With both of my pregnancies (Rom and Luca), I did monthly or every 6-week or so updates during my pregnancy. Since this pregnancy will be slightly shorter (with identical twin pregnancies you’re not advised to go past 37 weeks, apparently!) I want to get in some updates! This update will recap week 14 through the end of week 20 (6 weeks!) and then my next update will probably be to close out the second trimester (so around week 28!)
my last pregnancy update was my first trimester recap!
weeks 14 to 20 twin pregnancy recap
Once the shock of having identical twins wore off, it’s basically been a whirlwind of doctors appointments. I feel like I’m always at the doctor’s – between seeing my Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor (for extensive ultrasounds every two weeks) and my regular OB-GYN, I feel like it’s weekly. While it’s really comforting (and exciting!) to see the babies on the monitor, I can’t shake this nervousness about these visits. Every time I walk into an ultrasound, I’m basically holding my breath. What news will I find out today?
Now, it’s totally normal to feel nervous in a singleton pregnancy too, but a twin pregnancy (especially an identical twin pregnancy) is much higher risk and therefore, there’s a higher likelihood of complications. So while I’m smiling seeing two babies kick around in my belly, I’m also terribly worried. I can’t shake it, and I know that most things are out of my control. A twin mama friend of mine who had a severe complication at the end of her pregnancy gave me great, comforting advice: do everything the doctors recommend so that if a complication does arise, you know it’s nothing you could have prevented, because you followed doctors’ orders to a T.
Aside from the nerves, the past 6 weeks have flown by. I think that happens with your second pregnancy (all of a sudden it’s the third trimester and you’re like, “Oh no! I haven’t prepared at all!”) but it especially happens with your third. I’ve also had a lot of work stress, so that’s helped the time fly by. I honestly felt like life has flown by the past 7 months between this pregnancy and writing my cookbook.
Overall, I’ve felt great (I’ll get to week-by-week symptoms at the end of this post!) – I’ve been energized and haven’t felt any nausea at all these past 6 weeks. The most difficult part of the past 6 weeks has been how quickly this belly has grown. Now, I’m following a weight gain chart for a healthy twin pregnancy and so, I’ve gained between 20-23 pounds so far, and the recommended range is 20-30, so I’m doing well there! I’m proud of that weight gain, because let me tell you: it’s a LOT of eating! I’m not just eating anything to gain the weight, I’m being very conscious of protein, fat, and carbs to make sure I’m getting what the babies need (which isn’t always 100% what my tastebuds want!)
Long story short, with that quick weight gain comes a serious belly – I can’t believe how much I’ve grown over the past 6 weeks. Honestly, I look back at photos of me in my later third trimester, and I look like that!! I am trending about 8 to 10 weeks ahead with this belly size (so, I literally look 30+ weeks pregnant.) So, that’s been difficult, because all that quick shift of weight is starting to cause some lower back pain and difficulty with basic movements (like getting off the couch, haha!) On the last day of my 20th week, I did purchase a Belly Bandit, so I’ll let you know how that does once I try it out! If I’m standing on my feet for a long day of cooking in the kitchen for work or like I did on my cookbook photoshoots, the lower back pain is very achey. If it progressively gets worse, I’ll definitely look into things like seeing a chiropractor. For now, I’m going to invest extra time in stretching and hope that helps.
Speaking of stretching, I’ve been trying to exercise as much as possible, because I have a feeling that it’s going to get more difficult to do that the farther along I get, just based on how quickly this belly has grown. So, I want to keep my strength, flexibility and endurance up while I can! I’ve been aiming to work out 4 days a week, which is totally feasible. My workouts range anywhere from 20-40 minutes, but usually it’s a 30 minute spin class or a 20 minute spin with a 10-15 minute strength workout. I feel my best and I have less back pain when I consistently exercise, so I’ve been trying to do that.
