January 15, 2015

My List of {Twin} Pregnancy Must Haves

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There are probably a thousand lists out there of things that you must have while pregnant and for when baby comes home. Everyone covers the obvious basics so I want to tell you about the things that are little more personal to me, that made my pregnancy bearable and helped me deal with the more difficult aspects of carrying twins. Everyone is different so what worked for me may not work for you but I hope can help even just one person have a better experience!

1. A Reliable Blender

 I know, this seems like such an odd thing to list first but it was vital for me. I lived on smoothies while pregnant and couldn't have done so without my Ninja Professional Blender. I had to eat constantly and sometimes I just could not eat anymore but needed to stave off the nausea that came if I waited too long. Sometimes I was just too tired to take the time and make something healthy. Once a week I would make a huge batch of smoothies and freeze them in mason jars. I would take one out at night to thaw so I had it for those times when I just couldn't find the energy to make something else. Towards the end the 8 lbs. of baby in me took up so much room it was hard to eat very much at all, despite still having the appetite. These smoothies helped me get as much nutrition as I could without taking up space. They filled me up, were super healthy and of course delicious. I still have them as often as I can even though it's freezing outside. Bonus: there are only about 35 carbs a serving so GD mamas don't need to worry about using up all their allowance. Pair it with scrambled eggs for breakfast or a salad with fresh veggies for a great lunch. Not to mention that blender can do double duty should you decide to make your own baby food purees once little one is here! Try my favorite smoothie recipe:

 Maigen's Big Batch Super Smoothie Recipe

1 cup blueberries
1 cup sliced strawberries
2 frozen bananas, cut into chunks
1 cup spinach or kale
1 1/2 cups hemp protein powder plus fiber
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1 cup peanut butter
2 1/2 cups almond milk, plus more as needed
Ice as needed

Blend and enjoy as often as you can! Makes 6 cups.

2. A Great Prenatal Vitamin

This is so vital to both the health of you and your babies. I started out with the prescription that my OB gave me but quickly realized it made me nauseous every time I took it. I did some research and discovered Rainbow Light's Prenatal One Food-Based Multivitamin. This was a god-send. I could eat it on an empty stomach or full and feel no nausea. I swear it gave me energy and was one of the reasons I felt really good most of the pregnancy. I set a reminder on my phone to take it every day so I couldn't forget about it and I still take it every day since I'm nursing. It offers peace of mind for those busy days when eating healthily is just not happening. I know my girls are getting the vitamins and nutrients they need in a natural, food based form.

3. A Pregnancy Journal

I used Two Due that my dad gave me along with this blog. You may think you will always remember how you felt the first time you saw two pink lines. You are positive the emotions you felt the moment you found out it was twins or the sex of your little ones will live on in your heart forever. You know there is no way you will ever forget how bad your back hurt or how much weight you gained or your biggest cravings. But you will forget. Maybe not right away, but so much of what happens while pregnant disappears from your memory after baby comes. Your brain just does not have the capacity to hold on to all of this along with all the new memories you're making every day. Get a journal. Write in it every week. Just a few jots about how you're feeling, what your biggest pains and cravings are, how much weight you've gained, how much babies weigh, how the doctor's appointments are going, baby preparations you're making, your dreams, goals and worries for baby, etc. Anything you might want to look back on and say, wow I totally forgot about that! Write it down. Take bump pictures as often or as little as you like but I highly suggest you take one belly shot right before you deliver and pop that into the journal. Someday your babies will want to know what it was like and you can show them just how miserable happy they made you!

4. A Fantastic Pregnancy Pillow

I bought mine when I was about 12 weeks. I wasn't even showing yet but I knew it was only a matter of time before sleepless nights would set in. I bought the Snoogle Total Body Pillow by Leachco for about $50 on Amazon. It's shaped like a C and curves around your back or belly for support while keeping your hips and head supported and aligned. I would not have slept nearly as well as I did without this thing. Most pregnant women experience hip pain and find it difficult to sleep at night because of it. This pillow gave me such relief! Later in pregnancy your giant belly can make it hard to get comfortable when laying down, especially once you can't sleep on your back or belly (my go-to sleep position). The Snoogle tucked under my belly offered just enough support to help me get comfortable without getting in the way. A regular body pillow or a normal pillow can work in a pinch but I highly suggest you invest in something that can support your whole body. You won't regret it!

5. A good sense of humor

Pregnancy is a roller coaster ride for both your body and spirit. As your belly grows so too will your extreme emotions thanks to those lovely hormones flooding your system. Sometimes it's hard to remember that this is only a temporary state of being. Maybe the pain is too great, you feel sick and tired all the time or your fears are getting the better of you. Stay grounded and remind yourself that whatever happens is (mostly) out of your control, you're just along for the ride. When well-meaning strangers tell you, for the thousandth time, that you will have your hands full just smile and say thank you. Embrace your changing relationship with your significant other as they will see a side of you he or she never dreamed of between the uncontrollable tears and gas that seem to come at the most inopportune times. Stop caring about how you come across to others and try to just be comfortable in your own skin. Remember that this too shall pass and altogether too quickly so soak it all in and laugh as often as you can no matter how uncomfortable you are.

6. A Belly Support System 

By the end of month 6 my belly was so huge I was having trouble walking or standing for extended periods of time. My only saving grace was a Maternity Belt similar to this one. You wouldn't think a piece of fabric could make that much of a difference but it made me feel so much better. My only complaint is that it's not exactly the easiest thing to get on, even with instructions and that come mid July it made my back and underbelly super hot and itchy whether I had a shirt under it or not. That said, I wouldn't have made it through a few summer parties and shopping trips without it.

7. A REAL Support System

I am incredibly blessed to have the most amazingly supportive friends and family and I truly would not have coped so well with the pregnancy and the last five months without my incredible hubby, mom, dad, sister and best friend. There were days when it took everything I had just to get out of bed and get to work, CJ would pick up the slack at home. Then as we neared the end my best friend and sister would come over and entertain me while I wallowed in my new-found whale status and back pain or help me with grocery shopping and meal prep. My mom shuttled me to and from appointments when I could no longer drive and helped me acquire many of my maternity clothes. My dad, always the sensible one, made sure CJ was taking care of me and helped me work out the logistics of leaving my job and surviving on one income. After the girls were here everyone became even more amazing, supporting me in any way I needed.

If you don't have friends or family nearby then reach out to the internet and local mom community. I belong to several groups on FB that I could always turn to for support or advice. Through local groups I've met other twin moms who have been an invaluable resource for not only hand-me-downs but BTDT advice (been there, done that) and just someone to talk to when it seems like no one else in the world could possibly understand how you feel. And if all else fails then, PLEASE, contact me. I will be your buddy. I will talk to you and listen and support you in any way I can. I don't care if we're strangers, I will be there for you. I believe it is that important.

I know everyone is unique and what worked for me may not work for you but without these seven things my pregnancy journey would have been a whole different story and I am so grateful for all of them!

What were your pregnancy must haves?  Do you have anything to add to my list?


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