The Fourth Pregnancy Post: Month 6 Weeks 22 – 26
As I start to write this, we are 25 weeks pregnant and have just got home from a last minute consultant appointment which has left me feeling a little flat – but more on that later. We’re now well over half way through the pregnancy and our baby girls are very fidgety, you can even see their movement through my clothes! We haven’t quite got to the alien stage yet where it looks like something, or 2 somethings, are trying to escape from my tummy – we’re still at the cute stage where it’s a pulse like movement that creates a fleeting bulge. It’s very distracting now that we’re back at work after the Christmas break.
I’m finishing this blog off 27 weeks and 2 days pregnant, at 8.32 on Saturday morning, in a brand new home, with a poorly husband upstairs sleeping and all sorts of crazy sensations in my tummy… oh and with a very strong pang of hunger that’s just crept in. Weeks 22-26 have been busy for all 4 of us.
The girls have reached that point where their growth increases faster than at any point before. At our 24 week scan they were estimated to weigh 1lb 3oz and 1lb 4oz. When I look back to the early days, to looking at my app and seeing they were the same size as a blueberry, or a pea, it astounds me how far they’ve come – it really feel does feel like a miracle to be pregnant and to have 2 babies that are both doing well. If you know Ryan and I, you know we had a bunny rabbit called Rupert, known as The Great Rupardo. You’ll also know Ryan has many (too many) nicknames for me, mink and bug being the main ones – so over the years I have become Great Mink, or Great Bug. You can probably tell where I’m going with this … the babies are now referred to as The Great Babies. A little insight into our life, haha 😂
It’s insane to think they’re predicted to weigh approx 6lbs based on their growth so far. I’m not sure how accurate the growth predictions are but, considering we only have a maximum of 11 weeks to go, they have quite a lot of fattening up to do in a fairly short amount of time … which of course also means fattening Mama up (typed whilst polishing off the last 5 strips of a 250g Cadburys chocolate bar … I can’t blame them entirely!).
You may have read in a previous post that we named the girls over a romantic meal at Wagamamas. We love their names but we still generally refer to them as ‘the twinnies’, ‘the babies’, ‘the girls’ or ‘the great babies’ – our parents tend to be the ones calling them by their newly given names the most, which is really sweet. Every time I get a message or hear them say their names it makes me melt a little. I can’t believe I’m going to have 2 baby girls.
As we end week 26, the babies are now over a foot long… which every time you mention to someone, always draws Subway comparisons, haha! I know they are all cuddled up in the fetal position, and I know I have definitely got a bigger tummy now, but it’s gobsmacking to think there are actually 2 foot long size beings in me 😳
There have been a few instances towards the end of this month where Ryan and I have woken up earlier, or randomly in the middle of the night, and the babies have been going crazy, like they’re having a dance (which I hope they are, hopefully to their own twin language music haha). You can really feel their movements now, although they are very fussy about who they perform for and when. These aren’t just popping sensations anymore, but turning, rolling, stretching sensations that change the shape of my tummy … we’re getting closer and closer to recreating that alien escaping scene. I’ve tried to film it a couple of times but it doesn’t come across on an iPhone. I will keep trying though because it’s a pretty cool stage of their growth – I say that now, at the point they’re not breaking my ribs. I’m told it soon becomes a lot more painful and less of a novelty as we move into the last trimester with everything becoming harder and more uncomfortable, but I hope not.
This month we’ve had 3 scheduled appointments, and 1 adhoc trip to the hospital. The week before Christmas I managed to catch a stomach virus – I don’t generally tend to pick up bugs and this one really knocked me for six. In the space of 5 days I’d eaten 4 pieces of toast and barely managed any water. I was so tired, but couldn’t sleep because my hips were so uncomfortable (the bug coincided perfectly with what seems to be my bi-weekly hip stretching, growth spurt) and felt like I wanted to be sick all the time. I could feel my stomach constantly – and not in a cute “ah the babies are moving” way. Without going into too much detail, I was sick, alot… I felt really sorry for Ryan who had to deal with the clean up operations. Anyway, eventually I was sent into the hospital to be checked over… I was quarantined so that I didn’t spread the lurgy to any mummies on the ward, thankfully. The midwife and doctor were both brilliant, and the doctor even did a quick ultrasound. They explained that the babies and I had a good nutritional supply (somehow) in spite of my not eating or drinking for 5 days, which meant that my body hadn’t started to go into the fat stores / reserves to feed the babies – it hadn’t needed to. It’s just so clever how the body works, even more so when you’re pregnant. Another good experience with Frimley, even though it took a bit of back and forth to actually get the reassurance and be checked over.
