I’m not going to sugar coat it… my pregnancy was really hard. It was hard physically and emotionally. I felt like everything was completely out of my control and that I was losing parts of myself. Living that way for about 8 months was one of the most difficult but also rewarding things I’ve done. I definitely grew as a person – I was forced to be selfless because 2 lives depended on it. Talk about an immediate jolt into motherhood.
Let’s start with the physical side. Carrying twins is not only double the babies but sometimes double the pregnancy symptoms as well. You name it and I pretty much experienced it while cooking these kiddos. Morning sickness. Check. Food aversions. Check. Exhaustion. Double check. Uterine cramping, back aches, weird dreams, insomnia, mood swings, acne, anemia requiring iron infusions, heartburn, swelling (oh, the swelling). Did I mention food aversions and exhaustion? Aside from the fact that I was so physically exhausted to the point that I had to just stop working out altogether, I had the most intense food aversions for the duration of my pregnancy. They never went away – well, not until literally the day after I gave birth. I kid you not, I woke up the next day and was thrilled to discover that I could once again eat vegetables. It was miraculous! Two things that I didn’t get during pregnancy – thicker hair and pregnancy brain. I was thrilled about the pregnancy brain. In fact, there were days where I almost seemed smarter and was seriously on top of my game (helpful since I had a HUGE project at work with many moving pieces). The hair…. well, I had lots of shedding throughout the pregnancy and then once again it all stopped after they were born. Pregnancy is the weirdest thing. Ever.
In addition to those classic pregnancy symptoms, I also had a flare of my ulcerative colitis. Not a good thing during pregnancy. I failed 2 different steroids trying to get the flare under control – Uceris and Prednisone – and ultimately had to change over to a biologic therapy, Remicade. It worked wonders. I felt better within a week and everything was under control within a month. I also haven’t had a flare following the pregnancy (knock on wood) which is somewhat common. I did end up very, very severely anemic though and received weekly iron infusions for a month. That definitely contributed to my exhaustion but when things have to get done you just operate with head down, eyes forward.
Now… emotionally. Pregnancy is overwhelming. Twins are overwhelming. Those 2 combined with hormones and a girl with no physical outlet is a tinder box for meltdowns. I had a lot of fears about how I could manage 2 babies, affording 2 babies, maintaining much of who I am when I became a mother, keeping my relationship with my husband strong, and many more things. But ultimately what I found is this (and pardon my language)…. You just need to give a shit and it will be ok. I love my family with all my heart and that is all that matters. There is plenty of room in life to be a mother and a wife and a strong, independent, ambitious, competitive woman. So I have every intention of being all of these things and being excellent at them too. And I’ll screw up every now and then, but that’s what makes life fun right?