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Oh. My. God. Expecting Twins. So many questions!

(18 Posts)
PeelingmyselfofftheCeiling Fri 06-May-11 09:45:30

Morning all.

Just found out yesterday that we're expecting non-ID twins (11wks), this is my first pregnancy.. Didn't really take much else in at the time, and DH and I walked around gibbering at each other for the rest of the day, but now I have lots of questions, can you help?

Nobody has measured my blood pressure (or taken any blood) since I got my +ive test, do they not need this to measure for increasing blood pressure? Or does that not happen until later on? (Babies to small for my nuchal fold measurement so will be going back in a week for another scan, and presumably measurement and blood test).

I've read about vanishing twin syndrome, sounds terrifying. All I can find about is says it happens in the 1st trimester - at 11 weeks would I be out of the risk zone for that or is it still a possibility?

Should the twins measure the same size as single babies to begin with? And if so at what point do they start measuring smaller? Or will they always be proportionally smaller?

Do my risks for Downs alter, or any of the abnormalities checked at 20 weeks?

BrassicaBabe Fri 06-May-11 10:44:16

Hi
I'm 29 weeks with non-IDs. I remember your shock well! grin
I don't remember when I had my BP taken. Maybe you could visit your GP's MW to ask for it to be taken if you are worried?
I had my NT scan done at about 11+5.
You will get regular hosp scans where they will measure each twin to monitor growth. But I don't think they started doing this until about 20 weeks.
You can have a blood test anytime now until about 13 weeks to assess your DS risk. There is a 20 week scan which checks for a whole list of problems.
HTH grin
It's difficult to do, but try not to worry. Give yourself time to let the news sink in.
x

schmee Fri 06-May-11 10:55:05

Don't worry about them not taking your BP - they will start to do this all the time, as well as the loads and loads of growth scans you'll have. It probably won't go up for a bit, and they will always be on the watch out for it.

Don't torture yourself about vanishing twin syndrome. At 11 weeks you are doing really really well.

I think twins normally measure around the same size as they would if they were singletons until at least 20 weeks, possibly more (maybe 28 iirc). But they needn't necessarily be that much smaller than singletons. Mine were normal size babies at birth - big actually if you take into account they were born at 37 weeks.

Don't worry about the Downs and other risks - I think your risk is just the same for these abnormalities as with one. The only thing is that they can't use a blood test to confirm the scan predictions for abnormalities, so they are depending on the nuchal fold measurement etc. If necessary I think you could have an amnio though.

Congratulations and welcome to the wonderful world of twins.

candleshoe Fri 06-May-11 11:02:17

Ha ha - I remember that feeling of utter shock shock sooooo well!
My DTSs are 8 now! CONGRATULATIONS !!!!
I paid £1000 to go with a private consultant as soon as I knew I was having twins. I had every test you can imagine and scans every four weeks and I also saw the consultant every four weeks. He also came to the hospital to do the 'birth' bit too. I had an emergency caesar in the end. If you can afford it - I would seriously consider it. Don't read too much about twins though cos you'll only scare yourself! And don't believe anyone who says it is easy. The pregnancy was hard and the first four/five months after they were born were terribly hard too. Now they are 8 - it is fab though!

2tigersmum Fri 06-May-11 11:21:29

Congrats PeelingmyselfofftheCeiling and BrassicaBabe on your pregnancy smile

I had my first ultrasound + nuchal fold scan at just over 12 wks, closer to 13 wks. It was a real shock to find out I was carrying twins and I felt very much like "Peeling myself off the Ceiling" for days, if not weeks.

i think they start measuring the babies straight away - and they'll keep doing so at evey scan. in our area, a multiple pregnancy would be a hospital consultant case rather than GP/midwife. this meant more regular scans and long/tedious hospital appointments.

also, it meant that i wasn't included in my local gp ante-natal groups - i had ones at the hospital, so that we could tour the maternity ward, theatres and scbu. my fellow mums were dotted all around town, not in my neighbourhood - makes it more difficult to go to same toddler groups and meeting up etc. you might want to check out your options, because it is great (for your post-pregnancy sanity) to meet and get to know other people with babies at the same age/stage as yourself, through whatever ante-natal groups you can join.

we did nct classes too, and they were interesting and mostly relevant. our local nct group subsequently started running a few sessions just for multiple pregnancies.

i don't think risks for Downs increases/decreases for multiple pregnancies, and the nuchal fold scan will give you some indication. try not to worry too much, easier said than done, i know. you just try to take care of yourself!

when you get the chance, find out if there is a local twins group in your area - they might have nearly new sales etc. that would be useful in your preparation for the big arrival.

if you haven't found this forum yet, take a look at http://www.twinsclub.co.uk/forumFT//list.php?4

they're great and a super source of info. the fun + trivia section is more lively, but lots of helpful, friendly advice from everyone. good luck and take care.

