Generally, I post entries about topics that I would never say out loud and certainly not in polite company. Today is kind of a rant about the difference between a singleton and a multiple pregnancy. So, feel free to skip it. It’s just nice to vent a little when you can’t to anyone in real life.
Now, I’ve never been pregnant before. So I really have no comparison between a singleton and multiple pregnancy. But I am 42 years old with depression, plantar fasciitis and severe degenerative disc disease in the low back that I’m told cannot be fixed with surgery. I’ve tried to wean off of the Cymbalta that treats the depression and back pain simultaneously, but was only able to go from 120mg to 60mg before the depression got the best of me – so I’m stuck at 90mg. This is a bit subtherapeutic for my back, but it’s a sacrifice I feel I need to make for the health of my little men. So, we were actually happy that on our first chance, it was a multiple pregnancy. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do this twice…and at an even more advanced age no less.
I’m an idiot.
From the beginning, this pregnancy has been very hard on me. When it was triplets during the first trimester, the fatigue and nausea were debilitating. Oh, and don’t forget the nearly daily migraines for which I could not take my beloved Imitrex. We were so thankful that I had new job where I could sit with my feet up a good amount of the time. One of my coworkers recently expressed her amazement at how well I was doing because “we thought you’d be on bedrest by 13 weeks.” I was living on vitamin B and Unisom, force feeding myself whatever I could choke down.
After I lost the triplet at the end of first trimester/beginning of second trimester, things improved immensely. I figured I finally entered that golden bliss that was known as second trimester. Yeah, with multiples, not so much. Once I could eat again, I realized that the boys had rearranged my internal organs so that my stomach was about 1/5th the size. So, the reflux, gas and burning of third trimester had already thoroughly established themselves.
Aside from that, the boys have grown very quickly – both consistently measuring larger than the average singleton AND I have consistently measured more than the 6 weeks ahead that twin mothers usually do. At this point, I am 10 weeks ahead. Their quick growth has caused a good amount of pain. A muscle under my right breast separated and my right back ribs are strained to the point of ligament damage. For a while, I had horrible hip pain from the round ligament stretching, but now it’s due to the relaxin. So, I can’t sleep on my right, my left, my belly or my back. I’m about to buy a hover bed…or a magician to levitate me.
As far as physical size, I’ve gained over 40 pounds and have gone from a Medium to an XL and those are starting to get tight. I’m on my second set of maternity scrubs at work. I don’t believe they make them in XXL, so I’m kind of SOL.
Two nights ago, I woke up at midnight for…the same thing every pregnant woman wakes up for…and had some significant pain to the right lower abdomen. I went to the bathroom to verify that there was no bleeding and no fluid leakage, then went back to bed, able to support my belly and minimize the pain. By 2:30am, the pain was pretty intense. I went back to the bathroom…nothing. The pain was constant and I couldn’t straighten up. It didn’t seem like contractions, but as this is exactly where the placentas lie, and one is low lying, I figured it was time to wake up DH and toddle off to the hospital. I knew how it would turn out, but felt it was completely irresponsible not to go.
DH dressed in his work clothes, which made me giggle internally. I knew darn well this would last until way passed the start of work. Oh, the naivete of the male partner.
In the end, I was diagnosed with dehydration (I looked at my urinalysis, and that is not the case) and contractions (I watched the monitor and I had exactly 2 in the 6 hours I was there). That was enough to buy me an IV. Then, some OR staff walked in and asked if I was the one going for C-section. I’m sure my eyes got comically wide as this was definitely NOT on my plan for today. I’m scheduled for 4/8 and not a moment sooner, thank you very much. Yeah, they were in the wrong room. Not a great confidence builder, in my opinion.
When the doctor came in to discharge me, I asked what was up with this pain I was having. She blamed it on the growth of the twins and shooed me out.
Oh, and my favorite part was the night nurse nagging me about scratching my belly. “Look, you’re making little blood trails. You don’t want an ugly belly! You need to use lotion.” I restrained myself very admirably. I wanted to scratch her face off. Number 1, I use cocoa butter twice a day and I use so much, all my clothes and bedding are stained with the stuff. Number 2, I’m fat and hideous. What are a few scratches going to do to my bikini modeling career at this point? F-U, woman. F-U.
Well, the pain is still there but less intense. Oh, and it’s on the left side as well now. Yet another ligament injury, I suspect, from the rapid growth. I have NO IDEA how moms of high order multiples do it. I am so miserable I find myself in the bathroom crying in pain at least 2-3 times a week at work.
So, comments from coworkers that have made me want to turn into a banshee:
- I have a reacher for things that I drop because I detest asking people for help. I have it labeled “Tara’s Reacher” and “Mr. Grabby”…mostly because a coworker handed it to a patient thinking it was her version of a cane. One of my less-than-subtle coworkers asked why I needed it. “You’re pregnant, not disabled.” Cue Look of Death.
- The same coworker said to me just the other day, “you don’t even look pregnant”. I beg to differ. I’ve been wearing an XXL men’s winter coat that masks my body shape and makes me look like I’m a smuggler. Strangers have commented on my being pregnant WHILE IN THAT COAT. I’ve had complete strangers touch my belly while in my scrubs and ask about the baby.
- The other woman at work who is on her third pregnancy, 2 weeks ahead of me and is carrying twin girls, keeps insisting that she’s bigger than me and I don’t even look pregnant. I want to tell her that this is because she’s still squeezing into her size S scrubs and, as I mentioned before, I’ve upgraded to an XL that is QUICKLY getting too tight. I like to hide as much of my figure as I can, especially since I’m now in a 38G bra with extenders.
Why does this bother me? Probably because it is immensely difficult for me to deal with the reflux, the extreme shortness of breath (especially when baby B crawls up into my ribcage for a nap away from his brother), the overwhelming fatigue that causes me to sleep all day long when I’m at home, the pitting edema to my legs despite the compression stockings I use daily, and the continuous, nagging pain that never goes away and won’t until these little guys are in cribs. To deal with this, my age and my bad back carrying 40+ pounds extra AND work 10 hour shifts full-time is quite a feat and I feel belittled when told that I don’t even look pregnant. Plus, I feel like people are comparing my pregnancy to their singleton pregnancies they had when they were younger, fitter and stronger. I want them to walk a mile in my now size 10 shoes (from 8.5) before they open their mouths.
Or I should just remember my hormones are raging and chill the F out.