Oh there is a plethora of books out there on a healthy pregnancy, eating for two/three/whatever, planning for birth…read all of those, there is sage advice, but please remember also YOU ARE AN INTELLIGENT WOMAN, so don’t follow everything slavishly.
I didn’t drink raspberry leaf tea. Shocking. Nor did I do pregnancy yoga. I kept forgetting about pelvic floor exercises and, you know what, I’ve had a cold and a bit of sneezing action and me pants are intact. I only swam once (well, apart from the with-sharks bit in the Galapagos but I didn’t know then, sue me). I ate everything designed to poison them, drank a few things too. The music they mostly heard in utero wasn’t Rachmaninov but instead the theme tune to The West Wing, Jeremy Kyle and Masterchef. I even ate CHEESE.
Of course this may all come back and bite me in the bum as they turn into teenage mutants but, for now, we seem to have escaped. So here are some things which would have been, if not useful, at least entertaining to know.
1. Hair. Everyone booms on about how lovely your hair will be looking in the glow of pregnancy. They are correct: it does. What they don’t say is how much time and effort you can save, girlfriend. Something weird happens with the hair on your head in that it no longer requires washing! I have no idea how Nature has deemed this helps the babies – maybe to avoid you being wedged into the bath at 9 months and having to holler for help (sorry darling) – but it’s true. The most I went was 10 days. It was like when I was at school and we heard a rumour if you never used shampoo it would be skeggy for a bit and then you’d emerge, remarkably Zeta-Jones. All that actually happened was the majority of our Sixth Form looked like druggies for a term. But in pregnancy, this is not the case. Relax, and enjoy this fact. Life will return to normal, soon as.
2. And the hair thang isn’t just about heads. Your body hair STOPS GROWING. I kept making an effort to shave (male readers, you can stop now, it gets even more intimate anon) but it was a waste of time. I don’t think legs or armpits showed any action from about 24 weeks. Again, lord knows why this is the case, but embrace it! Think of the time saved! The money on blades (see it as a protest, did you know supermarkets make their highest margin on razor blades?) What this means is DO YOUR BIKINI LINE EARLY. If you wait too long, you cannot see over the bump. Which is obviously especially true with twins given how mammothesque you get. I reckon you could safely get a wax at 30 weeks and be laughing come Term. If not, and you have to do it yourself, and you can’t see when you look straight down – get someone else to do it OR I found lying down in the bath with a mirror was OK. Because, grim as that is, the alternative is if you have an emergency Caserean and aren’t prepared – they do it. Dry.
I’m not suggesting you go this far, but…it occurs to me I could have tattooed a message to the hospital staff, like DON’T COCK UP (I will do our hideous birth story later, I really will, promise…)
3. Sweat. At about the same time my hair stopped growing, I stopped sweating. Weirder. Again – why, Nature, WHY? Maybe the twins were just sucking all the moisture out of me, who knows. But laydeez what this means is, when it comes back with a vengeance, be prepared. Regain the aquaintance with deo. Because in post birth delirium, and when everything smells of milk and pooh and baby vomit and blood (male readers, I did warn you) – it’s a bit gutting when you realise actually the most awful smell is YOU.
4. A will. Do one. Sorry, no humorous point to make here whatsoever. Utterly morbid. Statistically, you are a teensy tinsy bit at risk. Not to panic you…
5. Cleaning. Now. I love my boys, I really do, but they were here for 4 days on their own while we were in hospital, and that creates a bit of fajitas build up on the hob. And then I hadn’t had a cleaner for a few weeks before the birth, at which point I’d barely had the strength to lift a broom, much less look over the bump to see what it was achieving. So, please, make sure you come back to a tidy and clean house, it will stop any incipient lip trembling and doomed I-know-I’ve-just-had-abdominal-surgery-but-that-hob-is-making-me-cry incidents. If you don’t have a regular cleaner, invest in a one-off clean – much easier to keep on top of once the depths have been done.
6. Stocking up. I’ve written about lists before. But here are the latest tips:
a) maternity towels aka the devil’s blankets. You need them – maybe – for the first few days. But they are huge and uncomfortable, likewise disposable maternity pants. I read that I would still be bleeding for 6 weeks. On current progress, I probably will be, but after the first 7-10 days, it’s less than a normal period. So, save your money, use standard Always Nights as soon as you can PLUS the earlier you can get into normal pants, the less just-escaped-from-hospital you’ll feel. If you’ve had a Caeserean, bikini style pants might rub against the scar, so boy pants/French knickers are dandy.
Here’s a picture of a maternity towel. Just because I wanted to see whether Google Images had one 😉 Who would take a picture of a towel? Who? And then store it for posterity? Hm.
b) nappies. Every consultant/midwife/book/man on the street convinces you your twins will be early and weight about 10g. There’s a 60% chance they’ll be born before 34 weeks but therefore a fighting 40% chance they won’t. I bulk bought Sainburys Premature Nappies (the brands don’t do the really titchy ones so you get via Amazon or Sainsburys online) but they’ve grown out of them in a fortnight. Giving birth seems to be a bit like Christmas – you panic hoard. There is no need. There is a thing called the interconnect (or something like that). You can order stuff from supermarkets and it arrives the next day! If you’re having twins, maybe buy a week’s worth of Prema (so that’s 6/day x 7 days x 2 twins) which will last you for hospital and after, but then see how you’re going. Because Pampers/Huggies (sorry) just ARE better when it comes to leakage.
This is so not scientific, but all the nappies have weight guides. The Premature nappies, like Sainsburys, are up to 3kg/6lb. The smallest Pampers/Huggies (Newborn) are 2-5kg or 4-11lbs. Trust me, the bottom ends don’t work – in more ways than one 😉 I reckon, in terms of you working out – ISH – what you need – the twins were putting on 1/4lb each week from scan to scan, and pretty much the same since they came out.
Hope that helps!
Just remember though, at the end of the day, babies can sleep in a well padded drawer if the cot’s not up, and you can swaddle them or bath them and yell at someone else to go get nappies if need be.
Which brings me onto my final, and most important, pregnancy tip. RELAX. Make the most of it. It’s a bit like your parents going ‘ah, school, best days of your life…’ And you’re lying there, pregnant, itching, sneezing, incapable of walking or going longer than 15 minutes without needing the loo…But it’s true. It has taken me 3 days to write this post! And I have a maternity nurse!!!
I worked too long. Far too long. And then even in the final few weeks I thought ‘god, I can’t just watch telly, I must DO, because otherwise everyone will think me lazy, maybe I can create a BLOG…’ and then tortured myself for the days between that thought occurring and it actually happening.
Lady, you have just grown a human being in your tummy, possibly more than one. That is amazing, beautiful, miraculous. It has, parasite that it is, zapped every concentrating and energetic particle in your body in order to survive. If you exert yourself, you’re not helping. I cannot emphasise this enough…
SLEEP. WATCH TELLY. EAT. DRINK. READ. LIE THERE. JUST LIE.
Do not feel guilty for a second. Because this will never happen again for 18 years or until you’re seriously ill – and even then I imagine, based on Joe experience, they’ll still be asking where the Pickled Onion Monster Munch are. And I have had to rewind Silent Witness FOUR times, because, yes, am sat there norks out with it on, but I have two little people feeding, needing burped, changed, endless ‘do you think..?’ exchanges with Jon before they go down…am not sure I’ll ever properly watch another TV programme again.
So, pregnant laydeez of Britain, it is your duty. There is telly to be watched! Rise Up! Well, actually, no, lie back gently and relish.