29 weeks tomorrow with twins. Hospitalised today because I'm starting to dilate and contract. Steroids and anti-contraction meds started. Anyone been through similar?

(41 Posts)
thereistheball Tue 21-Aug-12 21:53:39

One other detail - I am in France. I live here an speak French but would appreciate hearing from people whi've been through similar in the UK.

Think this may have been triggered by 38 degree heat over the weekend and a bit too much walking. I'm taking insulin 4x a day for gestational diabetes (the steroids have sent the blood sugar levels sky high) and thyroxine for hypothyroidism.

My consultant said she hoped to have me home by the weekend, and then I expect it will be bed rest until delivery. What I really want to know is how long can I hold on til that happens, realistically? I'm also going to post this in multiple births. Thanks in advance for your replies!

HiHowAreYou Tue 21-Aug-12 22:46:13

It's probably completely different for everyone depending on why each of us went into labour. I lasted four days but don't scare yourself worrying about other people's stories too much.

If you have had time to have the steroids that's fantastic, really good for the babies' breathing.

Good luck, and take care. Hopefully your babies will stay in there a while longer.
x

PQ77 Wed 22-Aug-12 09:43:25

Hi thereistheball - my waters went on Sunday and I am 30 weeks (singleton). I had the steroids 2 weeks ago as a precaution as I'd had a positive fetal fibronectin test.

The protocol seems to be
- bed rest on antenatal ward for a week (at least)
- four hourly obs; temperature, bp, pulse, baby heart rate
- fortnightly growth scan
-daily ctg

I think at our stage the average is to last a week before labour starts but many people last much longer.

The biggest risk is of infection as you'll know. I am reluctant to go home as I am getting some comfort from the monitoring but I appreciate I may go crazy at some point.

It would be interesring to hear ant other experiences- I have no idea if this is standard uk practice (i am at a big central London hospital)

do let me know how you get on, I'll be thinking of you

I had my twins at 26+6 after a very quick and very silent labour (i was 9cm before anyone realised).

As a result I didn't get steroids which make a huge difference.

My Dtds spent 4 weeks in NICU followed about 6wks in SCBU. They came home about 2-3wks before my due date.

They had advised us to aim for discharge around their due date.

We had ups and downs but ended with a positive outcome. DTDs are now and getting nervous about going to secondary school next week! They have no lasting medical, developmental or educational needs.

Good luck! Every day they stay inside is a bonus. There was a real noticeable difference between mine and those born at 28wks+ and again at 32wks+. I even saw babies on the unit born at 34wks going home within a week and they were triplets!

I have also seen people successfully have anti-contraction meds 2-3 times between 26wks and 34ish wks before they decided to allow labour to progress the last time, so they can work!

Waves to PQ77, glad to see you're still hanging on.

thereistheball Wed 22-Aug-12 13:21:44

Hi. Thanks for the reassurance. I still have my waters so I'm hoping that once the contractions calm down (I'm now on a Loxan drip which is helping) I might get to go home - but I'm preparing myself for the long haul here if necessary. I've had two steroid injections fr the babies' lungs, which is all they get apparently, so now it's just about staying still and keeping my fingers crossed. My consultant is in tomorrow so I'll find out more then.

PQ77 - you are being more carefully monitored than me I think: my risk of infection must be lower because my waters are still intact. How are you feeling? I hope you're doing well. Good luck!

thereistheball Thu 23-Aug-12 06:03:37

Well the babies came last night at 29 weeks on the dot. I was in labour for 3 hours and went from 1-10 cms in 15 minutes - that was when the doctors started to believe they were coming and I had them 3 minutes apart about 10 minutes later. They are not quite 1kg and 1.1kg - about 2.15 and 2.45lb - and seemed to be fine - I got to kiss one and tickle his toes and wave at the other before they were transferred to a different hospital. Hoping to see them today and start expressing. They were breathing unaided when I saw them. Everyone in shock, not least the midwife who gave me a bit f a talking to when I was in labour and they didn't believe me smile Lots of mixed emotions but I'm hoping that some sleep and time with the boys will help.

