Wednesday, 21 August 2013

My Twin Pregnancy Story

When I think back to my twin pregnancy it seems like a such a long time ago. Ever since the twins arrived life has been non stop.
From the start of our relationship, James and I knew that we wanted children. I had already got Joseph and I didn't want him to be an only child.
After we got married we decided to let nature take its course and I came off the pill. I had one period then nothing.
Could I really be pregnant after just one month?
We bought a pregnancy test. I desperately wanted it to be positive. There it was an extremely faint line, but it was there. Over the next week we did another test, followed by a digital test just to make sure we weren't seeing what we wanted to see. They were all positive.
I was pregnant!
The first few weeks I was exhausted and had terrible nausea. I couldn't remember feeling that tired when I was pregnant with Joseph but just put it down to working a lot and looking after Joseph.
When I was just 8 weeks into the pregnancy we took Joseph to London and Lego Land for his birthday. This trip wiped me out and I spent the last two days being violently sick, nothing would stay down. It was during this trip I bought my first maternity trousers. Already my regular trousers were too tight.
When we got back home I was still being terribly sick so I visited the doctor who signed off on sick from work and told to get plenty of rest.
When I returned to work people were astounded to see that I already had a bump. This was when the twins were considered a possibility. I knew that my dates were not wrong but I put my bump down to the fact that this was my second pregnancy.
A week before the scan date I started to bleed.
Admittedly, looking back, it was not a lot, but I panicked! I rang the midwife who told me to go straight to the Early Pregnancy Unit. I remember ringing James and telling him to come home. I drove from work to my mum and dads house in a daze. I was trying to emotionally prepare myself for bad news. When I saw my parents I broke down. I was so scared that I was loosing our baby. When James arrived he was my rock. We made our way to the hospital and waited to be seen. I remember looking at other women's bumps and hoping mine was ok. When they started to scan me, my tears started. I was just waiting for them to say
"I'm sorry but..."
Then I saw it, there on the screen I saw our baby, it was our baby, it was ok! Then there was another. At first I thought that it was a split screen and the the second one was the same baby from a different angle. We then got the question
"are there twins your family?"
I couldn't reply, but James told them that his dad was a twin. We then realised that it was not a split screen, we were looking at our two babies, we were having twins. We were told that we were having fraternal twins (non identical) which meant that each baby was in their own individual sack and had their own placenta. This, we were told, is the safest form of twins to carry and they have the fewest risks.
I went through a mixture of emotions from relief that I was still pregnant to fear! One baby was hard work, how would I cope with two? That soon changed to excitement, would we have 2 boys? 2 girls? A boy and a girl? Next I had a feeling which continued until the day they were born, that was worry. I worried that they were developing ok, I worried they'd be born too early, I worried about whether they'd both have enough room, I worried about everything. I was carrying two delicate loads and that did mean double the worry.
Once we knew that we were having twins I started to look for information on twin pregnancies. I was disappointed to see that all of the information from the midwife was for "singleton" pregnancies, there was one page of information on twins and multiple births, just one page! This started my online hunt for information. During this time I came across TAMBA, Twins and Multiple Birth Association, who became my first port of call for information. We are still members of this charity and will be for quite a few more years!
I knew from early on in my pregnancy that I wanted to breastfeed. When we found out that we were expecting twins this did not change. But I did invest in a good electric breast pump. I knew I would need help and if I expressed I knew I would have this. It was also in my thoughts that there was a high chance that the babies would be born early so I was also prepared for this.


My growing bump at 17 weeks

The first 18 weeks went well. We started to have regular, 4 weekly, hospital appointments with our consultant and everything was going well and my bump certainly was growing!
At around 19 weeks I started getting pains in the base of my back and in my pubis area. I was diagnosed with Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. I was told that I needed to reduce my working hours down to just mornings as this was when I was at my best. Unfortunately I was unable to do this so I was signed off as unfit to work. I was disappointed as I had wanted to work longer but now I could rest and keep my babies inside and safe.


