As surreal as it is to even write this, I'm officially winding down my pregnancy now, with just days to go until I meet my twins. Since I expect this will be my only pregnancy, it's with a mix of deep emotions that I experience these final moments. (Emotional?! During pregnancy? Shocker, I know!)
Every pregnancy is completely unique, of course. I felt deep relief to have suffered no nausea or fatigue—no major symptoms at all, really—until I neared my third trimester, which, if I'm being honest, has been physically pretty challenging.
Looking back and surveying the whole journey (and there is truly no better word to describe pregnancy), here's what I see as among the highlights and lowlights.
What I'll miss about being pregnant...
The special bonding time with my husband. I wouldn't trade the five years I spent with my guy before babies for anything in the world. But so special, too, has been our time together as a couple during pregnancy. My heart explodes when I see him beaming as he glances between me and pictures of our future kids on the ultrasound machine at doctors appointments (and I might add he's never missed a single one). And our European babymoon was probably the most romantic trip we have ever taken together—after filling our passports since our wedding. Yes, there are many unglamorous moments too—here at the end, he's practically had to serve as my nurse—but the bond we've shared through this totally singular time in life has been nothing short of magic.
A real connection with strangers. Yes, pregnancy has provoked a lot of negative attention from people on the street (and I'll get to that later), but it's also sparked a few incredible personal connections among random folks I never otherwise would have gotten a chance to meet. Just last week, while cruising Target in my motorized cart, my ginormous belly caught the attention of another twin mom, now expecting a third. It was the most surprisingly fulfilling time I've ever spent in a frozen-food aisle, and I learned so much, and was so inspired, by the conversation and guidance. She's one of several strangers I met in such situations with whom I hope to remain friendly on the flip side!
Some special perks. I have not waited in a bathroom line for months, nor have I had to stand if there was a single chair available in a crowded room. I even got a few inches of extra legroom by way of free economy-cabin upgrade while flying (alas—no first class). When you're obviously pregnant, you're a target for little perks like that, and it's been fun while it lasted!
What I won't miss about being pregnant...
Acid reflux. Need I say more? Nothing defines "bummer" more than the fact the reflux strikes just as you try to get comfy in bed either. As if a pregnant woman isn't deserving of her good night's sleep! Thank you, modern science, for Tums and Zantac.
Physical impairment. I'm a generally fit person—or at least I was. In fact, I've written here before about scheduling entire days around gimmicky workouts. But I wasn't prepared for just how limited my mobility would be during my last trimester of twin pregnancy. (See above: confined to motorized carts!) Now at 37 weeks, I can't so much as flip over in bed without assistance from hubby, nor stand through a whole shower (thank you, newly remodeled bench seat)—let alone manage a walk in the neighborhood. I'm eager to get back into a fit lifestyle—and I have many fantasies (which I hope will soon become reality) about such things as beach walks with my Bob Revolution Flex Duallie double stroller (which I'm told all the fit parents swear by), or hikes with my kids in front-and-back Ergos!
Negative attention. Many women who have ever been pregnant are quite familiar with the tactless "you're ready to pop" line of questioning from strangers, or the unwelcome rubbing of the belly. (Seriously, were people raised in barns?) Because I'm carrying multiples, I've received, ahem, copious feedback from strangers since about 24 weeks. Yes, my belly is big. And no, pointing it out is not flattery—it makes me feel conspicuous and much worse. For instance, when a cashier tells me I look like I'm going to pop when I'm only at 26 weeks, and my specialist has just undescrored the dangers and my high risk of early delivery, that stranger is playing on my deepest fears, and making me feel like a time bomb when all I wanted was to order a burrito. There was one day in particular when I felt so targeted by so many gawkers, I came home and cried it out, and wrote a list of "what not to say to a woman pregnant with twins" on my personal blog. Then I went out at night for one last errand before the day was done, and the store clerk pretty much went through each verboten item on the list I'd just written, one by one. Finally, she asked when I was due, and then fired off this kicker: "July?! You'll be absolutely bedridden by then! I hear that's very depressing." Yeah, thanks. Cue the waterworks again. I will not miss those entitled invasions of privacy nor the total suspension of decorum.
Now I'd love to hear from you: What were your most and least favorite things about pregnancy?
Birth Stories: When You're Expecting Twins
Photo courtesy of Alesandra Dubin