We’ve all wondered what it would be like- and some of us have actually experienced- the sheer shock of being told we’re expecting not one, but multiple babies! Below is Hazel’s detailed weekly account of carrying twins. Why do I love Hazel? She truly understands that here at Postparty, there is no such thing as T.M. I. In an effort to give it to you straight, not a single detail will be glossed over! Preach on girl.
3rd August 2016 – 7 weeks pregnant
I went for a scan today as I had 2 miscarriages earlier in the year. We were advised by the hospital after the previous one to go for an early scan at 7 weeks to confirm all is ok with the baby. Scan was fine, but not what we were expecting at all… as there were 2 sacks not 1. I’m pregnant with TWINS!
I cant believe I am pregnant with twins!
I cry…my husband (D) says I cry over anything, so he isn’t surprised I’m in tears. But these aren’t tears of joy. These are tears of shock, surprise, disbelief and the realisation that our life plans have just changed beyond all belief.
So there I am legs open, ultrasound wand inside and crying.
We had planned to be a family of 4, never 5!
I phone my sisters and they think I’m lying. There are no twins in the family ANYWHERE. My parents are on a driving holiday and nearly crash over the edge of a mountain! I am not over 35 , I am not overweight, I am just the (un)lucky 1 in 6 women who welcome twins!
In the UK 1 in 67 pregnanices are twins and out of these, 1 in 6 are totally out of the blue. That is me and D.
I am already conscious of my increasing stomach size, and I am just wearing overly baggy tops. My best friend in the office guesed, but not the twin part, this news will be beyond most guesses!
I am so tired! Bedtime is now at 8:30pm, so I put Al down, grab a small supper, and then off to bed!
Mat jeans are well and truly on now!
I always thought I had good stomach muscles, but they seem to be failing me now.
I told my boss, as he works at a different site, and wanted him to know before the office rumours start.
He was happy for me– not sure he realises how much of a pain I will be with the time off for scans and hospital appointments?
I’m off work moving house, thankfully no one at work can see the ever-increasing bump.
I am at that awkward fat stage, where you just look a bit chunky, not preggo!
Unpacking is exhausting, Not sure how I would feel if this was a single pregnancy.
My 12 week scan falls on our anniversary (4 years!) so we plan to go out and celebrate after the scan.
There is a possible problem with twin 1. The NT reading is quite high 3.6mm which gives us a 1:26 risk of Downs. Twin 2 is 1:5000.
We need to make some really hard decisions about further tests. We have several options. 1) Harnmony test – Blood test which looks for marker of Downs in my blood. No risk for the babies. But it takes 2 weeks for results to come through, and it is a screening, not full genetic testing so there is still a risk that something will be missed. 2) CVS – A needle is inserted into the placenta and genetic testing is performed on the sample. 1-2% risk of miscarriage. If I miscarry 1, I miscarry both! 3) Amniocentesis – performed after 15 weeks. Needle is inserted into the amniotic sack and a sample of amniotic fluid is taken. Comes with a 1% risk of miscarriage.
We decide to go for the Harmony test so we can think about whether to have the CVS done over the weekend.
After the weekend we also book in for the CVS. We now have a long wait in front of us.
We have an appointment with the twin consultant (Miss Penna) on Tuesday and the CVS on Thursday.
The appointment with the consultant was all about the genetic risks and our potential options.
We leave more confused and upset.
I speak to my boss to explain that I don’t want to go into the office, so I am working from home. Not sure I want to have to talk to anyone as we are in a really bad place as we there are many “unknowns”, plus my belly is defiantly more baby and less cream cake!
I just had the CVS and it is not pleasant as it means so much. Will I miscarry? Will the results mean that difficult decisions need to be made? We will get the results in 3 days.
Results are in and the twins are normal, healthy baby boys. Awful wait over the weekend, but such a massive relief!
I can finally tell people I am preggo now with TWINS :D. Colleagues at work are shocked, and there are a lot of hugs!
I talk to an old school friend who is in the same postion with a son followed by twins.
She really puts my mind at ease! She has very little (pretty much no) family support as she lives in Switzerland and her family are near me. She was an emotional/tired wreck, but what mother of a 6 month old isn’t?
