When we found out we were having not one, but TWO babies I lost my mind. No, really – I did. I still remember the horrible, panicked reaction I gave my doctor, immediately saying to him, “I can’t!” I was truly terrified…mostly because I couldn’t fathom being able to physically carry twins. I just wasn’t strong enough. Without missing a beat, my doctor said, “Oh, yes you can.” He then told me the best thing I could do was to take it day by day and to make sure I took care of myself. He reminded me how important it was to stay hydrated and to drink as much water as I could. I was surprised at the time and didn’t really understand how such small things could be that important, but I followed his advice and I am sure that’s why my pregnancy went so well.
Like many expectant mothers, I had my ups and downs during pregnancy. Carrying twins meant more check-ups and additional screenings and tests. I had a few bumps (like being diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 28 weeks and tearing my hamstring at the end <–not fun!), but overall I was healthy and – more importantly – the girls were healthy. I carried them until I was 38 weeks and then delivered them via c-section. The girls weighed around 6 pounds each. Twelve pounds of baby inside me and you can imagine how large I was at the end!
There’s a lot of advice out there on how to have an optimal pregnancy, but I wanted to share a few things that really worked for me. I am only speaking from my personal experience – everyone is different.
- I drank a TON of water! In fact, I didn’t go anywhere without my water bottle. I kept an extra bottle in my car just in case I forgot mine. I was constantly using the bathroom, but I would have been doing that anyway. If I got bored with plain water, I would throw in lemon, lime, orange, etc. Or, I would drink sparkling water. Yes, I drank a cup of coffee every morning. No judgments!
- I exercised almost daily. This included everything from running, lifting, yoga and swimming. I ran up until I was 28 weeks and then it just got uncomfortable for me. After that I stuck mostly with walking, lifting, and yoga. All the exercises I did were cleared with my doctor and I was cautious in my movements. I did some swimming at the end. Note: prior to getting pregnant I was exercising at a high intensity on a regular basis. I wouldn’t advise starting a new program or doing anything without checking with your doctor. Most importantly, you should always listen to your body.
- Physical therapy. I visited an amazing physical therapist several times during my third trimester who specialized in women’s health and pregnancy. She showed me exercises to strengthen my pelvis, legs, and back. She also showed me proper body mechanics for things we don’t even think about, like how to properly get in and out of the car as well as how I should be lifting the girls once they were born and getting their car seats in and out of the car. She also demonstrated exercises to do after the c-section to bring my abs back together. It was IMMENSELY helpful. I think every woman should visit a PT during pregnancy.
Pregnancy – whether you are carrying one, two, or three babies – can be challenging. Everyone is different and what works for one person may not be the right thing for someone else. I wanted to share what I felt was helpful for me. I would love to know what may have worked for you.