So, any advice for a shocked new mum of premature twins? smile

OnlyWantsOne Thu 23-Aug-12 06:16:45

No advice except WOW CONGRATULATIONS smile

Take lots of photos - have you got names for them? Xx

PQ77 Thu 23-Aug-12 06:21:54

Many congratulations!! Best wishes x

thereistheball Thu 23-Aug-12 07:37:58

Thank you! No names yet but we need to register them by Saturday so that's one of our first jobs. Thank goodness I made DH start drafting his long list at the weekend.

Mama1980 Thu 23-Aug-12 07:41:53

Congratulations grin more reassurance here I and my ds at 26 weeks and he is fine. X

silverangel Thu 23-Aug-12 07:46:00

Wow, congratulations! Great weights too. Mine were delivered at 31 weeks after placental abruption and were 1.1 and 1.4kg. They spent 5 weeks in SCBU and are now 1 with no problems from their prematurity.

Having twins in SCBU is a hard slog. If you want to express my advice would be to start ASAP, and it has to be every 2-3 hours including overnight in the beginning to build up supply.

Congratulations again and do ask if you've any questions. I hope you've been reunited with them by nowsmile xx

Melindaaa Thu 23-Aug-12 07:54:02

I had twins at 28+5. they weighed 2.11 and 3lbs 5oz.

They had ups and downs, a few hours ventilated, on and off cpap for a while, the usual infections and blood transfusions etc, but are now four, about to start school and are the most beautiful, funny children I have ever met.

HiHowAreYou Thu 23-Aug-12 08:04:59

Congratulations, have a look at the Bliss website!

HiHowAreYou Thu 23-Aug-12 08:07:08

Oh and you can rent one of those those big hospital pumps for expressing at home. That's one thing I found really useful.

Congratulations thisistheball, sounds like they are little fighters!

I agree with pp about expressing - if you want to do this, every three hours minimum and at least once in the early hours (2 - 4am ish) as that is when milk production is highest. The more often you can express, the better for your supply. Hiring a hospital pump is a great idea, or something like the Ameda lactaline pump is a reasonably good alternative.

Don't forget to take care of yourself - the twins need their mummy to be healthy after all! Not sure how far you will have to travel to see them, but is there anyone (family or friends) who could support you by making healthy meals for you, sorting out your laundry, that sort of thing?

Best wishes to you all, please keep us updated smile

Double congratulations to you thereis.

Take care of yourself and your little boys smile

Tiago Thu 23-Aug-12 11:21:49

Congratulations on your babies! smile

I have no personal experience, but just remember that there will be ups and downs before they come home, but having had their steriods and been born healthy and breathing unaided, it sounds like they will do very well indeed.

Nancy54 Thu 23-Aug-12 13:03:08

congrats thereis!!! amazing news, so glad they're ok!!

TheLaineyWayIsEssex Thu 23-Aug-12 13:06:09

Congratulations. Hope they grow bigger and stronger everyday and that you are all home together soon x

charlottehere Thu 23-Aug-12 13:07:49

Congrats!! Keep us updated.

CelticOlympian Thu 23-Aug-12 13:16:04

Congratulations! Sounds like they are doing well.

I second the advice about expressing, you can't do it to much! Try by hand at first and move on to pump when your milk comes in. There is a booklet available on the Bliss website all about expressing and breastfeeding, it's well worth a look. There's also a message board which is a source of great advice.

Get as much skin to skin as you can, it's great for the babies and will help your milk supply.

You might find you need to be assertive sometimes. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself and your babies.

NICU is an exhausting rollercoaster ride, but it's so worth it! My tiny 27 weeker has just turned three, and I'm thankful every day that he's here with us. smile

KD0706 Thu 23-Aug-12 18:11:56

Congratulations OP
I think you sound similar to me. As soon as I came off the anti contraction drip thingy my labour just went from 0-100 in no time at all.

