Pregnancy Comes In All Shapes And Sizes:
I am a mum of twins!
Becoming a parent for the first time can sometimes be daunting, but when you get told you’re expecting more than one baby it can be a surprise to say the least. Multiple pregnancy can increase the risk of many pregnancy complications such as preterm labour, gestational diabetes and Pre-Eclampsia. Find out more information on multiple pregnancies from the link at the bottom.
First here is a story from an anonymous reader who wanted tell us her story of bringing her precious bundles into the world.
Tell us a little about your family.
I am a mother of 4 year old twins, happily married and juggling my way through multiple motherhood!
Tell us about the day you found out you were expecting twins/triplets. What were you very first thoughts?
I first found out that I may be expecting more than one baby very early on in my pregnancy, at about 5.5 weeks when I had a scan following some bleeding. The lady told us she could see more than one sac but that it was too early to know what was going on. We were sent away with an appointment for another scan 1 week later. It felt very surreal as I did not know whether it would continue as a multiple pregnancy or even a pregnancy at all. When I did allow myself to dare to hope, the thought of more than one baby, although daunting was very exciting too! My husband and I were both over the moon to be expecting as we were very keen to start a family.
The following week, following some extremely heavy bleeding, we returned for my scan, fully expecting the worst to be confirmed. Much to our amazement the sonographer turned the screen around, and there they were ‘Sylvie’ and ‘Sylvester’ dancing about on the screen with healthy heartbeats. A moment we will truly never forget!
How did you find the reactions of others when you told them you were expecting more than one baby?
To be honest we didn’t really tell anyone other than family and close friends for as long as possible, or simply just said that I was pregnant, maybe because I don’t like being in the lime light I don’t really know..
When people did find out they were surprised. We have become accustomed to questions like are there twins in the family, did you have IVF, are they identical…( yes we still get asked this…). Nothing really shocks me now!
Was your pregnancy straightforward or did you encounter any complications?
Unfortunately it was not the most straightforward. After things settled down in the first trimester all was good, I really started to believe it was happening after my 20 week scan and we started to plan and get excited.
Unfortunately at 22 weeks I was uncomfortable and had a strong feeling something wasn’t right. Following a night in hospital and a scan I was diagnosed with a short cervix and was facing the real possibility that I may loose our much wanted babies.
I was offered an emergency cervical suture as my only real option. I went ahead with the surgery and was incredibly lucky it was successful. I spent the next 3 months at home, doing very little, in order to give them the best chance. As each week passed and I made 24, then 28 weeks etc I began to feel more positive. I think it was actually one of the most stressful times of my life to date.
Did you find the support and advice from health professionals regarding birth options adequate?
To be honest not really as it was never really discussed in any great detail. I’m not sure why, maybe because I’m a midwife or maybe because other events took over. I however decided that if I laboured spontaneously I would try a natural delivery but if it was a case of induction that I would opt for an elective caesarean for various medical and personal reasons.
Please tell us briefly about the birth?
Despite having a date booked for a Caesarean section at 37 weeks, a growth scan at 34+3 weeks showed that twin 1’s growth had tailed off and I was experiencing reduced movements too. The decision was therefore made that delivery by Caesarean section was the best option. I was given steroids for fetal lung development and monitored in hospital until two neonatal cots were available. They were delivered 48 hours later and both came out a minute apart, screaming and letting us know there was no real need for concern! My son (twin 1) spent 48 hours in special care for observation as he was the smallest. My daughter however remained with me throughout. We all went home together 6 days later.
In those first moments after the babies were born, what emotions were prominent?
Relief and disbelief I think! Relief that they were here and all was well and disbelief that we now had these 2 small babies and that they were ours! After the initial excitement had died down and life was returning to ‘normal’ I felt quite traumatised by all the possible scenarios that could have occurred. This manifested itself with anxiety for me, particularly around their well being.
Do you feel you received adequate support with feeding more than baby whilst still in hospital and once home?
No to be honest, again maybe because I am a midwife I don’t know. I tried really hard to breastfeed them but was never given any help or advice and largely figured things out by myself!
What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone else expecting more than one baby?
Definitely to join a twins/multiple groups. It was a lifeline for me in the early days, we have made some fantastic friends and shared laughs and tears along the way!
Please note the author of this post wished to remain anonymous.
Would you like to read other birth stories in this series? Perhaps where diabetes complicated matters or depression complicated the pregnancy? If you have a story to share then send me an email to ask for details! You don’t have to be a blogger to feature either.