Third Trimester with Twins
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To be honest, I feel like the third trimester went by really quickly. For me personally, the second trimester felt the longest, probably because it was! Depending on when you find out you’re pregnant, everyone’s first trimester is cut short. Third trimester with twins is a gamble, as on average twins are born at 36 weeks and more than 50% are born at 37 weeks, if not earlier. Pretty much none go to 40 weeks to prevent complications. Di-di twins are considered full term at 38 weeks, which is what I have. Mo-di and mo-mo are considered full term in a shorter span like 36 or 37 weeks. Looking back, I said I felt like my second trimester flew by in that recap post; but, in comparison, the third trimester is a legitimate blur. Perhaps because I felt ALL the pregnancy symptoms and then some, plus was finally forced to really slow down. Who knows?!
28 weeks and just like that, the third trimester is here! This week the babies both weighed over 2 pounds. I started packing the hospital bag around this time, as twins are notorious for coming early. I also started a shared note on mine and Nick’s iPhones with things that still needed to be packed so if for some reason I couldn’t finish packing, he knew exactly what was lacking. I turned 30 during this week! Would have been ironic for that to happen during week 30, but hey, I was a little more mobile so that was nice. What I remember most from this week is that it began to hurt when I rolled over in bed and became easier to sit up to change positions instead. The nursery was mostly finished this week. I also fell down this stairs this week, but landed on my back, so it didn’t end up hurting the babies.
I don’t think it had to do with falling down, but by 29 weeks my lower back started hurting more. I began. wearing my prenatal cradle more for this reason. I actually had my 30 week scan this week even though I technically wasn’t, but it went well. Since we don’t have a ton of friends or family here, I bought stuff to make and freeze meals, just so we had some to get us by. I made Defined Dish Enchiladas, Chicken Soup, and Greek Lemon Oregano Potato Soup, all from her cookbook. I also made Ambitious Kitchen Pumpkin Cheese Lasagna as well as her chunky monkey muffins and pumpkin muffins. I like to make mini muffins since they are so easy to pop in your mouth as a snack, so I also made Sally’s Baking Addiction apple muffins. Oh and I baked some Ambitious Kitchen lactation cookies too.
At 30 weeks, I felt like I could start cooking dinner again. I made all those meals the week prior, so I decided to try to plan meals again versus just Door Dashing everything. This was something I truly missed, as I was always too sick or had too strong of an aversion to even plan food. At this point, I knew what typically sounded “okay” to me, so I was able to plan a little bit and cook. Coincidentally, I also started spilling all over myself, probably because my belly was pretty large at this point. This week’s big steps were that we interviewed / chose our pediatrician and I started physical therapy. I know summer was still in high gear, but it doesn’t usually get too warm in SoCal. Regardless, I started feeling hot more and craved ice / snow cones like no one’s business. Eventually I made some of my own popsicles with Gatorade and that was cheaper and still satisfying. I felt like it helped with my heartburn too! We scheduled my c section this week for October 15th - 38 weeks and 3 days, even though my doctor didn’t think I’d make it that long.
Week 31 hit and so did my bladder. I had wake more urgently when needing to use the restroom. I also noticed that I craved sugar more. From donuts to cupcakes, I wanted them all. I got cupping on my hips at physical therapy this week and OMG it hurt. It did help with my screaming hip joints though. A big thing we did this week was take a c section class by a nurse at the hospital I’ll be at. It was very informative and we used up the entire time of the two hour class. I’m so glad we took this course!
Nothing crazy happened during my 32 weeks mark. I started feeling a painful pressure on my bladder and continued wearing my prenatal cradle to try and combat that. At 33 weeks I had my last chiropractor appointment pre-birth. I noticed that I could no longer touch my toes without bending my knees, which is a first for me. I began feeling pretty useless after / around dinner time, mostly due to fatigue and heartburn. I also experienced insomnia consistently for the first time. It was during one of these bouts that I had the “omg the twins are going to be here soon” realization, Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well that night. Hah!