I came off the phone feeling like I can do this, and looking forward to being a member of the amazing exclusive Mum of Multiples club!
Week 16 – Jewish New Year
I went to my parents shul, my parents friends all gush, and the superstar feeling is back.
Back in the office, bump is larger than a colleague who is 6 weeks further along than me. I am going to be massive!
Week 17 – Jewish Day of Attonement (Yom Kippur)
The only time you are allowed not to fast is when you are pregnant or sick, so it was nice to eat while others were hungry.
Comments are coming thick and fast about my size. “You haven’t grown since last week!” “You look massive, everytime I see you, you seem to grow!”
It is a wonder that women don’t end up with eating disorders while pregnant.
Still, the reaction I get from people when I tell them I’m carrying twins makes me laugh, as they all look like this:
1) Sharp intake of breath
I know everyone isn’t in this position, but 1 in 67 isn’t exactly rare. It is more rare to be Jewish (1 in 200 in the UK). Hey lucky me, I’m both!
Back ache is in full swing, super stiff and achy when lying flat. Also, I have just started feeling kicks. Apparently it will be quite a while before I can tell them apart by moving.
I went to have new bras fitted today as already bursting out of the 1st set of preggo bras. This is without doubt not sexy baby making underwear. D would say good job as there is no way he would ever want to do this again, and my uterus is retiring! The bra looks like something my late grandmother would wear- very ugly!
Also lightning crotch is ramping up. So I need to tell doctor /midwife but it sounds so lame that my V hurts!
Al had a birthday party for a friend from nursery today and I had the “Does it run in the family?” comment at least 3 times. It is without doubt the most common remark I hear. But excitement is still there.
I know I can sound negative, but despite having to do building work in the house (and I’m sure my undercarriage after!) it is exciting and I know I will feel so lucky to have them and they will be very lucky to have each other. I just hope Al is ok with being sidelined.
We had a follow-up heart scan for naughty twin #1. All appears fine, but as appointment should have been at 20 weeks, we need to go back and have it done again.
But as always it is a pleasure to see the dynamic duo!
Week 19 – AKA the week people start to comment
Although I have been showing for a while, and been in mat clothes for 10 weeks, the comments are coming hard and fast.
But the look of shock when I mention twins makes me chuckle. A whole conversation can happen and the word baby is never mentioned. “When are you due?” “They are due at the end of February.” “They?” “Yes, I’m expecting twins”
I have had cuddles from mummy figures, laughter from close friends, and slack jaws from colleagues.
I am really starting to notice the shortness of breath. Going up a flight of stairs really is starting to make me puff, no idea how I will be in 17 weeks time.
BUT I AM OVER HALF WAY!
So this week I have been really uncomfortable. Not painful but it feels like I am stretching (doesn’t sound nice!)
I have been bouncing on my swiss ball like there is no tomorrow which helps.
We had our 20 week scan and also ANOTHER heart scan following twin #1’s fat neck and everything is good with their little hearts which is a massive relief. Now I can finally relax into the pregnancy.
Also our loft conversion (not in our original plans when we bought the house, but neither were twins!) has been bumped forward, thanks to nice builders so they will hopefully start in 2 weeks. All being well, they will have finished by Christmas. Hopefully the decorators will be finished by the time the babies come.
Al and I went to a friend’s house from nursery. His mum (nicest woman in the world) commented on how chilled I looked. She didn’t see me sobbing with my mum this morning over the stress of how am I going to cope. Or wonder how are we ever going to afford to go on holiday again.
Both of my sisters (and everyone else) always comment on how hard it is with 2, how am I ever going to cope with 3!!! I know I will do it, I don’t have much choice now. At the end of the day, the bad stuff is only temporary. All mums know the 1st 6 weeks are the worst. All mums know that months 3-6 are hard, but nothing compared to the 1st 3 months. Then on in, it gets that much easier, especially when the babies aren’t moving yet. As soon as crawling/ bum shuffling/ walking starts, that is when life will become challenging again. When they are paying for the nursing home for D and me, I will be glad I had them all!
Building work has started!
We have got massively bumped up the list. Hopefully we will be done by Christmas.
Preganancy-wise I started feeing tightening in my lower abdomen. Aparently these are Braxton Hicks. I never had it with Al, so it is only from what I have read up on it. As long as it doesn’t get more frequent (4x in an hour) its all good, and my body is just preparing itself for the dynamic duo.
