When to start maternity leave - pregnant with twins

(45 Posts)
Franykins Mon 17-Jun-13 14:49:18

Hi all, my work have asked me about writing my letter to confirm pregnancy and when I wish to start my maternity leave. I know I need to get this in 15 weeks before my due date and as I am only 16+3 I still have a bit of time. However, before we found out we are expecting twins I planned to work to 38 weeks and then go on leave. I have now read (and been informed by my consultant) that they will probably arrive between 37-38 weeks (although I know some people carry to 40+ even with twins)

So my question is how do I know when to start my maternity leave? I work a 10-30 min car drive from work (depending on traffic) and do a desk job so the work itself isn't demanding or strenuous. But realistically how am I going to feel in myself and need to just stop? I'm worried I am going to be massive as although I have only put on about 8lbs I look like my cousins pg wife who is 24 weeks (I was a size 14/16 when I fell so am aware that some of my bump is the padding I already had smile)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated smile

I finished at 28 weeks with 2 weeks leave tagged on the end so officially 30 weeks.

Hope the pregnancy is going well.

Franykins Mon 17-Jun-13 15:38:11

Oh ok. Did you decide this early on or was it more a case of you just couldn't do any more? I'm hoping to have a week of annual leave to tag onto it. Little bit worried about having less time after the birth with the babies.

Yeah all going well thanks smile Been getting little fluttering's as well now which I'm loving. How are you?

gruber Mon 17-Jun-13 15:42:21

Bear in mind you may not be able to fit behind the steering wheel late in pregnancy. If working from home isn't an option (it wasn't for me) then be prepared to suddenly not be able to drive safely! I couldn't turn to check blind spots very easily (and didn't drive at all past 37 weeks, I only had 1 baby too- not twins!)

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

I work from home so was booked until 36 weeks, and had a sp


Spontaneous early delivery at 30 weeks.

With hindsight, I would plan to go no later than 34-36, and have a contingency plan for earlier.

Franykins Mon 17-Jun-13 15:53:52

I should be able to work from home as the office manager has already mentioned this as an option, so that's a plus. I'm aware I might not fit behind the wheel but could get the bus if need be, DP can drop me to the bus stop in his way to work.

I'm just worried I say I'll take it at 32 weeks then have time that I feel I'm wasting and could have used when babies are here, or leave it too late and be beyond knackered. Saying this we went shopping yesterday and all the walking has had an affect on one of my knees today so keeping it elevated as much as possible on my desk smile Lucky work are so laid back!

Franykins Mon 17-Jun-13 16:00:56

Ah I posted before you got to finish AprilFoolishness

Work are pretty laid back and have we already have a plan for while i'm on mat leave, plus I can do some from home if I find the commute too much. But if I say 34 weeks then and if they come early we'll have to just go with the flow!

I had quite a physical job working a 50 hour week, I planned 37 weeks before I found out it was twins but had to review that. I wanted to rest before they arrived as I didn't want to go into early labour (which was always a worry for me for some reason). I asked a few twin mothers I know and made a careful decision. I am glad I finished when I did because despite having a good healthy pregnancy, I really struggled from 30 weeks onward. The babies came unexpectedly at 34 weeks so I had 4 weeks maternity leave in the end.

I am good, the girls are nearly 9 months old and just so much fun to be around. We have decided that I wont return to work and I am now a stay at home mum which I am really loving!

Sorry, I meant I was booked with work contracts, not booked for section/induction, if that wasn't clear!

Franykins Mon 17-Jun-13 16:57:15

It's a hard choice in a way. I want as much time after with babies but don't want to stress with work when I really need to rest (not that's its stressful job but just having to come if that makes sense) I am worried about the coming very early so my due date is a bit of a guarded secret for me and only very close family and friends actually know it, everyone else is just told 'November' if they push I just say why do you need to know? and leave it at that.

neversleepagain that's sounds wonderful grin I'd love to be a stay at home mum but not sure how realistic it is, but then on the other hand childcare for two is going to be costly. I'm hoping I can wangle part time and work from home, maybe popping in to the office one afternoon week. My work is very easy and I get it done very quickly so this shouldn't be a problem.