Preparing for the babies
In terms of preparedness for the twins, I haven’t done much preparation at all and haven’t purchased a single item except for car seats, because I got an amazing discountt rhou I’ve been generously gifted some things from brands that I love and who have reached out to support me. I’ve been gifted the Twin Z Pillow, Dock-A-Tots, an Uppababy Vista stroller, mattresses and cribs from Babyletto, and some cute pacifiers and towels from Loulou Lollipop, all brands I loved with Roma and Luca.
As for prep, I completed my registry, which is just a list I’ve compiled for myself so I know what I’ll need for the twins, based on some amazing recommendations from many of you and from hours of research! I’ve built a list on my personal Evernote and on Buy Buy Baby (prices and discounts are key!) This makes me feel better, because if something does happen earlier than expected, at least I can order everything in a pinch.
Perhaps the biggest logistical item I checked off my to-do list has been hiring a night nurse for the twins so we’ll have help when they arrive. This was a very difficult decision for me to make, which I’ve talked about in this blog post, along with my other thoughts about having twins.
Aside from that, I have a lot on my to do list. The most important thing is transitioning Roma and Luca into a room so I can get over that hurdle and begin to prep the twins’ room. We’re planning on doing that towards the end of June, right after Roma’s 2nd birthday. I think that’s when we plan to go full-throttle with baby prep!
- Week 14: I announced on the blog and social this week, but I had headaches that week and all that really helped was laying down, which is difficult to do when you have two toddlers and work to do!
- Week 15: My energy came back, after that first trimester fatigue! My belly was really starting to pop at night time.
- Week 16: I finally felt the baby flutters/kicks! It was really faint, but I felt them here and there (not consistently yet!) This week, I had a long 2-hour ultrasound and everything was healthy and this is the week we booked our night nurse.
- Week 17: I finally had a consistent week of exercise, where I prioritized it because my energy levels had been strong, and it felt so good!
- Week 18: Round ligament pain started a bit and some hip soreness (as my hips widen for birth), and I started experiencing a bit of 3pm fatigue, so I had a feeling the babies had a little growth spurt, especially because my belly really grew!
- Week 19: My spider veins started multiplying! I got spider veins with Luca that never went away, but they weren’t very noticeable at all and now, you can’t miss them and they’ve popped up to other places. I’m slightly insecure about them, but there’s nothing I can do – I am hoping to have them lasered off eventually! This week I also got a cold sore 🙁 I’m thinking the double hormones triggered it, because I’ve never had more than one cold sore a year for the past decade.
- Week 20: I started feeling the babies’ kicks from the outside!! They are definitely stronger and it’s wild to feel them in different sides of your belly, when you know that would be impossible if you had only one baby in there. I haven’t had Lu try to feel yet, because they’re not that strong and not as consistent. This is also the week that more of my physical symptoms kicked in, since I literally look 30+ weeks pregnant now – my lower back gets sore and I bought a belly band to help at home. My gums also bleed every time I brush now (this started out of the blue halfway through week 20!)
- The Lululemon Aligns are still a favorite, but I found these much more affordable leggings that are maternity leggings (TTS!) and I bought them in all colors, so I’d have some options once the belly gets bigger (they’re full-panel and meant for pregnancy.) They’re so comfy.
- Storq tank – this has become like a supportive compression tank, it’s nice and tight and I feel like it holds my belly. I’ve been wearing it a lot, under cardigans.
- Been also living in t-shirt dresses like this one.
- We’re going to Florida this weekend and I snagged this maternity suit that’s very flattering and comfortable – and cute!
- Deeeeefinitely not the sexiest, but I’m loving this underwear for when it doesn’t matter about my panty line (like when I’m home.) I still have a ton of discharge with this pregnancy, so I hate ruining my ‘good’ underwear, so it’s nice to have these comfy ones.
- Other underwear that I’ve been loving are these low-rise ones, especially for when I wear dresses and don’t want a panty line in the front and the back!
- Ordered this Belly Bandit, but haven’t tried it out yet – stay tuned on Instagram for updates.
I hope you liked this little recap, and as always, thank you for the kindness as I share my personal journeys with you all!