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Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome

(320 Posts)
MrsStevo Mon 11-Apr-11 15:25:17

Hi!

I wanted to share my experience of the most horrendous week of my life and find out if there is anyone else out there in the same / a similar boat?

My MCDA (identical) twins were diagnosed as having Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) at my 20 week scan last Tuesday (5th April). The doctor established this because one twin was smaller than the other, had virtually no amniotic fluid around it and was stuck to the wall of my uterus, not moving. It had a heartbeat but no bladder could be seen (as no fluid for it to drink / urinate). The other baby was swimming around in waaaaay too much amniotic fluid. The doctor thought I was at stage III of the condition (Stage V being babies have already died) so very serious.

So, I was referred to Birmingham Women's Hospital (I live in Lincoln) and had an appointment there on Wednesday afternoon. The (amazing) consultant - Mr. Bill Martin - scanned me and confirmed TTTS. He said he thought I was actually only stage II but basically said the only chance babies had was for me to have Fetoscopic Laser Ablation Surgery - keyhole surgery where they go into the sac that the bigger baby is in and laser / cut off some of the blood vessels in the placenta that the babies share so both babies have their own half. Odds are 40% chance of both babies surviving and 80% of one surviving. Plus added risk of early labour / waters breaking, infection etc.

Long story short, I was admitted to Birmingham Hosp on Wed PM and had the surgery at about 9am on Thursday. I was terrified - had to have spinal anaesthetic, be catheterised, wear a surgical gown and it was done in a big operating theatre with literally 15-20 people in it. However, my consultant was just amazing - so re-assuring and acted as though it was something he did everyday. He and his colleague were even chatting away about holidays whilst they lasered away.

After the surgery we (DH and I) had to wait for 6 hours before they would scan me again to see if the babies had survived the surgery. At the time, that was the longest 6 hours of my life. We had the scan at about 5pm and both babies were alive - the doctor said they looked healthy and it was the best outcome they could hope for. However, they also said that the next week is a crucial time and, if babies survive the week, then that is really good and indicates they both have a good chance of making it.

So. Here I am 4 days post-surgery with 43 hours until my next scan (they're doing it a day earlier in Lincoln so I can see my consultant there). I feel completely lost and totally in limbo. I don't know what to do with myself (aside from rest, feet up etc etc) but am just trying to stay sane. I'm trying my hardest to keep myself away from Dr. Google so I don't freak myself out by the statistics.

The biggest things I worried about right now:
Will both babies survive? I can't imagine my life without having twins in it now -these will be our first babies, having had a miscarriage last year.
IF they do survive, will they have any neurological damage as a result of surgery - cerebral palsy is a risk. How will we cope if they do?
I'm vegetarian - should I be on protein suppliements to promote healing / good blood quality etc?
Is there ANYTHING I can do to make the odds better?!

Oh. It is just a horrible time. My DH went back to work today (although he wants to be at home with me as much as I want him to be) so I'm alone with just my overactive mind (and a pesky cat) for company.

I wanted to write about this experience on here in case anyone has any pearls of wisdom or wants to share their experience of this horrible condition. Or, if anyone on here happens to be an expert in this condition, perhaps they can pump me full of optimism with a bunch of statistics that everything will be ok?

Thanks for taking the time to read / listen.

nancy10 Mon 11-Apr-11 16:21:08

I had the laser ablation treatment in January 2004 at Kings College Hospital for TTTS. I was 23 weeks pregnant and had been showing signs of TTTS from about my 16th week of pregnancy. I was devastated and no-one understood how important it was to me that both babies survived and not just one. The Dr told me that if I decided not to treat the condition, the smaller twin would die and if the bigger twin survived he would be brain damaged due to the excess fluid. So we went down the laser route. A few hours later, I had a scan and the babies appeared well. 10 days later I went for a scan to see if the babies had survived really and both babies were doing well, still a significant size difference but the fluid surrounding both babies was pretty much the same as it had been when I left Kings. I was scanned every week from then onwards and the pregnancy went well. At 34 weeks my waters broke and they were born naturally. Twin 1 was 5lb 6 and twin 2 was 4lb, so a huge difference. Apart from being early and small they were perfect. They spent 2 weeks in special care as they were slow to feed and needed to put on some weight. hey have suffered no effects of the TTTS and next week they turn 7 and are a right pair of cheeky boys. But twin 1 is still alot taller and heavier then his brother. When I had the treatment I asked the Dr if there was anything I could do to help the babies and he said it was now down to nature and to keep my fingers crossed. You have done the main bit in helping your twins survive, now it's just waiting to see if treatment has worked. I was given a 33% chance of them both surviving, 7 years ago. The percentage was partly because it was quite a new treatment then and not many women had had it done.

nancy10 Mon 11-Apr-11 16:23:55

Sorry posted before I'd finished. Please, please stop looking on the internet, it's really difficult but you'll scare yourself even more!

CherryDrops Mon 11-Apr-11 16:24:30

So sorry to hear about this, it must be very stressful for you. I have no experience of this but watched a TV programme last month called 'Emergency in the Womb' which was a documentary following mothers in your position. It may be interesting for you to watch - it was on BBC2 so may still be on iPlayer.

I must add I didn't watch the end so am not sure how the babies in the show got on, but I wish you all the best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy.

BagofHolly Mon 11-Apr-11 18:31:54

Flipping heck, how stressy! I can't imagine how hard that is! Have you registered with TAMBA and looked on their message boards? They're a v friendly bunch and there's always someone who has been through such things. Mine are DCDA so not at risk for this and at was still v stressful! Very best wishes, hope everything progresses nicely. X

PrincessScrumpy Mon 11-Apr-11 20:16:53

I'm 16w with id twins and it's my worst nightmare. I want to wish you all the best for you and your babies (and your dh). x

chipmonkey Mon 11-Apr-11 21:00:53

MrsStevo, a friend of a friend went through this recently and despite being told that one twin had a very low chance of surviving both little boys are now out of hospital and doing really well.

I hope you are coping ok, it must be really hard just waiting and knowing there is little you can do. All I can say is rest, and KEEP AWAY FROM GOOGLE! It will send you mad! Like BagofHolly says TAMBA is brilliant and I'm sure there is a lot more experience on their message boards, and they also have a lovely helpline who you could phone. Tonight even, if you want to chat to someone.

sh77 Mon 11-Apr-11 23:31:31

Emergency in the Womb is on 4OD - def worth watching and perhaps getting an appointment with Prof. Nicolaides at the Fetal Medicine Centre. It is amazing how he helped one set of twins in utero by separating their blood supply.

CakeForBreakfast Tue 07-Jun-11 15:56:18

Hello, I wonder if anyone is still looking at this thread.

I am 18 weeks with identical twins and my routine scan today showed stage 3 twin-to-twin transfusion. I am devastated. I'm trying to carry on as normal as I have two other little children, but this is hard.

Just wanted to post it really, to get it out.

Renaissance227 Tue 07-Jun-11 16:02:23

I'm watching this thread. I hope MrsStevo had good news at the next scan and is doing well.

Renaissance227 Tue 07-Jun-11 16:08:16

Just in case there is anyone else watching this thread and concerned, it appears MrsS is much more chirpy. She wrote this on another thread on 19th May:
"I've been discharged from Birmingham now and am back under my Lincoln consultant. Babies looking good size-wise but what was the bigger baby with lots of fluid around him/her now has considerably less fluid than the other one. Apparently that means that when they did the surgery they didn't laser the placenta exactly in half and the little baby got the bigger half. They think the fluid difference is still within normal ranges though so still aren't panicking."

Thank goodness for that. All fingers crossed for a successful birth now! x

buttonmoon78 Tue 07-Jun-11 16:33:18

Cake I can't offer advice as I've not been in this position. I hope that you have a good outcome for any treatment you have. I know twins in their 60s who had TTTS. They are very different sizes but both well and happy. In those days TTTS wasn't even diagnosed until after the birth.

I hope your situation works out just as well.

Renaissance227 Tue 07-Jun-11 16:37:58

Fingers and toes are crossed for you CakeForBreakfast.
What has been offered as the next step for you? Have you been referred to a specialist as MrsS was?

nickelbabe Tue 07-Jun-11 16:46:39

everything crossed for you MrsStevo.

Regarding your food worries - your best bet is to physically relax (i know it's hard to mentally relax) and eat a normal diet.
taking extra supplements certainly won't do any harm, and it'll help you keep your iron levels etc up. (make sure you get ones that are for pregnant women)

nickelbabe Tue 07-Jun-11 16:47:48

sorry, didn't look at the date
CakeforBreakfast - maybe you could PM Mrs S and talk to her about it?
especially as it looks like she's feeling more chirpy now.

Renaissance227 Tue 07-Jun-11 16:51:38

Don't you just love sarcasm?!

Her posts sound much more positive. That better for you nickelbabe?

nickelbabe Tue 07-Jun-11 16:53:01

sorry, i didn't mean it like that blush

I meant that MrsS might not mind talking to someone going through the same thing, now that she knows (well, as far as we know) the babies are okay.

Renaissance227 Tue 07-Jun-11 16:55:21

Ok! Sorry just a bit sensitive today, as I keep getting my posts pounced on!! smile

nickelbabe Tue 07-Jun-11 16:58:50

it's okay, I understand smile

(i always worry about offending people, so wanted to point it out before you thought I was being a complete bitch blush )

silverangel Tue 07-Jun-11 18:03:10

Cake - I had laser ablation for severe ttts three weeks ago, in fact on my way to kings now so excuse spelling and typing on phone! Have you to have treatment? When we were first diagnosed it was horrific, told we pretty much had to have surgery there and then to save them both and three weeks on, so far so good.

There is a thread in ante natal which is Mrs S's story and mine at the end.

If you have any questions please feel free to pm.

Sending you hugs and lots of positive thoughts xx

CakeForBreakfast Tue 07-Jun-11 18:22:14

silverangel I'm really pleased to hear 3 weeks on you are doing ok. What was the experience of the laser treatment like?

silverangel Tue 07-Jun-11 18:31:42

I think looking back, bizarre would be the best way to explain it. I was terrified for my babies but it didn't hurt at all, had a local anaesthetic in my abdomen, they inserted the laser thingy and blasted away. It took about 20 minutes altogether. When they had finished the laser they aspirated 1.5 litres of fluid from the recipient twin's sac. I watched it on the big screen and got to see the baby which was amazing.

Afterwards had to wait an hour for a scan - both had heartbeats and we were sent home. The next four days were awful, it was a waitoing game to see if they had survived, when we went back for the scan seeing them both move around was the hugest relief...

CakeForBreakfast Tue 07-Jun-11 18:43:32

Oh wow. What a frightening thing to go through silverangel, It sounds like it was quite low key too, I have googled too much I think, and am expecting spinals and a catheter, full on theatre gowns etc.

is this your first pregnancy? Can I ask, how you had been feeling before you found out the babies had TTTS. I noticed a sharp increase in bump size but put it down to having just 'popped'.

renaissance nickelbabe and buttonmoon, thanks for posting, can someone link mrsstevos thread or bump it as I can't seem to find it!

silverangel Tue 07-Jun-11 19:35:04

I noticed my bump had got bigger but just assumed it was because it was twins (first pregnancy so nothing to compare it too), it was also very hard. After they drained the fluid I felt so much better without realising I wasn't feeling great in the first place if that makes sense. I was also getting really breathless which I have since read can be an indicator!

CakeForBreakfast Tue 07-Jun-11 20:51:18

Yes, I have been getting rather breathless, especially the last few days, and also the bump getting firmer.

Were you in an operating theatre or was it done in the scanning room?

silverangel Wed 08-Jun-11 07:34:29

Morning, it was in the scanning room so not too much like an operation. I was taken into another room first, they put in a canula in case they needed to administer any drugs, gave me some antibiotics through the line and took some blood. They also gave me a patch to wear to stop any contractions which I had to wear for 48 hours.

At check up yesterday they were really pleased with progress and I don't have to go back to the specialist at Kings again - hope you have the same result.

twinnies26 Wed 08-Jun-11 11:53:31

Hi Mrs.Stevo,
i just put up a post with exactly the same experience as you - I am 17 and a half weeks pregnant and had exactly the same ordeal as you just yesterday - i had emergency laser treatment and like your twins one was stuck against the wall with no bladder visable and the other twin was surrounded by too much fluid. It's been the most horrific 24hour hours for myself and my partner and i am also looking for someone to talk to about this and to also hear some success and miracle stories as the statistics are so frightening and overwhelming. This is also my first pregnancy.

We were told were at stage II also. Thankfully both babies have survived for now and this morning twin two's bladder is visable and has fluid. There are also equal amounts of fluid now flowing into the sacs. All of the questions you have written are our concerns too, and sometimes i have to keep pinching myself to see is this actually all real and happening to us.I guess we all need to take it one slow step at a time. Two weeks ago everything was perfect with our twins and they told us it was highly unlikely anything like this would happen.We will be checked again on Tuesday so i will be lying low until then.

So i guess we are not alone in this!so nice to know other people experiencing the same thing as we do not know of anyone who has ever encountered this.

I wish you the very best of luck and keep me posted!

Twinnies 26

MrsStevo Wed 08-Jun-11 15:18:40

OMG!! I'm so sorry for not posting on this thread!! It disappeared off my 'threads I'm on' and I never thought to look for it again. Stupid woman. I'm so sorry.

twinnies and cake - I'm SO sorry that you're having to go through this as well. It is truly the most frightening experience I have ever been through - I never realised how much I loved these babies until I thought (was convinced in fact) that I'd lose them.

BUT I am now 29 weeks and both babies are looking fine - I am scanned every week to keep a close eye on their development and blood flow from the placenta and they are both ok. TTTS is a hideous condition but there are lots of positive stories of everything being ok with both babies so hold onto that hope if you can.

cake - in answer to some of your Qs (although I know Silver has already answered them) - my experience was that I was in an operating theatre, full on gown, catheter, spinal anaesthetic - which all sounds scary and horrible but the whole thing was so surreal it didn't matter much to me. Where are you having the surgery? Birmingham were just fantastic - i couldn't speak more highly of them so if you are there you will be in excellent hands. If you haven't already gone to hospital, make sure you take lots of things with you to keep your mind busy - we took our laptop and DVDs, crossword books and ipod with an audiobook. I would also say you should have someone with you - if you have a DH or DP then make sure they come with you, you can't go through it alone.

Recovery time from the laser surgery is really quick and I didn't experience any pain at all.

I feel awful for not checking this thread sooner. But I will be online all evening now so if anyone has any questions / wants to know anything more about my experience, I am more than happy to help. Ask away.

GOOD LUCK to you both. My thoughts will be with you. x x x

MrsStevo Wed 08-Jun-11 15:29:08

Sorry cake -I've just assumed that you'll be having the surgery and you haven't actually said whether you are or not. I hope you have been referred to one of the specialists though - I believe there are 3 in the country - Kypros Nicolaides (at Kings, London), Prof Mark Kilby and Mr Bill Martin (both at Birmingham). Not sure where you are geographically but hope you can get to one of those hospitals - your local consultant / midwife should refer you straight away.

twinnies - take it very easy until Tuesday. I hate to say it but it will probably be the longest 6 days of your life. Keep as busy as you can without stressing yourself / your body and try to stay as positive as possible. The fact that both babies were ok yesterday is a great sign. If there's anything I can help with let me know, I found it so hard not having anyone to talk to who understood the trauma of everything I had gone through.

twinnies26 Wed 08-Jun-11 20:39:20

MrsStevo,

thanks so much for your reassuring words, it is a comfort to know that there could be light at the end of the tunnel. I'm at home resting in bed and off work for the next week, i think i'm too afraid to go out and about and running around anyway

I guess our main concern is whether they'll survive and off course whether any celebral palsy might be involved, the thought just breaks our hearts. But we are trying to not think ahead and to just go step by step. I think im just in shock at how quickly things have turned on us - but we are trying to be as positive as we can be.

Not so many questions for now-we're just waiting to see if they survive the next few days.

Like i said nice to find other people with similiar difficulties as we felt quite alone with it all.

Will keep you posted. So delighted your twins are doing so well! xx

MrsStevo Wed 08-Jun-11 21:41:03

Glad you're taking it easy, I know what you mean about going out - don't think I left the house in the week between the surgery and scan. I kept bursting into tears randomly so didn't want to go anywhere.

I asked the TTTS specialist about the risk of cerebral palsy when I was re-referred to him (at 25 weeks, doctors found that my babies had vastly different amniotic fluid levels again so thought it was TTTS re-occurring .... it wasn't). Anyway, what he said was that the risk of CP is related to if one baby doesn't survive - and even then it is only around 5%. They can check the babies' brains on a scan and both of mine looked normal, but that doesn't actually rule CP / any other neuro condition out as I don't think it can be diagnosed pre-birth.

I know what you mean about how quickly everything changed. At my 18 week scan everything looked rosy and we rolled up to the 20 week scan and you could tell immediately that both babies were really poorly. I will never forget the image of them on the scan that day. BUT since then, we've got a hundred pictures of them looking healthy and contented and I look at them all the time. My DH and I sobbed when we saw them at the scan after the surgery and the one the week later.

I have everything crossed for you that your little ones will be ok and am here if you need anything x x

twinnies26 Fri 10-Jun-11 12:45:44

thanks so much - no disasters in the last 48hours since home - but another 3days until the scan, i think the waiting is now the worst part. I seem to be getting more anxious and upset with worry as the days are passing. I know this isn't good.

I just still can't believe that i was so oblivious to the fact that something so terrible was wrong. Like what silverangel says, its only now looking back that i realise my belly had got bigger but it's my first pregnancy and thought i just get bigger as they're twins.

Anyway hopefully we will get good news on tuesday.

Hi all, just popping in to say that my best friend had this procedure too, when she was pregnant with her girls. I am going to message her to see if she would come on the thread too, as her story is a very positive one, and although it was absolutely terrifying when they first found out and the pregnancy was not easy, her girls are now 3 year old monkeys who have just started nursery and they are absolutely brilliant!

Best of luck to you all, I know that my friend was really taken care of very well by the medical people once she was diagnosed and to look at her lovely girls now you wouldn't imagine they were ever in that situation. Anyway she is on holiday at the moment but I will get her to come on when she comes back...smile

twinnies26 Fri 10-Jun-11 15:19:33

thank you that would be great!

MrsStevo Fri 10-Jun-11 20:23:53

cake - any news? Have been thinking of you and sending 'good luck' thoughts.

twinnies - I really feel for you, I know the days just seem like the longest ever. Is there anything you can do to keep yourself busy? I remember doing a jigsaw puzzle just to keep my brain / hands occupied and it was something I could do with my feet up. I won't say 'try not to worry' as that is just super-annoying and useless to hear but try to at least think positively and carry on looking after yourself, eating well etc as that is all you can do at the moment.

I was exactly the same size-wise. DH had been taking photos of me every week and, looking back, I 'popped' at 19 weeks and suddenly felt huge ... now I know why, but at the time - like you - I just assumed it was normal for twins.

Will have everything crossed for you and will be thinking of you on Tuesday. Keep us posted x x

hellswelshy Fri 10-Jun-11 21:43:21

Hello, i am best friend of geraldinetheluckygoat (see above), just got back from my holidays and wanted to post something as have read through the posts above. Firstly i hope you are all well, i know what a difficult time it is, i have been in the exact same situation and its just like some sort of bad dream. I had the laser surgery at 21 weeks, just after my second scan for my twin girls. At the initial scan they didnt realise my twins were identical (crucial point, i now realise), and consequently didnt keep an eye on me as well as perhaps they should have.
Anyway, when TTTS was diagnosed at the scan, my consultant was brilliant - Heath hospital Cardiff - and referred me to St Michaels in Bristol, where the consultant there performed the surgery that night. I didnt have a spinal anaesthetic, just pethidine, and like your story MrsStevo, the staff were amazing, just did the procedure like it was an everyday thing! They also drained around a litre of amniotic fluid away from me, via a tube, which goes to show how much excess fluid i had on my bump!! Recovery was fine, its really just the anxiety that goes with it, but the procedure went really well and it was the babies best chance.
From then on i was scanned every week, which was so nerve wracking, as was obviously expecting the worse every week. As the weeks went by, me and my husband relaxed a little more, the only other hurdle was the proposed Mri scan to see if any damage to the babies. This was suggested that i have the scan at 36 weeks and i was dreading it - what if they told me something looked wrong? I didnt have to face any of that as it would happen, as the girls were born at 32 weeks as i was showing signs of pre eclampsia. It was scarey to have them so early, but on the other hand i was so glad to have them there to take care of and actually see them. They stayed in neo natal for 5 weeks, before they came home.
Those tiny babies are now 3 years old, they are fighting fit, and have never had any health problems whatsoever. I was so grateful to the doctors for the care they showed me and my girls, i sent them pictures of the girls when they were a few months old as it felt important to me that they see the end of the story, so to speak. I wanted them to know how they had affected my life, my husbands and my childrens, and how grateful i was - and will always be.
I am sending all my best wishes to you and anyone else affected by this, it really does help to speak to someone who has gone through it, its a fairly rare occurence and it made me feel isolated at the time. Stay positive, look after yourselves, and keep us updated smile Feel free to ask anything, if i can help, id be glad to!smile)))

twinnies26 Sat 11-Jun-11 08:44:41

Hi MrsStevo and Hellswelshy,

thanks again for your messages, i am feeling brighter this morning and much calmer - thank god! Funny you mention doing jigsaws - we actually got a big 1000piece one and started it yesterday, figured it would distract the mind and it does!- so we are both working fast and furiously on it

hellswelshy - thanks for sharing your story - again it really helps to hear some success stories. Like you I had almost a litre drained and my belly is now over 2inches smaller! Just counting down the hours until Tuesday morning, but we are getting closer and i have had no more swelling or any pains etc.. so hopefully please god we will get some good news.

no word from cake then?

Twinnies, good luck for Tuesday, I have everything crossed for you xxx

CakeForBreakfast Sat 11-Jun-11 10:22:52

Hello again everyone, sorry I didn't realise the thread had picked up again.

Mrs Stevo thank you for posting and also to hellswelshy - your story was so good to read, so good. I'm really pleased for your little monkeys. I too am under the care of the consultant at St Micheals at Bristol as I live locally to there.

I was assuming I'd have the laser surgery on Friday (yesterday) and it was a hard deliberation for the consultant to decide what was best, but in the end we are waiting until next Tuesday now to allow the amniotic fluid levels to build just a wee bit further to 'squash' the placenta a bit more so it can be accessed a bit better by the laser. Any surgical advantage we can get we need as this is their only chance of surviving.

twinnies26 I have just about everything crossed for you too, next Tuesday is a big day for us both!

Can I ask you all just few more questions about the procedure, it sounds like it was different for everyone.

1.After the procedure, did you have aches, twinges, scary moments. What helped?

2. Were you sore? Was the abdominal wound big - did it bleed or leak?

3. How did you feel doing normal stuff, walking about, going up and down stairs etc, no twinges?

Oh i can't tell you how good it is to find you ladies who have been/going through this too

CakeForBreakfast Sat 11-Jun-11 11:26:29

oh, i also wondered, did you feel baby movement after the surgery for the next few days?

twinnies26 Sat 11-Jun-11 12:23:46

Oh cake, i wish you the very best for Tuesday - and i'm sure it must be awful to have to wait for the surgery. My situation was the same in that we were told if we didn't have surgery they would die no question but i was done there and then.

You will be fine on Tuesday, i guess maybe you might be more nervous as i was as I didn't get time to think about it as i was on the operating table within three and a half hours of my appointment. All i can say is remember that you are in the best of hands. I actually live in near Dublin in Ireland so obviously totally different team but still. I used to live in London that's how i know about this site.

The staff were all fantastic all so considerate and supportive. I was feeling so vunerable as i went to the appointment alone as E couldn't get the morning off with work. Obviously he arrived before the surgery!

Regarding procedure i was given 2 valium (which i was delighted with!)a suposidtory (spelling?)pethadine and an intrevenus antibiotic. i'm also on antibiotics for 5days to prevent infection in the wound.The procedure was not as bad as i had expected, didn't feel too much discomfort.I really tried to focus my mind elsewhere. The scariest and hardest part for me was trying to control my anxiety.

I didn't have any major abdominal pain afterwards, just felt a little tender inside after the laser i guess. I did,however, bleed and leak from my wound a few hours afterwards and quite alot. It wasn't pleasant but the nurses didn't seem too worried about it and it had settled down by the next morning. This morning we changed my dressing and it turns out the wound is actually tiny! Really you can expect little discomfort considering you will have keyhole surgery.

I stayed in bed all day or on couch Wed, Thurs and most of yesterday. Still resting up today - not out of discomfort but because i'm so tired from the emotional strain of it all (keep waking at 4.30/5am)and feel if i rest up i know i did my unmost best no matter what happens to our little girls. I don't really feel like being out and about and answering everyone's questions right now anyway.

I have only had little flutters so far in the pregnancy and as it is my first i have been unsure as to if they were really flutters at all! I did,however, feel a little push in my lower belly last night and wondered if that was one of the twins - but i just don't know for sure,so am not getting overly excited about it! The doctors will keep checking for movement while you are there, they were always poking my belly throughout all the ultrasounds to get the most movement out of them!

Will be thinking of you and sending you good wishes! Keep focusing on how many other people here success stories here, that's what keep me going! Before i found this thread i thought i'd never find anyone to ask questions to.

Twinnies xx

MrsStevo Sat 11-Jun-11 12:47:29

Hi cake, good to hear from you and so pleased you're getting good care at Bristol.

In answer to your questions - I think every moment is a scary moment after the procedure to be honest. I did have the odd twinge, cramp, pain now and again and immediately panicked but it was all nothing and probably just "normal" pregnancy twinges. I can't think of anything specifically that helped but I always tried to sit with my feet up, drink water and take deep breaths when I got panicky. Apparently sitting with your feet up is good for placental blood flow so I figured that must be a good thing.

The wound was tiny really compared to what I expected. It depends how your babies are lying as to where the surgeon will go in as they go into your stomach and through the bigger baby's amniotic sac. My scar is an X shape and is maybe 1cm x 1cm just below my belly button. I wear it with pride though as it saved my babies' lives. I wasn't sore at all really after the surgery but was very conscious of the wound, not wanting to knock it or have any tight clothing over it but it didn't hurt and didn't bleed / leak at all. I changed the dressing myself a couple of days afterwards and, after about 2 weeks, I cut the last of the stitches out myself as they weren't dissolving.

Doing 'normal stuff' was fine for me - but I didn't leave the house. I did take it very easy and spent most of the first couple of days in bed / on the sofa with DH looking after me. I didn't lift or carry anything as I just didn't want to take any risks. My worry (well one of them!) after the surgery was that my waters would rupture and I'd go into labour but that didn't happen. All in all I was actually more comfortable after the surgery I think as they drained a lot of fluid off my bump too. I had found even sitting was very uncomfortable and this was just the pressure on my bum cheeks from all the fluid (sorry if TMI)

One thing I did find though was that the 'discharge' I had been having throughout the pregnancy seemed to increase quite a lot, and has been the same ever since. At first I was worried it was my waters leaking but the MW said that if I didn't need to wear a pad then it wasn't my waters and was just normal.

I didn't feel any movements at all after the surgery - but then I hadn't had any before. I only started feeling movement at about 22 weeks. BUT I did have my own fetal heart monitor at home (Angel Sounds) which I had been using from about 16 weeks. I was very much in two minds about using it as I knew if I couldn't find a heartbeat then I would just fall apart but in the end I couldn't resist it and used it about 2 days after the surgery and then every day after that. Fortunately I could always find at least one heartbeat (quite hard to be sure I'd found two at the best of times) and I had reassurance from that. I can't say I'd recommend getting one though as it could just as easily be devastating if you can't find a heartbeat.

I will be thinking of you both on Tuesday. It is just such a hideous time I feel so sad that anyone else has to go through it too. I hope you've both got good DHs / DPs / friends that are supporting you - I wouldn't have got through it without mine.

Will be online a lot over the weekend and monday so feel free to ask any questions if you need to. x x x

silverangel Sat 11-Jun-11 13:41:15

Hi all,

Twiinnies, I feel for you knowing how you and Mr Twinnies are feeling right now. Feet up between now and Tuesday.

Cake, to answer your questions, my scar is maybe 5mm high up on the right hand side of my bump, can hardly see it now at all and I had no bleeding or anything after, they didn't even put a plaster on it. Where they go in will depend on the umbilical insertion points of your babies. I didn't have any twinges or anything after but pretty much straight after I could feel the recipient twin moving, up until then hadn't been able to feel it all - I guess because it had been floating around in so much fluid that once it had been drained its movements became more obvious. It wasn't kicking at that stage so just fluttering but I did spend the waiting until my next scan obsessing about what I could and couldn't feel.

I did nothing for the few days straight after, not for any physical reason, just felt like resting would give them the best chance of pulling through.

I had the suppository too, I had forgotten about that the whole thing was such a blur, I don't even know what it was for!

Thinking of you both and sending lots of positivity for Tuesdaysmile

silverangel Sat 11-Jun-11 15:38:42

Hi all,

Twiinnies, I feel for you knowing how you and Mr Twinnies are feeling right now. Feet up between now and Tuesday.

Cake, to answer your questions, my scar is maybe 5mm high up on the right hand side of my bump, can hardly see it now at all and I had no bleeding or anything after, they didn't even put a plaster on it. Where they go in will depend on the umbilical insertion points of your babies. I didn't have any twinges or anything after but pretty much straight after I could feel the recipient twin moving, up until then hadn't been able to feel it all - I guess because it had been floating around in so much fluid that once it had been drained its movements became more obvious. It wasn't kicking at that stage so just fluttering but I did spend the waiting until my next scan obsessing about what I could and couldn't feel.

I did nothing for the few days straight after, not for any physical reason, just felt like resting would give them the best chance of pulling through.

I had the suppository too, I had forgotten about that the whole thing was such a blur, I don't even know what it was for!

Thinking of you both and sending lots of positivity for Tuesdaysmile

silverangel Sat 11-Jun-11 15:38:51

Hi all,

Twiinnies, I feel for you knowing how you and Mr Twinnies are feeling right now. Feet up between now and Tuesday.

Cake, to answer your questions, my scar is maybe 5mm high up on the right hand side of my bump, can hardly see it now at all and I had no bleeding or anything after, they didn't even put a plaster on it. Where they go in will depend on the umbilical insertion points of your babies. I didn't have any twinges or anything after but pretty much straight after I could feel the recipient twin moving, up until then hadn't been able to feel it all - I guess because it had been floating around in so much fluid that once it had been drained its movements became more obvious. It wasn't kicking at that stage so just fluttering but I did spend the waiting until my next scan obsessing about what I could and couldn't feel.

I did nothing for the few days straight after, not for any physical reason, just felt like resting would give them the best chance of pulling through.

I had the suppository too, I had forgotten about that the whole thing was such a blur, I don't even know what it was for!

Thinking of you both and sending lots of positivity for Tuesdaysmile

hellswelshy Sat 11-Jun-11 18:22:22

Good luck to you both for Tuesday;will send all the most positive vibes to you both, keep strong for those little babies - they need you!! To answer the queries Cake, I had pethidine for the procedure and some local anaesthetic where they made the incision on my bump. It was a very small incision, and i didnt feel any discomfort during it, its like the others said, its mainly the anxiety. Make sure you keep calm as you can, focus on the fact they are doing an amazing thing to keep the babies safe and it will be over so quickly - honestly it will probably be over within 20mins. No real discomfort afterwards, the worst for me, as always was the thing they put in your hand as i have boney hands!!!! The very next day i felt movements from the babies, but only slight, and it felt different as so much fluid had been drained. Rest afterwards, at least for 24hrs with feet up and then take it as easy as you can...your body will tell you what to do.

I can honestly say the staff at St Michaels Bristol were superb;my male consultant (cant think of his name right now) was amazing, very calm, very logical, and very able. I felt very safe in his hands and knew he was doing as much as possible for me and the girls.

Fingers and everything else crossed for you both; and sending lots of warmth and understanding your way xxx

CakeForBreakfast Sat 11-Jun-11 19:45:04

Hiya,

I have read and re-read all these recent posts avidly. Thanks for giving me so much information, it helps to visualise whats coming.

Pessary - is that the pain relief they pop up the bottom?

I also agree, hellswelshy that the Bristol staff are lovely, (my consultants name is Mark Denbow - does that ring a bell?) I have so much faith in him, and the nurses, and midwives are so caring, even the receptionist is lovely!

The waiting is the bad bit, I am keen to get moving with the procedure as its the only chance my girls will have to live, every now and again the horrible thought of coming home after and going into prem labour creeps into my head and I shudder to imagine what that will be like. I must try harder NOT to imagine then really shouldn't I?!

Thank you again, what a brilliant positive bunch of tough cookies you are

PrincessScrumpy Sat 11-Jun-11 20:00:38

I just wanted to say I'm thinking of you both and really hope it all works out well for you. Every scan I go to I'm terrified what they will see and feel far more nervous about my ID twin pg than I did with dd1. I just want the pg over and to be bringing them home. Take care xx

MrsStevo Sat 11-Jun-11 22:37:41

Cake - I had to have a suppository as well and was told that it was to stop my uterus starting to contract which can happen when the amniotic sac is penetrated by the needle / probe thing. It is uncomfortable and undignified but, again, all necessary for helping your little ones so it didn't matter to me at all. Think I had to have it 2 hours before the surgery to give it time to work.

