Second Trimester with Twins
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And just like that, my second trimester with my di-di twins is complete. I feel like it flew by, but perhaps that is because it wasn’t as daunting as the first? Thankfully I was able to enjoy it more because of my nausea medication. I started taking it around 12 weeks and haven’t stopped. Towards the end of my second trimester heartburn made me reminisce of my first trimester sickness, so it wasn’t without woes. I’m not complaining though! I know every pregnancy is different, but I never really experienced a lift in energy or appetite shift like “they” tell you. It could be a twin thing? Not sure!
Something I was slightly nervous about entering my second trimester was eating enough. This is always important, but especially important when you are pregnant with multiples. You are trying to nourish 2+ babies after all! Gaining the proper amount of weight helps prevents pre term labor among other things. “They say” that you should gain the bulk of your weight (for a multiples pregnancy) by the end of the second trimester as you run out of room and time! This was especially hard for me as I didn’t feel good most of the time and often wasn’t hungry. I ate at all my meal time, plus snacks. My doctor told me to add around 300 calories a day come the second tri. The easiest way for me to do this was to eat a protein bar. These are my favorite. I began the second trimester by tracking my food just to see how many calories I was eating, but this only lasted a week or two. I just made sure to eat and didn’t stress to much about it.
Keep reading to hear more about how my second trimester went. To catch up and read my first trimester blog post, click here.
The Dairy Fairy Ruby Bra (c/o) | The Dairy Fairy Luna Panties (c/o) | Mott and Bow Jeans (c/o, not maternity jeans for the sake of these photos; however, these are the maternity jeans I have and love!) | Compression Socks | For reference I took these photos around 27 almost 28 weeks // I am currently 29 weeks.
I’d say where do I begin because it seems so long ago, but the logical answer is 14 weeks. The biggest thing this week is that Nick and I had our personal gender reveal! We didn’t announce it publicly until a little over a month later, but I documented it here. It was so intimate and special - I love how we did it. It was also this week that the pregnancy started to feel real. I felt a little less anxiety and a little more excitement. I thought maybe I could try not taking the nausea medication this week as I had entered the 2nd trimester, but that was. a mistake. I skipped my regular nightly and morning doses and around 12 hours after skipping the first dose, I was back to vomiting. I lost my appetite and was sick for about 3 days before getting back on track. I haven’t tried to get off of it again, because I simply can’t afford to not eat for 3 days right now. Got to gain that weight / help with pre-term labor!
Week 15 marked my first flight while pregnant. It wasn’t too bad on the way to Texas, but on the way back to LA our flight was delayed due to Texas storms. I ran out of water and snacks and the mask mandate amplified the issue. I vomited that evening, despite my nausea medication. I also finished telling the rest of my family about the babies, so that was fun! My skin felt kind of stretched for the first time around this week, bringing on the belly!
Week 16 I had my first prenatal massage at Surya Spa in Santa Monica, which was an absolute dream. I also think it was around this week I started to have a teeny tiny bump? I began taking all of my prenatal vitamins this week, as I had reduced the amount previously due to nausea. Week 17 I finally was able to fix my broken tooth at the dentist. They don’t perform procedures like that in the 1st trimester without doctor consent and I wasn’t in too much pain, so we just waited. I was so glad to finally have this done, but it was around this week I started getting light headed when laying on my back. I also had an OBGYN appointment this week which I was SO thankful for. This was the longest chunk of time (4 weeks) I had gone without seeing a doctor and it made my anxiety skyrocket. After this appointment, I started seeing a doctor every 2 weeks. The appointment frequency is slightly annoying, but I am thankful that I can see them that often. I alternate between my OB and MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine) doctor, so I see them individually every 4 weeks, but one of them every 2 weeks. I also announced to the world that we were expecting twins this week! I also did my first live with Twiniversity this week.
Weeks 14 - 17 I experienced frequent, mild headaches, likely because of dehydration. I had a hankering for a Coke, so I purchased some caffeine free Coke from Amazon that was way overpriced, just to have it. It is currently not in production and very hard to find. I really didn’t have any cravings, but I would eat a HUGE fruit salad every morning and often craved pancakes. I learned not to do too much during this time too. I think I didn’t know what to do with myself since I was vomiting way less, so I thought I could go back to my usual schedule. I was wrong and spent several days sleeping off what would have been a normal routine for me. Taking it slower has been hard, but I have gotten a lot better about this as the weeks have gone on.
Around week 18 I started noticing that my calves and ankles began to ache at night and when I woke up in the morning. This week we joined our local twin club at the recommendation of Twiniversity and we would highly recommend it! We have been able to connect with other twin parents and parents of multiples, which was really great. Ours is actually called the West LA Parents of Multiples Club (WLAPOM), so they actually have triplet and quad parents too. Nothing too crazy about week 19, but I think at this point I broke down and bought some compression socks. I try to wear them most every day and they do help! I also dry brush my calves every morning to stimulate blood flow. While I don’t do this at night, I do this again in the afternoon if I need it. I bookmarked this week as the best I felt since becoming pregnant, so that is pretty noteworthy!
