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undiagnosed twins

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm new around here, and I realize this question probably comes up in here with some regularity, so I apologize if I'm asking something annoying.

I am currently 33 weeks pregnant with my third, planning a homebirth. My midwife is very hands-off, so to speak. She finds the heartbeat, does some quick palpitating, checks my blood pressure, talks about symptoms for a few minutes, and thats about it. I've done the pee stick test like twice, and I did do a gestational diabetes test, but I requested it. I had birth center births with my older two, but they are now 6 1/2 and 5, so it's been a while since I was pregnant, and a lot of this feels new again.

I am concerned that I may be carrying twins. I guess it started just after I started showing when a lot of people started asking. It's very annoying; there's one woman who asks me every time I see her, as if it's somehow going to change.

The real details are that I'm now measuring a good 3 weeks ahead. I have consistently been ahead by at least 2 weeks through the whole pregnancy. I was about 2 weeks ahead consistently with my previous two (singleton) pregnancies. I carry way out front, so that contributes to the annoying comments. I've actually gained less weight with this pregnancy than with my other two- I'm at about 35 lbs. gained now; with my other two the total was about 50 lbs. each. I also started this pregnancy at a higher weight by about 10 lbs. My symptoms have not been any worse with this pregnancy than with others, that I can remember, though my memory isn't good and I was 6 years younger then. Movement-wise, this baby seems very active. I typically feel strong kicks at the top of my belly, and I can often see them. However, I will often feel some pretty strong movement toward the bottom, more internally, and this happens at the same time as the kicks at the top. In my mind I imagine it as one baby doing simultaneous leg and arm thrusting, like it's trying to stretch it's way out of me.

I realize no one can tell me for sure whether or not I'm having twins without a u/s, but I was hoping to get some understanding opinions. I don't have any IRL friends who have gone without u/s (I didn't have a u/s with my second pregnancy either), and most of them are kind about it, but I can tell they think I'm a little crazy, so I don't bring this up as a concern. I googled "undiagnosed twins", and read a number of very positive homebirth stories, but I'm sure there are plenty of negative stories associated with this too, and I need to make a final decision about whether or not I should get a u/s to check. I also read a thread from Dec. 2005 from this board about someone with the same question, and my situation sounded similar.

Basically my brain says it's not worth worrying about, the chances are so slim, but somewhere in the back of my mind, I keep thinking about the what if's, and wondering if I should get a u/s.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

MM
post #2 of 22
You'll never know unless you get an U/S. That's the only way to know ('cept for birth, of course!).

I'm personally leaning towards singleton... you say you carry way out front and are measuring 3 weeks ahead, which is *I think* pretty normal for a subsequent pregnancy. At 33 weeks with twins carrying way out front in a third pregnancy, it's more likely you'd be measuring at least 7 weeks ahead. Unless, of course, you have a long torso... so, yeah, back to the U/S thing above.
To give you an idea of what I mean, with my twin (first) pregnancy, at 38-39 weeks I was measuring 52.
And I was really sick. And there was no mistaking all the baby parts in my body. Etc. Etc. Etc.

What does your intuition truly say? If it says twins, I'd get an U/S to check that they are in separate sacs. If they share a sac (monoamniotic), well, that is a whole 'nother ballgame entirely that would land you in a hospital stat and for good reason. Please go read up if you truly do think you may be pregnant with twins right now.
post #3 of 22
I have to agree with kjoy that it really sounds like a single. BUT if you wonder otherwise, you really should check that out. aside from an U/S, your midwife could listen around and see if she hears another heartbeat in there.
the measurement thing, I wouldn't count on either way. With my 4th baby I measured large, I think at one point I was 4-6 cm larger ahead. Turns out he had extra amniotic fluid. I am 37 wks pg with twins now, and I think by 33 wks I was measuring 40cm. At my check-up last week, I was measuring 47cm. HOWEVER, I have heard of unsuspecting moms going a full forty wks with twins, and not measuring ahead at all. No reason to suspect twins either and surprise!
As far as movement goes, thinking back on other pgs and comparing to this one, if I didn't know better, I wouldn't suspect two babies in there. For the most part it feels like one very active baby in there. Which I have experienced before.
At least talk to your midwife about it and see what she says!
post #4 of 22
saw this in new posts i measured 40 weeks at 36 weeks with my 3rd and 41 at 35 with my 4th so it could well be because you've already had lo's though if you really are concerned you get a scan.
post #5 of 22
With my twins, I was measuring at least two months ahead.
post #6 of 22
I agree with all the above - just to give you more of an example. I gave birth at 35 weeks and measured 48 the day before I gave birth!
post #7 of 22
2-3 weeks ahead doesn't sound like twins to me, to be honest, not at this date. Everyone I know who has had twins, including myself, aside from very early pregnancy and low amniotic fluid issues, measures 6-8 weeks ahead if not more. 2 weeks "ahead" is within range of normal.

