“And that’s the second heartbeat...”
“The second what?!?!”
Finding out you’re expecting twins or even more multiples can be an emotional roller coaster. You literally feel the entire spectrum of emotions: excitement, worry, anxiety, luck, shock and premature exhaustion to name a few. Irregardless, having twins is an incredible experience and if you’re expecting more than one baby double congratulationsare most certainly in order!
You usually find out whether you’re carrying multiples during a routine ultrasound in your first or second trimester. However, some parents don’t find out until trimester 3 or even at birth when a surprising second round of contractions begins, though this is a very rare occurrence with today’s advanced medical technology. In most cases, the more time you have to prepare the better; however some parents say finding out late only meant they worried less during the first part of their pregnancy. It varies from person to person, but one thing remains the same for everyone: it is a surprise like no other.
If you find out you’re expecting twins or even more multiples, here is some advice to help you deal with the surprise and to enjoy your pregnancy to the fullest:
- Don’t stress about it. Relax, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you can do it. If a cat can handle five wriggling kittens you can too! We’re sure of it.
- Get informed. It’s important to learn about how your pregnancy will be different to that of a mother carrying one baby, but remember don’t let yourself get stressed. Yes, there may be increased risk for several complications, but that doesn’t mean it will happen to you. You just need to know how to limit that risk and enjoy your pregnancy.
- Don’t over-shop. Most parents buy double everything when they find out they’re expecting twins, but you don’t have to. You’re going to need more diapers and two carseats, but most twins can share almost everything else. Save yourself the unnecessary extra expenses.
- Gain weight early. If you’re carrying multiples you’ll need to eat more calories, especially during your first trimester when your babies are developing all of their important organ systems. In your second and third trimesters, you can slow the weight gain down again as your babies only need enough to grow. Don’t worry about your post-partum weight, it will take much the same time for you to drop that weight as it will for someone who carried one baby.
- Join a local twins’ club. Or talk to people you know who have twins. This will help you work through any anxieties you may have and it’s also a great source of tips and advice for caring for multiple babies.
- Be comfortable with your doctor. This is the most important piece of advice we can offer you. Pick a doctor who is aware and prepared for the possible complications of a multiple pregnancy, but who is confident that everything will go well. Usually a doctor who is experienced with delivering multiples is your best option, but use your gut and pick a doctor you know will be best for you and your baby during your pregnancy and labour.
Twins are an amazing experience and if you ever hear those surprising words “You’re having twins!” remember all of your emotions are normal and you can do this!
Do you have any surprising twin stories of your own? Let us know, we love a great story.