Week 20 I began experiencing rib pain on my left side both on the front and back. At this point in time, baby boy’s head was up and was probably what kept poking me in the ribs. This is fast forwarding, but he is an acrobat! He has been both head down and transverse, so who knows how he will lay once it is time for him to arrive. This was also the week of the pivotal anatomy scan! I had seen my MFM before no issue (around week 13 for NIPT), so I didn’t think anything of it. My specialist appointments are long since they are checking a lot things, but it is even longer because he has two babies to look at. I broke out into a cold sweat and almost passed out several times. I’m very surprised I didn’t vomit. I actually asked him if I could throw up and he said no, then rolled me onto my side and pressed a cold compress on my forehead and neck. So sweet, but man my appointments have not been good since then. I often dread them because I get so light headed! I also messed up my nausea meds this day, so needless to say, I did vomit once I got home. I ordered a prenatal cradle this week and used it occasionally, but to be honest it came in handy more towards the end of the 2nd trimester and beginning of the 3rd. I did my 2nd live with Twiniversity this week.
Week 21 I looked down and thought oh gosh, where have my ribs gone? I hadn’t really noticed until then that my ribs were growing further and further apart to allow my stomach to protrude and the babies to grow. Week 22 was fun because I had my first baby shower. It was also not a fun week, because I flew again and these flights to and from Texas were a lot harder on me than the ones at the beginning of the 2nd tri. The face mask was unbearable and I had to get up and walk the aisles a lot as I was in constant rib pain otherwise. This week we started looking into extra life insurance for our family, in addition to researching cord blood and banking options. I also had a quick facial. Even though it was only 15 - 20 minutes, I still got light headed. I’ve now learned to take breaks. This includes eating too! I eat less, but more frequently, as I’m running out of room. I did my 3rd live with Twiniversity this week.
Week 23 was SO fun, because this is when we took our Babymoon! It was such a dream and was so relaxing. Would highly recommend taking some time to getaway even if it is just a staycation or day trip. I received my 2nd prenatal massage during this time. I was lovely, but I think moving forward I will lay on my side. They had a stomach pillow, but it wasn’t that comfortable for me. It was also a not so fun week, because I started experiencing regular heartburn. At first I didn’t even know what it was, but once I started getting it daily, a lightbulb went off and I realized it was heartburn. I started trying to combat it regularly around week 24, as it was important to be preventative with it. It caused me to lose my appetite and I can’t afford to lose weight at this point. In addition to anti-acids, I have also stayed away from spicy foods and lemon, which makes me sad, but also helps. We also flew back to California this week. I’ll try to do a post on flying during pregnancy, but these flights were easier for some reason than the previous Texas flights during week 21 and 22. Around this time I would wake up in the middle of the night and in the morning with sharp, burning hip pain. I would later learn that both babies were head down, which was likely contributing to my hip pain. Since then the babies have decided to both be transverse (sideways, heads on the left) and I still have the occasional hip pain, so not sure that was totally it. Either way, I signed up for physical therapy to try and help it. The PT place near me is really popular, so I haven’t been able to get in yet, but will start it in the 3rd trimester, when I will really need it. When we were on our babymoon, I did yoga everyday and it was awesome. I really hadn’t done an hour long type of activity like that, which encouraged me to be diligent with stretching and moving my body. And by diligent I mean like 15 minutes a day or so. Hah!
Week 25 my parents came in town and helped us begin to put the nursery together. It isn’t done yet, but at least the cribs are built! I gave you a sneak peak here. I also ordered a large pregnancy pillow to help this week to help with my hip pain. I loved the one I used in Hawaii, plus my chiropractor recommended it. Week 26 the gestational diabetes is the milestone and thankfully I passed! I really didn’t think it was bad at all, but that is likely because I didn’t end up having an issue. I also kept comparing it to when I got a colonoscopy and that drink was 1000x worse. Luckily I had mine in the morning. I woke up at 7:30 am, ate a boiled egg and some water. I drank the drink 8:00 am - 8:10 am and had my blood drawn by 9:10 am, followed my a peanut butter sandwich. Super painless and easy. I also had a small LA shower this week, which was really fun. I share more on that soon.
Week 27 was par for the course, so nothing really to report here. And that marks the end of my 2nd trimester. Will pick up with week 28 next time for my 3rd trimester post and then hopefully write a 4th trimester post too!
