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#1 of 5 Old 09-03-2010, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, everyone! I just found out yesterday that I am nine weeks a long with mono/di twins, which I understand means that they are identical, but each have their own sack inside the gestational sack. I also have a twelve month old DD who I am currently still nursing four times a day. I have been reading through some old posts, and feel much better about things than I did last night and this morning, or I am at least accepting the fact that I am overwhelmed, stressed, worried, confused, and scared is entirely normal. In reading these past threads I do have some questions that I am hoping. Younkadies might be bake to help me with. They are kinda all over the place, but I guess that is the way things go with twins!

1). I didn't get to see my ob yet, just a nurse practitioner. I have another appointment set up for in four weeks where I will be getting another ultrasound to make sure that both babies are still healthy and to check my cervix where I will be able to see my ob. The NP made it seem like twin-twin transfusion really wasn't a concern since each baby had their own sack, but now that I am reading things online I am finding that this is not the case. I am kinda worried now. I am wondering if I should call my ob and talk to her or if I should just wait until the appointment in four weeks. Should I ask to be transferred to whoever in the practice has the most experience with mono/di twins? I know that there is only one doctor in the practice who will do a vaginal birth if baby b is breech, so I am wondering if I should ask to transfer to him anyways.

2). Weight gain. So far I haven't gained an ounce. I am not sick, and not too tired, I am just not hungry and sometimes get nauseous after just a few bites of food. I am also chasing my one year old all day. The NP did seemed concerned about my weight, though she did talk about making sure that I was getting enough calories for the 4!!! people I am providing nutrients to including my nursing DD. Now I am reading about the 24 pounds by 24 weeks and I am getting nervous. I am going to try and eat more. I reintroduced dairy and soy into my diet two weeks ago and DD seems to have outgrown her intolerance, so I am happy about that. I am worried that I am not going to gain enough weight, though. Should I talk to my Ob?

3) Strollers. DD is only going to be 20 months old whe. The babies come if I make it full term. I am going to need a huge stroller. I wore her 99% of the time until she learned to walk, and now she prefers the stroller because she can get in and out easier, though she does let me wear her sometimes. I would love to wear the twins as much as possible, but most likely there will be times when I need all three in a stroller. I was looking at the valco tri-mode twin because it has the toddler seat that can be put on when I need all three in it, or I can just put two in it and wear one. Does this seem like a good plan? Does anyone have the stoller and love or hate it?

4) cosleeping and other ap ideals. How on earth does this work? My dh and I are both concerned that we aren't going to be able to do the wonderful ap things that we have done with dd with any of the three babies will will have once the twins come. I donlt want to be a bad mom to any of them just because I am going ton have three under two.

5) breastfeeding. I don't even have specific questions or concerns, just am overwhelmed with the idea. I never pumped or used bottles with DD, but I am thinking that with 3 under 2 this is going to be necessary. I am going to have DD weaned by the time the twins come, though. Nursing three just seems like too much.

Thanks for letting me get al, this off my chest. I am going to go back to reading more old posts. Hopefully this will answer questions instead of bringing up even more!!!

Natalie ~ DH 8/04 ~ DD 8/09 ~ Identical Twin Boys Arrived at 34w5d on March 2, 2011

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#2 of 5 Old 09-03-2010, 11:58 AM
 
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Hi, and welcome!

My daughter was 17 months old when my boys were born. They had TTTS (shared placenta, different sacs). I'll address the parts of your post that I'm most familiar with.

First, TTTS is rare, even amongst MZ twins. HOWEVER, it does help if you have a practitioner that is not totally ignorant of TTTS concerns, and if you were told that two separate sacs means you don't have to worry about TTTS then whoever told you that is ignorant. Because TTTS is so rare, many doctors don't know what to do or what to look for. The things to keep an eye out for are size discrepancy and ambiotic fluid discrepancy. If that starts to happen, you will probably need a specialist AND to contact the TTTS foundation who will be able to educate both you and your OB. But...that is putting the cart before the horse. The odds are in your favor that you will only have to worry about this because we mommies worry over everything but you'll never have to deal with it.