Cornwall73 Tue 18-Jun-13 08:34:26

Yesterday, at 29 wks exactly, I started 2 weeks annual leave and will start ML straight after that (at 31wks). I could not have worked for longer. I too have a desk job but a 2.5hr round trip on the tube/walk door to door so it was all becoming too much. I feel fine in the mornings but desperately need a nap in late afternoon especially if I had a really broken night so I was no good to man or beast after lunch. I negotiated working from home two days per week and starting at 10 and finishing at 4:30 every day to avoid the worst of the commute from 22wks onwards.

Congratulations! I don't know about your hospital but most induce twins at 38 weeks if they haven't come earlier. Bear in mind 60% of twins come before 34 weeks anyway. And there may also be complications eg twin to twin transfusion if they're identical.

I was freelance at the time so struggled on and wish I hadn't. I remember one meeting where I presented to rather important clients while lying on the floor! I think my last meeting was about 33/34 weeks and I just felt it was the worst of both worlds - not able to work properly and worried about the effect on the twins.

Sorry to doommonger (and you may well be absolutely fine!) but I had severe pelvic pain which I needed physio for, and then one of the twins broke my ribs from the inside (ha!) plus I was just soooooo tired, and the size of a house, and with ankles swollen so badly I could hardly bear to climb stairs.

If you can, I'd go into writing saying 34 weeks as an absolute latest, but you reserve the right to leave earlier as and when your consultant/midwife advises or if they come early.

If they get a bit sniffy about it, I'd go on the TAMBA site and print off any stats about twins or see if the hospital will write something.

Good luck! Shameless plug, but I write a blog about surviving (just) with twins. Have a read of the ones from Feb/Mar 2012 which will give you an indication of how you might be feeling before they drop!


rednellie Tue 18-Jun-13 20:36:32

My advice is: do nothing until you have to. You don't have to tell them yet, so don't be pressurised. Tell them twin pregnancies are unpredictable and you may or may not want to carry on working. That way you leave it open. You never know you may be one of the ones who feel absolutely fine till 37 weeks, or you may feel like shit much earlier, or the babies may come earlier. They don't need to know yet, so give yourself a bit of a breather before committing.

I had an older DD so, in a way, I didn't get ANY maternity leave wink, mores the pity! TAMBA are campaigning to get longer leave for parents of multiples as it can be a bit of bitch if you're twins come early and you've used up lots of your leave before they're very big. Same for paternity leave - not great if you haven't even got the twins home. Neither of these scenarios could apply to you, they didn't to us, but what we did was split DH's paternity leave. He took 1 week right when they were born then waited till my Mum went back home (we lived in Canada at the time) and had another week then. That was lovely.

BlueberryHill Tue 18-Jun-13 21:11:32

I cannot remember exactly when I went on leave but it was pretty late, about 34 / 35 weeks (can't remember if that included AL or not). They were born by C-section at 39 weeks, other than one or two scares early on and worries later about the size of DTS it was a straightforward pregnancy and I was fine, no problems driving or walking. Be prepared for more scans and antenatal appointments than a singleton birth, work were excellent about that and I had no problems. My work was an easy 20 min commute in the car, I did have visits to clients including flight so I had to plan those before I was too far on.

I gave my work an expected time plus some annual leave but I did say that it may need to change depending on how the pregnancy went, they were happy with that. They were able to plan for ML cover but knew it could change.

Good luck
What job do you do and do they have any vacancies?

