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sad, scared, having twins...mini update post 22

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hi all.

I'm 22 wks on Monday and my life just turned upside down about 48 hours ago. I'm having twin boys.
It's not a happy thing for me. I'm devastated and scared and completely in mourning. I had a wonderful m/w and homebirth planned. But the babies are in the same sac and the first ultrasound showed different weights. It was explained to me they (are? could be? I'm so confused) using the same vascular system and one is taking more than the other.

I will be going into see a specialist next week to get some clear info with a higher level ultrasound. It's just my worst nightmare. I didn;t want to step foot in a hospital period. Now my whole life is going to revolve around them. And the worst part is it's over an hour away.

My doctor painted a dismal picture for me. I won;t bog you down with all the details. She mentioned NICU, down's, moving to live close to a hospital, and cord strangled babies. When I come here though, so many stories are so rosey.
Have any of you had the babes in the same sac? No membranes between them? It sounds like it's more normal for them to be in separate ones.

I'm trying be happy and muster up the will to fight for this pregnancy, but I just want to shut down at this point. : Boys scare the hell out of me, especially two. My weight gain has been so little according to places I've read. (I'm 5'7", 150 prepreg and gained 10. Although I have lost a lot in the rest of my body.) And having two...well....you guys are helping with that part.
post #2 of 28

I'm not a mother of multiples, but I saw your post. I have the feeling that everything is going to be fine for you and your boys. A lot of moms hesitate before having boys, but then fall head over heels in love with them once they get past their initial hesitation.

I don't know about the sac issue.

I do have an exercise for you to do that helped me a lot with my pregnancies. Lie down and relax and imagine a pink light of love surrounding your babies. Do this several times a day every day. Just imagine those baby boys surrounded with that pink light of love while you lie down in bed and relax.

post #3 of 28
jude rose, have you cross posted in birth and beyond? A lot of doulas and midwifey types read there. If you haven't, I will post a link to this thread if that is ok. You need some good feedback right now.

I know what it is like to not want to step foot in a hospital yet suddenly realize the hospital is going to be a fixture of your future. My only advice is to try to accept what cannot be changed but to be an educated consumer. Research everything. You deserve to have everything explained to you.

Why is the doc mentioning down's? That doesn't make much sense to me.
post #4 of 28
First, you might be interested, if they didn't tell you, to know WHY your twins share what they do. Apparently, if the split of the zygotes occurs after the eighth day following conception, the identical twins will share the same placenta, chorion, and amnion. This is a monoamniotic, monochorionic twin pregnancy. Just a bit of info that will tell you WHY they are the way they are...

Next, I will suggest a book that many of my friends in the area who have twins have used...and all of them have gone to term with healthy identical twins. It's called "When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads" by Dr. Barbara Luke

She's an OB/GYN at UofM at the Multiples Clinic. They have FABULOUS outcomes with their babies there.

*the mothers develop fewer infections
*they have less trouble with high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia
*The patients are hospitalized for preterm labor less frequently, and they spend fewer days in the hospital if they are admitted.

*Two out of three newborns born after the moms used this program weigh more than five and a half pounds at birth, and one in four is born weighing more than six and a half pounds. These birthweight figures, which are DOUBLE the average for multiples prove that you can break the "rule" that twins are always born small (and that the "small" twin can be born a healthy weight)

*Their babies are healthier at birth, regardless of when they are born, because they have grown well from the start.

The program has a LOT to do with what you eat and when, meaning you want to get most of your calories NOW, before you get into the third trimester. My friends have said that it's hard, but worth the work. You have some time, so I say, find a midwife or a doula who's willing to work with you. Do the research on your own, and figure out what is scare tactics and what it honest truth. Their IS a higher risk in delivering your type of twin, as there is a bigger risk of the placenta separating before the second twin is born. However, I KNOW that (in Michigan, anyway) there are docs willing to do vaginal twin births of your sort.

Soooo, you need to find a midwife who knows what she's doing, and a hospital nearby, or a doula who'll help you work with your medical team to make your labor as "homey" as possible. It WILL take some legwork...but then after you've done the legwork, you can say that your birth is something that YOU DID, not something that was done to you, you know?

