A pregnant woman is often elated to begin her search for the perfect crib, stroller blanket, and celebrity-toted diaper bag. Rarely does it initially occur to her that she may need two of the aforementioned necessities. Whether she's aware of the increased possibility of multiples having undergone infertility treatment, or merely daydreams about how cool it might be to cradle a baby in each arm, a woman's body may provide subtle hints that she is carrying more than one bundle of joy.
By and large, women expecting more than one baby do have a different pregnancy experience than those expecting one. "When you're pregnant with twins, you not only have two babies . . . you also have two placentas, two cords, extra fluid, and extra hormones," notes Dr. Susan Warhus, an obstetrician in Scottsdale, Arizona, and author of Countdown to Baby: Answers to the Top 100 Questions About Pregnancy and Childbirth. "It's no wonder that your body undergoes more drastic changes than the singleton pregnant woman."
Please Pass the Airsickness Bag
I felt a bit icky when I was pregnant with my daughter, but when I got pregnant with twins two years later, it was a different story altogether. For the first 16 weeks, I relied heavily—day and night—on Sea Bands, typically used for motion sickness. Anyone who thought I was exaggerating was given a peek at the semi-permanent indentations created on the insides of my wrists from the plastic studs which applied constant pressure to my P6 point.
When expecting more than one baby, "It's very normal to be sicker and feel queasier than women carrying just one baby, due to higher levels of hormones," reassures Warhus. Lisa Bowers, who is expecting twins in August, experienced no nausea during her first two singleton pregnancies, but was nauseous 24 hours a day for the first ten weeks of this pregnancy. "I was just under the impression that this time it was a girl," she admits. Turns out she was right—twice over!
"During the first trimester of my pregnancy I drove my husband crazy because I was on a constant emotional roller coaster," commented Brenna Hardin, whose has nine-month-old boy/girl twins. "I was a little moody with my singleton pregnancy, but nothing like this! It was anyone's guess what would set me off, and how I would react in any given situation."
Indeed, friends and family of the expectant mom may wonder what (or who) has so radically altered the demeanor of a previously calm, collected being who suddenly cannot seem to tolerate the word "Hi" if delivered a decibel higher or a second later than she deems appropriate at that particular moment. For those on the receiving end of this undulating behavior, it could be a long nine months. For the mom-to-be, while she may not understand her sudden tendency to want to lunge at the paper boy for barely reaching her curb with the haphazardly tossed morning paper (which he's been doing for years without eliciting such reaction one way or another), she at least has an excuse at the ready with which no intelligent individual will argue.