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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Unassisted Childbirth › What do you do if you suspect a twin pg. if you're UP/UC'ing? *UPDATE* on the verdict #11...
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What do you do if you suspect a twin pg. if you're UP/UC'ing? *UPDATE* on the verdict #11...

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
I have been suspecting a twin pregnancy for a few weeks now, but after the recent post about whether or not one would have a UC twin birth, I've been desiring more to *know* for sure if there is one or two in there. Plus, we have some things coming up where I really need to know for sure, because it would greatly determine our plans.

So if you're UP/UC'ing, how would you go about finding out for sure if you're carrying one or two? I know the ultrasound is the obvious, but where do I get one without being asked a lot of questions? Or how can you avoid the questions? I know I'd be asked a lot of questions because of how far along I am now. How do you even make the appointment? What do you say?

Anyone else encounter this situation? What did you do? Why did you suspect twins?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
post #2 of 50
How far along are you? Have you tried using a fetoscope to detect two separate heartbeats? That's one way. Finding a heartbeat in two separate places is a good indicator. Also, are you doing fundal height measurements? I hear they are a fantastic indicator, though I've never had a twin pregnancy myself.

If it was me, I would have one ultrasound in the beginning of my third trimester just to make sure that the twins were of equal size. If all was well, I would go through with my twin pregnancy unassisted. You should be able to go to any hospital and request an ultrasound. You don't need to do it through a specific doctor and I'm pretty sure they cannot deny you but I'm not 100% on that. I've been to the hospital for ultrasound scans before when I was having miscarriages. I think if you just let them know you want to see if everything is okay, they will check you out and just assign you an on-staff OB for the day.
post #3 of 50
What is causing you to suspect a twin pregnancy?

I'm not sure fundal height is a reliable indicator ... SO many times over the years at cbirth or various UC message boards and email lists ... women have suspected twins because they were measuring large for dates but it never turned out to be twins.

There have been a couple cases of undiagnosed twins ... I'm thinking two ... one was about 18mos ago and the other was more recent but I'm not sure that was actually a UC ... it was more like a homebirth with midwives in training or something.

I have never had twins ... although people tease me about it all the time cause they run in my family (my maternal grandmother was a fraternal twin - she had a twin brother ... and my paternal grandfather had twin sisters and one of those sisters had twins) ... mostly though they don't know that, or know that the 'twin gene' is on the mom's side ... but they tease me about it because DH is a twin. His mother always felt she was carrying twins but nobody believed her - not even the docs ... it was 1969 and they didn't do ultrasounds at that time ... and the fetoscope or stethoscope detected only one heartbeat. Apparently BIL was hiding behind DH and their heartbeats were in unison. Everyone except MIL was shocked when they pulled the second baby out during her emergency c/s.

Dopplers can be rented but they are notorious for picking up an 'echo' through the cord or placenta because they are SO good at picking up sound ... whereas the fetoscope would be more accurate if you could get a heart beat in two separate areas ... but that didn't work for my MIL.

Some things I have heard are good indicators are measuring large for dates very early on and jumping a lot within a few weeks time (like measuring a little large and then suddenly doubling or something ) ... more intense symptoms early on ... measuring 'wide' as well as 'long' in the fundus ... and as pregnancy progresses, feeling full all over with no 'soft' area ... I guess the feeling of two bodies in there as opposed to one.

I would think the only way to diagnose twins for certain would be ultrasound. I wonder if you could go to one of those fetal imaging places and 'con' your way in for a quick peek just to see one or two babies? They don't have the best reputation but I know some people have used them with good results ... the thing is most places want to see some sort of proof of care or previous diagnostic ultrasound so I'm not sure how that would work.
post #4 of 50
I did a free standing us clinic. Easily enough done, I used the name of a midwife that's four hours away and said that I would take the paperwork to her at my next appointment. No problemo.
post #5 of 50
Thread Starter 
I mainly suspect it due to my size now. I'm bigger now than I was with my previous two at full term, who were perfectly healthy at birth. I'm just entering my third trimester. That's my main reason, which is why I'd just like an US to confirm or deny it. I'm not one who desires to have twins, but with my size and some very important events coming up in our lives, it would be extremely helpful to just know for sure. That's why I'm asking. I'll be happy with whatever God has in store for us and I won't be disappointed if it is a singleton!