Really, the book (and even the clinic at UofM, if you're close enough) comes HIGHLY recommended. Give it a read. It will help to give you some direction to take...something proactive that YOU can do.

Good luck.
post #5 of 28
Hi Jude Rose, I am in tears reading your post. I too feel much the same way and have a similiar siutation. I found out at 19 wks I am carrying twin girls. I too was planning a simple compeltely non-intervention homebirth. With the birth of my first daughter 17 months ago I never set foot in an OB's office or hospital. This time Dh wanted to know sex and we went for a "routine" ultrasound check and I was in tears for weeks after being introduced to "two heads" You have every right to feel angry, frustrated, upset, sad, all of those things. People will give you "oh, that's wonderful" or "how exciting", "don't be sad" or my least favorite "two for one" I love being pregnant. i loved my homebirth. I didn't want to hear all that crap. I sobbed for DAYS and could barely eat and had terrible migraines.

Honor your feelings. Acknowledge your emotions and feel the grieving process. I have spent the last 8 weeks trying to get my head in this game. It's a hard process for people who share values like us. I feel for you soooo much and I am sending you all my extra strength to find your way through this process. Know that I am here for you and feel free to PM me if you like. i am in Iowa and through my searcing I have found some info about options along the Iowa/Wis/IL/Min corner if that is close to where you are.

post #6 of 28
One other note: I have the Barbara Luke book: I like her nutritional information. I found the Elizabeth Noble Book: Having Twins and More more helpful than the Luke book overall and I felt she could appreciate my original desire for a natural birthing process more thouroughly. I would suggest them both.
post #7 of 28
Oh dear Jude I am so sorry this is unhappy news for you. Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome is what the doctor was referring to. I will do a bit of research and come back a bit later with some links for you to read about it. Can I recommend you look into the Brewer diet? A lot of mamas expecting multiples have been able to carry to full term because of this diet. Optimal nutrition is crucial, especially since you only just now found out you're having twins.
I am sending love and positive thoughts your way.
Is there anything you need? I had three boys and am now expecting a girl so I have a lot of baby boy things I won't be using. Let me know if there's anything I can offer you.
post #8 of 28
First of all, huge hugs to you mama. What a lot you have had thrown at you at once. You are not alone in feeling the things you are feeling. It is completely normal to mourn the birth you imagined but probably won't have. It's completely normal to mourn the life you imagined (cuddling with one babe, figuring out how to be a parent with one not two).

It seems impossible now, but there will likely come a point you'll be thrilled to have twins. For some, it happens as soon as they see those two little faces looking up at them. For me, it took about 15 months (really!) to really get to the point where I can think "wow, this is pretty cool, they are amazing, how lucky I am to have twins" instead of "holy sh!t, women were not built to have two newborns at one time, this is just too hard, i can't meet the needs of two little ones at the same time, etc." For about a month, I've LOVED having twins. For the 15 previous months, I managed. I loved them, but I was just getting by. Every mama will have a different experience, but I wanted to let you know it's OK to feel not all that excited at the thought of two.

As for the monoamniotic question. There is a mama on this board who had mo/mo twins (twins who shared an amniotic sac) -- if you do a search, I think she had a link in her signature that says "What are monoamniotic twins?" It links to a great website about mo/mo twins and precautions you can take, things you can ask, what you need to know. It *is* a risky thing, but it doesn't have to be bleak. The best think you can probably do is talk to other mamas who are (or were) in the same boat. My twins were monochorionic/diamniotic -- they shared a placenta but had separate amniotic sacs (it was so thin, though, that not all U/S techs could see it... so I did a bit of reading about mo/mo twins). Like yours, though, they were at risk for TTTS (twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome). Again this is kind of a scary thing -- but something that the doctors can watch for.

