So, I'm not technically through the first trimester just yet, but since we are expecting twins I probably won't make it to 40 weeks. So, I'm going to declare myself close enough. I am 12 weeks pregnant, and my official due date is September 5, but apparently I will be lucky to make it to mid-August. Here is an ultrasound picture of our little miracles at 10 weeks. We now have newer pictures, since I require more frequent doctor visits, being that a multiple pregnancy means high risk and all, but this is by far the best one we have of the two of them together.
Finding out you are pregnant with twins was, for me, a very unique experience. Nothing can prepare you for it. I even suspected before I visited the doctor that it might be multiples, but when you actually see those two little beings moving around inside you, you are hit with so many emotions, it is like hitting a brick wall. It was joyful, overwhelming, and terrifying all at once. I was alone when I found out, and for the rest of the day I was in a daze/crying. I think I told pretty much everyone I ran into on my way to pick up Joe from the courthouse that we were having twins and would soon have 3 children under the age of 2.
For the next few days I cried... a lot. I couldn't fathom how this would work, especially when we were right about to enter our poverty years, when all we could conceivably afford was to pay back all of our law school debts. At least, this is what I had been preparing myself for. We will see how the future works out. I looked for comfort through pretending to be happy about the news and through talking to others, but it didn't really work. The truth is, unless someone has also had multiples, there is no response that is comforting or even taken that well by the mother-to-be. To be fair, I have double the amount of hormones RAGING through my system all the time now, and I am a billion times more sick than with Ezra's pregnancy. Thankfully, some of the sickness has decreased and now I am mostly just sick towards the evenings. But this news has made me feel very alone.
I am also exhausted all day long. Even normal tasks like cooking dinner (if I do it at all) take 3x's longer since I have to constantly go lay down before I pass out. I never knew such an expert level of tiredness was obtainable. My parenting goals have become extremely lax and my efforts in my schooling even more so. Ezra smiles at me when I lay down and goes to his room to get his bedtime pillow and blanket so he can lay down for a moment and copy mom. I am secretly terrified that I am making him lazy.
And all those hormones. BOY am I filled with hormones. Those increased hormones sure explain why I cry all the time at cheesy kid movies and why I cannot sleep at all. So many things reduce me to tears each day: a beautiful Brahm song, a story about a couple having quads, a Christopher Robin quote, working conditions during the Industrial Revolution, and so much more. Seriously, those are just a few things that set me off today.
Sorry. I know that was a lot. I have so much bouncing around in my head every day, but don't really feel like I can share all my craziness. I just want to release it all out there to that big internet void. Yes, the last few paragraphs were catharsis, but also information that I don't want to forget. Now onto the good stuff.
After the first few days of processing, I was and am beyond thrilled for the arrival of our little bundles of joy. Twins are adorable, so whenever I begin to feel stressed I just go look at cute pictures of twin babies and that calms me right down. It is amazing to me that after hearing each baby's individual heartbeat and seeing their tiny fragile frames on the ultrasound machine, that I already feel completely entranced by them. I am in love, and I cannot imagine my life going any other way. This is one thing that I am extremely grateful to my Heavenly Father for. At the beginning of my pregnancy, I was so worried that I would not feel as attached to my baby during pregnancy as I did with Ezra, since he/she wouldn't be my first. However, Heavenly Father granted me an entirely new experience, one that I would have to do new research on and be completely involved with. These babies have already made me deliriously happy, and I cannot wait to get to know each of their individual personalities.
I am also extremely grateful for all the twin moms who have already reached out to me. I couldn't ask for better friends. It is so comforting to know others have done this successfully. I can do this! These friends have given me amazing information about what to expect and great groups to join that have already been so helpful. THANK YOU!
To finish, I wanted to list some facts about twins, especially fraternal twins (I'm hoping they are fraternal, but we will see)! Just things I thought were interesting.
- In 2009, 1 in every 30 pregnancies resulted in twins. According to the CDC, this is a 76% increase in twin births since 1980.
- This is believed to be caused by the increase in older mothers (women 35 and older are more likely to conceive multiples) and the increase in fertility treatments.
- Fraternal twins share no more DNA than any other sibling.
- Every woman has a chance of having multiples, but her chance of having fraternal twins are increased through genetics. This is caused by a gene that causes hyper-ovulation, when multiple eggs are released. Both mother and father can pass this gene down to their children, but it will only manifest itself in daughters, which is how the myth that twins skip a generation started.
- So what does this mean for our family? Our twins are the result of my genetics (if they are fraternal), but any daughters we might have may have a higher chance of having multiples since Joe has twins on his side of the family too. Our sons will simply continue to pass this gene on to their children.
- Our twins came from my right ovary... probably TMI, but there it is. My ultrasound technician, Betty, could actually tell me this at my 11 week appointment! Technology is amazing.
- In 2012, researchers from the University of Padova (Italy) recently studied twins in utero and believe that twins start bonding and learning to be social in the womb. At just 14 weeks they typically start reaching out for each other and are typically in contact with each other about 30% of the time. This assumes that the studied twins reached out and touched each other purposefully, which these researchers believed they did. These researchers were even able to witness that most twins are more delicate around the eyes of their womb-mate.
- In 2011, a study was released which stated that women who conceive and deliver twins naturally had a lower risk of dying each year after age 50 than those who had 1 baby at a time. Apparently, these findings are not linked to extra exercise or healthy diet choices, but to these women's "innate healthiness" which made them more likely to conceive, carry, and deliver twins. So...... this basically means I will live FOREVER. Just kidding.