Any way to diagnose twins w/o ultrasound? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 10-16-2005, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've read a bunch of other threads here, but most people seem to have had an US to dx a twin pregnancy. My MW wants to do one b/c I'm 14 weeks and measuring 19 (and my almost-3 y/o, before we even told her about being pg, kept saying, "I'm a big sister! There's a boy baby and a girl baby!"). But my dh and I would rather not have one unless it's absolutely necessary.

Anything else we could suggest to the mw? Does it ever work to get two mw's w. two dopplers to check?!

Thanks for the input!

Mama to four great girls: 14 , 12 , 7 and 4
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#2 of 19 Old 10-16-2005, 09:59 AM
 
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A good MW can feel by 24 weeks or so I think

Gigi. Mommy to 3 girls.
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#3 of 19 Old 10-16-2005, 12:52 PM
 
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I think your MW could tell by using the doppler to find 2 heartbeats. But sometimes that can be tricky, since apparently the baby doesn't like the sound and moves away from it. So you could really listen to the same heartbeat twice. Do you have any other symptoms? Measuring ahead could be a sign, but not necessarily. Are you wanting twins?

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#4 of 19 Old 10-16-2005, 01:04 PM
 
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I'm wondering why you want to avoid an u/s if you're comfortable with the doppler, which uses the same ultrasound technology. Think about it- if the baby keeps moving away from the doppler, maybe the baby knows it's not healthy and wants to get out of the way?

Later in the pregnancy, 2 heads can be felt in the same way that the baby's position can be felt- the head is hard, the rump is softer. Of course, no method is 100% accurate in diagnosing twins- even an u/s can be misleading if one baby is hiding behind the other. If you go to push out the placenta and it's another baby, then you know it's twins! :LOL

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#5 of 19 Old 10-16-2005, 02:10 PM
 
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I don't think you will be able to rule out twins by using two dopplers. I have twins and we tried to find two heartbeats several times using two dopplers but it was never convincing. You might be able to diagnose them by finding two heartbeats, but at that point your midwife would probably want an ultrasound to confirm it anyway.

As a pp mentioned, my understanding is that the doppler does use the same technology as u/s, so you might want to investigate that a bit more if your concern about u/s is with the technology.

And even late in the pregnancy it can be hard to diagnose twins by feeling for two heads, as in my case, when one girls head was so far in my pelvis that it was hard to feel. And she was positioned more against my back, with my other girl in front kind of blocking the way.

What would change if you do have twins? Would your midwife still be able to provide care? Or would you need to find someone else? Personally, I would put off the diagnosis as long as possible, because I find it less stressful. Other people do better knowing as soon as possible, so they can have more time to prepare. There are pros/cons to both approaches, so you just have to figure out what *you* are truly most comfortable with.
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#6 of 19 Old 10-16-2005, 02:21 PM
 
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Lots of twins can have what's called "empathetic" heartbeats, hb's that are so close that they even fluctuate in the exact same places and have the same rhythm, so it could be really hard to diagnose by hb alone.

I was gonna say Ruthla's answer, if 2 babies come out, you know you have twins.
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#7 of 19 Old 10-16-2005, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, that's great--we'll definitely know if two come out!

Thank you all for the input. Def. given stuff to think about!

Mama to four great girls: 14 , 12 , 7 and 4
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#8 of 19 Old 10-17-2005, 01:02 PM
 
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I'm curious why you wouldn't want an ultrasound? My midwife has me get one every month.
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#9 of 19 Old 10-21-2005, 01:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We just try to avoid technology in our pregnancies as much as possible. As Ruthla pointed out, we don't totally avoid, though. I tend to be a "middle of the road left-wing crunchie" (hee hee). I figure 10 seconds of ultrasound waves is probably do-able, whereas 10 minutes seems way too much unless medically indicated.

So I decided to make the US appt., but for after my next MW appt. If I'm still measuring big (and gaining lots of weight--I usually have to struggle for every pound [please don't throw things at me], and I've gained 10 pounds without even trying [and without much eating, either, thank you, morning sickness]), then I'll go and see what's what.

And, in response to other questions, yes, we'd be delighted to have twins! And if, in the grand scheme of life, we are meant to have five kids, then G-d has figured out the way to do it, b/c there are not going to be any more pregnancies after this one!

Hmm, why find out now? I'd love to really revel in it without dealing with the actual craziness I know will probably engulf us after birth (singelton or twin!).

Thanks again for all the input!

