I am now nearly 21 weeks along in my pregnancy and things are really picking up! First of all, I can’t believe that I made it this far. Getting into the 20s in terms of weeks seemed so far away, and now I’m here! While I know that it does not mean things are safe, because there are no guarantees, it does give me some comfort to know that even if I deliver in a few weeks, my babies would have a chance at surviving. Since everything still looks good every time I go to the doctor, I have every reason to assume that I will make it several more weeks, and that gives me hope.
Secondly, the appointments! Oh my goodness, all the appointments. Now that I am farther along, I visit the MFM every two weeks, as well as the regular OB every 4 weeks. This week I managed to have 3 appointments, because I had my anatomy scan with the MFM, then an appointment with the regular OB two days later. At the OB I mentioned that my left ankle and foot has been swelling (little to no swelling in the right side), which meant another emergency ultrasound a few hours later to rule out a blood clot. Thankfully everything was okay, it appears to just be normal pregnancy swelling and this hot weather we’ve been having. But suddenly I have gone from feeling like time stretches indefinitely in between appointments to having an appointment just about every week! I also have a fetal echocardiogram scheduled at 23 weeks, which is in addition to all of the other appointments. It seems like I’m always signing out of work early or showing up to work late now. And soon there will be even more appointments, once the weekly MFM visits and then twice-weekly non-stress tests begin! Oh boy. At least I get to see my girls often.
It suddenly feels like I have so little time to get everything ready. My goal is to have everything ready by 30 weeks, because after that it seems like I could go into labor any time. The goal is to make it to 37 weeks (well, my personal, slightly selfish goal is 36 weeks…but still a long time from now), but so many women with twins go into labor at 31, 32, 33 weeks. I want to at least have my hospital bag packed by then, as well as own and organize all the essentials that I will need by the time the babies come home from the hospital. My husband also has several home improvement projects he wants to get done before the girls arrive, but he is so busy with work that I don’t know when they will all happen. Things feel a bit rushed now.
Money concerns. I feel a bit guilty every time I spend money on baby items, because I feel like maybe I should try harder to find things for free or cheap. But honestly, many items it just seems easier and more sanitary and more convenient to buy online new rather than hunt down and clean used items. I feel guilty because I am going to stay home once these babies are born, hopefully for a few years at least, and so my source of income will dry up within a few months. I also have so many copays from doctors visits now, and the MFM copay is higher than my regular OB copay. $50 instead of $20. It’s all worth it, of course, but by the end of this pregnancy all those copays will add up! This is another reason why I want to buy everything before 30 weeks, because then I will start to have more frequent appointments and all the money that I would spend on baby stuff should be spent on copays, instead.
- Occasional nausea, especially after breakfast. It seems to be worse on weekends. My theory is that it’s because I sleep later on weekends and my eating schedule gets off, which seems to influence how nauseous I feel all day.
- Extreme stuffiness. I try to make it through the day without medication, but decongestant spray is part of my nightly routine so I can breathe throughout the night.
- Trouble falling asleep most nights. I feel wired at bedtime! I still take unisom, partly for nausea but also because at least it helps me fall asleep a little. I don’t know how long it would take me to fall asleep if I didn’t take it. Perhaps a sign that I should stop drinking caffeine at lunch…(this will be easier in the summer!)
- Stomach is getting bigger by the day! However, it doesn’t feel that uncomfortable. I am using belly butter to hopefully prevent stretch marks.
- Braxton Hicks contractions. I haven’t had very many of these, but on two occasions I have woken up in the middle of the night and notice I am having a contraction. It goes away with some water and lying down on my side and deep breathing. I think I have started to feel some mild ones while I am walking in the past week, especially when it is hot out.
- Swelling in left leg. As I mentioned earlier, it seems to be normal and probably related to the heat wave we have been experiencing this week. It doesn’t hurt, but it sure doesn’t look pretty!
- Not a huge appetite. I certainly eat regularly and a fair amount, but I don’t usually feel ravenous and by the end of the day my stomach feels like it has been packed full. I’m trying to just eat healthy foods when I do eat and not worry about the amount, because I’m gaining a healthy amount of weight and so are the babies.
- Weight gain. Of course. However, I was happy to see that it seems to be leveling off a bit. Between my visits to the OB from March to April, I gained 13 pounds! In the past month between OB visits, I only gained 6 pounds. That makes a total weight gain of about 26 pounds so far at almost 21 weeks. It doesn’t make me happy to think about, but it’s necessary and not outside the range of normal, so I just have to trust that my body knows what it’s doing.
- The girls are starting to kick HARD! Over the past few weeks, they’re movements have progressed from occasional flutters to rather frequent and pronounced kicks and jabs. They don’t hurt me yet, but I am wondering how they will feel in a month or so! I’m glad to have such strong and active girls, though 🙂
I am grateful that I have not experienced several symptoms that seem to plague many women pregnant with twins at this stage, such as extreme fatigue or back pain. Or really much pain at all! Except sometimes abdominal pain when walking, I think from the weight and the stretching. I do believe that exercise has helped. This pregnancy does not feel that unnatural on my body, even though it has changed so much and I have gained so much weight.
Goals for the next 9 weeks (until 30 weeks):
- Acquire all baby necessities and have them organized by function
- Set up the nursery furniture
- Set up a “feeding station” and a “bathing station”
- Wash newborn clothes
- Pack hospital bag
- Complete hospital tour and have a plan for when I go into labor
- Continue to save as much money as possible from each paycheck to create a nest egg for later
- Deep clean house
So! If I felt like the first half of pregnancy was somewhat boring and dragged on without much to do, the second half feels more like a whirlwind and frenzy of activity. It is stressful, but it is exciting. This is really happening! I am really having twin girls! I can feel them moving around inside of me every day! I have seen them several times on the ultrasound screen. I am finally getting ready.