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A little scared . . .

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hi there you wise multiples sages,
I just found out that I am pregnant with twins (13 weeks).
They are about the same size, active and have good heart beats but the thing that scares me is that the doctor said from what she can tell they share a placenta.
There is a dividing wall between them.
What does this all mean? I know there is some danger in a shared placenta, but what are the odds?
Does this mean they are identical?
I am kind of freaked out and was too stunned to think of all these questions at the doctors.
Also, do you guys think a homebirth is out of the question with a situation like this?
And what double strollers would you recommend?
phew. . . I don't know what else to ask...
post #2 of 26
Hi cpop!

Sorry I can't offer any advice. I'm in the same boat as you. I noticed your sn from our ddc and wanted to say congratulations and welcome!
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
It is such a shock since we didn't do any fertility treatments and it doesn't run in the family.
post #4 of 26
I don't know anything about the shared placenta, but I'm sure someone who does will be along soon. Congratulations! Stroller: I LOVE my Graco DuoGlider.
post #5 of 26
My boys each had their own so I don't know a whole lot about a shared placenta. There is a danger of ttts (where one twins takes more than the other) but it is pretty rare and most likely your babies will be fine. The placenta may have just fused too and actually be 2 seperate placentas, but they won't know until birth. I would say that a hb is still an option unless something else goes wrong during your pregnancy or your babies do have ttts, but even then it might still be an option. I would start calling mw's now and see if you can find one to assist you. Good luck & congrats!
post #6 of 26
Congrats! I referenced my Having Twins book about the placenta thing and if indeed there is just one placenta then you've got identicals (but it's possible 2 placentas have fused which could make them either identical or fraternal). The book says the most common identical setup is 1 chorion, 2 amnions, & 1 placenta. The good news is that yours don't share a sac which would further increase risk factors. I'd say that a homebirth is certainly still safe, provided that both babies are thriving and you have knowledgable support. You'll just need to be aware of possible TTTS (where one twin gets a lot more nutrients than the other).
The double stroller I have is the Mountain Buggy Urban Double. I can't say enough good things about it. I just love it. Oh, we also have a Double Snap-n-Go for while the babies are still in their bucket carseats, but that's just for convenience. I really prefer to have them in the regular stroller. It's pricey though, but performs like it. Love it!
post #7 of 26
Congratulations!!! And shock is a very common response to news of twins, especially when you weren't expecting them (family history or fertility drugs, etc).

Our babes were in the same boat -- one placenta, one chorion and two amnions (that's the dividing membrane between them). That is good news -- having just one amnion can be very dangerous for the babes. At this stage, they can tell if it's one placenta and not two fused, so they will probably be watching for TTTS. In our case, it meant frequent ultrasounds, NSTs (non-stress tests) and lots of dr. visits -- the babes thankfully ended up being just fine (came at 37 weeks), but since TTTS can come on quickly, and having just talked to a mama whose boys had it, I am thankful my OB was so watchful and it made what I initially thought were excessive interventions (all those ultrasounds) make more sense.

The best thing you can do right now is eat! Lots of protein and water! Check out Dr. Barbara Luke's book "Having Twins, Triplets and Quads" (I think) and Elizabeth Noble's book "Having Twins" (hmmm. I think I have the names off). Karen K Gromada's book "Mothering Multiples" is also essential, especially for breastfeeding support.

As for strollers -- we just got our Mountain Buggy and I LOVE IT. I have never felt this way about an inanimate object before... but it is awesome. For new babes you might want a snap-and-go type stroller where you can click in the carseats.

Oh -- and MZ twins (identical) don't run in families (at least that's what research looks like -- DZ twins do sometimes run in families) so it's kind of just lucky to get them -- I told my husband we should have bought a lottery ticket the day the babes were conceived as well, since luck was on our side

This is a wonderful group -- ask any questions you can think of. We've all been there. It's a crazy and wonderful journey.

post #8 of 26
as pp said the placenta can fuse it's pretty common w\twin pregencys. I know mine did and I had frat boys. Yes drink lots of water, and eat. I loved my duo-glider but also loved my slings it keept people away a bit more w\ the stroller they will invade your babys space and touch them when you wear them it tends to keep people a bit away because they don't like to invade your body space you can also back away from them. As pp said yes the mountain buggy is great I have borrowed my friends and love it. Working on getting DH to buy it for me. Have fun and enjoy this but get ready for peoples stares and comments to start up
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much for your advice. I have a couple of further questions (sorry if I am being a pain, but I find all this stuff kind of confusing).
Is it possible that they are fraternal if they share a Chorion, even if the placentas are just fused?
Is twin to twin transfusion syndrome possible if they are fused placentas?
Can you carry both babies in slings at the same time?
How often did you have ultrasounds?
What can they do to correct the problem if twin to twin transfusion does occur?
If they have a shared placenta is there a risk for the twin who is born second during a vaginal birth (lack of oxygen etc.)?
Thank you ladies so much you are a wealth of information, I will definitely look into getting the books you recomended.
post #10 of 26
No worries about all the questions - there is a lot to learn! You might want to ask your midwife/OB some of these as well, but I'll tell you what we learned from readings and our experience.