Horrible thoughts are par for the course I think. I kept thinking the absolute worst and, like I said before, I was convinced I'd lose them - either from them not surviving the surgery, or prem labour etc etc. In a way, I suppose me anticipating the worst was a self-preservation thing as if I had been super-positive and I'd lost the babies it would probably have hit me twice as hard. That said, I think it is important to try and stay as positive and as 'normal' as possible for the babies' sakes. Maybe try and be a bit strict with yourself when you think horrible things and make yourself think about something else or physically do something that keeps your mind busy. I listened to a lot of audiobooks and tried to read and stuff as that kept my mind busy.

You say we are tough cookies and I think we really are- I didn't feel in the least bit tough or brave at the time though but it is amazing what your body / brain will do to keep you strong when you need to be. It all felt overwhelming and impossible to me at the time but it really is just about getting through each day one at a time and ticking them off.

Fingers are remaining permanently crossed for you both x x

hellswelshy Sun 12-Jun-11 08:54:54

Yes Cake, it was Mark Denbow!! He was wonderful, you are in good hands - he was the consultant that performed the surgery, and the one i wrote the letter and sent pics of my girls to afterwards! Glad they are making you feel looked after; it was the same for me, i was sent there last minute from the hospital in Cardiff and i cant praise them enough. They even let my husband stay in my room with me overnight on a mattress on the floor as i didnt want to be on my ownsmile)
Agree with MrsStevo, horrible thoughts are normal BUT we are all tough cookies (think twins are sent to very tough mums;) ) and positive and strong thoughts will help you and the babies get through it. I am amazed when i look back at my pregnancy and everything i went through, but it just goes to show what we are capable of.
Thinking of you and everyone else affected on this thread, will keep checking in if you need any more advice or just an ear to listen xx

whackamole Sun 12-Jun-11 13:58:44

Hi ladies,

Just wanted to wish you all luck, I had TTTS when pg with my boys back in 2008, we never got to the needing surgery stage and the only difference between them is 2lb in size (now, I mean!) and about 2cm in height. I was scanned weekly from 18-28 weeks and although it was an awful, awful time, I am so grateful for the care we had.

PS - I was signed off work for about 8 weeks and I truly believe that not having the stress of work to worry about as well helped. I could be talking out of my backside of course!

Hope all goes well, will also be keeping an eye out as this is an issue close to my heart x

CakeForBreakfast Mon 13-Jun-11 10:50:15

Hi Whackamole

Thanks for joining and all the positive toughts. Positivity is just the tonic

MrsStevo how far along are you now??

MrsStevo Mon 13-Jun-11 11:10:45

Morning cake - how are you feeling?

I will be 30 weeks tomorrow! Never thought I would make it this far but I had a growth scan on Friday and both babies are looking good - although their measurements are a week apart, so they will be obviously different sizes on arrival. Consultant has said I will have to have a CS now and is hoping that I'll get to 36-37 weeks before they bring them into the world.

Big day for you and twinnies tomorrow. I'll be thinking of you both all day. Would be great to hear from you when you have any news x x

twinnies26 Mon 13-Jun-11 11:59:14

Hi there,

MrsStevo fantastic you are 30weeks now, so great to hear you had same treatment and are almost there! Very exciting for you,bet you can't wait for their safe arrival.

I'm just dying to get to the appointment now to know one way or the other. I think my pregnancy was hit with this the earliest of everyones - 17 +3 so i'm hoping we can still have some good news tomorrow.

will let you know how we go either way. thanks for all the support everyone xx

twinnies26 Mon 13-Jun-11 12:00:01

oh and Cake the VERY best of luck to you tomorrow. I will be thinking of you and sending you good wishes. xx

CakeForBreakfast Mon 13-Jun-11 15:23:33

Hi

MrsStevo that is incredible! What a wonderful result and still going! You must eat as many chocolate biscuits as possible to fatten up your babies, consider it medicine!!

Thanks Twinnies I am nervous and worried but also quite keen to get to it! I will also be thinking of you tomorrow, how do you feel? How have the last few days been for you?

silverangel Mon 13-Jun-11 15:49:32

Mrs S - 30 weeks, wow! They'll be with you before you know itsmile I'm seeing my consultant on Wednseday and hoping to get some firmer answers on when they hope to deliver, am 24+3 now.

Cake and Twinnies will be thinking of both of you tomorrow x

twinnies26 Mon 13-Jun-11 18:14:15

Hi Cake - i'm sure you're keen to get it done now!the thing to remember is that it will be over before you know it.All in all a fast procedure.

Today's not great for me, i'm really anxious and actually quite panicky and teary about tomorrow. I am trying to be positive but now that i'm going back to the hospital i'm just so worried and finding it really hard to relax this evening and stay calm.Mr. Twinnies is being fantastic and my parents were just over too so plenty of people rallying around us and supporting us.

Been abit of a rollarcoaster since the procedure,two days of shock (i did nothing and was capable of nothing) as it all happened so quickly for me, then a few days of tears on and off and just wanting to hide away and have quite time, occupying myself with jigsaws,crosswords and dvd's. This is my first pregnancy so i'm finding it all quite overwhelming to be honest.

Let me know how tomorrow goes.x

Silverangel thanks for the good wishes x

CakeForBreakfast Mon 13-Jun-11 20:11:48

Hi Twinnies I'm not surprised you are up and down, it is a BIG thing to go through and the tension of waiting for the outcomes is enormous.

I too am a bit wobbly today. My twins condition is at stage 3 and I STUPIDLY googled a bit more today and read a report that treatments done at stage 3 have a lower percentage of good outcomes than any other stage (even stage 4). So now I'm a wreck! I wish I hadn't googled.

lets see how tomorrow goes. Everything is crossed for you!

twinnies26 Mon 13-Jun-11 20:28:01

Cake don't google! it's the worst thing to do isn't it??try to put that out of your mind! x good luck tomorrow, am offline for the night now. chat soon!

twinnies26 Tue 14-Jun-11 17:10:11

Hi there ladies,

Just thought i'd let you know that were arrived back from our scan with good news today. Two little girls, recovering as well as could be expected!!So we are thrilled. Hearts strong,brains good, twin 2's bladder is back and good size, equal fluid in both sacs etc... They're going to take me next week for the big 20weeks scan so will get all the proper measurements etc... They said it's still week by week and we will just have to see how it goes but we are thrilled that there is much more hope and positivity today.

Thank you so much for sharing you stories and experiences- I can't tell you enough how much help it has been. That was probably the toughest week of my life to date!

Cake how did you get on today?Hope it was a success and that your twins are doing well. Please keep us posted-hope the week goes by ok for you.Waiting is hard!but i think you said you have other children (?) so i guess they will keep you distracted-but rest up all the same!

Will keep my checking this thread.

Twinnies

MrsStevo Tue 14-Jun-11 18:43:36

twinnnies I am SO relieved for you. That is fantastic news!!! Well done you for growing such feisty babies!! Thank you so much for updating with another positive story.

If you have the same deal as me, you'll be scanned weekly from now on to monitor them - I've had a growth scan every fortnight and another scan to measure fluid levels and dopplers on the week inbetween.

It is a week by week thing now I'm afraid and the weeks do tend to drag, BUT I've made it to 30 weeks so it can be done. I'm so pleased for you - bet you feel like an enormous weight has been lifted and will get a good night's sleep tonight!!

Keep us posted on your progress.

cake - I've been thinking of you all day today as well and keep checking for updates. Really hope you're ok and the consultant has come up with a plan for you so you know what is going to happen. Fingers crossed you'll have super-feisty babies as well x x

silverangel Tue 14-Jun-11 19:45:32

Fantastic news twinnies - I agree that week when I was diagnosed \ treated was the toughest week of my life too. Ditto for me what Mrs S said, being scanned every week now and consultant said it is a week by week thing now and see how it goes before they make a decision on delivery.

Cake - hope all went well for you today x

twinnies26 Tue 14-Jun-11 20:06:24

thanks ladies! yes like you both am to be scanned every week now and next week is growth scan and the consultant said he is optimistic based on todays progress that next week should go well - so fingers crossed. He was talking so differently today which was so nice, last week was all so morbid and frightening. fantastic you are 30weeks MrsStevo,that's what i aspire to be! am hoping to catch up on some sleep tonight i was awake at 4am this morning as i was so nervous about appointment.

Here's hoping Cake has feisty babies too! chat soon x

CakeForBreakfast Tue 14-Jun-11 20:30:42

Hello,

Twinnies I am SO relieved and happy for you. I do understand its an ongoing thing, but you can be so proud of how many hurdles you have jumped so far. Well done Twinnies and mini-twinnies

I am home now after the procedure. It was nerve racking to say the least and I now face the anguish of waiting and hoping my uterus and babies cope. The procedure itself was straightforward, the consultant was poker faced as always but was content with the way things went. My diazepam and painkillers are still in effect so I feel ok really. Fingers crossed!

twinnies26 Tue 14-Jun-11 21:23:14

Hi Cake so glad it all went well for you! I really am. My consultant was like that too on the day. I guess it's just such a serious time. Sending you lots of good wishes while you wait now. I'm sure you have two strong twins in there!Do you know the sex yet?We ended up asking seeing as the initial diagnosis was so awful. Rest up now for the next few days. You've got over the first hurdle today so now just take it day by day.That's all we can do! xx

silverangel Tue 14-Jun-11 22:23:47

Cake - pleased to hear it went well. Rest as much as possible and hope the wait to the next scan goes as quickly as possible x

MrsStevo Tue 14-Jun-11 22:34:55

Good to hear from you cake and so pleased it went well today - it must have been an awful, awful day for you but it is over now. Like twinnies said, you've got over the first hurdle today and every day is one more ticked off. When are you back for a scan - is it after one week? I will have everything crossed for you and twinnies as it is just an unspeakably anxious time.

I remember thinking 30 weeks seemed like a lifetime away when I had the surgery at 20 weeks and I'd have done anything to get there ... and I have, so keep positive and everything crossed as it can and does happen.

Are you both taking some time off work now that you've had the surgery? I was signed off for 2 weeks and I am SO glad that I was as it meant I could really rest up and put very little stress on my body / babies. I hope you have the same opportunity.

Keep in touch x x

twinnies26 Wed 15-Jun-11 06:54:55

Hi MrsStevo yes am off work for good now! Which still hasn't sunk in yet,not due back until January! I am a classical musician and was due to finish for summer break end of June but have had to cancel everything until then as it involved alot of travel around Ireland and to London - So i am probably going to start climbing the walls as my busy life has ground to a halt but will be good for the babies i guess!had hoped to be one of these people who works up to the end but as i travel so much it's not really going to suit this type of pregnancy now!

Cake hope all is well this morning! hope you are sleeping ok - i'm still awake from 4 onwards each day :S x

CakeForBreakfast Wed 15-Jun-11 08:38:42

Morning all,

Feels strange this morning, I can feel movement around inside so am trying to do my best to rest and not over exert myself, like you all did, I am worrying that one wrong move and my waters could break and that would be the end of it!

My next scan is actually tomorrow (Thursday), which is a bit early and they wont expect to see any improvement but I will be scanned again then the following tuesday too and so on! I am having girls btw.

How are you all feeling now, silverangel you are about a month since the treatment aren't you - thats a great milestone, are you more or less back to 'normal'?

Mrs Stevo I have my fingers crossed you continue to go on and on - who knows maybe they will want to induce you because the babies are so happy inside and don't come out!!

Twinnies I hope you are still enjoying the relief as much as you can, are you snoozing in the day to make up for waking up so early?

PoppysMom Wed 15-Jun-11 08:39:57

Twinnies and Cake so glad you both had good news and a good procedure. Hope that you manage to move on with your pregnancy easier now and that the wait isn't too long

CakeForBreakfast Thu 16-Jun-11 19:47:01

Hi all,

Just a quick update for you. Its been 48 hours since the procedure. We went back for a quick scan today, (I think just to see if there are any survivors,) since I wasn't scanned before being sent home post surgery

They were both there alive and also showing some improvement. It is too early to see how much better things are, some things are not perfect such as recipient twin is still peeing alot, but also it would have been normal to see no change so soon after the procedure but we already have some improvement so thats positive.

Next scan in 5 days will be more indicative, I'm really hoping things go well.

How are you all doing?????

twinnies26 Thu 16-Jun-11 19:49:21

Cake how did the scan go today? Was thinking of you today. I really hope it went well. You have to wait another few days though for the next one yes?.Oh congrats that they are girls! Everyone keeps saying girls are great fighters in the womb and at birth!

Great they scanned you again so soon- i had my surgery early evening and then was scanned at 7.30am next day but then had to wait 5days until the next one so it was a long wait!

I'm doing ok i hope hard to know when it doesn't actually affect our health! Getting abit more sleep so that's helping Babies are fluttering away so i presume that's a good sign smile Much more activity since the laser surgery!

Twinnies

twinnies26 Thu 16-Jun-11 19:50:29

oh somehow i missed your post above!just saw it now for some reason.....

twinnies26 Thu 16-Jun-11 19:54:10

yes i think the next few days will make a big difference - for me twin 2's (recipients) bladder was back to normal only at the 7day scan. So yes i think it takes a few days. Keep thinking positive thoughts and so great you know there are still two babies there! Super news smile That's another step!x

MrsStevo Thu 16-Jun-11 21:11:32

cake that is great news!! So pleased they're still in there and starting to improve. It has taken my babies 9 weeks to even out their amniotic fluid levels again but so long as they both have some then they can get their kidneys working which is all good.

It must be lovely to be able to feel fluttering twinnies! I have to say that I didn't even really believe I was pregnant until mine starting moving at about 22 weeks - I didn't have any feeling from them at all after the surgery.

I have my weekly scan tomorrow to check on fluid levels and blood flow. I have about 100 questions for the mw now that I know I'm having a CS!! I really hope I don't sound like I'm bragging about getting towards the end, I only talk about where I'm at as I hope it will give you all some hope that you can go through this awful, awful condition and still make it to the end.

I watched a programme called 'Hospital Sydney' today (it is amazing what trash I end up watching when I'm not at work!!) and there was a woman who had TTTS on that and her babies were delivered at 26 weeks. The smaller baby was only around 1lb - 1+ 1/2lb but both babies survived! I was, of course, blubbing whilst watching it - just so amazing to see what can be done for such poorly babies.

Fingers crossed for you all, keep us posted on how you're getting on x x

CakeForBreakfast Fri 17-Jun-11 08:43:06

Morning all,

I know I shouldn't be stressing (or googling), but I noticed in my notes that donor twins Head Circumference has dropped some centiles, the other measurements not dropped so much. Dr google has worried me about brain injury. I wondered if anyone else has had similar?

I KNOW I'm overreacting, I will try to put it out of my mind until I talk to the consultant next! Bad me for googling again.

I hope you are all doing well. MrsStevo are you starting to get excited??

xx

twinnies26 Fri 17-Jun-11 10:03:35

Hi Cake i wasn't made aware of anything like that and my folder stays in the hospital but I'm having the 'big'20 week scan on Tuesday so they said they will do indepth check of all measurements then so i can let you know.

I really wouldn't google too much, i really believe it stresses one out more. Not that i want to remain ignorant or innocent about the dangers of this condition but i think too much googling can be dangerous sometimes with medical issues and worry you too much. There is a lady in Ireland sending me a leaflet/phamplet (which i think has been published in UK)with info about TTTS and stories about survivors. When it arrives i can give you the details of that if you like? Apparently published by the Multiple Births Association if that's any help.

MrsStevo hope the scan goes well for you! You must be so excited you are so close now smile Do you know the sex? Are you nervous about the CS? I suppose with identicals it's probably the safest way, i imagine most of us will have a CS. It is great to hear how well you are getting on as it really gives me hope that things can work out!

I am also familiar with those Sydney twins I read about them online (there's me saying don't google too much!haha)it was before i was affected with TTTS and the story really touched me too. Saw photos of the tiny little things.Such a great story that they survived too.

Chat soon x

silverangel Fri 17-Jun-11 12:17:04

Hello all, glad to hear you are doing ok Cake and Twinnies.

Mrs S - not bragging at all, its really good to hear from someone who is getting towards the end! How did your scan go?

I had an appointment with my consultant on Wednesday and all still looking good - she was really happy. Did a scan but just briefly to check heartbeats and fluid levels, have a more detailed growth scan next Wednesday. I tried to push her on when they would aim for delivery and she said it is very much wait and see at this point, will have steroids at 27/28 weeks and then take it from there. I have four weeks left at work which takes me to 29, I think I am going to be more than ready to finish by then, am feeling good at the moment but by the time it gets to Friday I am shattered.

God, I know what you mean re googling, in fact so many things. Read the TAMBA magazine the other day and it had a TTTS story in it saying that the TTTS re-occured at I think 29 weeks, cue panic from me. My consultant has assured me that it cannot re-occur, but there may be growth discordance if the placenta has not been split equally.

Have you all found out what you are having? We haven't, going for the surprise element, and I change my mind on a daily basis about what they are. Something else I read, probably with no grounding in reality, said that girls are more likley to survive trauma during pregnancy / very early delivery - will be interesting to see if they are girls!

Did anyone see that Emergency in the Womb on TTTS - its still on 4 on demand, I watched a little bit yesterday but it was too close to home so couldn't carry on with it.

Hope you all have good, restful weekends x

MrsStevo Fri 17-Jun-11 18:24:04

cake I will hunt you down and break your computer if you keep googling! Don't be worried - my donor twin's head circumference has gone down a bit as well but consultant has re-assured me that it isn't indicative of anything, just general variation.

silver - I read that article in the tamba magazine too! Thought it was very interesting but can understand why it creates panic!! I was shipped back to Birmingham Hosp at 25 weeks as my Lincoln consultant was concerned that TTTS was re-occurring as the fluid levels around babies were vastly different again. The specialist there actually told me that TTTS CAN re-occur in very rare circumstances as sometimes they might miss a vessel when they laser and sometimes the pressure can open up some of the lasered vessels again. In my case, neither of those things had occurred but he thought it was - as you said - that the placenta hadn't been split equally and actually the original donor twin was receiving the bigger blood supply. Hasn't made any odds to their development - the little baby remains the smallest by the same distance. Oh, and I read that you'll be having the steroid injections too - I had them at 27 weeks. Just to warn you.... it hurts!! The actual injection doesn't hurt so much (mine was in my bum cheek so fairly well padded grin ) but the viscosity of the fluid they inject makes it quite painful as it disperses - only for about 2 minutes - but make sure you breathe through the pain and focus on what a miraculous injection it is.

Oh and no, I didn't watch the 'emergency in the womb' thing for exactly the reason you said - far too close to home for me at the moment. I would be very interested to watch it, but only when I have both my babies firmly snuggled up in my arms.

I DO know what I'm having gender-wise but have to keep schtum on here as my sister and her friend are both on MN and i suspect my sister might stalk me a bit on here just to keep tabs on me and to keep an eye out if I say what gender they are! We hadn't wanted to know but, like a lot of others have said, found out at the point we had the surgery as we wanted to know what they were if we were going to lose them.

My scan today went fine thank you! Both babies are behaving themselves and their fluid levels have picked up - one is 5cm the other 6cm now. I asked when I would actually get my date for a CS and was told that they would prob look to book a date when I get to 34 weeks. I'm not actually that nervous and the CS itself but am anxious about the recovery from it etc. My biggest worry is that if the babies need to be in special care for a while, I won't be able to take myself up there and the midwives will no doubt be super busy. I'm also desperate to be able to breastfeed and worry about whether or not I'll be able to do that if they're in SCBU. But we will just have to see what these babies have in store for us!

Right, this has become an epic post - sorry! Hope you all have restful weekends and take it easy x x

CakeForBreakfast Sun 19-Jun-11 13:40:46

Hello,

MrsStevo I'm so glad the scan went ok. There are so many worries aren't there, My family have been calling non stop for news, it seems such an essay to explain that so far everyone is alive, but that doesn't mean everything is ok and why they can't go out and buy toys and clothes yet!

I don't know how it will work out once your babies are born regarding SCBU or maybe even just a transitory ward, a women who used to counsel for TAMBA told me that twins are often tougher than singletons

gotta go, got a 19month after my keyboard

Thinking of you all

twinnies26 Mon 20-Jun-11 16:42:59

hello all,

Mrs. Stevo and Silverangel That's great your scans went well! I'm interested in the steroid injections that you mention....i haven't heard anything about them yet but i guess maybe i am so much earlier in my pregnancy that my consultant hasn't mentioned them yet, i have a long way to go before 27 weeks -sounds pretty painful and uncomfortable. The fluid that they inject, does it help balance the fluid again in the sacs?

Cake are you off for your next scan tomorrow then??If so good luck, will be thinking of you. I was so nervous going into mine last week. I'm back in tomorrow to see how the little girls are doing and for the 'big' 20week scan. I'm pretty nervous again even though they told me last week that things were looking more positive (as a month ago i was told it was highly unlikely my pregnancy would be affected by this). How are you doing? Not too stressed out i hope. I still can't sleep properly and it's really becoming a pain - still awake from 4/4.30 onwards. Managing to catch abit during the afternoon though as i'm not working since the surgery was meant to go away with work and missed the tour. I think even though i am not as upset and stressed as i was it is in my subconcious all the time.

One thing i noticed over the weekend is that when i went to visit some girlfriends for tea i found it much more difficult than i thought sitting with my other pregnant friend (she is having one baby and is 6weeks ahead of me) She kept chatting about how she is buying things left right and centre and planning the babies room etc.. full on nesting - i suddenly realised that i don't have the same excitement as i had or that now i'm maybe too afraid to get too excited as who knows what will happen with my babies. I feel i can't plan anything like that now. Anyway, I hoping if we get two or more weeks of positive words from my consultant i will feel like my pregnancy is back in the game again and i'll relax a little bit more!

silverangel Mon 20-Jun-11 17:10:10

Hello, was just thinking about you guys and wondering how you were getting on.

My consultant actually mentioned steroids before any of this happened, it seems at my hospital.

Mrs S - I feel the same as you re the section - not worried about the procedure at all but worried about recovery, time in special care etc. Think we just have to be pragmatic and take it as it comes, fingers crossed at 34 weeks they shouldn't need too long in special care. If mine have to be delivered pre 32 weeks (and keeping everything crossed they don't), they will deliver them at Kings instead of my local hospital which will be a giant pain in the arse logistically.

Twinnies - I know exactly what you mean re the excitement etc. I finally bit the bullet and ordered the buggy about ten days ago which has been delivered to mother in law. My husband cant understand why I don't want it in the house yet but it just seems too early. I have also today finally ordered a couple of bits - bath supports, some bouncing chairs and a breastfeeding pillow but its not as I imagined it to be, going out and shopping and getting excited over things. I wont relax until these babies are out!

Luckily, I've been ok so far on the sleeping front and generally I'm feeling pretty good - although I cant reach the floor or bend down without involuntarily groaning and I cant fit out my back door anymore without opening the second door!

Cake & Twinnies - good luck for the scans tomorrow - let us know how you get on. I'm back on Wednesday for the detailed growth scan.

x

twinnies26 Mon 20-Jun-11 17:42:13

Hi silverangel

I think we will do exactly as you have done-get everything much later on as nothing is certain and like you i won't have it in the house i think!

I was only thinking about what size your bump and Mrs,Stevos bumps must be! I think i am already big for five months so can only imagine what i will be like in a few week.s Hilarious you can't fit out the door, i'm hope i have all that to look forward too ;) I'm sure you just can't wait to have your babies safe in your arms! Hope your scan goes well on Wednesday! at least we're all being monitored all the time now!

Chat soon x

MrsStevo Mon 20-Jun-11 22:07:18

Hi!

twinnies - the steroid injections are to help the babies produce surfactant - something in their lungs which they would produce naturally at 34 weeks which helps them breathe once they arrive in the world. I was given them incase the babies needed to be delivered / arrived before 34 weeks gestation but it was
just a precaution.

Cake - I know what you mean about the 'essay' thing. I have grown very tired indeed about telling people what TTTS is, what it means risk-wise and just our general 'story'. I was in the hairdressers last week and when they asked how the pregnancy had been I didn't tell them any of it as I just couldn't be bothered. Family have been quite good on the whole and done their own research - my mum and dad watched the 'emergency in the womb' programme which I think gave them a good understanding (and freaked them out too).

Sleep-wise, my nights are very disturbed now! I can't get comfy for long and have to keep switching sides and re-arranging pillows. But I have the odd nap during the day if I've had a properly awful night. I am huge though - waist is 44 + 1/2 inches now!! But I love it - despite the stretch mark-o-rama I now have going on.

I felt exactly the same as both of you about getting excited and buying things for the babies. Since the surgery I've never really accepted that I might actually HAVE these babies and get to bring them home so haven't been able to feel very excited about them and didn't want to buy stuff in case it somehow jinxed them. For me, reaching 28 weeks was a milestone as my consultant said that they would almost certainly survive if they were born then so I have started relaxing a bit since then. I have had to buy loads of things in the last couple of weeks as I want to be as prepared as possible but even now I have a nagging voice in my head warning me not to go crazy in case something goes wrong. I don't think I'll relax until my babies are firmly in my arms either.

Anyway, I'll have everything crossed for you guys tomorrow and Wednesday - let us know how you get on. I'm 31 weeks tomorrow, not back at the hosp until Friday for another growth scan.

x x x

CakeForBreakfast Tue 21-Jun-11 20:27:45

Hi,

I had another scan today, so thats 7 days after the laser op. The babies themselves are doing very well. Dopplers back to normal, amniotic fluid levels going in the right direction pretty speedily, a really good result so far.

The only fly in the ointment is that the outer membrane has come away from the uterine wall, (chorionic membrane separation). So my risk of miscarriage has increased some more as the membranes are a bit more vulnerable to early rupture. Well. Add it to the end of the list of all the other risks I say, I guess it would have been tooooooo much to ask to have the babies bounce back from stage 3 without some blip to worry about.

How are the rest of you doing?

twinnies26 Tue 21-Jun-11 21:59:54

hi there,

Mrs Stevo thanks for the low down on the steroid injections smile hadn't heard of them before! So great you are 31 weeks now - what i would give to be there or even 28! I still have such a long way to go. Pretty impressive waist line! I've abit of catching up to do yet - my bump is coming along though especially in the last month - think in another week i'll be out of my normal jeans and into maternity ones!

Cake - so sorry to hear there are still some further risks for you and your little babies sad I had read about that only the other day. do you need to rest up much more now? Doesn't it also cause preterm labour? I will be sending good wishes your way and praying for you that it won't cause you any further heartache. On a more positive note, you must focus on the good results - great babies are recovering so quickly and that all fluid levels etc.. are good!many positive things there too.

I had my scan and meeting with the consultant this morning. Babies are doing very well all considered. Like Cake dopplers normal, fluid levels in both sacs are equal, bladders are functioning properly again and hearts and brains also doing very well no fluid residue anywhere. They did a full growth scan and the twins are actually the same size - for now anyway about 15cm. All in all we are pleased,our consultant seemed pleased too but also quick to add it that it is still early days and we have a long way to go- i'm only 20weeks in a few days.

Anyway we have to take it week by week so in my eyes another Tuesday ticked off, now we'll aim for the next one!

Mrs Stevo hope scan goes well on Friday

xx

silverangel Wed 22-Jun-11 09:37:03

Cake, sorry to hear that but good news that hte babies are doing well. What happens now, do they just keep a close eye on you?

Twinnies - good news re your scan.

I am in tomorrow for a scan, thought it was today, arranged time off work and then checked and realised wrng day. Brain is definitley turning to mush!

x

MrsStevo Wed 22-Jun-11 10:01:24

cake - that is great news that both babies are ok! So pleased for you. Sorry to hear about the membrane separation - what does that mean in terms of keeping an eye on you? The woman on the Hospital Sydney programme I saw last week had that as well as TTTS and her babies were fine. How many weeks are you now? I love the sound of your positive attitude though. Like you say, it is just another risk to add to the pile and your amazing babies have already overcome some pretty bad odds to survive the surgery. They are clearly fighters!

twinnies - also fantastic news from you! Brilliant that they're now the same size again. Very clever babies indeed smile

Like you both say, take it week by week, that is all you can do. You'll get there I'm sure! Although every week does seem like a bit of a lifetime I know. I felt the same way about getting to 28 weeks - never thought it would happen - but now I'm getting greedy and really want to get to 35 weeks!!

Silver good luck for tomorrow !! I sympathise with the baby brain, I'm incapable of complex thinking at the moment sad Let us know how you get on tomorrow

CakeForBreakfast Wed 22-Jun-11 13:52:42

Hi,

About the membrane separation, my consultant says it another thing to keep close eye on, and I still cannot lift my children or do anything strenuous. I have to be careful. It does increase the risks of PROM and pre-labour but I can't seem to get away from that one!

I am just over 20weeks. Before all the TTTS stuff I felt time was flying by and I wouldn't have much time to do all the organising/filling the freezer I needed to do. Now it seems to be taking forever. I'm desperate to get to 28 weeks and mrsStevo is my true aspiration, I'd love to be still going like you! i'm very excited for you!

twinnies26 Wed 22-Jun-11 22:30:53

Well i guess you need to take it very easy then - probably hard with a family already. This is my first pregnancy so only have myself and twins to try to look after.

I know how you feel Cake -I feel exactly the same - but i guess maybe once a few weeks pass with this new type of pregnancy for us it might (?) seem more 'normal' in a wierd way and the time will start to pass quicker - i hope so anyway! I am wondering the same thing - will we ever get to 28 weeks? If the other ladies can do it, it can also happen for us! - at least you are a week ahead of me - you lucky thing! smile x

Only skimmed the thread, (my own twins (nonID) are crying) but good luck to you ladies. I can't imagine the trauma that TTTS gives but you sound like strong wonderful ladies, and I wish you all the best in the coming weeks until (fingers crossed) a happy twin birth

silverangel Fri 24-Jun-11 12:16:53

Hi all,

Thanks Ginger.

Well I had my scan yesterday (first at local hospital) and it was a nightmare! Babies are well, good growth and fluid levels, bladder and kidneys normal in both but the sonographer clearly didn't know anything about TTTS - she asked me when I walked in if they had seperate placentas, I said no MCDA, she said 'Oh, so non-idetical then?'. She couldn't get a measurement for the fluid around each baby, said it was too difficult, and then kept getting an intermittent absent EDF for twin 2. She sent me outside while she wrote up my notes and said she would refer me back to Kings (which by this point I was totally happy with!). She then came back and told me she was sending me up to the labout ward - cue panic on my behalf thinking something was desperatley wrong and that they were going to want to get them out already!!

Waited up there for an age as the consultant was doing an EMCS, he came to see me and introduced himself, he was from Quenn Charlotte's and happened to be covering at my hospital and he actually knew what he was talking about. First thing he said was that they were doing really well and to relax, and that the absent EDF was most likley down to the sonogropher, especially as it was intermittently missing. The fact they are growing well doesnt accord with absent EDF. End result - referred back to Kings and going for a scan next week but happy with progress so far. Phew.

Hope all is well with everyone and you have good weekendssmile

MrsStevo Fri 24-Jun-11 12:46:36

Well silver, sounds like you and I have had similarly crap experiences in the last 24 hours!!

I had a growth scan this morning. Usual 30 minute wait between my appointment time and my actual scan time. Nice sonographer who I've seen before did the measurements - both babies still measuring between 25th and 50th centile, but bigger twin hasn't grown all that much in the last 2 weeks. Then she measured the ventricles in the babies' brains and found that the smaller twin's left ventrical is dilated more than it should be - maximum depth should be 10mm and it was 11.4mm. Second sonographer then came in to double check it (10 minutes later, so I was alone for 10 minutes having just been told there was an abnormality with one of my baby's brains!! FFS!!) and confirmed the same. So THEN I was sent packing back out to the waiting room to await meeting with the midwife. An HOUR later (about half of which I spent in the toilets sobbing my heart out) I get called in by yet ANOTHER midwife who I've never met, who has no idea what I've been through etc etc and the first thing she said was "Oh, I see you're having twins". ARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES I AM HAVING FUCKING TWINS AND THEY ARE VERY COMPLICATED TWINS AND I'VE HAD SURGERY AND NOW ONE OF THEM POSSIBLY HAS A BRAIN ABNORMALITY....... READ MY FUCKING NOTES!!!!!!!!!!!! (I didn't say any of that of course, just a polite "yes"). So she does all the normal stuff - BP, asking me about movements etc - and then goes to get the doctor to 'sign me off' for another week. Doctor comes in and basically said that he couldn't tell me what the increased ventricle thing could mean at this stage but there's nothing they can do about it anyway. He said they would measure it again on my next scan in 2 weeks and if it remains enlarged, then I would be referred to a paediatrician to discuss what this might mean when the babies arrive. I then had to point out that I am actually scanned weekly and would it be possible for them to measure it again next week. "oh yes, so you are. In that case, yes, we'll measure it again then". Idiot. Would have loved to have seen my own consultant who actually appears to give a toss but of course he wasn't around (despite it being his bloody clinic!).

So. I now have to wait for a week to find out whether or not there is actually a significant problem. In the meantime of course I'm verging on hysterical, jumping to huge conclusions about the baby having brain damage / cerebral palsy / hydrocephalis etc and have no idea how I'm supposed to get through the next week and stay sane. I am resolute that I will not google this latest development though for fear of self-diagnosing any / all of the above conditions.

All of this not helped by DH being at work so I'm all alone. Have spoken / sobbed to him on the phone but I could really use him being here for a hug not 50 miles away in some office.

