A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

This is YUGE! It changes everything – Part 4

Posted by Pepper on August 4, 2017

The few weeks I had in Mumbai were divine. My parents were spoiling me rotten. I’d get every meal in hand. I still remember looking forward to waking up to a hearty breakfast. Parathas bursting with cheese and paprika,  garlic bread stuffed with grated paneer and spices, idlis with diverse chutneys.

Through out the day, I’d be handed refreshing cups of buttermilk and coconut water that I drank straight out of the shells. I’d get a fresh salad with every meal. My evening snack would be a delicious medley of chopped apples, oranges, walnuts and raisins. I’d also get free shoulder, back and foot massages through out the day. Sigh. Living with my parents was just so easy.

And then it was time for me to return to California. My parents were full of apprehensions, so much so that they wanted to accompany me. I brushed aside all their concerns and assured them I’d be just fine. With some amount of trepidation, I flew back to the Bay Area when I was around 12 weeks.

Pregnancies are hard and I am inclined to believe that twin pregnancies are doubly hard. I joined several online groups of expectant twin moms and was horrified to note how dire the complications were for some of them. I must acknowledge here that I have been very fortunate so far and not experienced any of the scary complications that I read about with twins.

Having said that, let me say this pregnancy has been very hard on my already unfit body. Here is a summary of what I have been going through.

Nausea: I don’t know what hit me as soon as I landed in the Bay Area, but the throwing up was beyond terrible. I was surprised because nausea is supposed to abate once you cross 12-14 weeks and that is right when it picked up for me. It was incredibly intense. I would throw up around 6 to 8 times a day.

Each puke session would have me chug out litres of fluid, leaving me utterly drained out. This would happen every 1 to 2 hours. I waited and waited for it subside but it looked like it would NEVER go. I was so miserable.

To make matters worse, we live in an apartment on the 3rd floor with no elevator. I guess the movement from climbing the stairs would trigger more nausea and despite all my attempts to hold it in till I reached home, I would throw up the moment I started to climb the 3rd and last flight of stairs. This happened every.single.time.

Plastic bags became my new best friends. I couldn’t imagine leaving the house without carrying atleast 10 of them in my handbag. I can’t put in words the amount of insecurity I’d feel if I noticed my stash of bags depleting. It’s like my life depended on those god damn plastic bags. Even going for a small walk in the evening would have me stuff atleast 5 plastic bags in my pocket.

Obviously, we had to find innovative ways to ensure our supply was able to cope with the demands. We couldn’t figure out where to source the plastic bags from. Eventually we started relying on grocery stores. Mint would go and grab the bags used to weigh the veggies and fruits. We were so desperate, it was ridiculous.

The doctors were concerned I was getting too dehydrated. I was also losing weight. We had to consider going to the hospital twice every week to get some fluids through IV. My blood work showed I had low levels of chloride. They said I could possibly be suffering from Hyperemisis Gravidarum. Even writing about all of that gives me the jitters. Weeks turned into months and my days didn’t improve. I was really beginning to think my life was over. I’d never again know what it was like to not throw up.

Complete loss of energy: They say the 2nd trimester is the golden period in a pregnancy. For me, it was probably the worst. It could have been all the puking I did but my energy levels were abysmal. I would be home alone all day and would just lie limp in a corner, forcing myself to make the trip to the loo every time I had to throw up. I’d pant and gasp every time I had to walk 5 steps to get myself a glass of water. Things are still the same on this front. I do move around now but it takes a toll on me. I cannot wait for my body to be infused with normal levels of energy and stamina.

Heart burn: Yet another very common pregnancy symptom, but probably more intense for me. I’d feel a fire burning inside my chest and it was really painful, but I was able to take this pain. What I couldn’t handle was the puking combined with the acidity. I’d actually feel pools of lava sliding up and down my lungs and being hurled out with all the puke. The burning bile would hurt my lungs, my throat and even my nasal passage.

Depression: I had been really unprepared for a lot of things. Just a few months ago I was delighted on finally receiving my work permit. I was looking forward to coming back to the Bay Area and start working. Life obviously had other plans. Instead I found myself hormonal, home alone and pregnant.

