Your Body in Multiples' Pregnancy
You are living larger than you ever imagined. With all those arms and legs flailing about, you feel as if you're housing a team of tiny Olympic hopefuls. Although it may not feel like it when your crowd is going wild and your back is killing you, a multiples' pregnancy is a unique gift. That your body can accommodate and nurture not just one, but two, three, or possibly more human beings is nothing short of miraculous.
Moms-to-be of multiples experience the same pregnancy symptoms as women with only one fetus, but these can be more intense and occur earlier in the pregnancy. Excessive nausea and vomiting, in particular, is often an early sign that your unborn child has company. However, many women with singleton pregnancies can experience severe morning sickness as well. More significant markers of multiples' pregnancies would include the presence of more than one fetal heart tone during a prenatal examination and measuring too large for your suspected gestational age after week 24.
High levels of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) on an AFP, triple screen, or quad screen blood test can also be an indication that you have some stowaways. (For more on AFP/triple/quad, return to Chapter 5.)