself TWICE when I had to give birth... Would I ever be able to do this, I wondered (quietly to myself, of course, so I didn't worry anybody else). Yes, this is what we do, us Supermummys, while we are cooking our little buns, we think ourselves quietly into total panic...
What you do need to know, right from the start, is that you will do a perfectly brilliant job of growing and birthing your babies, without all the rubbish that people will insist on ramming down your throat. Rest assured that all the things you've heard will likely never happen to you and concentrate your energy on being happy and healthy!
Twin pregnancy does admittedly, have it's difficulties however, including a very heavy belly towards the end and quite a lot of stretchmarks, but this is to be expected when you consider what your amazing body is up to. I didn't find a stretchmark cream that worked for me, but the heavy belly could be eased by a maternity belt if I was up and about, or by a beanie cushion or v-shaped pillow shoved under the lowest bit when I was sitting or laying.
I also found I had a lot of heartburn, which, again, considering where your other organs migrate to when you're having twins, is not surprising really and easily remedied with the ever present bottle of Gaviscon!
I also had 2 minor bleeds while pregnant, one at 7 weeks and one at 28 weeks, which is apparently very common with twin pregnancies, especially early on. All is not necessarily lost if this happens - many women go on to have two healthy babies (myself included) after having a bleed. Stay positive! My motto all the way through was 'Don't worry until you know there's something to worry about'.
You will also be prodded and poked A LOT by doctors and midwives and I found a lot of students also peering at me like I was some kind of marvel, as they gingerly asked if they could 'feel my bump'.
On one occasion, a particularly shy and nervous young boy was present at one of my consultant appointments and hadn't been told I had twins. The consultant asked him to examine me and he looked like he was going to die of embarrassment from the minute I rolled (literally!) onto the bed. He very carefully began to feel around my huge belly and looked more than little freaked when he found the second head! I suppressed a giggle and let him carry on, and the consultant barked at him for an opinion. After about 5 minutes and eventually managing to make eye contact with me (which was obviously better than being torn off a strip for not making the correct observations!) he mouthed silently 'Are there two in there?!' I gave him a nod and an encouraging smile and he confidently reported back while I wiped four pints of gel off my stomach, rolled back off the bed and heaved my maternity trousers back up...
There were so many hospital trips and visits by the midwife I lost count, but I found I quite enjoyed it as it meant I got lots of scans and was reassured about my babies the whole time. I also bought a hand held doppler (the 'whoosh whoosh' machine that the midwives use - you know the one!) to give me added peace of mind, which I thought was brilliant (though quite expensive... worth it though).
All in all, I know that I was lucky and had a brilliant pregnancy, but I genuinely feel that the problems that can occur are hyped up to fever pitch when you're expecting twins - as long as you take care of yourself and listen to medical advice, you and your babies should be absolutely fine and dandy!
Good luck Supermummys!