I said the 2nd trimester flew by and I do feel like it did, but it also felt longer likely because the 1st trimester includes at least 4 or 5 weeks where you don’t know you’re pregnant. My 1st trimester just felt long since I was sick for the bulk of it. I didn’t vomit much in the 2nd trimester, but the food never really got better for me. It is pretty sad, since I’m a foodie and enjoy eating. Nowadays, I struggle for something to sound “okay” to me. I don’t have super strong aversions like in the 1st tri, but nothing really ever sounds yummy. I can usually get by with breakfast and then lunch and dinner are up in the air. Smoothies are a great way for me to sneak in greens. I like to have one mid-morning with banana, avocado, spinach, pineapple or mango, fresh ginger, almond milk, and chia seeds. This trimester I wasn't able to get by without buying anymore maternity styles, as the bump popped. I am not against maternity styles, but I just don’t really want to spend money on them and prefer to find versatile styles I’ll be able to wear pregnancy and beyond. Nothing Fits But and Hatch are two of my favorite stores to buy from right now because they are super chic and items I’d actually wear after pregnancy. I also really like Madewell maternity jeans. Their regular dresses are often bump friendly too. I feel the same way about bras. My boobs have grown, but I don’t want to spend money and new bras, as I don’t know what size they will end up. I’ve been looking more at nursing bras, since they will fit me now and later. I really like the Dairy Fairy because their bras are pretty and functional. They also make nursing bras with clasps which are really important, as I will likely have a C section. Pull on bras (as most nursing bras are) are not ideal for healing from a Cesarean from what I’ve read.
My 2nd Trimester Symptoms
Heat Rash (at and around my boobs ~ it came back around the middle of the second trimester, possibly because of the summer heat?)
Hemorrhoids (this pillow did help)
Food Aversions (or rather nothing sounded good to eat?)
Sore calves and ankles (compression socks to the rescue)
Hip Pain (at one point they were both head down, but I still experienced sharp pain in my hips while sleeping)
Excessive sweating (specifically on the lower half of my body if you know what I mean…)
Things I stopped during the 2nd Trimester
(with the direction of my doctor - be sure to talk to yours!)
Bioactive Progesterone, Topical Progesterone, L-5 MTHF (I went over these in my first trimester post)
Things I started / continued during the 2nd Trimester
(with the approval of my doctor - be sure to talk to yours!)
Chiropractic Care (didn’t do this in the 1st trimester)
Massage (didn’t do this in the 1st trimester - I received 2 prenatal massages during the 2nd tri)
Prenatal Vitamins (I was taking them before conceiving. I take this brand 2x a day as per my doctor)
Collagen (I’ve been taking this brand)
Magnesium Citrate (I’ve been taking 400mg a day for a while now - it helps keep me regular - I take this brand)
Ginger Turmeric Supplement (I wrote a review of the one I use here)
Ginger Digestion Elixir (This helps keep me regular and I think why I haven’t really experienced pregnancy constipation. Use code ELLEMULENOS for 5% off)
Exercising (I say this loosely - I try to go on several walks a week - I also do light stretches daily)
Anti-acids (Heartburn is horrible - I try to prevent it by taking Pepcid twice a day and Tums as needed)
Belly Rubs (I did in this in the 1st tri, but made sure to do it twice a day, every day in the 2nd trie. I have used several different products and like them all for different reasons: Primally Pure Baby Balm, Primally Pure Body Butter, Now Foods Tamanu Oil, Eco by Naty Pregnancy Oil)
Naps (I take at least one 25ish minute nap a day if not two. I also make sure to rest up if I know I’m going to have a long day. I typically get tired around 10:30 am and then again around 2:30 pm)
Dry Brushing (I don’t dry brush my belly, rather I focus on my calves and brushing up them to stimulate blood flow)
Things I purchased during the 2nd Trimester
Knee Pillow (I actually bought this in the 1st Trimester, but used it way more in the 2nd)
Hatch Noelle Jumpsuit (also sold here, more budget friendly option here)
It’s You Babe Pre-natal Cradle and Belly Band (this one is made for twins and multiples, but they have singleton ones too!)
** I also purchased quite a bit of baby things. I’ll touch more on this on my registry post, but I’ve never been more appreciative of those who buy from the registry than before. I am usually a registry person regardless, but if I do decide to go rogue, I make sure to get at least one thing they actually asked for. Baby registries are very different from wedding registries. With wedding gifts, who cares if you don’t get the vase you registered for and wanted. With baby registries, these are items people actually need. I for sure cherish the special “we loved this” gift or hand-made items that weren’t registered for, but as far as the other items I’m kind of like “??”. Everything on our baby registry was researched and registered for with a purpose. For example, I tried to avoid plastic items and went more natural like rubber, silicone, and wood. I’m SO grateful for everything, so don’t hear me say I’m not. Just a newfound appreciation for those who buy what you need and asked for, especially for how much I bought myself. I think part of it is that people go last minute, so if it is an online item, it may be hard to have in-hand and most don’t like to show up empty handed. If you do go off registry, perhaps provide a receipt, so that the parents-to-be can try to return it and buy things they need. Without the receipt things are pretty hard to return and will likely get donated or wind up in the trash.