Franykins Wed 19-Jun-13 09:57:24

Thanks rednellie and BlueberryHill I have told them they will have to wait till I get my MAT1B form back at least. They are very understanding and it was put to me that they needed it so they can be sure I get what I am entitled too. We are a very small company, only 3 of us in the office and then the MD abroad. I am the first one to go on mat leave, and only girl working here (yes I maybe 31 on Friday but I'm still a girl hehe) so it's new to all of us. I did say that I'm not sure how long I'll be able to comfortably come in and the Office Manager said its ok if it comes to that but you are still wanting to work we can set you up from home with a laptop and you can dial in, result smile

I am the accounts manager/credit controller with some other bits chucked in! But it's very easy and laid back so not at all stressful. No vacancies BlueberryHill

rednellie Wed 19-Jun-13 10:40:01

Ah they sound great Frankykins. I had a similar experience with my work. There was only 5 of us in the office then two of us got.pregnant at exactly the same time! Considering the difficulties our boss was so supportive and very flexible about how we worked. Just wish all could be so lucky.

BlueberryHill Wed 19-Jun-13 16:14:20

They sound great, it was worth a try

MultipleMama Wed 19-Jun-13 16:27:25

I stopped working at 35 weeks - twins arrived at 37 weeks.

Currently not working (on my year off) but if I was to return to work before 2nd set arrive, I'd leave around 32, just to be on the safe side.

beachesandbuckets Wed 19-Jun-13 21:54:57

I planned to work til 38 weeks when thinking it was 1, for financial reasons and to ensure maximum time off. I have been vague with my employer (public sector) and now at 31 weeks with twins still going strong despite babies measuring bigger than average. Like you, I have a 10 min commute and a desk job, haven't noticed any discomfort driving but do get slightly uncomfortable at desk after a while, but still do a 9 hour day excluding nursery/school drop and pick ups. I am working in the office until next week, and then boss has agreed that I can work at home for July (due date is mid August so expect them to come end of July) therefore maximising income right up to due date. It is do-able I think, pm me if you want to see how I get on!!! Good luck!

Franykins Thu 20-Jun-13 10:41:50

Always worth a try BlueberryHill

That's promising beachesandbuckets This is now plan depending how I feel. I just want maximum time with bubbas after they are born, as I'm sure everyone does. I want maximise income as well, rather worried DP won't be able to have paternity leave due to finances, just hoping they will at least let him 'work' from home or pay him full for the 2 weeks. Just have to see what happens I guess.

MerryMarigold Thu 20-Jun-13 10:48:01

I felt really good I'd say till about 30-32 weeks. The last few weeks were quite hellish. I was ill a lot, I couldn't drive anymore (bump too big!) and I had gestational diabetes, didn't sleep a lot either for a few weeks. It felt like forever, but I don't think it was that long! My babies were born at 37+1 (C-section) and were quite big. I'd had a pregnancy before which was totally fine, so it's hard to predict based on a singleton pregnancy.

The driving would concern me the most. I am 5'4 and had a HUGE bump, so my legs just couldn't get to the pedals! If you are taller you may be ok. And it does depend on the car. Sit in the car and see how much space you have.

Linguaphile Sat 22-Jun-13 13:44:24

I'm 28 weeks and will be going at 33 weeks (technically starting leave at 34 as I've got a week of AL to use). I feel pretty good, and my part-time work is only a 5-minute walk away (turns out the London property prices are worth it when you're pregnant!), so I'm in a good situation. It is starting to get uncomfortable sitting at a desk for long periods, though! I think I'll definitely be ready to leave by 33 weeks.

toomuchpink Sun 23-Jun-13 20:32:46

I finished at 31 weeks and I was done in. Very different from carrying singletons. I went to 36 with my first. I honestly would allow a bit more time before the end. Assuming you collect holidays during your mat leave you will probably find you are quite happy with the length of mat leave you have after the twins are born, but those last weeks at work can be a real struggle.

beachesandbuckets Wed 26-Jun-13 21:08:25

Just to update, now 32 weeks plus, and still going strong at work although have conceded and asked for special parking space near to my office smile babies both weighing 5lb so whoppers but managing to do 8ish til 5pm including management.

twintrimum Thu 27-Jun-13 17:23:52

Beachesandbuckets - that's really good news! I'm at 30 wks and still feeling pretty good. I expected to be in pieces by now. 20 minute commute to the office for me. I'm coping by taking holidays so I only have to do 3 day weeks. I'll be leaving at 32 weeks, taking 3 wks of AL, then starting mat leave from 35 wks (5th August). My brain is mush though! How useful I am in the office is a whole different story!

