Sunday, 10 January 2016

Mothering Twins

Having Twins - My Story

Twins Playing On The Floor
"What's a yolk?" I asked the radiographer. Well I know what a yolk is but hadn't really thought about it in the context of having an ultrasound. I had been watching the fuzzy grey shapes as she diligently created labels for the different images as they whizzed around on the screen. She was being very quiet. Not a very chatty one this one. So I continued to watch as she labelled "Yolk A", "Yolk B". "Oh you're supposed to have one of those", she casually replied. "Are you supposed to have two of those?" I asked. You see, I had been paying attention. And then the penny dropped. At almost exactly the same time as she said, "You are if you're having twins".

If you know someone who is pregnant with twins, then I don't think this page is going to help her much unless she needs a bit of a giggle, but Raising Twins: From Pregnancy to Preschool might!

What do I have in common with these celebrities? We are all mothers of twins!

My Reaction To The News On Discovering I was Having Twins

Girl Twins! stamp for sale by jsoh on Zazzle

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What was being labelled were the yolk sacs which are still present during the first trimester. I was having the ultrasound examination to establish dates because at my age it was recommended that I have a CVS or Amniocentesis pre-natal diagnostic test. I was 39 at the time with two small boys.

I believed I was 9 weeks gestation but the ultrasound showed I was 11 weeks. This apparently ruled out the CVS as an option. CVS is an abbreviation for Chorionic Villus Sampling which is a test in which a sample of the tissue which will become the placenta is tested for chromosome abnormality.

There is only a small window of opportunity during which this test can be carried out. Beyond that period the test used is amniocentesis which is sampling of the amniotic fluid.

What I wasn’t expecting that day was to learn that there was more than one life growing inside me. I have often joked that my reaction that day was something like a wail of “my life is over”. In truth, that wasn’t my reaction. Stunned yes. A sudden feeling of “what are we going to do about (house, car, money and various other items – insert relevant noun here)?” Largely I felt a bit lost. Like “where do we go from here?”

My First Scare Fear Of A Threat To My Twins

It's Twin's Stamps stamp
It’s Twin’s Stamps by Designdivaad
View other Twins Postage
The next day – I mean literally, the very next day – I bled. I took myself off to the Emergency Room only to be told that I would not be able to get a scan til the next morning and that I should go home to which I replied “I’m not going anywhere”. I must have looked like I meant it – they gave me a bed. My scan the next day showed that all was well – apparently it was something to do with a fibroid growth and I’m still not exactly sure what that is. The main thing was that everything was fine.

A week or so later I had my amniocentesis exam during which I discovered that due to the biology of the sacs and the membrane they could tell me with absolute certainty that my twins were identical. This meant I only needed one puncture instead of two. Bonus!

The Everything Twins, Triplets, And More Book: From Seeing The First Sonogram To Coordinating Nap Times And Feedings -- All You Need To Enjoy Your Multiples

The Everything Twins, Triplets, And More Book

I'm not sure how useful this book would be for those seeing their first ultrasound because as far as I am aware this is usually when you first find out you are expecting a multiple birth. The other topics covered in this book, however are everything an expectant multiple birth parent will want to know answers to.
Includes information on:

  • What to expect during each trimester
  • Physical changes your body endures
  • Budgeting for extra expenses
  • Setting up your household for the big arrivals
  • The first few months of life with your multiples
The Everything Twins, Triplets, and More Book is your all-in-one resource for preparing your home, and your life, for all your little bundles of joy!

The Result Diagnosing The Health Of My Twins

About a week later (one thing you suffer when you’re having twins is memory loss, I know most women suffer that to some extent with every pregnancy, but I seemed to forget everything! Ooh, ooh that reminds me – note to self – keeping a journal is a really, really good idea. Yes, I wish I’d done that. Read on.) About a week later we received a phone call from the genetic counselling clinic. The results were in. All clear. Did we want to know the gender? Well of course they’d know that. The test involves looking at the chromosomes after all. Um. Did we want to know the sex? We have two boys. We’re having twins. We’re going to need a whole heap of stuff. Do we want to know the gender? I hesitated for maybe a nano second. Then said “Yes!”

I might also point out that “Thank God”, the results were all clear because we hadn’t even considered our options or potential decisions had they not been.

