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Wondering About Multiples  

Poll Results: After reading my post, do you think I could be pregnant with multiples?

 
  • 66% (12)
    No, unless you prove it with an ultrasound
  • 16% (3)
    Possibly Twins
  • 11% (2)
    Possibly Triplets
  • 5% (1)
    Possibly Quads (just to set the husbands mind at ease - I'm not expecting you to vote in this column, but just so you coud give your honest opinion its's here!)
18 Total Votes  
post #1 of 103
Thread Starter 

Hello ladies! This is my first post but I just want to dive right in today with questions so I thought I'd just start the topic of concern.

 

I've got 5 children, all born at home, with the first 2 being attended by midwives and the last 3 being UC births. WIth my third child I had pre and post natal care even though we free birthed, so this is only my third UP.

 

So I have my records from my first three births. The other two I didn't make extensive records, although I kept a journal with #5.

 

I love homebirth and UC because with it I've avoided a lot of suffering and even c-sections, I'm sure. (example; I had PROM twice, once for 24 hrs and once for 3 days! I had no signs of infection or distress so just waited for natural labor while staying hydrated and clean.)

 

So here I am, at 19 weeks and 5 days. I'm really sure of my dates because I was keeping close track when we decided to try and got pregnant on the first attempt, which happened to be perfectly timed. My ovulation was weird that time. I gained weight uncontrollably that month with severe hunger. It was almost like I was already pregnant but I know I wasn't because I tested before my period and then again when I was just 2 weeks into my cycle - to make sure my period was really a period, you know! I ovulated on day 10, actually, which was another weird thing about that cycle. Never do I usually ovulate before day 14. Another weird thing about that ovulation was that I threw up! Just that day, as though I was already 7 weeks pregnant. As soon as the first day of my missed period I took a pregnancy test and got a strong dark line. Another pregnancy first! I'm used to seeing a faint line, you know.

 

Things kept getting weirder from there. At only 6 weeks I started vomiting. I never do that before 7 weeks. At least not until now. I'm still puking, in fact, although I've been known to do it until week 30 but later trimester puking is typically isolated to mornings, not up to 4 times a day still. Not this time! I am paranoid about laying down, because I have to fight SO hard not to vomit when I stay down for too long.

 

My heart rate and blood pressure have never been high, in fact, never been above 100/60 and a heartbeat of 80, even in late pregnancy. I'm already seeing blood pressures of 110/80 and a heartbeat of 100+. My husband is not a doctor but has a respectable training from the army so he's my sounding board with that kind of thing. If anybody could give me an IV or rescusitate, at a birth scene - he can.

 

Ive also never been more tired and hungry! And frankly, I'm measuring 26cm, doing it the way the midwife did for us in pregnancy before. That might not sound impressive to you, but keep in mind that my uterus is a funny shape and when I lay down the curve melts away. Standing is the only way to get an average type of reading on me. Standing I now measure 34cm and laying down I measure the same as I did when I was pregnant with my largest and most accurately dated pregnancy at 32 weeks!! (which again was 26cm)

 

Also keep in mind that I've never measured more than 33cm at birth, to my knowledge. One time, when I was probably 42 weeks I measured 31cm. (measured laying down)

 

I need opinions. I hope to get opinions from doulas, midwives and twin moms or anyone who might be able to give me a good explanation of what might be going on.

 

Also please note that I'm not interested in a formal diagnosis of multiples. That would complicate everything for me and I know that Laura Shanely is spot on about birth. It happens best unhindered. I cannot have a painless labor attended by even the coolest midwife on the planet, been there, done that, but I did it on my own with my husband and children at my side.

 

I would however be interested in detecting multiples myself, so any advice up to and including battery run handheld dopplers would be great.

 

Finally, I wanted to add that I'm only 4'11".  The other day I showed my husband a profile pic of a woman 6" taller, pregnant with triplets. He pointed to her 22 week belly shot and said that one looked the most like my profile. HOLY COW!!!!

 

Needless to say, I'm suspicious at this point. ;) Opinions???

post #2 of 103

Honestly, if you are planning an UC, I'd get an ultrasound to confirm any suspicions. Multiples can be risky, and you'd be well served to read up on techniques.

post #3 of 103
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Multimomma View Post

Honestly, if you are planning an UC, I'd get an ultrasound to confirm any suspicions. Multiples can be risky, and you'd be well served to read up on techniques.

