If you didn't have a u/s, when did you find out you were having multiples? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-09-2011, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not planning on having an u/s this pregnancy, but I'm suspecting multiples. There are a lot of things that point to no (no family history, I'm young, etc), but some things are pointing to yes (breastfeeding while conceived, measuring big, more symptoms than last pregnancy, etc). I know this sounds silly, but people have been joking about it being twins since they found out I was pregnant, so that probably adds to my paranoia.

 

Anyway, I'm just wondering when I should know either way. I've heard stories of moms who didn't find out until birth, but I'd like to hear some other possibilities. When did you find out? What made your doctor/midwife suspect? Did you get an u/s after the suspicion to confirm?


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Old 08-10-2011, 08:52 AM
 
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How much bigger are you measuring and how far along are you?  I'll just tell you now what every other comment will say on here:  Go get an US.  I typically avoid US, too.  Did not use it, even for listening to FHT for four of my pregnancies.  But, with my twins, I suspected very early on, DO have family history, and was driving myself insane with the questions.  We had the US to confirm at 19 weeks, so were able to get a thorough anatomy scan, confirm separate sacs (di/di) and placenta placement.  It may be even more important for you to find out without a family history, because identicals may be likely.  That increases your risk of complications that can be handled with appropriate monitoring, etc.  But you can't manage them if you don't know if there are multiples.  If your planning home birth, you may want to reconsider depending on your comfort, your birth teams skills, etc.


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Old 08-10-2011, 02:53 PM
 
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I'll come out, and jump in with you lactatinggirl.  I'm 13 weeks and have suspected two babies since conception.  I'm avoiding ultrasound and will continue to... although it's likely we'll take a peek somewhere between 30 and 35 weeks.  My prospective midwives support my intuition and I'm likely planning a hospital birth.  Of course my OB would like to U/S to confirm... but at 9 weeks I measured 6 weeks ahead and now am measuring 7 weeks ahead.  FTR, I'm 40- so that definitely changes the opportunities. Oh, and I'm VBAC.  I think we'll be able to palpate two soon enough.  I figure that at this point, my self care doesn't change no matter how many babies there are.  I just have to listen to my body, eat enough, sleep enough, etc.


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Old 08-11-2011, 05:52 AM
 
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Go get an ultrasound....Twin pregnancies are not something to play around with it.  There are times where modern medical technology is very helpful and lifesaving and this is one of them.  There are certain cases of twins (momo and twin to twin transfusion) that require special medical care during pregnancy to have a good outcome in some cases.  Maybe because I have had a number of friends who have used that medical technology in order to bring home healthy twins...if they hadn't they would have been planning two funerals instead.  I could never live with myself if I put my children at risk.  Things do go wrong with twin pregnancies..some of those things can be prevented by monitored by US and using modern medical technology.  It is just careless to throw that out the window...

 

I had planned to have no US, a homebirth...everything....that all went out the window when I felt I was pregnant with twins...I had a wonderful vagional birth in a hospital...even in the OR...and I now how happy and healthy 2 month old twin boys. 


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Old 08-11-2011, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm 18 weeks and my midwife hasn't started measuring me yet because fundal height isn't very reliable before 20 weeks. My midwife says that if I start growing at leaps and bounds beyond 20 weeks, she'll recommend ultrasound. Of course if she recommends it, I'll take her advice and get it.

 

I tend to think of pregnancy as something normal, even in the case of twins. I understand why some would worry about the extra risks associated with twins, but if it turns out to be twins we'll find out soon enough to monitor any potential problems. There are more things to think about in a twin pregnancy I'm sure, but I don't like walking into a pregnancy thinking that I'll automatically have the worst happen. We'll deal with all of this as it comes.


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Old 08-11-2011, 09:39 AM
 
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I pray that if you are pregnant with twin that you are lucky enough to have healthy babies...But it is hard to take problems as they came if you don't get an US to see if there are any problems....I mean how does that make sense?  Yes, pregnancy is a normal thing...but sadly so is babies dieing...but luckly we live in a time where problems can be found early and fixed...The fatiality rate for twin to twin tranfushion used to be 90%...now it is 10%...due to a lazer surgery that can be done...of course it has to be done by 18 to 20 weeks....it is best found as early as possiable.  And in the case of momo twins...their cords can get tangled at any point...

 

I would rather walk into pregnancy with the knowledge that shit happens...but I damn well will do anything to make sure I have healthy twins in the end...