I saw the twin consultant. It was such a different appointment compared to last time. All is fine and heard both babies hearts. They are laying so close together you can hear both hearts in 1 doppler position! Very cute, they are cuddling already.
I took Al to see Santa with my middle sister and my nephew (few weeks younger than Al).
All was fine until I nearly passed out in the queue. Being a light drama queen I start crying! My excuse it that I was hot, and we had been walking, then standing in the heat. Al luckily didn’t see any of it, so he just had an amazing day!
I was so glad to get home and put my feet up.
I have always been a snorer. When I was younger and fatter (I lost 2.5 stone in 2008) my snoring was bad. When I lost my weight it stopped, so D never knew I snored until I was pregnant with Al. This time OMG it is awful, even with ear plugs in, he can’t sleep. D has taken to sleeping downstairs in the lounge as then he can get some solid sleep! But it does mean I can starfish in bed, every cloud!
I know some women find in pregnancy they don’t poop, I can’t stop. I’m not sure if it is the iron pills I need to take or my diet, but I can easily go 3 times a day! I don’t know where it comes from. I need to take the iron pills due to the twin pregnancy. It is quite common to lose considerably more blood during the birth, so to ensure that there is enough iron in my body once I have them.
At my midwife appointment, I’m measuring the same as a singleton at 36 weeks! No wonder I feel so big and waddle-y.
The “oh twins” face is getting funnier now as I am so big and look close to popping!
I have also had a hospital bag panic! I watched a TAMBA (twin and multiple birth association) session and the woman leading the session said she said had her bag packed from 26 weeks. I haven’t even got stuff out of my parents loft yet! I asked my local twin club what their opinions were. They said not to think about it until 28 to 32 weeks. So my first week of mat leave will be sorting all the baby clothes!
I am starting to have all the final meetings at work before I go on mat leave. I am still surprised that not everyone realizes that I’m pregnant or pregnant with twins. The “Oh, Twins, wow!” comment is said surprisingly frequently. If you don’t laugh, you would cry!
I joined in on a breastfeeding webinar run through TAMBA. If I hadn’t had Al already, it may have been useful, but having done the whole BF thing before, there was very little new info. At the end of the day, rather than feeding 1 and feeling like a cow, I will be feeding 2 and feeling like a cow! I am very lucky, I had no real problems feeding Al, and I had a good supply, so for me I am not worried about the act of feeding. I think my main fear is the routine side of things.
I just went to a workshop about managing life with twins. All the midwife kept talking about was how making it to 30 weeks is amazing, as not many MoM (mum of multiples) get there! It also freaked me out, as they kept mentioning how most twins will end up in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) and how we should all consider going, and familiarising ourselves with the machines, wires and sounds etc.
I spoke to D about visiting, and how I am unsure about whether I could/ should do it. He is more philosophical abnout it working with sick people. We both know what worse case scenario is (0 or 1 baby coming home) so how much benefit would it give? I currently can’t read articles in the TAMBA magazine about SCBU babies so why would seeing them be any better.
Fingers crossed I hit 30 weeks!
This is my last day at work for 1 year! I can’t believe it has come around so quickly. But I am only 30 weeks! With Al, I stopped work at the very end of 36 weeks. But I am now bigger than I was with Al, and defiantly more waddle-ey. The women at work, who are all mother hens, clucking around and giving massive hugs everywhere I go. I had my last ever meeting, just before I left, and I still ended up with work to do! So my final hour of work, was actually doing work, not just tying up loose ends! Hardcore until the end!!
When I finally handed in my laptop, I cried (back to the tears again!). I think it is the realisation that life will never be the same again! How can it be? When I return in February 2017, I will be a mum of 3!
Although I am on mat leave, there has been very little relaxation! We have a decorator in, finishing the house off after the loft. He is doing my head in! He is an old man, who keeps making comments about the bump. I know it isn’t small. But seriously, I am pregnant, with twins, and trust me, I wouldn’t ask you to help me if I went in labour, you’re creepy!!! I would rather crawl on my hands and knees to the maternity unit than ask him for help! (Al is even freaked out by him, and he has seen him every morning for the past few weeks!)
