After finding out I was pregnant with twins the first thing I did was to look to other mothers of twins for advice. I read blogs and articles trying to get a glimpse into what my future self would need, want, and feel. I had a two year old boy and a one year old daughter at the time and so I still remembered what pregnancy was like. Most of all I wanted to know how to handle a twin pregnancy with two toddlers. Everything I read was depressing and no one seemed to have had twins with toddlers. I read things like “take a nap every day” yea right! and “don’t be on your feet for more than an hour after 28 weeks” . Where were the real people working and raising children?? Here are a few things I have learned from my twin pregnancy that will help anyone pregnant with a little one running around.
- You may not get a nap but rest during “nap time” if you can. My son turned three when I was 4 months pregnant and stopped napping when he was 2. I had been trying to get things done while he laid in bed awake but it was making me so mad trying to keep him quiet so he wouldn’t wake his sister up and so I could get the house clean, a project done, or dinner started (yes I start dinner around mid afternoon). Instead I laid down in my bed with him and we chatted then we had a quiet time. He only fell asleep a handful of times and I was still frustrated to lay down and not be able to sleep but the rest of the day was easier and it was at least some rest. If your children are older perhaps a quiet time with books or watching their favorite show in another room will let you catch a few zzzs.
- Have horizontal play. During the first trimester I cannot describe how tired I was. I found that my kids didn’t seem to notice if I was laying half asleep in the floor playing with block, books, or whatever as long as I was near and not on my phone, or doing something else. They seemed oblivious to the fact my eyes were only half open or even closed as long as I was close at hand.
- Make some freezer meals. I was lucky enough to have my mom come for three days when I was about 7 months pregnant. We made 30 freezer meals together. Exhausting but worth it! During the last trimester when I couldn’t stand for more than 5 minutes (walking seemed to be OK ) the freezer meals were a life saver. I also would triple or double a freezer meal recipe and have one for that night and freeze the duplicates. If you don’t have any help or don’t ask for any help doubling or tripling the recipes several months out will give you plenty of freezer meals for the last few weeks and for after delivery.
- Keep active and try not to focus on how long you have left. It is torture looking at a large belly with sore muscles and aching tendons thinking “I have 2 or 4 more MONTHS to go!” So don’t. Think of activities that are approachable for you and your family. Come up with goals you want to achieve and stop looking at that baby app 3 or 4 times a day. Some of my goals now that I wasn’t working any more were sewing cushions for a couch (something I had no idea how to do and was a welcome mental exercise when caring for toddlers and being pregnant), walking daily (the lengths were not my normal but so helpful for the kids and myself mentally), planting seedlings indoors, listening to books from my local library via the Libby app, and getting out of the house for social things (before COVID19!!)
- Be thankful. Nothing wrong with a little venting or to let yourself feel those negative emotions, in fact it’s crucial to give yourself permission to experience those thoughts feelings and to share them; however take time to be thankful as well. Be thankful that you are healthy enough to be pregnant, thankful you have been blessed with TWO babies, be thankful for the friends, and family be they near or far, be thankful for technology to have support and community throughout the world.
I still have 4 more weeks to go until 28 weeks but these 5 things have been my mantra for this pregnancy. Let me know what has helped with your pregnancy.