Hang in there, mama. I recommend the books mentioned (Noble and Luke), and, after you've had time to adjust to the idea of two, Karen K. Gromada's Mothering Multiples is awesome. Best of luck to you and your sweet identical babes!!
post #9 of 28
Hang in there, For my third pregnancy I had planned to have a home birth, then went to high risk. Unfortunately doctors will tell you alot of BS to save their asses from a law suit. It sound like your having mono mono twins! My neighbor had mono mono twins and was told that the babies would die and not survive the pregnancy, then was told that their head were fused together as her pregnancy continued and went for another ultrasound she coughed and the heads separated. Imagine how much undue stress she went through. She did get a c/section because of the umbilical cords, one weighed more than other, they were in the NICU w/acid reflux and then she just had it dealing with docs and signed them out and went home and they are very healthy girls. I have a feeling everything will be fine, I'm sure you're feeling that deep down in your heart. Take care of yourself, don't stress and don't be afraid to question the specialists or even get 2nd opinions don't take their word for it. I know my specialists failed me. Keep the faith and good luck to you.
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
I am amazed at how fast you all replied. It gived me hope that even have time to be online on a Saturday.

DH found a website that showed how many people are misdiagnosed with TTTS, so I'm going to take this one day at a time and work through things.

My diet was pretty stellar before-more of a GD diet just to keep my weight dfrom getting out of hand. Just recently I added protein shakes, so now I'm closer to the Brewer diet.
The Down's reference was pertaining to the fact I'm 35.
I agree the doc was painting an alarmist picture. I am really looking forward to a higher level US and hopefully they can see a sac in between them and back the hell off.

All I can say is, thank you so much already for your helpful wors. I WILL be reading up and getting some good books and eventually I will be able to wrap my head around this situation and will reread all these posts again.

I have to be away from internet for two days. Will check back in Monday.
Big (((((((((((((((((((((((((squish)))))))))))))))))))

post #11 of 28
Originally Posted by LoisLane View Post
I recommend the books mentioned (Noble and Luke), and, after you've had time to adjust to the idea of two, Karen K. Gromada's Mothering Multiples is awesome.
yes yes to all of that! - and there is a yahoo group that is incredibly helpful - it's called apmultiples.

I was so terrified and overwhelmed and sad when I found out I was having twins - I had a 3 year old and I had had a late miscarriage before the twins and I just felt like I wanted that baby back, not these two who were going to be so hard. And I had mine at 41!

I was not very healthy or in shape before having them but still there was no bedrest or NICU or any big problems at all. Of course everyone's experience is different but if I could have it easy, anyone could.

I totally understand how you would feel disappointed. But I've never met any mothers of twins whose disappointment lasted forever. I can't tell you how incredibly lucky I feel now that I've had twins. Not that it was all easy, especially since I had another child to take care of - lots of tears and lots of laughter - often at the same time. Plan on some part time help in the beginning.

And don't be afraid of boys! Boys are wonderful, really!!

go eat some protein, drink a bunch of water and join that yahoo group. And congratulations!
post #12 of 28
My twin boys had TTTS. I got the most infor from this website, run by a mom of TTTS twins named Mary. She is wonderful.

I was on bedrest, saw a MFM and a perinate every week, but ended up having a wonderful vaginal birth in the hospital. I was at the University of Michigan. So if you're anywhere near there, I can recommend a doc known as the "twin" doc, because he sees all the mults.

TTTS is diagnosed by markers, and usually happens to twins who AREN'T mono/mono (share a sac). It's typically twins who are monochorionic/diamniotic (share a placenta, don't share a sac). You definitely need more information.

Do they definitely share a sac? Is there a membrane between them? How big is the membrane? Are they oligo/poly with amniotic fluid? What's the size discrepancy?

If they are mono/mono it's unlikely TTTS. There is a mom on here whose twins were mono/mono.
post #13 of 28
If it helps, the first words out of my mouth when I found out I was having twins were "Oh sh*t." I was so numb and scared witless I couldn't even cry.

You've gotten lots of great responses already, some of which I will echo:
  • Get the Barbara Luke book and focus on the nutrition info. Eat protein, protein, protein and drink water, water, water. (And don't worry about your own weight gain, nursing twins will get rid of it fast. I gained 80 pounds and was 10 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight by the time my babes were 3 months old!)
  • Mothering Multiples is a great book on nursing twins.
  • Find a LLL group near you and start attending meetings before you deliver. I was determined to be prepared for babies in the nicu and all that. I thankfully didn't need any of that info, but I knew what to do in the event it happened. And I was lucky enough to find a LLL leader who was nursing twins in my area!
Personally, I felt much better and more in control once I was armed with information. You have a lot of time to read up and make choices regarding the care you will seek for you and your babies.