Second, NO you do not have to wean. I nursed my daughter through my whole high risk pregnancy with the approval (not that I asked for it, but it was nice to get a thumbs up) from both my perinatologist AND my OB. You may start losing your milk soon and at some point it will switch to colostrum. I think I only truly lost my milk for a couple of weeks--everyone's different though. Let me tell you though, if you can at all swing it you DEFINITELY want a nursing toddler after birth!!! Twin engorgement is spectacular when it starts to happen but your eager toddler will be happy to take care of it for you so you can pump if you'd like or get the babies on the breast without having rock hard boob problems. Of course, if you start having productive contractions due to nursing or something like that, you'll need to wean, but...as I said everyone's different, I didn't remotely have a problem with that, so I got to tell OBs and peris other than mine to (nicely or not, depending on how pushy they were) to bugger off if they decided they'd like to comment on it.

Third--I got a triple stroller. I hated it, but I hated the alternatives more. CHeck with mother of twins clubs to see if someone will sell you their old one (or chuck it at you to get it out of their house) BEFORE you buy a new one. (Do you live in the Seattle area? I have one you could have for free if you do. ) if you decide to go the triple route. But I do know folks that have done a sling/carrier for one and put the other two in a double (rotating which baby is in the carrier). I liked the skinny strollers (the kids are behind each other, rather than being side by side) best since I had to take the kids shopping a lot in it and it was easier to negotiate aisles. But I know people that swear by side by side too.

I'm never one to downplay how scary this can all be. And I won't lie--you'll likely have to endure having to walk the thin line between smart use of monitoring and beating back people who want to intensely medically manage you. Multiples moms need to be tough--if you're not, don't worry, you'll get there faster than you think. Don't let doctors or the Oh-My-Kids-Are-Just-Like-Twins-Let-Me-Tell-You-How-It-Is people bully you. You still get to make the decisions, and you can still be an informed, confident mama. You just get to do a little more reading, is all.
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#3 of 5 Old 09-03-2010, 01:20 PM
 
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I've certainly never been more overwhelmed than the day the u/s tech looked over with a grin and "Guess what??"

I'm now 28 weeks with mono/di twins. I did switch to a high-risk practice because they're the only group in my area that routinely delivers twins vaginally (especially a breech twin B-- everywhere else would automatically send me to a c-section). Tigerchild covered the issues with TTTS already. Because MZ babies share a placenta, I've been monitored every other week since the beginning of 2nd trimester for early signs of TTTS. They essentially check by u/s that both are roughly the same size and fluid levels remain high. At the same time, they check that my cervix is long and closed. I've had no issues so far. My hospital has actually performed some of the first laser surgeries to treat TTTS. But try not to google too much (like I did)-- it is truly a rare complication, although it's good to know that there are steps you can take to identify and possibly treat it.

My personal experience in this high-risk practice has been good- I'm probably one of their "easier" patients. Since they've seen just about everything, they aren't quite so nervous about multiples as my original OB. For example, in the 1st trimester they encouraged me to continue exercising, even jogging, while my first OB was adamant about quitting and taking it easy. (For the record, I was way too exhausted and winded to jog but I have continued walking quite a bit throughout.)

Re Nursing: This wasn't an issue for me this time although I did nurse through my last pregnancy. dd was 2 then and only really nursing for naps and bedtime. She continued to nurse (though infrequently) for about 6-8 months after her brother was born. It WAS really nice to get her to lay down when I needed her to. But this pregnancy has been tougher physically for me (not terrible but certainly more tiring and more 1st trimester nausea) and so I'm not sure what I would have done if I was still nursing this time around. I think this is one of those decisions you don't need to make right away... maybe just see how you feel every couple weeks and give yourself longer breaks between sessions when you need to.

