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Help! Expecting either twins or triplets

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I had my first official meeting with my midwife on Tuesday. I was 10, almost 11 weeks along at that point. When she measured the height of my fundus to see how I was growing I was 15 cm!

We're pretty sure that it must be a multiple birth causing the extra growth at this point, because it's too early for any of the other problems which might cause excess growth (you're supposed to gain 1 cm for each week of your pregnancy, right up to the 40th week).

I am calling a perinatalogist tomorrow to set up a sonogram to find out how many babies I am carrying for sure, but I'm not sure how long a wait I will have before I can get in there.

I am really excited but also terrified. Any ideas or encouragement would be appreciated.

Crescent
post #2 of 22
I thought the fundal measurement wasn't on track with weeks of pregnancy until about 20 weeks? I've never had a doctor or midwife measure me until 20 weeks because they said it wouldn't be accurate. And I DID have twins! At 11 weeks the uterus would still be below the pubic bone, so there wouldn't be anything to measure in the first place. Very odd.

Okay, but all that said, congratulations on your pregnancy, however many babies you're having!
post #3 of 22
First congratulations on your pregnancy! I had a good friend who got pregnant a couple of months after I got pregnant with my twins. Her OB also thought her uterus felt larger then it should for her stage and felt for sure that either her dates were wrong or she was having twins. She had an ultrasound which showed that she was having one baby and it was at the stage she thought she should be. Later on her uterus size evened out with how many weeks she was. The only way to know for sure that you are having more then one is by ultrasound. Please let us know what you find out!!
post #4 of 22
I am overweight and my measurements were always off.
post #5 of 22
Hi!

Congratulations on your pregnancy! I also had thought that measurements were not generally taken or accurate until 16 weeks or so, but it is true that if you were (are) carrying more than one baby, your fundus would be "large for dates." Do you have any other reasons to think that you might be having twins? Do fraternal twins run in your family? Did you take fertility drugs in order to get pregnant? How has your morning sickness been? (Mothers of multiples often have more severe morning sickness, though some don't have any at all). Other reasons to measure large at this point would be being off on your dates (could you possibly BE 15 weeks pregnant?), or being overweight.

Be sure to let us know as soon as you find out!

Lex
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

Reasons to suspect Multiples

Hi,Thanks for all of you who have responded. It has made me a little calmer.

For the record, I am 4'11" and started this pregnancy weighing about 104 pounds. So I'm definitely not large myself or overweight (yet). I know I had my dates correct because I am single and used IUI insemination to get pregnant, so I know both the date of my last menstrual period and also the date of conception. And yes, I DID take the fertility drugs which increase the likelihood of having multiples. I had either 5 or 6 follicles release during the cycle when I became pregnant.

One of the reasons I feel a need to know or get a better idea of whether I really am having multiples is that I will have to change midwives if I am having twins because my current midwife isn't comfortable doing twin births. That's ok with me–I would rather she be honest about it and we all work for a good and acceptable outcome. Of course, if there's a chance that I'm having triplets, a home birth is probably not an option at all so I will need to research hospitals and find an OB I can live with. Since I am at the other end of the spectrum ideologically from most hospitals, this is a big issue for me.

So it is still quite possible that I am having multiples, but I am taking all the responses from other people about how the measurement may not be a reliable indicator this early in the pregnancy into consideration. The one mitigating factor in size is that this is my 2nd pregnancy and I know that the uterus tends to expand more quickly in future pregnancies because it kind of understands what is needed and has done so previously.

I am wondering when I should arrange for a sonogram so that we can be sure of things. Should I go ASAP since I did take the fertility drugs and find out immediately so I can make other arrangements if necessary. Or should I wait until we see if my growth continues to be faster than expected. And if I wait, exactly how long should I wait before I schedule the sonogram?

Thanks so much for all your help!

