Another week down, you guys! Now that we are past that “hard cutoff” of 34 weeks per my medical records, I am going to stop using Wednesdays as my update days. Wednesdays are the days my weeks change over per the doctor’s office’s inexact dating method, but my more accurate one uses Sundays. SO. As far as these babies and I are concerned, we hit 35 weeks on Sunday and we are quite happy about it.
Here is where I confess to you that I purposefully chose this top, my most flattering maternity top, to wear today. My OB appointment is probably the only occasion for which I will leave the house this week, so clearly I had to put on something I felt good in and snap my belly picture before making the inevitable return to pajama pants and tee shirts that are now too short to cover the bump. Most days since going on my rest protocol, I have felt like a big, useless, gross lump. All of your sweet comments about my weekly belly selfies really do bolster my mood; I cannot lie. Thanks for making an uncomfortably large pregnant lady feel good 🙂
The Babies are the Size of: Two bunches of carrots, according to my Ovia app. That sounds…pointy.
How I’m Doing: People give me a lot of credit for being tough or, alternately seem to think I am sailing through pregnancy with no trouble. On the whole, I still think I’ve had a fairly easy pregnancy. Having to stay off my feet has been tough both in terms of work and home, but that’s my only real complaint.
That’s not the only thing going on, though. I feel like I have truly gotten to experience many of the weird or just funny symptoms of pregnancy lately! In the spirit not of complaining, but of being real about what late pregnancy (with twins) is like, I thought it was time to list all the various uncomfortable symptoms I have accumulated at this point:
- My nasal passages swell up at night and I have to sleep breathing through my mouth.
- Lying down makes one or both of my hands/arms go numb and tingly, which wears off once I get up.
- I am a little short of breath at all times.
- I have frequent heartburn at night.
- I sleep okay with a nightly Unisom, but it is still a struggle to stay asleep all night.
- I wake up to take 2-4 trips to the bathroom every night.
- When trying to fall asleep, I get itchy all over my body with a restless-leg feeling that lasts for 20-30 minutes before I can fall asleep.
- I get nosebleeds and bleeding gums.
- My hands are too swollen to wear my wedding rings OR my backup fake wedding ring. My real wedding rings stop just below the first knuckle if I try to put them on.
- My feet are so swollen I can only wear Toms or riding boots on a “good” day and stick to slippers or Birkenstocks on other days.
- I have strong contractions every time I am on my feet and they do not let up until I sit down.
- I have random contractions at random times and sometimes they last up to 5 minutes. For one contraction.
- I am very gassy.
- I have jowls.
- I am very veiny.
- The sight of my own boobs is, frankly, terrifying to me for reasons I won’t describe on this blog.
- It’s difficult to do certain personal hygiene tasks due to limited reach and visibility, which is all I all say about that.
Doctor’s Appointment: This week everything was looking good. My blood pressure was at 122/70, which was nice to see. I have gained and lost the same pound or two over the last few appointments, so my weight gain is hovering at just over 55lbs so far. I trust the babies are still gaining weight as they should, but I haven’t been packing in QUITE as many calories lately due to limited room for food.
I am a bit more dilated this week than the past two– I’ve officially hit 3cm and 90% effaced. My doctor said it could be any day or it could be another week. We just don’t know! I hate not knowing!
I would love another week so we could hit 36 (which just seems like a nice number), but I am mentally in a place where if the babies decide they want to come tonight, I trust they will be safe and I am okay with that.
Delivery Thoughts: Oh, y’all. I don’t know what to think about the delivery. At this point it seems certain we will at least attempt a vaginal birth because both babies are head down. I feel apprehensive about this for a few reasons. I haven’t been able to work out for a few months now so I don’t have great faith in my physical strength or endurance. I worry about being able to push out Baby B after being exhausted from having pushed out Baby A. I worry about all kinds of complications because every time a new possibility comes into my zone of awareness I fixate on it for a while. I am addicted to reading (mostly twin) birth stories online but lord help me I should really stop! There are just so many scary things that can happen.
I don’t really want to experience both a vaginal birth AND a c-section to get these babies out, which is what happens when Baby A comes out fine vaginally but for whatever reason Baby B needs to be born via emergency c-section. Recovering from two different exits sounds daunting. There’s only one sure way to avoid that, though: go directly to a c-section without attempting to do it vaginally. (Have I used the word “vaginal” enough yet? Can I work it in a few more times?) We won’t be opting for a c-section though unless there’s a medical reason to do so — for example if the babies move into a less favorable position or if there is some emergent reason they need to come out faster. So that means we will very likely be trying the vaginal route and hoping that it works for both babies. But who knows! I hate not knowing!
So there you go. All I can do is remember my very simple, one-point birth plan: everyone comes out alive and healthy.
I had my twins vaginally and I had all the same fears! One point – your babies will likely be smaller than a singleton. I found it much easier (still not easy!) to push out the girls than my older two. And no tearing! Also, once you’ve pushed out one and found the muscles you need, pushing out the next is not nearly as terrifying as you’d think. Baby B is the tricky part, but if it stays in position and there’s no monkey business with cords or placentas (Haley’s started to come away after Katie was born so I had to get her out quickly. They were readying the vacuum just in case, but one push was enough!) then it definitely be done! Good luck!
That’s all so good to hear, thank you!
Looking good, K! (I wore purple today and felt kinda like I looked like a grape.) I’m so glad y’all have made it this far. You’ve done a great job keeping those babies inside for as long as possible!
Thanks! You hang in there, too. Also, I am sure you did not look like a grape 🙂
First of all, you look beyond amazing. Second, I have birth thoughts. Mine were head up, head down. And my doc said that in that situation after baby A is born, B might just slump SIDEWAYS and not come out, needing a c-section, she did give me the option of a vaginal birth, but I was all HELLS NO am I risking having to do BOTH. So c section it was! And it was fine. It was moot anyway, as I had an amniocentesis that showed B was in distress, (low sac fluid & meconium- turns out she was not getting enough nutrition because I had a mild form of TTTS) but I digress. It was emergency c section after that. But I still would have chosen c section. They get a bad rap, but I kinda love them. Even with all the complications I had with my follow up delivery. Oh! But I meant to add, do not worry about needing strength to get baby B out! By that point it’s like throwing a hot dog down a hallway. B will just come sliding right outta there, if he (she?) doesn’t go vertex. Good luck to you and those sweet babies!
OMG, throwing a hotdog down a hallway! I am DYING over here, Ashley! 😂😂😂
(When I mentioned to my OB that I was worried about Baby A having such a big head, she was all like, “Nothing to worry about. That just means Baby B will shoot right outta there like a torpedo!” But your version is funnier.)
I love your updates and I am SO EXCITED for you! You can totally do this! Go you, go babies!
As far as finding the energy to push out baby B – you will totally be able to do that. When pushing starts, you get a big dose of adrenaline that you don’t get in 1st stage labor, that boosts you to be able to push! You will totally be A-okay to push both out! Plus, the passage will have been uhm, prepared, by Baby A! Promise. You will be GREAT no matter what! I just know this!
If you need me. I’m here. You’ve got this, despite all the insane symptoms of pregnancy. You’re amazing – thanks for sharing so much with us!
Thanks, Sarah! I will think of it like the runner’s high that only shows up after you’ve gone a few miles.