Thanks for your response! :-)

 

My problem with ultrasounds are twofold. One, it will be stressful for me and a lot of work to find the right technician I can be halfway happy with. I don't have extra energy to spend like that and neither does my husband. This pregnancy is keeping us busier than any other.  I just had a 4.5 cm growth spurt in a day and a half or so. I am not allowed to do any house chores or yell at anybody or get upset about anything. I'm constantly being fed and loved on by my family, thank God.

 

(I'm also taking a number of supplements and superfoods that I've researched and believe will aid this pregnancy journey. So far they seem to be doing me good.)

 

And the other problem is that if I find triplets I'm going to be surrounded by pressure and stress from anybody within arms reach. It's one thing to talk to people who have no hold on my life, it's another to talk to medically minded pushy, authoritarian types. I'd really rather say off the radar, to keep stress and danger down.

 

(I've read too many stories about doctors calling CPS or getting court orders over teeny-tiny stuff, let alone their worst obstetric nightmare, never mind that their standard of care is proven to harm and not to help.)

 

I do have both of Ann Frie's Midwifery textbooks and have done some research into triplet pregnancies so far. There is no medical proof that one mode of birth works better than another for triplets. In fact, statistics show that neonatal distress and infant mortality is not reduced by c-section, which is the standard of care.

 

As long as I do not appear to be in any danger, I am leery of outside interference.

post #4 of 103
Thread Starter 

Some people around here seem not to like to vote. :D

 

Anybody else want to comment? You don't have to vote to comment. I imagine you probably want time to consider it. Whatever your reasons are, you don't have to let that hold you back from saying something if you feel like it.

post #5 of 103

What happened with my SILs birth, was that the cervix started to close back down after the first baby was born. The second was held up, but the placenta had already detached. There was not a significant amount of time without O2, but she still had some mild CP issues. They have been resolved for the most part, with physical therapy, but I'd hate to think of my SIL and her husband trying to work that baby out by themselves, without the midwife.

 

When I read about UC multiples, that's what's in my head. I know that several people here have done UCs, but it's not always easy. it just seems to me that it would be better to know for sure while planning.

 

Can you not just go to a fun US place, and just say you want pictures? Then if it shows multiples, then go ahead and schedule a true scan?

post #6 of 103
From my research, it seems like you need a lot more food with multiples than you do for a singleton. Id get a US, because if you do find triplets, you are about to enter a whole new ball game. Just transporting babies from your home to the NICU could be deadly because of underdeveloped immune systems if they are born early (which most twins/triplets are).
post #7 of 103

I think it's more likely you're further along than you think, despite your precautions. Do you have a fetoscope & know how to use it? At the very least, you need to try listening for different heartbeats. It really is important to eat much better & much more for multiples. Personally, I would have an ultrasound to check, but I do know many stories of women who had twins and didn't know until they were birthing (including a woman from my due date club)

post #8 of 103

Each pregnancy loosens more of the tissues that hold your abdomen together.  Every birth changes how your muscles and tendons work.     Fetal positioning can make a big difference in how you carry and how you feel -- I actually carried my second MUCH more compactly than my first, but usually it goes the other way.    Hormone variations come not just from pregnancy but from your everyday life as well.  

 

And age makes a difference, too, in how your body responds and grows.

 

All of those factors together could certainly add up to this pregnancy being very different than previous ones and still not being multiples.  

 

Given that some of the reasons for what you report (the sickness, the blood pressure readings) could indicate other, less "variation of normal" things going on, I'd personally want to know definitively how many babies were in there. 

post #9 of 103

I recommend meditation/prayer or however you like to check in with your intuition.  I was pregnant with twins in October (confirmed by ultrasound, but only one survived past 8weeks) and the *twin feeling* was VERY intense and unique.  I was planning an unassisted pregnancy but went for ultrasound confirmation because the feeling was so strong (and shared by my husband) and there were things I wanted to know (what kind of twins, for instance) that would definately change our birthplans.  The more I explored the feeling, the more I was SURE I was carrying twins.  The best way I can describe it is feeling *more* pregnant... the feeling finally faded away about a month after the second baby passed & for a while it felt like the pregnancy was at a plateau even though I was still growing physically... then the pregnancy felt normal again. I continued to dream about twins til the third trimester.

post #10 of 103
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

From my research, it seems like you need a lot more food with multiples than you do for a singleton. Id get a US, because if you do find triplets, you are about to enter a whole new ball game. Just transporting babies from your home to the NICU could be deadly because of underdeveloped immune systems if they are born early (which most twins/triplets are).