Christmas - 27 weeks

When Christmas arrived I was 27 weeks and I remember people saying to me
"Oooh are you having a Christmas baby?"
I was so big. When I told them that I had another 13 weeks to go peoples faces dropped, it was quite amusing but also quite annoying. Some people would be quite rude with their reactions. I remember people saying that I was unlucky! I felt like the luckiest person alive, I was carrying not one but two babies, how is that unlucky?
We were extremely worried about the babies coming early so we didn't like to look too far ahead. We prayed we would get to each hospital appointment and once we had got there we looked to the next. Each week, each day that I carried the babies was another safe day for them in the warm.
At our 28 week appointment we found out that "twin a" was breech. We were told that she could still turn, however I was not too sure. Would there be enough room for her to turn? So we had to accept that there was a good chance that our twins would be born via caesarean section. I had wanted a natural birth but I also knew that I wanted the safest possible delivery for the babies.
When I got to 31 weeks I noticed how I was getting a persistent itching on my hand and up my arms. I would sit and scratch so much I would make myself bleed. Nothing I did would ease it and it was constantly there. I rang the midwife and explained it to her and she sent me straight for blood tests. It was when the results came back I was diagnosed with Obstetric Cholestasis.
Obstetric Cholestasis is a liver condition that affects fewer than 1 in 100 women. It is when the bile salts that flow from the liver to the gut do not flow as they should and build up in the body. This increases the chance of premature birth. This added to our worries. I had to take some medication to help and have weekly blood tests to check the levels of bile in my blood. From this time on the hospital would become my second home. We had a couple of false alarms and spent many an hour there.
I was scheduled to have a caesarean section at 37 weeks.
At this stage I took each day as a bonus and another day of protection for my babies.
Soon after I had my diagnosis the Braxton hicks started. I had them so often they became part of our day and I would sit stroking my bump, telling them to stay in the warm where it was nice and safe and get bigger before coming to meet us.
When I got to 34 weeks I was absolutely enormous. Even walking became hard work. My bump was so heavy. When I walked I literally held my bump up for support.
When I was 34 weeks and 5 days I broke down to James. I was so tired, so big, uncomfortable and I'd just had enough. I remember saying to him
"I just want them to come now, I've had enough!"
After I'd had a good cry and a moan I was ok and rapidly backtracked and kept on saying
"I don't want them out, I want them to stay just where they are"
I was either trying to convince myself I was ok or I was saying it over and over in the hope that they would hear me and take notice!


The day before the twins arrived 34 weeks 5 days

That night in the early hours, a popping sound woke me up, then I felt something warm. I felt my leg and it was wet. This was it, it was happening today and there was nothing I could do about it. I woke James up and after the call to hospital and a call to my mum to come and look after Joseph we got my hospital bag and went to have our babies.
I was examined and was told that I was in labour but they needed to get steroids into me to help develop the babies lungs. It was also during this examination we were told that our little girl was still breech and our little boy was transverse (sideways) so a caesarean section would be done.
My labour progressed quickly and once I was dilated 4cms they knew that they would not be able to get the second dosage of steroids in me as they had wanted to. I was rushed down to theatre. I remember feeling so scared for my babies, would they be ok? Was it too early? Would they be big enough? The worrying thoughts were endless whilst I was on my own being prepared for the surgery. Once James was allowed back in he calmed me down as he always does.
It all seemed to happen so quickly. Isabella was delivered first. It felt like an eternity waiting to hear her cry, but in reality it must have only been a minute or so. But then we heard her. We quickly saw her and were told that she weighed 5lb 13oz then she was quickly taken into Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Taylor was born exactly 1 minute later weighing 6lb 0.5oz. He was not rushed off as quick and my husband got a cuddle for a couple of minutes. He looked so small, all we could do was stare at him. They soon wanted to take him to be with his sister. I told my husband to go and be with the babies while the surgeons finished my surgery and I went onto recovery.
Once I was out of recovery I was able to see Isabella and have a cuddle. She seemed so small. However I was told that I was not able to see Taylor as he was having breathing difficulties.
When I was returned to the ward I felt so empty and hollow. My babies had been delivered but they weren't with me. When the other new mums were returned to the ward with their babies my heart ached for my babies.
I was soon moved to another section of the ward which was for mum's whose babies were in NICU. After a week I decided to go home. Before I left I was able to have the babies with me for one night. It was the most exhausting night I have ever had and I did not get a minutes sleep, but I loved it. I had my babies by my side.