Good luck and let us know how things are going!
post #14 of 28
I replied on your other thread but in case you dont see it, take it easy this weekend!
post #15 of 28
I too understand your feelings!! I wasn't going to be tested, or touched during my second pg. Then I lost a triplet, and discovered I had twins . . . "oh, wow!"

From there, everything was hard and I was very sad about losing my homebirth. But my boys are now 18 months old and a joy!!

For now, just feel your feeling, and talk to your husband and to your babies. Tell them what you are feeling and let them know that is just temporary feelings and it will pass.

Then deal with life, one baby step at a time.
post #16 of 28
Hi Jude,

I'm, so far as I know, the only Mama of Monoamniotic twins here. We went through a lot of the emotions you did - we had a planned waterbirth VBAC and then found out we were having twins and THEN found out they were in the same amniotic sac. I was transferred from my midwife to their OB/GYN, to the head of Maternal Fetal Medicine at our University Hospital. Talk about scared!! The pictures painted at first by everyone were very grim - the MFM doctor even told us not to expect to make it to viability because cord accidents most often happened in the first trimester.

The AWESOME news is that you've made it to 22 weeks! That's incredible! The next task for us, was choosing our viability age. Some people go with 24W and some with 26W - we chose the latter. At viability, your doctor will want to start agressive monitoring of the twins to watch for a pattern of heartrate decels that point to cord compression. It greatly varies as to how your doctor will request that you be monitored. The current study shows a 99% success rate with inpatient hospital monitoring, 2 times per day, one hour each time. Some doctors ask you to commit to 24/7 monitoring and some couples feel like that's the way to go. After much thought, my husband and I chose twice daily monitoring with an at home company. We live less than 5 minutes from a hospital that could've delivered the girls if we saw heartrate decels and 10 minutes from the hospital with a Level III NICU.

The next difficult choice is when to deliver your boys. For our girls, we chose 32W. At 29W I had a scare with preterm labor and we saw what an emergency delivery would be like. That's not how we wanted things to go. The study I mentioned above does advise delivery at 32W. Some doctors/couples feel safe going to 34W, but most that I see do that do step up monitoring to 24/7 and deliver at the slightest sign of distress. Statistically, at 32W the risk of cord compression is as great as the risk of morbidity outside the womb.

Our girls spent 5W in the hospital with no long lasting ill effects.

Weight gain wasn't that big a deal for me, I gained 20 pounds and the girls were 4.6 and 4.4 at 32W - good weights. I drank daily protein shakes, ate when I was hungry and took my prenatals and fish oil.

The need for a c-section was my biggest hurdle to overcome. I so wanted a vbac this time around and was willing to do anything to avoid another surgical birth experience. Unfortunately, you will be hard pressed to find anyone willing to deliver Monoamniotic twins vaginally. There's no guarantee that the cords will be loose enough to allow the vaginal delivery of Baby A and then even if Baby A is delivered he can cause the cord tangle to pull tight risking Baby B's life. I even had several midwives message me from MDC stating they would not attend a Monoamniotic twin birth, and even one who delivered Monos unknowingly and was shocked that they made it.

We don't do many medical interventions at all, but I really honestly knew that this pregnancy needed to be handled differently. In the end it was certainly worth it, but it was honestly the hardest time in my life.

I have a fussy twin now, but please check out my link in my sig and the discussion forums there. It's no MDC, but the ladies (and Dads) know what you're going through. Please PM me if you'd like to talk or I'd be happy to pass along my and my husband's e-mail addresses if you or your husband would like to talk.
post #17 of 28
I have no experience with mono/mono twins (mine didn't share anything) and it sounds like Anna is the person to go to for info! Just wanted to offer you support and a
post #18 of 28
Just adding my own and good thoughts for you as you work your way through this. You will adapt, and do what's best for your babies. and, in the end, you will never be able to imagine only having had one
post #19 of 28
post #20 of 28
I hope you can get all the information you are looking for, momma! I don't know anything about your babies situation, but I do know twin boys. They are amazing! My little guys are so much fun. Honestly, I think my two boys were (and still are) way less work than my one niece!! Being scared of multiples is a very natural reaction. I'm a twin myself and I did the "holy s**t" thing when I found out there were two babies growing in me.
Best wishes and, please, keep us posted!
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