They say that the first and third trimesters are the most difficult. I am talking about the difficulties of the first trimester in the post First Trimester. As for the third trimester, yes, it is difficult. Although in a completely different way than the first. My third and last trimester was definitely the longest, although it lasted less than two months. Let’s take it from the beginning.
It started in a style of a fairy tale – with our wedding. Many couples leave the wedding until after the birth of a child. However, we didn’t want to go this way. We took it that after the arrival of children we’d only have the energy for the necessary things that one has to deal with on a daily basis. Not to mention the practicality that reflects in many areas if parents are married before the birth of a child. However, due to the lack of time, we had to arrange the wedding within quite a short space of time. To be honest, we didn’t need much anyway. Since this was my second wedding, I was focusing on completely different things I was with the first one. The only thing I cared about this time was becoming Yaw’s wife.
I was only afraid of how I’d handle it from the physical side of things. Will I keep myself awake? Won’t I be panting constantly? Won’t I pass out during the ceremony? However, all my worries were unnecessary. The wedding was beautiful and I even managed to dance until midnight! Due to my state, of course :).
Shortly after the wedding we moved from London to a nearby smaller town. This move was quite exhausting (though for me, mentally as I was otherwise forbidden to help by my husband :), but I took it as a necessary precaution. Yaw and myself had previously agreed that we wanted to raise our children in a small town, and unfortunately we couldn’t move any earlier.
Our new apartment was located in a town centre on the first floor. Although it didn’t have a lift, I did not consider it a problem at first. The stairs were slightly curved, but I was sure I could make it to the first floor (I hadn’t known yet what a torture those stairs would become later on). Due to the lack of time, we didn’t even have time to look for something else. Not that it would have been necessary… We fell in love at first sight of our first home. And as we closed the door behind us, I could exhale. The time had come to relax and prepare for the arrival of our children.
As for the baby kit, the first thing we got was a cot (we only needed one for the beginning), basic accessories, a few items of clothing and a buggy. However, the buggy we returned last minute as it seemed far too big (Long Tandem Model) after we had unpacked it. (A handy tip – never buy a buggy online unless you’ve seen it ‘in the flesh so to speak’ :)). As an inexperienced mother (let alone of twins), I didn’t have a clue which buggy was the right one. It took some time and a few mistakes to work our way to the ideal first buggy. The most important thing in this matter is probably the practicality. Our finalist was a small, handy, easy to manoeuvre and very important it could also fit into each door. We enjoyed it a lot and it served us for as long as it was capable. :).
The beginning of the third trimester was relatively peaceful. However, by the end of the seventh month the real hard times started for me. I felt like a ball (if only felt!), I was short of breath even when going to the loo, a short walk was the equivalent of climbing up Everest, and I could no longer walk up the stairs without help at all. Awful!
Nights were the worst. Boys were constantly pressing against my ribs and stomach. I was always trying to find a position that would be compromising for all three parties. However, it had never happened for longer than a couple of minutes. The more I moved, the harder the pressure was on my ribs. Whether I laid on my side, on my back, or so many different positions, the result was the same. After a few sleepless nights I got myself a special pregnancy pillow that promised a relief, but in the end it was even worse with it. Sometimes I used my fingers to move the “pusher” was downwards, which relieved me of the pain by a couple of percent at least. What a wonderful feeling! The last option I had was to walk around the apartment. That’s when the pressure was the most bearable. If only I could also fall asleep like that it would have been…. fabulous!
Doctor appointments I went to quite frequently in the third trimester. As a Mum expecting two, I had to go for a scan and a doctor’s consultation twice as often as other mums. For some time I even had to see a specialist, as “The Twin 1” was slightly bigger than “Twin 2” from the very beginning :).
I have to say that I was extremely happy with a health care during my pregnancy. Doctors and nurses were incredibly helpful and professional. Whenever I came, I met amazing staff. The only problem for me at the end of the pregnancy was to physically show up for all the appointments. We didn’t have a car at the time, so I always had to take a tube, then a bus, and finally walk a bit by foot. It certainly wasn’t a walk through a ‘pink garden’. Especially in the winter when I was wrapped up from the top to bottom. I remember once after arriving to a half-empty waiting room, I dropped onto a chair absolutely exhausted that immediately everything blurred in front of my eyes and my head was taken by a strong swirl. In an effort to get my state under control I leaned my head back, closed my eyes and breathed deeply. It seemed like a second, but when I opened my eyes again I was sliding down the chair and the waiting room was empty. I do not know how long I was unconscious. I don’t even know whether I fell asleep or passed out…
Dear future mums, never ignore the signals from your body. If you find it hard to walk or breathe, never rush anywhere and don’t feel like you need to be everywhere your surroundings require you to be. If you go for a doctor’s appointment, leave the house with enough time. If you had agreed to meet up with your friends but don’t feel like it in the end, stay at home. Supportive people will understand. And the others do not let it bother you :).
Physically, the third trimester was definitely the hardest one. Let’s have a look at how I felt from a mental side of things. I have to admit that sometimes I’d astonish myself in this matter. I had probably expected that in the last trimester I would be impatiently awaiting the arrival of our children. However, the closer the due date, the more I’d come to realise that my life would never be the same again. And that made me feel depressed. Sometimes I felt our children were like aliens who’d come between us and would not let us live our lives the way we wanted. Sometimes I even regretted we were expecting them. Why were we in such a rush? Why hadn’t we waited…? Thoughts like this were able to torture me for hours. And then, of course, there was doubting myself. Am I going to be a good mother? Will I ever love them the way I should?
I remember I once overheard Bryan Adams ‘Summer of ’69” which I had always associated with the worry-free days at the university when we used to listen to it. All my life flashed through my mind in a split second and I suddenly felt a strong anxiety over the thought it should be gone forever. At least that’s what everyone had told me. “Your life will be over now”, “Your life will never be the same”, “With the kids you can say goodbye to your freedom”,… All this ‘eloquent’ advice suddenly got to me and one after the other started to swamp me. As if I were standing in front of a massive bridge and although I had a great desire to turn and go back, I knew that way was now broken and I could only go forward. Why didn’t we wait? Why were we in such a rush…? Feelings like this had never had such a impact for a very long time, but when they arrived, they struck me deep, getting deep under my skin.
Today I know that such emotional swings are totally common during pregnancy. Often also after the pregnancy. If you feel the same, don’t ever be ashamed and remember that all these feelings are only temporary and that they will be gone eventually. Apparently, it’s just another necessary phase of pregnancy that (almost) each of us has to go through. So it probably as well has its own meaning :).
In terms of fear of a birth, I had totally stopped being worried towards the end of the pregnancy. I could tell that I was even starting to look forward to the birth. I wanted to breathe, walk and sleep (understand without a pain) again. Besides, even though I was often afraid of the future I longed to hold our babies in our arms finally and kiss them.
Every time I closed my eyes, I knew it could come anytime. Yaw and myself tried to enjoy every single day we could spend as a couple, although until the very last day I still couldn’t imagine the babies really would be here! Whenever someone had told me “they’re gonna be here in a few weeks!” or “soon you’re gonna be hugging them”, I felt like they were talking about someone else. Despite the gigantic belly, despite the constant movements of the babies, I still couldn’t believe that one day I’d really see and hold them. That they would be human beings and I would become a mother to. I think this is something you cannot believe for a while, unless they see it with their own eyes :).
Anyway, the babies really came to this world and they really were human beings I became a mother to. How did it all go? The post about my birth story will be available soon :).