Mama to four great girls: 14 , 12 , 7 and 4
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#10 of 19 Old 10-21-2005, 01:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassy
I'm curious why you wouldn't want an ultrasound? My midwife has me get one every month.


:

Why? For the love of god, WHY?????

Try Mothering articles on the dangers of ultrasound......

http://www.mothering.com/articles/pr...und-risks.html

CPST
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#11 of 19 Old 10-21-2005, 01:31 AM
 
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To the OP.....I've heard that if..when you're in labor...*TWO* babies come out..you've got twins!!!


:LOL

Sorry...I'm a sleep-deprived NUT........
Best wishes.....

CPST
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#12 of 19 Old 10-21-2005, 01:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobandjess99
To the OP.....I've heard that if..when you're in labor...*TWO* babies come out..you've got twins!!!


:LOL

Sorry...I'm a sleep-deprived NUT........
Best wishes.....
...And if the placenta cries, keep it!

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#13 of 19 Old 10-21-2005, 01:41 AM
 
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I met Jay and Marjorie Hathaway at a convention in 1985. They do educational health videos in addition to Bradley. I had read in Dr. Mendelsohn's newsletter that they had just TRIED to video tape the vaginal birth of twins in the hospital.

The case they had was a woman whose twins were diagnosed by two ultrasound scans...on film, the nurse had drawn pictures of how the two babies were lying.

So the Hathaways videotaped the birth of ... one baby!

There was only one baby. A big baby, but one baby!

And the placenta did not cry!

So even though this was 20 years ago and the technology is better, mistakes are made, no one is perfect, least of all doctors.

BTW, the Hathaways packed up and went to recovery to congratulate the new mother. They asked at the desk where the mother was who was supposed to have twins, but only had one baby. The desk had no one described that way, since the records had been already changed by the staff on the way from the delivery room to recovery...yes, that fast.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#14 of 19 Old 10-21-2005, 03:02 AM
 
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I think the "standard" for diagnosis right now for Twins is ultrasound.
Twins can sometimes be largely suspected in many ways but ultrasound is the only reasonably reliable method.
I had B/G twins and we did hear two different heartbeats. Boys and girls often have different rates so that made it easier. But even so these heartbeats were just considered to be "suspected twins" until the ultrasound was done.
In our case we were planning a cnm and a birth center birth. Because I was measuring big I pretty much had to get the ultrasound if I still wanted to go for the birth center. Otherwise I would have been automatically "ruled out" for measuring big even without an accurate reason.
Also in my state lay midwives cannot attend homebirths of twins so going to a lay midwife was not an option. So our only hope for an out of hospital birth, home or birth center was if it was not twins and there was no medical reason for me to measure large, just a big baby or due to closely spaced pregnancies.
My twins were not "diagnosed" till 32 weeks precisely because we had refused ultrasound up until that point.
I am against routine use of Ultrasound, but I do think they are a worthy technology when used for specific diagnostic purposes.
In hindsight though I probably could have switched from an CNM to a lay midwife at 28 weeks when we first started to suspect and then refused an ultrasound to get my homebirth. But things really worked out well after all and I had as good a hospital birth possible I think.

Good Luck
Joline
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#15 of 19 Old 10-21-2005, 01:00 PM
 
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Twins CAN be diagnosed w/out ultrasound. My grandfather was a GP doc back in the day when GPs did deliveries and there was no ultrasound. Lots of other drs. missed twins, but he prided himself on not having any surprise twins. I expect it was by palpatation like midwives do as there was no doppler then either.

-Angela
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#16 of 19 Old 10-24-2005, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, interesting, isn't it, how, now that the technology is there, we all (and I am a RN by training, so I include myself here) rely on it probably waaaaay too much! Thanks for writing, Angela. Your grandfather sounds like quite a guy!

Mama to four great girls: 14 , 12 , 7 and 4
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#17 of 19 Old 10-24-2005, 12:46 PM
 
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FWIW my MIL knew she was having twins- it was obvious from the two distinct lumps....

they "diagnosed" with an x-ray.

-Angela
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#18 of 19 Old 11-07-2005, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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awww, foo. I had the ultrasound this morning, and there's only one. Oh well, as long as it's a healthy, happy baby!

Mama to four great girls: 14 , 12 , 7 and 4
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#19 of 19 Old 11-07-2005, 06:13 PM
 
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on the other hand, there are plenty of twins who have been missed on ultrasound....



-Angela
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