Blissfully unaware?

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Categories Identical, Parenting, Pregnancy

(My name is Ashley and I am a homeschooling Mom to 5 kids aged 6, 4 1/2, 2 1/2 and 14 month old identical twin boys.)

I recently heard of a friend’s twin pregnancy and I was flooded with memories of my own twin pregnancy.  14 months ago I was 75 pounds heavier, full of water, sore back, sore rib, and very obviously pregnant with twins.  The twin pregnancy wasn’t always this obvious.  I spent the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy blissfully unaware.  In hind sight I believe that being unaware had it’s benefits.

I had an early ultrasound at 6 weeks that confirmed one healthy baby.  Looking back there were clues that I was carrying two babies but all the symptoms could easily be explained.  I was exhausted……..but I had a 1, 3, and 4 year old and was still nursing.  I was extremely sick………but I never felt well during pregnancies and also had little ones to be chasing after.  I gained 25 lbs in first trimester and looked bigger than previous pregnancies………but I was pregnant for the 4th time and used food as a way to settle my constantly upset stomach.

At 20 weeks I showed up for my mid-point ultrasound excited but a little nervous.  I was hoping for a healthy baby.  I can still remember the surreal feelings of looking at the ultrasound monitor with two babies and hearing the gasp of the ultrasound tech.  My poor husband was left in the waiting room for over an hour wondering what was taking me so long, frantically trying to keep the younger three entertained by one bag of fruit snacks.  When they finally allowed him in the room he was speechless.  TWINS!  The thought had never even crossed our minds.  Even my Dr. was shocked and kept wondering if she had missed any clues.  I found it ironic that at my 18 week appointment I measured 18 weeks, however at my 22 week appointment, I was measuring 30.  Whatever clues my body hadn’t given away up until that point, it made sure to catch up quickly!  By 24 weeks I was the same size that I had been at the end of my previous pregnancy.

Here I am at 12 weeks and then 38 weeks.

Finding out about twins opened up a whole new world of worry.  Would I be able to carry full term?  Would there be health concerns for my babies?  For me?  How would I managed with 5 kids under 5?  The next few months passed in a blur with regular Dr.’s appointments and ultrasounds.  The Dr.’s suspected that I was pregnant with fraternal boys so I never gave much thought to conditions that are specific to identical pregnancies.  After the birth of the boys we discovered that I did have one placenta and that the boys had developed late stage twin to twin transfusion.  Baby A was 6 lbs 8 oz. and pale and sickly looking.  Baby B was 8 lbs 2 oz and bright red and swollen.  Again, by being unaware, I had been spared the worry of wondering about their outcomes.

Whether or not I went through my pregnancy with worry or peace, the reality is that my twin pregnancy holds a special place in my heart.  I got to experience two active, moving babies causing my stomach to appear unlike anything I had ever experienced prior.  I got to watch my stomach grow to proportions I hope it never grows to again.  Being pregnant with twins is special…. kind of like they are!

What was your experience of being pregnant with twins like?  Were you blissfully unaware or perhaps too realistically aware ?


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9 thoughts on “Blissfully unaware?”

  1. Oh boy, we also suffered through some late-stage TTTS. Bug was 5.5 pounds (and jaundiced) and Bean was 3.5 pounds (and yes, also very pale and sick looking). We were in the NICU with them for about 3 weeks, but I had been relatively unaware of all the complications of identical twin pregnancies until then. My doctor had been really low-key until my check up at 33 weeks when we saw that their growth was totally asymmetrical. I was blindsided when she had me check into the antepartum unit that same day! I didn’t leave until they were born two weeks later. After they were in the NICU we started reading some terrifying stats about TTTS and prematurity, but at that point I really wanted to know facts and figures. I’m glad I hadn’t researched too much while pregnant, but I’m also glad that my twins birth class and the books I had read had informed me that premature birth and NICU time was very common and not a reason to freak out. I mean, I still freaked out (I remember just bawling uncontrollably at the front desk of the NICU one day because the girls weren’t going to be able to be in the same room), but at least I suspected that we might have to deal with it. Here’s to making it through some scary times, Ashley (whether you knew to be scared or not)!

  2. I was unaware for the first half like you. My midwife even assured me there was only one since twins run in our family :) Other than that the fatigue and weight gain, my pregnancy was pretty uneventful. I read about everything that could go wrong, but I didn’t really have anything to worry about. Congratulation on your special pregnancy and your lovely children.

  3. Bonza I am so glad that your boys survived TTTS! Once I read over what could have happened, I felt so blessed!
    Jenna, I am glad that you had an uneventful pregnancy!!
    Jamie, reading over your blog post reminded me so much of the day at the ultrasound clinic. Sometimes I wish I could go back and live that moment again because my memory is becoming so hazy. When you mentioned that you lay there quiet, in shock, that was exactly like me. I kept figuring that there must be some type of mistake……and yes, I was surprised how long the ultrasound took as well!!

  4. I was in the painfully aware category. I went in for an ultrasound at 12 weeks for some genetic testing and that is when they found two babies. I was in complete shock! Even though they run in my family, I didn’t actually think I would have them. I remember everything the ultrasound tech said to me including “are you ok?” every 5 minutes. I did all kinds of research, worried about everything (except TTTS, they could tell there were two separate placentas and once we found out genders, it was B/G). I worried about money, health, sanity, my job, could I do it, everything. I kept asking, how do you juggle two screaming babies? two in daycare? two of everything? I went into preterm labor at 31w and put on bedrest till I had them at 36w. My little (4lb 12oz) Elizabeth had jaundice but that was it. David was a healthy 6lbs 3 oz. They didn’t even go to the NICU and went home with me a few days later. My only stumbling block was having to rush to find a premie carseat for Elizabeth. When we brought them home my mother lived with us for 5 weeks (a blessing and a curse) and that is when I learned the answer to the question of “How Do You Do It?” – you just do. 16 months later and most days the chaos just seems like routine.

  5. We discovered our twins at about 27 weeks but I wouldn’t call myself blissfully unaware. I was measuring normally for the first half of the pregnancy but it seemed all of a sudden, I got gigantic. My husband (who is a physician) was starting to worry about my size and my midwife was concerned that perhaps I had too much fluid. When I asked if she thought it could be twins, she didn’t think so since I wasn’t measuring ahead all along. So it was a relief to hear that there were two babies in there but also a shock. We had about 12 weeks to adjust to the idea and prepare. Thankfully they came at 39 and a half weeks.

  6. I’m currently 29 weeks pregnant with twins, this is my first pregnancy and like you I found out only 9 weeks ago that instead of one little blessing we are having two! Two little boys are growing steadily (thank God) I’m actually very excited but very nervous as well. I’m only 19 years old but I have found a great man who loves me and cannot wait to see our little monsters! I was also told they are fraternal but i’m not sure if they are right or not.. I dont even think the dr is sure either. In our ultrasounds thry see one big placenta thats at the very top of my belly but they dont know if there could be two of them there or not… My boys are measuring well and I hope I can make it to 38 weeks at least.

  7. I found out at 5 weeks 4 days that we were having twins. I am 18 weeks now. I have been in the hospital 4 times in 18 weeks. I am scared to death of how to do life with two. I’m ready to meet my two little boys. We are banking on the old myth hard pregnancy=easy delivery!

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