Our twins were discovered at around 8 weeks because my OB was freaked that she couldn't hear heartbeat on the doppler even though I was measuring around 12 weeks. I'd had an earlier u/s because before I conceived the twins I'd had an ectopic pregnancy, and the twins were not discovered (not very surprising though, they just wanted to make sure the pregnancy was in the uterus). Byt the time I was 30 weeks, I looked like I was due. And by 34 weeks people stopped asking me if the baby was due and just stared because I was SO ginormous, it was unreal. And this was with twins who were stubbornly transverse, so they didn't really "pop out" in the same way that more normal presentations do!

I would worry about a midwife who could not palpate twins at 33 weeks, but I know stranger things have happened.

If this is really weighing on your mind though, I would ask for an u/s. Or ask your midwife directly why she doesn't feel that you are carrying twins, perhaps her reasons will reassure you?
post #8 of 22
It isn't always easy to palpate twins. Some mothers are so full of baby that everything is very stretched, making it virtually impossible. Sometimes it is really easy with everything soft and stretchy.

And FWIW, I measured maybe one week ahead towards the end, and had 14 pounds of baby. And I went 40w3d.
post #9 of 22
I agree that so far it only sounds like one baby. But honestly I would never have guessed twins with my current pregnancy so it can go both ways. With my first set I measured only 2 cm ahead the entire pregnancy and at 40 wks measured a mere 42 cm. They arrived weighing a good 6'4 and 7'2. Definitely not the biggest twins I've heard of but heathy and very good weights. With this twin pregnancy I only measured ahead at my 20 wk appt and it was exactly 2 cm ahead...as my last twin pregnancy. Up until my 20 wk appt I was not ahead even a little bit and, in fact, measured 2 cm behind at 12 wks which is entirely typical for me in a single baby pregnancy. I know this is rare in the twin world to measure so small but just saying it does indeed happen.

With my first twin pregnancy movement was great and everywhere. So far with this one I would never have guessed 2. Just one happy baby kicking and stretching. It was a definite shock to see 2 in there!

I would say definitely go for the u/s for the reasons mentioned above. In the event they are monoamniotic there is great reason to see a peri. Research can be done to discover the why's. Also...I would want to know positions of babies. We are excitingly planning a homebirth with these 2 but I do want to go into it knowledgeable about both babies.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone.
I did speak to the midwife about it once before, but I acted like I wasn't that concerned, like I was only asking because other people were annoying me with their comments. She's coming tomorrow, and I'm planning to tell her that I would like to get a u/s, just to calm my nerves. When I mentioned it before the midwife basically said that she thought I would be measuring much further ahead if it were twins, though she did admit that without a u/s she couldn't be 100% sure. I asked if she'd ever done a twin birth before, and she said that she accompanied one but it was at a hospital and she was there as a support person, a doctor did the delivery.
I must say that I hope it isn't twins. Not that it wouldn't be a blessing, but I'm not sure I'm prepared to handle twins, and the changes involved with the birth plans would make things more difficult financially.
post #11 of 22


I'd probably get a u/s to ease your mind.

With my 1st pregnancy.. at 32wks i measured 35wks * up til then i measured right on in cm=wks* At 35wks i measured 40wks. The plan was to come back a few days later and do a u/s to check baby out to find out why the sudden jump.
My daughter had other plans, she was born on the day i was told to come back for a u/s . She was born at 35wks 6days at 7lbs 13oz 20 "

My 4th pregnancy * other two were miscarriages* I measured roughly anwhere from 2-3 wks ahead each visit. My son was born at 38wks 3days at 8lbs 14oz 22"

post #12 of 22
I had undiagnosed twins. My midwife was somewhat like yours. She was very relaxed and had attended my first birth which was very fast and simple so even more relaxed. I was measuring way big even at 12wks. I had a strong twin intuition, but my midwife wrote it off and I simply believed her. She told me that because it was my second and my first daughter was 10 lbs so a big baby I was just bigger than average and having another big baby. But early on that makes no sense at all, in hindsight. How much bigger would one "big" baby be at 12wks? I did not have her look into it further. I am certain that if she had she would have found two heartbeats. In fact she told me she could hear the heartbeat and the really strong placenta as well. Maybe that was the other baby! (I do not have any specific numbers for how big I was ATM.)

I think your midwife could check fairly thoroughly without an ultrasound if she understands that you are strongly concerned.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
My midwife forgot about my appointment today and never showed up; obviously thats a whole other annoying issue.

I was too angry with her to call once I realized she'd forgotten, but my husband called and mentioned that I wanted to have a u/s, though he didn't say why. I rescheduled today's appointment for Friday, so I will have her do a slower more thorough heartbeat search and same thing with palpitating.

I'm definitely OK with doing a u/s. Asking on here has been a big help. I figure most people on this site tend toward using less medical interventions in a normal pregnancy, so hearing that many of you would go ahead with a u/s in my position is helpful. Thats what I want to do, but I was second guessing myself. I avoid interventions too, or at least make decisions about them on a case by case basis, but a u/s isn't too big a deal to me.