 

Again I pray that you never have to find out that stuff does go wrong and babies do die. 


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Old 08-12-2011, 04:56 AM
 
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I don't have an answer for the title question since I found out I was having multiples when I had an ultrasound (it wasn't on my radar at all at the time, so it was a shock, though nurses & midwives commented that it explained some things like why I was so intensely sick, though of course hyperemisis is not limited to multiple pregnancies!)

 

I guess without issuing dire cautions, I could say that positive outcomes in twin pregnancies (in terms of avoiding complications, going to term, healthy birthweights corresponding to normal singleton sizes for gestational age) tend to correlate with certain things such as a significant & early (by 20 weeks) weight gain and a diet that specifically supports twin pregnancy needs (such as increased weight gain & early gain, significant protein, lots of water.)  I'm not sure that I'd have focused specifically on drinking a gallon of water a day (at least this was my target & I kept a daily supply in the fridge to stay in touch with what I WAS consuming) had I not been aware.  Same with the protein, although my natural aversions & tastes did guide me in some important ways (though I didn't want any dairy, which limited my protein options somewhat in terms of how some folks meet their requirements.)

 

An early ultrasound during the window when they still can accurately count the individual layers of the membrane(s), that can definitively determine chorionicity can rule out potential problems for some twin types (by ruling out that twin type) but there's usually some other reason for an ultrasound that early on (and detecting twins is a by-product.)  So if you are not generally planning on u/s, likely you miss that window.

 

It's true that chronic TTTS (twin to twin transfusion syndrome) can develop by or before the "common" 18-20 week ultrasound, and it's true that knowing about it through monitoring & measurements (visualizing the bladders, seeing individual fluid levels & how the dividing membrane "behaves" between the twins, monitoring growth and noting discrepancies between the babies that equal one growing "at the expense of" the other or whether they are generally keeping pace) makes it possible to manage the situation and improve outcomes.  So knowing can help change things, and can make further intervention possible if needed.  And as far as I know, only ultrasound would reveal situations when a more extreme intervention (such as the laser surgery mentioned before) could help.  And yes, it could save lives.  It's more common to monitor FOR TTTS, though, not to actually diagnose & see it happening (but avoiding ultrasound could mean missing the development of something that could have been monitored, managed, and perhaps surgically addressed if need be.)

 

For mo-mo twins, I'm not sure that knowing their status prevents anything until you are beyond a certain point where actual intervention could be possible, but once they are viable it could be possible to deliver them early if they were in trouble (again, detected by ultrasound) which makes some special complications avoidable.  And maybe adjusting activity to reduce risk if they are revealed to be problematically entangled (with bedrest/positioning and monitoring of the situation) could prevent a tragedy.....I don't know what is typical for a mo-mo pregnancy.  (And the chances of conceiving monochorionic/monoamniotic twins are statistically low!)  But it seems that before a certain point, knowing the mo-mo status by ultrasound would not be specifically life-saving (though it could be later on.)  And knowing about mo/mo status would influence birth choices, which could DIRECTLY affect survival of the twins in that very rare instance.

 

Chronic TTTS is more of an issue (if you have identical twins and if they share a single placenta) or at least less remote than the mo/mo situation, and is something that can present earlier, and something that can be managed (not merely monitored) if it is detected.

 

And more generally still, supporting twin pregnancy through (primarily) dietary response is something that it helps to do early, so knowing about the twins can make a perhaps tangible difference (in outcome) that way.  I guess that depends on what kind of dietary habits you already have in pregnancy (for example, if you happen to follow the Brewer's diet, your protein intake is closer to recommended levels for twin pregnancy, though I think it still takes a fair bit of tweaking.)  This is not particularly conventional thinking, though, as some doctors don't even mention protein to mothers known to be carrying multiples, let alone recommend or advise a significantly higher weight gain, or emphasize that ~20 lbs or so of the total gain should ideally come in the first half of the pregnancy.

 

But as far as the actual question, (not the aside about whether ultrasounds are advisable when you suspect twins), I'd think that measuring and palpating could give you a good idea, good enough not to be surprised at birth.  Listening for the heartbeat (however you do it) and having the midwife check for another rather than just settling on the one she finds first as "it" could help to answer the suspicions, too.

