Re: Plural Pregnancy Paranoia
By Cheryl Lage
I am 20 weeks into my twin pregnancy and have recently been seized with terrible anxiety. I worry so much about preterm labor, especially since I have begun having Braxton Hicks. Although my OB and perinatologist check me regularly and reassure me that all is well, I still seem to be upset so often. I just feel like I will never make it to 30+ weeks; it seems so far away. I am hoping you will be able to provide some support.
Bless your heart. Reading your words brought back so many memories. Like you, right around 19-20 weeks particularly, I started feeling minute-to-minute apprehensions about how long the three of us "were going to make it".
All the phrases like "high-risk" & "likelihood of twin prematurity" don't do much to build a twin pregnant woman's confidence. As if that weren't enough, the twintensified hormones levels magnify the emotions and paranoias that beset pregnancy. That said, you are not alone! I'd be willing to place a large financial wager that every mother of twins experienced the same overwhelming anxiety you are experiencing now.
Here is some fodder for trying to work through the "fears":
First and foremost, as hard as it is to remember, try to focus on the fact that your OB and perinatologist are not going to take chances with you and your twins. If they are checking you regularly and providing medically-based reassurance, please do your best to believe them. Undoubtedly, they want to see you and your twosome through a lengthy pregnancy to a healthy and safe delivery.
As if that weren't enough, from a sheerly litigious point of view, the last thing a medical team wants is to take unnecessary chances, putting themselves at risk of a lawsuit. Medical teams ALWAYS err on the side of hyper-caution.
Kristie, they will put you in the hospital, put you on bedrest, put in a cerclage (stitch to limit/close a premature dilating cervix), administer labor-stalling/prohibiting meds, absolutely whatever it takes to insure that your twins developing in-utero "stay in" as long as possible. Your apprehension is a strong indicator to me that you are willing to embark on whatever measures are needed to maintain your pregnancy. So whatever lays ahead medically, I know you will handle it with grace, and "big picture" perspective.
If you are anything like I was, I remember such dichotomous emotions with each passing week....thrilled that the twins were still "in there", but the weeks to that seemingly distant viability milestone always seemed so far away. As challenging as those weeks are, to feel those apprehensive feelings is normal. In a biologically remarkable way, your "fears" provide the motivation for taking it easier than you might, to rest more than you would, to eat more nutritiously...all of which will help to prolong your pregnancy and keep you healthier as a mom-to-be. So annoying as they are, those anxieties serve a purpose!
Braxton-Hicks contractions can be very scary. Try to drink lots of water and lay down whenever you can. Obviously, stay in close touch with your medical team about frequency and intensity, or if you are concerned for a minute you are experiencing pre-term labor (and just about every twin pregnant woman does get that concern). Never hesitate to call your OB. Chances are, you'll be fine. Never think for a minute that you are inconveniencing the med team. They need to know your situation, and at the very least, provide you with the reassurance enabling you to relax.
I hope you will feel free to e-mail me anytime. Obviously, I am not a doctor, but if you need to hear the voice of someone who remembers oh-so-vividly what you are feeling and can lend an empathetic e-ear, I'd be happy to talk. Hang in there, relax as best you can, and know you have positive thoughts and prayers being held/said in your behalf. PLEASE stay in touch, and keep me updated with how your pregnancy progresses. I am confident you will all do well.
Best, and congratulations on your twin pregnancy-
Feel free to contact me with your experiences in twin potty-training, or with any twin parenting dilemnas you may have at http://www.twinsights.com. I hope to hear from you!