By Shannon O’Reilly-Fearn
There are two photos of me pregnant with my twins. Literally, two photos and only one that I posted for my friends and family to see. A multiples pregnancy can be very draining on your self-confidence, from the big belly early on to the stretch marks and incessant heart burn. I didn’t feel beautiful with the girls and I don’t think I got that pregnancy glow. I just had hideous ongoing nausea and a belly that was so heavy early on that my back constantly ached. But here is where I want this “I’m too big to be pretty” perception to STOP with twin moms.
Tiger stripes. Be proud of them! How many moms can go through childbirth once and produce two babies? Be proud of your stretch marks, and in fact, every time you see them remind yourself that you are a baby-making rockstar. For the record, your partners don’t find them ugly like you do; they see them as part of their baby mama—which is kinda sexy don’t you think?!
Premature labor. When moms of multiples give birth earlier than planned—which can shatter self-confidence—you can feel as though you didn’t do your job. To this I say a big fat NOT TRUE. You did the best you could do! Babies choose when they want to come and there is absolutely nothing you could have done to stop them. That is why we have wonderful NICU staffs to help finish cooking them outside of your belly until they are ready to go home.
Bedrest. The dreaded stay-in-bed-until-you-give-birth. There is nothing more draining than not being able to walk around and have your independence. Instead of seeing this as a hindrance, join any or all of the online multiples groups (including ours!) and plan to complete one task each day as to give yourself a purpose. One day look into baby wearing—see what your options are for wearing two babies at once. The next day research breastfeeding positions—you can practice in bed with dolls and see what feels comfortable to you. Use the time effectively and enjoy not having to shave your legs—when your babies get to be two years old like mine are they might point to your leg stubble, shake their heads, and say “No mama, nooooo!”
Shannon O’Reilly-Fearn is the founder of Twin Love Concierge, a company she created to provide personalized support for parents of multiples. She offers workshops and personal consultations throughout the NYC metro area, which you can sign up for via Kidz Central Station! She is also a mom to identical twin girls. Want to know how she does it all? Check out her Head of the Class Mom interview!