Mandy21 Fri 06-May-11 14:16:23

Hi there, I think it depends where you are as to what happens at your regular appointments. I think your blood pressure should be checked at midwife / GP / hospital appointments, if not, just ask. The blood tests that are normally done for single babies to detect the possibility of abnormalities are inconclusive for twins (the levels of whatever they look for are increased simply because there are 2 babies) and in my area, they didn't do a nuchal scan, so I had to wait until my 20 week scan to make sure everything was OK. From memory (my twins are 6 now) I was scheduled for scans at 28 weeks and 32 weeks and then as and when depending on how the babies were growing.

I think there is an expectation as you get into the latter stages of the pregnancy - certainly from 26/27 weeks onwards that the babies won't be as big as a singleton at the same gestation simply because they won't have had enough space to grow. I know when I wanted to know how heavy my babies would be at 27 weeks, I was told they'd be less than a single baby at 27 weeks.

As far as vanishing twin syndrome is concerned, it happened to my Aunt but I think (and this is a sweeping statement) that it generally happens around the 6/7/8 week mark (there was 2 heartbeats / sacs at a 6 week scan but only one baby at 10 weeks) so I would say that you are nearly out of the danger zone. I wouldn't worry though, there is nothing you can do so you will drive yourself silly if you start getting anxious.

I would also second the advice about a) finding your local twins group - I loved, loved, loved mine just because everyone there knew exactly how hard it was to start with (and also because they always had lots of helpers so I could always manage a coffee - sometimes didn't get the chance at other baby groups!) and b) try to join an antenatal class. I didn't have any classes with my twins but I did with Number 3 and its made a real difference - I wish I'd have had that support group of meeting up every week just to look forward to.

And finally, I'm a twin, I have twins and now know alot of twin mums - I don't know anyone who regrets having twins even if it is quite hard work sometimes. Good luck (and HUGE congratulations)!

PeelingmyselfofftheCeiling Fri 06-May-11 17:46:43

Thanks so much everyone for all your posts.

I think my choices are going to be quite limited because I live in a fairly isolated area, so the healthcare will be just what I'm offered (although I'm quite happy to stand up for myself if needs be and wouldn't rule out travelling for more choice in care), so no picking my consultants unfortunately. I can't even find any multiple support groups online anywhere near my area, but hopefully they'll be some I can access once I've met the relevant people at the hospital.

I am still baffled by anyone's reluctance to take my blood pressure, but then again it was probably through the roof yesterday so maybe that's a good thing! grin

I trying not to panic about the fact that in my head at least it means double the risk. Adopting a 'one week at a time' policy also seems to lessen the panic about having two actual miniature human beings here in six months time!

Just one more quick question - I'm not supposed to be taking double doses of folic acid am I?

2tigersmum Fri 06-May-11 20:01:44

no, i wouldn't have thought you'd need to double dose on the folic acid... by wk 11, what's done is pretty much done. babies will be going into the growing bigger phase iykwim.

the twinsclub.co.uk site has a search facility for local twins/multiples groups - maybe that might unearth a group local to to you? or you could try tamba.org.uk i'm sure you'll be /have been trawling the net non-stop anyway... smile don't forget nearly new sales (nct ones are v good in our area) to get all your baby gear - twice. they'll save you a fortune.

PrincessScrumpy Sat 07-May-11 12:15:01

I'm expecting id twins (20w - just about over the shock). They took my bp at my 16w appointment with the consultant. He told me to go to my mw the following week as planned as it's the last time I'll see her - under full consultant care now. I've just had 20w scan so now I will have scans every 2 weeks and see consultant straight after each time. I think it's less regular if they're non ID. Often one baby is bigger than the other but there's only really a rist if they share a placenta (don't think they do if non-id). Mine do share one but weigh 10 oz each - which is great news as far as twin to twin transfusion goes.

I think you're out of the woods for vanishing twin syndrome. I found out at 7w we were having twins and was terrified about this, but sonographer said it's usually if they haven't seen a strong heart beat or babies are very different sizes that this is a risk.

Not sure why a poster suggested private care - I'm being so well looked after and am having a cs at 37w (if they stay put that long).

They will probably give you iron supplements - standard with twins. Eat lots of fruit and orange juice helps the body absorb iron.

london11 Sat 07-May-11 13:05:53

Congratulations on your twins smile

I had non id twin boys in June 09 and had great midwife/consultant nhs care. I seem to recall being told that the tests for downs syndrome etc would automatically result in a higher risk % just because there is 2 babies but i still had very low risk. When I had the nuchal fold scan I had a specialist midwife present who was explaining the options should the results of any tests being high risk.

I dont know anything about vanishing twin syndrome but I would assume the risk for this has passed by 11 weeks, try not to worry and avoid googling too much!