I know it will seem scary, but to the medical professionals, 29 weeks is actually a reasonably good gestation.

Your babies are in the best place. I hope you manage to take care of yourself. A few ladies have had some wonderful support and hand holding on here when they've had babies in nicu/scbu so if you need to offload etc do come back here.

Mandy21 Thu 23-Aug-12 23:14:05

HI there. Am sorry I missed your original post, but congratulations on your twins! It is probably a bit overwhelming at the mo, but think positively, they're good weights and they got the steroid injections.

I was in a similar position - went into labour (although I didn't know it was labour - I was just having back ache) at 27+4. I had the drugs to stop the contractions, and the steroids, but I was also starting to dilate. I think that is usually the crucial factor - if you're just contracting they can usually stop them for quite a while, I was told because I'd started to dilate (even though my waters were intact), I'd go a maximum of a week. As it turned out, I went back into labour 48 hours later and went to 10cm in minutes.

But thats all by the by now, they're here! My twins were 1.078kg and 1.096kg so about 2lb 6oz each. Twin 2 needed to be ventilated for about 12 hours, Twin 1 was OK. As everyone has said, it'll be a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I think with twins its hard because one generally does better than the other to start with so although you're pleased with one's progress, you automatically compare it to the other and then worry! I know it doesn't seem like it now, but I was told at 27 weeks that they were really in hospital to feed and grow - they weren't classed as really early.

I'd encourage you to be at the hospital as much as you can, especially ward rounds so you get to know the staff and they get to know you. I just felt like I was therefore upto speed and somehow could keep some control.

Expressing - stimulate all your senses whilst you're trying to express - my twins wore little fabric goggles to start with to protect their eyes from the UV lights, sounds bizarre but I used to sniff the goggles whilst I was expressing (to get the babies' smell). They'd taken photos of them for me that I had up on my bedside cabinet, so I could see them. Warm showers and some gentle massge of your boobs before you start can help. I was also told that its the amount of food that you eat that affects your supply, not just your liquid intake, so make sure you're eating. I used to have a sandwich when I got up in the middle of the night to express. Its tricky being in a different hospital as I was able to go and see them when I took the expressed milk up to the unit. Just try to express every 3 hours day and night to get your supply going.

We were told we could expect to go home by their due date. In fact, they were in SCBU for just over 8 weeks, so they came home at the equivalent of 36+5. They had to be regulating their own body temperatures, gaining weight, and be taking their feeds, whether that was by breast or bottle. They were 4lb 9oz each when they came home.

They're 7 now, have absolutely no lasting effects of their prematurity. They were a little lighter than their peers until they were about 18 months old, but hit all their milestones other than their speech which was about 3 months behind (although I still think this was a twin thing rather than a prematurity thing). We saw a consultant (as out patients) until they were 2 and he signed us off after that.

Good luck, just take each day as it comes, try to get as much rest as you can whilst you (and they) are in hospital.

Let us know how you get on. BEst wishes, Mandy

Mandy21 Thu 23-Aug-12 23:21:36

Sorry, one other thing i forgot to say. Someone recommended to me at that time that I write a little diary, just how much milk they'd had, whether I'd changed them, fed them, held their NG tubes, anything positive the doctors have said. I found it really useful to look back on when I was having a bad day - when another mum you've got to know in hospital takes her baby home, or one of the twins has a little set back. On a day when you're feeling low, its great to keep perspective and realise how far they've come.

Actually I would second a diary of ups and downs. 11 years later the details of those 3 months are such a blur I wish I had something to go back and refer to as a longer term thing.

I also second the fact that it is a harder roller coaster with twins. The drs obviously treat their individual needs which leads you comparing them and worrying about one or the other (why is one on 24% O2 and the other 23% etc.) It also means that you end up spending more time on the downhill roller coaster because when you don't have concerns about 1 chances are you have concerns about the other IYSWIM.