 

The cool thing is that my body was telling me in too many ways to spell out, including my appetite, early on, that things were different. So from week 4 I made the effort. I've since increased my efforts. The gain I've seen has been 19-20 pounds. It's not a lot but it's more than the 5 I typically gain. If I was having twins I'd be right on track, and if triplets, maybe ten pound short of the minimum goal, but I don't see how I could have eaten more or better. In fact, I was on a special preconception diet for months in advance. I even gained a bunch of weight during that time, about 17 pounds prior to my positive pregnancy test. My boobs grew and everything. It was amazing. I also cured my hypoaldosteronism problem in the process. Some days, even in my second trimester have seen me vomiting as much as 6 times in 24 hrs so it's amazing I managed to even gain what I did. I just wouldn't give up eating or drinking, even if I had to do it 4 times before stuff started staying down again. I consistently made the effort to eat well over 130 grams of protein until I suspected triplets, at which time I bumped it up again considerably.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaskyla View Post

I think it's more likely you're further along than you think, despite your precautions. Do you have a fetoscope & know how to use it? At the very least, you need to try listening for different heartbeats. It really is important to eat much better & much more for multiples. Personally, I would have an ultrasound to check, but I do know many stories of women who had twins and didn't know until they were birthing (including a woman from my due date club)

I do, actually. :D We got one way back when we took charge of our births, whenever that was, over ten years ago, for sure. So far, I feel movement and solid forms in 3 general separate locations. They feel like small baby movements. I likened them to little "liv" dolls (minus the shorter arms and legs, of course) to my oldest, who was completely grossed out at the analogy for some reason.  :P

 

My husband got to hear my "high floater" baby who is hanging out under my ribs just yesterday. Not enough beats to count, and they are soft, but he heard them. I'm always feeling movement up there these days. It's easier to feel than the left and right ones, who were the ones I noticed first. Maybe that's because he's right up banging on my ribs these days. LOL (not hard, softly, not enough to hurt, but sometimes a little uncomfortable)

 

We are also getting a doppler. My only planned compromise with this pregnancy. It seems like a good idea for now.

 

I welcome advice on the doppler.

Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post

Each pregnancy loosens more of the tissues that hold your abdomen together.  Every birth changes how your muscles and tendons work.     Fetal positioning can make a big difference in how you carry and how you feel -- I actually carried my second MUCH more compactly than my first, but usually it goes the other way.    Hormone variations come not just from pregnancy but from your everyday life as well.  

 

And age makes a difference, too, in how your body responds and grows.

 

All of those factors together could certainly add up to this pregnancy being very different than previous ones and still not being multiples.  

 

Given that some of the reasons for what you report (the sickness, the blood pressure readings) could indicate other, less "variation of normal" things going on, I'd personally want to know definitively how many babies were in there. 

True. But I've been growing about half a centimeter a day ever since my growth became noticeable. Minus the recent growth spurt where I grew an unbelievable amount, I went from 26 cm to 30.5cm in just over a day and a half or so!

 

AND I'm the kind of gal who has her babies drop before labor, even the last one, my #5.

 

My abs have been uncomfortably taut since about week 18 and I'm carrying small despite the bulge cramming up against my ribs. I look like I do when I'm 8+ months, which never looks very impressive. Partly this is due to my muscular abs that I've been belly dancing with during my preconception diet.

 

All my intuition is telling me this is normal. If I had a weird feeling about this pregnancy being unhealthy I would probably want to check. But frankly, I've never been healthier in any other pregnancy before. I don't even have pink toothbrush, minus about 5 days out of this entire pregnancy.