If there is just one placenta and chorion, then they must be identical (MZ, or monozygotic). Two placentas can be either DZ or MZ, but one placenta can only be MZ.

I am pretty sure that they can tell definitively if it's one placenta at this stage. Later (after 15 weeks or so), it is often difficult to tell if it's one placenta or two fused. I think I have heard of rare cases of TTTS with fused placentas. It's definintely more common with a shared placenta.

Just because they share a placenta doesn't mean you'll get TTTS -- just that they will likely monitor you and watch for it. I had ultrasounds every three weeks until 28 weeks, and then every two weeks for a while, and then every week toward the end. There are a couple of things they can do to try to treat the TTTS -- you might want to check out this website for more info:


From the website: The majority of identical twins share the placenta (monochorionic), and of these approximately 15% go on to develop TTTS.

As for risk for second twin during birth -- a lot will depend on their position -- if Twin A is head down (vertex), things are a little easier. You will probably want to ask your medical provider about that. Twin B will still have its cord attached to the placenta during birth, so is still being nourished while the first babe is being born.

As for slinging -- there are pictures in the archives here of a mama slinging two in a moby wrap (I think)... we "discovered" wraps at about 5 months, and preferred to carry them separately (or sling one and carry the other).

I hope that answers some of your questions, and that you are adjusting to the news of two.
post #11 of 26
I LOVE my mountain buggy urban double. (I got it when my twins were around 2 yo and it was life changing.) We have had others along the way and I would have saved myself some money if I had just shelled out the bucks in the beginning.

Congrats on twins!
post #12 of 26

I have frat twin boys that had a fused placenta!

My advice- sleep lots, eat lots, and drink lots (of water)

I *loved* my double snap n go for the first 7 months, now I have a Chicco Velocita that I love too! Its the only double that would fit in my car!

post #13 of 26
Hi there and congrats :

I have MZ boys who shared a placenta and had TTTS (and someone else on this board had it too). It is very rare, but very dangerous, so that's one of the first things I'd find out: are there any markers for TTTS? There are two forms of TTTS, chronic (the entire preg, mostly) and accute (at the very end). Mine had chronic dx at 18w. The markers are one twin is much larger, has much more amnio fluid (to the point of being polyhydramos/oliohydramos), and the reverse in the other twin. Mine were monochorionic diamniotic (one chorion, 2 sacs) which is how most TTTS cases are.

It's likely that you'll need more u/s just to keep track of what's going on in there, even if nothing is going on. Sharing anything in utero can be a little tricky.

I had a nice vaginal hospital birth, and it was a great experience. I actually enjoyed their birth more than my next baby's, who was born at a birth center!

Sharing a placenta MIGHT rule out a homebirth; I really have no idea. Again, talk to your Ob or MW. With twins who share a placenta, I'd want a high-risk specialist, someone who has seen a LOT of twins. My doc was known as the "mults" Ob. Everyone in my local Moms of Twins club had seen him.

I don't want to scare you with the TTTS stuff -- it's only about 10-15% of MZ twins. If your twins share a placenta, they are MZ or "identical" as the rest of the world refers to them

Oh and I used a double-snap-in frame when mine were in infant "buckets" as they call them on here, and then a Graco Duo-Glider, which I loved because it actually fit in the trunk of my tiny car! As far as slinging, when mine were small I actually put them in together with a mayawrap and it was fine. When they got big, I'd put one in the mayawrap in front and one in a backpack type in back.
post #14 of 26
At that point in pregnancy placentas shouldn't be fused yet. It sounds like identicals, which are just a lucky chance. Fraternals are more often hereditary, Because it is the mother putting out two eggs at once. The father contrary to common belief has no genetic say in twins He makes as many sperm each time as he will. He can however pass it on to his daughter genetically which is why twins skip a generation. Twins can be delivered safely at home if you are commited and have support. Not all twins are born early as much as you will hear different mine wre born at 40 weeks 3days at home. congratulations
post #15 of 26
The chorion is the membrane surrounding the sac - if they are using the term "monochorionic" it means you only have one chorion and there's no way, then, that there's more than one placenta. You can have only one chorion, one placenta, and still have two amniotic sacs, though. My girls had this, and did end up with TTTS.