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Old 08-14-2011, 10:29 AM
 
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In my twin pregnancy, it was hard--almost impossible--to get two heartbeats every visit.  Even with doppler use, which I allowed occasionally for this pregnancy to be sure both babes were well charted in case of a needed transfer of care.  Palpation was hard, too.  We couldn't discern two heads until the very end, and only did then because we really dug for B's head knowing in fact there were two.  One of my midwives was experienced in twin birth.  I think feeling that "you'll find out eventually" is rather naive, due to my experiences with my twins.  We did go on to have a home birth.  It would have been a wiser choice to have a hospital birth, given the unpredictable events that happened in our birth, but we all survived, B didn't need resus for too long and we sent the paramedics away.  I don't believe twins actually are "normal" in a human pregnancy.  A common situation, yes, but common does not equate normal.  The human body is designed to support a single pregnancy, and twins tax the body beyond normal.  As a midwifery student, I have seen several twin pregnancies that went undiagnosed until preterm labor and birth happened, even to other well-educated midwifery students.  Nutrition is vital to maintaining a healthy twin pregnancy.  We recently had a thread here on our weight gains during our twin pregnancies, and a very common theme was how difficult it is to put on weight at the end.  Waiting until twins are obvious is not the best nutritional plan.  You need to put on weight early and plan how you are going to pack in extra protein when your body just doesn't want to cooperate any more.  I gained about 6 pounds my whole third trimester.  US should be reserved for situations which warrant it's use, as side effects haven't been properly examined.  But the side effects of not diagnosing a twin pregnancy outweigh the potential, unconfirmed side effects of thoughtfully used US.


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Old 08-24-2011, 08:51 PM
 
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Well this pregnancy started off as what I thought was a singleton. Then there were 2 sacs discovered and I went all the way until

13 weeks until the third was located. Pretty frustrating but my peri says unless your u/s equipment is Hi Res, it's not all that reliable.

 

So here I am 16w5d along with trips, measuring at 24.5 cm fundal. They're not going to allow me to go beyond 30 weeks because

they don't think I have enough room in my uterus. So far I feel fine. My PIH resolved itself after a brief stint on meds. Someone on 

here joked that it would be funny to find trips after a twin pregnancy but I didn't actually laugh when they told me. Lol. 

 

I am not a fertility patient. Never have been.. DH carries the twin protein in his body so we have a Di/Di and a Frat - boy/boy/girl

combo. The girl is pretty big and measures 4 days ahead of the boys. I think it's because she has more room. Carrying trips is not

like any pregnancy I've ever experienced. Already I'm very uncomfortable at night and short of breath when walking. I'm pretty short

at 5'1 so I can only grow outwards. My girl stimulates my bladder all day long and one of the boys (I can't tell yet) does something

with my nerves where the back of my right leg itches. It's weird. I hired a nutritionist today to help me go the full 30 weeks. I'm still

nursing the twins, who are almost 6 months now and growing like weeds. I nurse 4x day and they get solids and formula the other

times. 

 

Was this thread about u/s? Lol. Sorry. I would definitely get the u/s. Why be in the dark about something like this? It would be for

the good of the baby. I am thankful for my u/s because it reassures me that my Smurfs aren't getting twisted up in their cords. 

 

Good luck to you! :)

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Old 11-12-2011, 03:29 PM
 
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I'm just lurking through the posts here.  I'm 9 wks pg with #4. Both DH & I have an increasing suspician of twins.  I was planning a UP/UC with this pregnancy as all my other babies were UC so this suspician has thrown me for a loop & all my plans are now in the air.  I had been looking forward to my first pregnancy with NO ultrasounds, but suddenly this suspician has turned from a *maybe* feeling to an *almost certian* feeling so it's time to do some more research!! 

 

I just wanted to say a big thank you, in particular to AmyC and mylilmonkeys for the information provided in this thread.  It's been very hard to find actual INFORMATION (that identifies problems, discusses liklihood and remedies) to use in making an informed decision about how to proceed.  Seems like everywhere I look there's talk of the risks of twins and how irresponsible it would be not to go a more medicalized route without clearly outlining WHY.   Even though I was pretty set on calling my MWs monday morning to schedule an appt and ultrasound, I feel even more confident having some clear risk vs benefits outlined, so I thought i'd express some appreciation :)  Thanks mamas!!!


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Old 11-13-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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I'm glad you're finding the help you need!  Please come back and let us know when you find out one way or the other!


Mom to eight!!  Our twin girls arrived 3-3-2011.

