A couple of weeks ago, I had a blog post in my head, but I was feeling too sick and exhausted to write it. Its title was: “Maybe I regret my third pregnancy.” You see, I was having a lot of thoughts that made me feel pretty ashamed. But I also knew that my thoughts were normal and likely many, many other women had these same thoughts and were perhaps too embarrassed or fearful of judgment to share. Even though, as I sit here writing today, I don’t have these thoughts any more, I feel that it’s important to put them out there, because surely others can relate.
First, I wondered, “Would I have chosen to get pregnant a third time if I’d known exactly how sick I would feel?” This was around the time that Kate Middleton’s third pregnancy was announced and Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) was making the news. Let’s be clear: I do NOT have HG. I have perhaps slightly-more-severe-than-average pregnancy nausea, like I did during my pregnancy with Miss Cub. (With her brother, I had mild nausea that I wore like a first-pregnancy badge of honour.)
Women—royal and non-royal— with HG are out there, going about their days like champs, and I was feeling pretty sorry for myself the week my husband was away, and I was caring for the kiddies while frequently running to the bathroom. If I were working outside the home, I know I’d have used up a lot of sick days. I couldn’t see any end to the discomfort, and I found very little relief. It’s a yucky state of limbo to constantly be hungry but also constantly feel like vomiting.
In hindsight, I should’ve gone to a walk-in clinic to get Diclectin rather than waiting to see my family doctor. I am one of the lucky women for whom Diclectin helps ease pregnancy nausea symptoms. Regular dosing, coupled with the end of my first trimester, has brought me massive relief. I no longer have to get up in the middle of the night to eat a meal, and I haven’t vomited in two weeks! Certain foods still turn my stomach, and I need to make sure I eat a lot of protein and that I eat often, but I feel much, much better than I did just a few weeks back.
So now the question is: “Would I have chosen to get pregnant a third time if I had known I’d be really sick, but that it would ease up by the end of my first trimester?” Yes!
Then, once we found out we were having twins, I wondered: “Would we have chosen a third pregnancy if we had known for certain it would bring two babies?” No, honestly, I don’t think we would have.
A lot of people have told me they always dreamed of having twins. Aside from the fictional family I was planning circa 1994 with my first crush and then-Vancouver Canucks winger Pavel Bure, my family was not supposed to include a multiple birth. Twins change everything! We live in a townhouse with only two bedrooms upstairs. There is a bedroom in the basement, but it will be a while before we feel comfortable either putting our master bedroom or one of the children’s bedrooms down there. For a family of four, our townhouse is noticeably small, and we really don’t want to move because a larger home within our budget would mean leaving our neighbourhood.
We own a car with seating for five. And while we were planning on a minivan, we were going to hold off on that purchase for a while following the birth. Neither my husband nor I have any family in Calgary. We take the airplane often to either BC or Quebec. The thought of travelling with four children, and specifically (at least from my husband’s point of view) four car seats is a logistical and financial nightmare!
I planned on taking a year off from my clients, putting our third child in day care twice a week with Miss Cub after that so I could “reopen” my home office. It becomes almost self-defeating to put three children into care at $50/day, two times a week given how much I earn every month. So no, for us, the initial announcement of twins was not a joyous one—we felt scared!
I dealt with this fear by accepting it. One of the most important lessons I took away from therapy for my anxiety disorder is that negatively judging or trying to push fear away only makes it worse. It’s okay to feel scared. It’s okay to feel scared of something that isn’t scary to someone else. It’s okay to be scared of something that you “should” feel happy about. And so I let myself be scared. And guess what? I’m not scared any more! I’m so excited!
I met my midwife in early September and learned, to my relief, that she will be able to attend my birth. Because this is a multiple pregnancy, I need to be followed by an obstetrician, and she had one ready to recommend. Closer to the end of the pregnancy, I will likely alternate check-ups between the two of them. I was dreaming of a home birth, but naturally I have to deliver in hospital. As long as they aren’t premature, I’ll be delivering at the same hospital where Miss Cub was born, and I had a great experience there!
In my two previous pregnancies, my second trimester was awesome. I was a fireball of productivity and joy. I have a feeling that, aside from being even more hungry and more tired, my second trimester with twins will also be a good one!