Finding out you're expecting twins, well it's a shock, You may be thinking to the future and wondering how you'll cope looking after two newborns at once, or how little sleep you'll get in the first year. After the news has sunk in that you're having twins, you'll probably have lots of questions about what happens in the next 9 months and during labour. Well, here's my experience of having twins...
Appointments, appointments and more appointments
You’ll be given a consultant who you'll visit regularly in hospital at least once a month, sometimes more. Some of our appointments were 2 weeks apart, some were 3 weeks and others were 4 weeks apart. Don’t be alarmed if you’ve been visiting every 4 weeks for a while and then your consultant want’s to see you in 2 weeks like mine did.
I was panic stricken because I thought something was wrong but generally, the closer you get to your due date the more appointments you’ll have. I rarely saw my local midwife, in fact I think I had two appointments with her throughout my whole pregnancy. There wasn’t really a need to as I was being looked after by the consultant. It was more to meet the midwife because she was the one who’d be visiting us when we went home.
At each consultant appointment I was weighed, measured and scanned by the sonographer and my consultant. The scans took the longest because they have to be very thorough. Particularly if your twins are identical, in the same sack and sharing a placenta like ours were because they have to check the membrane between the two babies is still intact. It’s such a thin membrane and on occasions mine couldn’t be seen which meant I had to have an internal examination. I don’t think they do internals these days because the scanning equipment is more effective now but don’t panic if you do need one, you’re in safe hands.
Our pregnancy was straight forward as far as a twin pregnancy goes. We were backwards and forwards to hospital regularly, we should’ve moved in! We felt really relaxed because we knew we were being checked over and looked after closely with each visit. From about 30 weeks twin 1 was head down and twin 2 was breech and that’s where they stayed. We immediately assumed that would mean a C-section but not always. My consultant said that the plan was for twin 1 to arrive first, they would then turn twin 2 to allow him to come out head first too. They had it all sussed out and rightly so because they’re the professionals!
Giving birth to twins: What might happen
We didn’t have a birth plan because I knew it would be too stressful if it didn’t go to plan. The plan was to get the babies out safely, whichever way they arrived into the world.
I was booked in to be induced at 38 weeks and they arrived they next day vaginally.
You will generally have 2 belts with sensors on your tummy from start to finish to keep a close eye heart rates. Once your waters have broken a clip is normally attached to one of the babies heads, if one is head down, for more accurate monitoring. You'll also be offered a drip to restart your contractions once the first baby is born. I also had a epidural which was advised.
We knew we were going to be in theatre to deliver the twins because the consultant informed us it’s usual practice with multiples so that they have everything to hand for every eventuality and it’s safer. However, I wasn’t quite prepared for the amount of people joining us for the delivery. It was like Piccadilly Circus! So please don’t be alarmed when a queue of people start piling through the door! There were:
- 3 Midwives
- 2 Paediatricians
- 3 Anaesthetists (one for each of us)
The labour was a little longer than we thought. I thought I’d be induced and out they’d pop a few hours later and in some cases that does happen but our babies were staying put until they were forced out. Well one of them was anyway.
Twin 1 came out as planned but twin 2 decided he quite liked the extra room and tucked himself crossways under my ribs. They were getting me ready to do a C-section when he dropped his legs down, so the consultant intervened and whipped him out feet first 9 minutes later! Twin 2 was a little shocked and so were we! He just needed a little waft of oxygen and he was all fine to join his brother on my chest. Twin 1 weighed 6lb 10oz and twin 2 weighed 6lb 3oz.
If there's anything I haven’t covered that you’d like to know, please do get in touch as I know it can be a very uncertain time. I wish we had a platform like bloss to turn to with professionals like myself to support us.
My 5 top tips!
- Don't automatically think you need to buy 2 of everything
- Be prepared from 30 weeks
- Don't be anxious with the amount of hospital appointments
- Have a routine mapped out for when they are born
- Join a twins group before they arrive
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