I e-mailed my doctor about the side pain and since the cysts are on that side, she wanted me to come in to make sure that everything was okay. Yesterday's doctor visit replaced the one I was scheduled for on Friday.
The good news is that the pain is round ligament pain. Normally that pain is on the right side, but the babies seem to be more on my left. As long as I know it's normal then I can do my best to ignore it.
She used the doppler to find the heartbeats. This was my first experience with a doppler and it was awesome! Dave and I actually considered renting a doppler back in the days when we thought there was just one baby, but with twins we decided not to do it. We were both worried that it would be too confusing with two heartbeats, seeing as how neither of us are medically trained. ;) I mentioned that to my doctor and she agreed that the doppler rental wasn't very wise with twins, that it would probably cause more worries than it alleviated.
It was amazing to hear those two alternating heartbeats! All I can say about it is wow. :)
She did the usual stuff and answered all of my questions. She made an appointment for me to get a Holter monitor tomorrow because those pesky palpitations still bug me. She agreed with my friend's assessment that the palpitations are probably PVC's, which are pretty harmless but annoying. She just wants to be sure, and so do I.
I was 18w3d along at the visit and she measured my fundal height at 24 weeks so while I'm halfway through the 2nd trimester, my belly is close to entering the 3rd. She said that's right on track for twins. She said she's very pleased at how well I'm doing for having twins, that I'm doing a lot better than many twin pregnancies. I tend to agree with her. Aside from the usual aches and pains, I feel pretty good, but then again, I'm just so happy to be pregnant!
She confirmed that the contractions, which are Braxton Hicks, are very common and she said I was going to get a lot of them. I do get quite a few of them. Again, as long as it's normal and not cause for concern, I can handle it just fine. Maybe I'm weird, but I kind of like them. It's like I'm getting a big hug from my belly.
So, I thought I'd make a list of the things I've learned that aren't really in any books I've seen so far:
1. Nobody warned me about how sore my belly would get. Ever since week 9 it has felt like I do a huge amount of sit ups and core exercises. Obviously some days are worse than others, mainly during growth spurts. Apparently this extreme soreness is very common in twin pregnancies. I'm getting used to it, though.
2. I didn't realize the growing would happen in such strong spurts. It seems like I can go 2-3 weeks with nothing and then overnight I'll grow several inches. Friends seem to notice it happening with me this way, too. Corinne mentioned noticing a big difference in my belly from last week to this week.
3. The protein drinks are the best for pregnancy! I was having a really difficult time even eating in the first trimester and those drinks really helped to balance me out nutrition-wise, helped me to feel better, seriously helped the oligohydramnio/polihydramnio issues, helped with dehydration, and just overall physical well-being. As a bonus for the 1st trimester, these drinks are great for m/s if you can drink them.
4. Pregnancy packs it on where you least expect it. I really hoped my thighs would maintain their medium tree-trunk size or even shrink (yeah, right), but alas my thighs have achieved redwood status and no longer fit into a lot of the maternity pants that I so looked forward to wearing.
5. There is a deli meat controversy. We are told to avoid deli meats and if we really really must have them, then they should be heated to steaming. I wrote about my experience at Le Boulanger trying to get a heated sandwich or something without deli meats. This was not an isolated incident. I've seen this debate on message boards and have heard it from other people I know. Some people just don't want to give up certain foods no matter what the risk. Granted, the risk is low and a lot of people think that they are above the risk, or they are so very secure in their pregnancy they think a miscarriage couldn't possibly happen to them. The way I see it, though, is that I love my babies more than I love deli meats, caffeine, or any other food or body product that can cause harm. Dave and I have a strict policy of taking no chances. I know a lot of people who understand that and feel the same in their lives, too.
I'm still blown away at the size of my belly. It's so fun! I find it funny that the left side of my belly is slightly bigger than my right. It's funny that the babies are preferring that side. I think they like being close to each other. I love feeling them move and can't wait until the feeling is strong enough for Dave to be able to feel it.
Other good things: our cherry tree actually has cherries! In the 5 years we've lived here, the cherry tree has never produced red ripe cherries. The last couple of years brought a few, very few, green cherries but the birds took those very quickly. The first couple of years were rough for the tree. It had been neglected for so long, the tree looked nearly dead when we bought the house. It had some sort of fungus and other problems. Now it is flourishing. It's so lovely to see!