Sorry to wail (and for the blue language!). I'm just hugely upset that we've encountered yet another problem after everything appeared to be going so well sad And also hugely pissed off at Lincoln County Hospital for their shoddy, shoddy information sharing. If I have to tell one more midwife our "story" then I will seriously lose it with someone.

silverangel Fri 24-Jun-11 13:11:56

Oh Mrs S, that is indeed shit. I know its so easy to say but you are going to have to stay thinking positive – you’ve come so far already and STAY AWAY FROM GOOGLE. Sending you lots of virtual hugs (and I don’t usually go in for that sort of stuff!). It seems so unfair after everything that they have been through already.

I was so pissed off when I got home yesterday I have scrawled in black marker ID TWINS LASER ABLATION right across the front of my notes, perhaps someone might actually pay attention to them now. Yesterday I felt as if I was the medical professional and not the sonographer.

twinnies26 Sat 25-Jun-11 19:17:04

oh ladies, so sorry that you have had frustrating and very distressful days this week.

Mr.Stevo i'm feeling so emotional just reading your post so can only imagine how you must be feeling sad You have come so far and just need to try to stay positive admist all this anxiety. I'm sure it's not easy, i'm sure i would feel like crumbling too.

Will be thinking of you and praying for your babies (it's funny i am not religious at all, but since this has all happened i like to try to send little prayers in the hope it helps) Mr. Twinnies also thinking of you all.

Stay strong
much love

Twinnies xxx

CakeForBreakfast Mon 27-Jun-11 09:55:48

Hello Mrsstevo and silverangel

I am so so cross on both of your behalfs.

My pointless scare to do with head not growing was when someone other than my consultant did the scanning. I scared myself to hysteria googling it and the following week when I went back to my consultant and brought it up straight away, he looked me very carefully in the eye and told me it didn't worry him at all.

Both of you have been given the runaround by people who where not entirely competent for your situation and you will hurt yourself if you google, so be strong, be strong.

Remember, our babies are being super-monitored, and it will be normal for us to panic whenever their development is not perfectly smooth and predictable, but I doubt other babies have smooth development in utero, it just isn't watched.

What I'm saying is, you don't know if the outcome is a problem or not yet, even if the consultant does describe risks, remember they have to cover all possibilities. Your babies have already beaten the odds being where they are and just because something might be a possibility, doesn't mean it will be.

Worry is our middle name right, NO GOOGLING

God I hope I've made sense. SilverAngel if you have any more annoying, useless sonographers, threaten them with the internal probe thing. So cross.

I am thinking of you and everything is crossed for your next scans (by competent people hopefully)

silverangel Mon 27-Jun-11 10:01:08

Thanks Cake its my new mantra 'stay away from google!'. How are you getting on?

Mrs S - been thinking of you and Mr S over the weekend and hope it didn't drag too much for you.

I know have the 'normal' pregnancy symptom of a cripplingly bad back, think its sciatica or something like that - couldn't go to work today and my finishing date of 15 July cant come round soon enough!

MrsStevo Tue 28-Jun-11 17:24:27

Thanks so much for your messages. cake - you're so right about our babies being super monitored. I think I had just become a bit complacent that everything was going to be ok (which it still might be of course, I just won't take it for granted!!) so the news hit me pretty hard.

My DH called the lead midwife at the hospital on friday PM and spoke to her about how upset I was about the treatment I received and about the concern about the ventricle thing. She was lovely apparently and agreed that it is far from ideal that I've seen a different midwife and doctor just about every week. She had a look through my notes herself and has assured us that she will put them directly under my consultant's nose today (when he's back from his hollies!). Whatever happens I have another scan on Friday and I will see my consultant then. DH is taking the morning off work to be with me as I can't face going on my own again. Something about being there makes me a bit pathetic and I can't stand up for myself - I need him there to be my advocate.

We've also decided that unless Lincoln step up their game this week, we're going to transfer to Nottingham hosp which has a much better reputation, better facilities and a neo-natal ward.

Anyway! Hope you're all ok - sorry to hear about your back silver, are you feeling any better? I'm suffering a bit in that department as well - the bottom right of my back is agony when I lift anything remotely heavy. Took me an hour to traipse (slowly) around sainsburys this afternoon! Your comment about scrawling in black marker across your notes made me laugh!!! I am VERY tempted to do the same.

CakeForBreakfast Tue 28-Jun-11 21:13:13

Hello,

mrsStevo I'm glad your dh rang for you, it is so hard to have worries, especially when we've been through so much already, its as if the stakes have been raised. I had a scan today and inside I was a horrible bag of nerves that there would be some problem, everything was fine luckily but I surprised myself how non-calm I was.

What is sciatica like? I am having SPD pains, had them with the last 2 too.

I've just come across a programme called Baby Hospital. I'm not sure if I should be watching this...

MrsStevo Tue 28-Jun-11 22:25:04

cake - NO!!! Turn it off!!!! I sobbed through the half-episode I watched last week. It is just too sad.

So pleased that your scan went well today - great news!! Clever babies!

silverangel Wed 29-Jun-11 07:38:13

Morning all

Cake good news re scansmile. I started to watch that programme last night - husband made me turn it over. I normally love stuff like that but a little too clost to home at the moment!

Went to the doc about my back - its PGP not sciatica, apparently sciatica sends shooting pains down your leg as well and thankfully I don't have that. He prescribed me a gel called Peroxicane (I think!) But googled it when I got home and it says not to use it in pref esp third trimester so being overly cautious am going to run it past my consultant first. I swear I never used to be so paranoid!

I'm back to kings today for my scan - haven't quite figured out how I'm going to deal with the bus and train up there yet though!

Mrs S - I would def transfer hospital if you're not happy - I'm not letting Kings sign me off again now. Will be thinking of you for scan on friday.

Twinnies - how are you?

X

CakeForBreakfast Wed 29-Jun-11 14:21:02

i did turn Baby Hospital over, I was crying by the first advert break and didn't think I could handle a whole hour.

SilverAngel good luck with the scan and the travelling

My mumbrain is awful at the moment, and I'm so clumsy too!

twinnies26 Thu 30-Jun-11 11:20:42

hello ladies - my little sister came and borrowed laptop for a few days so been out of contact with the internet!

Cake - great scan went well! and Silverangelhope yours went well too and the travelling!

Mrs.Stevo hope you have a more positive week with your hospital and if you really feel a transfer is necessary do it. I had a hospital transfer at 14 weeks to a hospital that is better equipped for emergencies (better ICU etc..) and conditions like ours and i am so pleased that i did it and listened to my gut feelings at the time. The transfer itself was a little frustrating due to all the paper work and some admin people sent me running around in circles - but worth it to make yourself feel comfortable and more secure.

Hope everything goes well for you this week.Thinking of you. Glad your DH is going with you, it's alot to deal with and better if he is there asking questions too if you are overwhelmed.

We had another scan on Tuesday - the babies are doing well smile All fluid and blood flow good. I'm hoping i might start relaxing abit more now - i was so anxious and nervous from last Sun until Tues, probably the worst since the surgery - not quite sure where it all came out of! The consultant even offered us the option of coming back in two weeks instead for a scan. I said i felt i'd still be too worried as i'm not even a month post- surgery,so we are going back next week,but i guess it's a positive thing if he thinks we could maybe go for a longer spell without a checkup. How long did you all have weekly scans for after surgery??

Twinnies xx

MrsStevo Thu 30-Jun-11 12:25:50

That's great news twinnies! So pleased your babies are behaving now and learning to share nicely!! I agree with you about wanting to stick with weekly - a fortnight is a veeeeerrrry long time if you become a bit anxious. I have been scanned weekly ever since the surgery (twice a week sometimes) and, although it is a bit of a pain in the ass having to travel to and park at the hospital every week, it is worth it for the monitoring and re-assurance.

silver - how's the back now? And what did your consultant say about the gel?

I had a bit of a hmm day yesterday. Got a call from the lead midwife at the hospital at 9:50am who said that she had spoken with my consultant who wanted me in at 10:15am for dopplers on the babies. I confess I was still in my PJs at the time so had a mad rush to get there in time. Was slightly concerned about the apparent urgency of it all but got there in time. Then hung about for 1/2 an hour and was scanned by random sonographer, waited for 45 minutes and was seen by random midwife and then ANOTHER random doctor who just said that the dopplers were fine and sent me on my way. I was very hmm and a bit angry too as I had thought I'd be seeing my consultant. I also wasn't too sure why the dopplers were necessary - there wasn't any concern about them on Friday - and yet they didn't say anything about the brain ventricle thing. I left in a bit of a rage as I felt that they'd wasted my time.

Am back there tomorrow for my usual weekly scan and DH is coming too - we're not leaving until we've seen my consultant and got some answers!!!

Being pregnant with twins is STRESSFUL! Goodness knows what actually parenting twins is going to be like!!!

silverangel Thu 30-Jun-11 13:39:26

ARGHHH I just wrote a big long reply and it has dissapeared somewhere that is clearly not here!

Anyway, what I said was great news Twinnies!! My husband is of the opinion that the weekly scans cause me more distress than if they were less often bit I have got used to the security and reassurance of it. I am on weekly scans now until delivery.

Mrs S - your day sounds like a complete pain in the arse. On the plus side the dopplers were all good but would have been nice if they had let you know what their reasoning was and to see your own consultant. Will be thinking of you tomorrow and hope you get some answers. My mind seems to go blank when I go for my appointments so hopfully having DH there will help.

My scan was all good yesterday, they are really pleased with progress - one is 1lb 13 and the other 2lb. There was no loss of EDF and fluid levels perfectly normal. The consultant at Kings said the sonographers at local hospital have no experience in post laser scanning or in measuring dopplers as they dont normally do them. She also said she can see no reason at this stage as to why they can't be delivered at 34 / 35 weeks.

As for the back OUCHHHH. Apparently the gel is fine, it just doesnt seem to do anything. I am back at work today but think I may need to go to the GP and get signed off as the travel really is too much. Also, just walking around the office is nigh on impossible. Its scary how I have gone from being pretty active on Saturday to being overtaken by people on zimmer frames yesterday in the hospital!! BUT if this all turns out ok in the end I will quite happily put up with a bit of backachesmile

CakeForBreakfast Fri 01-Jul-11 08:55:50

Morning,

twinnies and Silver - really good news on your scans. Silver are you nearly 30 weeks yet? - I refuse to buy anything or even window shop for stuff until I get past 24 weeks (and pref 28), I am 21.5 weeks now and willing time to pass quickly and uneventfully!

MrsStevo Best of luck for todays scan, I will be thinking of you and I really hope your consultant gives you good answers. let us know how you go. xx

twinnies26 Fri 01-Jul-11 14:22:42

hi ladies,

Silver you are doing so well! great they say you will get towards full term with your twins! Delighted for you that things are so positive.How many weeks are you now? Hope your back doesn't give you too much trouble. Mine is sniggling at me now ,bottom left side and sometimes sharp pains at 21weeks - hopefully not the start of something.....

Cake I am the same as you - all my friends and sisters keep pointing out deals in the sales but i just can't even think about buying or looking as it's so early with these complications - i am the eldest of three sisters, i'm 29 with first pregnancy (so we have NOTHING) and my youngest sister is only 17 so she still wants to 'window' shop as she is just beside herself with excitement despite the complications etc... I f i get to the end of the pregnancy i think my twins will be born and we won't be organised at all - but that doesn't really matter to me now, between the family we'll get it sorted.

Mr.S you just seem to be having a really frustrating time - i hope this week is less stressful for you! Best of luck today thinking of you xx

Something to make you all giggle - i bought my first pair of maternity jeans from H&M, wore them twice and then went to bring car for a service. When we left and went to the supermarket, my little sister howled and then told me my new jeans had ripped in half on the seem at the bum and it seems i must have walked in and out of the mechanics workshop like that flashing my bright blue knickers!! cringe blush!!

xx

MrsStevo Sat 02-Jul-11 22:55:37

Hi fellow TTTS ladies. Hope you're all ok. Silver - great news about your latest scan. Clever babies that sound to be podging out a bit too!

twinnies - sorry, but that's hilarious about your jeans splitting!! Must have been hideous at the time though - a proper 'I want the ground to open up and swallow me NOW' kind of moment! Maybe you need to find a new garage and supermarket to shop at now!

As for me, my scan yesterday went pretty well. The babies were VERY wriggly though so it was hard for the sonographer to do the dopplers properly! But dopplers looked good on both babies, fluid has balanced out to around 6cm each and the one that had a dilated brain ventricle last week now doesn't BUT the other one's ventricle is now on the high end of normal .... but ultimately that still means normal! Had a long conversation with my consultant afterwards and he now wants me to be scanned twice a week (every 3-4 days) to keep an eye on dopplers. This is because the bigger twin's growth had slowed down a lot at last week's scan and the next growth scan is next Friday. He said that if the baby's growth tails off even more next week then he would probably look to deliver them next weekend. But he would weigh the growth up against the doppler measurements and fluid levels and make the decision based on that as he said growth isn't the only indicator of them thriving / not thriving. If any of the dopplers suggest that babies aren't getting enough blood they'll be whipped out straight away. Consultant said said he is just trying to 'buy' a bit more time of them being inside as he wants them to be as developed as poss when they arrive. BUT he said that, whatever happens, they wouldn't go past 36 weeks which is 26th July so I am having my babies THIS MONTH!!!!!

I have to say that I left the hospital pretty much on cloud 9! I know our babies are still only 32 + 4 and, if they were delivered next week, they would be in SCBU for ages, but it just feels as though we are finally reaching the end of this LONG road. I can't believe that this time next month I won't be pregnant anymore and will actually have my babies!!!!

Anyway, hope that gives some of you earlier-on people some hope. And I REALLY hope my babies arrive safe and sound and are healthy so I can also be living proof that babies can survive TTTS and laser ablation surgery.

Hope you're all ok x x x

silverangel Sun 03-Jul-11 12:17:09

Hi all, quick post as on phone and on way out but Mrs S - FAB news, if you're delivered next weekend they will be nearly 34, they may not even need SCBUi for that long. How exciting! Lots of rest for you this weeksmile x

CakeForBreakfast Mon 04-Jul-11 14:04:36

Hello all,

MrsStevo Wow, what news, very exciting actually. Just think how far you've come and will soon meet the little ones! How proud you and MrStevo must be with everything you've come through to get here. Gosh, I really hope I can do as well as you have.

How do you feel - prepared?

xx

twinnies26 Mon 04-Jul-11 16:07:01

Mrs. Stevo - what exciting news- the end is within sight!! So exciting to think soon you're little babies will be out in the world! Do you have children already?I can't remember-sorry!- Like what Cake says- are you prepared?

Hopefully we can all get to the stage you have! I'm back in tomorrow for another scan.

Cake you are in again too?Wednesday is it? how are you doing/feeling?

xx

CakeForBreakfast Mon 04-Jul-11 19:08:07

Hi twinnies, I am in tomorrow too for my next scan. Ridiculous how I get so nervous before each one now.

I've been melting today. How has everyone else been?

twinnies26 Mon 04-Jul-11 20:58:44

Hi Cake,

yes i know - last week i lost the plot from Sunday eve until Tues morning as i was so worked up before the scan.... bit better this week but still nervous. Don't think we'll ever be relaxed about the scans now. Funny coz so many people say to me 'oh your sooooo lucky to be scanned all the time' coz we get to see the babies etc.. but i explain that it's not like a normal scan my hearts always in my mouth hmm we'd rather not have to be in every week.....

I got lots of sun yesterday, the folks had their 35th wedding anniversary so we all went home and we had a big bbq - now i have a heat rash on one arm! We have rain forecast for next few days in Ireland - and we are always cooler that you... i really miss the hotter British summer!

Good luck tomorrow - will be thinking of you!

MrsStevo Mon 04-Jul-11 20:59:30

Thanks ladies!! I am very excited to meet them now, but it still doesn't feel real. I am pretty much ready to go - I have all my / babies stuff ready for the hospital but haven't physically packed it yet as DH is going away for a night tomorrow so he's got my hospital bag. I don't have any children no, these little beauties will be our first..... and possibly last after all we've been through!!!

Good luck to twinnies and cake for tomorrow's scans - hope you have great news and enjoy watching your wriggly bambinos. I have to say that I'm anxious about mine as well - I don't think that feeling will go away until they actually arrive! Let us know how you both get on.

And cake - yep, I've been melting today too!! So humid!! I walked into town (about 10 mins) but was knackered by the time I got there. Fortunately I had gone to have my legs and bikini line waxed (can't reach those areas anymore!!) so was able to just lie back and recouperate (I won't say relax as it wasn't exactly a relaxing experience!!)

silverangel Tue 05-Jul-11 11:53:34

Hi all,

Cake, hope goes well at your scan todaysmile

I'm just back from consultant appt, all still good, she is going to book me in next appt for section, all being well will be third weeks in August. Back is no better, she has told me not to go back to work which is a relief, its not so much the being at work as the travel to work in the heat. Am doing what I can from home but tbh have kind of lost interest now anyway.

Stopped at Superdrug on way back from the hospital to buy toiletries for hospital bag as starting to feel like I really should get it sorted soon just in case. Mum is in baby clothes washing frenzy now so I can pack some too.

I'm loving this hot weather, have been in the garden for the last few days chomping through large amounts of ice!

twinnies26 Tue 05-Jul-11 16:02:43

Wow - lots of babies arriving really soon! Silverangel you're almost there too! amazing!! smile so excited for you both! Also hope now you're off work you'll have some relief with your back.

We're sweltering away over here today - i thought i was going to turn purple from the heat on the drive home from the hospital today.

All going well with the babies smile am thrilled to tick off yet another week. They did another growth scan and are really happy with how everything is progressing, hopefully will stay that way. All fluid/blood etc.. normal.My twins are 13ounces and 12 ounces now (no idea whether that is big/small/average compared to other twin babies/singletons at 21.2weeks - but they said a good size!) So another good Tuesday smile

Cake how did you get on today? Was thinking of you!

MrsStevo Tue 05-Jul-11 16:17:29

Silver and twinnies - fantastic news!! So pleased you've both had good scan days. Hurray for being able to tick off another week!

I too had a good scan! Babies' dopplers look all good and fluid levels are fine. Friday is a growth scan so is a big day really. I will be taking my hospital bag with me on Friday for the first time, just in case they decide to whip me in and whip the babies out. 33 weeks today though so that's pretty good going all things considered.

Looking forward to hearing from cake so we can make it a full house of good news for us!

CakeForBreakfast Wed 06-Jul-11 15:04:15

Hello,

Scan yesterday went fine, all normal and stable so far. Was a quick one today to check fluid and dopplers, next week I'll have another growth one.

MrsStevo - 33 weeks! Thats amazing. So, can I ask, erm, how big are you?

Silverangel - you too! I'm glad you are not going to work, I can't imagine commuting and working, the school run wipes me out at the moment!

MrsStevo Wed 06-Jul-11 16:17:08

Woohooo! Great news cake. We are all doing very well!!

I am fairly massive to be honest! Waist is 46+1/2 inches and I've put on 2 + 1/2 stone. But touch wood I haven't piled on much weight elsewhere yet. I DO, however, have a hideous mess of stretch marks on my stomach. So much so that you can't really tell where the scar from the surgery is. Humph. Still, well worth it if babies arrive safe and sound.

I am still in my PJs grin - having a very lazy day indeed, but I have done quite a few jobs around the house.

Had a bit of a fret this morning. I had bloods taken last week to test for Toxoplasmosis, Parvo and various other diseases. Consultant wanted them done after the babies' brain ventricles were more dilated than they should have been. I STUPIDLY googled toxoplasmosis today and discovered all the hideous things it can do to unborn babies. Now I'm very anxious about getting the results (on friday). Honestly. I will be SO glad when these babies arrive - I'm exhausted by all this worrying.

CakeForBreakfast Thu 07-Jul-11 15:09:39

MrsStevo That is a good girth! I am currently 40 inches, my shape is a bit of a torpedo (poor abdominal muscles!)

Oh I am sorry to hear you've done the google-self-scare thing. When my sister was preg with her first baby, her early bloods showed positive for toxoplasmosis. The doctors all told her to terminate with horror stories of what toxoplasmosis could do. She refused and instead had to have monthly scans. Well, baby was growing textbook fashion, so they repeated the bloods and realised that the first positive result was a false positive! Baby was fine!

I don't really know how that story is supposed to help you, maybe just another example of how things can seem dodgy but just aren't?

When is your next scan?

silverangel Thu 07-Jul-11 16:37:12

Good news all round then - yay!

Mrs S - leave Dr Google alone, all it will do is scare you. Now, so I can panic about it, did you ask for the bloods or is do they do them as routine?!

I've just come back from the physio, they've ordered me a support belt which will hopefully do the job but if not, on to crutches for me. Oh well, its an excuse to do nothing and as I've said before, if it means these two come out well and healthy I'll take the bad back please!

silverangel Thu 07-Jul-11 16:39:31

Meant to say, I just tried to measure my waist but I can't find the tape measure and I have not been near the scales since week 18 I think it was. Had put on 11lb then and really don't want to know! I think I have been doing ok with regard to putting it on anywhere apart from bump but now I am pretty much immobile (apart from hand to mouth eating cake!) that is probably going to change!

twinnies26 Fri 08-Jul-11 19:44:50

hi ladies!

So a good week for everyone - that's really great!

Mr.S i agree with silverangel - stay away from google! Even though it's not easy i think we all have to keep trying to be in the present moment and not looking/fretting too much for the future weeks with the pregnancies. Easier said than done i knnnooooowwww - cause i still sometimes freak out about everything that can go wrong!

silverangel - the belt should help you- my physio gave me one at 16 weeks - i go often to maintain my back and shoulders from work strain as i'm a musician. My lower left back/bum has been niggling for a while now. Wear the belt when walking, cooking,doing housework etc... It will help hold you in place. I'm bold and only use it walking/excercising. Don't feel i need it all the time yet. Did they give you excercises? They've helped me alot since i've been pregnant.

Impressive waists ladies! babies are growing nicely then smile I don't own a scales -last time i'd checked i put on a stone and my waist was about 36. It will be interesting to see what i look like in a few weeks time. I'm an 8 on top and a 10 below - must admit my legs look abit like tree chunks these days the weights going there - even though i'm walking and doing yoga all the time! Won't complain about the breast size increase though! wink

Hope you all have a relaxing weekend - Mr.S try not to stress too much. Hopefully it will worry for nothing xx

MrsStevo Sun 10-Jul-11 17:36:38

I have failed in my own advice of no-googling haven't I?! Still. I haven't been near google since and intend to stay strong and avoid it from now on.

Had a scan on Friday and babies are still looking ok - the baby that was tailing off size-wise has picked up again, but the other baby now has a slightly enlarged brain ventricle again. No results of my blood tests yet (it was called a TORCH screen, which tests for various infections) but a lovely midwife has promised to check every day and call me as soon as the results are in. silver, not that you are allowed to panic about it, but I didn't ask for the test and it isn't routine, consultant only wanted it done to rule out the brain ventricle enlargement thing being the result of an infection.

Consultant has said he would like to eek out delivery until 36+6 now (assuming they continue to behave) so, having said babies will be born in July, I now have a booked date for my c-sec of 1st August - 3 weeks tomorrow!! I had got everything sorted and packed as I'd thought I'd be having them this weekend so now have another 3 weeks of sitting about to do. Think I may have to start some kind of project.... like putting honeymoon photos in albums etc. Something to keep me sane anyway!!

Hope you're all keeping well and having a good weekend x

silverangel Mon 11-Jul-11 16:57:42

Hi everyone,

Hope you're all still doing well!

Support belt has made a huge difference to my back - can actually move around now which is such a relief, also got given some pilates based exercises to do which are probably helping too.

I have no hospital appointments this week - feels very bizarre, back next Monday morning.

I've been trying to find myself a project too Mrs S - have decided I am going to collate all my recipies that I have collected from magazines / papers and put them into some sort of organised folder. 36+6 is fantastic, I bet the next three weeks go really fast!

Hope everyone has a good week x

CakeForBreakfast Tue 12-Jul-11 18:23:49

Hi all,

MrsStevo I am thinking of you. I hope you get good results, and going for 36+6 is incredible.

I had a growth scan today, I am 23 weeks. Results were good. But I sensed something from his vibe. He was adamant the babies were behaving and growing but I scoured my notes afterwards (as you do!) and noticed one of the twins Pulsatility Index has increased from last time and Abdominal Circumference had dropped a few centiles. I don't know what that means, but I don't know how long I can resist google!

I sometimes think I am my own worst enemy!

xx

silverangel Tue 12-Jul-11 20:29:26

Hi Cake,

The PI for mine has been all over the place - at the very first scan (12 weeks) they said it was high, it was highest from memory for one of them at 1.43 but at last scan it had dropped down again. My consultants says its fine as still within 'normal' range. Also the centiles for adf and bpd have changed each week - I haven't been too concerned as overall averages are ok and last week one of them was squashing its tummy with its arm so it is going to throw up a slightly different measurement. Its also down to the skill of the sonogropher and assuming the cross section is taken from the exact same place last time.

Don't worry! (How come its so easy to say that but to actually do it is completely different?!). X

MrsStevo Tue 12-Jul-11 21:39:00

cake, take one step away from Dr. Google immediately. If the doc said that they were fine then they ARE. My babies have constantly varied in their abdo circumference - in fact 2 weeks ago the bigger baby dropped quite a lot but had picked up and was back on track when I was scanned on Friday. I hadn't even heard of PI so I've just had to google it (it's allowed if I'm just checking what something means!!) and have deduced that that is what the doppler measurements are measuring. That being the case, I know mine have also varied - the measurement was at the high-end-of-normal last Tuesday but was fine again by Friday. These things vary, it isn't an indicator of anything bad happening and - if it were - the doctor would have said and would be whipping you back in for another scan in a few days like mine do. Are you being scanned weekly or fortnightly now?

I second what silver says - Don't Worry!!!

CakeForBreakfast Wed 13-Jul-11 08:32:58

MrsStevo and Silver Thanks for your reassurances, I did give myself a bit of a stern talking to for stressing when there was no real issue, and decided not to be such a worry wort, I'm on the approach for the first milestone of 24 weeks, then I just have to get the babies to behave until the next real milestone of 28 weeks after which time I will be singing and dancing (well, jiggling un-elegantly whilst looking for biscuits).

Appetite of a shire horse. Anyone else like this?

(btw, scans so far are weekly, if next one goes ok, it will go back to fortnightly)

silverangel Wed 13-Jul-11 11:37:27

Appetite of a shire horse - that made me laugh!! I did, up until a couple of weeks ago so about 25 / 26 weeks - now I don't seem to have as much room as I did to actually squeeze the food in. Which is probably a very good thing so I dont end up resembling a shire horsesmile

MrsStevo Wed 13-Jul-11 12:04:54

Good on you cake for being so strong! 24 weeks is a milestone in itself but I know what you mean about 28 weeks ... that's when I had in mind that I would start celebrating. I had the shirehorse appetite issue at that point in pregnancy too ... I was even getting up in the night to eat! I recommend hoofing a load of porridge in the morning, and before bed, to keep you going.

These days I'm eating at actual mealtimes most of the time ... with the occasional chocolate brownie-or-3 inbetween. Have got to 34 weeks and only put on 2stone 8lbs though which I consider to be quite reasonable!

twinnies26 Wed 13-Jul-11 13:04:03

Cake i know what you mean about approaching 24 - that's been a target of mine too! I'm about a week behind you with the pregnancy. My eyes are also set on the big 28! Great news that if all is well next week you will be on fortnightly scans, that's a real positive step smile - my consultant suggested it about three weeks ago but at that stage i was way too stressed to be left alone without a checkup so been in every week, was only three weeks post surgery then. If all well next week maybe i'll follow in your footsteps!

Babies were doing really well yesterday, wasn't a growth scan as had that the week before but everything is normal which is great. So i'll get some reassurance for a few days and then probably start worrying about Sunday night for the next scan as usual!

Cake i am STARVING all the time! i'm like a constantly grazing sheep these days, but i am going with it!

MrsStevo hope all goes well for you this week

silverangel so glad you're back is much better! Mine is killing me today, sharp daggers in lower left top of bum - first day or real discomfort, hoping it will pass in few days.
xx

CakeForBreakfast Thu 14-Jul-11 20:26:39

mmmmmmm. Porridge. Cracking idea. Good for you too Silver it could squeeze in the gaps!

Hope you are all feeling well.

Nobody would fetch me a biscuit today while I was in the garden after dinner. Thats what happens when you've already had two pregnancies, since I had to get my own damn biscuit, I took 4.

MrsStevo Mon 18-Jul-11 12:17:41

cake - I can't believe that you had to get your own biscuits!!! What a bloody cheek! I'd have taken four and then hidden the rest so no-one else got any!

twinnies - great news about your scan last Tuesday. I know what you mean about starting to worry again a couple of days later. You must have another growth scan tomorrow? Hope it goes well and babies are behaving and growing well.

My scan on Friday also went well - although they couldn't measure the babies' brain ventricles again as neither baby was lying in the right position. They've estimated the babies are around 4+1/2 lbs now and should be about 6lbs when they're born (TWO WEEKS TODAY grin ) . Although everything looks ok, I am about 50% excited and 50% anxious about how they are going to be when they arrive. I would give anything in the world for them to be healthy but can't relax about it at all. I think I have a default setting of anticipating doom at the moment - anything better than that is a bonus I suppose!

Hope you're all well x x x

CakeForBreakfast Mon 18-Jul-11 14:37:41

Hi all,

MrsStevo Juts 2 weeks away, thats so cool. And over 6 lbs too, thats such a good weight.

I know you must be anxious, time is getting near. Its so natural to not quite believe everything is ok until you see the little ones with your own eyes, I'm sure though that just like the surgery we had, the anticipation of the outcome is worse than the outcome!

How is everyone else feeling?

silverangel Mon 18-Jul-11 15:51:12

Hello,

Two weeks Mrs S - wow!! 6lb is a great weight too. Based on no scientific reason whatsoever I am reckoning on mine being smaller than that. Of course you're going to be anxious, I think anyone having a baby would be but after everything yours have been through its perfectly reasonable. Are you organised / names chosen etc?

I'm doing well, saw an osteopath last week and again today who has done some sort of miracle work on my back, walked into town today which I haven't been able to do for ages and going to take the dog for a walk this afternoon. My next growth scan is wednesday and seeing consultant too - will get date for section then!

Cake / twinnies - have you got scans this week?

X

twinnies26 Mon 18-Jul-11 16:42:17

Hi ladies!

Mrs.Stevo - two weeks!! i'm so excited for you - understand the anxious feelings but think how your babies have already proved they are little fighters so i'm sure they'll continue to be strong at the end of the journey and at the start of life on the outside! Are you all set? Are these your first babies? Do you have everything organised?! Congrats on the estimated weight - that's a fine healthy weight! smile

Silverangel so glad your back is feeling better! Great to know they can work miracles - i'm just waiting for the day when mine is going to completely seize up - the niggling is getting worse and worse - physio for me on Monday so hopefully that might help abit!

Scan is tomorrow and yes a growth scan so hopefully they will be happy enough with their progress. Hope to see the head twin consultant too (although briefly i'm sure) as he's back from his holidays - so fingers crossed all will be well! They are jumping about like mad these past few days. Today in the car while at lights i got a kick that made my cardigan pop out - was super excited about that being my first pregnancy and all so had me smiling away smile

Cake you're in tomorrow as well? Hope it goes well!

xx

CakeForBreakfast Tue 19-Jul-11 09:28:28

Hi all,

No scan for me today, my consultant is going to be away for 3 weeks, so I am having a scan on Friday instead just before he goes.

Silver is your back problem still the sciatica? I have SPD, by evening, one hip does not really want to take any weight, nothing doable about it though just one of the lovely many pregnancy niggles. I heard that things get ugly in 3rd pregnancy and oh my word, my legs are sprouting varicose veins, its terrible!

MrsStevo am thinking of you. So close now...

Twinnies fingers crossed todays scan shows your little squirmers are growing wonderfully

twinnies26 Tue 19-Jul-11 16:30:25

Hi all,

Didn't come out with a gold star today i'm afraid sad Got to see the consultant as he is back from holidays which was good... twins are doing well re fluid levels,hearts,brains etc.. But consultant not happy with growth, they don't seem to have done that much growing in the past two weeks. Twin 1 is 'under weight' and twin 2 is in the normal bracket but on the low side....... so now of course i'm freaking out that they won't grow enough in next two weeks and we might be in trouble.

I asked what would happen if they weren't happy in a fortnight and he said it's still too early to consider delivery and that maybe they might need to 'intervene' again if things don't improve - which might mean more surgery or draining - - so of course i've been freaking out since lunchtime and in hysterics for a while at the thought of even the possibility of more surgery. I just feel i can't cope with the stress of all that again and worry for them sooooo much sad

Anyway they are stable and doing well apart from the fact that they are too small....... don't have a scan next week - back in two weeks now for a growth scan. He said that as fluid levels had been equal and normal for 6 weeks i could come back in 2 weeks.

Did anyone elses twins do this???

Hope you are all doing well xx

silverangel Tue 19-Jul-11 16:36:19

Oh Twinnies, sorry to hear that. How many weeks are you now?

I guess its a good thing that they dont want to see you for two weeks. This hasn't happened to me but I do remember my consultant saying that even after the surgery there could be growth issues as when they are doing the laser they can't tell if they are splitting the vessels to give each twin an equal share of the placenta so say they ended up splitting it 60/40 or something like that it could account for the slower growth of the twin 1. Was twin 1 the 'stuck' twin?

