|My dinner the other night: brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, and fried liver and onions (and whole milk, of course!). Yum! By the way, I am the only one in my family who will touch liver. I love it, and it is so healthy for a woman's body!|
Whew: after weeks of morning sickness I have finally found my appetite! Which, I have learned, when expecting twins, is a good thing. I am doing my best to eat plentifully and healthfully, making up for lost time during the first trimester. Apparently these next few weeks are the most important when it comes to gaining weight and giving the twins plenty of nutrition to grow, and I've been working hard!
More than anything, it is a relief to be feeling more or less my regular self, with energy to enjoy the kids and all the rest life has to offer. This weekend, I felt the babies move ("early quickening" is the term, I have learned), and when I am lying on my back you can see a distinct baby bump. At the beginning of the week, Ben informed me that I didn't really look pregnant when I was standing up (which, as you can see in the picture taken on Monday, is sort of true), but I'm pretty sure that has changed in the past couple of days. My body has never had any trouble growing nice large babies, and here we have two!
In many ways, this pregnancy is a new experience for me. It's the first time that I have ever been treated as anything other than very low risk. In the past, the world has been my oyster when it comes to birth choices. Midwife in a hospital? Sure! Homebirth with a midwife? Of course! Wait until you naturally go into labor? No problem! I had the luxury of choosing the birth setup that was the most comfortable, safe, and ideal for us: for Zosia's birth, that meant midwives in a hospital, and with our subsequent two it meant a homebirth with a great practice of midwives. Both fully covered by insurance, by the way.
This time around, Ben and I have decided that we would feel most comfortable having a natural labor in a hospital for the twins. We like the idea of having the extra support should we need it, and the idea of transferring from home to a hospital mid labor (or after having delivered one of the babies) sounds anything but ideal. We would rather have a safe, comfortable, and low-intervention setup at a hospital that would allow me to have the babies naturally. But it requires a very special doctor or midwife to support a mother of twins through natural childbirth.
The practice of midwives we have used in the past don't do twins: they deal only with the most low-risk and straightforward of situations. In searching for another practice I have learned what most women who have gone through a pregnancy already know: your choices vary drastically based on the provider that you choose. Not every ob, and not even every midwife treat your particular pregnancy in the same way. Some providers induce for twins (right now we think ours are mono/di, for those who know the twin lingo) at 37 weeks, others do not. Some have a standard policy of bedrest for twins after a certain gestational age, others do not. Some require an epidural, others do not. Some will deliver vaginally as long as the first twin is head down, others will only deliver vaginally if both are head down. It has been a wonderful and education experience to have to do research, interview providers, and ultimately advocate for myself and my babies, because this is what most women go through. And it is tricky territory!
I like one midwife whom I have met with very much, and am interviewing another group of midwives whom I am hoping have more lenient policies regarding induction and the setup at birth. Ultimately, this will be a team effort with a midwife and an ob working together. I will keep you posted about where we end up.
Like all mothers, my hope is for these babies to be safe and healthy, and I believe the best path towards that is the same as for all of my children: through carefully listening to my body through pregnancy (following my appetite, listening to my body's need for rest and activity), and then allowing my body to work with the babies naturally through birth and beyond. I am excited for what this pregnancy has in store!