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Twins development in utero

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm almost 22 weeks pregnant, but the twins are measuring a week + larger and have consistently measure that since 13 weeks. Both my earlier u/s had me due around my original due date.

I thought remember reading that twins develop faster in utero than singletons. Does this sound familiar to anyone? This happen to anyone else?

Just so you know I am not crazy....if they were to move my due date to how the large the twins are now, I would have been on my period when I supposedly ovulated. I know when I ovulate. I always have. (ovulation pain and mucus (sorry if TMI)) are my tell-tales. Besides, I'm a doula and the month I got pregnant I attended two births from my period to ovulation....not a whole heck of lot of action going on during that time. I know I *could* be wrong and I COULD have ovulated early, but I just don't see it.

So back to the original question....could they just be developing a little faster than singletons?

I wouldn't care so much, except my twins are momo (see my blog for more info) and will be born premature. If they actually have one more week development than we otherwise suspect, its such a great thing.

My doctor is letting me hold to my original due date based on my period. They are monitoring me so closely, she doesn't see the harm.
post #2 of 11
My OB said the stress in utero for twins does make them mature faster (esp. lungs, he said). I`m not sure that`s true, though. I`ve read here that a 36 week babe is a 36 week babe. That makes more sense to me intuitively.

At any rate, I am glad you may have an `extra` week. Keep us posted!
post #3 of 11
Barbara Luke's book says much the same thing as your doctor: that a 36 week twin is likely to be smaller than a 36 week singleton, but also the twin is likely to be more developed /mature (in terms of lungs, etc.) than a same-gestational-age singleton. But this is for development, not size.
post #4 of 11
That sounds great!

Personally, I found that USs tend to overestimate baby weight. My twins were somewhere between 8-16 oz lighter than estimated, and some friends of mine has USs off by more than that. I've also heard ther theory that twins develop faster and think it's a myth.

But, putting that aside, you've got the estimated weeks. Those are just averages. So if your twins are consistantly ahead and you're sure of the date, that means your twins are consistantly on the big size of the range. Good news that can be relied on, and not just the difference between different US techs!

Keep doing what you're doing and grow those babies. Take the US results as a reason for confidence. Congrats and best wishes!
post #5 of 11
My twins (mo/di) measured ahead consistently through the pregnancy until very near the end. Twin A always measured ahead by a week and change, while Twin B was consistently bigger than that, a few weeks ahead: 98th percentile, I think. They were mo/di but there was no concern about TTTS because they both were bigger than average and they were tracking along together, obviously not a case of one growing at the other's expense.

I had a spontaneous labor a few days past 39 weeks, and their weights/sizes when born were consistent with the ultrasound estimates.

The last few ultrasounds demonstrated a slow down in growth, as far as the curve they'd tracked on the whole time. (Nothing dramatic, and no evidence of restricted growth or anything, but a definite slowing.) I wasn't sure whether to trust it, and I wasn't really gaining anymore at the VERY end but I thought maybe that was a matter of using some of the stored energy from my early weight gain to grow the twins & therefore "breaking even" on the scale. I thought maybe the u/s estimates were going to be proven wrong and they'd continued growing on the same track. But it didn't appear so.

I agree with others that measuring ahead is likely an indication of size (bigger than the 50th percentile) more than anything else (developmental). But I think there's some evidence that when multiples are born early spontaneously or due to complications of some kind (i.e., not just born early due to an elective delivery or elective induction), they tend to be ahead of singletons for development (lung maturity, etc.) That may be even more true for higher order multiples like triplets....the idea that something in the uterine environment/stress helps to prepare them more quickly for life outside the womb.

I don't know if mo/mo status automatically would qualify as an intrauterine stressor or not, beyond simply being a multiple and sharing space & resources. I mean, we obviously know the specialness of the mo/mo situation and the increased risks as time goes on, but does that translate as some kind of knowledge or reality in the uterine environment? Would there be some kind of inherent "stress" that would accelerate their development?

If you have the Barbara Luke book, there's a chart with average weights for gestational age for singletons. You can see the one for the week you're at, and look ahead a week or two and see where the estimated weights for your twins are tracking. That gives you more of a visual, and helps to establish that "measuring ahead" is more like falling into a higher percentile for their gestational age. "On the big side" -- somebody has to measure in the higher percentiles, right? (Which does sound great for your twins, whether or not it implies accelerated development as well!)

I have been mindful of your journey since you first posted about mourning the loss of the birth you'd imagined. How are you doing with that?
post #6 of 11
I was told also twins develop faster. My twins were born at 35 weeks and B"H they had no problems with breathing / sucking / eating / etc.
post #7 of 11
My ultrasounds consistantly put my twins a week BEHIND when I knew I ovulated and they overestimated their weight by a pound OVER what they really were. They were born at 39 weeks and were so obviously 39 weekers. We were extra cautious around weeks 34-36 "just in case" the u/s dating was correct. U/S is really just an estimating tool. Sometimes it's dead on but most often it's either slightly over or slightly under.

I'm still praying for you and your momos!
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks ladies. This is all very helpful. I did remember it was Dr. Luke's book I thought it came from, but after your response I went back to it. Having read it right after we found out that I was carrying twins, I am amazed at how much I "missed" or just didn't remember. Anyways, I appreciate the real life stories Just things to be mindful as we continue our journey. I also appreciate all of your warm thoughts for my momos.

Amy C. - thank you for checking in about the birth. I'm scared, but I have come to grips with the fact that this is the safest and smartest way to deliver my twins. C-Sections exist for a reason and I'm the perfect example of why. I'm trying to "own" the procedure and having attended one is helpful. I have had good conversations with my midwives and my OB about it. My OB has even said that she may let me view their "birth." Of course this is completely dependent upon a non-emergency situation.

I'll keep you posted. I'm 22 1/2 weeks and the babies are doing great.
post #9 of 11
At my 22w3d u/s my twins were measuring as large or larger than that of a singleton baby at the same stage (something about 50th & 55th percentile) The u/s tech who is also pregnant with twins told me that it was super good news as twins tend to be smaller than singleton babes. She made no mention of development of lungs or anything like that, simply that size wise, twins run smaller at these stages.

I attribute it to my protein eating! LOL
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Deanna, I like that idea! All about the protein. After Thanksgiving I am so sick of protein, but I keep eating it! Here's to hoping we are building healthier babies!
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by obxbound View Post
Here's to hoping we are building healthier babies!
Woohoo!

Some days the protein is tough to get in. (I'm trying to get in 100+ grams a day). But I just think about how good it is for my babies, my pregnancy and my body and it makes it much easier!
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