Thank you for the responses so far!

Going to a hospital makes me nervous, because of the questions I'd be afraid they'd ask. But my neighbor's dd works as an L&D nurse at a local hospital, so maybe I'll ask my neighbor if she'd ask her dd about how that might work.

A freestanding US clinic? Forgive me for my ignorance, but I've never heard of one of those. Are you talking about a 3D/4D US clinic or a crisis pregnancy center? Regardless, what did you say about "why" you wanted an US and what kind of questions did you ask during the US, or what did they tell you during the US?

There is a local midwife who had a UC with her youngest child, so I'm tempted to contact her and see if she can be of any help. Hmm???

I only had a few moments to respond, so forgive me if my answers are short! But thank you, ladies, for kindly responding so far! I appreciate it greatly!
post #6 of 50
I had two ultrasounds during my twin pregnancy. One at 16 weeks I did at one of those freestanding ultrasound clinic places. Mine was more like an "ultrasound studio" which really makes me want to barf in theory (go there and pay to see your baby for a while without medical reason : ), but my midwife was 2 1/2 hours away and I just went in, gave them her name, and that was that. If you do one of those, make sure you check out the background of the person who does it-- mine was operated by a former high risk OB nurse with medical background and training in ultrasound.

My second ultrasound was at the local tech school. If you can find a midwife who will sign off on it for you (they have to sign the order beforehand), you can get a free ultrasound at a school that trains ultrasound techs. It's a tiny bit longer than usual, so the exposure is a bit longer, but not by much.

One thing to be on the lookout for is # of placentas. Even at my "non-medical" ultrasound, the nurse took a few extra pics that showed a second placenta, even though she wasn't supposed to.

Have you measured fundal height? If you're just starting 3rd trimester, you could be anywhere from 4 to 10 cm ahead at this point if you're carrying like typical twin mamas do. At 28 weeks, I was measuring something like 35 weeks.

Here's 27 weeks: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/163/3...669824.jpg?v=0

Here's 29 weeks:
post #7 of 50
Originally Posted by Luvmykiddos03 View Post
A freestanding US clinic? Forgive me for my ignorance, but I've never heard of one of those. Are you talking about a 3D/4D US clinic or a crisis pregnancy center? Regardless, what did you say about "why" you wanted an US and what kind of questions did you ask during the US, or what did they tell you during the US?
Around here, you cannot just walk into a hospital and request an ultrasound, there has to be some kind of emergency. However, there are a dozen freestanding clinics, here is the one I use
I just said we needed one to verify due date. I did tell her I'd probably be back in closer to due date to verify position since we were doing a homebirth.

The us was complete, what they would do for any other client. they verified due date through fetal measurements, checked placenta placement, blood flow, heart rate and nuchal transparency.
post #8 of 50
Are you measuring just by "size" or are you doing real fundal height. Yeah fundal height can be off but if you know you're say 32 weeks and measuring 42....

Can you feel 3 big parts? Like 2 heads and one butt?

I was pretty sure I was having twins by 12 weeks and I was right... my uterus was almost to my navel by then instead of 20 weeks.

But many many women think they're having twins and it ends up being one.
post #9 of 50
Thread Starter 
Thanks, ladies! You're awesome!

After speaking to my neighbor, the hospital US is out of the question. Even if I were seeing a midwife, my neighbor's dd said it'd be better to see one of those 3D/4D clinics than to be possibly hounded by the doctors at the hospital. I agree.

I wrote an email to the midwife I mentioned and I hope to hear back from her. At this point, if anything, I may ask if she'd be willing to do an ala carte appointment with me to just check up on everything. But I did ask her about the US and if she'd could be of any assistance to us with that.

As for those 3D/4D places, around here they are pretty strict about faxing your OB/midwife to confirm your prenatal care. So unless I can work something out with the midwife I mentioned, that would be a risky avenue to take. Multimomma, the link you posted seemed like they were lax about the prenatal care, so maybe if I lived in your neck of the woods, this wouldn't be an issue! Thanks for the information!

Christyc, thanks for the photo shots! By the way, you're very beautiful pregnant! But that's what I look like right now. I took a side shot almost just like that yesterday and yep, that's exactly what I look like.