Now I just have to decide whether or not I want to know if it's a boy or a girl. I kind of don't want to know, but I'm not sure how I'll get through the u/s without taking a peak!
post #14 of 22
Re: boy or girl and taking a peek during u/s... honestly, I couldn't tell what I was looking at until it was pointed out to me what I should be looking at. I don't know if you've had an u/s before and know what to look for or not. But if you are resolved to not know, let the tech know that you don't want to know and you probably won't find out.
post #15 of 22
Keep us updated, I can't wait to see what you fine out.

About not finding out the gender, I didn't want to know with my ds but it was all hanging out so I saw it. With my DD2 I closed my eyes when she put the wand on my belly so we didn't have a repeat of last time and then she had me close my eyes when she got "down there" on the baby. I then had her put the sex on a piece of paper and put in a sealed envelope so If I HAD to know I could. I never peaked and it was so fun to be surprised!
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
My u/s is Thursday morning at 11:15!

I think my husband and I decided to go ahead and find out, but we're not sure if we'll tell anyone else (except the midwife). My main concern is my older children. My 6 1/2 year old daughter wants a girl, my 5 year old son wants a boy. They are both old enough to understand that we have no control over it, that a baby is a wonderful little person to love either way, that the baby won't really act any different either way at first, etc. However, I told them that we were "getting a picture taken of the baby in my belly" tonight, to try to judge whether they'd be happier finding out the gender now or at the birth. It was still hard to say though. My son seems like he'd be OK no matter what we decide, even if it's a girl. He said he'd be happy with his baby anyway. My daughter is a different story. She has high functioning autism, and is having some trouble understanding much about things that are happening with the baby. She understands what a baby is and that it's coming and what WILL happen when it's here, but the idea of the baby existing inside me seems to be a little strange to her because she can't see it, and everything is literal with her. Plus, for the past year she's in this (very age appropriate) competitive stage, and she tries to turn everything into a contest, especially with her brother. So if he says he wants to watch a DVD, she says she doesn't, even if she asked for one 5 minutes ago. Stuff like that. So now she won't say whether she wants a boy/girl until her brother answers first, at which point her answer is automatically the opposite. It's been that way the whole pregnancy. At the beginning she had said she wanted a boy, and then one night announced to her brother that she was changing to wanting a girl, so he had to change too, and they agreed, and it reversed. It's weird.

So now that she's starting to understand that the baby's gender is something we really have no control over, she's telling me (in her own very confusing way) that if it's a boy, her brother "wins" and she "loses". So it's not that she actually cares what the baby is, she just doesn't want her brother to "win". I've tried to explain that this is not an appropriate setting for a competition, but she really doesn't understand that. It's the autism, her social skills are extremely low, even though she functions otherwise like a normal 6 year old. I have a feeling that there will be some disappointment on her part no matter when we tell her, or what it is. Even if it's a girl, and she "wins", she also hates seeing her brother "lose", so it's a bad situation no matter what. She's so confusing.

Anyway, I don't expect any advice on that whole odd scenario (unless you honestly have some you want to give, feel free). They can't read too well yet and I don't think I know anyone personally who posts on here, so I guess I'm safe to tell it here!
post #17 of 22
update?
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi sorry! Between vacation and baby prep, things are busy!

According to the u/s, my baby is a boy! He isn't even all that big- they estimated that he was around 6 lbs. 1 oz. a week ago. The gestational measurement was only a week ahead of my dates too. He was perfectly healthy as far as they could tell. They didn't get a good sacral picture, but my midwife says thats common with how late I am in the pregnancy and the baby's position. He's head down, but still moving around a lot. I've got just under 4 weeks to go!

I'm not as worried about my daughter as I was before either. We didn't tell the kids what it was; I've only told my midwife, her assistant, and a few online friends. But I keep accidentally calling the baby "he" and I think my daughter picked up on it anyway. Both my kids are now saying they think it's going to be a boy, and my daughter even said, "The baby is a boy, but thats OK."

After all this time NOT knowing the gender, it's weird to know now. I knew the gender for #1 at like 18 weeks, but I never had a u/s for #2, and both pregnancies were a while ago, so this feels pretty new. It's just so strange to know that my son is in there, and I don't even know him yet.

Anyway, I'm glad I went through with the u/s because now I don't have that nagging feeling that something is wrong. I'm much more confident that I'll have a successful homebirth. I think if I'd let it go, I would have worried all the way through the pregnancy and labor, and it may have kept me from being able to relax and let things happen.
post #19 of 22
I'm glad you got your questions answered, and I hope your little boy is healthy and happy when you meet him!
post #20 of 22
I'm glad I came upon this thread. I am 22 weeks pg with my third and measuring at 25 weeks. I've felt very big this whole pregnancy, and in my other two pregnancies I gained little and showed little until about 5 and 6 months (I'm only 5'2" and average 120 lbs). But this time I've felt like I was showing really early - around 13 weeks. The other day the idea of twins popped into my head, and I haven't been able to shake the feeling. I wouldn't call it a strong intuition, more of a strong wondering since I'm not planning on an ultrasound. I was glad to be able to see some numbers of twin pregnancy sizes - I'll know what kind of numbers to look for at the end of the pregnancy. Right now it sounds like I'm about normal
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