The lack of energy made it really hard for me to do a thing. Mint has a long commute and he was already trying his best to manage the house. I’d still drag myself to do simple things like load the dishwasher and then collapse in exhaustion. Many times I would find myself cleaning the bathroom floors cos I hadn’t been able to contain the puke. I remember crying often as I knelt on the floors, wondering where my life was headed? Why was I alone? Why was my family so far away? Why did I have no energy to do simple every day tasks? Will this puking ever stop?

Living on the 3rd floor also meant living under house arrest because with such frightfully low reserves of energy, I couldn’t imagine going up and down the stairs. Being stuck at home made me feel more depressed.

The aches and pains: It started with severe rib pain on the right side. We later found out that Baby B was having a merry time kicking my ribs and being jammed in there. I don’t blame the poor babies, they have such little room. My body isn’t exactly spacious enough for two, though I have widened a lot. The rib pain wouldn’t even let me lean forward for a few seconds to fetch something that was right in front of me.

The back. I have had varying pain, right from lower back to mid back to upper back. I don’t know which part is going to hurt the next moment. Like you can guess, it is intense on most days. But if I had to pick the worst of the lot, I’d pick my knees. I think my knees have just given up. I’m not sure why, because unlike the rest, this doesn’t seem like a common pregnancy symptom. Getting myself up from the couch, climbing up stairs all seem like insurmountable tasks. Please God, let this knee pain be pregnancy related and not a sign of arthritis!

Feet swelling: Yet another common pregnancy symptom, but this one typically occurs in the last few weeks. One of the joys of being pregnant with twins was that I was experiencing everything a lot sooner. My feet constantly resemble, umm, elephant feet. I have a very hard time stuffing them into shoes. Being on my feet for more than 5 minutes hurts like a b*tch. If I have the courage to display my fat, ugly feet, I will put up a picture some day.

Thankfully, the nausea disappeared after months of torture. My faith was reinstated. It was possible to go an entire day without throwing up. I am still living with achy back and knees and swollen feet and intense heart burn. But when I think of how ‘easy’ my pregnancy has been compared to some other twin moms, I can’t help but feel thankful.

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32 Responses to “This is YUGE! It changes everything – Part 4”

  1. P said

    Just read all the big news blogs, Congratulations 🙂

  2. I follow your updates regularly and, I am wishing you the very best for the new innings that await you. Reading your blog is such a delight. I am not sure how to say this in a convincing way…but whenever I have felt a bit blue, there would be a mail intimating me of your blog post….and trust me, I have felt many shades better after reading every update of yours. Is it the words, is it the emotion that touches the soul….I am not sure…but your voice is definitely soothing.

    As far as motherhood is concerned, enjoy the journey. Don’t read too much on the Internet. Sane advice always comes from the baby’s granny ….naani to be precise! And that condition you have mentioned – Hyperemisis Gravidarum …one of my very close friends suffered from it. But, don’t you worry….medical conditions are quite interspersing. Just have faith in the Almighty and, there is always a solution to a problem.

    Now that you have embarked on this beautiful journey, I wish you the very best. I have this annoying habit of telling every expectant mother I meet – Smile a lot! Laugh a lot! Happy mothers make happy babies! (This tip worked for me, beautifully)

    It is because, I had been hearing it from all the well wishers during my time 😀 And so, like a tradition, I am following the same 😛

    It is said that sometimes, strangers understand your emotions like no close one does….For me, your posts have been that extension of warmth when I needed something to pep myself up. Thank you so much for that….

    Keep the words coming…. Take care and God bless 🙂

    Love, Narayani Karthik

    Regards, Narayani S https://thesagittariusthinker.wordpress.com/

    On Fri, Aug 4, 2017 at 1:31 AM, A dash of Pepper… wrote:

    > Pepper posted: “The few weeks I had in Mumbai were divine. My parents were > spoiling me rotten. I’d get every meal in hand. I still remember looking > forward to waking up to a hearty breakfast. Parathas bursting with cheese > and paprika, garlic bread stuffed with grated pa” >

    • Pepper said

      Gosh this is probably one of the sweetest comments I’ve received. Soothing is never the word I’d consider using to describe my voice. I usually keep telling myself I churn out rubbish and the world is not missing out on much by not getting my life updates. But once a a while a comment like yours pops in and I feel so much better about myself. Thank you!