Did they do the dopplers as well?

xx

twinnies26 Tue 19-Jul-11 19:01:30

Hi silverangel

i just lost the battle with my curiosity and googled hmm silly i know. Just looked up some weight charts for twins and went through my chart - I'm 23wks + 2 and the twins are 1 pound and 1 pound 1 ounce - babies if averaging well should be 1pound 7 by weekend so i'm probably quite a long way off according to the twinstuff.com website. Won't be googling again just really wanted idea of what averages are.....

Yes i guess that could have happened - unequal splitting of vessels and now they need to watch for twin to twin happening again. Twin 2 was the 'stuck twin' and she is the bigger of the two now. It was always the other way around.

I only realised in car home that he didn't do dopplers today and i thought i had done really well asking him all the necessary bits and bobs - made him go through brains,membranes etc... with me - i presume him not doing it meant there was nothing to worry about - i hope.....agh!

Anyway fingers crossed they'll do some growing for me in the next two weeks. I guess i should be reassured that he said i could take a week 'off' but now i'm just abit frantic now about their size and lack of growth.

Cake you are only a week or less(?) ahead of me - what size/weight are your babies if you don't mind me asking?Are they girls also?

xx

silverangel Tue 19-Jul-11 20:25:37

I just looked back through my notes and I had a detailed scan at 23+3, twin 1 was 1lb1, and twin 2 1lb3, resulting in an 11.3% difference. The notes at the bottom say 'fetal growth normal'. So, I don't think you have much to worry about! I also agree with you re the dopplers - if they thought there was a problem they would have done the PI.

Interestingly, my stuck twin is now the bigger twin as well.

Cake - my back issue has turned out to be just a muscular issue around my hips - its not sciatica and so far no sign of SPD. I feel for you having that as I have been pretty much housebound for three weeks - my osteo is the best discovery I have ever made. Walked the dog twice todaysmile.

X

twinnies26 Tue 19-Jul-11 21:24:24

silverangel i wrote a reply but it disappeared on me somehow - in short- thanks SO much for looking that up for me. That's really reassuring for me mine are only 2ounces smaller which isn't a huge amount. Funny how there's actually little in the difference but you're noted as 'normal' and i'm underweight'. Anyway - i think that will help me relax a little.

Sometimes i think my consultant scaremongers quite abit - i guess he's covering his back, but i always get the worst possible scenarios from him. I was so upset this afternoon after hearing even the possibility of repeat surgery if they don't grow quickly enough now.....

Anyway, delighted you are up and about walking smile that's really super! we had a lovely walk this evening too smile

Thanks so much again for taking the time to look at your measurements for me!! xx

CakeForBreakfast Tue 19-Jul-11 21:34:29

Aaaaaargh. I just wrote a big post and it also somehow disappeared!

Anyway. Twinnies I am so sorry you had a scare today. Perhaps your consultant is indeed being a bit over cautious. Anyway to put your mind at rest even further my babies weights are also almost identical to yours and Silvers...

... Last growth scan was last week when I was 23+1. The estimated weights were 488g and 541g (I think 1 lb 1oz and 1lb 3 oz respectively). Plotted on the centile graph they are both close to 50th. My consultant is happy with their growth so far. (Mine also girls)

I posted last week just after my 23 week scan too in a bit of a panic, one twins PI had increased and that twins Abdominal Circumference (and indeed weight) had dropped a teeny bit on the centile chart. However the doctor said all was fine so I am trying not to worry, I am hoping Fridays scan will be a growth one and will also be OK!

How are you doing now?

twinnies26 Tue 19-Jul-11 22:25:25

Hi Cake great to also hear your babies are not that much bigger - i presume 2/3 ounces isn't a huge difference babywise. Although in grammes seems much smaller - 450g twin 1 and 489 twin 2. Anyway i'll have to give them a good talking to so they can do a better job of growing for next scan!

sorry that you also had a panic - these babies are really causing plenty of drama! Mr.Twinnies is of the opinion that as we are all scanned every week we know every single minute detail and that in a way it's too much - many things change/fluctuate in pregnancies but when one isn't monitored as much as we are these little changes often iron themselves out without any fuss - so I'm hoping that will happen for us and you!

glad to know we are only a few ounces out anyway and glad at least they are 1 lb and not under that.

good luck on Friday,hope it goes well! xx

reelingintheyears Tue 19-Jul-11 22:34:12

My friend had this condition with her twin boys six and a half years ago.

It was a bit touch and go and they were very premature..(about 28 weeks i think)
They are now fantastic,healthy six and a half year olds with no problems.

One of them did have a few physical problems in his very early years but all is well now.

Good luck. smile

MrsStevo Tue 19-Jul-11 22:59:12

twinnies - so sorry you've had an afternoon of hysterics and freak outs, I've been exactly the same after every hiccup since TTTS was diagnosed. I can't offer any reassurances size-wise since they aren't able to properly estimate weights at my hospital (Lincoln are ruuuuuuuubbbish!), but I can say that one of my twins' growth dipped about 4 weeks ago now (it only grew .9cm in 2 weeks) which was very concerning but it had picked up again at the last scan and was back on track. Both my babies are between the 25th and 50th centile - the smaller twin has always been only-just above the 25th centile (although went way below when TTTS was diagnosed). My point is that their growth may well dip now and again and then pick up. My consultant told me that the growth is only ONE indicator of babies thriving - so long as fluid levels and dopplers are ok then they are clearly getting enough blood flow from the placenta. If fluid levels are just about equal then the babies are just-about getting equal amounts of blood flow so the laser surgery was probably quite close to 50/50 division. It sounds very promising to me that the consultant didn't even DO a doppler and doesn't want you back for another 2 weeks - he evidently wasn't concerned about blood flow at all. Try not to panic too much (WAAAAY easier said than done, I know) - and don't forget that these scans are never 100% accurate anyway as the measurement of the abdo circumference is not always taken from exactly the same place and might be slightly squished.

I second what Mr Twinnies said - all of our babies are being scanned WAY more than your average baby so any minor fluctuation is picked up that would normally go un-noticed in an average pregnancy.

Thinking of you though as it is horrible to even have to contemplate more surgery. We were faced with that at 25 weeks when their fluid levels were vastly different but, again, they sorted themselves out without intervention.

Hope the rest of you are all ok. I'm exhausted and my back is knackered so i'm off to bed!

CakeForBreakfast Wed 20-Jul-11 10:47:09

Morning all,

Great post MrsStevo I agree we are monitoring our little ones so intensely, and after all we've had to go through, it is normal to desperately want everything to go smoothly now - the babies like to tease us now and again though!

Incredible really how similar the sizes are of babies between us all isn't it. I hope your doctor doesn't scare you too many more times twinnies but it is true if he had concerns you would be back in after a week for dopplers and he hasn't needed that.

I am feeling sorry for those of you with back problems. I can feel the strain in my lower back now more, I think partly because of the way I have to sit/stand at the table to avoid my torpedo bump getting in the way!

Love to you all. x

twinnies26 Wed 20-Jul-11 12:07:37

reelingintheyears thanks for your post -great to hear another success story from this condition!

morning ladies - thanks all of you for your words of reassurance - i was probably letting my emotions and fear just completely take over yesterday - it's just all the thoughts of 'what if's' that drive me mad! Mrs.Stevo you must have also been terrified at the thoughts of more surgery too - please god we also won't have to face it!

got a new little mantra for the girls 'grow - grow - as fast as you can like you've never grown before!' wink just in case they need a little encouragement!

i asked my consultant about my back yesterday and got what i might consider a typical male response - 'well it's very normal unfortunately and you are having twins' only words of advise i got were 'take some paracetamol' Going to physio on Monday so hoping that will help a little.

I also now have numbness in my hands at night - anyone else got this? Did abit of reading on it and it said musicians and people using their hands are more prone to it - so I'm obviously the perfect candidate confused Another lovely symptom of pregnancy to add to the list!

Anyway thanks ladies for all your words of reassurance - much more relaxed after knowing that weights are similiar enough. Great to have you all here xxx

silverangel Wed 20-Jul-11 16:40:47

No problem at all Twinnes - we all know what its like to be panicking about something! My husband is in complete agreement with Mr Twinnies, he thinks every week, even every two weeks, is too much and that we know far too much about what is going on.

Had my appointments today - scan all good, growth still going well. They are 1250g and 1310g now. Booked in for section on 1st September, will be 35+5. It feels really good to have a date to aim for now and I think for the first time I am starting to let myself think that this could all work out ok! Back again in two weeks.

x

twinnies26 Wed 20-Jul-11 19:00:15

hi silverangel delighted for you that all went well today - and you have a date booked now how amazing! - you are heading towards the end now! Not a long time to go at all really smile Good babies growing so nicely for you!xx

CakeForBreakfast Fri 22-Jul-11 14:38:40

Hello everyone,

I have had a scan today. Not an entirely clean bill of health for my twins I'm afraid. Do you remember I was worried that last week that one twin looked a little like it was wasn't growing as well as the other. This week, the tables have turned, that twin has now overtaken the other in terms of fluid levels (and growth).

The consultant is suspecting reverse TTTS albeit much milder than before. No affected dopplers, babies seem fine so far, just needs monitoring to make sure it doesn't increase pace. He said this milder form can be quite common when laser treatment has happened early (I was 19weeks) So continuing weekly scans for me.

Oh well. It never ends does it!

How are you all?

xx

twinnies26 Fri 22-Jul-11 15:02:26

gosh Cake so abit of stress for you again,sorry to hear that. Funny how in one week the tables can turn so quickly.

So reverse TTTS- well it's good dopplers are fine and i guess if things change they'll be picked up quickly with weekly visits.Did he say what would be done if things don't even out?Are you also looking at possible repeat surgery or amnioreduction? That's what my consultant said on Tues if growth doesn't pick up. I'm like you, had the surgery at 17+2 very early too so interested to know as well.

Guess we just all have to try to stay strong and think positively - even though it's so much easier said than done. I admit I've been abit wobbly since Tuesday again!

I did have a nice moment yesterday - twin two decided to stick her bum or belly out for the first time and i had this funny bulge going across the side of my belly! First pregnancy so get pretty excited about things like that! smile

CakeForBreakfast Fri 22-Jul-11 18:34:25

Hi Twinnies

Yes, he suspects reverse TTTS, but not 100% certain. So the previous donor twin has just overtaken the former recipient in growth now whereas before she was always a bit smaller! (They are now 1 lb 8oz and 1lb 7oz by the way at 24+4).

He did suggest that occasionally they do a repeat laser if it seems necessary or amnioreduction. He did say though that it would have been more worrying if this had presented itself soon after the laser treatment rather than weeks after, so at it stands its fine, just needs to be monitored. I will have to hope that next weeks scan does not show any escalation, especially as my consultant is on his holidays for the next 3 weeks and I'll have to see someone I don't know!

I'm sorry to hear you are were a bit wobbly, how are you today?

the bulge thing - my goodness, its mad isn't it, it looks (and feels) so odd!

xx

MrsStevo Sat 23-Jul-11 12:59:12

Hi all!!

MY BABIES HAVE ARRIVED!!!!!!!!

My darling little twin girls arrived at 35 weeks and 1 day on Wednesday 20th July at 10:25am and 10:29am! First baby out was Madeleine Abigail weighing 4lb 4oz, followed 4 minutes later by Sophia Tara who weighed a tiny 3lb 6oz. They arrived a little earlier than scheduled as they broke their waters at 2:30am. No contractions or anything hideous like that but after the waters went the consultant wanted to deliver them asap so it was an ERCS in the end - but all very calm and wonderful.

Both are just the most perfect little babies in the whole world (biased, I know). They are both in special care due to their birth weight and history of TTTS but they are doing superbly and consultant is very happy with their progress. They had quite a few tubes etc to begin with for drips and stuff but both just have tube feeds now and everything else is out. Madeleine is in a proper cot now but Sophia still in an incubator for now to keep her snug until she podges up a bit! I was discharged yesterday but they have rooms for parents in special care so I've just moved up there to be near my girls.

I can't even begin to describe how proud and extremely in love I am with these perfect little beings. Getting all weepy just typing the words. When I'm home again I'll upload some photos so I can show them off.

Can't catch up with everyone else's news now as I need to get back to my babies.... can't bear to be apart from them. Hope you're all really well and all your twinnies are behaving themselves. Me and my girls are finally living proof that this horrible condition can be overcome - I wish you all the best and hope you all have the same outcome x x x x x

CakeForBreakfast Sat 23-Jul-11 15:06:55

Oh my goodness!!!!!

MrsStevo I can't believe it - they're here! What beautiful names too.

Wow wow wow. Congratulations to you and MrStevo. How proud you must be.

I'm sure now will be very busy but any update on how you and the girls are, let us know. How are you feeling?

And yes, pictures would be even more wonderful! How exciting!

silverangel Sat 23-Jul-11 15:54:48

Oh wow Mrs S, huge huge congratulations to you and Mr S and welcome to the world Sophia and Abigail. So so pleased for you, made my day to read thatsmile

Hope that Sophia catches up with her sister soon and you recover from the section quickly.

CONGRATULATIONS!!

Xx

twinnies26 Sat 23-Jul-11 21:39:01

WOW!!!!! what amazing news!! - huge congratulations to yourself and Mr Stevo! I'm SO happy for you smile smile and so delighted that the girls are both doing so well! Love the names too!!

WOW!!! what a surprise didn't expect to see that when i logged in!!

Can't wait to see pictures - but whenever you have the time, your hands will be pretty full now looking after your little bundles of joy! ;)

Keep us updated on how you are all doing!
Much love xxx

twinnies26 Wed 27-Jul-11 11:39:19

Ladies,

how are you doing?

Cake have you been back in or is it Friday??Hope it goes well anyway, will be thinking of you x

silverangel Wed 27-Jul-11 14:55:46

Hello,

All good on my front - no hospital appointments this week which still feels odd, back in next Tuesday. Back is soooooo much better, have just got back from Bluewater and walking round there would have been unthinkable a couple of weeks ago. Starting to freak out a little about pre-term labour, have slapped a drinking ban on DH from this weekend just in case. He thinks I'm being neurotic, which to be fair is probably truesmile Have also headed back to tiredness like the first trimester, am waking five or six times in the night now to go to the toilet so seems by kicking my bladder they are getting me ready for the sleep deprivation once they arrive!

Long story short but I got chatting to someone the other day who's wife had id twins, TTTS, had the surgery at 20 weeks, at 27 weeks delivered pre-eclampsia quite badly - she was delivered there and then. Anyway, nine weeks later, mum and one baby home, second baby still in special care but doing well and should be home soon. So, moral of the story, I think any one who has been through this has little fighters!

Hope you have good appts this week Twinnies and Cake and Mrs S, you are probably up to your neck in things but hope all is going well.

xx

silverangel Thu 28-Jul-11 21:32:21

Me again ladies, just thought I'd give you an update on my antics for last night! I started getting strong pains at the bottom of my bump last night, definite cramps that were coming in a consistent pattern - phoned the labour ward and they said should go in to get checked out. Went in and got hooked up to the monitor, they did pick up some tightenings but did an internal and all was fine - def not in labour. Apparently something called irritable uterus and pretty common in twin pregnancies as they develop as uterus is pretty much stretched to capacity already and still has to further!

Anyway, I had never heard of it so thought I would let you know in case same happens to any of you. Absolutely fine today, but they did say it could happen quite frequently now.

X

CakeForBreakfast Fri 29-Jul-11 10:01:09

Morning everyone,

Silver that must've been quite nervy - the irritable uterus thing, do you have to go back in every time it happens? Thanks for the heads up.

Later today I'm back in for a scan. It has ben preying on my mind again, I have been gently preparing myself for needing more procedures, we coped when I had to have laser surgery so I know we can again, and I have just about reached viability so....

...anyway, I will let you know how it goes.

MrsStevo still thinking of you and your little girls, hoping they are getting nice and fat.

twinnies26 Fri 29-Jul-11 12:06:50

hi ladies,

Cake good luck today, am thinking of you and hoping you won't have anything to worry about. I have also been trying to prepare myself to hear something similiar this Tues, although i'll probably still crumble even if they say it. Almost 26weeks Cake? you're right we're almost viable, although y consultant said delivery is not an option until i reach 28. Maybe that's their hospital policy?I guess i'll know more next Tues.

Can i ask you both about movement in your twins? Do you have one twin which is more active than the other? Can you clearly distinguish who is moving all the time?? Sometimes i find i can't tell for sure who is kicking - maybe when i'm later in pregnancy it will be easier to tell?As far as i can gather twin 2 is very very active and twin 1 is much quieter for me (she's the smaller one) I actually went to the GP few days ago to get heartbeats checked as i was worried twin 1 was not moving enough :S

Silverangelthanks for the heads up about irritable uterus - hope it doesn't become too much of a regular occurance for you. You have almost a month to go now yes? You're almost there! you are 30 weeks now yes?

xx

silverangel Fri 29-Jul-11 12:38:02

Cake - good luck today, let us know how it goes. They didn't say I would have to back in but in my neurotic state I may well do just to confirm its not labour! One of the midwives said labour pains will be across the back as well and not localised at the bottom of bump as well.

Twinnies, I am 31 weeks tomorrow and I drive myself insane worrying about movements. Twin 1, the smaller one, is head down at the bottom and twin 2 is oblique across the top of my bump. 2 definitely moves more now but at around 22 weeks it was the other way around. Also I find that if I sit up and lean forward I can feel number 1 and if I lie down I can feel number 2. They seem to move in the morning when I wake up and after I have my dinner but not too much in between. Earlier on I found that if I looked at my belly I could see it moving even when I couldn't feel it. I'm a size 16 and I do wonder if the smaller you are the more you feel and also with two on board they are obv more restricted than if there was only one which must affect movement? I also remember around 26 weeks panicking I hadn't felt the top one as much and he said it was to do with position and being all tucked under my ribs...

X

CakeForBreakfast Fri 29-Jul-11 20:50:11

Hi,

No new developments from todays scan which is a good thing really. Still unequal fluids, but dopplers all good, growth scan will be next week.

Movements are plenty so far but I am finding it harder and harder to tell who is who and where, especially as they grow, todays scan showed their positions were absolutely different - almost the opposite to what I had thought they were.

I have one (smaller) transverse along the bottom but towards one 'corner' and the other all over the place on top, which surprised me. Like Silver, if I bend forward, the bottom twin lets me know thats not on, the other is very active and bulges and wriggles (Have you ever seen the movie tremors, its a bit like that under the skin!) What I do notice is that each seems to be awake at different times.

xx

MrsStevo Sat 30-Jul-11 17:38:44

Hello again! I've popped home again for an hour... life at the hospital is fairly chaotic and I'm itching to get the girls home now.

They are both still doing really well - both in proper cots now and sleep in my room with me. The only reason they're still in hosp at all is that they aren't quite back up to their birth weight yet and they are still getting the hang of breastfeeding (as am I!). Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but breastfeeding twins is bloody hard work!!!! But totally worth it as it is an amazing feeling.

I still haven't had the time to read through all your news but I hope you're all ok. I did read something about reverse TTTS for someone (cake?) - I had a similar issue and the doctors suspected reverse TTTS but actually they just balanced themselves out again after a couple of weeks without any intervention. Hope yours do the same.

Anyway, I have to dash as Sophia needs feeding AGAIN at 6.... I am just a milking machine at the mo! x xx

MrsStevo Sat 30-Jul-11 17:42:56

PS - have uploaded some pics now so have a nose. A warning tho - the girls had lots of wires and machines attached to them initially so the first photos are a little scary but it wasn't for long.

silverangel Sat 30-Jul-11 19:29:23

Damn, I'm on my phone so can't see your pics but will have allo on computer asap Mrs S. Glad they are both doing well - do you have an idea when you will all be allowed home?

Good news cake - my fluid has been different too, not by much but both within the realms of normal.

More drama yesterday on my front, had a show so back up to the hospital,m they kept me in overnight for observation and everything seems ok, cervix still closed etc so def not in labour! Have been ordered to rest, properly. They gave me the steroid injections, have to say they stung a bit but not as bad as I expected. Also tested +ve for GBS, the midwife was unsure of the implications for elective section but will discuss with the consultant on Tuesday. I have a very strong feeling I am not going to make it to the 1st September!

X

silverangel Sat 30-Jul-11 19:35:33

I lied, phone worked on the pics! Your girls are beautiful and you and Mr S look so chuffed. Huge congratulations again! Xx

twinnies26 Sat 30-Jul-11 23:57:53

Hi all!

I can't seem to see the photos? sad Are they attached at bottom of Mr.Stevo's message?

Mr'S I'm SO glad the little girls are doing well! smile and delighted you are breastfeeding - i really want to try to breastfeed them too! I' sure it is alot of hard work, but think of all the goodness you are giving them in their first days!

Cake glad all went well for you at the scan at least you can relax for another week now.

Silverangel sorry to hear more drama for you, hope you are staying calm anyway and now going to rest as much as you can! do you have some people who can help you out with basic day to day things so you can really rest up?Let us know how you go on Tuesday.

X

twinnies26 Tue 02-Aug-11 13:21:38

Hi ladies,

hope all is well!
silverangel how are you doing?I hope no more visits to hospital over the weekend.

Cakeall ok with you?

*Mrs Stevo*hope the girls are continuing to thrive and that you are feeling much better after the CS.

Thought i'd give my latest update - as suspected twin 1 hasn't grown enough for me, the difference between the girls is now 16%. (Twin 1 is 579g 1lb 4oz Twin 2 658g 1lb 7oz at 25weeks +2) My consultant is happy enough not to consider repeat surgery as fluid and dopplers are all good, but once the difference hits 25% or close too it he has said they will come out.

I'm to start steroid injections next week and will be in every week now to monitor growth. He's still hoping to just get us to 28 and says at the moment he really doubts we'll get past 32weeks because of recent growth patterns. Despite all this he reassures me we're doing ok....guess it's just as unpredictable as ever.

Anyway, I hope i can get at least to 32weeks but my bag will be packed from Tues week incase i don't come back from one appointment.

Am surprisingly calm and not flustered with it all today, i suppose that's a good thing anyway!

We'll just see how it all folds out in the next three weeks.

X

silverangel Tue 02-Aug-11 19:34:51

Hello all,

Well, my babies are here! Alice May, 3lb3 and Sophie Isabel, 3lb5, born last night at 2209 and 2210 be emergency section at 31+2. They are doing very well, have been taken off oxygen, still in incubators and having phototherapy for some slight jaundice. Biased I'm sure but they are adorable.

All happened rather traumatically though, ended up in hospital again on Sunday night with pain and bleeding, the bleeding got quite bad overnight and I started to have contractions. Long story short, I had to have a blue light transfer to Ashford (hour and half away from where I live) as it was the only place with space for two under 32 weeks, had a huge bleed and whipped into theatre. The twins were never in distress, turns out I had placental abruption and they estimated I lost three litres of blood. I am fine now after a blood transfusion and even though it was an emergency, the section was a great experience, the team were fab and really relaxed.

Twinnies, hope they stay in as long as possible, the consultant here keeps saying it was such a good job we had had the steroids.

Xx

twinnies26 Tue 02-Aug-11 20:53:24

Oh my goodness!!! Funny i had a feeling that maybe you're babies might have arrived - what a drama for you having to be transferred like that and losing so much blood - must have been a bit frightening - but i'm SOOOOO glad you are doing well smile and that the girls are also doing very well,great the girls are off oxygen already! smile

I'm so happy for you that you're two little bundles of joy have arrived safely smile and i love their names - Isabel and Alice are also some of the names on our list!

Keep us posted on how you and the girls are doing although i know you'll have your hands full just like Mr.S now!

2 ladies down - 2 ladies to go! Fingers crossed myself and Cake can also have the same good results as both of you!

I will be delighted if my girls get to 31 weeks! Good thing i guess that they plan to start steroids next week or week after with our growth/weight issues.

Big congratulations to yourself and your DH!

xx

CakeForBreakfast Wed 03-Aug-11 10:17:59

Goodness me what a lot has happened over the last few days!!!

twinnies Well done you for being strong, I guess once a 'plan' is made it is something positive to think forward to. I am wondering what my next growth scan will show up on Friday. You just remember you have two feisty fighters in there...

...speaking of which silver congratulations to you! What high drama. I was reading your post trying to imagine what 3 litres of blood looks like and it freaked me out!

How wonderful to see the little babies in person after so many weeks watching them in black and white on the scans. They are good weights and well done for going to 31+ weeks, I too will be tickled if I can do the same. Please do keep us posted on how you and your family are doing.

Indeed Twinnies, 2 more of us to go - although hopefully not for ages!

xxx

twinnies26 Thu 04-Aug-11 08:25:03

hi Cake glad all good with you - hope tomorrow goes well for you and you have good growth results with your twins!

Keep me posted anyway! will be thinking of you smile

X

CakeForBreakfast Fri 05-Aug-11 19:05:23

Hi all, (Hi Twinnies),

My scan today went okay. Things are unchanged in that one baby has quite a lot of fluid around it and the other has very little. However, dopplers are fine and so was growth. I couldn't understand that if the new donor twin had enough blood flow to grow normally, and had a visibly full bladder, why does she have so little fluid around her, but the consultant didn't know either. So we have to continue to monitor week by week for any changes.

The hot weather has really been taking it out of me!

Silver and MrsStevo wishing you and your girls all great health, don't forget to keep us posted.

Twinnies how are you doing? When do you have your scans, is it Tuesdays?

twinnies26 Fri 05-Aug-11 20:01:54

Hi Cake

Yes it is strange isn't it - but i guess if bladder is there and growth is good it's ok for now? At least with weekly monitoring if there is any drastic change it will be picked up upon immediately. Just realised you are nearly at week 28 - the golden number! smile

We're doing fine, in Ireland we're not suffering from hot weather, it's quite humid and only just about 20/21 degrees so can't complain about the heat - i'd actually love abit more of it! smile

I'm doing ok anyway, just plodding along with my usual bits and bobs during the week.We'll see how we go at next appointment - I'm in every Tuesday. Fingers crossed twin 1 has grown a little faster and might catch up somewhat, but i how my doubts. She has been growing about 50% slower than twin 2 if you take the last few growth measurements into consideration. Anyway, time will tell!

Have a good weekend and glad all is as stable as it can be given the circumstances.

Silver and Mrs. S* hope both you and your little ladies are doing well smile

X

MrsStevo Sun 07-Aug-11 20:06:10

Silver - HUGE congratulations to you and your girlies!!! What fantastic news!! Sorry to hear it was a bit of a dramatic arrival but great that you felt your c-sec was relaxed and an enjoyable experience - mine was much the same. My Sophia was in an incubator for about a week and needed phototherapy and IV fluids as well, but fortunately neither needed ventilating or oxygen as they were a little older than yours. I guess your girls will be in special care for a little while? I was able to stay with mine as they had parents' rooms at Lincoln county and when the girls were stable enough and off all their monitors, they were able to stay with me in my room overnight. Fingers crossed for you that your babies get super-strong, super-quickly and can come home soon.

twinnies - so sorry to hear that your babies are not growing quite as quickly as they should be. But pleased to hear that you are feeling calm about it all, well done you. I know it is a scary prospect to think that your babies might arrive at 28 weeks but, having just spent 2 weeks living in a neonatal unit with LOTS of poorly premmie babies, i am absolutely astounded by what can be done for teeny tiny babies. i got really upset one day in the first week at the number of the tinest babies you have ever seen that were on the unit and were linked up to all these monitors and machines. But then I realised that actually, those babies are alive and getting well despite their tiny-ness and that is all thanks to some fantastic neonatal care these days... it really is amazing. I will keep everything crossed for you that your babies stay cooking for a long while yet. If you haven't already, I would recommend you go and have a look around your local neonatal / special care unit - it made the world of difference to me that I could visualise where my girls were whilst I was stuck downstairs in recovery after my c-sec.

As for us - we are all home now, got back on Friday. My girls are just perfect and doing so well. It is SO nice to be back in my own bed and to have our girls where they should be so we can start being a proper family. I will keep checking on here whenever time allows as I SO want you all to have a happy-ever after like we seem to be. Keep posting your news!! x x

twinnies26 Mon 08-Aug-11 22:14:48

Hi Mr.s Stevo - am so glad you are all at home together smile and that both yourself and the girls are so doing so well! smile It's really great news! How are you settling into the routine of looking after twins??and how are you feeling after the CS?Still sore/tender or are you feeling much better now? Are you breastfeeding?If so how are you finding that?

thanks so much for the words of reassurance - I have been reading up alot of the past week about premi babies and ICU and yes it is amazing what they can do, so if the worst happens and they arrive very soon I'll be focusing on that and the fact that every tube/monitor is there for a good reason.

I'm back in tomorrow and will know more then - i know they've def grown in the past week as i'm def bigger- whether it's enough i don't know!

Keep us posted with updates whenever you can - enjoy these special few first weeks with your girls!

Silverangel hope your girls are gaining strength every day!

Cakehope alls well!

Twinnies

MrsStevo Tue 09-Aug-11 09:55:38

twininies - thinking of you today, let us know how you get on. Fingers are firmly crossed for you.

We WERE settling into home life quite well - until Madeleine decided last night that she wanted to be awake every hour. The only hour I didn't see was 7am ... perhaps I just slept through her screams?? It is absolutely exhausting but worth every second. I am partially breastfeeding - Madeleine more than Sophia as Soph is still so tiny that her mouth doesn't open quite wide enough to latch on properly so it is sore. But I'm expressing like some kind of dairy parlour so they are getting my milk at least. They are also prescribed a premmie-baby formula to 'top-up' their feeds as I'm not producing enough milk to satisfy these hungry little critters.... they are guzzlers!

As for the C-sec - I think I was super lucky as it didn't hurt much and I was up and about the next day and walking from one ward to the other (much to the amazement of all the staff!). I had dissolvable stitches though and another woman who had twins the same day as me had to have staples (not sure why) and she was still in her wheelchair a week later. It did hurt when I tried to sit up in bed and I nearly collapsed to the floor in agony when I sneezed! But other than that it was all quite manageable and i haven't taken any painkillers for about a week now. Unfortunately for me, since I appeared to be coping well with it all, my husband forgot to give me any kind of sympathy or extra special love and kindness. Humph. I keep reminding him that I had MAJOR surgery less than 3 weeks ago but it doesn't get me anywhere.

One thing that WASN'T manageable was the pain I experienced from trapped wind the night after the surgery!!! I woke up in more pain that I have ever known at about 3am (worse than broken bones and the pain of a miscarriage) - but it was pain in my right shoulder which was weird but it was so bad that I couldn't move and was sobbing my heart out. The doctor said it was referred pain from trapped wind (I couldn't actually feel any trapped wind) and prescribed me some kind of horse tranquiliser and 'mintek' which relieves it. So when you guys all have your CS - make sure you get mintek ASAP, much better to have it before the pain arrives, TRUST me!

DH and I watched 'Emergency in the Womb' last night - we had recorded it ages ago but neither of us wanted to watch it until the babies were safely here. Have any of you seen it? It is about two sets of twins with TTTS and both are under the care of Kypros Nicolaides at Kings. I found it fascinating to watch but sobbed all the way through it - as did DH. I wouldn't recommend watching it until your babies arrive safe and sound too but it is worth watching in my opinion.

Anyway, I will catch up with you all again soon! I have mastered the art of double-expressing and having hands free to type so I will be on here quite often!

CakeForBreakfast Tue 09-Aug-11 11:46:24

Well hello MrsStevo and Twinnies

My mouth dropped as I read that your girls are home now! How well they (and you) have done.

MrStevo is not giving the right amount of sympathy because he is trying to grapple with the enormous life changing shock that is becoming a parent and poor simple men are unable to do more than one thing at a time! Hee hee, believe me, inside he is shivering with awe at how much you have handled and trying to tell himself its because its more natural for women (even though it isn't, we are just superior beings). Anyway enough pop psychology from me.

I remember both my previous (single) babies had a spell of waking every hour, they were such hungry hippos. Do you express using an electrical machine, is it good?

I did watch Emergency in the Womb already, I waited until I was 6 weeks post laser, and sobbed at parts of it too.

Twinnies I am thinking of you today, let us know how it goes

love cake.

twinnies26 Tue 09-Aug-11 19:18:38

Hi ladies!

Great to hear all your news Mr.s Stevo smile - and am delighted you are breast feeding! I intend to too - btw what type/make of pump are you using?Did the hospital supply you with a double one while you were there?I you now renting? I was looking at the medela the other day. I'm going to a hospital lactation talk on Thurs so i guess will find out more info about how my hospital does it all!

Thanks for the heads up about CS - so i guess it varies from person to person eh? Consultant told me i'm also 90% CS. Twins also moved position, one oblique now and one head down. Another question - what type of nightwear did you bring for CS? Long nighties or could you manage PJs with the wound? That trapped wind pain sounds awful - poor you! you are def. a trooper- If i manage as well as you i will be delighted!

I was in again today - got my first steroid injection, back in tomorrow for the next. Consultant decided wanted to do growth next week instead - but he's happy enough with all blood, fluid levels etc smile ... so we just still have the growth concerns. Guess then next week we'll know if growth is going to continue being an issue - fingers crossed, I fell like if i got to 30 it would be like a gold medal!! I'm feeling good anyway,although sleep is still quite disturbed ever since surgery,i seem to carry my angst in my dreams. Anyway I'm happy that 28 is within sight, seems like it's been such a marathon to just get this far!

Cake good luck Friday!

Hope silverangel and twins doing ok!

