Thankfully, other than extreme fatigue I didn’t experience too many negative pregnancy problems. Despite it been a (surprise) twin pregnancy, I was only sick the once and it wasn’t until the very last few weeks when I developed preeclampsia that I actually felt unwell.
In the last couple of weeks before I went into hospital, I’d been sent to see a physiotherapist as the pressure on the lower half of my body was causing me a few problems. I had a really sore back and my legs felt unbelievably tired. I was putting everything down to the fact I was carrying two babies and I’m very small framed… hindsight is a wonderful thing however and it is clear now that it was the start of preeclampsia.
Obviously when I found out I was pregnant I had began smothering on various oils and body butters at least twice a day (more if I had the chance) in an effort to combat any stretch marks. One thing I hadn’t considered however was the potential of varicose veins developing.
While providing my treatment and a nice set of crutches to help me with walking, my physio mentioned them. A woman’s blood volume increases in pregnancy by up to 50% putting pressure and strain on the veins. While I understood my body would never be exactly the same after pregnancy, I certainly wanted to look after it as much as I could while I still had the time!
Thankfully I’d been doing everything I could to prevent varicose veins anyway. I’d taken daily exercise – even if this was just a quick walk up the road during my lunch break. I’d stayed within my recommended weight range during pregnancy – some people didn’t even realise I was pregnant, let alone having twins. I ate healthy, balanced meals and treated myself to sweet things when I felt like it. Not to mention I’d raised my legs while I slept (on my left side) and had avoided crossing my legs while I sat.
I also already had some lovely NHS compression stockings which I’d been wearing – these appear to come as standard when you find out you’re pregnant with twins. “Congratulations, there’s two heartbeats – now here’s some not-so-attractive socks for you to wear!”
Of course being the worrier I am, I came home and did a search on Google. If anyone can see my search history from the time I found out I was pregnant to the day Edie and Mabel arrived, it’ll be far better than any comedy. The good news is that in most cases symptoms disappear post-pregnancy but in a worst-case scenario, there is varicose vein treatment available.
In the last week before the twins arrival, I ballooned in size. Again, this was down to the preeclampsia, which I found out when I went in for my routine check at 34 weeks. My legs were swollen and I struggled to see them past my still small but big enough bump.
After my emergency section, I was given another pair of fancy looking stockings to wear whilst in hospital. They definitely didn’t add any glamour to my hospital bag attire but they did their job. Thankfully I came out the other end of my twin pregnancy with two healthy babies and after a few weeks, a rather healthy me.
When I look back at my pregnancy now… I am really pleased I stayed active and as healthy as I could. During the first trimester the exhaustion was unreal and it was so tempting to stay in bed all day. Even on the days when I really struggled, I’d take a walk out into my garden and just get some fresh air and I honestly believe this is what kept me healthy and well throughout most of the 34 weeks!