We also had our 24 week scan, 24 week midwife appointment and, thrown in for good measure, was a last minute 24 week appointment with the consultant. The 24 week scan was a lot less detailed than the 20 week scan, it seemed a lot more basic, just a precaution to check them over and make sure there weren’t any developing concerns. Both babies were fine, and although not in the same cuddling position as the 20 week scan, were moving around lots, looking very cute! The sonographer did almost give Ryan and I a heart attack when, after she’d completed all of her checks, advising us of each babies measurements, she said-
“Unfortunately we have a major problem…
… with the printer”.
In the milliseconds between the word problem and the remainder of that sentence, I am sure my heart stopped, that my eyes popped out of my head and I started sweating. “Oh sorry, did you think I was going to say something else?” … well yeah, when you are scanning someones unborn babies and you then start a sentence like that, generally you think the worst… bless her, she was very apologetic.
I came away from our last minute 24 week appointment with the consultant wishing we hadn’t had it. When we first met him back at 12 weeks, he asked me what my preference for birth was. I was content that my preference would be a natural delivery, assuming there was no risk to the babies at any time. Ryan went on to query the hospitals position in terms of their preference and we were told that a natural delivery is better for the Mother, it’s ‘natures way’ (his words) and a c-section deemed better for the babies as it can be less stressful. My instinct has always been to try for a natural birth but this recent meeting, coupled with what I’ve read about practices in most hospitals, had me thinking that, ultimately, the odds are significantly higher that I’d end up in theatre having a c-section. Something that I am slowly learning (struggling to accept) throughout this pregnancy is to try to relinquish a little control. I have very little influence, if any, over what is going to happen, or even how they will be born and that’s something I find quite hard. I want to have a plan. I like to have plans, to be organised, to know what is going to happen and to prepare for any eventualities. Over the last few weeks I’ve struggled to take my mind off anything other than birth. I’m going to do a seperate post on that because I’d really like some advice from Mums locally who are happy to share their experiences. There is only so much reading you can do. I know the only outcome that matters is that the babies are healthy, and everything else will probably pale into insignificance over the next few hours, days and months, but right now, it feels like the most important, conflicting, decision in the world.
Just to say, totally not bashing C-Sections, I know people who have had wonderful experiences and they are obviously absolutely amazing. I’m sure that if I do have a C-Section, under whatever circumstances, I won’t regret it because it will have given me my babies. Also, to add – Ryan’s preference is totally to book for a planned C-Section. I’m just saying it feels like a big decision to make and I need more guidance!
I get so emotional, baby
On the way to our 24 week appointment I had my Whitney Houston Greatest Hits CD playing (which, btw, if you have it and haven’t listened to it for a while is an epic CD!) … (CD’s … does anyone else still have CD’s in their car?) … (I don’t have an aux sooooo CD’s are my only choice!) Anyway, So Emotional didn’t come on, but The Greatest Love of All did… again you can probably link this up and see where I’m going with it. I couldn’t even make it through the whole song without welling up, the lip quiver wasn’t helping my singing at all… I had to turn it off, I didn’t fancy turning up to my appointment with streaks down my cheeks. However, I can’t even blame the pregnancy for that, I’ve always been emotional – if you read any of my wedding related posts you might remember this happened to me quite a lot then, too. Generally, throughout the last 26 weeks, I haven’t been any more more emotional than usual and I haven’t had any interesting or exciting cravings… I seem to have skipped 2 of the main pregnancy ‘side-effects’… but perhaps that will change we enter the last trimester.
I have, however, taken full advantage of being able to enjoy chocolate, sweets, puddings and carbs after enduring a strict pre-wedding diet, something that definitely is showing on my face… something else I can’t blame the babies entirely for. I went to the gym towards the end of the 26th week having not been since early December – because I was poorly, then it was Christmas, then we moved house – and weighed myself for the first time. Considering our babies combined only weigh 2lb 7oz , I’ve managed to put on a whopping 24lbs 2oz (11kgs). I know (hope) alot of that is fluid, placentas etc but I also know a good 5 or 6 lbs, at least, is chocolate.
We’re going through chaaaaanges (to be sung like Kelly and Ozzy Osborne!)
We lived in a lovely 2 bed flat but with the impending arrival of our little bundles knew we needed more space. We finally completed and moved into our new home on 5th January. It’s been such a crazy ride but it feels so amazing to finally be in and to be getting the nursery ready for the twins. Ryan and I have sat back on quite a few occasions and thought about the moment we bring them home for the first time, how scary but utterly amazing that will be 😍
These are the only pictures I have! We still have a lot to do!