Franykins Mon 01-Jul-13 09:31:03

My plan is to tell work I will come into the office until 34 weeks, then hopefully they will let me do 2 weeks working from home, then I can take a week annual leave and officially start maternity leave at 37. Working form home really means doing nothing haha, they won't know. Then if the babies come earlier than that I'll just have to start leave when they arrive.

beachesandbuckets Wed 03-Jul-13 21:46:58

33 and a half weeks, still going strong working, first day working from home today, was lush! Actually did lots of work (amazing what you get done when no distractions) with the extra reassurance that I am still being paid.

beachesandbuckets Mon 22-Jul-13 20:36:15

36 weeks, have had enough, but due to heatwave. 3 more days to go!

legallyblond Fri 26-Jul-13 22:54:32

Well done everyone!! I'm now 31 weeks, still working full time, 10/11 hour days, then DD (2.9) and housework when I get home.... 3 weeks to go, then c section booked for 37+3... Phew. Keep telling myself that when the twins arrive I won't be 8 months pregnant with two very awkwardly positioned twins and I won't be out of the house for 11 hours, so it might not be so bad....

hetsto Thu 08-Aug-13 09:58:44

Is there anyone else still around who's pregnant with twins? ...We just found out and are still reeling a bit!

Franykins Thu 08-Aug-13 16:38:40

Congratulations hetsto grin completely understand how your feeling. How long have you known and how far gone are you?

I have come to terms with it now and can't wait, although I do still have moments where my head goes 'oh god its twins!' in a shocked way.

I love feeling them move now and have a good idea who is who smile

Franykins Thu 08-Aug-13 16:39:40

Oh and meant to say I have decided to take maternity leave from 35 weeks, with a weeks annual leave on the front smile Feel relived now I have made the decision and can't wait! Only 10 more weeks at work grin

RobotHamster Thu 08-Aug-13 16:45:45

As far as I know (and have read it several times on here) you can always pull the start of mat leave forward from your agreed date, if you feel the need, but you can't do ittthe other way round (e.g. you couldn't tell them you're intending to leave at 34 weeks, and then decide to stay on and leave a bit later)

Planning on working from home from 34 weeks sounds like a good plan - I bet you won't fit behind the steering wheel after that anyway smile

RobotHamster Thu 08-Aug-13 16:46:50

Ah.. xpost. Didn't see original date of the thread

hetsto Thu 08-Aug-13 16:51:25

Hi RobotHamster and Franykins!

It's all been a bit mad to be honest, I've posted this on the December due dates thread already, but would appreciate some feedback from other mums-of-twins-to-be as well.

We found out yesterday at our 20 week scan. How far along are you guys?

The babies are both on the small side but, more concerning is that are looking rather different to each other at the moment. They’re sharing one placenta, but are in separate sacks and one of them has less amniotic fluid than the other, so there’s a risk of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. We’ve got an appointment with a specialist at King’s tomorrow to investigate further and discuss options. Having said that, the fact that I haven’t had any adverse symptoms so far, and that both of them have reasonably strong heart beats bodes well. stay positive stay positive stay positive

I had my dating scan at 8 weeks and there was no mention of more than one baby at that point. Since then I feel like I’ve been growing at a rate of knots but otherwise haven’t had any particularly unexpected symptoms. Not that I really knew what to expect with my first! There’s a large part of me that is feeling really indignant and wondering how on earth they could miss a second life in there with current ultrasound technology, but I’m trying really hard to focus on the here and now rather than getting uptight about that.

I’m not quite sure how I’m feeling at the moment – simultaneously elated and terrified I think! We were totally unprepared for the shock and had been rather blasé about the whole thing up to now, not really worrying about anything major and thinking about lovely things like whether to find out the gender and names etc. This feels like another level... TWO BABIES?!

legallyblond Fri 09-Aug-13 19:05:13

Hi all - I'm still here! I'm 32+6 today (with DCDA) and have one more week at work - yay!!! ELCS is booked for 37+3....