Know the episode but i don't think i can watch it yet! Will prob wait until after like you Mr.S - i was on the Irish Premi Website that night and that made me cry! - so i don't think i'm ready for that yet!!

Chat soon

xxx

silverangel Tue 09-Aug-11 21:14:08

Hello!

Mrs S, great news they're home and you're doing well. Double expressing - I need to get on to that, I feel a bit like a cow in a milking parlour at the momentsmile. The girls continue to do really well, they're both off all medication and their feeds have been put up to two hourly. They are being fed expressed breast milk as much as possible topped up with a high calorie preemie formula as I'm not producing enough yet. Put them both on the boob today, to get them used to the idea but the nurse said not to expect them to actually have the reflex to suckle for another weeks or so. We're expecting them to be in SCBU for around another 4-5 weeks but now they are back at my local hospital we are managing well.

As for my section, I was able to get up the next morning and shower and walked up to the NICU unit that afternoon, and spent two nights in hospital. I've been walking the dog and feeling pretty normal since (now on day 8), I stopped taking painkillers yesterday and have been fine. I also had the trapped wind pain in my shoulder, very odd! My stitches were internal, the dressing came off on day 5 and you can hardly see the scar already. Would definitely recommend big knickers to go over the scar.

Twinnies, hope you keep them in and that you're doing well too Cake. 50% of us there, 50% to go!

Xx

twinnies26 Wed 10-Aug-11 21:51:16

Hi Silverangel - great news the girls are doing so well! smile so good that they are already off all medication and nice that you can at least have them close to you at the breast even if they can't suckle yet - that skin to skin contact will do them the world of good - like kangaroo cuddles!

Had been wondering about whether your little girls would be staying for the duration of SCBU care in the hospital away from your home - i'm sure you feel much more relaxed now that you are able to be in the comfort of oyur own home and still care for the girls! smile

Sounds like you have also bounced back from the CS fantastically! good on you - out walking the dog already, i'm impressed!

finished the steroids today - they sting abit don't they!

Keep us updated on all of your progress!

Cake good luck for Friday!hope all will continue to go well for you

Xx

MrsStevo Fri 12-Aug-11 05:28:43

cake and twinnies - the pump I bought is a Medela 'Pump in Style'. It is a double electric pump and I would deffo recommend it. I actually got mine on ebay for about £60 (they are over £200 new) and it works fine. I was a bit dubious about using a second hand pump as thought it was a bit gross but you can steralise it to death or just buy new parts for it.

As for post-CS clothing, I took two breastfeeding nighties into hospital and wore them very occasionally. Most nights I slept in a nursing sleep bra (got mine from mothercare) and some of those foxy giant pants that come up to my belly button as the hospital was RIDICULOUSLY hot!!! I moved back into PJs once I got home. During the day I had baggy black trousers or baggy black shorts (dark colours are a must in the early days!) and just a loose top on. If I had my time again, I would put my hospital gown for CS on backwards so it opened at the front - much easier (and slightly more dignified!) to have skin to skin with the babies that way. I would also stay in it for the first 24 hours as you lose a lot of blood and it is easier to deal with in the gown - and doesn't ruin your stuff.

twinnies how many weeks are you now? Great that the consultant is pleased with everything and happy to wait another week for growth scan. Fingers crossed for you. Well done for braving the steroid injections ... they do sting very much indeed, but are well worth it

Silver - fantastic that your girls are doing so well!!! I did the same as you - expressed what I could and they were tube fed it and then topped up with formula. We are doing the same at home (although bottle feeding rather than tube) and the girls are piling on the weight. The hosp encouraged me to keep putting them on the boob and it was worth it as they are both now very capable of breastfeeding ... it is just the time factor that prevents me bf all the time really - so hard when there are two!

twinnies26 Fri 12-Aug-11 06:20:08

Hi MrsS

You're up early as well! I'm have a very sore breast sad so i came on to post about it - has had me up for ages.

So glad the girls are pilling on the weight smile sounds like they are really thriving now!

That Medela pump is the one i have been looking at online - yes they are expensive! - good to know a secondhand one has worked well for you. something i will now consider too! I am also going to check out rental prices, there is a company not far from me that rents equipment.

Thanks for the CS clothing tips! Really was not sure what is good to bring or not! My mum showed up the other day with a cream dressing gown (as it's much lighter than my one)but i really didn't think cream would be the right colour!!was seeing a big mess with that dressing gown.....

I'm 27weeks this weekend, so we're getting close to 28 slowly but surely. Cake - you are 28weeks now?! Wwuuhhoho smile Will keep you all posted re next growth scan. I think they've def. grown although whether enough can't tell - my belly has certainly expanded in last two weeks - i now look like i have a basketball sticking out my front!

hellswelshy Fri 12-Aug-11 14:48:10

Havent checked this thread in a while, so thought id check in - wow by the looks of it you ladies have had lots of goings on! Congrats MrsStevoand silverangel on your girls arrival!! How odd you both had girls, wow a girl celebrationsmile)) So happy for you both, hope i havent missed anyone out, but for those who are still waiting im still sending out positive vibes. Would love to know how the girls are doing - incase youve forgotten my girls are 3 and half now - living proof that these tiny little miracles can grow. My goodness can they grow!! Well done ladies, enjoy them, they will grow so quicklysmile

CakeForBreakfast Fri 12-Aug-11 16:09:56

Hi all,

Silver so good to hear from you. Its great to hear the girls are off medication. Are you in and out of the hospital a lot - is it very hectic??

MrsStevo How cool yours are piling on the weight, good girls! How are you finding breastfeeding? Do you do them one at a time or are you now a skilled baby juggler??

Twinnies I will be 28 weeks on Monday, todays scan was fine. Just a well-being one no growth till next week. Still unequal fluids but again all other variables are of happy babies so its a bit of a mystery really. Does the steroid shot really sting, just going in or for a while after? I'm glad to hear you feel you have grown, I will certainly be thinking of you on Tuesday.

Hellsweishy Thanks for coming back. You know, I do believe, all of us on this thread are having (or have had) girls. A twin girl boom!

twinnies26 Fri 12-Aug-11 17:54:08

Hi Cake glad all ok despite the 'mystery' - hope you get good growth next week smile The steroid shots weren't that bad really, just a little uncomfortable. Only hurt me after the needle came out and the steroids started moving through my bum/hip. First day was ok as i was still lying down waiting for consultant for about ten mins after, second time got quick shot from his midwife/sonographer and left v.quickly so i ended up hobbling to the train station!

Hellsweishy thanks for touching base again! All of us are having/or have just had girls!

Chat soon xx

hellswelshy Mon 15-Aug-11 10:05:51

It is indeed then a baby girl boom! How wonderful!!! I was the only twin mum in my twin club for a long time with two girls, so i do like to hear of more coming along. Re steroid shots, i had mine about a week before i had my girls, and first one was in the leg (painful) but second in my stomach - wasnt sure about it - but i hardly felt a thing!! Well done on the breastfeeding, i managed to express for the first 3 weeks when they were in special care, but it dried up after that, which was really upsetting at the time but now i can see that i did my best. All that matters is that they feed well, and put on weight, however you manage to do that. Hugs to all you fabulous twin mums, and to your amazing girls xxx

twinnies26 Tue 16-Aug-11 19:58:08

hi ladies,

Thought i'd give my latest update - the girls did really well today! smile Twin 1 has bounced back and has caught up in weight with Twin 2,only an ounce between them. So am really pleased considering it was looking like the difference between them was just getting bigger and bigger smile They're still on the 'low' side of normal for weight, but consultant is happy enough with them for now and now we are aiming for 32weeks. It's great to feel we've moved on from the 27/28 week target at last!

HOpe everyone is well. Hope all the little girls are continuing to thrive smile

Cake hope all goes well on Friday!

xx

MrsStevo Tue 16-Aug-11 21:50:54

Wooohoooooooo! great news twinnies so pleased for you! My babies were always on the low side too - neither ever made it over the 50th centile and they were diddy when they were born but are packing on the pounds now! Great to hear good news from you, clever baby twinnies!

CakeForBreakfast Wed 17-Aug-11 09:59:07

twinnies I am so pleased for you thats great! It seems she was just having a little rest then!

Its good to have a little reprieve of worry to enjoy having such a special pregnancy - that is before we get really really massive and lolloping - actually I feel a bit that way already, SPD and varicose veins are NOT my friends.

I hope I can also have good progress on Friday!

Well done to the little-twinnies!

MrsStevo Wed 17-Aug-11 10:05:57

Sorry cake I realise I didn't answer your Q. I don't breastfeed them all that much to be honest - Madeleine goes on a couple of times a day and will feed reasonably well but Sophia just hasn't got the hang of latching on and she just gets very frustrated and tired and then starts crying. It is also very hard to breastfeed one whilst the other is crying out in hunger - and managing two at once is only possible when I'm in bed but even then Sophia won't feed so it becomes a performance. I reluctantly made the decision to bottle feed a couple of weeks ago just so we could get out of hospital. I had been determined that it would be temporary and that we'd get back to breastfeeding exclusively but tbh the bottle works really well for us. I am expressing after every feed so they are getting about 50% of my milk and then 50% formula top up so I don't feel tooooo guilty about it all. Fortunately my health visitor is super-supportive of any decision I make and isn't ramming the 'breast is best' slogan down my neck.

CakeForBreakfast Fri 19-Aug-11 19:42:46

MrsStevo Thanks for the detail, I am trying to figure out logistics of b/feeding two with the needs of two others. I breastfed both my previous babies until weaning and while I'm glad of it, it is a serious time investment, I am pretty happy to introduce a bottle or top up as soon as is possible, any breastfeeding nazis will meet my shirty side if they get snooty!!!

Scan today went fine. Consultant is now no longer 100% certain that the fluid inequalities are TTTS due to the babies doing so well. There is some head scratching and wondering if some odd fluid dynamics due to holes in membranes is at play instead. But it means that if all stays well I can aim for 34 weeks for cesarean - assuming I can keep them in that long of course!

I hope you are all doing well, I love updates!
love Cake

twinnies26 Sat 20-Aug-11 11:34:13

Cake great news you are aiming for 34 weeks! I'm sure they will stay nice and snug in there for you, they seem to be happy at the moment! How is your bump these days? I've had a big burst and seem to be getting bigger really fast now - my bump is starting to resemble a massive basket ball i'm all out front!

I've been doing lots of reading on breastfeeding and research on pumps etc.. - i have no idea how hard it will be with two but i will try my best anyway! You will have your hands full with your other two!-what ages are they?

X

CakeForBreakfast Wed 24-Aug-11 10:11:55

Hi Twinnies

How was the scan yesterday?

twinnies26 Wed 24-Aug-11 11:06:52

Hi Cake

The laptop was temporarily away yesterday! All is well with us smile The twins seem happy enough inside at the moment so i'm really hoping we'll get to 32 at least. Growth is next week so here's hoping they will have grown enough to keep my consultant happy!

How are you feeling now? How is your energy holding up? I've suddenly got really tired in the last week (it's driving me crazy as i hate not being able to run around like i usually do!) My bump is suddenly heavy for me, so i imagine that is part of the problem! Anyway - can't complain as otherwise I'm feeling pretty good!

I also now feel like i've an octopus living inside me! These ladies are kicking like mad all the time! smile

Silverangel how are your little ones doing? Are they still in hospital? I hope they're getting bigger and stronger by the day!

Also- a question to the ladies with twins already here- when did you start preparing for their arrival?Buying things? I've been holding off out of fear of the worst happening but now am wondering if maybe i should start thinking about it - we have nothing for them!!

Mr.Shope you are settling into life at home with twins well - sounds like you are very much on top of it all!

xx

silverangel Wed 24-Aug-11 17:53:18

Hi everyone,

Glad to hear your still both hanging in there Cake and Twinnies!

Sophie and Alice are doing really well, out of their incubators and into cots, feeding three hourly. Still a combination of tube and bottle and a bit of breast but it really tires them out to do it themselves so they have to alternate. I am expressing but my milk seems to have gone down, I've been prescribed Domperidone to try and get it back up. Cake. The pump I've been using is the Medela swing, its a single - if I was to buy one I would get the Medela but the ae expensive.

Twinnies - I didn't really let myself buy much at all until about 28 weeks, we still hadn't bought everything by 31 weeks when they arrived!

The girls are likely to be in SCBU for another couples of weeks - we can't wait to get them home nowsmile. I'll try and figure out how to get some pics on here when I'm at home on the computer.

Mrs S, hope all is still well with you.

Xx

twinnies26 Thu 25-Aug-11 13:09:42

Hi Silverangel - great your little ones are out of incubators and in cots now! smile Glad they are doing well and great you are getting some breast time with them, i'm sure it's hard for them to suck still as they're so little but it's great that you can have them close and bond even if it's just for a short while! I'm going to get a Medela pump too, and yes they are expensive. I think Mr.s S bought hers secondhand and it has worked out for her....i might look into that too and then just replace tubes etc.. or sterelise like mad.

I really hope the girls can come home really soon! you must be dying to get them home smile

How are you feeling? All recovered from the CS?

xx

twinnies26 Thu 25-Aug-11 13:10:38

oh and silverangel how is your back now? Pain gone now that your girls have arrived? Mine been really at me for the last 2days....

CakeForBreakfast Thu 25-Aug-11 16:34:11

Hello all,

Twinnies Its so funny you talking about discomfort, in the last week or so, I have really become uncomfortable! I never had lower lumbar pain with either previous pregnancy but its pretty bad now, also the SPD and absolute worst of all is that I can't eat like a horse anymore! There is just not enough room and I get queasy!

The bump itself is painful at times too which is new from the other pregnancies, It feels like I am a bag of pointy spanners and the distortions of my belly when they stretch and push out is starting to freak out dh! Still, I'm not complaining!

I waited until 28 weeks and now am buying a few small bits and pieces, i have bought some tiny baby sleepsuits and vests, nappies, an extra bouncy chair, new steam steriliser, thats it so far I still need to get plenty more! I'll get as much of the big stuff second hand.

Silver I'm so glad the girls are in cots now, how are you finding things - do they get through sleepsuits and clothes at a rate of knots?

Thinking of you all
Cake

twinnies26 Thu 25-Aug-11 17:19:20

Hi Cake

haha yes i have crazy distortions going on in my belly too and he thinks the same! - it's very strange! when they both do it at the same time it's really uncomfortable too! They're really like an octopus at the moment!

I admit i'm getting quite tired and have been very lazy today, been on the couch since 1pm - watching tv, being online and knitting - not done that in ages!

I guess i better get going and finally get the basics in anyway - have done lots of research, the laptop is full of folders on the desktop but i've not bought anything yet! Oh... did you buy premi clothes?or just normal newborn?I've looked at some but not bought as no idea how to predict what size they might be!I guess should buy bigger and they can grow into them?!

Good luck on Friday! Hope it all goes well smile

xx

CakeForBreakfast Thu 25-Aug-11 19:22:43

Twinnies I have bought some "tiny baby" sleepsuits and vests so far (up to 6lb) as I know my consultant wont want me to go much past 34 weeks and the average weight is 4lb-ish, so I am thinking even if they are in incubators for a while, they will still have room to grow after. I remember my first was born at 6llb 10 oz and she was absolutely swamped by 0-3months, absurdly too big, so just a few tiny baby and newborn sizes will be useful I think.

I do have to have a good think about electric express machines though I really don't know what to do about that, have you looked at prams yet?

twinnies26 Thu 25-Aug-11 21:23:12

Hi Cake

Thanks for the tips about sizes! I plan on getting a few things early next week - I'm starting to compile my hospital bag now incase the babies decide to make a surprise appearance at some point!
interesting about 34 weeks, it must be the 'cut off point' as we were told we will never go past that as well.

Spent abit of time researching pumps a little further today. I am in Ireland so my info may not be entirely relevant to you - but i spoke with a company called 'medicare' (could be over with you too?)about renting hospital grade pumps and from what info i received it seems to rent one for two months is almost the price of a new Medela. The lady told me the best Medela pumps for twins are the 'pump in the style advanced' and the medela 'free style pump' (but this one is ridiculously expensive). I just can't decide on whether to buy from ebay secondhand or get a new one. The hospital grade pumps for rent were medela 'symphony' and i've actually forgotten the other name...it's somewhere on paper!

Re prams - i saw a lady with twin boys in a pram/buggy that interested me a few weeks ago and started chatting to her. Her buggy seems to tick all the boxes for us. It's called mountain buggy urban jungle duo. Only problem it's pretty expensive new so we are hoping to get a friend to help us source one secondhand from the greater London area (no secondhand market for that buggy in Ireland). Am keeping an eye out on ebay for deals! It's an all terrain buggy which suits us as we live up a lane. The buggy is very narrow so can get through all doors - 73cm wide i think. I like the idea of the twins being side by side and being able to interact with each other. Link is below.....

http://mountainbuggy.com/en/buggies/double/duo

Let me know how tomorrow goes!

X

CakeForBreakfast Sat 27-Aug-11 20:42:59

Hi all,

Scan was fine yesterday which was nice. It wasn't a growth scan, just well-being, dopplers and all that all fine so good to go on to another week! hooray

xx

twinnies26 Sat 27-Aug-11 22:00:17

Yay! Go twins and Cake smile xx

MrsStevo Mon 29-Aug-11 22:13:32

Hi all!! sorry for being so out of touch... we've been fairly busy!! The girls are doing so well though and are absolute poppets - couldn't wish for better!

Don't have time for a FULL catch up with everything but so pleased to hear that your scan went well Cake and that you have crazy belly distortions twinnies - that can only be a good thing! And Silver - lovely to hear that Sophie and Alice are doing so well. Really hope you get to take them home soon, I remember all too vividly how claustrophobic and frustating being in SCBU is.

Vis a vis expressing contraptions, I would suggest you check what equipment your hospital will provide in the event that your babies end up in special care. Ours had a super-dooper double electric Medela pump that I had sole use of whilst I was in there. I had already bought the Medela Pump-In-Style (double electric, comes in a rucksack for ease of transportation) and didn't need it at all in hospital. I have used it since I have been home and found it to be excellent - BUT I spent about £60-£70 on it (off ebay) and I'm no longer using it as I stopped breastfeeding and expressing this week. So I have had about 3ish weeks use out of it and, to be honest, I would have saved money had I rented one. If I had been able to continue then it might've been worth its money ... and I might yet need it for baby no 3 in the future!

Pram-wise, I couldn't rate the Baby Jogger City Select any higher. It is fantastic in every respect - very manoevreable, lots of room for stuff underneath and versatile in terms of fitting car seats and carry cots.

Must dash - girls need feeding again! They certainly keep me busy....

Lots of love and healthy-baby wishes to you all x x

twinnies26 Tue 30-Aug-11 19:37:20

Hi all!

Great that everything is running smoothly in your household Mr's. S The girls must be getting so big now! They're almost 5/6 weeks old now?!time flies eh? How are the girls sleeping for you?Have you got a system in order now?Sounds like you are in control anyway!

We're doing well for now! growth scan today,the girls are still small just below the 'normal range' but despite this they're happy to let us keep going until 32 weeks- then they'll review it all, maybe we'll get 2 more who knows!- so not long to go 3-5 weeks!

Cake we're getting there slowly but surely! smile

xx

CakeForBreakfast Fri 02-Sep-11 15:21:17

Hello all,

Just thought I'd give a quick update. I had a scan today which made the consultant gurn and churn his expression.

One of the twins dopplers is not yet abnormal, but might be showing an early indication of the placenta not delivering as well as it should to that baby. I'll go back in next Tuesday for another scan and if it hasn't improved on its own then they will probably be delivered within 24 hours! Eeeek, babies! I had the first steroid shot today and next tomorrow.

I am currently 30+4 and the twins estimated weights are 3lb 4oz and 3lb 7oz.

We will have to wait and see what next Tuesday brings, the grandmas are on tenterhooks!

Hope you are all well.
xx

twinnies26 Fri 02-Sep-11 17:31:54

Ooohh Cake sorry to hear that sad i really hope things rectify themselves for you by Tuesday and your little ones will stay inside a little longer! I'll be thinking of you alot over the weekend and on Tuesday. You never know you might avoid delivery as sometimes these things can correct themselves in a matter of days - Good they are getting the steroid shots in quickly for you anyway.

Your twins are a good weight anyway! I'm 29+5 today and on Tues my babies were a whole pound less than yours - 2lbs 5 and 2lbs 7.

Keep us all posted and good luck!!

xxx

silverangel Fri 02-Sep-11 18:33:09

Hi everyone, haven't read the latest messages as on phone not laptop but just wanted to say Cake, if you do have to be delivered your two are a good weight, mine were 3lb2 and 3lb5, and they are doing fine. Hopefully you won't have to be delivered but, if you, don't panic!

All going well with the girls and hopefully they will be home in the next ten days, not so well on the breast milk production but I'm persevering!

Will catch up on everyone's news properly later!
Xx

CakeForBreakfast Sat 03-Sep-11 10:35:31

Thanks for all the reassurance ladies, If next Tuesday they do need to come out I will be just over 31 weeks then, thats not so bad really.

SilverAngel can I ask, how long have your girls been in hospital now so far, how long in the incubator? (You were between 31-32 weeks when you delivered weren't you?).

How is the breastfeeding going? Well done for perservering, I'm not entirely sure I will be that diligent!

Twinnies It sounds like you and your girls are doing well, on the babycentre "average fetal weight chart" your babies weights at 29 weeks seem very close and almost spot on for 50th centile! Is your consultant still saying they are under??? I wonder what references he is looking at!

MrsStevo How are you doing?

Off to the hospital now for my second steroid shot, will update you again (hopefully) on Tuesday afternoon

silverangel Sat 03-Sep-11 12:36:53

Hi Cake, we will have been in five weeks on Monday and fingers crossed home next weekend so nearly six weeks altogether. They were in incubators for three weeks, then went into water beds which are heated things that go in the cots and they came off those last night into regular cots.

I think the problems I have had with breast milk production are a) they were only 31 weeks (31+2) and b) I was kind of left to my own devices in Ashford re expressing. They were delivered on the Monday and I didn't start expressing until the Saturday when we were back at Farnborough which I'm sure can't be a good thing. The volume I was getting up went up a little bit but then I got mastitis and it doesn't seem to have recovered since. I started taking domperidone but that hasn't helped either. The advice is to express every three hours including through the night to establish supply but I stopped that as it wasn't going up and I was getting more and more exhausted and it was actually going down. I had always decided I was going to try and breast feed but if it didn't happen I wasn't going to beat myself up about it. At the moment they are on 1/4 breast milk and 3/4 nutripem which is a high calorie formula to boos their weight and they will be prescribed the nutripem when they come home as well so will probably stop the expressing altogether then.

I hope you can keep them in a bit longer but if not hope the delivery goes well and any questions please ask away!

Also, just a thought if you do deliver and you need ickle clothes Boots and Mamas and Papas are the best for small sizes and the sleepsuits with feet, long arms and the bits you can fold over to make scratch mitts. The feet keep the wires in place and the scratch mitts are good to stop them pulling their feeding tubes out.

Xx

MrsStevo Sun 04-Sep-11 00:58:03

Hi cake - sorry to hear your news as I know that situation is far from ideal but, as the others have said, try not to fret as 31 weeks is pretty good going and if you've had the steroids then they'll be fine I'm sure. And they are good weights - Sophia was 3lb 6 and,although she looked absolutely tiny on arrival, she is doing so well now and you'd never know they'd even had TTTS now. Big fat fingers crossed for your scan on Tuesday, I hope they get to keep cooking a bit longer but it will be amazing to meet them if they do arrive next week. Keep us posted, I would love to know how you're doing and hear when your little people arrive. I am actually really excited for you.

Silver - WELL DONE on persevering with the breast feeding and expressing. It is bloody hard work physically and emotionally - particularly when you have to wake yourself up in the night to express. Sounds like you've had shite support in that respect as well which is really disappointing. You sound the same as me in terms of the ratio of your milk to formula - our girls were prescribed the same stuff by the sounds of it. They are on nutriprem 2 now which is the post-discharge stuff (which is prescribed for 6 months and therefore FREE - woohoo!). I must confess that I have given up expressing and breastfeeding altogether now. I managed 5 weeks of combined BF, expressing and formula feeding and it was slowly killing me. Fortunately I have a very supportive HV who agreed with my decision to just formula feed. The girls are thriving so I know I've made the right decision.

We are doing just fine. The girls are now 6lb 14 and 5lb 12, which is still pretty tiny but they look massive to me already!! They are an absolute pleasure and genuinely make every day an amazing one. I think because we went through all the TTTS trauma, I appreciate them so much more than I would have done. I think I'd taken having-a-healthy-baby/babies for granted until then and now I realise how hugely lucky I am. Being a mummy is SO much more fabulous than I'd ever thought....even when they're shouting with hunger at 4am!

CakeForBreakfast Mon 05-Sep-11 18:35:20

Hi all,

Silver and MrsStevo you sound like you are doing so well. I love hearing about how all the babies are doing!

I am hoping tomorrow my consultant lets me go a few more days but I won't overly fret if he doesn't, as we've all said, 31 weeks is not a catastrophe.

Did you find the babies actual birth weights similar to their estimates, or were they over/under?

MrsStevo you sound so happy with your new role! You are a bit of a supermum as there are so many new mums of single babies who are in a permanent panic (I was one with my dd1), but you sound like YOU are also thriving as well as helping your girls to. Can I ask a question about nighttime formula feeding, when the babies wake up in the middle of the night for milk, do you go and prepare bottles from scratch, do the babies cry and cry until they get fed, or do you have preprepared bottles for nighttime. This is an area I haven't ever been in before!

Silver I can't believe you had mastitis and still persevere, thats love and dedication! I have had blocked ducts in the past and that was bad enough, but mastitis! Wow. Tough lady.

Twinnies I will also be thinking of you tomorrow for your scan

silverangel Mon 05-Sep-11 20:50:37

Woohoo - my babies are coming home tomorrow!!! We were expecting them to come home by this weekend but tomorrow was a surprise. We are excited and terrified all in one go!

Cake and Twinnies let us know how you get on tomorrow, will be thinking of you. I will check in when I can, I have a feeling I'm going to be very very busy from tomorrowsmile

Mrs S - keep up the good work.

Xx

silverangel Mon 05-Sep-11 20:52:35

Forgot to say Cake, our estimated weights were just about bang on x

CakeForBreakfast Tue 06-Sep-11 14:16:01

Hello,

I'm home again after today's scan. The 'dodgy' reading has not gotten worse, it was a tiny bit better, although still just on the borderline of dangerous. But it means I get to keep them in until another reassessment on Friday.

Phew! Now that we've got this short reprieve, I realise how tense I was beforehand, I'm exhausted now!

Silver that is wonderful news on your girls coming home, that is even earlier than your original due date isn;t it, they have done well!

Twinnies How was the scan today?

xx

twinnies26 Tue 06-Sep-11 20:22:41

Hi ladies!

not logged on as laptop was gone with my little sis for a few days!

Cake was wishing you lots of good luck for today and thinking of you! and I am so glad that things have picked up! Good girls!! smile here's hoping Friday will also bring good news and you will get another few weeks in!

Silver - am so thrilled your little girls will be home tomorrow! Wishing you and your new family all the best smile How exciting to have them safe in your arms in the comfort of your own home! You will def have your hands full for the next while trying to establish a routine and system!

Mr.S - i love hearing your twin reports! Like Cake says you sound like you have it all under control and are enjoying every moment of being a new mum!

We're doing well, just a biophysical today and the twins seem to be happy in there for now! Next week we will book a date for c section, it's looking like Oct 4th , but will know for sure next week! So a month today and that would get us to 34 weeks + 2 - of course we'll have to see if we get that far but fingers crossed!

xx

twinnies26 Thu 08-Sep-11 14:40:33

Cake good luck tomorrow, am thinking of you!

Silver hope all is well upon your arrival at home!

xx

CakeForBreakfast Fri 09-Sep-11 16:55:55

Hi all,

Thought I would mention todays scan was fine. Babies are now behaving as they should so I can go until next Tuesday! Yay! Consultant wont let us take anything for granted though, next scan will be growth and he has yet again warned that if growth or dopplers are not good then he will deliver! If they are fine however then he will book me a section date! (I will be 32 weeks by then.)

Hope you and all babies are well.

xx

twinnies26 Fri 09-Sep-11 18:14:19

YAY!!great you have managed to avoid delivery yet again smile - every day they can stay in is a bonus and again remember even if they arrive next week 32weeks is not bad at all considering what we have all been through!

My section date will also be booked on Tuesday! - so we'll both have a date on the horizons then.

Good luck Tuesday - you never know you might get another week or two yet!

xx

MrsStevo Sat 10-Sep-11 15:26:03

Silver - FANTASTIC! So pleased your girls are home. How are you getting on??

Cake - brilliant that your babies are behaving again! They are so very clever. Your consultant sounds a lot like mine - he made it clear at each scan that the next one could be the last one. Are you scanned twice a week now? SO pleased for you being 32 weeks!! That's fantastic. WELL DONE on your excellent growing skills. It will be so good to have a date for your C-sec, something to work towards.

Twinnies - YAY for you too!! Fantastic that your bambinos are doing well too. Let us know what your date is.

Vis a vis night-time feeding, I use a cold-water steriliser over night. It is basically a big mixing bowl with a lid that I put water and Milton in and have it next to the bed so the bottles are sterilising away and I just get them out and use them straight away during the night - saves trekking downstairs to the kitchen. I make up a thermos of boiling water, another of cold water and have the milk powder next to the bed as well so I make the bottles up as we go and cool them in a measuring jug. Possibly sounds like a faff but it works really well for us as I don't have to get out of bed at all. Generally the girls wake each other up but I park one on my DH's chest and she'll settle for a bit whilst I feed the other. I demand feed overnight so only feed them when they wake up.

Are any of you managing to enjoy the last few weeks of your pregnancies? I've had some time to reflect since the girls arrived and I miss my bump very much and would love to have another baby one day despite everything we've been through. I would love to know what a 'normal' pregnancy is like!!!

Anyway, hope you're all ok! Love reading your updates x x

twinnies26 Tue 13-Sep-11 18:59:27

Hi all,

Cake hope you got on ok today and avoided delivery- been thinking of you!

My c. section has been booked for Oct 4th! great to have a date to focus on, i can't actually imagine them in my arms yet!It's been such a journey,can't believe the end is near - so three weeks from today. They seem happy enough, although my consultant still grumbles about growth - they grew less in last two weeks than other weeks (now 2lbs 12 and 2lbs 14 at 31weeks +2), but they assure me it doesn't really matter - my babies will just be tiny. I'd love them to beef up abit though before delivery.

Silverangel - how are you getting on at home with your girls? Hope you're feeling settled with the little ones.

Mrs.Stevo sounds like you've got a good night feeding plan that works for you! I haven't even thought about such things yet! Btw i seem to remember your c section went fairly smoothly for you. How long did it take you to feel like you'd recovered fully? HOw did you find travelling to the hospital in the days after you were discharged? You weren't bed bound when you came home were you?And how is your scar healing now?! Oh and also - were you able to hold your babies after delivery?or were they swept away by the peads? Lots of questions!!

xx

CakeForBreakfast Tue 13-Sep-11 19:45:41

Hi all,

I managed to avoid delivery again today, yay!

Can you believe I still don't have a cesarean date! Todays scan had the verdict of still stable, but also a bit delicate enough to warrant continuing with the frequent monitoring under threat of delivery within 24 hours if anything further 'dodgy' happens. I go back on Friday and if by next Tuesday everything is still holding he will book me a date - I will be 33 weeks then!

Twinnies glad to see your girls are happy inside, they may well start to growth spurt, its so exciting you have a date to work towards, so you will be just over 34 weeks then?

I am hungry hungry hungry. I ate with the little ones earlier, but I fancy some supper...

xx

MrsStevo Tue 13-Sep-11 22:37:32

Twinnies - eeeeeek! SO exciting to have a date. That is so close as well. Very excited for you!!

My C-Section went really smoothly as you say - much better than anticipated. It was about 12 hours before I felt able to stand up and walk a short distance, 24 before I could walk to the bathroom and was allowed to have a shower. By 2 days I was happy to walk to SCBU to see the girls rather than go in a wheelchair. To be honest, there wasn't a lot I couldn't do within about 24 hours except sit up in bed without pushing myself up. Prepare to have no stomach muscles whatsoever. I couldn't blow my nose because I had nothing to push against if you see what I mean - that lasted about a week. I didn't have to travel at all because as soon as I was discharged, I moved upstairs to SCBU where they had parents' rooms. I did go in the car on about day 5 which was fine - just needed to lower myself into the seat gently. I know people recommend having a cushion over the CS scar in case of heavy braking etc. Anyway, I certainly wasn't bed bound at all - that was my worst fear. My scar has totally healed - has been healed for a good 3 weeks at least. I recommend getting stitches rather than staples if you get the choice - they dissolve whereas staples need removing and leave more of a scar. After the girls were born I was allowed to hold both of them for about 5 mins. Long enough for photos with them and to give them their first kisses - and to sob uncontrollably of course!!! My DH also got to 'trim' their cords - the surgeon obviously cut them to get them out of me but once on the trolley thing, my DH cut the cords properly. They were weighed in theatre and were hanging around for various initial assessments for about 15 minutes altogether.