Crescent
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

Morning Sickness

I forgot to mention that in my 1st pregnancy I didn't have any morning sickness at all. This time, it took awhile to start but has been HORRIBLE. Even though I only throw up 2-4 times a day, I am usually nauseated most of the day and unless I can find something to distract me am unable to do anything but lie in bed.
post #8 of 22
Hi Cresorchid;

I would recommend going for an ultrasound sooner rather than later if you are going to do it at all because earlier is better for determining the chorionicity of the twins ( the chorion is a layer of the sac around the baby and if they are monochorionic than there can be a higher risk to the pregnancy). Although taking fertility drugs can increase the incidence of non-identical twins, and they won't share a chorion, all woman have a small risk of identical twins, and some of those share the same chorion. Later when the babes are bigger it can be nearly impossible to tell if there is a chorion between the babies.

I don't think that a uterus that is measuring at around 16 weeks at 11 weeks screams twins, but it is a hands-on thing. I never use a measuring tape until after 20 weeks, but I do look where the fundus is in relation to the woman's own structures, like pubic bone and belly button to say whether she is large for dates or not.

Some of the other reasons for large for dates can be a molar pregnancy, which can also cause severe nausea, but that is unlikely. A fibroid that is growing can also increase fundal height. And much more likely is just being larger than other women for no apparent reason and it all being normal.

Anyhow, best of luck!

Carolynn
post #9 of 22
IMO, it's a good idea to know as early as possible if you are expecting multiples. You will want to eat more (esp. protein), rest more, etc., than you would w/ a singleton, & you would want to start that ASAP.
post #10 of 22
I completely agree with Megsmom. You should get an ultrasound just to determine how many babies are in there, imo. Follow your instincts, mama. The things you've said so far all point to having multiples, but that doesn't meant you're necessarily pregnant with twins. But if you are, it's best to know as soon as possible. I had a really difficult twin pregnancy & my girls are really healthy because I knew well in advance.

Good luck & please keep us posted!!
post #11 of 22
Well, I measured a little big throughout my pregnancy, but not enough to warrant an ultrasound....until 33 weeks when I measured 38. I started out at 100 lbs and it was my second pregnancy. The entire time I said, na it's not twins...And it was. I am kinda glad I didn't know, but it also would have been nice to have some time to prepare. I had to switch birth plans - I was planning a home birth, but since I was more than 30 minutes from a hospital, my midwife wouldn't do it. I worked with a great family doctor and nurse midwife, but we had to cram it in quickly. since I was already at 33 weeks - they were born at 36 1/2 weeks.

So if you want to know, might as well get the u/s. good luck!
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

Planning sonogram

Thanks for all the advice and information. I am planning to go in for the ultrasound in January. I already know the best person in town for this, so I just need to set up an appointment with him–and I knew him personally before I kept hearing from EVERYBODY that he was the best and specialized in doing sonograms. At that point I will be somewhere between 13 and 17 weeks, depending on how soon I get seen.

I will also see my midwife in the 1st week of January, so we will see if the rate of growth has continued. If so, we will probably get me in sooner, and I have been told that I should be able to get in within days of making the call if I have a referral.

I will keep everybody posted. Thanks for all the hints, tips, etc.
post #13 of 22
Oh wow, now that you've shared all that other information (fertility drugs, 5-6 follicles at time of IUI, bad morning sickness), I'd be shocked if you're NOT having multiples! That's just too many symptoms! If I were you, I'd want an u/s asap just out of extreme curiosity! And so that you can get to work with a new midwife.

In the meantime, I would treat the pregnancy like a multiple pregnancy (it can't hurt!), and make sure that you are getting LOTS of protein and drinking LOTS of water. I know it's hard when you're puking 2-4 times a day, but the protein intake really can make a difference.

Congratulations again!
post #14 of 22
Congrats on the pregnancy!

Well, it might be mults, b/c of your situation. But just FYI, I measure high for all my pregnancies and had an ultrasound with the first one. Singletons all.