We have gardeners in as well, filing in the pond which was ENORMOUS. I have decided to take Al out of nursery for 1 extra day, so I can have quality time with him. He has been enjoying it, and so far I haven’t been struggling with the extra day. Next week is the last week I’ll be doing it though, as it is hard work finding things to keep him engaged that I can manage to do!
Bump is so fidgety! I was sitting watching TV in the evening with D, and he was getting freaked out by how much the flesh moves! I think it is easy to forget that there are 2 in there sometimes, then they move at the same time and it’s just like Alien!
I had my 32 week scan this week. Luckily they are both still head down, so fingers crossed I can go for a natural delivery. I just need to wait and see what the consultant says in 2 weeks!
Well, I just keep getting bigger, more uncomfortable, and more miserable!
It has generally been an un-exciting week. I have been chilling out as much as I can, but I have had Al with me for 2 days, which makes it so much harder, as running after a toddler while the size of a house isn’t easy!
I went along to the twins group again today. Al still doesn’t get it, he was the only singleton there, but he just didn’t realise it. I’m not sure if he didn’t realise or he didn’t care as there were just twice the number of children there. Fingers crossed he just thinks that there are more friends to play with, as hopefully we will go along regularly to the group, as it is useful to share the problems of twin motherhood!
In the afternoon, we went along to the midwife at my doctor’s practice. Every time I go, I come out deeply unimpressed, this time was no exception. They did not take a urine sample, and it just seems like it is a tick box exercise for her. As a twin pregnancy, it is high risk, so urine should defiantly be tested. But it wasn’t, so I should just calm down. The midwife measured me, I am measuring 46cm. Yes, I am the equivalent of 46 weeks pregnant!!!!!
In the afternoon, we had 1 of Al’s friends over with his mum (who is one of my emergency contacts). The boys played so nicely together and Al shared his toys really well. It was the 1st time he had someone who wasn’t family over and had to share. The place was a tip afterwards, but hey, 2 toddlers make twice the mess of 1! When they left, I realised my leg was a bit damp…then I realised it was my jeans. I had leaked all over my jeans!
PANIC!!! My waters were gone!!!!!!
Trying to call D, and he isn’t answering! I call my parents, they get their stuff together and head over. But trying to feed Al, while keeping calm and realising that I am nowhere near ready, mentally or with my stuff, freaks me out. Eventually I get hold of D, and he speaks to every single person he knows at the hospital, seemingly to make sure that I will be dealt with like a celebrity when I arrive (the only advantage of being married to a consultant at the hospital that I will be giving birth at!). Al- after being good all afternoon- decides that Issi (my mum) will not cut the mustard for bedtime and only I will do. So we have a toddler meltdown while I am freaking out.
My dad takes me to hospital, and there are tears from me, as the realisation that I will be a mum of 3 freaks me out!!!!! My dad (father of 3 girls) basically says the usual, no one is ever ready, and you just wing it!
When I arrive in the Maternity unit, they do all the usual observations (and urine sample) and as there are no contractions, I am quite chilled out now, especially as I have D with me (and he is in scrubs so looks like he is wearing fancy dress!).
The midwife and Dr did a swab test to see if it was my waters. Luckily it was negative so it was just very watery discharge (nice image I know!). However, I still end up being put on monitors to make sure that both babies are fine. The babies are both so active, that they couldn’t get a decent heart trace, as the babies keep kicking the sensors off or wiggle away from them, so after 2 hours, we end up getting the senior doctor in to perform an ultrasound. Most people are so excited about ultrasounds, but I am so blasé now, as we have had so many! Both babies are fine and we are discharged. All in all I am at the hospital 4.5 hours and that peace of mind was all I needed to make sure that both babies can carry on baking a little longer, and I can be mentally ready!!
We have our consultant appointment, and were with her for 30 mins, which in my book is fairly impressive! We cover every single thing about the delivery and risks that both D or I could think of. She really does put our minds at rest. I think part of the reason why she puts our minds at rest is that both the babies are quite large, so the risks associated with them being under baked are dramatically reduced. We also discuss induction dates. I really hope we don’t get to that point, as my idiot of a husband has decided 37+3. That means I have 3 more bloody weeks of this, rather than just under 3 weeks if we went for 37! TOSSER!