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Old 11-13-2011, 01:50 PM
 
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Hmm I am seeing a MW who has delivered many twins actually. I had dreams of twins for months before I got pregnant but have no clue really. I am 15 weeks now. I would still plan a HB if it is twins but would get an U/S late in the pregnancy to see about positioning...

 

I have a good chance of twins considering my father and DH are both twins.

 

If my MW thinks my size or something warrants an U/S to see for twins, I will get one.

 

I don't automatically see twins as an emergency or anything like that...and still don't trust OBs anyway. If I HAD to birth in a hospital I would OB shop for some time and absolutely hire a doula with a backbone. I would still try my best for a vaginal birth and would avoid drugs (b/c they would most likely lead to more and more interventions)

 

I do hypnobabies and that works great for me.


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Old 11-13-2011, 02:52 PM
 
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I was pretty sure I as having twins before my 10 week ultrasound (but had one then, just before the midwives told me I was no longer eligible for the birth center). Twins are not automatically an emergency.  Wanting to be aware of issues isn't the same as panicking. And I found that knowing there were twins meant I could prioritize resting and eating fourteen million grams of protein a day and drinking lots of water. And then going on bed rest. All non-invasive things that got my girls big and kept them in until they could be born and come home. (there was nifedipine in there to keep them in, then prostoglandins to get them out, but the actual birth was unmedicated with an awesome doctor and an awesome doula and my wonderful husband)

 

By all means pick your practitioners very carefully, and definitely definitely get a doula. But one can pull in some amounts of technology without making it either an invasive free-for-all or a panicked emergency. And sometimes you draw the short straw and you need all the help you can get.

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Old 11-23-2011, 09:46 PM
 
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I'm willing to do one u/s per pregnancy (unless there's trouble) and my 20-week u/s revealed twins.  My OB couldn't get two heartbeats, didn't palpate them, and I was in complete denial (my little ones were 18 mo & 3 1/2!)  prior.  My first two births were all natural, hands-off, with only one u/s.  But I'm very glad I had them checking in on the twins (the least amount necessary, of course).

 

But there are cases with twins where u/s can save a life.  Two friends of mine recently gave birth (albeit early) to their twins because of growth issues, major growth issues, where one or both babies wouldn't have made it had they not found it on u/s.

 

The idea of u/s scares me too but if you suspect twins you're better of finding out for sure and then if all is well just not getting another one.


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Old 11-26-2011, 08:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post

Hmm I am seeing a MW who has delivered many twins actually. I had dreams of twins for months before I got pregnant but have no clue really. I am 15 weeks now. I would still plan a HB if it is twins but would get an U/S late in the pregnancy to see about positioning...

 

I have a good chance of twins considering my father and DH are both twins.

 

If my MW thinks my size or something warrants an U/S to see for twins, I will get one.

 

I don't automatically see twins as an emergency or anything like that...and still don't trust OBs anyway. If I HAD to birth in a hospital I would OB shop for some time and absolutely hire a doula with a backbone. I would still try my best for a vaginal birth and would avoid drugs (b/c they would most likely lead to more and more interventions)

 

I do hypnobabies and that works great for me.


As the mother of twins, I'm often dismayed on this board to see the cavalier and uninformed attitude toward prenatal care and the safe birth of twins here.  Especially since so many people who don't have twins feel the need to comment and possibly influence women who are pregnant with confirmed twins.

 

Here are some actual facts for the above poster: You are not at increased risk of twins if your father and DH are both twins.   Fraternal twins are on the maternal side, not the paternal side.  So your chance of twins is not influenced at all by whether your husband or your father are twins. And Identical twinning is completely random, so again, that doesn't matter.  I haven't ever seen a statistic about the likelihood of having twins after dreaming about them, so I can't address that one. 

 

Also, twins are not an emergency, but they are not normal either.  If I had taken your attitude, one of my 9 yo twins would not be alive today.  I'm completely offended by your uninformed post.  We are talking about children here, not your vague principals about trusting OBs.  A scan early in pregnancy can literally save a life.  Your attitude is mind boggling to me. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Old 11-26-2011, 07:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaimom View Post


As the mother of twins, I'm often dismayed on this board to see the cavalier and uninformed attitude toward prenatal care and the safe birth of twins here.  Especially since so many people who don't have twins feel the need to comment and possibly influence women who are pregnant with confirmed twins.

