All Swollen Up
Even in the early weeks, women expecting more than one baby may experience more swelling due to the extra fluid coursing through their bodies. "I definitely experienced pressure in my lower abdomen more quickly with this pregnancy than I did with my daughter," comments Gina Lester, who is expecting twins in September. Bowers agrees, "I felt much bigger much quicker this time around. I even asked my doctor at ten weeks if he was sure there was only one baby. He told me 'Yes,' and assured me that [my size] was merely due to it being my third pregnancy. He was surprised to see my 12-week ultrasound!"
Even though a woman may appear to be showing more quickly than normal, doctors usually can't confirm a multiple gestation right off the bat without doing an ultrasound. "It's very normal for a woman carrying twins to have a larger uterus than expected," notes Warhus, "but there can still be some difficulty hearing the heart beats because the babies are small." A twin gestation at eight weeks may create a uterus that looks to be at twelve or more weeks, but two heart beats can't be detected via Doptone because it's almost impossible to hear fetal heart tones prior to ten weeks.
Is It Bedtime Yet?
According to Warhus, "Nearly every pregnant woman experiences fatigue to some degree, but it is often more intense in a woman carrying multiples." When I was expecting my twins, I felt like I was dragging all of the time. The first thing I did upon rolling out of bed each morning was calculate the number of minutes until naptime.
Of course, women who are expecting twins as their first children don't have a previous pregnancy to which to compare their exhaustion; and women in subsequent pregnancies often have a hard time differentiating between increased pregnancy-related exhaustion and the exhaustion caused by chasing their other kids around all day.