The Belly Book: A Nine-Month Journal for You and Your Growing Belly (Potter Style)

Keep A Pregnancy Journal

You won't remember. Believe me you think you will but you won't remember a thing!

Before you get to meet your baby, you spend a swell (so to speak) nine months getting acquainted with your growing belly. The first pregnancy journal devoted 100% to you and your belly, The Belly Book is organized by trimester and includes pages for "time-lapse" belly photos and ultrasound images, as well as prompts for writing about morning sickness, food cravings, maternity clothes you never want to see again, and much more.

The Pregnancy Carrying My Twins

So I settled into the next four months variously gathering stuff around me, joining the local multiple birth group, attending ante-natal check-ups and classes getting my eldest son ready to start school in the new year, celebrating my 40th birthday and getting bigger by the day. One of my acquaintances remarked when I was around five months that I was “the most pregnant person” she’d ever seen! Why, thank you. Those who asked we shared the secret of the babies’ gender with, those who didn’t want to know we respected as well. That was mainly my mother.

People were fantastic. I received a mountain of used baby clothes. Not expecting to have any more babies I had given almost everything from my previous two away and had to start over again. If this is you, I think the best advice I can offer you is don’t refuse anything! Never be too proud to receive second-hand items and definitely don’t decline offers of help.

Essential Item - Twin Stroller If You Are Having Twins You Will Need One of These

When your friends and family ask you what you would like as a gift, why not consider asking for an Gift Card so you can choose the items you want.

Baby Shower Invitations Perfect If You Are Having Twins

A wonderful selection of Baby Shower invitations just for expecting twin moms

The Delivery - Bringing My Twins Into The World

By around 32 weeks it was decided that I should have another scan. I may have looked huge at 20 weeks but by 32 my Obstetrician was concerned about my measurements. My scan revealed my babies were small for dates and so started a regime of weekly scans. At my checkup at 36 weeks he admitted that I had been the topic of conversation over dinner with his wife who convinced him I should be delivered early. I’m not sure if I should have been reassured by that or not. In any case I was admitted the following day for a delivery by Cesarean Section. This was pretty scary as my previous two deliveries had been by natural birth and only the gas to assist me. I was about to have totally the opposite in terms of intervention starting with an Epidural.

To cut a very, very long story short:-

After my blood pressure plummeted, apparently an adverse reaction to the anaesthesia, I was administered something to bring it back up which seems to have resulted in pulmonary oedema. While my doctor was attempting to stitch me up my lungs filled with fluid and I was having coughing spasms. Not ideal while someone is attempting to be very precise with a sharp implement. My babies were whisked off to Neonatal Intensive Care and I was whisked off to the Coronary Care Unit. The babies spent four weeks in the NIC unit. They were indeed small for dates at 2016 grams and 1600 grams which is 4.5 and 3.5 pounds. I went home after a week and spent hours expressing milk with a breast pump and taking little chiller box deliveries to the hospital with me until I could take my babies home.

Carry Your Babies Home Safely

The Girls Today

Do You Have A Similar Story or know someone who does?

Share your experience here

  • jmsp206 Jul 23, 2013 @ 5:45 am
    No,I don't off hand by yours sounds lovely. What a great gift, two daughters at the same time.

  • gottaloveit Dec 18, 2012 @ 7:47 am
    I'm happy to say that I'm completely childless - a decision I made early on and was the absolute right decision for me. But, I have the utmost respect for mothers of twins - and yours are beautiful.

  • Serenia Sep 09, 2012 @ 6:06 pm
    My sister had twin daughters. I was told they were fraternal but they certainly look identical to me.

  • sbellis Aug 17, 2012 @ 7:44 pm
    Yes, I do! My twin girls are 17 now, how the time flies!

  • grannysage Jun 03, 2012 @ 2:37 am
    What a lovely story and lovely girls.

  • KReneeC Apr 01, 2012 @ 9:49 pm
    I had fraternal twins! Such a joy!

  • TheGourmetCoffeeGuy Jan 03, 2012 @ 1:09 am
    Great story. Don't have twins but have a close friend with triplets and appreciate the immense work and dedication it takes to raise 3 active boys all at once!

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