I’ve been wanting to get a post out for ages, looking forward to blogging and instagramming my way through pregnancy into motherhood and actual adult life. Sometimes it randomly dawns on me, I will actually be responsible for life, not just 1 life, but 2… in their earliest, most vulnerable days. We’re in for such a rollercoaster ride but I cannot wait. Already, after just a few Instagram posts I’m loving how open people are about their experiences and I know I’m going to enjoy sharing my own story with new people, adding to the stories and tales of so many women before and to come. As I write those words I notice how different I sound and can’t help wondering how this journey will change me – just last night I was sat in a warm bubble bath, candles lit, watching breastfeeding videos, reading birth stories and repeating positive birth affirmations in a Buddha pose (this was a pure coincidence – it just happened to be the only comfortable position 😂). I blame the empowering books I’m reading, but more on that in another post!
This is a long one because there’s soooo much to talk about, but if you decide to make it all the way through to the end, and to ever read another, I promise to make them all shorter 🙈 … here goes!
Surprises “There are 2 babies” words we’d never expected to hear. The biggest, and best, surprise ever. I wish there was a video camera in the room so I could watch our reactions back. I remember having my hands up covering my mouth in an actual jaw dropping moment, shocked and giggling with tears in my eyes. The thought of Ryan’s face still makes me laugh, like a deer in headlights … but a deer that was fairly ferociously rubbing it’s beard (interesting to see how he manages that in a few months holding 2 babies!). Staring at the 2 little peanut shapes with their fluttering heartbeats lighting up the screen, through the shock, we were completely overjoyed. I am fairly sure I skipped and bounced out of the clinic, uncontrollably excited. We felt so lucky, not even remotely nervous or daunted by the prospect of somehow growing, birthing and caring (paying) for 2 tiny, miniature, screaming humans.
Appointments We had an early scan at just over 8 weeks due to a teeny, tiny bleed and the fact that all of the sickness, back and boob ache experienced on Honeymoon had completely disappeared in the week since we’d gotten home – typical. The Early Pregnancy Unit at our local hospital isn’t open on weekends so we were told to book an appointment at a nearby Baby Bonds clinic. The next day we took the half an hour drive, arrived 15 mins early with a very, very full bladder to find out they were running 25 minutes behind schedule… que Hayley feeling very sorry for herself for the next 40 minutes whilst getting increasingly pi**ed off at Ryan sitting comfortably next to me on his phone, laughing at football memes. We left with the cutest pictures of our babies – the picture of them both together still takes pride of place on the fridge 😍 The early scans are available for anyone but they also have a variety of different options for all stages of pregnancy. It’s not overly expensive and definitely provides a peace of mind that, for me, was priceless in those early weeks when you have no idea what is going on. That said, finding out earlier than our 12 week scan that we were having twins, and then discovering Vanishing Twin Syndrome, see below, did make the next few weeks more worrying than perhaps they would have been had we not had the early scan.
The 8-10 week midwife appointment is pretty boring – answering what feels like an endless list of questions about your medical history, your partners medical history and your families medical history, along with blood and blood pressure tests. Very unexciting in comparison to the rest of the appointments. You do get some cool freebies, along with your blue folder (which you need to have with you for every appointment)!
We counted down the days to our 12 week scan, nervously awaiting confirmation that both of our babies made it through the first trimester. It was a weird time, trying to balance being excited but realistic, preparing for potentially seeing one little baby, knowing the other hadn’t made it and trying to figure out how to deal with all of those conflicting emotions. It was hard to be excited, not knowing what was happening or what to expect, I just felt nervous and, I guess, scared. Time moved slower than ever and it felt like the longest 3 weeks. Ryan was generally optimistic, he spookily won a bet a couple of weeks before on a horse named Daddies Girls! I tried to be rational about the whole thing throughout those weeks but when we sat down in the waiting room, I found it impossible to hold it together – I was crying before we were even called through. When it was eventually our time and we were in the room, I hadn’t even told the poor midwife my name and date of birth before I had a breakdown, trying to explain through sobs and snot why I was so emotional. There was a lovely lady radiologist who was spending some time down in the maternity ward to get away from the sadness of her usual role, and she was great. The poor midwife however was a bit confused by the crazy girl led on the bed in front of him… still wailing as he applied the cold jelly. I couldn’t even look as he slid the transducer over my tummy, all I can remember is a glancing look at Ryan, still stroking his beard, and catching a clear glimpse of one baby on the screen. I continued to cry until he confirmed he’d found both babies, one tucked behind the other. At this point I was so excited I reached out in relief and grabbed his leg, significantly than higher than is usually acceptable to strangers, and told him I loved him … poor guy was a bit taken a back – Ryan just shook his head in that ‘what are you like’ kinda way. The next 20 minutes were probably the happiest of my life, seeing our babies summersaulting around each other and wriggling around in my tummy. The relief was overwhelming.
