Suspecting twins...sort-of update post #9, new question post #15 - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 43 Old 11-01-2008, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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(X-posting question to Birth Professionals)

Ok, you probably get this a lot. I didn't want to add myself to the "could it be?" list, but I have a specific question about twin heartbeats and figured this was the best place to ask.

I'm 10w2d pg (very, very sure on dates) and because of various issues, I dropped my OB and am still trying to find a homebirth midwife. In the meantime (mostly because I had a lot of issues getting/staying pg. in the last year) I acquired a doppler, figuring if nothing else it might be handy if I end up needing to UP/UC. I used it yesterday afternoon, not really expecting to find anything this early. However, not only did I find a heartbeat, I think I found two.

My question is, if you had a doppler check early on, did they find both heartbeats? And if so, how far apart were they and what was the difference between the two? (The two I found were a bit over 5" apart along my bikini line, the one on the left averaging 118bpm, the one on the right closer to 133bpm. My own heart rate was around 67, so I know it wasn't picking up mine and throwing off the count.)

And assuming you're not annoyed at another "could it be twins?" question...if this *could* be twins, would it hurt either way if I start eating for it now? I've heard the protein requirements are quite a bit different than for a singleton pg...

Anyway, thanks in advance!
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#2 of 43 Old 11-01-2008, 05:08 PM
 
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It was really hard for us to find my twins heartbeats because they were laying on top of each other, so it was not an indication for us. They consistantly stayed 10bpm apart throughout my pregnancy. Eventually they got into positions that made it easier to find them both and we could always tell who was where by the heart rate.

I don't think it would hurt you to up your protein and water intake just in case.
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#3 of 43 Old 11-01-2008, 08:17 PM
 
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Ooh, how exciting! Can your midwife give you a referral to somewhere for an ultrasound, to confirm? You're approaching the perfect time to do the NT scan (weeks 11-13), so it might not be a bad idea. Good luck!
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#4 of 43 Old 11-01-2008, 09:08 PM
 
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I love the could it be twins threads, but you had better update us with the outcome either way! From what I've heard (I didn't use a doppler at all during my twin pregnancy until after baby A was born), detection by doppler is highly unreliable. I don't think it would hurt to up your protein & water intake. What will be your plan for official detection?

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#5 of 43 Old 11-01-2008, 09:41 PM
 
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Well I can just tell you my experience: at 14w5d I saw a homebirth midwife who said I was measuring 19w. I had suspected twins since conception, basically (seriously, one of those freaky things), so I asked her to look for two heartbeats, She said it was very unreliable at that point, and the only way to be sure is with two dopplers but then you sometimes get weird feedback and stuff. So she found a heartbeat on either side of my uterus, but they were in the same range. She said it would be unusual at that gestation to find clear heartbeats so far apart, but there was just no way of telling for sure. So the next day I had an u/s and found out for sure

Definitely let us know either way! I hope you have a lovely pregnancy.
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#6 of 43 Old 11-01-2008, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Right now, I'm in the process of trying to find a homebirth midwife. There aren't that many in my area, from what I've been able to find out. If my search fails, I'll be stuck either going back to my old OB/Gyn, finding a new one who treats me less like a file number, or going UP/UC (definitely not my first choice!!!)

I'm considering going back to my old OB/Gyn for bloodwork and the usual "first appointment" BS since I haven't yet informed her that I'm dropping her as my care provider. I could probably get an ultrasound with no problem if I went in. I guess if I got confirmation of twins (eeeek...it makes me nervous, just thinking about it) I'd have to make plans from there.

I'll definitely be updating once I have more info. In the meantime, I've already been drinking lots of water and eating a lot more protein than usual (last pregnancy, I couldn't even think about meat without getting queasy, but this time I've been craving it all day long!) It's mostly just a question of how much I can/should eat.

Thanks for the answers, ladies!!!
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#7 of 43 Old 11-01-2008, 11:02 PM
 
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Favrielle: I think that sounds like a good idea: go to the OB for that first appointment or two-- get the ultrasound and the bloodwork-- and then you can always drop them as soon as you find the midwife you want. And, honestly, it can't hurt to have an OB who knows you (whether this one or another one) as a backup so that if something serious happens and you need medical intervention or help, you're in their system and they're not a stranger to you (or vice versa).
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#8 of 43 Old 11-02-2008, 01:15 AM
 
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Yeah, I'd go do a quick "introductory" appointment, get the info you need, and then go from there.

