We all know the expression, “A mother worries.” Motherhood introduces a whole new sense of responsibility and what-ifs when considering all that could happen to our precious children.
I consider myself a worrier. So when I found out last summer that I was pregnant with twins, you could imagine how fast my heart started to race at the prospect of this very exciting and nerve wracking news. The obstetrician congratulated my husband and I on our future new bundles. She also discussed that twin pregnancies are different from “singleton” pregnancies in that there are statistically more complications, such as early labor, pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes.
Diving into this pregnancy while knowing what could possibly go wrong forced me to face what was beyond my control. I was pregnant with twins and there was no going back. I was going to have two babies at once, whether I was ready for it or not.
Reducing stress, a healthy diet, and continuing to lightly exercise would reduce the likelihood of facing any pregnancy complications. I immediately cut out caffeine. I went for daily walks and did yoga. And I attempted to reduce my workload at my job.
Still, all of these efforts did not prevent the inevitable; facing bleeding and preterm labor at the start of my third trimester. I was hospitalized twice in January for this complication, and that month has gone down in history as one of the hardest times of my life.
Luckily, with plenty of bed rest and visits to the obstetrician, the twins did not arrive until I was 36 weeks and 5 days pregnant. One of my babies had to spend one night in the NICU, but all-in-all, the delivery and postnatal experience was non-eventful.
My experience with preterm labor has taught me that the fear of the unknown is the most challenging part of motherhood. Motherhood is both a blessing and a burden, which I mean in the best way possible. From the very beginning, mothers become attached to a human (or two!) growing inside of them. But this human has a life of it’s own, and the mother does everything in her power to protect them.
This human grows up and takes the bus to school. And gets a license. And goes to college. Yet a mother cannot control everything that happens to their child. Nor can she predict what the future holds for her child.
It is this lack of control over something so incredibly precious that makes motherhood so special, hard and unique.
As I write this, I am watching two healthy almost-three-month-old babies sleeping peacefully in their bouncy seats. I am truly fortunate and amazed. I would not go back in time to choose just one in the hopes of having an easier pregnancy.