 

Here are some actual facts for the above poster: You are not at increased risk of twins if your father and DH are both twins.   Fraternal twins are on the maternal side, not the paternal side.  So your chance of twins is not influenced at all by whether your husband or your father are twins. And Identical twinning is completely random, so again, that doesn't matter.  I haven't ever seen a statistic about the likelihood of having twins after dreaming about them, so I can't address that one. 

 

Also, twins are not an emergency, but they are not normal either.  If I had taken your attitude, one of my 9 yo twins would not be alive today.  I'm completely offended by your ininformed post.  We are talking about children here, not your vague principals about trusting OBs.  A scan early in pregnancy can literally save a life.  Your attitude is mind boggling to me. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Being pregnant with twins, I totally agree with you. I am not comfortable with many ultrasounds during pregnancy. With this pregnancy I had a dating U/S done at 7 weeks because I suspected my LMP would not be reliable for making a correct due date and I didn't want any problems or pressures later about being overdue when I really wasn't. So I had the dating U/S done and that was when they found twins, and I have honestly had too many to count since then. It's not ideal, but I'd rather have two healthy babies born on time than anything else. 

 

I would like to correct one thing, Chaimom, and that is that if her father is a fraternal twin, it could be that she got the genetic tendency to have fraternal twins from his side. In my case, my paternal grandmother had fraternal twins (my aunt and uncle) and I guess I got the gene from my father. But you are right that her DH being a twin has nothing to do with it.

 

Also, this is off my left foot, but I think ID (female) twins do have a tendency to have ID twins. 

 

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Old 11-26-2011, 09:13 PM
 
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 Here's some information about twins.

 

http://multiples.about.com/od/pregnancy/a/familytwin.htm

 

 

 

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Old 11-27-2011, 11:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaimom View Post


As the mother of twins, I'm often dismayed on this board to see the cavalier and uninformed attitude toward prenatal care and the safe birth of twins here.  Especially since so many people who don't have twins feel the need to comment and possibly influence women who are pregnant with confirmed twins.

 

Here are some actual facts for the above poster: You are not at increased risk of twins if your father and DH are both twins.   Fraternal twins are on the maternal side, not the paternal side.  So your chance of twins is not influenced at all by whether your husband or your father are twins. And Identical twinning is completely random, so again, that doesn't matter.  I haven't ever seen a statistic about the likelihood of having twins after dreaming about them, so I can't address that one. 

 

Also, twins are not an emergency, but they are not normal either.  If I had taken your attitude, one of my 9 yo twins would not be alive today.  I'm completely offended by your uninformed post.  We are talking about children here, not your vague principals about trusting OBs.  A scan early in pregnancy can literally save a life.  Your attitude is mind boggling to me. 

 

 

 

 

 

 



I think a lot of what you see as cavalier and uninformed is likely the beginnings of a thought process.  I'm sure you could see my first post about suspecting twins this way when I was just starting to explore that possibility & asked some pretty basic (uninformed) questions on the UC board.  When the 'twin feeling' presented innitially -- for me at least, it began as a vague hypothetical feeling. I was just testing the waters of what it *might* mean & that included asking (myself and others) if ultrasound was neccesary & if my UC plans should change... as the feeling became stronger (in just a matter of days) and more of a reality, I took it more seriously, learned more and ultimately decided on more diagnostics& medical help than I first imagined... People sharing information & their reasons for taking a more medical approach with twins helped me in that process.

     In my case, we were correct to suspect twins but the ultrasound showed a heartbeat on only one of them.  Another benefit we found to having that ultrasound is that we had confirmation of that baby's existence -- had we waited the other twin would likely have been reabsorbed and we would never have known for sure that our intuition/connection with that baby was something REAL.  It helped me process the loss to realize it was a real loss and not just the loss of some idea or fantasy that my husband and I had imagined...

     Anyway, just thought I'd share my process a little bit, as I've noticed that other women besides myself jump onto these boards in the middle of brainstorming to use them as a sounding board to begin to decide what information to collect next when they are just really in the innitial phases of exploring an idea & that isn't always an accurate depiction of where they'll be in that thought process (or how seriously they'll consider something) in a few days, or in my case, even a few hours researching online.

<3 Lia


Lia Joy Rundle CLD                             Self Directed Woman                                   Self Directed Childbirth
                                                           Womanhood is not a destination. It is an archaeological dig. 

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