      I totally agree with you. Happy moms make happy babies. It’s what I say to myself each time I find myself getting grumpy or cranky about something.

  3. Ah, I was under the impression that the YUGE series was live. Looks like it is a bit of a flash back. How much of a flashback is it?
    I had a single kid, and the nausea lasted all nine months. Not to scare you…just a small dose of reality.

    • Pepper said

      It’s a bit of a flashback. I am 30 weeks now.
      I know. Many people with single kids have battled nausea till the end.. I am probably lucky. Though while it was there, it was really intense!

  4. wifeathome said

    Hi
    Me again!! I woke up this morning thinking about u:) r u in 3rd trimester now? Did ur dr told u semi bed rest? Mine did ..like off my feet as much as i can..no long trips to the mall etc..going out sitting for dinner or muvi was fine..at home doing the bare minimum..i really believe that helped me keep the babies in for as long as i did (34 weeks) ..although we had to deliver because of some other issues but pl try n rest as much as u can:)

    Seems like I have so many things to share😊

    Regards
    Shweta

    • Pepper said

      Yes, 3rd trimester now. Damn, it’s hard to get through each day.
      I’ve been asked to be on semi bed rest too. Though I am not very good at following it.
      Did you have identical or fraternal twins btw? And if I may ask why were they delivered at 34 weeks?

      • wifeathome said

        Hi
        Yes i have non identical twin girls..they were in their own seperate sacs..they were born at 34 weeks as twin A was not growing so well in 3rd trimester…she had iugr ( intra uterine growth restriction) ..not gaining weight at all…she was fine till about 30 weeks though..her placenta was small n not working properly in the later stages so it was better to take her out..as she wud grow better in the NICU.one stayed for 9 days n the smaller one for 24 days in the nicu just to learn to eat n gain weight n maintain their body temperature.. Thankfully no other medical complications.

        You are already 30 weeks plus so reaching the safe zone:) anytime after 34/35 weeks is fine n twins geberally come lil early..what does ur dr say? I hope m not scaring you.

        Now nobody can tell they were born early..they r happy healthy n thriving babies touchwood:)
        Lemme know if u have any other questions..pl take ur bed rest advice seriously..i wish u all the best..:)) god bless u n ur babies🙏🏼

        • Pepper said

          Oh we’re having Di/Di twins too – separate sacs and separate placentas. It’s supposed to be the safest of all twin pregnancies and yet even this is so stressful!
          IUGR has been one of my biggest fears and it seems to be so common with twins. In our case, Baby B has always been a little smaller than Baby A. My last ultrasound was at 27 weeks I think and they haven’t been measured after that. I have anohter week to go for my next ulrasound so obviously I worry that baby B may have slipped low even further. I just wish they would monitor me more frequently.

          But, it’s so good to know your girls are doing well! I have been warned about how scary the NICU is by many people, how CPAP is not what you want for your baby, how babies born too soon have developmental problems all their life, etc. But really I think they scare you more than they ought to. Once again I’m so glad to know the babies are ok. And hey, it’s really nice to talk to other twin moms who are willing to share their experience, so thank you!

          • wifeathome said

            Hi
            I know its impossible not to worry but m sure u have the best care in USA..modern medicine is a boon..iugr is not a given..m sure all will be well..towards the end they will call u for more frequent monitoring..n take it easy with the move…just bark orders😄Thats it!

            Tc, regards
            Shweta

            • Pepper said

              I think I was so fearful of this happening that I almost attracted it. Baby B has been diagnosed with IUGR and I’m being monitored almost everyday, so it’s keeping me busy. They said they will consider getting them out sooner if the growth slows or doesnt improve..sigh

          • wifeathome said

            Our nicu journey was ok compared to many people..ofcourse its hard to leave ur babies there n all the pumping makes u go crazy..the bigger twin (1.8 kgs) needed lil oxygen for 12 hrs or so but the smaller (1.4 kgs) one was totally fine..they just dint give her any milk for first couple of days as we had to watch her for gastro something which thankfully was fine..

            Pl invest in a hospital grade pump( rent/buy) ..i hope n pray u go full term ( 36/37 weeks) n babies need no nicu time..still it will help u a lot in their feedings.