I wasn't able to have skin to skin with them in theatre as they did have to be whisked off to SCBU for assessment first. I was in recovery for 5 hours before I could go and see them which almost killed me. BUT my DH was able to go with them and he took the video camera and filmed them for a while so I could see what had happened. As soon as I was allowed up to SCBU (you have to be able to weight-bear so you can transfer into a wheelchair) I was able to hold them and had skin to skin. I'd recommend having your theatre gown on back to front so you can tuck them into it rather than get fully naked.

Couple of things to be aware of: the trapped wind after a CS is unbearable!! I woke up on the first night in total agony - altho the pain was bizarrely in my shoulder. I needed some kind of hard-core painkiller as well as something called 'mintek' which helps relieve the wind. It was like that for a couple of days altho the pain was never as bad again. The other thing that I wasn't entirely prepared for is how much you bleed after a CS. I practically gushed blood (sorry if TMI) for the first 6 hours - although I couldn't feel it - and had to be mopped up several times. The first night in hosp a midwife had to change my underwear and pads for me as I couldn't bend to do it. Make sure you have plenty of large maternity pads and lots of big knickers that you're happy to throw out afterwards!!

Think that answers all your Qs - feel free to ask away, it helps to be prepared and I'm happy to answer anything... even the potential TMI stuff!

Cake - great to hear yours are continuing to stay put for the time being! It sounds like you are on constant standby like we were. I had 3 days at a time when mine were staying put before another scan and it was frustrating as I couldn't really plan to do anything... but more just anxiety provoking than anything. Hope you're coping ok with it all. Have you got everything ready for their arrival? I had bags packed and a list of 'last minute things to pack' (like contact lenses, mobile phone etc) next to the bags - it was invaluable in the end as I went in in fairly urgent circumstances.

Take care x x

twinnies26 Wed 14-Sep-11 14:18:53

Hi all

Cake yay!! smile delivery avoided yet again - go twins!! you will get to 34 i know it - you are so close! I'm sure you'll get your date soon, maybe it's not booked yet as you're on a more day to day basis with them at the moment. Anyway, remember each extra day a blessing!

It's nice to have a date, kind of making their arrival much more real now! I've spent the last two days cooking massive portions of food for the freezer - still have no baby stuff bar few bits for the hospital - maybe i'm mad! but i reckon it will come together quickly enough - lots of friends have bits and bobs on standby for us!

Mr.sS thanks SO much for that info about C section - really helpful as i actually get quite nervous over operations and the like. Have to really baby step my way through things like this as i was sick as a child for a while and i just seem to be more nervous about procedures as a result.

I remembered you mentioned the shoulder pain. I went for my last physio this morning and she gave me great tips about that. She explained the medical reason for it but i admit can't remember all the details. Apparently peppermint tea and prunes really help! She eve said to drink the peppermint tea with cold water if necessary as soon as possible! Cake you might want to try this too!

I've yet to find out if there is a parent room we can stay in, our house is about 1 hr 15 from hospital, even longer if you're taking the bus - hoping to stay on and off with a family friend who is close by.

Thanks for the headsup anyway- appreciate it! Think i might stock up on some more granny knickers now ;)

Mr.s S hope the girls are doing well!

Chat soon everyone!

xx

CakeForBreakfast Fri 16-Sep-11 21:40:56

Hi all,

I agree that is really useful stuff to know about c-sections MrsStevo thanks for all that. (And I will stock up on peppermint tea and prunes, good advice Twinnies !)

Todays scan was just fine, both babies looking stable and happy. So I am good to carry on until Tuesday, hopefully I will get a c-section date for the following week.

twinnies26 Sat 17-Sep-11 09:01:15

That's brilliant Cake! You will make it to 34 - i know it!! smile xxx

silverangel Sun 18-Sep-11 20:41:45

Hello everyone,

Cake and Twinnies, glad you're still hanging on in there. Twinnies, hope they do have a parent room for you - an hour and fifteen minutes is a long journey to be doing every day. Any way you can find out and almost book one in advance?

We're all doing really well. Finally got a visit from the health visitor, 12 days after discharge (!) and she weighed the girls who are now 4lb14 and 4lb11 and doing well. We are all sleeping pretty well so far, they are on a four hourly routine with a feed at 2am, but they are settled back to sleep by about 3am. Hubby goes back to work on Thursday though so I am going to try and do the 2am feed by myself if I can!

We've been out and about for walks in the buggy, which always take longer than planned due to people stopping us, but everyone is so lovely and its just so nice to have them with us and be able to take them out.

Went to to the doc the day to get repeat meds for their reflux issues and for the nutriprem - luckily for me his sister had triplets a little while ago so when I asked for the ready made formula he quite happily prescribed me 120 cartons, apparently they dont generally like to prescribe it as its expensive compared to the powder but its so handy to have.

Mrs S how are your girls getting on?

xx

silverangel Sun 18-Sep-11 20:52:46

Twinnies, meant to say re section, pretty much ditto what Mrs S said. I had the op at 10pm, by 9am the following day I was able to shower and then walk slowly to SCBU. My biggest advice would be to take the pain meds as prescribed even if you dont think you need them, staying on top of it is better. Also, if you want to try to bf and they are in SCBU insist on help with getting a pump and expressing ASAP. I didn't get a pump for five days and am sure that was instrumental in me not being able to get a decent supply. Finally, BIG knickers!!

As Sophie & Alice arrived at only 31 weeks they needed quite a bit of 'work' when they were delivered so I didn't get to see them. Hubby was allowed up to NICU about half an hour after they were delivered and was able to tell me that they were ok. The nurses also took photos and brought them down to me so I could see them before I was able to go up there.

I'm fully recovered from the op now. I was in such a bad way with my back before they were born that even the day after the section I was in less pain then I was before!

twinnies26 Tue 20-Sep-11 16:10:07

Hi there!

Great to hear from you Silverangel sounds like the girls are doing so well smile smile You must be delighted to finally have them at home with you! I hope i can have a good routine like you so quickly after bringing them home, sounds like you are doing well on the sleep front!

Can i ask what buggy did you buy? I still haven't got one!

I asked about a parents room and they only have one. It's only for parents of critically ill babies. I'm quite surprised as this hospital is the national maternity hospital and has the biggest ICU unit in the country! Shows you how fantastic the Irish health system is eh?

Can i ask Mr.S or silverangel how much time you spent daily with the girls once you were home and they were still in care? I'm a little stressed about the distance issue at the moment - i want to spent as much time with them as possible. I hope to stay with some friends so i can be closer to the girls.... only thing is then i'm not with my DH or at home for most of the week. We'll work it out i guess. He works quite far from the hospital........

Cake how did you get on today? Babies still behaving for you?

All fine with us today at scan so hopefully we'll get to 34 - on the countdown now - 14 days to CS! smile Can't wait to meet themsmile (but still abit nervous at the same time!)

xx

CakeForBreakfast Wed 21-Sep-11 09:16:36

Hi all,

MrsStevo and Silver I have been reading your descriptions of the cesareans avidly and repeatedly. Thank you for that. It sounds like both of you had really good sections, I hope it goes well for me too. I've been reading the c-section advice notes from the hospital, it was a bit scary, I've never had surgery before!

Yesterdays scan was fine, still holding and I have a date - 27th October, so I will be 34+1!! Its quite exciting. I still have to have a scan on Friday and Consultants threats of early delivery still apply if dopplers change, but if all is well, next Tuesday will be their birthday!

Silver your GP sounds ace, I'm really glad he gave you all those cartons. Its not exactly easy looking after TWO newborns with reflux. How do they look now they are those nice weights, are they looking quite chunky? I am sure you will be fine once MrSilver goes back to work, it always takes a leap of faith to realise you can do it and are actually a supermum!

Twinnies I know exactly what you mean about how much time is required with the babies in hospital, although I don't live far from the hospital, I will have 2 in SCBU and 2 older ones at home, one requiring school runs, one at home and for some reason even though I live in the city, both school and hospital are up some awful hills! But from what I've read on other threads here on mnet, it is acceptable to 'allow' the scbu nurses to handle things to allow us to recover or whatever. I hope that turns out to be true in our cases!

About buggies, we had a revelation in Mothercare recently, it turns out the Phil and Teds Vibe or Explorer can take 2 newborns, one in a car seat and the other in a travel carrycot. You need an adaptor bar for the car seat is all). This is good news for me because there are tons of phil and teds for sale secondhand compared to other twin tandems and I definitely want a tandem to get through doorways and things and multiseat configuration so my 22 month old can also have a sit down if he needs to (while one baby goes into the sling). I think thats the one we are going to get, although dh wants to buy it shiny and new which will cost about £600 in total with all the bits and carseat!

Phew, written an essay, better go play with ds, he's gotten into his big sisters Lego stash and is slinging it everywhere!

xx

twinnies26 Thu 22-Sep-11 07:39:16

just a quick log in!

Cake - great you have a date! I will be a week after you (i presume you mean September!) Oh so close now for us both!! smile

There's me thinking how will i work out ICU - but you really will/do have your hands full! Are there family members near by/friends who can give a dig out and relieve some of the load for you??

Hope Friday goes well for you!

xx

CakeForBreakfast Fri 23-Sep-11 16:39:13

Hi, just a quick update...

Todays scan was fine, it was just a quick one to check dopplers, and I am all go for c-section on the 27th! All my admin pre-op stuff is done, I just wait for the day!

So Twinnies You will be last lady standing!

twinnies26 Sat 24-Sep-11 14:18:04

Can't believe we are both so close to delivery!!! - the time has flown by over the last few weeks!

Cake wishing you the VERY best of luck on Tuesday! I hope it all runs as smoothly as posssible. Will be thinking of you so much. I'm sure you're really excited to meet your little girls after all our dramas! smile

Let me know your news whenever you can! Will be dying to hear their names and your news!

I'm exactly a week after you for C-section at 34 +2 (pretty much same as you) - counting down the days! Trying to clean the house (again) frantically now!

You're right about last one standing.... and then there was one!!

Chat soon xxxx

MrsStevo Sun 25-Sep-11 14:03:37

cake - 27th of THIS month????? OMG! Eeeeeeeeeeeek!! SO excited for you. Can't wait to hear that they have arrived safely - like Twinnies says, I hope it all goes smoothly and you get to cuddle them straight away before they whisk them to SCBU.

And Twinnies - NEXT WEEK??????????????????? EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKK!!!!!!!!!

Keep me posted on how you're getting on. I'll be waiting with baited breath!

twinnies26 Mon 26-Sep-11 21:09:40

Good luck Cake!! smile xx

MrsStevo Tue 27-Sep-11 19:16:24

cake - YOU MUST HAVE HAD YOUR BABIES!!!!!!!!!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKK!!!!! I'm so excited for you. I really, REALLY hope everything's ok and you are now squeezing two tiny little bundles of scrumminess. Thinking of you x x

CakeForBreakfast Wed 28-Sep-11 12:23:09

Hello!

Babies are here! Excuse any spelling, I am on iPad in the hospital.

It all went great, dt1 is 4lb 4oz, dt2 is 3lb 14 oz. They were both born loud and hungry, started rooting straight away, once I was back in recovery, I had them both for lovely skin to skin cuddles and they both also latched on and had a good feed!

We had thought we might not need scbu at all but then they started to sound mucousy so they were taken to incubators and given air via cpap. BUT then we were told they had an urgent case coming in from Wales and my babies had to be transferred to another hospital as there was no more scbu space here as they had to accept the emergency! So we are separated for now, but it's not so bad, I will either join them there or they will come back if room becomes available and I am expressing loads for them, so I do miss them, but it's understandable.

The procedure itself was fine, I was really nervous but everyone was relaxed and happy and really took good care of us all, 24 hours later I am ok mincing about and even got myself dressed this morning!

Oh my, the girls are gorgeous, very feisty and strong and so so sweet. Twines you will be fine next week.

More later, love to you all. Xx

silverangel Wed 28-Sep-11 16:08:44

oh wow, congratulations!!! I havent logged on for a while, dog ate my blackberry but that's another story!), and there's a shiny new set of twinssmile Massive congratulations to you, so sorry that you are seperated for now and hopefully they will wither transfer you out or them back in asap. What great weights they are too - hopefully won't need too long in SCBU at all. My theory that it seems to be girls who make it through TTTS seems to be coming true - up to you to prove me wrong now Twinnies!

Sophie and Alice continue to do well, had a consultant review today and they dont want to see them again until January. They are still struggling with the reflux, they dont get sick with it but do seem very uncomfortable. The consultant upped their meds today as they have put on weight since last prescribed so hopefully that will make them more comfortable. Sophie is now 5lb6 and Alice 5lb1, they look like 'proper' babies now, not preemies and they can certainly scream like them!

We are collecting our new car this afternoon - had to give in and have bought a Vauxhall Zafira - so not the car I planned to be driving at 31 but with the girls, buggy, car seats, carry cots and the dog, the old car just wasn't working.

Must go as have two screaming children to feed. Countdown to you know Cake!

Mrs S, hope all good with you.

xxx

twinnies26 Wed 28-Sep-11 20:48:47

Ah!! ladies i just wrote a message - but it disappeared on me sad

This one will be shorter i'm afraid!

Cake - fantastic news the girls arrived safely! Really so delighted for you smile Congratulations to both yourself and your dh!! It's such super news!!! smile

Sorry to hear they've been transferred but hopefully very soon you'll be reunited! So great they are feeding from you already smile

silverangel so glad all is well with you and the girls! smile funny you mentioned your car, just before logging on myself and DH just realised that it's going to be a squash with my car too - i hope we can at least manage for a few weeks before changing - he was just out measuring the boot to fit the buggy and carry cots!

We're doing fine, consultant is happy and delivery is Tuesday not sure what time. The girls also have grown loads in the past two weeks which is great!
So just counting down the days in the meantime!

Chat soon smile xxx

MrsStevo Wed 28-Sep-11 21:55:30

cake - WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is just fantastic news. I am SO, SO happy for you. Congratulations!! More twinny-girlies! Sorry to hear that you have been temporarily separated. Hope you are able to use the time to rest and recuperate so you are super-strong for when you're back together. Do you have names for them yet? Can't wait to see some pics of them. Congratulations again.

Silver - wonderful that your girlies are doing so well. Sorry to hear that they're suffering with reflux. My Sophia is the same, but her main problem is serious vomiting. It is projectile and is fairly embarressing and inconvenient when we're out and about. It is mostly just horrible to watch as she gets SO upset when she's sick. Poor little lamb. We're using Dr. Brown's bottles though which seem to be helping a bit.

Twinnies - YOU'RE NEXT!!! You must be SO excited! So pleased to hear that the babies are doing well and are growing. How wonderful! Can't wait to hear your news next week.

We are all really well, although the girls are all out of sorts in this heat!!! Madeleine slept from 11pm to 6:30am this morning - hurrrrrrrray! Unfortunately, Sophia didn't so I was up half the night anyway. Think it was a fluke though - Madeleine stuffed her face all evening and we didn't get any peace so she didn't need any more food over night. They are ten weeks old today - can't believe how quickly that time has gone and are 9lb and 7lb 8oz now - biffa babies.

I'm still living on cloud 9, I love these little girls SO much and feel SO lucky.

silverangel Thu 29-Sep-11 18:42:44

Twinnies - I bet the time will fly by and it will be next Tuesday before you know it. Sending you lots of luck.

Mrs S - are yours on nutriprem? Mine are and I think that the powdered stuff makes them constipated and the tetrapaks make the reflux worse so am alternating the feeds at the moment. Wow, they are biffa babiessmile HV told us we had to wait until they are around the 8lb mark before we let them sleep through, Alice I think would at the moment but Sophie wakes up screaming bang on five to two every night so we are waking Alice and feeding her too. Out of interest what volume are you giving on each feed S & A are on 100ml and finishing it with gusto - the consultant yesterday seemed to think that was quite a lot for two who are still pretty tiny.

Cake - hope you have been reunited or at least know when you will be.

xx

MrsStevo Mon 03-Oct-11 13:59:17

Silver - My girlies are on nutriprem 2 which they seem to be fine with generally. We're using Dr. Brown's bottles now with a level 1 teat which seem to be working better for Sophia. That said, she was pretty sick again after her morning feed. I haven't found them to be constipated, they go pretty predictably every 2 days which seems to be ok with them. I have spoken to my GP about prescribing them the ready-to-feed cartons today and he is going to give me 10 of them to see how we get on. Thought that might be a bit easier when we're out and about and one less hassle to deal with. When you said tetrapaks, is that the stuff you meant?? The LAST thing I need it to make it worse! Ugh. Volume-wise, it varies, but Madeleine will generally take 130mls - 160mls within about 25 mins and Sophia between 100mls-130mls dependent on how hungry she is. In a day, Madeleine takes about 700mls on average and Sophia around 650mls, but Sophia's can be more like 500 some days.

I am having a bad day after a lousy night with the girls. Had to have a sob this morning as Sophia just looked so sad after she was sick. I've had her with me all day now as I feel awful. Poor little lovey.

Twinnies.... this time tomorrow!!!!! VERY excited for you. Big fat fingers crossed for a smooth delivery and everything being perfect with your babies. Looking forward to hearing your news.

Cake - HOW ARE YOU??? Hope you're recovering well and you have been reunited with your girls. Looking forward to an update on your as well.

CakeForBreakfast Wed 05-Oct-11 09:33:04

Hello,

I am indeed with the girls again, one is out of her hot cot, the other will be soon. They are still mostly tube fed though, we are on a regime to try and get them to feed independently, we are having a go at the breastfeeding, it's so tough. I don't have a supply problem far from it, but just cannot get them to take enough in the short time they are 'allowed' to be on. Sigh. I'm not sure we will ever get out of here.

silver and mrsstevo you sound so organised and sorted, I'm sorry you had a rough night though, I'm thinking ahead to being at home and so far just can't imagine it!

Awaiting with baited breath to hear from twinnies...

Love to al

twinnies26 Wed 05-Oct-11 14:55:46

hi all!

Very short message - will write more later - the Clara Lily and Esme Carol arrived safely at 2.19 yesterday afternoon!!! Weighing 3lbs 6 and 3lbs 7 smile
they're the tiniest babies i've ever seen but are soooooo gorgoues. They both arrived with a fine set of lungs! and we were able to go up to them last night and cuddle them for over an hour. They're doing wel so far - although Esme is on oxygen for the moment. Am running off to try to feed Clara from my breast and see how her sucking/latching is! Hasn't been a spare minute yet today between one thing or the other!

Can't believe they're finally here!!!!!

Didn't we all do so well!!! smile smile

Will write again later xxxxx

phlossie Wed 05-Oct-11 15:02:17

I've been reading your thread for months and would like to say congratulations to you all! I sound a bit like a weirdo stalker, but I thought I had twins when I was first pregnant (I don't, it's just one), which drew me to your thread - and then I was hooked! I've been really touched by what you've all been through - and isn't medical science amazing? Anyway, I'll leave you to enjoy your babies. Very many congratulations once again and best wishes for the future.

MrsStevo Wed 05-Oct-11 16:53:48

twinnies - CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I am crying with happiness for you being the last of a very brave bunch to bring beautiful babies into the world. WELL DONE!! I am SO happy for you. What wonderful news and beautiful names. They are tiny indeed (Sophia was 3lb 6 and I remember thinking she was too tiny to survive) but they will soon podge up. Congratulations to Mr Twinnies as well, you have both been through so much.

Cake - WONDERFUL to hear that you have been reunited with your girlies. Both my girls were predominantly tube fed for the first 2 weeks. Breastfeeding twins is bloody hard work and even harder when they are so premature. I wish you all the luck in the world if you hope to continue to BF but PLEASE don't beat yourself up if you decide to go with bottle feeding either expressed milk or formula. It was the only way I was ever going to get home as my girls just wouldn't breastfeed well enough for their tubes to come out. Anyway, hopefully you'll have more success than me and you and your bambinos can come home soon. Do they have names yet?

phlossie - thank you for your lovely message. It made me cry (but I was still going from Twinnies' news anyway!).Medical science is indeed amazing. I remain completely in awe of everything that was done to get my daughters safely into the world.

I will keep checking on a 5-minutely basis to see if there are any updates!!

WELL DONE ALL!! We are a super-clever-baby-growing bunch!

MrsStevo Wed 05-Oct-11 16:59:09

Oh god I'm a weepy old woman at the moment. I just re-read the start of this thread and our 'stories' when we were first diagnosed. Can't believe that from those horrible, dark times, all our babies beat the odds and are here safely. Don't know why I'm crying, it is just beyond amazing and I'm so happy. Must go and snuggle my girls again, I love them so much.

phlossie Wed 05-Oct-11 17:53:16

You lot have made me cry enough times! Blame the pregnancy/new mum hormones (and lack of sleep on your part!)

chesticles Wed 05-Oct-11 22:48:56

Congratulations to all you wonderfully brave ladies, and your 8 happy bouncing girls. I didn't want to post earlier as I wanted to wait until all babies were safely here. Sadly the only other experience I have had had with TTTS was when a friend unfortunately lost one of her boys, despite laser treatment. It's so lovely to hear happy outcomes.
Wishing you all the best with your new families

CakeForBreakfast Thu 06-Oct-11 12:47:31

Twinnies congratulations to you!!!!

Twinnies news has set me off emotionally too. That's all of us! Four mums unsure of the future of our babies, and now - 8 baby girls! How brilliant is that? What clever babies!

Twinnies I know you will be busy, but we'd love updates on how your little lovelies are doing. How are you feeling? How was the section?

My two (imani and Erina) are making steady progress, not quite regained birth weight yet but both gaining and out of hot cots now and feeding slowly improving. I want to introduce bottles soon, but since I plan to mix breast and bottle feeding, the midwives want to concentrate purely on breast first. I think they are hoping I will just stick with it but I've breastfed two babies before, so I know how all consuming it is and will definitely start on bottles! They won't give them Nutriprem, just regular cow and gate which they were quite sicky on, I have to concede they keep every drop of breast milk down, (still going to introduce bottles though).

gosh, I'm so chuffed. Well done all of us! Chesticles and Phlossie thank you for such sweet posts, it's great to know that you have been reading.

Wow. So happy

twinnies26 Thu 06-Oct-11 14:23:17

hi everyone!

sorry my last message was so rushed and full of spelling mistakes!

Can give a proper update now! as have decided i will stay in bed for the next few hours - i think i overdid it abit since surgery going up and down to the girls and am now suddenly 48hours after surgery in quite a bit of discomfort!

So - the girls updates first - most important! We have a reasons of concern for Esme. Her issues are pretty normal for any premi baby though - she's clearly not as strong as Clara (Esme is the donor) and has not been able to regulate her breathing and was put on antib's as they also though she was seceptable to infection. She certainly does not look as strong as Clara and is still on fluids.

Another development this morning(and don't freak-i'm trying not to as a little emotional at the moment!) is that a cardiologist assessed her heart as they were still not happy with breathing and saturation-level of oxygen in her blood He found two small holes in her heart and a problem with the pressure levels in an aorta. Her level is still of that in the womb and hasn't regulated, he says not really anything of huge concern just yet, that really she should be in utero and that's why she can't stablise the blood flow in that area. He has prescribed some medication and will reassess her in 2weeks time. He said worst case scenario would be that in 6 months or a year she would have to have a stent put in - but he imagines situation will rectify itself - please god she'll be fine - i admit i'm extra wobbly about it all now as tired and sore after the section and overly emotional about everything at the minute, Mr.Twinnies is keeping a level head so that's good!

Clara is doing just fine - she's off fluids and latched on twice yesterday and had a good suck - othertimes she just fell asleep so i couldn't attempt to feed her.The nurses are all being great and helping me to learn to feed - but they also now have Clara on nutriprem as we're still waiting for my milk to come in properly.

Section overall was fine for me apart from this avo the pain wasn't half as bad as i had expected. Glad it's over with though and we have met our gorgeous little girls! They have really sweet blond hair and big eyes smile We're both so happy to have them in our arms now, it's just the most wonderful thing in the world. I get teary everytime i see Mr. Twinnies hold one of them and i see how smitten he is! Having them in ICU has been stressing me out abit today but please god in a few days Esme will have regulated herself a little better and start improving.

Cake Silverangel* and Mr.sS i'm so delighted we all managed to bring our little girls into the world - there's still a hell of alot of growing and developing to be done but we really haven't done too badly!!!

Hope all of your girls are doing well! smile

Going to check out now!
Will update again soon xxxxxx

silverangel Thu 06-Oct-11 15:51:56

Twinnies - CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Thrilled for you and Mr Twinnies. Wow, am so thrilled we all made it to the end safely. Both of mine were on antibitoics for a couple of weeks, actually, I think they were on three different sorts, it all seems a bit of a blur now. They didnt need them as such, it was more to prevent them getting any infection. Poor Esme - I'm sure she will come on in leaps and bounds and won't need any further treatment. It is stressful having them in ICU, and your hormones will be all over the place right now. Try to take it easy now and not over do it too much!

Cake - sounds like Imani and Erina are coming on well. The feeding is the hardest part. As I had such supply issues I gave up trying them on the breast - they wouldnt consider letting them come home until they were finishing every bottle completley without topping it up by tube and they had to do that for 24 hours. I remember at one point thinking we were never going to get there but they suddenly got it and had the strength to finish them without falling asleep. Now, they finish 100mls in 5 minutes!! One bit of advice if you are going to introduce bottles would be to bring the bottles / teats you plan to use at home into hospital so they can get used to them instead of the hospital disposable ones.

Mrs S - your post made me laugh! I'm going to read back through this thread, no doubt I'll be a weeping mess by the end of it. You know it's only know that I am not terrified every minute for their health and am starting to relax and enjoy them (even if they did keep me up literally all night last night!). Oh, meant to to say the tetrapaks are the ready made stuff so hopefully it doesnt cause you any more problems. Mine have gaviscon in theirs which thickens the milk so it can't escape to easily - might be worth looking into if they're not on it already?

We're all doing well, I ordered a sling that arrived yesterday, it's a revelation. Was able to convert the buggy to single, put Alice in the sling and go to the doctors (the surgery door is too narrow for the double to fit through). Also if one is angsty during the day have popped them in and still have hands free to do stuff like clean bottles (I hate that job) or pick the second one up more securley with both hands.

I am just so so pleased that we have all made it this far - such a fantastically brilliant outcome after such a horrid time.

Chesticles and Phlossie - thanks for your messages.

Much love xxx

CakeForBreakfast Sat 08-Oct-11 09:46:47

Hi all,

Twinnies thank you for your update, I can imagine how wobbly you must be feeling, any little issue with our babies feels massive, but you sound really strong. Remember that all our twins beat all the odds just to be here, they are proven fighters.

You've got to rest up a lot too, I found day 3 after the section annoyingly painful, then it just turned a corner the next day, what do the hospital plan to do with you once you are discharged postnatally? Do they have accommodation for you?

Erina is back under phototherapy lights for the third time, the bilirubin levels just keep bouncing back up, the suspicion is it's a little side effect of the twin to twin transfusion, she hates the incubator though, and being separated from her sister as they really settled each other when they were sharing a cot.

I was reading your very original post MrsStevo, I actually shuddered remembering all that.

Silver, slings are great aren't they, it always takes me a while to get the hang of it, but the babies love it don't they!

Much love to all of you, the littlies and the biffas wink

twinnies26 Sun 09-Oct-11 08:41:40

A quick log in!

Cake how lovely they have had your girls in the same cot! I hope at some point we can do that here too smile I keep thinking they must mis each other so much at the moment!

Here's hoping Erina will finish her light therapy soon enough. I love their names by the way! Really lovely smile

We're doing fine here - I'm being discharged today - the sister of my unit has been really nice and said that i can keep the room until 4pm - rest and express and go up and down to the girls for the day. Then Mr.Twinnies will pop up and we'll stay into the evening and then head home. Hospital still can't offer any parent's rooms to us, so we will rely on some friends to put me up every second night - i guess we'll work it out over the next few days. Feeling a little sorry for DH as he will be in work and then do a two hour plus round trip to see the girls most evenings - anyway it is worth it! We can't imagine a day going by without being with them!

Any idea on when your girls will come home?

Clara is doing brilliantly, back to birth weight. Once she's 1.8kg they siad she can move to a cot. Esme is still the same sad poor pet is starving and really cranky and unhappy with her tubes. She can't come out for cuddles that often either, but when she does we kangaroo cuddle her and she is automatically much happier.... hoping in next few days she'll perk up. We'll see what the docs say on their rounds this morning!

Hope everyone doing well. xxxx

silverangel Sun 09-Oct-11 12:11:14

Hello,

Poor Esme Twinnies, I hope the docs had good things to say this morning. It will be difficult when you leave and leave them behind, esp not living so near. We were lucky (if you could call it that!) that Sophie and Alice arrived during the school holidays, Mr Silver is a teacher so he didn't have the added stress of going up after work every day. Also, me not being able to drive for those six weeks it would have been a nightmare. Stay strong and I am sure you will figure out a routine that works for you. I would say and sure the nurses on your SCBU ward would agree - don't exhaust yourself with travelling and visiting, you will be no good to the girls if you're exhausted (mentally and physically). We ended up going up at about 10am and leaving around 5, we had been doing two visits, one in the morning and one in the afternoon / evening but it was too much and we both were reaching breaking point.

Cake, has Erina come out from the lights yet, if not hope she does soon. Its so nice for them to be together.

We've been doing well - the last two nights both have slept past their 2am feeds until 3.30 so have been getting slightly more sleep!

Mrs S - hope you're all well.

xxx

CakeForBreakfast Mon 10-Oct-11 10:09:46

Hello,

Kangaroo cuddles are magic aren't they?! It's like baby narcotic. Twinnies I'm glad to hearClara is back to birth weight, I'm sure esme is planning on catching up pretty soon!

Erina is out of lights but it's possible she's rebounding again, we have to wait and see, poor girl has had so much blood taken from the last fortnight its unbelievable.

I was up almost one feed time to the next last night, the babies seemed to have had enough milk and wouldn't re-latch, but not settle either! Problem with earlies and breastfeeding is it apparently exhausts therm if you keep just putting them to the breast, it's all very timed and calculated how long to feed them for, and the signs of exhaustion are eXactly the same as sleepy/hungry/windy/anything else. I Am confused!

How is it all going with you all? Silver and mrsstevo, are you in routines now? How do you find the sleeplessness?

Xx

silverangel Mon 10-Oct-11 11:21:58

Hello,

Cake - we had the same problems with bottle feeding and it is sooooo frustrating. Think I said before but in the end it was the only thing still keeping us in hospital because they wouldn't take the tubes out until they had the energy to complete every bottle within 24 hours. What gestational age are your girls now - I found when Sophie and Alice got to 36 weeks they came on in leaps and bounds, one day they still hadnt manged it and the next day they were coming home!! I really admire you for perservering with the breastfeeding, I found the expressing soooooooo exhausting.

We are in a very strict routine - I think with you two you need to be. I'm a bit anal about timings as well so it suits me to know what I'm doing and when. They came home in a 4 hourly feeding routine and our day goes like this:

6am - feed
7-9am sleep
9am play / kick about / tummy time
10am feed
11am-1pm sleep
1pm-2pm play / kick about / tummy time
3.15-4.15pm - go out for a walk
5pm-6pm - play / kick about / tummy time
6pm feed
6.30 - bath every other evening
7pm-10pm sleep.
10pm feed
2am feed

I've found that they sleep much better at night and are more settled when we follow this. I've been quite strict, visitors aren't allowed to wake them when they are napping! They are taking their naps downstairs at the moment, either in their carry cots or bouncy chairs at first to get them to nod off (if you dont have bouncy chairs, get some, they are a saviour!!) but we are working on them going down in their cot upstairs. They also slept past the 2am feed again last night until 3.15 so I'm really hoping that might be a sign they may soon be ready to push on through the night. I then fit in what I need to do around their sleep times and because I go back to sleep when they do from 7-9am, I'm not tired during the day. During the week I'm doing the 2am feed on my own as Mr Silver is beyond useless when he is tired so I've sent him to the spare room during the week. I was planning to have a night in the spare room at the weekends but havent done it yet - again, a bit of a control freak and even though I know Mr Silver is more than capable I kind of want to make sure he's doing it right (obvously haven't told him that!!). I have to be honest though, if you are exclusivley breast feeding I think you are going to have it a lot harder, do you plant to express so Mr Cake can help out or will that just confuse things for the girls? I never succeeded in getting mine to take to the breast so not really sure how mixed feeding works.

Hope Erina doesn't have to go back under the light and Twinnies, hope Esme is doing better?

xx

twinnies26 Tue 11-Oct-11 11:06:46

Hi there ladies!

Cake I have had the same problems with Clara re breast feeding - some nurses very keen to encourage me to and teach/help me, then others not as they couldn't 'monitor' exactly how much she was getting and she has also used too much energy sucking and then slept not taking a full feed!

I'm really keen to breastfeed too - although i'm wondering how it will now work as i'm not near them and will be lucky if i make it for one feed a day - she's now on four hourly feeds. That being said when Clara comes to me you can tell she prefers it much more to bottle and she is a little guzzler. Esme of course has not come near me just yet.

I'm expressing like a maniac - every 3 hours - i think it's making me really tired but it'll be worth it! we splashed out and bought the medela pump in style and it's been brilliant so far - am pumping about 400ml plus a day now which i'm hoping will increase as it's only been 5days of pumping.

Hope Erina is off the lights?