Good luck and of course-- congratulations!
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#4 of 5 Old 09-03-2010, 03:41 PM
 
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I can't commiserate with most of it, because I didn't know beforehand it was twins... (I did find plenty of other things to worry about, just check my ddc )

But as far as co-sleeping, yes my big boy (also under 2) is out of my bed, but the two babies sleep with me. I have co-slept with a newborn and toddler, but this toddler is not trustworthy!

I also nursed the whole pregnancy, although only once or twice a day. He still does nurse occasionally, although I don't actively really encourage it. You don't have to decide yet - you can always wean if you are really finding it hard.

Loads of blessings, and learning on the job.
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#5 of 5 Old 09-03-2010, 04:08 PM
 
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I didn't find out about my twins until the 20 week u/s and I'm sort of glad. It made for far fewer weeks of worry. It seemed that worry set in immediately upon hearing the news. Mine are identical (though nobody can tell me with 100% certainty without a DNA test) but had their own sacs. It is unclear about the placenta, not sure if it was one huge one or fused. But, you can't tell my boys apart and they have been the exact same height and weight since the 20 wk u/s.

Nursing is still going well at almost 7 mo. I recommend the EZ2Nurse pillow (I have two, one for upstairs, one downstairs). One I picked up on here and the other was free from a local MoM. I haven't needed to pump or give bottles at all. I've chosen to, twice, because I had a bridal shower and a birthday lunch. But in total my twins have only gotten two bottles each in their little lives. We just started solids here too.

My OB treated me like any other patient but did request a couple extra u/s to check for TTTS. So, I had two additional u/s. Overall my pregnancy was stellar. I had an issue with itching at around 33 weeks which made the last month a little difficult. But I managed (and have great recommendations for PUPPP if anyone wants them).

My twins were transverse when I went into labor but my OB was willing to wait until I was in labor to determine the need for a cesarean. It was tough not knowing but great to know he'd deliver as long as Baby A was presenting a head.

At 20 wks I had only gained a few pounds. The dr told me I needed to gain 50-60 lbs by the end and I promptly began "eating for three" even moreso than I was. I followed the guidelines of the Brewer Diet and Dr. Luke's book. I found them extremely helpful (and, good foods = good weight, I lost as quickly as I gained).

For the stroller, I got the snap n go because I have two older children and needed to get in and out quickly (school drop offs and such). I also had a tandem from the older guys and multiple slings and carriers. Thankfully my DS wants to walk most places now so I just use the double. But my favorite has been the Combi Twin Sport (side-by-side). Tandems have their place but my boys (now almost 7 mo) like to be able to see more than the tandem allows. For me, it was easier to throw my DS in a sling (lucky-baby) than the babies. They'd knock heads. Instead I carried them when we weren't out and about. I've always found it difficult to carry them though- it seemed that whenever I was carrying one the other would want to nurse or just be held. The constant in and out with the two older ones underfoot became frustrating to me (that may have been due to the type of sling I have, a wrap, something easier to pop them in and out of may have been easier).

I did find it tough to stick to my AP ideals. Bedsharing scared me with them like it hadn't with the older two. There was always a baby I felt wasn't 100% safe (the one tucked up under my arm was ok). So I used the arms' reach co-sleeper and just alternated based on which baby needed me at the time. I also found that I slept sitting up with both on the EZ2Nurse some nights! But those early weeks passed quickly and before long mine were sleeping decent stretches so I moved them into their own beds.

The most important lesson that having twins has taught me is to be flexible. You're dealing with two infants with their own ideas about how their little lives should be. For months I just had a "go with the flow" attitude with a focus on making sure everyone was fed and happy. We didn't go many places but we had a blast at home. We're just now running like we did pre-twins.

Valerie, wife to Kevin, mother to Elena (4), Jonathan (2), and twins, Andrew and Benjamin (2/2010)
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