Poppet45 Fri 24-Aug-12 22:33:21

hey up Thereis...
My sister told me her November thread had had its first deliveries so I wondered if you'd managed to find the prem pages, these ladies are so helpful and the perfect hand-holders. DD was born at 27+3 and weighed in at 1040gs but unlike your dts she arrived only 4 hours after the first steroid shot - ideally they need 2, 12 hours apart to have the most benefit, so it took her about 6 weeks to be totally weaned of breathing assistance. Unlike some 27 weekers she wasn't just in hospital for feeding and growing, she had a week or so ventilated, then cpap and down to low flow I think. The roller coaster is a cliche but its true, we had brain scans, heart scans, lumbar punctures for suspected meningitis, mysterious infections, the start of congestive heart failure, hole in the heart, blood transfusions and well you get the idea. But she's just turned one - is hitting her milestones - and is the sweetest, smiliest wee poppet. You should see her bouncing up and down on her nappy waving at our cats. Still in 3-6 months babygrows mind. But to second a poster above there's a big growth spurt between 27 and 29 weeks and you really notice a big difference in terms of robustness. These babies are amazingly resilient. They are going to make you so proud. After what she's been through DD is my pride and my joy. If i were to do it again I'd take sooo many more photos because I can no longer picture how small she was, and a diary. DD went home BF and we were able to ditch top ups after a week or so at home, but to get us there I had to espress (sorry for the typo the ecks key on our computer has been killed by my toddler) every 2-3 hours during the day, 2 hours of an evening and once at 1am and once at 4am at night. I did it by hand as I got almost nothing out of a pump even those big hospital ones. And make sure you're on some super strong vitamins and those prems need heaps of nutrients as they didn't have the third trimester to build stores up. Good luck!

thereistheball Sat 25-Aug-12 20:55:33

Wow, thanks everyone for the lovely supportive messages.

Today I had my first cuddle with Twin1, while DH had some time with Twin2. I feel so much better for being able to hold them. Tomorrow we are going to swap. T1 is the smaller - 960g today. They have their first scan for brain haemorrhages on Monday, when I hope to be able to speak to their doctors about what our longer term expectations should be. For now we are enjoying being able to comfort them while they have their mouths cleaned, nappies changed etc.

I am expressing and my milk is coming in. Must go to sleep now or the 3am stint is going to be brutal.

Thanks again!

CelticOlympian Sun 26-Aug-12 15:54:04

How lovely you have been able to have cuddles. Hopefully you'll be changing nappies and washing them yourself soon. Well done on the expressing, it's tough but so worth it.

Fingers crossed for good results tomorrow.

wantingmore Sun 26-Aug-12 16:49:19

Congratulations. Hope everything goes well with the scans tomorow

Poppet45 Mon 27-Aug-12 23:09:50

Hey thereistheball, how are things today?

thereistheball Tue 28-Aug-12 02:53:28

Going OK thanks. The bigger twin is doing well but the smaller one is having trouble digesting milk, so is only being fed it every other 3-hour feed. They had their first ultrasound to check for brain hemmorhages yesterday but I haven't had any results yet. I'll be with them all morning so hopefully will get to have a cuddle with them both together for the first time. Meanwhile we have registered their births and started telling people, which is lovely. I want to start asking the big viability questions to the doctors soon but they don't yet have their supervising doctor and the intern I spoke to yesterday seemed to want to talk in generalities. Meanwhile it feels like one of my biggest problems is going to be getting to and from the hospital: it's a 3 hour round trip by public transport or a €100 cab to get there and back. People are being very kind with lifts this week and hopefully it will be easier once school starts up again.

thereis. It must be unbelievably stressful and having that long commute is not good either. Thinking of you and your boys during this difficult time.

silverangel Thu 30-Aug-12 17:40:02

I hope you get the results and all are ok. Do they have any 'parent rooms' to let you stay at the hospital. Would be easier and cheaper than going back and forth? X

thereistheball Thu 30-Aug-12 22:46:23

Yes but I also have a 5 yr old DD so that will be tricky.