With that and cetrtain labor facors, I have determined I have a shallow pelvis and have nowhere for my uterus to go but up. And I had the ribcage pressure to prove it.
post #15 of 22
Congratulations! A good website with nutritional info (whether you are having 1 baby or 3 ) is www.blueribbonbaby.org. If you find that you are expecting multiples, I found the book "When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads" by Barbara Luke to be very informative. Best wishes to you!
post #16 of 22
Hello, I am a mom to twin girls through IVF. Like others have said, I would recommend having the ultrasound ASAP. Since the chance of multiples is probably pretty good, you do want to find out how many...high # multiples are not uncommon with IUI procedures because you may ovulate several eggs.

As far as the midwife goes, unfortunately, if it is a multiple pg, it will probably be recommended that you see an OB and a perinatologist. But that doesn't mean you can't have a "natural" approach to your preganancy and birth plan.

I would recommend reading the book, "When you are expecting twins, triplets, or more" by Barbara Luke. Although her diet plan may be difficult to follow, from what I have seen it really works...mainly, eat TONS of protein and drink LOTS of water! This will help ensure those babies grow to a good size and increase your chances of having a term birth.

I would also start to take it easy around 20-25 weeks. This is when I've seen lots of multiple-mom's-to-be put on bedrest. You may be feeling great, like you can get lots of stuff done, but remember to get your rest.

If you want to breastfeed, I would HIGHLY recommend the book Mothering Multiples...it was *key* to my bf'ing twins successfully.

Just my 2cents!
post #17 of 22
I'd love to hear an update, Crescent.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 

Update on Situation

Hi everyone,

I went to see my midwife Tuesday morning, and I have only grown 3 cm since the last time (bringing me to a total of 18 cm), so I am staying at a current 4 cm above average. My midwife said she wants to see me back in 2 weeks time rather than 4 weeks and see how I look then before we make the appointment for the ultrasound.

I have mixed feelings about doing the ultrasound now although I know that it needs to be done, and because of a change in care, probably sooner than later. But my current insurance doesn't offer any maternity benefits at all, and I just found a plan that might cover me for all maternity costs despite already being pregnant. I need to make sure that the plan is as good as it sounds, but if so, get on there as quickly as possible so that they will cover the ultrasound.

My midwife heard at least one heartbeat, but then, unless you hear more than one heartbeat at the same time, you can't tell if the baby moved and you are getting the same heartbeat again or an additional heartbeat. She said it is possible that I am having a single baby, twins, or triplets, but she is betting on twins at this point.

Unfortunately, protein was the one food that I was unable to keep down, so even though my diet was great in other ways, it has been severely lacking in protein. My midwife suggested that I go out and buy protein powder to add to smoothies and things. I did that immediately and the protein powder is staying down (yay!!!). I am going to add the powder to as many meals as I can from now on. Also, in the last day or so my nausea has been easing off which is a real relief. I was beginning to be afraid that I would be one of those women who is sick the whole 9 months. I have also gone back to making my own yogurt at home and am relieved that it is staying down. The brand that I was buying at the market would come up within 10-15 minutes of downing it–not fun.

Anyway, thanks for all your great advice. When it comes down to it, since I can probably get the rest of the medical costs of my pregnancy covered, if my midwife tells me to go for the sono when I see her on 1/18, I will make an immediate appointment.

Crescent
post #19 of 22
Wow! Good job with the protein powder and home made yogurt!

Ooh, can't wait to find out what is going on. Good to hear update.

Good luck with your insurance.
post #20 of 22
You might want to check out Dr. Barbara Luke's book "When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads : Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy". She's got a lot of good info. on diet & protein.

I had a hard time holding ANYTHING down for the first 5 months, so I lived on protein powder. Also, don't forget to drink lots & lots of water. If you are expecting more than one, you're at higher risk of pre-term labor and it's really important to keep yourself hydrated. Drink as much water as you can. And I second the book recomendation of "Mothering Multiples" if you are indeed having more than one. It's really important to read it BEFORE you have the babies, because once they come, you won't have time to read anything for a while.

Good luck, and please keep us posted!
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