            Bye for now till i remember something else:)

            • Pepper said

              It’s awesome to know your babies did well even in the NICU despite coming at 34 weeks. These really are the things I need to hear.

              WIll keep the hospital grade pump in mnd. Thank you! Going by how things stand right now, I am highly doubtful about making it full term…so guess I need to start preparing 🙂

              • wifeathome said

                Hi pepper

                Even the minutest complications in pregnancy makes the parents so worried..i have gone through it n i can understsnd what you and ur husband are going through..but the good thing is that they are keeping an eye on you..u r probably in the best country in terms of medical care..dont think that anything happened because of u or what u did or didnt do or thought..it was not in ur control at all..just listen and trust your dr n follow their advise to the T..dont think that baby should be better inside if the dr says to deliver early..have faith in ur dr they obviously know more than us and will do the very possible best thing for us…i am saying this because sumtimes i used to doubt my dr but in the end really she did what wAs best for me n my babies…they stayed in Nicu for 9 and 24 days respectively…

                My email id is raajshweta@gmail.com – in case you want to talk seperately…m sure all will be well in the end..lots of positive n healthy baby vibes to u…tc dear..

                Regards
                Shweta

              • Pepper said

                Thank you so much. I will write to you shortly.

  5. Shreya said

    I hated it when anyone gave me any advice on my pregnancy but i will still write this because it helped me and few of my friends a lot. Try chewing some jeera..just raw jeera for heartburn…
    I can totally relate to your fears but you know life throws multiple things at you and just have to train yourself to live happily with those decisions…and trust me this will be your best decision ever… 🙂 Dont worry about your career…you still have atleast 25 – 30 years to work and grow in your career…Just stay happy, relax and enjoy!! Lots of heartfelt wishes for an easy delivery…and you are not alone..we all look forward to hearing from you and pray that you stay strong and enjoy each moment because these crazy moments are definitely not coming back soon 😉

    • Pepper said

      Thanks so much for the tip. I will try the jeera. So far I’ve only been using Tums.
      Right now I am honestly now even thinking of career. Maybe cos I am so uncomfortable. All I want to do is get to the end of this pregnancy safely and have two healthy babies.

  6. Nausea is the worst part of Pregnancy, Pepper. I hope your struggle eases…Just stay put and all the struggles will be worthwhile when you get to cuddle to two little ones…now, I’m so curious if you are having little baby boys or girls ?

    • Pepper said

      I know, nausea is usually the worst bit, though I don’t know too many people who suffered the way I did. Even the thought of having fluids forced into you through IVs is horrible. So glad it got better..

  7. Preethi said

    Bigs hugs Pepper…
    Pregnancy with twins can be quite taxing on one’s body. Take care of your health Pepper. I hope you get well soon

  8. scorpria said

    Awwwwww you poor baby. Hope everything gets better soon, esp the knee pain. Huggggggggggggsss.

    And, I think I ought to stop reading your posts or I will make up my mind about not wanting twins! 😮

  9. Oh Pepper a BIG BIG HUG to you! Just by reading I felt exhausted and totally get your angst. You are a tough and gritty woman my dear. I am sure your twins will imbibe your tenacity 🙂 For a change, when I say, “this too shall pass” has a timeline “just a few more months” 🙂 Just keep your chip up dear. Big hug to you again!

  10. Bhavani said

    A big hug to you dear!! One advise don’t hesitate to ask for help…when you crave for anything just ask your friends….people will be so thrilled to help during these times….when you feel low at home see if you can have someone over for a chit chat and you can ask them to bring your fav food. Totally works:) Just few more weeks…you will forget all this when you hold your babies…. Take care…

    -B

    • Pepper said

      Thank you Bhavani! To start with I don’t have too many friends in the Bay Area. In fact, the handful of people I know are all bloggers or blog readers and I can’t begin to put in words how much they have all helped me. Right from buying things for the babies to cooking for us and bringing food for a baby to spending time chatting with me. I couldn’t have survived without them. That’s why this blog is so precious to me

      I agree with you. A few more weeks and I will have my body back! No more sharing it with 2 other people. Boy has that been hard!

  11. Smita said

    You know what I loved the most about this post? The last line because you ended it on a positive note!

    ((hugs))

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