 

And the problem with checking is the stress it would induce, both from the interaction with medical strangers I don't know well enough to trust and the examination itself. I do not believe ultrasound has been shown to be safe. I don't need those collective hours of worry after the fact weighing on my pregnancy, especially since false alarms are easy mistakes to make with U/S. It's not a reliable diagnostic tool in my opinion. It doesn't even catch all triplets, even when used a LOT during the entire pregnancy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lia_joy View Post

I recommend meditation/prayer or however you like to check in with your intuition.  I was pregnant with twins in October (confirmed by ultrasound, but only one survived past 8weeks) and the *twin feeling* was VERY intense and unique.  I was planning an unassisted pregnancy but went for ultrasound confirmation because the feeling was so strong (and shared by my husband) and there were things I wanted to know (what kind of twins, for instance) that would definately change our birthplans.  The more I explored the feeling, the more I was SURE I was carrying twins.  The best way I can describe it is feeling *more* pregnant... the feeling finally faded away about a month after the second baby passed & for a while it felt like the pregnancy was at a plateau even though I was still growing physically... then the pregnancy felt normal again. I continued to dream about twins til the third trimester.

Oh, I'm sorry for your loss!

 

But your point is valid, I believe. I actually asked God to show me what was in my womb and then had a dream that took me a while to come to terms with. It showed three babies. At the time I was convinced it was just twins, but felt it was certainly multiples. There was something so concrete about the impressions that dream gave me, but at first I passed it off as maybe God was symbolizing their guardian angel as a third baby or something. Separately, my eldest daughter had a triplet dream. She dreamed I was a dishwasher with three teacups inside, and the teacups were my babies. LOL (she's 12 and at the time I had not said anything suggesting a thought that it could be triplets)


Edited by BlessedJess - 7/9/12 at 2:07pm
post #11 of 103
I have a sonoline b, but I havent used it yet. I hear it works really well, though.
post #12 of 103

I would definitely go into a non-medical elective ultrasound place so you can be prepared. FWIW lots of places ask for an OB or midwife's name but don't verify.

post #13 of 103

what techniques would allow you to free birth multiples?
 

post #14 of 103
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

I have a sonoline b, but I havent used it yet. I hear it works really well, though.

Yes, I think that's what we got. It will be here when hubby picks it up today, so we'll see. We intend to find 3 heartbeats this way. In my case, all the placentas appear to be posterior so we shouldn't have much trouble at all. I think the placenta on the right side was low at one point but it has risen to where you have to literally put the scope on my waist to the side and try to push it under the uterus to hear the edge of the placental soufle. I can't even find any other ones. But that's fine with me since my last baby had a left-front placenta and she stubbornly stayed posterior, I'm convinced, as a result. At least she was an itty bitty thing, because even a 5 pounder feels bigger than my biggest baby coming through that way. Totally had me fooled, when I was pushing, I said "big baby" because it felt like I was pushing out a large square. LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by suchende View Post

I would definitely go into a non-medical elective ultrasound place so you can be prepared. FWIW lots of places ask for an OB or midwife's name but don't verify.

I hope the doppler can help me lay that question to rest, though. I realize that U/S are almost ubiquitous, but I've always refused them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kgdg View Post

what techniques would allow you to free birth multiples?
 

Well, first of all, you have to start with a healthy body. I was on a rigorous preconception diet. And I was belly dancing a lot throughout the day. Now I sit on a swopper instead. I "swoppered" my chiro for a chair, I guess you could say. :P Seriously, the chair is perfect for following the "spinningbabies.com" recommendation for sitting with knees and belly below hips, and even better, it's "sitting in motion" Much like sitting on a comfy tree branch but with more range of motion. It's much easier for me than setting aside belly dance practice time and pretty much covers the same movements, allowing baby A and B to settle head down early on. Which they seem to have done, because they were both hiccuping it felt, on my right hip and on my left during my midnight snack. I say "on my hips" because my belly hangs over my legs when I sit on my couch or in a normal chair and I can feel them nestled down there, feels head first already, but I'll know more when I can ballot little heads. I can feel their solid forms down there moving when they have something to do. The other baby has no choice but to float transverse. For now.