Classes I Took and Books I Read in the 2nd Trimester
Expecting Better by Emily Oster
The Fourth Trimester by Kimberly Ann Johnson
Tinyhood CPR Class (I found it for free and still plan to take an in person class as well as the Twiniversity Baby Safety Class)
Tinyhood Breastfeeding 101 Class (I found it for free and still plan to take a twin specific breastfeeding class from Twiniversity)
** I signed up for a C section class during the 2nd tri, but won’t take it until early 3rd tri when I’m around 31 weeks - my OBGYN just suggested I do it some time after 30 weeks.
Important Things we did in the 2nd Trimester
registered at the hospital I will deliver (so that paperwork and such is already done)
schedule an interview with pediatricians we are considering (will have them in the 3rd tri)
spoke with insurance regarding coverage and benefits, plus how to alert them once the babies are here
started working with a financial planner
began the process for more life insurance outside of work benefits
ordered breast pump through insurance (I used Yummy Mummy, but you can ask your insurance how / what sites they recommend - got the Spectra 1 which was considered an “upgrade” - I could have gotten the Spectra 2 fully covered, but I wanted the option to recharge it and not have to plug it in. I had to pay $50 out of pocket for this upgrade)
built the cribs / started setting up the nursery
started lists on my iphone notes app that are shared with Nick (birth wish list, hospital bag packing list, OBGYN questions and notes, questions for the pediatrician)
** we haven’t done it yet, but have discussed with a lawyer regarding constructing our will with the babies. It is on our radar and something we will do in the 3rd trimester.
Hardest Things About the 2nd Trimester for Me
Eating. Gaining weight is so important, especially when you’re pregnant with multiples. It can help prevent pre-term labor and lessen NICU time. Eating is typically very enjoyable for me, but it really hasn’t been during pregnancy. I often eat when I’m not hungry to avoid feeling bad. It’s also hard to figure out what to eat as most things don’t sound good. I really like to cook, but we have resorted to take-out most of the time, as what I’ll actually be okay eating is a game-time decision.
Heartburn. This not only makes eating hard, but it also makes me feel really crummy. I want to be able to accomplish little tasks and it even makes working my day to day job really hard. I had never experienced it before, so I didn’t even know it was heartburn at first. I’ve experienced acid reflux here and there, but it isn’t as frequent or as jarring as the heartburn for me. IT SUCKS.
Masks. My nausea and “feel good” sensors are very much heightened during pregnancy. Face masks because of COVID make me feel worse faster. Here in California they are still pretty much required everywhere, so I’m still wearing them to all my appointments and such, which is hard, especially if they are drawing blood or something like that.
Laying down. Honestly all I want to do is lay down, but I try to stay propped up to help with the heartburn. I really don’t mind laying on my side, but I switching sides is hard to do at times. Also my appointments are getting harder, as I’m laying down for those. My OB appointments are usually fine because those are 15 - 30 minutes. My MFM appointments are usually 45 - 60 minutes and are a lot harder. I have to lay on my back with my legs straight which doesn’t help either. Recovering from a clammy / lightheaded episode takes me a lot longer to do now, so a lot of the time, my days are shot when I experience laying down in a less than optimal way.
Caring. I debated putting this on here because I didn’t want anyone to think I was speaking directly about them. I’m prefacing this to say that this isn’t about one instance or a specific person. It is actually a multitude of instances and not directed at anyone specific. If anything it made me more empathetic with pregnant mothers and flagged my brain to always make a note to check on my pregnant friends - both in regard to physically and mentally. I’ve very much felt like a vessel to some - carrying something they want… only getting questions about the twins when asked at all and never about myself… IF I hear from them at all. I’ve felt like an afterthought to some who I thought I’d be a forethought to. I chat with my mom and sister about this frequently. I think we have a nature of we would do anything and be anywhere for people who are important to us and that just isn’t the case for some. Sure life happens, but there are still ways to make people feel loved without monetary value or even being physically there. Yes, I know my pregnancy hormones are raging and I also have my own anxieties and baggage that I’m unfortunately carrying with me; however, I just wanted to mention this to bring awareness to it. Honestly, check on your friends regardless of if they are pregnant. Even if they don’t respond, you still tried and they likely saw it.
Andddd that’s all for now! My 3rd trimester post will be up sooner rather than later, as they won’t let me go past 38 weeks (the first week of October). That’s exactly 2 months from now and sometimes twins come even earlier than that. We shall see!! Thanks so much for reading. XOXO
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