At 34 weeks I was originally going to start taking benefiber and colace twice a week to help with stool softening pre-birth because of my Ulcerative Colitis; but, I had so much pressure down there, diarrhea was pretty much a daily occurrence for me. Needless to say, I skipped those drugs and kept them packed for the hospital. I did start occasionally eating the lactation cookies I made and also ordered kelo-cote as an after c-section scar treatment. This week I began seeing a doctor weekly instead of every two weeks. During this week, they weighed over 5 lbs each at my doctor’s appointment. This made sense of the fact that I was feeling constant pressure. I was tested for cholestasis and strep b this appointment (both came back negative). The first something to look out for, but the second being a normal test. Besides slight itchiness, a new symptom I experienced was a stuff nose, usually at night. The problem was that it was more a swollen nose, as nothing came out when I blew it. One thing that did help was sleeping sitting up, which also alleviated some heartburn. Oddly enough, I feel like this replaced my nosebleed symptom? Not sure if it was the sugar or the stress, but I noticed some small pimples arise too, which I hadn’t really had all pregnancy.
35 weeks and I could no longer see my feet! If I bend over slightly I could, but other than that, it was all belly. It was this week that I realized I was a walking freak show. People would comment, stare, and even try to touch me like I was a petting zoo or something. My belly grew 1.5” between 34 and 35 weeks, so yeah it was out there, but still no excuse for what some people did. I began feeling it more in my lower to mid back than I ever had, in addition to my hands. I would wake up with aching hands that hurt to make a fist. They didn’t really look swollen, but my wedding rings started to feel a little tight. I think I had carpel tunnel, but never got an official diagnosis. Similarly, if I didn’t wear my compression socks one day, I definitely felt it the next day. I could 100% tell my body was nearing the end of pregnancy. I began feeling an even more intense pressure in my pelvis and the diarrhea kept showing up. This week I started non-stress tests twice a week, which was an experience in and of itself. For my first one I was there for three hours, because one of the twins wouldn’t stop moving, so it was really hard to get a read on them. I ended up physically holding the monitor on the spot to ensure we got the 15 minutes. Shortly after I was discharged, I felt my most intense / longest contraction yet. I wasn’t timing it, so not sure how long it was though. I almost cried all the way home it hurt so bad. I also noticed this week that I really wasn’t hungry a lot. I had bigger breakfasts, but smaller snack like meals throughout the day… probably because I didn’t have room to eat! The babies measured over 6lbs this week - healthy and good!
36 weeks hit and man did I feel the woes of pregnancy. My skin began hurting from stretching and what felt like ripping apart. Luckily it wasn’t itchy (it often is with multiples at this point) thanks to heavy moisturization. Basically everything hurt and I had a lot of weight and pressure on me. This often led to constant diarrhea. I began drinking red raspberry leaf tea this week and continued eating my lactation cookies here and there. I did notice a decrease in my heartburn, so that was somewhat of a relief. The only problem was that I didn’t have room to eat. Maybe that is why it got better?! I really have no desire to eat though. I thought I knew hemorrhoids, but omg. I had them worse than I thought I could! There was so much pressure in general down there. Before it was in my hips, but it is now in my pubic bone, so perhaps they have dropped? Not 100% sure.
37 weeks and I felt like I had been pregnant forever! My joints in my hips got looser than they already were and I took even more naps if that was possible. I also got more headaches. I had one for 3 days straight, so we started testing my urine for protein and monitoring my blood pressure for pre-eclampsia. When we did this, we ran labs and they actually noticed I had low platelets. Something kind of weird I noticed this week was my veins in my arms and hands were more puffy. This is apparently normal, as they are larger with more blood / are dilated.