They were moving so much it was near impossible to get a picture of them both together so I’m looking forward to our 20 week appointment and getting another picture for the fridge 👶🏻👶🏼
Vanishing Twin Syndrome Flying high on the excitement of twin baby Williams, I was googling twin body wrapping when I stumbled across a thread on NetMums about Vanishing Twin Syndrome. I’d never heard of it but apparently its common in early pregnancy for there to actually be 2 babies, usually we just don’t know about it because we don’t have a scan until 12-14 weeks, during which time the second baby can be absorbed by the body leaving no trace, i.e. it vanishes. I googled this so much, reading countless threads, statistics from Mums who had been told this and that by their doctors but found very little hard evidence or confirmed numbers – Vanishing Twin Syndrome is a bit of a mystery. After a few days of panic I accepted that I had no control over what would happen and I’d just have to hold out, not worry or stress too much, and wait until our 3 month scan in just over 3 weeks time – not easy for someone who is a bit of a control freak. I’d remembered that I was supposed to update the midwife following our early scan and confirm that the pregnancy was still ongoing. I called and told the midwife that the scan actually revealed 2 healthy babies with strong heartbeats – her reaction was a bit surprising… “it’s unlikely both babies will be there by the time you have your 12 week scan and so you should prepare for that”… WOW! I understand the need to be honest and up front, but that approach was frankly awful, there was no positivity or support, no care or emotion. For anyone else who randomly discovers vanishing twin syndrome and is told to expect the worst, hold out a little while longer … our story goes to show the ‘experts’ aren’t always right. Thankfully she was wrong and now, both our babies are doing their thing, growing happily, getting ready to meet us in March / April!
“Symptoms” I don’t really like using that word, it makes pregnancy sound like an illness or negative and, overall, my experience was really good, I was lucky. The worst I felt was on honeymoon in Santorini and Sorrento – the last 2 weeks I was slow, bloated, tired, uncomfortable and more sick by the day. Riding our quad bike around Santorini was becoming hard work and Ryan had to start shouting “bump” whenever we were about to go through a pothole (which there are a ridiculous amount of!). A few days after getting home, starting our 8th week of pregnancy, that all disappeared – even my boobs stopped hurting as much! The biggest issue I had throughout the first trimester was being tired, I was falling asleep on the sofa every night before 9pm – I’d get so tired it felt like I had flu, feeling cold, achey and shakey, like my body physically had to go to sleep. I had no energy to exercise but because I was so tired I didn’t care, it didn’t even enter my head. Commuting was difficult, either as a passenger in a car or catching the train to work, but as I’ve always struggled a bit of car sickness I guess this was just heightened by all of the hormones. Part of me thought that because I wasn’t suffering we must have lost one of the babies, everything you read online suggests that the symptoms double when you’re pregnant with twins, but for some reason, that wasn’t the case in these early days for us. So again, if you do find yourself expecting 2 beautiful little babies, don’t believe everything you read online, you might be lucky enough to feel good!
Bump Watch My body didn’t change too much over the first 12 weeks. Except for some uncomfortable bloating, I still managed to fit in most of my trousers – although one lady did mention she’d noticed I’d got a little bigger since getting married, haha! I’m doing a little Bumpdate on Instagram every Wednesday – always known as Hump Day before pregnancy, it’s now my Bump Day and my favourite day of the week. I love comparing pictures and seeing how much my bump has grown and changed shape.
Gyming I didn’t go to the gym once in my first trimester – it was just impossible due to the intensity of the tiredness I was feeling. I’m watching Emily Skye, following her and making note of the routines ready for the time when I have more energy and am at a safe place in the pregnancy to feel comfortable working out again. Sadly my boxing days are behind me until the little ones are here with us, but I am already SO excited for my first BoxFit class in 2018 sometime!
Being pregnant really makes you so self aware and I find myself conscious of reducing stress of every kind, I’m determined to fill my body with nothing other than happy hormones and love. I also feel like I need to know everything. My reading and podcast list is getting longer every day, and although I know much of what will happen throughout pregnancy and labour is outside of my control, there are so many things that I do have control of and should be aware of that I’m enjoying learning about. It’s such an eye opening journey and is definitely already making me more patient and slightly less high maintenance 😂 I feel in complete awe of all the women before me… we’re pretty lucky really to get to experience something so utterly magical and transforming.
Lots of Love,
Hayley and the Babies ❤️