Hesto - I cannot believe they missed twins at the dating scan!!!!! Did you not have a later one at 12/13 weeks for Downs screening? We found out at the 12 week dating scan and were in shock for weeks (total surprise - we already have a DD!).

legallyblond Fri 09-Aug-13 21:30:57

Hesto, how did today's appointment go?

beachesandbuckets Sat 10-Aug-13 01:47:00

Finally finished work on 30 July at 5pm, babies born by induction (planned) on 31st! Was actually fine and basically meant I was paid up until my delivery date meaning I can have longer off work. Was 37 plus 3 weeks. Babies now 10 days old and wonderful, very cute and munchable. Everyone said how awful and hard work it would be, had such low expectations that so far its not been too bad. Obviously not long into it, and very tired from night feeds, but no more so that with my singular babies 1 and 2. Managing to dual breast feed. Good luck everyone x

hetsto Mon 12-Aug-13 11:08:49

Hi all, sorry for the slow response!

I was scanned again first thing on Friday morning and we then spoke to a lovely consultant (all good things people said about the staff at King’s proved completely true by the way!) who confirmed that one of the twins isn’t growing as quickly as the other and it looked like they had TTTS. We were pretty frightened but the consultant explained that we qualified for laser surgery to sever the blood vessels that the twins were sharing, and that we could have it straight away. We knew this was fairly high risk but the alternative was to wait and watch things get progressively worse, so it was a no-brainer really. The staff were all very reassuring; we went for a little walk and then were seen for the surgery later in the morning.

It was amazing to be able to watch the consultant working on the babies from the inside; he severed 7 blood vessels through the amniotic sack of the largest twin and then drained some of the fluid from that sack. It was all over pretty quickly and then we just had to wait a few hours before they could scan me again to check whether the babies were ok. They’re still holding on in there with pretty normal heartbeats, so we’ll be going back next week to check their heart beats again and see whether the smaller twin has started to catch up. On a plus note, I’m less tight and uncomfortable now some of the fluid’s been drained!

We’re not out of the woods yet and the twins will continue to be monitored on a weekly or fortnightly basis for the rest of the pregnancy, but it feels like we’ve moved quickly in the right direction. I can’t believe how fast all this has happened; I’m in a total whirlwind of shock and uncertainty, but my OH has been wonderful, as have lots of other family and friends, and it’s lovely to be able to come on here and decompress too. Thank you for all the good wishes!

Congratulations beachesandbuckets!

vestandknickers Mon 12-Aug-13 11:17:59

I stopped at 30 weeks but my job did involve a very long commute on public transport. Just as well I finished early as my two arrived at 33 weeks!

andadietcoke Mon 12-Aug-13 11:37:40

I worked until 34+3. I drive 40 mins to work and sit at a desk all day, so although I wasn't particularly comfortable, it was manageable. I've now got three weeks of annual leave and mat pay starts at 38w as I'm hoping to have had the babies by then.

Week 35 was much harder work - I'd imagine weeks 36 and 37 won't be any easier, so I'm glad I stopped when I did.

legallyblond Mon 12-Aug-13 15:57:02

I only have 4 days left! Finishing this Fri at 33+6... I'm ready now, although home is less relaxing as I have a 2.9 year old! Then 3 weeks annual leave and mat leave starts the day before my c section at 37+3.....

legallyblond Mon 12-Aug-13 16:06:21

Oh and hesto... What a whirlwind. Thinking of you. There is a poster on here called Rowan who went through the laser surgery and her twins were fine and safely made it to 30 something weeks... Might be worth dropping her a pm or something.

willtheyeverusethepotty Mon 18-Nov-13 16:58:42

I was put on strict bed rest when I was 25 weeks pregnant, and not expecting it at all. I even remember asking m obgyn if we could stay travel for Xmas (answer was no, bed rest means bed rest!). It's good to have a plan, but twin pregnancies are very challenging as you (will) know, so be ready for any abrupt change in plans. My id boys were born at 35 +5, weighting 2.56kg each, so the bed rest was def worth!!

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