I honestly can’t believe I made it to 38 weeks. We continued monitoring me for protein in my urine and watching my platelet levels. At my very last NST pre-surgery (Wednesday and my C-section was scheduled for Friday), they decided to keep me there and deliver me that evening. My twin pregnancy came to an end and started a new beginning at 38 weeks and 1 day. This is where my third trimester ended and my fourth trimester began. Stay tuned for the birth story of my babies at a later date.
My 3rd Trimester Symptoms
Heat Rash (at and around my boobs, also got one under my belly around 34 weeks)
Hemorrhoids (this pillow did help)
Food Aversions (or rather nothing sounded good to eat?)
Sore calves and ankles, plus really bad Charlie Horses (compression socks to the rescue)
Stuffy Nose (mostly at night / right when I wake up)
Pelvic Pain and Pressure
Lower / Mid Back Pain
Things I stopped during the 3rd Trimester
(with the direction of my doctor - be sure to talk to yours!)
Going to the Chiropractor (technically I went twice, once before I fell ((28 weeks)) and then 3 weeks later at 33 weeks; however, before that, I was going every 2 weeks.)
Things I started / continued during the 3rd Trimester
(with the approval of my doctor - be sure to talk to yours!)
Acupuncture (I did this up until the week I delivered! I saw my acupuncturist the day before my surgery.)
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)
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)
Lactation Cookies. I started eating these a couple times a week starting in week 34.
Laxatives. I was originally going to start these 2x a week at 34 weeks, but because of the pressure, my stool was already very loose. Regardless I had them on hand for after birth.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. I didn’t start this at the beginning, but in the last couple of weeks, say daily around 36 weeks.
Things I purchased during the 3rd Trimester
Classes I Took and Books I Read in the 3rd Trimester
Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman
How not to Hate your Husband after Kids by Jancee Dunn
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
Cribsheet by Emily Oster
The Family Firm by Emily Oster
7 Secrets of the Newborn by Dr. Robert Hamilton
Important Things we did in the 3rd Trimester
finished the nursery
installed carseats and got them inspected
had health screening for life insurance (we had to wait until we got the news that I passed my GD test)
started our will
Disputed large bills with insurance
Made sure our hospital bags were ready and in the car
Made sure we knew the layout of the hospital, where to park, etc
Hardest Things About the 3rd Trimester for Me
Counting Kicks. Sure eating, heartburn, masks and laying down are all still issues for me this trimester, but the biggest thing was having to count kicks. This triggered my anxiety and caused me to ask “are they actually okay” questions a lot even though I saw a doctor every two weeks, then every week starting at week 34. My twins were constantly moving, so I was never sure which position they were in, who was who, and where the kicks were actually coming from. I think this is partially from my miscarriage trauma and partially because I’m such a by the books person. What I ended up having to do is just make sure I felt something and acknowledge movement. Maybe I wasn’t following the “rules” 100% but it was what I had to do for my mental health.
The Pressure. Towards the end it just became downright painful. I am very thankful for physical therapy, but even with that once I was past 33 weeks, there was so much weight and pressure. It hurt to get out of bed. My hands always ached and the muscle spasms were mean! This was the most pain I was in consistently, so I guess that is good; however, my gosh was I ready for that part to be over… only to be replaced with another pain;)
The Looks. Around 35 weeks, my MFM (who is an amazing doctor) made a comment about my belly. He said “you’re going to have a lot of issues with your skin if you make it to your due date.” I left the office and immediately burst into tears. While I was thankful for healthy, big babies, I really wasn’t prepared to hear that. He wasn’t trying to be mean, but I was already in the weepy side of pregnancy. Throughout my entire pregnancy, I was told how good I looked. This is nice I guess, but it also pressured me to look good. I also asked the question, what if I didn’t look good? What then? At that moment, the postpartum “bounce back” pressure creeped in. I’ll have to talk about this another time, but it might just be best to tell someone they are glowing or maybe not mention their looks at all.
Will share the twins and their birth story soon! I’m giong to try to do a fourth trimester post as well. Thanks so much for following my journey. XOXO
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