The morning after my first night with the twins before I left hospital

Leaving the hospital was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. But I am ashamed to say I was forgetting my other baby, Joseph. He needed his mummy at home. Leaving the hospital I was nearly on my knees in floods of tears. I felt like my heart was being ripped out. But once I got home I knew that I had made the right decision to leave.
Each day the babies grew stronger and their health improved. They were soon moved from the NICU room to the Special Care Baby Unit. Which was a huge step on the right direction.
After 12 days we were told that the twins were well enough to come home.
Those 12 days were the longest 12 days and went by in a complete blur of hospital visits. When we were told that the twins could come home we were overjoyed. It all became real as we were putting them in the car.


We had done it, they had survived and we were taking home two small, healthy babies.
At last we were all at home, all 5 of us, our perfect, not so little, family.


My advice for any expectant twin mum would be to take each and every day as it comes, get as much rest as you possibly can and try to enjoy your pregnancy. Carrying twins is hard work on your body but it is a truly magical feeling when you feel two little babies moving around inside.

This is just the start of an extremely exciting journey that you will be going on.

This post was written as a guest post for Kiddieclinic parenting forum who can be found at:

http://www.kiddieclinic.co.uk/

I also mentioned TAMBA, Twins & Multiple Birth Association who can be found at:

https://www.tamba.org.uk/

41 comments:

  1. wow gosh a happy outcome but what a worry throughout, a lovely post, my neighbour has b/g twins and they really are double the fun x

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a beautiful story, and what an exciting journey you must now be on! #MMWBH

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lovely story .

      Delete
  3. Wow! How amazing. I can't even begin to imagine the shock of finding out you were carrying twins! #MMWBH

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a beautiful story and my god woman, hats off to you carrying those two gorgeous little bubbas! I have carried and gave birth to 5 babies, and I cannot imagine carrying 2 of them together.

    They are soooo cute too! Thanks so much for linking up with #MMWBH xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for your lovely comments. They certainly were worth it all x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its always worth it

      Delete
  6. I just found out I'm expecting twins, and stumbled across your blog- thank you for this! It's still early, and I honestly don't know what to expect... i'm so excited and anxious. Your story was just what I needed to hear- real and encouraging.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What an awesome story. I am also carrying twins but they are both boys. I'm 27 weeks and I feel huge. As of right now baby a is 1 lb 14 oz and b is 2 lbs 1 oz. I cannot wait to see them I am so excited. I have 2 other boys as well, 7 and 9. I really hope to have an easy labor but I just hope they are as healthy as cab be. Thanks for your story it really was inspiring:) good luck;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. That is a very beautiful story .i loved it .I am having twins and in my 18 week now. Like other twin mums I am having all the joys of preg ( still nauseating, back pain ,tierd and occasional abdominal pains)
    Well i can t wait to see my babies (don't know the gender yet )
    I am her with a question actually .
    Does every twin pregnancy ends in cesarean section and not the natural birth ?????
    it will be great to have an authentic answer
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think that all twin pregnancies end in a c section no but it all depends on how your babies are positioned. I really wanted a natural birth but my little lady was breech so unfortunately I had no option. If you are lucky enough to have your lead baby in the right position and there are no complications I don't see why you couldn't have a natural birth if you wanted. Enjoy each day of your pregnancy and congrats you are going on a great journey! Having twins is an amazing thing x

      Delete
  9. Thank you Kirsty i really appreciate your reply .
    I really wanted a natural birth but I think its too early as I am only in my 18 week but strange cramps like period pain started not all the time but like two or three times aday ,which i am assuming Braxtion hicks