MamaRabbit, I am hesitant to jump to conclusions with just my size or fundal height, which is why I want the US. What I do know is that I'm 28 weeks and measuring approximately 36cm. But that could mean absolutely nothing, which is why I'm still hesitant to say twins, but if it is, we really would like to know, so we can plan. I'm perfectly okay with a singleton!!

Like I said, this is something I've only recently pondered, because up until this point, I've just let my body do its thing and haven't really done much prenatal care, except taking good care of myself and my growing baby. I trust birth, so I haven't paid attention. So I have no idea what my fundal height was in previous weeks, nor did I care back then.

As for feeling two heads or what not, my stomach is so rock solid, I can only feel the movement inside of me. With my previous pregnancies, I could always "see" the movement on my belly at this point, but this go around, it's rock solid and I rarely see anything above surface. I sure can feel it, though! So trying to feel for a head...good luck!

This could just be a BIG baby, for all I know, but receiving an US would really put our minds at ease. Of all pregnancies, I'd choose to UP/UC this go round, wouldn't I? Haha!

I'm really hoping to hear back from the midwife soon, so we'll see what she may be able to help us with, if anything.

Thanks, again, ladies! I appreciate your responses so very much!
post #10 of 50
That does sound pretty big ...
I had a friend who measured really large and had a solid tummy like that too ... you could barely palpate it was so 'solid' ... she did her own prenatal care and suspected twins ... had an ultrasound and no twins and the fluid liked right on so who knows? My thinking would be a lot of fluid causing that solid feeling.
My belly is squishy ... hard in spots but squishy in spots too ... and I can see movement.

From what I'm told about this area, the same is true for the Ultrasound places ... they want to fax your provider or have proof that you have received a diagnostic ultrasound already. So I'm not sure what, if anything, I could or would be able to do in your situation ... I don't even have insurance!

I'm 27 weeks ... no idea what I am measuring though. I don't really measure but have paid attention ... around 12 weeks it was just out of my pubic area ... half way to my navel around 16 - 17 weeks and 21 - 22 weeks it was just at or around my navel ... then it seemed to jump high after that and I'd feel movement and kicks halfway between navel and ribs so I think there was a good growth spurt between 22 and 24 weeks for me... seems to me my 'shelf' is almost up to my ribcage now at 27 weeks. LOL! Not very accurate as far as measurements but it gave me assurance that belly was growing. Hiccups and heartbeat are down low on the left side and lots of movements - getting stronger all the time.

I hope you find some peace about this ... either an ultrasound or feeling at peace with 'not' knowing for sure.

Any belly pics to share? I need to take some soon ... haven't taken any this pregnancy.
post #11 of 50
Thread Starter 

Just wanted to update for those who wanted to know

I'm really not feeling up to talking right now, so you'll have to forgive me for being short, because it's a long story. Not to mention, we have a lot to do this week as you'll soon know why, so I only have a moment.

I did see the midwife I mentioned. She measured me as 42 cm at 28 weeks, which is what I finally accurately measured myself when I got one of those sewing measuring tapes to do it right (I was measuring with a ruler, because I couldn't find my sewing measuring tape). She and her apprentice listened for the heartbeat(s) and they found two very distinct heartbeats. I had already scheduled for the US at the place she recommended to me a few days prior to her doing this for me. But she said she was overly anxious to find out the news, because she is hesitant to ever say she suspects twins, but she really felt sure about this one. We were all so excited and couldn't wait to find out!

Well, sadly, I went into preterm labor instead. Therefore, I got to hold my babies (yes, babies) close to my heart as they went to be with the Lord. I miss and love them more than words could ever express! They are absolutely beautiful and perfect!

So the verdict was indeed twins for those who wanted to know.
post #12 of 50
I am SO deeply sorry for your loss.

My prayers are going out to you and your family.
post #13 of 50
I am so so sorry for your loss.

post #14 of 50
I am so sorry for the loss of your precious babies. My heart goes out to you.
post #15 of 50

I'm so sorry for the loss of your babies
post #16 of 50
oh mama, i am so very sorry. what did you name them?
post #17 of 50
I am so, so sorry! My heart hurts for you.

post #18 of 50

You and yours are in my thoughts.
post #19 of 50
s my thoughts and prayers are with you
post #20 of 50
I am so, so sorry. What a terrible loss.
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Unassisted Childbirth › What do you do if you suspect a twin pg. if you're UP/UC'ing? *UPDATE* on the verdict #11...