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#9 of 43 Old 11-13-2008, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, all! I'm back with a sort-of update.

I went ahead and did the "intro" OB appointment. I actually saw the PA instead of the OB. It wasn't a disaster, but it wasn't my ideal, either. (I'm only allowed to gain 20lbs?!?!?!)

Two things:

-- I'm measuring "larger than she expected for not-quite 12 weeks", with my fundus nearly halfway to my navel.

-- She checked for a heartbeat but only found one. It was pretty high up, but babe was moving a lot, so she didn't get a good count. She didn't really *try* to find two, despite my request; just one and done.

She brushed off my "What if there're two?" comments and questions and told me they'll just do an ultrasound if I keep measuring large later on. I think this is the only time I've ever wished for an u/s happy doc, kwim?

I'm still drinking like there's no tomorrow, and protein has become my best friend. I just can't get enough. (Whether I've got one or two in there, they'll be very healthy!) Now if I can just start gaining weight, life will be good.

So, anyway...nothing conclusively points to twins or not twins at this point.
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#10 of 43 Old 11-13-2008, 04:52 PM
 
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Oh, how exciting! Are you hoping for twins? I LOVE reading these threads!!! (I do not have twins-yet anyway. I have been suspecting twins with this pregnancy and at my last mw appointment I measured 4 weeks ahead of my dates [very sure of dates] which I've never done [I have 2 older kiddos] and which made me go twin crazy all over again. )

Please remember to keep us updated! I can't stand not knowing what the final outcome is!!!

Mama to M (5), A (4), S (2), T (1), and another on the way! Due dec. 2011!
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#11 of 43 Old 11-14-2008, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, how exciting! Are you hoping for twins? I LOVE reading these threads!!! (I do not have twins-yet anyway. I have been suspecting twins with this pregnancy and at my last mw appointment I measured 4 weeks ahead of my dates [very sure of dates] which I've never done [I have 2 older kiddos] and which made me go twin crazy all over again. )

Please remember to keep us updated! I can't stand not knowing what the final outcome is!!!
As horrible as this sounds, no, I'm not really hoping for twins. I realized as a young teen that the "romance" associated with having twins wasn't necessarily the reality, and I don't know how well I could handle them. My Dh works 3.5 hours away from home, and we can't move to be with him, so he's only home twice a month. He will get *maybe* one month off around/after my due date, but that's it. Then I'll be left with just my in-laws to help out, and one of the only two I'd be comfortable with is moving to Oregon in a month. So...yeah...twins, while amazing and something I would learn to deal with, would not be my first choice. (no offense to all you amazing twin and more mamas...I'm actually in awe of you!)
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#12 of 43 Old 11-14-2008, 06:37 PM
 
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Favrielle: I don't think that's horrible at all. The main reason I was hoping for twins is that it was about impossible for me to get pregnant and took lots of money and many many treatments to get here, so I figure this is my only shot, and ideally I'd like to have two, as I value having a sibling in my own life. So, we were thrilled with the news of two. But it is pretty scary too! Different days I have different worries-- lately my mind has been getting wrapped up in fears of very early labor, etc. I'm still ecstatically thrilled, but the realities are sinking in a bit more!
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#13 of 43 Old 11-15-2008, 11:12 AM
 
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I was NOT thrilled to find out I was pregnant again, much less with twins! But you grow into it.

I hate the whole OB thing, seriously. I often feel like they give prenatal "monitoring" whereas my midwives gave more of what I'd call prenatal "care". What would it have hurt to take a quick peek with u/s to rule it in or out? Ugh.

Eat your protein!
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#14 of 43 Old 11-15-2008, 11:22 AM
 
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As horrible as this sounds, no, I'm not really hoping for twins. I realized as a young teen that the "romance" associated with having twins wasn't necessarily the reality, and I don't know how well I could handle them. My Dh works 3.5 hours away from home, and we can't move to be with him, so he's only home twice a month. He will get *maybe* one month off around/after my due date, but that's it. Then I'll be left with just my in-laws to help out, and one of the only two I'd be comfortable with is moving to Oregon in a month. So...yeah...twins, while amazing and something I would learn to deal with, would not be my first choice. (no offense to all you amazing twin and more mamas...I'm actually in awe of you!)
I actually said my whole life that I never wanted twins
I adore the kids, and in some ways it is totally awesome to have twins, but honestly I still think probably once a day that things would be a lot easier if I only had one baby.