Anyway the boys are doing really well: they have both regained their birth weights and doubled the amount of milk they are taking. The bigger one has ditched the breathing mask and moved onto an oxygen tube so we can see his face properly - he is lovely. Friends have been driving me to and from the hospital and meanwhile I've found a new way of getting there by public transport which should be a bit quicker - going to test it out tomorrow.

Mandy21 Mon 03-Sep-12 13:09:56

sounds like they're doing really well!

Poppet45 Wed 12-Sep-12 14:36:18

Hey thereis how are your boys? How is the juggling act with your older DC (my blood pressure is rising just remembering having that with DD and her two year older big brother)? Hope things are going well.

thereistheball Tue 18-Sep-12 17:30:42

Hello - just thought I'd check in. Yesterday the boys were transferred to a hospital much closer to us and the boys are doing really well. After 4 weeks (tomorrow) they are over 50% bigger than at birth and looking stronger by the day. We are over the shock of the birth and looking forward to getting them home. With luck this will be in a month or so. Thanks again for the reassurance on this thread.

Dillydollydaydream Tue 18-Sep-12 17:39:39

Glad the twins are doing well and they'll be at a closer hospital. Hope they continue to make good progress.

YellowWellies Tue 25-Sep-12 13:31:56

Hello thereis we November ladies we're wondering how you were getting on with your lovely boys (as we've just had another birth on the thread - Daisy had a wee boy after early labour due to preeclampsia). It took me forever to find you as I'd remembered your name as whereis! I can't believe the boys are 50% bigger than birth already! That's amazing. Well done hon. Anyway we're all sending our love and if you want to pop in for a natter - we'd love to hear from you. Here's the latest thread: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/antenatal_clubs/1565312-November-2012-but-thats-the-month-after-next I'm glad my twin sister Poppet found you too - she's been through this roller coaster and come out with incredible ablomb. Her DD is just a delight xxxx

thereistheball Tue 02-Oct-12 15:46:18

Hi YellowWellies - sorry it took me a while to get back. I just posted on the new November thread. Here is the update part for anyone here who's interested:

The boys are now 6 weeks old tomorrow, 35 weeks tomorrow corrected, and both well over 2kg (ie double their birth weights) and doing well. They are still in intensive care because they need help with their breathing, but they are being weaned off the machines and it seems to be going well. They also need to master their sucking/swallowing/breathing reflexes, which will allow them to breast feed. They are learning this by spending time on the boob and also by sucking from a tiny straw that ou put in their mouths with a finger. They are drinking my milk exclusively, plus some extra protein and vitamins. I am pumping away and spending as much time with them as possible, but I have an older daughter whose child are arrangements are a disaster at the moment, so I am trying to sort that out as well as do a million other things this week that frankly I could do without having to worry about. Hopefully next week will be calmer and I can dedicate a bit more time to the boys.

I am having a cuddle with the bigger one at the moment. He is strapped to me with a rather loose-fitting boob tube and is using his arm as a pillow. His tiny hand is starfished against my chest and his ear (which has no cartilage yet) is folded over. He had a bath this morning which he loves - getting his ears underwater must remind him of the womb as it makes him go all wide-eyed with wonder and happiness. They are both becoming more and more awake and responsive to me, which is lovely.

Apart from the unfortunate fact that I cannot be in 3 places at once, things are as good as we could hope, given the circumstances. So far there have been no serious problems that aren't entirely usual and overcome with time. There are lots of tests to come, and immunisations, an extra injections to help them ward off some of the nastier winter viruses. DH and I get our whooping cough jabs tomorrow.

YellowWellies Tue 02-Oct-12 16:02:07

Aww my love it sounds very much what my sister went through when her wee girl turned up early last year and she was torn in two between wanting to be at the hospital and wanting to be with her wee boy at home. Good luck with everything. They sound like wonderful wee boys. It sounds like they are getting the best of care. What have you called them?

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