We went up to visit the girls last night - forgot to take feeding schedule into account and we arrived literally after Clara had been fed so missed out on feeding and then the nurse didn't want to take Esme out of incubator as she had had tube feed and was settled - so i was abit disappointed sad We cuddled Clara anyway, i keeping feeling like poor Esme is missing out on contact with me/us. Mr.Twinnies has only managed to hold her twice - but i'm sure it will improve as the docs are much happier with her progress now smile

Decided to be sensible and stay at home in bed today and go up again this evening when Mr.Twinnies comes home. I was quite slow walking from the car to hospital (10mins) so i still think the long bus journey and 20min walk through the city would be a stupid thing for me to do at the moment!

Silverangel - you sound like you have it all under control! Well done! smile I"m reading Gina Ford twins at the moment and trying to work out a little routine to follow too! I think you're right not to let people wake them - we are also going to be strict about it all once the girls come home - i also think with two you need to be and like you i function better when i have a plan and know what i should be doing and when!

Mr'sS hope all is well!

xxx

CakeForBreakfast Tue 11-Oct-11 11:39:34

Hi all,

Silver, I am keeping a copy of your schedule for when I go home! I will also be strict I think, I keep hearing how important routine is for twins.

Unfortunately the photo lights are back on again. This is the fourth rebound. The doctor seems unworried and says it's just a matter of persevering until her liver matures. So it could be this rather than the feeding that keeps us here the longer! It is sad to see her unhappy on her own in the incubator, they so liked sleeping nose to nose together.

The girls are 36 weeks now, Imani is on 2 breastfeeds to a tube feed, so that is some progress, every time erin a comes out of lights she catches up quick though.

Twinnies, I am amazed by your breast milk production! All that only on day 5 is incredible! I'm pleased to hear Clara is keen, I'm sure Esme will relish it once she's able.

I am banking about 120ml bottle of expressed milk a day to take home in the ward freezer, that way mr cake can certainly have a go at helping with the feeding for a bit!

I also have gina ford twins. I'm a bit envious you lot were on 4hourly routines at the hospital, I'm on 3 hourly and it is gruelling, I must admit I don't express every 3 hours, just enough to keep supply ahead of demand.

And it's feeding time again!

twinnies26 Wed 12-Oct-11 11:08:44

Cake it's brilliant you are getting so much 'breast' time with the girls smile - i'm going to chat with them today about it. I'm going to brave the bus journey and hang about for a good while and try to put at least Clara to the breast for a feed or two if i can. They are drinking only my expressed milk now smile but i'm getting concerned that they are not latching onto me enough and that then when i bring them home and try to introduce more breast they won't take it and it will back fire on me! I don't want to be hooked up to the pump for months - it's driving me mad already!!

Sorry to hear Erina is back on the lights - im sure really soon she won't need them!

It's so great you are able to stay with them and bond like that! I admit i'm envious. At least you are still all together, even though i'm sure you're fed up of being there!

I really hope our girls are home soon - but i'd say it will be another 10days minimum at a guess or longer who knows. They must be promoted from ICU 2 to special care unit and then they can 'graduate' (!) and can come home!

So we're all going to Gina Ford it eh?!

Got to get myself out of bed now and head off for the day - Mr.Twinnies is working really late tonight so just me with the girlies!

xx

CakeForBreakfast Wed 12-Oct-11 11:46:31

Hi again,

Twinnies, really don't worry about the latching thing, you should definitely push for more breast time if you want it, it is a form of kangaroo care after all! Silver is right about the 36 week thing, mine are just over and improving rapidly. I didn't understand all the rules in the beginning about timed feeds and how many minutes to a feed, but it is really paying off, it seems the girls have been trained to take a feed more efficiently and quickly!

Both girls put weight on and are passed their birth weights, and from now Imani is going up a regime to all breastfeeds, no tubes! If she puts on weight, that's it, she's ready. We then just have to wait for Erina to kick the jaundice and catch up.

I hate the breast pump, useful, but such palaver.

Can you believe Mr. Cakes nighttime reading is Gina Ford Twins! I never thought I'd see the day, he keeps ringing me to tell me snippets, he can't wait until we all come home so he can try out his new knowledge!

Silver and Mrs.stevo, how do you find being out and about with the twins, is it easy to organise things to get out within your routines? I must say, the two of you are my twin gurus as much as Ms Ford!

silverangel Thu 13-Oct-11 15:46:02

Hello,

I've not been able to log on for a few days because blackberry wasn't working, I've been wondering how you were all getting on!!

Took the girls to weighed this morning and they are 6lb15 and 6lb13 - thrilled that they are doing so well.

Cake - getting out and about was daunting at first but its absolutley fine now I'm used to it. Have had to adjust how I do some things - if I need to pop to the shop for something I now have to walk a bit further to the supermarket instead of the corner shop as can't get through the door with my buggy but the extra exercise is good anywaysmile The clinic was awkward this morning - had to leave the buggy outside and stand in a queue so poped both girls in one carrycot and carried that. You'll find a way to get round things. Also be prepared to get stopped ALL THE TIME. Ive found though that if I'm in a hurry I just don't make eye contact with anyone and then dont get stopped.

How did Imani do on all breastfeeds and how is Erina?

Twinnies - hope the bus journey wasn't too much for you!

xx

MrsStevo Thu 13-Oct-11 20:54:44

Hellooooo!! Sorry for the radio-silence, the girls are keeping me so busy at the moment that I just about get time to read your posts but not to reply!!!

Cake - firstly, beautiful names for your girls!!! They seem to 'match' each other perfectly if that makes sense! Sorry to hear that Erina is under the phototherapy lights so much. She must like sunning herself! Sophia went under them twice and would have been back under a third time I think if I hadn't have intervened and insisted on sitting with her by the window for a while - the natural daylight seemed to help sort her out. You are doing SO well with the BF / expressing - well done. It is absolutely gruelling, as you say, but well worth persevering if you are able to. I loathed my breast pump- could've thrown it out the window almost every day - but I was quite sad when I packed it away in the end!!!

Twinnies - so sorry to hear about Esme's heart issues. I really hope that as she grows, the problem will rectify itself. I know what you mean about being disappointed that you can't hold her as much as Clara - we were the same with Sophia. The nurses wouldn't let me take her out of her incubator very often, despite the fact that she was clearly SO much happier skin-to-skin with me. It almost felt like I was favouring Madeleine because I held her so much more, but we have made up for it now I think. I know it is hard but once Esme is strong enough you can snuggle her to your heart's content. I, for example, have Sophia under my top fast asleep (and snoring!) now. You sound like you're being very sensible about visiting and expressing etc, it is so important not to overdo it as it also has such a detrimental affect on your milk supply. I found it VERY hard to relinquish control of feeding etc to the nurses as I was all "they're MY babies, I'm their mum, I should be doing it all". Think I was my own worst enemy really and it probably contributed towards my exhaustion, poor milk supply and eventual giving-up-breastfeeding.

Silver - brilliant to hear that Sophie and Alice are doing so well!! Turning into little porkers!!! I quite agree with what you said about breastfeeding though, I have an enormous amount of respect for anyone who successfully breastfeeds twins. I honestly don't know how people do it - I think I would find it so limiting as discreetly BF one in public is difficult enough but having both boobs out at once would be impossible to disguise!! Our girls have just come on so well since they've been bottle fed that I wonder what the hell I was doing trying to breastfeed and express for such a long time. That said, the ready-to-feed formula was a DISASTER. Sophia was clearly in agony after drinking it and was completely inconsolable. So bad that I had to crack open the calpol. Poor little love. I have tried infant gaviscon for the first time today. The GP wouldn't prescribe it as he doesn't believe that Sophia has reflux (despite her projectile-vomitting her WHOLE feed at least twice a day!!) but a friend has given me a few sachets that she had left over so we're giving it a go.

Vis a vis routines, the only thing we have tried to implement is the basic sleeping and feeding times that Gina Ford prescribes. I don't agree with her general principles about sleeping in a darkened room, waking when they're clearly knackered etc as they go against my instincts. We're more about attachment parenting really and try to be as baby-led as possible. Fortunately, the combination of the two is working - the girls sleep from 7pm-10:30ish, down again by 11:30 and up around 5am now, back to sleep after a feed until 8am ish. During the day they are much the same as what Silver said. But we don't follow anything to the letter really and try and adapt their routine to suit the day. The girls are very happy sleeping in their carrycots during the day and always head off to sleep if they're out and about in the pram so I try and time trips out around their feeds and it works well. To be honest though, I think it is about when you start trying a routine as we started trying at about 6 weeks (so they were 1 week corrected age) and they clearly weren't ready as they wouldn't settle when they were supposed to. I think it started being more successful around 9-10 weeks really. Since then, DH and I have been able to have dinner together and have a bit of an evening again which was very important to us.

As for us, the girls are doing really well. Madeleine is 10lb 11oz and Sophia 9lb 4oz!!! Couldn't believe it when I saw the scales! They are much more alert now and a little bit more interactive. They still aren't smiling yet though (they are 12 weeks, but 7 weeks corrected age) but are SO close. It is frustrating when all our NCT friends' babies are already laughing and rolling over!! I have to keep reminding myself that the girls were premature AND went through a hell of a lot in utero so the very fact that they are alive at all is amazing.

Blimey, EPIC post. Must get one here more often so I have less to say all at once!!! I will scoot now but will keep up with all your news!! Well done ladies for being so brave whilst your little ladies are in hospital. Big fat fingers crossed for them all coming home soon x x

CakeForBreakfast Sun 16-Oct-11 20:20:47

MrsStevo, it's good to hear from you! It sounds as though your girls are doing really well. They may be doing milestones according to their adjusted ages, but over time they will catch up.

I have cracked! I am expressing into bottles and feeding my girls that way. It is so much better, Erina still likes to latch though so I top them up with breast time, they so far seem to suffer no nipple confusion. And I could be outta here in the next day or two. Thanks for your experiences Silver and MrStevo, it was your posts that inspired me and it really feels like the right decision, it has been so stressful trying to gauge a full feed on the breast and worrying about it!

I am renting the hospital grade breast pump for 6weeks while I figure wether to introduce formula or carry on with breast/breast milk.

How are you all doing? Twinnies how are your little ones?

twinnies26 Mon 17-Oct-11 07:35:02

Hi everybody!

Thought i would check in quickly before life becomes very very hectic!! - Clara is coming home this evening smile but little Esme is staying for about another week minimum, they can't say exactly yet sad We're delighted but also thought we'd always bring them both home together to be honest. Bit sad to leave Esme behind. We just spent last night tearing the house apart trying to organise baby furniture - we had thought we had the week at least to get organised!

We're also not sure how we will now manage with one baby at home and one in ICU (because of the distance and me not being able to drive), my mum is coming up to help out and to mind Clara when we go up and down to the hospital. Can't bear the thought of not being able to get into Esme because we have Clara at home! We'll work a system out i guess anyway.

Esme is doing much better - still in an incubator, but she's doing fine and they're happy with her progress. The cardiologist came to see her again and he is much happier with her little ticker smile One hole has already mended itself and the pressure issue has also resolved itself. Still one hole left, but it has reduced in size so we just have one more appointment in six months time to check it out. He expects it to have also disappeared by then - so fingers crossed.

Cake - i also express and top up with breast and it seems to work for us, although i've only made two feeds a day as i'm not staying with them. we'll see how it goes now that Clara will be home! I'm much happier expressing somewhat because at least i have an idea about how much they are getting, I'm always paranoid that they have not had enough and being so small want to make sure they can grow fast enough!

silver and mr.sS sounds like both yourself and the girls are doing fantastically!! smile The girls sounds so healthy and content! I'm slightly nervous about getting a system/routine going - at this stage just want to stop waiting to try life with twins out and just get going!! The staff in the hospital have been fantastic though and have taught us so much, the girls also have a pretty good feeding routine set up so we're going to try and stick with that!

So wish us luck with Clara!Can't believe tonight there will be a little girl sleeping in the cot beside us, here's hoping Esme will follow very quickly!

Btw i met a lady in ICU picking up her second male twin to bring home - they were also TTTS - the only boys i've seen to survive! Her story was much worse than mine - much more trouble after surgery and her boys were very poorly upon delivery. We've all been so so lucky.

Chat soon

xxx
(the half seven news is saying snow?What the hell is that about?!)

CakeForBreakfast Mon 17-Oct-11 11:45:53

Hi all,

Twinnies that is amazing news about Clara coming home, also so good to hear Esmes heart is doing what it should, tough little cookies aren't they! It's good your mum can help out for a bit, do you think it will be possible to take Clara with you when you go to see Esme?

We are also going home today, so it is pretty exciting all round, I am wondering how to organise school runs and things in between feeding times, the girls are doing well though, feeding like crazy and piling on the weight. Both are still a bit jaundiced and have had blood taken for final checks (if doctor tries to stop them going home there will be hell to pay!)

Good luck tonight, I hope you get some sleep rather than watching her all night!

twinnies26 Mon 17-Oct-11 22:23:30

Can you believe the discharge nurse 'forgot' to tell me on the phone this morning that Clara had to be out of the unit before rush hour - so cut long story short by time Mr.Twinnies came up with car seat etc.. we were too late! so she is staying the night and we're getting her in the morning. We can't bring Clara back in to see Esme/ unit once discharged - so we're gradually working out a schedule for the coming days!

Cake hope your first day at home runs smoothly! I bet the rest of your gang are dying to have you all finally home! smile

xx

CakeForBreakfast Sat 22-Oct-11 20:41:18

Hi, quick update before trying to get a snooze before next feed!

We have been home since monday, its so good to be home!!

I am tired! the babies are doing well, but the regime of feeding and expressing is gruelling. I am gradually introducing formula feeds. They have gained weight since coming home which is good, I was warned they can lose some on coming home just by being unsettled in the new environment, early babies seem to be able to lose weight doing anything, even feeding for too long! Erina is now 4lb 13 oz and Imani 4lb 7oz so I am pleased about that.

My brain is a bit foggy from lack of sleep and I am dreading it when Mr Cake has to go back to work week after next, how will I cope with the two older ones aswell!

Twinnies I hope you are doing well at home and you are managing to sort something out for Esme, it is so tricky prioritising, but remember not to flog yourself, you will have Esme with you soon enough, she is having good care where she is and Clara will be teaching you what to do!

Silver and MrsStevo, how are you all doing?

twinnies26 Sat 22-Oct-11 21:22:32

Hi Cake

I'm sure the regime is gruelling! We just completed our first double feed and it took 1 hour 50mins (three nappy changes, two outfit changes, breast time and top up expressed milk bottles!) We can only get better and faster i guess. Some success anyway as Clara is fast asleep in carrycot (moses basket out the window) and Esme is fast asleep on my chest!! smile

When i rang in this morning to confirm her feed times they told me she could come home today - even though yesterday they said it might be mid week!

So finally - the last baby of this page has made it home!! I'm so happy for our little family and all of you too! All of our babies made it,despite the percentages smile smile just been sobbing my eyes out with Mr.Twinnies. I just feel we are all so lucky and blessed!

So we await out first night of feeding! Here's hoping it goes well!

Cake i feel like throwing my pump against the wall , it's wrecking my head at this stage! I'm hoping having both babies here at home i won't need to pump around the clock,can nurse more directly and am also hoping things might be easier in a way as we wont have night feeds and then to travel to the hospital during the day - can catch up on sleep when they do and just hang out on the couch if i want/ need to!

Mr.sS and Silverangel hope you and all the girls are well.

Mr.S my facebook profile pic has the girls on it if you can remember where to find me!

So so happy! smile

xxx

CakeForBreakfast Mon 24-Oct-11 16:16:04

Twinnies How exciting that Esme is home aswell! Well done Clara and Esme!

Do you have a neonatal community midwife team visiting you? Our health visitors are not coming until the neonatal team sign us off.

Your feed times will get faster! I have had the rental pump for one week now and I had originally thought I would keep it for 6 weeks total, but I'm kindof ready to send it back now! it is just a background sense of duty i think to continue.

Can I ask another question to my twins gurus - Silver and MrsStevo. In the earlier days, how consistent were the babies at taking bottles and finishing them according to the 3/4 hourly routine? How long did they take to finish a bottle? I am finding my girls sometimes do really well and sometimes I am spending 20-25 mins to get them to finish a bottle of 50-60mls. I wonder if I am overfeeding them and then trying to get them to take another massive feed only 3 hours later and they are still a bit full.

twinnies26 Wed 02-Nov-11 10:03:41

How is everyone doing?! smile

short message - girls will be waking very shortly for food! Since the clocks went back the insist on now feeding an hour earlier than usual!

Cake hope the girls are settling well! how is the bfeeding going for you now?
I'm still at it, taking it day by day - i started tandem feeding a few times a day, it's def making things easier time wise although i need DH or someone to help me position them, not managed the knack on my own yet! Are you getting any sleep??!

Btw - my girls can take up to the same amount of time to finish a bottle feed too, a feed seems to always take about 1 and a half hours, on my own i can't seem to cut the time down!We are on four hour feeds and they will breast feed for up to 15 mins or longer at times and often then take 50-60mls of expressed milk or formula, they are always really hungry!!

girls are doing brilliantly - Clara is now 5lbs 7 and Esme 4lbs 9, we're back at the hospital tomorrow for a check up so hopefully that will go well. Unfortunately i had a fever for a couple of days, doc didn't really know why, no csection infection or breast - my mum was great and came up each day - on the mend now thankfully!

Anyway must run!

Mr.S and Silverangel hope you and all your girls are well!

xxx

MrsStevo Thu 03-Nov-11 21:37:57

Hi all!!
Sorry for being MIA - we've just come back from our first family holiday in France! Lovely, but totally hectic and not a bit like the holidays that I'm used to!

Anyway, WOOOOHOOOOO!!! ALL our babies are home where they belong. How clever of them! And of us awesome mummies of course.

Twinnies - I have nosed at your facebook pic of the girls, GORGEOUS! They look so beautiful snuggled up together. Well done on the tandem feeding too - you're doing amazingly well. Sorry to hear about the fever but pleased you're better now. So horrible being poorly sick when you have tiny people depending on you.

cake - you made me laugh at your "background sense of duty" comment. That is EXACTLY how I felt about expressing as I hated every second of it. Bizarrely I sobbed when I packed the pump away for the final time and actually missed it for a few days. In answer to your Q about feeding - sounds very similar to the early days with my girls. To be honest, once we got home I demand-fed so didn't stick rigidly to the 3-4 hourly thing. The girls very gradually crept up with the amount they took at each feed. We were making up 90mls each and Madeleine would always guzzle hers but Soph wouldn't finish it and was often sick anyway. Mostly because of Sophia we took a long time to feed them as that seemed to help her keep it down, so every feeding session was about 1-1/2 hours. These days (15 WEEKS!!! OMG how quickly has that gone!!!!), they both take 160mls at each feed - Madeleine is still sometimes hungry after that so we make more. It takes about an hour to feed them by myself and about 30-40mins when DH is helping ... but it totally depends on how hungry they are and both will often still zonk out mid-feed so we let them have a nap and then jiggle them a bit to wake them back up for the second half. They feed at around 7:30am, 11am, 3pm, 6pm and 11pm - roughly! They are pretty good at working around our needs really and generally seem happy to wait 1/2 an hour if that suits us better. Little poppets!

I can't believe how quickly they are progressing though! Madeleine is 12lb and Sophia 10lb 3oz now!!! Both are now smiling little beaming smiles - just the BEST sight in the world. They were very late doing so (13 weeks, 8 corrected age) but it was worth the wait! They are also a lot more feisty now and love kicking around on their mat and in the bath. Madeleine is going through a bit of a clingy stage at the moment and wails if I leave the room for more than a minute, but I quite like that in a way - nice to know she notices that I'm around!

I love reading everyone's progress. I'm still quite emotional about it all, wondering whether I need to do something about that really. Thinking about writing my 'story' down in the hope that it will be therapeutic in some way. Our SCBU has a support group page with babies' stories on their so I wonder if I should put in on that. Of course, this relies on me having 5 minutes to actually write anything!

Anyway, hope you're all ok. Looking forward to more updates soon x x

silverangel Fri 04-Nov-11 08:52:41

Hi all,

Wow, everyone home, that is just so fantastic. At the risk of sounding soppy which isnt really my sort of thing I am so thrilled we have all made it through. You have all been a huge support to me, especially before the girls arrived safely.

Mrs S - holiday, you are brave!! My mum has a caravan in France and we've just booked to go next summer, can't wait, but pretty sure it's not going to involve as much wine as it normally doessmile. I know what you mean about being emotional about the whole thing. Looking back I think I was in denial during the pregnancy and since, well I haven't had time to really process it. My auntie was over yesterday and she said "what little miracles considering they both could have died", it shocked me a bit as that is exactly what the situation was.

Cake, re the feeding - my girls are GANETS, no other way to put it. They are on 110mls now, and finish it in less than five minutes. They can be fed and winded within half an hour which is great.

Twinnies, hope you're feeling better and check up went well?

Took Sophie and Alice to be weighed yesterday, they are now 8lb11 and 8lb7 and both following the 50th centile which is great. I was folding their washing yesterday and realised lots of their clothes dont fit them anymore which is great, but also a little sad! We have switched their times for feeding slightly to 7, 3 and 11 just seems to work a little better for us than the 10, 2, 6. They now go past 3 at night and wake between 4 and 5 so I feed them then and then they wake at 7 as normal. I am going to try giving them a bit more at the 11pm feed to see if they will think about dropping the night feed but dont want to push them to soon - I think if I up the feed too much they will just puke it up anyway! I have to keep remembering they are only 4 weeks adjusted and not to expect too much from such little babies. We have had some smiles which is great and we are just thrilled with how they are getting on. Mrs S, are yours still sharing a cot - I'm not sure how much longer these two are going to fit! They sleep on supports to help with the reflux and they are not far away from touching heads. When they don't fit they will have to go into their own room as we can't fit two cots in our room and I really don't want to do that.

Hope you all have good weekends (although weeks and weekends are kind of the same for me now!). xx

silverangel Fri 04-Nov-11 09:06:50

I've just added some thoroughly self indulgent photos to my profile so you can have a look at my adorable childrensmile xx

CakeForBreakfast Sun 06-Nov-11 13:51:46

Hi everyone,

It was brilliant to read eveyones updates. I am also still emotional about all of us getting here too. In a good way of course! I remember all too vividly the day of the scan which showed the TTTS and the consultant telling the odds of one or two surviving. I had gone on my own thinking it was just a routine scan and was in the room with about 5 other medical staff all watching me hearing his words and it very slowing sinking in and I just put my face in my hands trying to understand and not cry. And now I look at my two healthy girls sleeping nose to nose and I can't quite believe how close we were to having a tragedy!

MrsStevo I agree about the writing something down. The babies stories is really good. When we were first diagnosed with the TTTS I scoured the web for other peoples experiences and there were a few on a twin to twin transfusion UK support site. I think I may post mine up there. Its good to put positive experiences out there.

Anyway (wiping a tear from my eye)...

It sounds like all the girls are doing so well, what healthy weights. Mine are due for a weighing tomorrow, but last week they were 5lbs 11oz and 5lbs 3oz. Tomorrow is their due date! They take six feeds of about 70-80mls each, they are getting quicker which is great, although as time goes on also a bit feisty, last night, neither settled well after the 10.30pm feed even though they both had tanked a good 90mls each! Then one was also wakeful and unsettled after the 3am feed too, I was very tired this morning! In a way, they are less trouble than my older two were who were demand breastfed and i would be feeding them sometimes every 2 hours through the night, these just wake once between 10pm and 7am but because there are two of them, at least one of them will have an unsettled period and keep me up too.

I am loving the updates, keep them coming!

MrsStevo Sun 06-Nov-11 20:34:06

Hey!

Silver - I can't see you photos!!! Are you sure your profile is public? And well done Sophie and Alice on the weights - little chubster babies!! I know what you mean about the clothes - I cried when I packed away the girls' early baby clothes... even though it is obviously a very good thing that they are growing! Vis a vis sleeping, the girls are still both sleeping in the Arms Reach co-sleeper that attaches to the side of our bed. That said, they are both getting towards being too big for it although we have put them in grobags now and semi-swaddle them with a blanket over the top so their arms aren't free to flail about and hit each other! Madeleine is such a wriggler and the grobag is brilliant for containing her - otherwise she kicks covers off.

cake - Happy due date for tomorrow! They are good weights for due-date twins!! Like you, I will never forget the day we were diagnosed. The look on the consultant's face when she broke the news will stay with me forever. I really do want to write it all down and I've been saying it for weeks but just haven't found the time. SUPER busy and I think i will need to have a fair bit of time to do it as it is likely to make me very emotional so I don't want to dip in and out writing it.

Sophia is being very sick again at the mo, it is so exhausting ... never mind keeping up with the laundry it creates! But we're trying various things to try and sort it out. Poor little love gets herself so upset. Madeleine is just guzzling today, she normally has 160mls 5 times a day but has just snaffled 240mls without batting an eyelid! I fear a growth spurt coming on....

Anyway, the girlies are sleeping and food has been consumed so I'd best get on with my plans to lounge on the sofa in front of xfactor!!

twinnies26 Tue 08-Nov-11 10:41:03

Hi ladies!

Oh everyone sounds in such good form!! It's really great! smile I've been meaning to come and post for days but sometimes i don't know where the time passes at the moment!

All the girls are doing so well! - they're all turning into little guzzlers eh?and everyone's weights are doing so well! smile

We're all doing fine in this house! I admit it's totally full on but it is worth every minute of the hard work! Just love the girls so much smile My mum and sister have also been fantastic and usually pop by every other day for an hour or two to help out smile Poor DH is working really long hours at the moment, being self employed he just has to go with it if the work is there - especially in Ireland where the economy has collapsed and sometimes work is quiet! He has moved out of our bedroom in order to get more sleep at the moment, I miss him!

We're starting to find our feet and get a routine going - myself and the girls are getting to know what works for us all now. I took the plunge and started tandem bfeeding with DH's help and then went for it on my own - on the bed with lots of pillows- and have not looked back! Cuts about 15/20mins from a feed and the girls seem happy enough squashed half ontop of each other! Am still giving tops ups and sometimes they guzzle another 40-50mls!!

Clara is now 5lbs 13 and Esme 5lbs 3, it seems since they arrived they've been finally on a mission to grow! I think the formula topups they sometimes have has put on some extra weight.

Silver i also can't see your pictures anywhere! sad

Oh - the girls are squirming for their 11 feed - better be fast! - I am the same about the whole experience - i think i spent the past few months with a huge emotional guard up and now it's all pouring out! I also finally watched the documentary - was horrified that the little boy died after the whole journey - so glad i didn't watch it beforehand. I sobbed on and off for a week when we finally had both girls home! Everytime i saw them nose to nose peacefully asleep in the cot the waterworks would come on! Everyday i feel blessed that our girls arrived safely.

Oh - got to cut this short. So delighted everyone is doing well!
Keep the updates coming.... oh btw how soon did you take the girls out for a walk?or out and about - shopping/supermarkets? We've been told no walks for about another two weeks and then no shops until xmas or after....... what have/were you told?? bbbyyyee xxx

CakeForBreakfast Wed 09-Nov-11 20:13:19

Hello!

Goodness, the updates are so interesting, its great to hear how all the girls are doing.

MrsStevo How is it going with the sickiness? What formula are they on now? The topups my two had in the hospital was Cow and Gate and they were sick on it, but now they are on SMA Gold and keep it all down. I can imagine the laundry, I am also washing washing washing.

Silver I cant believe yours are on the 50th centile! Where they always there or have they been climbing up the charts? Let us know when they do successfully drop that nighttime feed - so we can learn how too!! Do yours settle well after the nighttime feeds?

Twinnies Your girls weights are going great guns aren't they! Well done on the tandem feeding, I am suitably humbled and impressed. I still put mine to the breast but its just for comfort and the odd topup, and I HATE expressing so I am forging forward with the formula, which they guzzle with more gusto than the Breastmilk. I am trying not to take it personally!

With regards to the midwife advice, I was advised stay in a week or two from the point of coming home from the hospital, and when we do go out put the rain cover on the pram to avoid peoples breath/coughs going to them. I could only stay in for a week, then slowly went out for short periods, now, 3 weeks on we are out quite a bit, once or twice a day, going to the farmers market or the school run or whatever, but still always with the raincover on and they dont come out of it. Im too worried to take them to baby group either especially as I know they will generate a lot of interest and it is cough and cold season. perhaps after Christmas.

last night I got a sleep portion of 4 unbroken hours, but they tease me these girls, sometimes they go for my routine and I think 'great' they're settling into it, then they change completely! Erina is now 6lbs 3 and Imani is 5lb 11oz, but suddenly in the last 24 hours both have started guzzling about 100mls a feed, I think growth spurt time.

My eyelids have started dropping, its only 8pm!

twinnies26 Thu 10-Nov-11 19:52:33

Cake you're inspiring me to get out of the house!! starting to climb the walls! Just decided Sat will be our first walk out with DH (i'm quite excited about taking them out in the buggy!!- and good idea about the rain cover - i will also do that!

The nurse was here again today, the girls are turning into little brusers (i can't believe it!) Clara is 6lbs 6 and Esme 5lbs 11. Great to know yours are guzzling about 100mls a feed, we are the same! I had been thinking that maybe i was overfeeding them - but they seem to be constantly starving!

Still persevering with the breast - although they're still having topup of EBM in day and formula at night - as the formula takes longer to digest i feel they sleep better!

Know what you mean about the pump - i'm using it less and less.

I'm sure you have your hands full with the girls and the rest of your gang - you are super woman!! I find it tough going sometimes just having the two girls!

Must run - Clara is giving out through the monitor!

Btw re 'routine' sometimes it works for us and yes then the girls just decided on something else!

Chat soon

silverangel Thu 10-Nov-11 21:47:26

Hi all

Mrs S, how's Sophia doing - have you got the sickiness under comntrol?

Cake - they were on the third - so definitley jumping up!! Since Monday one or other or both have dropped the night time feed, last night both slept from 11pm to 7am. I'm not getting too excited yet, but am playing around with giving them the same volume over five feeds instead of six to see if we can make it a permanent thing.

Twinnes - re taking them out - we were told we could take them for a walk as soon as we were home but not to take them to shops / shopping centres etc until they were at least 7.5lb. I still havent taken them to baby group or twins club, I want them to be a bit bigger just in case they do get any colds, I'm aiming for after christmas. We get out every day for a walk though and they seem to love it. I was really anxious the first few times I took them out by myself - cant fit the buggy through the front door so have to get them ready to go and then load them in on the front step - but I have a routine now and know what I'm doing and we can get out relativley easily now.

We're off to a wedding this weekend, my mum is coming to get the girls after the ceremony and we're staying out for the night, going to be very strange. Its my sister in law's wedding and she really wanted them to be there for part of it, but I wasn't comfortable keeping them there for the whole time with all the prodding and poking going on and way to much germ potential for my liking!

I think I have made my profile public now - click on my name in a post and there should be a link to my photos.

xx

CakeForBreakfast Fri 11-Nov-11 16:13:12

Silver I just saw your photos! How gorgeous are your girls!!!!! Absolutely lovely! You can definitely see that they are identical.

Twinnies I'm pretty impressed at your girls weights, I don't think you can overfeed early babies at this stage, they may be just wanting to fulfill their potential, my girls were born on the 25th centile, and dropped to 2nd, tracked that one and now seem to want to climb again (hopefully). Obviously your breast feeding is working with such good weight gain.

Right, gotta go, is ds's 2nd birthday today

twinnies26 Sun 13-Nov-11 08:49:01

Silver congrats on the girls sleeping from 11-7!! That sounds like a little piece of heaven to me at the moment!!

I finally gave in to exhaustion last night - Dh and my little sister (see lives with us for past few years for school/uni) did the night feed together and i moved to the couch and slept from 12 - 6.30! First time in weeks that i got a few hours at night in a row, i'm hoping i'll feel like a new person today!

Thanks for the info re going out.We were told the same re shopping centres etc.. Def going to start putting a walk into the routine no matter how short, I'm missing fresh air at the moment!

Your girls are absolutely GORGEOUS!! fab dresses and they are little beauties!

Can you believe i (very quickly) mixed up my girls the other day!! Esme is really catching up on Clara!! Couldn't believe it!

Can i ask all of you how exactly do you feed your girls?? Do you stagger feeds by half an hour?feed one a bottle, then the other?or both at once?and if so how?do you feed in bouncers?or propped on your legs??and if so how soon did you do things like that?I know my girls and i presume Cake girls are still too young and small for things like that.How do you pacify one when feeding the other if alone?? Just interested to know what you all do!!

So far when i'm alone, i give them breast together and then topup, because they get breast they get that 'drunk on milk' look and then are happy to wait turns for a wee topup - but i often dread the day when there's only two bottles to give and they're both going mad at the same time for food!!

Anyway - must head off - we're on our first outing today! MY dad's birthday so we are taking a trip to see my folks - my mind has been whirling since yesterday evening about getting everything ready for our first big car trip and day out!

Chat soon xxx

CakeForBreakfast Sun 13-Nov-11 16:45:30

Silver I hope you enjoy the wedding, I'm sure it will feel a bit weird being away from the girls, although very healthy I must say. Perhaps after a couple of glasses of champagne you will love it!

Twinnies My experience re: feeding is a bit different as I bottle feed, but usually it is at the same time. One on my lap, one on a towel next to me and a bottle in each hand, I even have mastered the art of winding one with one hand whilst the other is still sucking on the bottle. When I was in the hospital establishing breast feeding, I wasn't tandem feeding so the feeds were staggered by 30mins - sometimes went to 45, but they were a lot sleepier then, now they wake on their own for feeding and I've kept them in sync so staggering them now wouldn't even work!