If you do have twins, though, it will be a huge blessing. My guys at 6 months love to look at each other and make noises at each other, and watching that relationship develop is just wonderful!
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#15 of 43 Old 12-02-2008, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, so I now have a new question, and might just get a bit annoying, 'cause this is driving me nuts.

I'm 14w5d. I found a homebirth midwife, and we'll be having our first appointment here in a few weeks. I'm still concerned about twins, as I haven't been able to rule it out.

I was measuring large at my 11w5d appointment with the OB. Now, at 14w5d, my fundus is most definitely AT my navel. In the mornings before I use the bathroom, it's even a bit higher than that. So, I guess the question is, where were you measuring at 14-15 weeks with your twins?


(And now that I'm with the midwife, I won't be getting an u/s until at least 20wks through the local commercial u/s place, if then. They won't do them any earlier than that, and prefer to wait until 25 wks+.)
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#16 of 43 Old 12-02-2008, 06:08 PM
 
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favrielle: at my 14 week OB appointment, I was measuring 16 weeks (I'm having twins)-- and I think it was just below my navel (she did just a quick approximation, feeling for my uterus). She said that it's later in the pregnancy where the numbers start to diverge more, typically.
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#17 of 43 Old 12-02-2008, 06:38 PM
 
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At 10 weeks, I measured 14. At 14 weeks, I measured 18. At 18 weeks, I measured 22.

I did have a US at 10 weeks, because I was VERY sure of my dates (I know exactly when I got pregnant!).

At 10 weeks, even though we suspected twins because of my large fundal height, we didn't even get one heartbeat. At 14 weeks we heard two. If you get lucky with the Doppler, you can get them both at once!

Twins are a wonderful blessing, but it sure helps to have two parents in the house every day.

Best wishes to you, whatever your outcome.

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#18 of 43 Old 12-02-2008, 06:45 PM
 
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Speaking of doppler: we could only hear one heartbeat at that 14 week appointment-- (well we weren't sure if we were hearing the same baby twice when we moved the doppler or two separate ones-- but if we hadn't known I had two in there, I don't think the doctor would have figured it out from the doppler alone) (but we did a quick u/s and confirmed both heartbeats still beating)
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#19 of 43 Old 12-02-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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Saw this on new posts.

On the no-twins side, I measured 2 weeks ahead my whole pregnancy and at 15 weeks we thought we heard 2 heartbeats on the doppler. Turned out the just be an echo. Just one baby. (Although DH nearly had a heartattack!)

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#20 of 43 Old 12-02-2008, 06:56 PM
 
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At 20 weeks I was 28cm. The most ahead I got was 11cm and it was more typically 9-10.
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#21 of 43 Old 12-02-2008, 07:18 PM
 
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Has the OB tested for AFP? I think that's what they called one of the blood tests they did. I had trouble with my OB over it, they didn't get the results to me until after I had my 19 week u/s. Anyway, twins will give you a different reading than singletons. Might be another way to prompt a u/s.

BTW - until my run of the mill u/s there were no signs I was having twins. Sure I had raging morning sickness, but no one guessed it was two. We heard a heart beat early, but like you, once the nurses found one heart beat they quit looking. We were bowled over at the u/s. Looking back, the only real sign of twins for me were my breasts. Pretty much the minute I got a positive preg. test, my already large-ish breasts doubled. I joked that I could feed armies. Turns out that's what I would be doing!

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#22 of 43 Old 12-02-2008, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Has the OB tested for AFP? I think that's what they called one of the blood tests they did. I had trouble with my OB over it, they didn't get the results to me until after I had my 19 week u/s. Anyway, twins will give you a different reading than singletons. Might be another way to prompt a u/s.
Nope. I actually turned down all the genetic screening and related tests. I have no risk factors, so it didn't seem necessary. I'm also no longer with that OB, so it's all moot anyway.

nd_deadhead -- It would definitely help to have two parents home every day if this is twins! Thus one of the reasons I'm going nutty...Dh would have to start planning now to find a new job in this area, and it's not likely he could find one that pays as well as his current one. It would require major lifestyle changes, above and beyond all the adjustments to having two new babies in the house.