Men really have no idea how uncomfortable and creepy it is having babies wiggle and jiggle all over and look like aliens trying to explode through your flesh. The films honestly have nothing on the reality of it!
My mental boundary has now passed! This is the point that it is quite unlikely that the twins will end up in SCBU. The average twins arrive at 35+3, so let’s hope they come soon as my enjoyment of the pregnancy is decreasing by the day!
I have my 36 week scan and they show that twin #1 is currently 6.5 lbs (approx.) and twin 2 is 5.5lb (approx.) as some singletons are born full term less than that, I think I must be a bloody good baker!!!
I come home and suddenly I have a really bad pain in my lower abdomen. Not Braxton hicks but not contraction, just pure pain and that isn’t good in anyone’s book. It is tears- rolling- down- face bad, so my parents who have had Al during my scan head back over to look after him, while I make my way (thanks to the my wonderful dad taxi service!) back to the hospital. I am once again tied up to machines making sure that both babies are fine. I am having quite a lot of uterine activity, but on inspections, there is no dilation, so I am not in labour, just Braxton Hicks again. However, as I am still having the activity, they keep me in ALL WEEKEND!
My mucus plug has just gone- yay! Fingers crossed these babies come soon! With Al, my mucus plug went and 12 hours later he was in my arms, so I’m hopeful.
Its 3 days later and I am so wet again. I am sure it’s not my waters, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially as so few twin pregnancies get this far. It’s the same doctor as the first time around, they must think I am barmy! Luckily I didn’t drag D down this time! I tried negotiating with the doctor to do a sweep, but it is 3 days before 37 weeks so no such luck. I just need to carry on dancing to try and break my waters!
I am in so much pain, I manage to change my induction date from 1st March (Wednesday) back to the Monday (27th Feb). Small miracles as I am in so much pain all I want is these babies out!
I drop Al off at nursery and then go in for my induction.
I get assessed by the midwife, and I am told that the doc will prescribe the pesiry to start the process off soon. At 11am the doctor comes around and prescribes it. At 1pm, once the midwife has dealt with various labouring women next to me, she has a feel to put the pesiry in, and I am told there is no need as I am already 3 to 4cm with bulging membranes, so I will just need my waters broken! Now I just need to wait until a room is free ready for us all to come!
At doctor’s handover at 8pm (grr) I get told they are still waiting for a room, but as soon as one is free, it will be mine! I kick D out of the area at 10:30pm as he is annoying me and not listening to me moan about how these women in labour are getting preference over me who wants the babies out! I go to sleep 20 minutes later. At 2am I get rudely awakened by the midwife telling me she has a room and they want to break my waters!
I then get wheeled into the delivery room where once again I am put on all the monitors. At 3am they come in as they can see I’m getting quite full-on contractions. I ask for my epidural (who would be foolish enough to want twins without it?). At this point babies decide to move so the ctg monitors don’t pick up the babies. They cant give an epidural without monitoring the babies. At 3:30am I call D to come in as it will take him 30 mins and I want him to be there!
The midwives can’t get ctg to pick up one of the babies so they call the registrar. She cant do it, so she goes and gets an ultrasound machine.
D is now here so I can swear at him as I am in quite a bit of pain with regular painful contractions. All I have had for pain relief is my TENS machine. Every minute I swear at the midwives I want my epidural and D to change the mode on the TENS.
At 5am, the midwife has a feel to see how dilated I am. 5cm.
Finally, the ultrasound machine appears and then is booted up (me still swearing at everyone as no pain relief, I cant have air as I pass out with it). The doctor can’t seem to find the head of one of the twins…. midwife kindly interjects that that is because the baby is already coming out!
At 5:33am, William Sidney Sado makes his way into the world and 9 minutes later he is followed by his brother Hugh Alvin Sado.
Wills was smaller than expected at 5lb1 (2.35kg) and Hugh as expected at 7lb1 (3.1kg)
Now 4 weeks on, both babies are superstars and I can’t imagine life without them. I hope you enjoyed reading my weekly account of this mind-boggling, life altering experience. If you too are pregnant with twins, and you need to brain dump or need reassurance, please get in touch, as being a twin mum is a sisterhood. Good luck!!