The third trimester with twins for me was short and uncomfortable.
Let’s start with the uncomfortable part. I had a surprisingly small bump during my entire pregnancy, right up to delivery. With my long torso and strong ballerina ab muscles, I really carried in. But even though I didn’t look like I was growing two babies, I certainly felt like it. Standing, walking, standing up–all the basic, mundane tasks of life became very difficult. I also started to experience a lot of lower back pain.
I had been active during the first part of my pregnancy, and I kept that up during the first trimester. For me, that looked like a daily 45-minute morning walk and three ballet classes per week. Because any twin pregnancy is considered relatively high risk, I chose not to jump or run at all during my pregnancy. That didn’t stop me from doing some nice triple pierroettes and having fun working on my balancing skills during ballet class though!
We had moved from Colorado to California to be closer to family, and as we got settled I searched high and low for the best delivery doctor around. The one I finally chose was located about an hour away from our home. I knew that drive could be a little difficult if I went into spontaneous labor, but a lot of twin mamas are induced, so I wasn’t too worried about the drive.
At my 29 week ultrasound, both babies were head up and growing well. My OBGYN was certified to do double breech extractions, and I was mentally preparing for a natural birth. Twin babies can position themselves four ways in the womb: both head down, both breech, twin A breech and twin B head down, or twin A head down and twin B breech. My doctor was willing to go through with a vaginal birth in all but one of those four possible positions.
But unfortunately, while my babies were thriving, my body stopped doing well. At 29 weeks, I lost my mucus plug and started to experience some very painful Braxton-hicks and prodromal contractions. Although my cervix showed no signs of labor and the babies were unstressed by the contractions, I was put on moderate bed rest at that time.
For someone as active as myself, bed rest was really difficult. But, with the help of my husband and mom, I made it through!
My doctor was hopeful that I would make it to 34 weeks, when the babies would have a good chance of thriving with very little NICU care. And I was personally determined to make it to 36 weeks. Neither of us got our wish!
After being on bedrest for a month, my third trimester with twins came to an abrupt end!
My last ultrasound was done at 32 weeks. We got good and bad news at that time. Good news first: both babies were head down! I was a perfect candidate for a natural delivery. The bad news was that both of my babies were also diagnosed with mild IUGR. I was told to eat lots of calories, especially protein, and was told to switch from moderate bed rest (sitting up, a little walking) to strict bed rest (laying on my side 24/7!)
My last OB appointment was on Tuesday, April 21, 2020. I was 33 weeks and 3 days pregnant at the time. My doctor told me I was doing great and I’d almost certainly make it at least another week. You can imagine how surprised she was when I called two days later to tell her that I’d delivered my baby boys at the local hospital!