When the nursery is fully equipped and decorated I’ll post a few pictures – I am so excited. We were advised not to paint the walls for 6 months to a year, which Ryan is sticking to … basically just so that he doesn’t have to spend a weekend painting!! As we were in the flat we only bought 1 thing for the nursery – it seemed pointless to buy everything and then have to transport it in the move. Our 1 purchase though, well, I just love it! We saw it in Next and both knew it would be perfect…
We also bought our Pram and Car Seats from Baby Gear in Camberley which was great. I was feeling really unorganised (and still am, to be honest!). We had nothing. And we’re rapidly approaching 28 weeks. I know even single babies can come super early but with twins it is a little more likely and so it’s recommended you have as much of your sh*t together as possible. We chose the Bugaboo Donkey 2 where the girls will be side by side – I really didn’t like the idea of a top / bottom pushchair and choosing one baby to put at the bottom. The pram is lightweight in every sense, to lift, to turn and to pack, I also think it looks really nice! For anyone interested in how cool and sleek the design is … this is a good video.
Such a horrible photo but it’s a nice memory! Ryan hasn’t managed to take 1 decent photo of me pregnant … its easier to blame him than recognise my chocolate addiction as the cause for many a failed photo attempt 🤦🏻♀️
We chose the Maxi-Cosi i Pebble’s in pink … the pink just looked so pretty I had to have it! Oh, and isofix bases. I knew nothing about isofix bases or car seats (and still don’t really) so we just went with the only brand I knew and that most people I know have. They hook up into the Bugaboo so that was another bonus, although I’m not sure how often we’ll use the car seats instead of the carry cots but we’ll see!
Who Run The World? Girls 🙌🏼
At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have a Baby Shower but I’m so glad I did. It was so special, and a little overwhelming (in a good way) to be with all the main ladies that will be in the girls lives; they will be surrounded by so many strong, clever and wonderful women – something I am very thankful for. We played games (thankfully my team won at least one of the games!) and then the girls and I were spoiled with the most generous and thoughtful gifts. Already they have some of THE cutest outfits. So much effort was put into the decorations (hand made bunting and a hand made guestbook which will both be put up in the nursery, a wig wam – which the babies and I will use for reading books and chilling in made by Mama J) and games. It felt like a celebration, like a pre-birthday for them! As someone that had never even had a birthday party, my Hen Do and Wedding showed me how precious it is having all of your favourite people in one place, and that’s what I loved most about the Baby Shower, everyone being together and excited for the babies arrival. Thank you to you all, you know who you are ❤️
I’ve only ever been to one baby shower, and only one of my besties has a baby, so I’m super excited to have many more showers to share and look forward to in the future.
There were a few more pictures of everyone, but some people were missing and, honestly, I looked awful so don’t want to share them, haha!
Baby Class # 1
This month also saw us attend our first NCT class. It’s fair to say Ryan wasn’t overly keen – especially as earlier in the day a colleague had told him it was a waste of time. The lady that runs the class seemed really nice and lives in the same village, running other groups throughout the week, too. We looked at the different location options for birth, what is happening to the mothers body, how to increase Oxytocin and Endorphin’s in labour and some other fun icebreakers. I’m looking forward to the next 4 classes, although they finish at 9.30 and I’m pretty tired by then!
11 weeks to go
January has flown by so quickly and suddenly we only have a maximum of 11 weeks until the babies are here. We go into the final Trimester excited and extremely thankful for what has so far been a smooth and enjoyable pregnancy for us both. We know anything can happen from here onwards. We recently watched a Twins and Multiples special on One Born Every Minute which further showed us just how lucky we have been, but also highlighted how precarious a twin pregnancy can be. They seem quite happy cooking away in my tummy, but we’ll know more at our 28 week appointment. As it nears, as with every appointment, I feel scared – this will be our first proper appointment with the consultant, where he will do a scan and then chat through the next steps based on the scan results. Hopefully both babies have continued to grow at the same rate, both placentas are functioning fully and everything looks good to progress, making it more likely we’ll get to 37 weeks.
Since blogging about pregnancy, I’ve been contacted by some lovely ladies on Instagram and have even been able to give a little advice and support which I love – sometimes I feel like I know what I’m talking about (jokes … I’m clueless, despite Ryan thinking I’m a baby whisperer!). Much like the wedding community, the Mama-to-be online community is amazing. I’ve also found some instagrammers whose advice and recommendations have been perfectly timed and much needed – main shout out there goes to Poppy Dinsey whose posts and vlogs have been full of tonnes of information and guidance!
Over the next week I’m going to do a couple of different posts, posts for advice and tips from other Mamas about birth and labour, hospital experiences and, on a lighter note, changing bags must haves for the twins and I, along with essentials for twin life!
I promised these posts would get shorter but somehow they’re getting longer … but if you’ve made it all the way to the end, thanks very much and please say hey!
Hayley & The Babies