I have a call in to my new midwife, and I think I'm going to ask her about this when she calls back tonight. She has to confirm my first appointment date anyway (which is now going to be next Wednesday unless something comes up) and she's much more likely to listen to me than to blow me off like the PA did.
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#23 of 43 Old 12-02-2008, 08:27 PM
 
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My AFP results were completely normal, I was only measuring a few centimeters ahead and my doctor only found one heartbeat (though once he said that there was an "echo" - ha!). So . . . sometimes you really can't tell there are two in there without the ultrasound. I promise you, two came out!

(anyone know, btw, if AFP results are more likely to be normal for MZ twins? maybe especially if there's just one placenta? maybe it effects hormone levels less than two? I've been wondering that for awhile now . . .)
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#24 of 43 Old 12-02-2008, 08:31 PM
 
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Vanauken: I don't know for sure, but I think MZ twins in the same sac would be more likely to have singleton-like AFP results. For the various early screening tests (including, I think, AFP) one of the main things they're measuring is HCG (which is unusually elevated in the case of Down's for example). Much of the HCG is produced by the sac or placenta, so it would make sense that MZ twins wouldn't have much higher levels than a singleton. At least, this is the case in first trimester (so, while DZ twin mom's tend to have high beta HCG levels, often a tip off that there are twins in there, in the case of MZ twins in the same sac, it's more of a surprise due to lower/normal beta HCG levels. But I don't know for sure if this changes later on as the babies get bigger. If the MZ twins were in separate sacs, placentas, etc. then they'd be the same as the DZ twins in this respect.
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#25 of 43 Old 12-02-2008, 11:21 PM
 
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At 14/15 weeks i was measuring 18cm, almost up to my navel. I suspected by 10 weeks because I was already half-way up to the navel by then.

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#26 of 43 Old 12-03-2008, 02:03 AM
 
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Vanauken: I don't know for sure, but I think MZ twins in the same sac would be more likely to have singleton-like AFP results. For the various early screening tests (including, I think, AFP) one of the main things they're measuring is HCG (which is unusually elevated in the case of Down's for example). Much of the HCG is produced by the sac or placenta, so it would make sense that MZ twins wouldn't have much higher levels than a singleton. At least, this is the case in first trimester (so, while DZ twin mom's tend to have high beta HCG levels, often a tip off that there are twins in there, in the case of MZ twins in the same sac, it's more of a surprise due to lower/normal beta HCG levels. But I don't know for sure if this changes later on as the babies get bigger. If the MZ twins were in separate sacs, placentas, etc. then they'd be the same as the DZ twins in this respect.
Thanks for the explanation/confirmation . . . it fits right in with what I was wondering. I hadn't heard that the sac affected hormone levels too; that's really interesting.
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#27 of 43 Old 12-03-2008, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for all the input, ladies. It's been helpful (and, as an aside, interesting to hear about the AFP results and hormone levels stuff!)

After talking to the midwife last night, we're definitely going to have my first appointment next week, and if she thinks it's at all indicated, I'll be having an u/s sometime before Christmas. So, it looks like I have a gameplan now, and only a few more weeks of going nutty until I know for sure either way.
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#28 of 43 Old 12-03-2008, 02:30 PM
 
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Just agreeing with pp's about not counting on the Doppler to find two heartbeats

Even after we found out we were having twins (18 wks) and they were looking for two hb no one was ever confident they actually had found two seperate ones. My dz twins had the same heartrate or were within a couple beats of each other every time. It made for some long nst's and a lot of very surpised nurses and techs when they weren't mz

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#29 of 43 Old 12-11-2008, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, the midwife appointment last night pretty much confirmed what I already knew. Even for a second-time mommy, I'm measuring quite a bit larger than I should for my dates. I also had, as she put it, "heart tones all over the place."

So, I finally go in tomorrow for an ultrasound. I'll be able to settle this for good by the end of lunchtime. And if it is actually twins, I'll probably be in shock for weeks.
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#30 of 43 Old 12-11-2008, 10:18 PM
 
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Ooh! Good luck!
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