When they say your second pregnancy flies by they weren’t lying…although I think I can only say that about the last week or so because the rest of it I basically felt horrible! Here’s a roundup of my experience in the first trimester during my twin pregnancy!
If you prefer video format, you can also watch my Youtube video talking about the first trimester!
First, let me talk about finding out we were having twins!
We found out we were pregnant in September after trying for a couple of months and we felt very fortunate for it to happen so quickly. I actually got pregnant when my son was 21 months old, which is the age that research shows most women have their fertility return 100% whether or not they are breastfeeding.
After getting a positive home pregnancy test, I called my previous OB and made an appointment to confirm the pregnancy. I was able to see a faint line from 8DPO, which is fairly early, and the line progressively got darker until 15DPO.
I was able to see my OB around 7 weeks pregnant which was very exciting. In Japan they actually do an ultrasound at the first appointment to confirm the pregnancy, which is different from other countries and also the reason we knew there were two babies so early. Baby A was found on the ultrasound right away and we were able to hear the heartbeat, yay! I started to tell my OB that I read breastfeeding mothers are 9 times more likely to conceive multiples…she laughed and said, “Well, let’s just check the whole uterus…” and BAM! Two babies! What?! I was, of course, very surprised! I was definitely not planning on a multiples pregnancy and a lot of my birth plans went out the window at that point since I was immediately considered high risk.
Shock and mental health
Of course, I was very excited to be pregnant, but to be honest it took me quite a while to get used to the idea of being pregnant with twins. I think I am just now getting there as I am writing this post. First, my younger half brothers are twins so I know just how much work it is to have two babies at once as opposed to one. I also knew full well how much more difficult my normal everyday life would be with two newborns and a toddler. Even just simple things like taking my toddler to school, become much more complicated with twins versus one baby. I had so many questions! Do I carry them both and push Asahi in the stroller? Do I use a double stroller? But will that fit on the train? There are many conveniences living in a big city, but it’s not so easy to get around when you are transporting three children at once. It’s not like you can just throw them all in the car at the same time!
Additionally, I had to get over the disappointment of not being able to have the birth I had planned. I really wanted to use a local birth house for my second pregnancy, as I knew I wanted a natural unmedicated delivery if possible and we have an excellent birth house located close to us. However, finding out I was having twins cancelled all of those plans and forced me to remain at my hospital. Having twins also immediately increases your risk for a c-section, which is not something I was really prepared for.
Over time, I came to realize that most of this is out of my control and not worth agonizing over. There’s a reason I was chosen to be a twin mom, and that notion gave me the strength I needed to overcome my anxiety over what is to come.
The first symptom that hit me way harder this time around was nausea.
Seriously, this was the worst part. I threw up for the first time when I was about 6 weeks pregnant and it lasted until I was 11 weeks when it suddenly stopped. For those five weeks, I was basically throwing up 2-4 times per day, with a few days off occasionally. Actually when I think back on it, I had a migraine at 6 weeks and after that is when I started to be really sick. I guess that was the beginning of my hormone increase!
Throughout those five weeks of sickness, I didn’t really have any particular cravings. Except I do remember craving everything green tea/matcha related at 4 and 5 weeks pregnant! Mostly there was only one food item that sounded good to eat at any given time, and after I consumed it I couldn’t even think about eating it again! Hence the reason I ate zero leftovers during this time. I think weeks 8-10 were the peak of my nausea and picky eating.
I actually don’t feel like I have had any weird cravings this pregnancy (kind of same as last time) but I have felt like I only wanted to eat particular things at particular times, especially in the first 10 weeks or so. At any given time of day I could only think of one thing I felt like eating, burritos for example, and after I ate that I couldn’t think of eating it again for probably a month. Leftovers were absolutely off the menu and I would say I craved sweet foods more than salty. Now that I am 14 weeks pregnant I am eating pretty much normally thankfully. However, I do remember craving green tea and matcha a TON when I was 5-7 weeks pregnant. Random!
Tiredness and Vivid Dreams
I actually feel like I have been less tired this pregnancy than in the first one (although more sick). In my first pregnancy, I would just sleep and sleep every day whenever I could in the first trimester. This time around I definitely took naps, but I didn’t feel as hopelessly sleepy. There were several days when I was so incredibly sick and tired that I couldn’t hardly get out of bed however. Those days were the lowest points for me.
Another symptom that I also had in my first pregnancy are super vivid dreams. For me, this started around 9 weeks and is still going strong. Luckily, all the dreams so far have been fairly positive ones (unlike my horrible mukade nightmare from last pregnancy…don’t ask me to recount it!) and it seems like every person I’ve ever met or been facebook friends with is taking turns making an appearance!
Shortness of Breath and Lightheadedness
In the last week or so (weeks 11 and 12) I started to experience a bit more shortness of breath if I am too active or walk too quickly up stairs. I also have had some lightheadedness if I stand up too quickly, for too long, or haven’t eaten enough. I had this lightheadedness quite severely in my first pregnancy as well, to the point where I almost passed out on the train, so I am anticipating on having it again. It’s definitely a reminder to take it easy and not push myself too much!
Prior to getting pregnant, my acne was the worst it’s ever ever been. I have had hormonal acne for as long as I have had a period basically, and the only thing that has ever helped was hormonal birth control and a medication called Spironolactone. Hormonal acne is usually caused by a slightly elevated testosterone level in women, which then causes more oil and sebum to be produced in your pores. No matter how amazing your skin care routine is, it will basically have no effect on your acne. Since we were planning to get pregnant, I didn’t want to go on hormonal birth control or medication so I just had to live with my very unhappy skin. I’ll insert pictures of my bare face just before getting pregnant so you can see the extent of it. I had huge blemishes all on my chin and lower cheek area, which is very characteristic of hormonal acne. I also had small bumps all over, almost like fungal acne, and almost every pore was clogged.
Once I got pregnant, I actually saw an improvement in my acne which is totally not usual! In my first pregnancy I had a huge acne flareup throughout the first trimester. By 11 weeks pregnant, most of my active breakouts had stopped and I was left with only acne scars, which are unfortunately going to take a long time to treat. This was with absolutely zero changes in my skincare routine by the way. Luckily, scars can be covered with makeup unlike huge blemishes. I anticipate my skin will only improve over time during the pregnancy as it did last time and I plan to go back on the same medication I was previously on to help control my hormonal acne once the babies are born because it is safe to take while breastfeeding.
Yep! I am still breastfeeding my 2 year old once a day. I haven’t had any nursing aversion or pain in my breasts which can be common during pregnancy, so continuing to nurse has felt manageable especially since it’s only once a day before bed. I am planning to breastfeed until he self weans, which I am thinking may happen during my pregnancy. Contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding during pregnancy does NOT increase your risk of miscarriage or preterm labor. It doesn’t have any more affect on your uterus than having sex.
Overall, I am SO thrilled to be feeling better now that I am at the end of the first trimester. I was worried that the sickness would continue for much longer than average because of my twin pregnancy, but for now it seems to at least be taking a break. I have started to feel more motivated and energetic, which has been great for my mental state.
And yes, I’m already in the maternity jeans!