In fact, I have a bit of a problem. The girls sleep together and have done so for so long now that they can't settle if they are apart! If I take one out of the cot, the other wakes up and cries!

twinnies26 Mon 14-Nov-11 08:39:46

Really quick log in - Cake our girls do that too - we just realised this over the weekend, if one cries and is picked up the other is surely to wake within a few minutes. Do yours also syncronise their movements when lying in cot? Ours always lie in a mirror image position, it's amazing! We just love watching them sleeping in the cots!

Have you had a 6week growth spurt? Our girls have turned into little savages in the past few days - we were feeding at random times all through the night last night so a long night!

Well done with the bottle feeding - that sounds amazing!Winding and feeding at once - I REALLY need to work on that - think would really cut our times for feeding down as although i'm bfeeding i always offer them an EBM top up or formula afterwards. Because i do the two it obviously makes my feeding times longer!

Must run! xx

CakeForBreakfast Mon 14-Nov-11 20:41:09

Hi all,

Just a quickie, Imani has decided to NOT settle at bedtimes anymore so I'm pretty much working to settle her from 7 to the 10pm feed! I'm hoping the good influence of her twin sister who settles beautifully might get through in time but I've been warned they will probably just swap behaviours!

Oh the monster 6 week growth spurt, twinnies savages is a good way to describe them. Mine are just coming out of it now, it started mid last week, as soon as I clocked it I upped the daytime feed quantities and gave extra little topups before nap times (a la Gina Ford), but my god they were raving, acting like they hadn't eaten in days every time and yes, wanting extra night feeds too. They are creeping up the centiles, they seem to put on a solid 1lb every two weeks. They are now 6lbs 4 and 6lbs 11.

How is the breast feeding going? Are you getting more confident with the tandem feeding? How long do you let them go on the breast before offering the topups? You sound like you are doing a fab job, are you getting any sleep??!?

Silver How was the wedding?

MrsStevo how are you all doing? Would love to hear what you are all up to (and of course, pinch all your routines and twins tips!)

How do you all settle your babies when they are antsy or not settling for a nap? Do you put your babies down for sleeps awake? I am, but finding that one settles no problem and the other not.

Goodness me, that wasn't as short as I planned!

silverangel Tue 15-Nov-11 14:13:17

Hello everyone

Well, the wedding was great (although the hangover the next day not so, I am clearly out of practice!) - the girls were like little celebrities and i was fine with my mum taking them home too.

We had the growth spurt too - it was awful, screaming and screaming and not normally like that at all, they temporarily turned into devil children!!

I have a feeling Alice and Sophie are starting to teeth - lots of dribble, some green poos (nice!) and being a bit grizzly. They are 16 weeks now but only 7 corrected so could they be teething already?

They are still sleeping from the 11pm feed to 7am which is a joy and fingers crossed it lasts. They do mostly settle themselves to sleep for the night time sleep but I havent started putting them in their cot during the day, I think I need to start doing that, at the moment they sleep in their carry cots on the dining room table during the day and again they will settle themselves off to sleep most of the time but if they wake up and dont want to be asleep I get them out, my theory is that the more awake they are during the day the more they are likely to sleep at night! I cannot keep them awake if they want to be asleep or vice versa so we have reverted to being led by them (apart from the bottles, I'm rigid with that), they generally follow a pattern of waking at 7am and manage to stay awake until 830/9am, then they wake up until they get fed at 11, sleep from 1130-230pm, bottle at 3pm, sleep from 5-6.30pm and bottle at 7pm. After 7pm anything can happen, sometimes they crash out and sometimes they just want to be awake. If I feel they are over tired and really want to be asleep, I stick them in the bouncy chair and they are generally asleep within a couple of minutes.

Re feeding, I feed one and then the other - with the reflux can't lay one down and feed them and they are not quite at the right angle in the bouncy chairs. I put the one I'm not feeding in the chair and rock it with my foot and so far its kept them relatively happy while they wait. Then I swap them over and hte pne that has been fed is at the right angle in her chair to help with the reflux while I feed the other one.

Mine always sleep the same way, it's so sute.

I think I am going to go to twins club next week - have been holding back because I was worried about them getting sick (neurotic, me?!).

xx

twinnies26 Thu 17-Nov-11 18:56:08

Hi all smile

Silver great you enjoyed the wedding! I'm sure the girls were little superstars at it. Love their dresses in your pic! - I admit i am looking forward to finally bringing our girls out and showing them off!! ;)

I'm so envious of you sleeping through the night! I'm dreaming of that day right now! We are lucky and so far the girls don't seem to have any problem settling and sleeping, only in the early days home from ICU were they uneasy. I admit it's my choice of feeding that gives me less sleep for now!

Cake I'm persevering with the bfeeding and with the tandem feeding! Just using lots of cushions on the bed and throwing Clara in the rubgy position as she's biggest! I'm finding it much better to tandem feed as i was finding it really time consuming doing it one at a time! Still stuck on the top ups unfortunately (i also def think because i am trying to stick to bfeeding it's making feed times longer)they have ebm topups all day and then 3formula top ups for the nightfeeds. Can't get rid of the top up as i still don't have enough milk to exclusively bfeed them and sometimes Esme is a little lazy at the breast! sometimes at 3am i just give them formula and express as too tired to tandem feed! Not sure how long i'll do it for but it seems to be working for us for now and the girls seem to be thriving, Clara is now 7lbs and Esme 6lbs 6. They're turning into little tubby barrels!

Cake how alert are your girls? When you say 'daytime nap' i wonder how much 'awake time you get inbetween feeds - so far mine seem to still feed,stay awake for about 15-20mins and then sleep until the next feed! Not much action happening, although i can tell they're stronger (necks lifting,legs kicking, eyes looking around more etc..)

Mr.Shope all is well in your twin household!

Must get going for 7pm bedtime and feed!

Chat soon! xx

CakeForBreakfast Sat 19-Nov-11 16:54:26

Silver How brilliant they are sleeping from the last night feed to 7am! In fact, your nap schedule sounds just like the Gina Ford recommended routine, thats very impressive.

Twinnies your babies weights are doing great, I think they have caught up with mine who are steadily climbing the centiles, your feeding must be doing them the world of good, how long does it take to feed them now, topups included?

My girls seem to be steadily settling into a repetitive routine, well, what I mean is, I am less of a headless chicken regarding the families routine and the babies are fitting in well, the tricky part is the older children's dinner time when they both need me and then both babies are awake and hungry! They too are trying to hold their head and looking around a lot, its quite funny watching their eyes go in and out of focus, sometimes cross eyed.

They have started to stay awake a bit longer now, its pretty consistent that they will be sleepy one and a half hours after they last woke up, some of that is taken with feeding, then they lie on their playmat and are usually entertained by their older bro and sis until nap time.

twinnies26 Sat 19-Nov-11 21:28:44

Hi Cake - a quick log in!

If i feed the girls alone it takes me about 1hour 15/30 max - that includes nappy changes and clothes if necessary,bfeeding and topups. It has at times been longer though.I've not managed to give them bottles together so i swap from one baby to the other!

I usually bfeed them for about 20mins but have let them be there for about 30 at times when they seem to be sucking and latching really well. I know i make feeding times much longer doing both breast and topup but i feel i have the time for now. I'm just taking it day by day, although i'm starting to feel the longer i'm doing it the more determined i am to continue until at least Christmas. I have to go back to do a little bit of work from January (am self employed freelance musician) so i don't think it will really be possible to keep it up from then onwards

The girls are also awake for about 1 and half hours from start of feed and we get a short time before they doze off - that being said - they are awake and grunting to each other in the cot upstairs as i type!

They are still constantly starving - been feeding them around the clock for past 24hours and given them much more formula in hope to fill them up - even then they still want more and more!!

My little sister is going to help DH with the late night feed and i am going to sleep for 6hours in a row tonight - can't wait!!

xx

CakeForBreakfast Tue 22-Nov-11 15:08:06

Hello,

Twinnies Only 1hr 15/30, hey thats fast considering you are breastfeeding, topping up and changing! My girls start off well, taking 3/4 of their bottle in about 10-15mins, then they get sleepy and slow down so the whole thing can take anywhere from 20mins to 45mins, thats without changing.

We are all done now with our neonatal midwife care, the girls are 42 weeks and 7lbs 4oz and 6lb 13oz.

eek, ds fell over, gotta run

twinnies26 Mon 28-Nov-11 22:17:58

Hi Cake remind me how you feed the two girls at once again? - one propped up on your lap?where do you put the other twin?? The crying got to me today when giving top ups (poor mites were so hungry they just wouldn't wait!!)

Do you still have a 3am or thereabouts feed? Have the girls started sleeping for more than 3hours yet? I'm DYING to encourage the girls to try to sleep for longer stretches - but i guess they need to be more awake during the day first!

Great you are finished midwife care - and what super weights! the girls are thriving! Nurse was here the other day - Clara is 7lbs 9 and Esme 7lbs! I found one of there premi baby grows this evening - it's hard to believe they were that small only a few weeks ago!

we're all doing fine - getting out for a walk everyday now smile - our buggy is fantastic i love it, it's so light and easy to manouvre up and down the lane!

Hope all is well with you and your gang! xx

CakeForBreakfast Tue 29-Nov-11 14:17:47

Hi all,

I love how this thread has evolved from all us being terrified about the outcome of our pregnancies to the ins and outs of caring for twins!

Silver and MrsStevo how are you all doing?

Twinnies Your girls are seriously growing well, definitely caught up with mine.

When bottle feeding the twins, I have one lengthways on my lap, and the other on a pillow next to me, at an angle, that way I can lock and load each of them with a bottle to feed together, I just lay muslins underneath them to catch the dribbles. The one on my lap may have to move to the pillow also as she is getting too long for my lap!

The girls still have 6 feeds in 24 hours, 4 of them are in the daytime, so about 3-4 hours apart, then 2 feeds between 7pm and 7am the next morning, during the nighttime, I feed them at about 10.30/11pm and they will go until about 4/4.30am before wanting to feed again. The tricky part is, I will ALWAYS feed them together, so if it was one baby they could sometimes go longer than that and perhaps only want one nighttime feed, but with the 2 of them one will always wake up so I have to wake the other too!

They are very good at feeding and then settling straight back to sleep at night now. I always start the feed with the lamp on and unswaddled so they drink well, then for the last bit, after a big burp, reswaddle and turn the lamp off allowing only a bit of light from the hallway so I can see, this seems to really help them get all dozy and they finish their feed getting sleepy again.

During the day, I am finding of them is usually fitful during their naptimes, they usually alternate, I think it is because they have slightly different daytime sleepy patterns, so I am experimenting with keeping them awake for one and 3/4 hours or a bit more between naps. I try not to let them nap for more than 5 hours total in the day so they are sleepier at night.

2 nights ago, neither woke me for their usual first nighttime feed, but my body clock awoke me, I could have had so many more hours sleep, but was fretting and had to go and check they were both ok! Bah, they haven't repeated that lovely long stretch since!

twinnies26 Thu 01-Dec-11 21:33:42

Hi Cake

I know isn't it so nice! smile such lovely happy endings for us all!

We seem to be on similar feeding schedules and like you i always feed them together so i often end up waking one girl as i'm to feed the other!

The girls seem quite happy with our little routine now - we take a walk every morning when not wet before 11 feed and that usually helps them have a good afternoon nap!

I'm curious to know how to you keep your two awake?! Mine def. sleep for more than 5hours a day at the moment and i find it hard to keep them awake for longer! That being said we don't have many issues trying to get them to sleep. After the night feeds we always put them in cot awake and they settle themselves, so can't complain. Hope it stays that way.Most nights i get 6hours sleep and that's with going to bed at midnight, sometimes i go earlier though. I've yet to get them to sleep through 3am feed though! I guess in time we'll manage that.

I must try your bottle feeding method - i must ask though do they ever swallow the wrong way being propped on pillow?Or become more windy? I'm slightly frigthened at the thought of trying it with Esme as she often gets over excited when feeding with bottle and then swallows the wrong way and frightens the life out of me! That being siad i think i'll try it when DH is home some evening!

My nursing pillow arrived today! smile - the tandem feeding whilst propping the girls on bed pillows or sofa pillows was starting to make my neck and shoulder muscles ache....hopefully this will help! The nurse arrived unexpectedly today and weighed the girls - now 8lbs 3 and 7lbs 9 - they're turning into little barrels!!

Must head off now, chat soon xx

silverangel Fri 02-Dec-11 13:48:28

Hi everyone,

You all sound like you're doing so well - great news!

Alice and Sophie now weigh in at 10lb3 and 10lb1 and following the 50th centile line which is great.

They had a VERY grizzly week last week - totally out of character for them and Sophie in particular was waking a lot at night. From reading it seemed to be the 16 week sleep regression. This week however, they have been a delight, sleeping like logs and staying awake longer during the day adn they are full of 'chat' now, its super cute. Have put their carry cots up into the loft as with our buggy the frames of the cots are the frames of the buggy seats and it was getting really annoying dragging the cots in and out every time we went out - seems like they are growing up sooo quickly! So now, we are working on getting htem to sleep in their cots at nap time during the day and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt, when it doesn't I let them sleep in their bouncy chairs downstairs. I have really found the key to them sleeping well at night is sleeping well during the day. Twinnies - I think its impossible to keep them awake, if they're tired they'll sleep regardless of what I do!

We also moved them in to their own room last Friday in their own cots - they were getting too big to share and we can't fit two in our room. They seem to love it - lots of room to stretch out. We keep their door and our door open - its not as if we live in a mansion so they are still not far awy from us.

I still haven't fed both together, being relativley flat would be disastrous for the reflux. So now, to think about weaning! Have had lots of conflicting advice as to when to start but from 20 weeks seems to be consistent for reflux prem babies. I don't know if they will be ready then, that's only two weeks ago and they just seem very little for that. We are back for a check up with the paeds in early Jan so think will wait until then and see what he says. Mrs S - what are you doing / planning on doing?

We're putting our christmas tree up this weeked - way way too early but they both love looking at flashing lights so think they will love it (at least, that's the excuse I am going with!).

xx

CakeForBreakfast Sun 04-Dec-11 16:14:37

Hi everyone,

Twinnies The way I keep my girls awake - or indeed wake one up when I need to feed them both, is a nappy change, or getting their legs out of their babygrows and then giving them a few minutes on a flat surface (playmat), if they want to wake, they will, but sometimes, there is nothing i can do and they will carry on snoozing no matter what and I just go with it, giving them another 15mins before giving them a little jiggle again.

The pillow propping works well as it elevates her head a little, - I only put her head and shoulders on the pillow so she is at a slight slant, which apparently is good for them and makes swallowing easier, the one on my lap is a bit more flat, she might benefit from a pillow too.

Imani had a procedure to correct her tongue tie a few days ago, she seems fine but dropped how much milk she was taking, I think her new mouth felt weird, shes getting a bit better now, she used to have to work a bit too hard with her latch and end up gulping big swallows and needing a burp, shes not doing that anymore, but both girls have their first jabs tomorrow, so I imagine they will be upset about that!

Silver Can I ask, what did you do during the 4 month regression? Did you have to settle/feed them more often? It sounds horrible, I don't remember it with my older 2 as they were breastfed and I would just bring them next to me in the bed and let them latch on and off all night if they wanted. I love that yours are chatting now, mine are smiling, its really great!

MrsSilver I hope you and yours are doing well, we would love an update!

silverangel Mon 05-Dec-11 10:50:38

Hi Cake, yep, I offered an extra oz at each feed, sometimes they finished it and sometimes they didn't and if they didn't settle between feeds I offered them more, they sometimes took up to 3oz more! I was worried about over feeding them but they were definitley hungry and they seem to self regulate quite well, they are now back down to their normal feed of 5oz. It didnt affect their sleeping once they were asleep but it took an age to settle them to sleep which isn't normally the case. Lasted for five days so it does end!

x

twinnies26 Sun 11-Dec-11 12:36:33

Hi everybody!

Been meaning to write for days - everytime i logged on something came up and i had to leave it!

Silver sounds like you are all in great form! Delighted the girls are thriving smile and so grown up in their own cots and room!! Our two are still sharing a cot, it's a really big one so i hope to get another while out of it yet - our double carrycot however, is getting a little tight for them.They nap in that downstairs during the day!

Cake thanks for the directions for double bottle feeding - i decided to try and it worked quite well. Esme didn't choke or have bad reflux and it cut time down alot for me! Feeds are still taking a really long time coz of bf and top ups - some days i'm now thinking i should just give bottles now but i also feel i can't stop the bf now for some reason (sometimes i'm exhausted as end up expressing at about 4am every night!)

How were your injections? My girls were in awful form for three days - i had to get my mum to come up and help for two of them. One day they didn't sleep from 6am until 8pm and were so overtired. Thankfully we're back on track now smile

I finally got a car that can fit all the twin bits!! smile A passat estate - it's great to be able to leave the house! I've felt quite stranded the past few weeks as we're in the country and although i can walk to the village for shops most of my friends/family live a car drive away so always waiting for DH to be home to come out and even then we couldn't fit the buggy!!

Re keeping them awake - Cake glad i'm on the right track i do the baby grows too! Poor pets! anyway i've decided to just let them sleep when they want now - i must admit that Gina Ford book had me slightly stressed thinking i had to try make my babies stay awake (how stupid of me i know!!) Even with all their sleeping during the day they sleep at night for us and only wake for night feed!

Ladies can i ask - how and when did you get rid of the night feed???

Glad everyone is well!
Mr.s S hope you and your gang are in good form!

xx

CakeForBreakfast Tue 13-Dec-11 16:41:24

Hi all,

Twinnies My two were surprisingly fine after their first vaccination, they cried and looked really annoyed when it was done of course, but then no effects whatsoever, not even grumpy, I had the calpol ready and waiting but it was unnecessary! Hey, are yours only waking for one night feed?? Mine have 2 between 7pm and 7am - one at 10 or 11pm and one sometime in the wee hours.

I know what you mean about the Gina Ford routines, I started reading them convinced I must keep to them to keep the babies happy, but then adjusted and adjusted, particularly on sleep, and now, they are just a general guide!

You are doing an awesome job still with the feeding, I really understand about being reluctant to give up the breast/expressing, I think it must be in a mums nature to keep doing what we feel is good for the babies even if its hard for us, even though I was desperate to stop expressing, I kindof didn't want to let my supply dwindle. Anyway, going to all bottles and formula is still one of the best decisions I made just to share the load! I don't miss the breast pump whatsoever.

Right, must dash, and get the kids dinner fixed.

xx

twinnies26 Tue 13-Dec-11 21:13:57

oh we're the same with feeds - we feed 7pm, 11pm and one in the wee hours too, anytime from 3-4am. They won't stretch any longer yet. I've decided not to push them yet either they're obviously not physically ready as won't feed more in evening feeds and possibly not awake enough in day either.

Can i ask what formula you use? I'm topping up at night after breast with nutri prem 2, considering moving them to a hungry baby one- they are just constantly starving. During the day t's only breast and expressed milk, sometimes when they have EBM in bottle they can drink up to 130mls and thats after about 15on the breast - crazy kids!

We're meeting with their twin friends from NICU on Friday for first time! Two sets of twins will be in our house smile

xx

CakeForBreakfast Wed 14-Dec-11 09:28:57

My babies are on SMA Gold. When they were first born, they were on Cow and Gate, I asked for Nutriprem but was refused, not sure why, I think because the breastmilk supply was good, I didn't push because I'd decided to try for all breastmilk, for topups too. It was when we got home that I began to introduce SMA Gold which they took to very well, not sickie at all like they were on C&G.

I found my babies would drink more breast milk than formula, but still be hungrier sooner, isn't that interesting!

Last night one of twins was very wakeful! I am tired this morning! Zzzzzzzz

twinnies26 Wed 14-Dec-11 21:23:14

yes mine are the same! it's seems the formula keeps them full and not the breast milk sad imagine they nurse for 20mins sometimes and then drink at times 130mls of EBM afterwards - crazy babies!!

Think i'm going to start them on abit of Actimel Hungry Baby tomorrow night and see how they are on that!

Hope you get some sleep tonight - i'm longing for the day when the night feed is no more!! They're 10weeks. . . .surely it must be on the horizon sometime soon!
xx

CakeForBreakfast Fri 16-Dec-11 16:36:13

Hi all,

I had an early Christmas present last night, a night nanny!

She turned up and basically took care of everything, I didn't even hear a thing, and did not have to get up once, it was great. I did of course wake up anyway, especially at their usual feed times. But the babies were in great hands. I'm hoping to have a night nanny again sometime!

Twinnies your babies are packing the milk away aren't they!? What do they weigh now? Mine are 8lbs 9oz and 8lbs 3 oz, tracking the 25th and 9th centiles, I have a feeling they wont be giving up their night feeds anytime soon!

Lately they have been really fractious at bed time, it seems they get over tired and one or the other is then unsettled, sometimes for 2 hours or more! What has happened to my lovely calm babies?!?!?

Silver and MrsStevo how are your girls doing?
Are you all looking forward to their first Christmas?

twinnies26 Sat 17-Dec-11 08:47:39

Oh my goodness - a night nanny!! amazing!! smile I have thought of that a few times - my sisters asked me what i would like for christmas and i said for them to do the 11 and 3am feed! - we'll see if that happens! ;)

I had a really tough day with them yesterday - they are growth spurting and DH was gone from 7am - 11pm, i had to ask a neighbour to come in for a few mins about 6.30pm - i couldn't seem to manage to make the bottles for the night as they were screaming for food so much! The leftover lunch was still on the table, the fire was out and the whole place a mess - i hate when things get like that!

Despite the crazy day - myself and the girls slept through the 11 feed (they refused to nap all day) and slept from 9pm-4am - so a better stretch of sleep!

At last weigh in my girls were 8lbs 3 and 7lbs 10 but that was about 10days ago so add on abit to that!

Re bed time - they're just all becoming more alert aren't they?! Mine tend to refuse a late avo nap now - and even though they're awake more won't stretch at night. I spoke to dietician about them and the 'constant' feeding that goes on in my house - she siad they're just playing catch up and not to push to drop night feed just yet as they obviously need it.... i just hope soon we can get more sleep!

..... a night nanny ...... that will be my Christmas present - I've decided!

Must run - we're having 12friends over tomorrow evening for pre Christmas nibbles ( i might be mad) so want to catch the supermarkets before they are packed out with Christmas shoppers! Btw i went to tesco with the girls for first time the other day - we were mobbed!!!

xxx

CakeForBreakfast Tue 20-Dec-11 20:27:18

Hi all,

I absolutely recommend a night nanny, she was excellent and the only downside is that I could get too used to it.

One of the babies has her first proper bout of the lurgies. Poor little thing is all out of sorts with a vomiting virus, she even refused a feed last night for the first time ever. I think I got about 2 hours sleep. Tonight the night nanny is coming again, hopefully that should take some (or all) of the pressure off, I hauled dh out of bed last night to help out so he went to work this morning like a zombie.

I'm very tired, I am not looking forward to the other twin inevitably getting this bug just in time for Christmas

Hope you are all well. x

silverangel Wed 21-Dec-11 08:27:17

Oh no Cake - hope you get a better night tonight!

Quick update from me - all still going very well, the girls really are a delight at the moment and we are thoroughly caught up in the christmas madness. FiL flies in this morning so off to Heathrow in a mo but wanted to wish you and your families a very happy christmas and a happy and healthy new year!!

Xxxxx

MrsStevo Thu 29-Dec-11 21:12:10

OMG I'm so sorry ladies - I fell off this thread yonks ago and haven't had time to come back!! I think about you all the time though and wonder how you're all getting on with your little miracles.

Just a quick hello from me now in fact as I am exhausted after Christmas. We are all really well - the girls are now 24 weeks / 5 months and are absolute treasures. Last weighed about 3 weeks ago and Madeleine was 14lb 4oz and Sophia 12lb 6oz. They are HUGE now but I am still in total denial that they are growing up - they are still my precious newborns to me! They sleep 7pm-7am, are in a proper routine during the day so I know what I'm doing and when, and we have finally, FINALLY beaten the reflux!!! Sophia hasn't been sick for about 2 weeks <touches wood> and Madeleine for a couple of weeks more than that. It is like we have entered a new world!!! Everything is so much easier when you can be confident that you can go out for the day and not have to seek out places where Sophia can safely projectile vomit!

We had an ok-ish christmas. STUPIDLY had my parents and my MIL to stay (our tiny house was bursting at the seams!!). It wasn't in the least bit relaxing and I didn't really feel that it was as special as it should have been for the girls' first christmas, but they did at least spend it with their grandparents which is a nice memory. Everyone left today - I am SHATTERED!!! DH played with the girls a lot today as I had THREE naps! Still planning on being in bed by 10pm as well!

cake - sorry to hear you have an attack of the lurgy in your house. Hope all is better now and you're managing to get a bit more sleep. A night nurse sounds GENIUS!!!

twinnies - your last post sounded like you were having a tough time. How are things now? Are they feeding less frequently or napping any better now? I have to say that the success of feeds in our house very much depends on how well the girls have napped. Took me a while to link the two issues (duh!) but now it all makes sense. I read your other post about when to drop night feeds - this happened for us at about 8-9 weeks. We were feeding them at 11pm-ish, down by midnight and then their next feed gradually became later and later (i.e. 4am, then 5am, then 6am) until eventually we found that we were waking them at 7am. Same with dropping the late evening feed really. We found that it was getting harder and harder to wake them and they were hardly eating anything before falling asleep again. So we gambled one night and didn't wake them at 11pm and they slept through til gone 6am... it was like a dream come true! A good night's sleep AND evenings back with DH - knowing that we didn't have to go up to bed and then feed the girls and deal with vomit before we could sleep.

silver - your babies sound all grown up in their own room!! We are probably going to move the girls into theirs in January - couldn't do it before now as we needed their nursery to house people over Christmas! Vis a vis weaning... I am burying my head in the sand about it to be honest!!! We have had SUCH a tough time just trying to feed them milk up until now that I can't face changing them onto solids just yet! Lots of my NCT friends whose babies were all born around the same time are just starting their weaning now so I plan to let them figure out what to do and then steal their ideas. I will let you know if they come up with any pearls of wisdom!!

I vow to be back on mumsnet more often now (I now have an iphone so can update from wherever I am!) so will catch up with all your news and promise to reply quicker. I feel like I have a bond with you guys after all we've been through that no-one else can understand so don't want to lose touch!

Belated Merry Christmas to you all and hope you all have a fabulous new year!

CakeForBreakfast Sat 31-Dec-11 14:09:52

Hello all,

MrsStevo So good to have your update, your girls sound like dream babies, well done for getting them so sorted. I am incredibly envious of your nighttimes, my babies are 14 weeks, weigh about 9lbs plus and still wake up once between the 10.30pm feed and morning. They do cane a big feed when they do so I dont think they are remotely willing to give it up yet!

Are you secretly pleased Christmas is all done for another year? I am, I found that once we attain motherhood, Christmas, special as it is, is nothing but hard graft for the mums! We had christmas day just us for once and it was great, really relaxed. (The in laws descended afterwards)

Twinnies how did your pre christmas do go?

silver how are yours and the weaning going?

Just before christmas, my girls started sleeping badly - the dreaded sleep regression I think, I could not believe how little they have been napping in the day, but they slowly do seem to be coming out of it now (touch wood), and hopefully will have achieved being able to settle themselves a bit better without milk!

I will have the night nanny again in about a week, I can't wait! Its such a luxury, I was feeling bad about the cost of it, but dh reminded me that it wont be too long before the babies can sleep through the night so its all just a temporary cost, so I don't feel guilty anymore!

Happy New Year everyone, I will be spending tonight (NYE) with as early night as possible!

twinnies26 Sat 07-Jan-12 23:21:31

Hi ladies!

I've not been on for ages! didn't realise so much time had passed with Christmas etc...

Sounds like everyone is in great form! smile

We had a lovely Christmas with the girlssmile was so nice to have DH off work and to do lots of fun things with the girls - we walked alot and had nice lunches out and of course did the family things too - we seemed to be out visiting people everyday!

The girls have been great until about 3 days ago -we had a few awful days with Clara - She seems to have been constipated and has had awful tummy cramps/wind sad Poor pet was screaming hysterically - yesterday i had to get my neighbour to come in and help me out as Esme was like an abandoned baby for the afternoon. Thankfully she is much better this evening and has settled to sleep now!

Mr.sS lovely to hear from you! Can't believe the girls are 24weeks!So grown up and you must be so relieved that the reflux has gone!I know what you mean about them still being newborns to you - i was quite sentimental the other day when i packed away all of the latest babygrows they have been wearing. The girls have become huge over the xmas break.Not sure on weight at the moment, might get them weighed in next week or so.

And well done you for getting them to sleep so well! I'm envious. I think i've concluded that they wake more because of the breast milk, it doesn't keep them as full.I have introduced more formula bottles now and stopped expressing and giving breastmilk in bottles so maybe that will help make them sleep abit better, but that being said i'm sure it was the formula that made Clara constipated. we're now on a lighter one since today so fingers crossed!We have had some good nights when they have stretched to 5am now, so it's looking abit better, but every night seems to be different.

Cake night nanny sounds so good! my sisters came on Christmas eve (I'm the eldest of 3)and did the night feeds for us so we could both sleep - that was what i wanted for Christmas! smile Our xmas do was a success - the girls went to bed no problem at 7 and DH and my friend did a quick feed at 11 and there wasn't a peak out of them for the rest of the evening! smile Great to know that we can entertain now! That being said i think we have a sleep regression thing going on now too - they're not very happy going into the cot at the moment!We even took them for a drive to make them sleep this avo as they were overtired and starting to go a bit crazy!

Seems i've written an essay so going to head off now!
Happy new year to you all and all your little beauties!
xxx

CakeForBreakfast Mon 09-Jan-12 10:14:21

Hi everyone,

Just a quick hi and an update, the girls are now 9lbs 9oz and 9lbs 3 oz so doing well. Although both are a bit under the weather at the moment and the little one in particular is off her feeds, which is always a stress! Its feast and famine with babies appetites isn't it!

twinnies it sounds like your girls are on the right track with the sleeping, I keep hearing from other people how their babies spontaneously started sleeping through at 3 months or whatever. Mine are not even close especially with all these bugs they seem to have started picking up!

silver how are your girls doing?

mrsStevo do you still have yours weighed regularly now or do you space the weighings out more now?

Christmas feels like an age ago, in a way its nice to go back to normal!

twinnies26 Tue 17-Jan-12 22:21:28

Hi there everyone!

Hope all is well! Happy new year to you all smile

Cake - really hope your little ones are better now and have recovered from all the bugs - poor little things! Have you been getting any sleep with it all?

We're slowly but surely getting a little more sleep - the girls are happy to sleep until about 4.30/5 now. Then i just nurse them as they wake and they usually settle back to sleep ok! DH is delighted as he is off the hook now with any nighttime feeding! Only thing is they don't want to feed at 10.30/11pm.We split the feed before and have tried many things but i can't seem to wake them up enough, they're just not hungry. I know if i can get them to feed well at that late feed they'll sleep till at least 6am.....

The girls were weighed today at the health centre - they are so big! Esme is 11lbs 1 oz and Clara 11 lbs 7 - can't believe it really! According to the nurse they have already caught up and would just be considered a small term baby size now smile

We're having a twin playdate tomorrow - We're visiting fraternal twins Ruby and Martha - they were in the incubators beside our girls!

Looking forward to all your twin updates!
xx

MrsStevo Mon 11-Jun-12 22:42:35

Cake, Silver, Twinnies ........ any of you still here?

Would love to hear from you if you are. Won't post much for now in case no-one reads this anymore, but my girls (Madeleine and Sophia) are both really well. Nearly 11 months old now and have just mastered crawling and pulling themselves up. Amazing..... but exhausting!

I still think about the trauma of the TTTS, and the whole pregnancy in fact, and think about you all. I really hope you're all well and enjoying twin-mummyhood.

I'm on facebook if anyone else is and wants to keep in touch? Name is Laura Stevens and my profile pic is me holding my beautiful little monkeys!

twinnies26 Fri 28-Sep-12 13:43:46

Mr.s S - I've not been on here in months and months - my girls turn one on Thursday and for some reason i thought i would look on here to see if anyone had popped up too!

I can't find you on Facebook?! There are so many with your name! Can you remember my name?? You might not look on here again....it might be too late!

I will post in multiple births and try to find you there! Silverangel has been around the place in multiple births.Not seen Cake since.

So nice to hear from you! I hope we find each other!!! xxxx

spg1983 Fri 28-Sep-12 19:22:46

Sorry to hijack but I saw this post and had to add this...I used to teach twin boys (who must be about 18-19 now) who had TTTS and were the first ever twins treated with the laser surgery whilst still in their mother's uterus. At the time it was totally experimental and was quite heavily featured in the news.

They are lovely, clever boys who are really proud of their birth story and are so close to each other as a result. They are constantly looking for opportunities to raise money for research into this condition.

An so pleased all of your precious little ones are happy and healthy. I'm currently expecting but I've only got one in there! Just wanted to offer an interesting fact and also hopefully reassure others that this condition can be managed and beaten.

twinnies26 Fri 28-Sep-12 19:52:00

Hi there! Wow that is some story! - It's wonderful to hear your story, those boys are very lucky!Must have been so scary for their mother, was bad enough for all of us and it's been done many many times before.

Interestingly enough i met a lady who had to be flown to London (i live in Ireland) for the treatment. That was only 5 years ago. Thankfully things have advanced much more here now!

Congratulations on your pregnancy, hope it all runs smoothly for you! smile

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