There's a few different options for TTTS; it depends upon the severity of their growth discrepancies and the babies' health. Something that helped us GREATLY was following some advice you can find on the tttsfoundation.org site - to increase protein intake. I was getting 100g/daily and we found that as soon as I started doing that, the girls' growth pattern changed and evened out and we were able to maintain a good, healthy stretch from 22w - 34w. Prior to that, I was *this* close to being a candidate for laser surgery.

By the end of the pregnancy I was having weekly u/s to check bloodflow & heart stuff and they would check growth every 2-3 weeks.

I love my beat up old hand-me-down MacLaren.

Also, the Elizabeth Noble book will break down all those crazy twin terms for you with easy to read diagrams and everything. I had NO CLUE why my midwives dropped me off with the high-risk folks like a hot potato until I opened her book to the first page and saw for myself.

Congratulations, by the way!
post #16 of 26

membranes and mirror twins

Hi cpop, I have 3yo identical boys. They shared a placenta but also had the membrane. Interestingly enough their umbilical cord was fused about the last inch or so. Unfortunately I was rather ignorant of the whole amnion, chorion placenta thing at the time and although I had considered a home birth prior to finding out I was having twins I opted for the traditional medicine option mainly because of insurance and other extenuating (where is spell check?)circumstances (not pregnancy related). I did agree to deliver in the Surgical room as a concession to my doctor - just in case. I did plan and tell my doctor that I was planning on Natural childbirth but when I arrived at the hospital (37 wks) the doctor just said it was not an option. I have delivered w/o meds before and I'm not sure how I slipped into that trap w/o a fight but... My boys had mild TTTS but we didn't know it until they were born. It must have started late as their weights were very similar (5.6 and 5.8) But 1 was yellow and 1 was red. Actually very helpful in identifying them in photos. Up until a year I could pick them out by color - even though it was very slight.
My best advice if your not highly organized in the photo department - color coding clothes. One of our boys usually wore red or blue and the other one usually wore yellow or whithe or light blue. This helped us to keep them straight in pictures that I forgot to write on (most of them) and seemed to help people that saw them often.
I have the Duo Glider and love it. We never went anywhere with out it until the last couple of months and I miss the security of having them buckled in ( I also have 2 girls) The only draw back for me in the front/back arrangement was hair pulling by the brother in the back. But as one pulled more than the other - we put him in front. Twins are amazing (as are my dd's).
I keep meaning to start a thread on Mirror twins. Anyone else out there with mirror twins?
post #17 of 26
They thought my girls shared a placenta but were wrong it was fused... I was told they will not be able to know till they are born...
post #18 of 26

What is your opinion/experience of twin fetal movement as an indication of whether or not they are identical or fraternal? Mine have 2 of everything, but yet they move at the same time consistently and in the same way. They also remain extremely close to one another with baby B always mirroring whatever baby A does in terms of positioning. Baby B will actually move over to touch baby A in a matter of a minute whenever A does a big roll or flop. I had heard this might be a clue that they are identical despite "not sharing anything". Any MZ twin moms out there find the same with their babes?
post #19 of 26
Congratulations on your twins!

I was planning a birth center water birth with my midwives. Then I found out at 28 weeks that I was having twins. We had one other u/s at 20 weeks, but we only saw one baby, for whatever reason. I got REALLY big suddenly, and my mws made me get another u/s at the 28-week appointment, or we might not have known about the second baby. I asked if they would still attend my birth, and they said it depended on the placenta situation (two seperate, or one), positions of the babies, etc. We didn't have alot of time to discuss it further, because 2 1/2 weeks later I went into premature labor while out of town, and ended up giving birth at a hospital four hours away from home.

I don't know to this day if my babies shared a placenta or if it was two that were fused (I never went back for a postpartum appt., and don't know if the OB would have known, anyway). All I know is that the placenta of the first baby remained inside, and was one of the reasons I ended up having a c-section 6 hours after the first baby's birth. They were in separate sacks, though. They were the same size when born, so there wasn't any problem with TTTS.

The u/s tech at 28 weeks told us that the separate sacks meant the twins were fraternal, so I assumed they were. But the girls had a nurse in the NICU who had given birth to identical twin boys in separate sacks, so I don't know now. They look just alike. I need to do one of those tests to find out for sure.

As far as double strollers go, I have a Graco stroller with "stadium" seating, and a Jeep stroller that is side-by-side. I have never used the Jeep one. Both were given to me as gifts. What I *really* wanted was a tandem jogger, because I live out in the country, and the other two are not good on dirt roads. Oh well... I do like the Graco one, but it is big, and I don't get out of the house much, so I don't use it alot.

Good luck to you...you will find out everything (or damn near!) you need to know on this forum .
post #20 of 26
Everyone else has given you some great advice so I won't add to it. I love my stroller, I have a Valco Roundabout twin and I bought the attachement so I could have a triple when needed. We started with the graco duo glider and my dh and I both disliked it.

Congrats on the twins!!
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