    Thanks again for letting every one know your amazing journey to twins ,and i wish you and your little ones a Happy and healthy life
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm almost 19 weeks (tomorrow) and my bump looks bigger than normal. We hope it is twins but if it is only one baby, we are also glad.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Kirsty your blog is amazing! I am carrying boy/girl twins and am in my 31st week. I certainly feel heavy now and am struggling a bit. Looking forward to giving up full time work in a few weeks and hoping I get some rest time before they arrive! They have estimated our little boy is currently 3lb 10oz and our little lady is 3lb exactly, so if I can keep them cooking, they should be a healthy weight when they arrive. Sooooo tired now :-). Well done Kirsty, I hope they are good and are giving you some rest x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow you're still working full time! I remember being so big it was exhausting. Sometimes I actually miss that huge bump, it is a truly magical time and you have so many special moments to come! I hope everything goes well and you'll have to keep me updated! x

      Delete
  12. Hello Kirsty

    Would you be interested in reviewing some of our products. I am Karen Davidson and along with my identical twin sister we founded The Twins Gift Company and we specialise in gifts for twins, multiples and their families. To visit our website www.twinsgiftcompany.co.uk. I hope you like what we do and we would love to send you a plaque and a card to review for us.
    We look forward to hearing from you.
    Kind regards
    Karen Davidson

    ReplyDelete
  13. hi kristy i m in my 18th wk with non identical twins ur blog gave me a morale boost it is so real n sooo warm ...ur experience thanku for sharin it wit us god bless u n ur kids

    ReplyDelete
  14. I cried happy happy tears :') what a lovely story! thanks for sharing your twin experience!! God Bless!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow what an amazing story! I cannot imagine having to carry twins around...you look so uncomfortable towards the end...how did you manage!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Beautiful, loved finding this on your sidebar-what an amazing experience, a good friend of mine has twins and I am always in awe of her. I also had OC (with my first not subsequent pregnancy)-know there is a higher risk with twins. I actually directed a short film for ICP Support UK for them which my son and I feature before having me second son to help many women suffering as I was failed re advice leading to quite a traumatic birth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgCoohCMV0I. Thanks so much for sharing this. Would love you to add this to #brilliantblogposts linky on Thursday if you liked.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Gorgeous story and how exciting to have double trouble eh? I had OC with my little boy but found out very late, they induced me two days after but I'm glad I didn't itch for ages. It's horrid isn't it, I literally wanted to tear my skin off xx

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow! I've got goosebumps reading this. You are amazing! I'm so glad the twins were well in the end, and they are truly gorgeous too!
    x x
    #BrillBlogPosts

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks so much for linking up with this vital, moving, beautiful post x #brilliantblogposts

    ReplyDelete
  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I was about to say something on this topic. But now i can see that everything on this topic is very amazing and mind blowing, so i have nothing to say here. I am just going through all the topics and being appreciated. Thanks for sharing. Vaterschaft

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow.thanks for this wonderful piece. Am also caring twins and in my 20th week.i do pray I have a safe delivery and let it b vaginal . already have 2 kids . hope coping with twins wont b too overbearing. Am excited excited about carrying twins thou.thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow.am also carrying twins. Thanks for sharing your story.dont know what to expect but hoping for the best. Am 20 weeks gone already but look very big with my bump.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you for sharing your story. I am 29 weeks pregnant with twin boys, and I just started having itchy palms, feet (as well as basically everywhere).Currently waiting for the results from my Obstetric Cholestasis test. I am encouraged that you made it to almost 35 weeks! I'm hoping to make it that far. Any tips for how to deal with the itching from OC?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obstetric Cholestasis is so hard to cope with! I kept on putting cold hand cream onto my hands I found that helped a lot. The crazy thing was as soon as I had the twins the itching just stopped! I hope you get it sorted out and that the rest of your pregnancy goes well x