 

I believe that my body can do this or God wouldn't have put 3 babies in there naturally. The supposed risks compared to a medical birth are acknowledged to be unknown. Only 234 women spontaneously conceive a year in the USA. Assuming only .5% of those women want a homebirth when conceiving naturally, like the rest of the population, then that's only one woman a year. Less if you are talking about free birth. Maybe once a decade or even once a century. I'm breaking new ground, if I really am so blessed to have triplets. What an honor, since I know with more triplet conceptions I would be far from the first to try it. I've found a whopping total of 2 intentional UC triplet births. Well, actually just one, but the other one was an intentional multiple UC with a mom who had already had first a set of triplets, then twins, then a UC with a surprise triplet popping out at the end.

 

As long as I'm healthy and the babies are not coming out too early to survive at home when viable, we want a UC. The body is made for this.

 

The complications arising from triplets are 99% related to environment, especially during preconception and early pregnancy. The last trimester is also a delicate time when women should not be stressed if an uncomplicated delivery is desired. Therefore there is no advantage healthwise to be incarcerated in a hospital bed on a mag drip and lectured about danger in a germy hospital if you are prepared to build a proper blood supply and live in a low stress familiar environment instead. Dietary factors are far too ignored, the focus being on rest and bulking up, rather than on the high nutrient density foods.

 

Speaking of foods, I am sourcing my nutrients from food, including carrot juice for vit A, fish oils, sunshine daily for vit D and magnesium bicarbonate water with daily magnesium sulfate baths. Not to mention loads of protein and fats, with as many carbs as I can tolerate. In fact, I could bore you or write a book if you get me started. LOL So there's just the tip of the iceburg for you. :-) [juicy secret; taurine is amazing stuff, look up what it can do for magnesium absorption, lowering blood pressure and increasing insulin sensitivity, and so much more!]

 

Also I am bullking up my birth library and continuing research online as it seems prudent. I've been reading Ann Fry's Midwifery textbooks lately. I really think she would agree with me about triplet homebirths, even if she would prefer me to have a midwife or three rather than relying on my family, who I think will be well prepared to be the best support team I could ask for.


Edited by BlessedJess - 7/10/12 at 6:59am
post #15 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlessedJess View Post


I believe that my body can do this or God wouldn't have put 3 babies in there naturally. The supposed risks compared to a medical birth are acknowledged to be unknown. Only 234 women spontaneously conceive a year in the USA.

What? What do you mean exactly by this?
post #16 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post


What? What do you mean exactly by this?

 

I guessing she means without fertility medicine of any kind.

post #17 of 103
As in spontaneously conceived triplets or babies period? I read it as babies period, but I guess it could mean triplets.
post #18 of 103
Thread Starter 

Yes, I'm sorry for the confusion, I meant it in the context of naturally conceived triplets.

post #19 of 103
Thread Starter 

Also, I've been talking with my husband about clamping baby A. I feel pretty sure at this point, due to a number of factors I haven't mentioned here yet that he's the one coming out first and he's the one with the twin floating at the top that, if I have to worry about acute TTTS it would be with him. Back when I thought it was twins and my uterus was half this size I noticed that his side of the uterus was lopsidedly large. I thought it was weird or I was imagining things. But in my triplet dream, I saw him closely cuddled with the third. And then, well, the top baby seems to always favor that side of the uterus, at least up til now. We'll see if that holds true forever, but for now, it does. One more thing, the belly still drifts to that side like it's still unevenly more bulky, in a subtle way. I really notice it when I'm laying down and tense my abs. The whole separation thing that bulges when I tense up drifts off to the side of my belly button instead of straight down the middle. Looks weird!

 

So thats the sum total of why I think it's probably that lowest baby that will need the cord clamping, if anybody. He's got a special relationship to baby C.

 

Just wanted to add that for kgdg's sake since we are talking about techniques.

post #20 of 103
Thread Starter 

Upon further reflection I'm thinking maybe not do the clamping. The placenta should regulate most of the time and the cost of cutting the cord could be high vs the risk of leaving it intact.

 

Novella once said;

 

One thing that was never clear to me was the idea that in a singleton delivery, with delayed cord clamping there can be a regulated "back and forth" of blood between baby and placenta to optimize blood volume in the baby. This made me wonder: If you delivered twins with both cords left intact and DID have Acute TTTS, why wouldn't the remedy to that simply be to continue leaving the two cords and placenta all intact, so this "regulation" could occur?

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/662119/delaying-cord-clamping-in-twin-hospital-birth

 

I think that's the voice of reason in this situation.

 

What do you-all think?

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