      Delete
  25. Loved ur story. I am currently 26 weeks with twins and looking up twin stories. I feel huge already and in so much upper back pain but just glad I've come this far. I've spotted throughout this whole pregnancy so I'm praying and praying to make it to 35 weeks.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Kristy am soo blessed by your story. Thankyou for sharing for I was looking for such. Am caring twins now at 34wks 5days first is breech n the other is in transverse lie n my Doc says that my cervix has thinned out and because I have a lot of amniotic fluid I just have to wait n see if I get to 36wks safely n have him do the cs. It has been a tough journey all blogs not giving enough f what one is looking for but I appreciate yours. I truely want to see my twin girls but as you mentioned have been wishing they stay longer where there are safe n can mature better. I am fully prepared for a cs coz my first boy I had a Cs after he got exhausted during labour. I just wish to know how one copes with twins after cs and for soeone like myself who has little breast milk and cant even express for the baby drinks it all. Do you think the breast milk will increase for sake of demand for the twins now that my first born it was just enough and though I had a manual pump I could not express. Another question is on planned Cs how long does this lung developing drug take for I was injected 1st dose at 32 wks n 2nd dose at 34 wks just hope by now it has worked for I feek for the tinny ones struggling to breath. Please also inform me how long it takes after the water breaks to manage to reach the hospital. I am suffering lots of fluids and with the 1st twin being breech am also afraid I would not want to try vaginal delivery. I just need an assurance that if my water breaks before the doctors scheduled date, I shall be able to rush to my hospital n have them safely removed.x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, it is so scary on the run up to giving birth and even more so when you are carrying twins! I remember it well. With my first I did not have much breast milk either but I knew that with the twins it was something that I really wanted to do. I did invest in a good electric double pump. Using a double pump does increase the milk. I did have to express milk every three hours and it was exhausting but my milk did increase and I ended up expressing milk for 10 months. If you cannot afford an electric double pump there are breastfeeding support groups that do lend them out, the ones at the hospital are fantastic! It is good that you have had the hormone injection for their lungs, I did not have chance to have both injections as the twins would not wait! My waters broke in the early hours of the morning (4am) and I didn't have the twins delivered by c section until 2pm. But if your waters do break before your scheduled c section go straight to hospital. Good luck, I hope everything goes well x

      Delete
    2. Thankyou for your comment and time. I hit 35wks yesterday. Today I saw my Doc and he said he has given me 1 more week and shall admit me on 1st Sep then perform the elective cs on 2nd. I truely pray I reavh that date though I cant wait to see my girls. Best thing is by today they are now both on transverse lie so no much worry of them breaking my water as it would have been if the first remained on breech position. I shall buy the electric double pump for in my country (Kenya) I have not heard of such support groups. All in all am glad I interacted with you and read other mums stories. Thnx

      Delete
  27. Thank you am optimistic I now atleast havevreached 35wks and after seing my doc he has scheduled my cs for 2nd Sep after I hit 36wks. Funny enough the breach kid has already turned to transverse lie for both. I cant wait to see them. In my country (Kenya) there are no support groups or I havent heard of any but I still can manage to invest on a double electric pump for their benefit. I truely appreciate this forum it gave me confidence n reassured me for I was worried of preterm birth. I just dont like NICU but incase they must enter there now am prepared. X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My eldest was in NICU and I really wanted to bring the twins straight home. But as they came early they needed all of the help from the NICU team. They were a true blessing and took such good care of our babies. Now when I look at them both I realise that those weeks as hard as they were were well and truly worth it as we now have two healthy children. Please keep me up to date with how you get on. Have you managed to find an electric double pump? x

      Delete
  28. Hello, I went through cs as planned at 36wks on 2nd Sep and my twin girls are 1mnth old now. I have been breastfeeding them but never got a double pump. 1st twin was 2.5kg while the 2nd was 2.2kg so none was put in the NICU clinic. I thank God for all and am trusting Him in their further development. Been grateful for this sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh congratulations I am so pleased to hear that everything went well and you are all well. Take care x

      Delete
  29. your story is so touching. bless you

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'm a mother of three already and really thought I was done(I'm 37 years)..I just realised that I was expecting again and was so confused about it at first especially since I was(still am).. So sick and exhausted almost every other day..I decided to go in to see my oby-gyn just a couple of days ago and even discuss termination options..He decided to do an ultra-sound first and lo and behold there was not one but two sacs!..He asked me if I still wanted to terminate the pregnancy still n I thought..-wow God must be so keen on these kids,so no I won't terminate..I'll carry my blessings..we are 8 weeks..and oh so nauseous !Pray for us..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I remember those first days so well, I also suffered with terrible nausea. I hope that everything goes well for you. Twins truly are a blessing x

      Delete

Thank you for your comments I do love to hear what you think and try to reply to as many as I can x