The twins will grow at much the same rate as a singleton baby until around 26/28 weeks when they start to run out of room. You will measure approx 10 weeks ahead of a singleton pregnancy by the end of your pregnancy smile

I imagine the midwife/consultant will check your blood pressure at the next appt. I had scans at 28 weeks/32 weeks and 36 weeks to measure growth and had steroid injections at approx 32 weeks to help mature the babies lungs in case they were born early.
As it happens they were born at 37 weeks 5 days weighing 7lb 7oz and 7lb 3oz!

I agree with the suggestion to find your local twins club - your midwife may know. They were very helpful with information, loan books and equipment, run twins groups and offered specialist antenatal courses all geared toward twin pregnancy/birth/babies.

TAMBA is also well worth joining, www.tamba.org.uk, lots of info and advice and they offer discounts for various retailers.

Meanwhile, try not to panic too much smile twins really are great - double the hugs and smiles and you get to choose 2 names!

restingkitty Sat 07-May-11 16:37:50

Hi Peeling congratulations on your twin pregnancy!

Certainly at 11 weeks I felt much the same. In particular I also did plenty of reading on vanishing twin syndrome. I took comfort in the fact that, after the 11/12 week scan, most people are fine, and most babies are fine. I remember going to a Tamba session and coming out feeling like having two babies is the most normal and natural thing in the world. I'm now over 34 weeks into my first pregnancy (we're having DCDA twins) and I think it would feel strange now to "only" be pregnant with one!

Lots of good advice here - I would definitely recommend eating well, drinking lots of water, resting when you can. My MW said that only one dose of folic acid is required; I was advised to take extra calcium but nothing else. Do consider starting maternity leave earlier than you otherwise might have done. Try not to consult dr google too much.

I think my (NHS) care was "standard" (ie as singleton) up to the 20 week scan. After that I was booked in for further growth scans at 28/32/36 but no additional MW appts, since I have no complications other than the twin factor. In this respect I have found NHS care perhaps a bit sketchy - my first appt with my consultant is at 36+5! - but I'm taking this to mean that the three of us are doing well.

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy. MN has been great for twin pregnancy advice - I have learnt a lot!

BrassicaBabe Mon 09-May-11 07:45:36

"Try not to consult dr google too much"
LOL restingkitty I agree. Although don't always manage it grin

restingkitty Mon 09-May-11 08:45:49

me neither! smile

HoolaHooper Tue 10-May-11 09:20:40

congratulations! Twins are hard work but totally fab and worth it.

My care was the same as for a singleton up to 20 weeks then I had 4 wkly scans and consultant appointsments and saw the local mw in the middle of those appts. I did go to a twin night at my hospital but my ante-natal was just the local one.

I tihnk twins can be reasonably sized compared to singletons - mine were 5lb6 and 7lb4 - in the scans they had measured pretty much as average on the charts.

I would second thinking about stopping work earlier. No 1 twin was breech for me so I had a planned section at 38 wks which is fairly standard I think (although had they been head down they'd have let me go 40 wks and try naturally). I took the whole pregnancy very easy and stopped work at 29 weeks - i was quite big and knackered with commuting tec and not sleeping at nights by then.

Oh and I don't think there is any higher risk of abnormality just cos its twins.

PeelingmyselfofftheCeiling Tue 10-May-11 10:38:53

Thanks all. I work for myself, mostly from home, so hopefully I can be a bit flexible on that front. Although I have just looked at the cost of childcare for twins in order for me to go back to working something like full-time, and HOLY CRAP WE'RE GOING TO STARVE!

I'm struggling with eating and drinking healthily at the mo as nothing seems to want to go down, but hopefully that will get easier in a couple of weeks.

The one thing I'm really not sure about is how and when to tell people. Lots of my friends announced their single pregnancy after their first scan, but apart from our mums we haven't really told anyone yet. Partly because I'm in shock and partly because I don't know how to mention the twins factor - it feels like so much more could go wrong. But equally I'm going to get bigger rapidly and may need to stop work or certainly tone it down earlier, so I probably need to have a chat with my main contractors sooner rather than later.

How did everyone else handle this? I've basically turned into a complete hermit to avoid seeing people, which isnt' good as I'm giong to need some friends around here!

BrassicaBabe Wed 11-May-11 10:47:19

Yes, I looked at childcare costs with twins a few weeks ago. My head is now firmly back in the sand now! grin

We told family about the pregnancy at 10 weeks. And about the twins when we found out oursleves at the NT scan at 11 weeks. So we told everyone else at about 12 weeks. I found telling people helped me to get my head around the idea. Enjoy!

ipswichwitch Thu 12-May-11 12:27:12

just found out yesterday at 12 wk scan that i' m actually 14 wk preg with twins! to say we still in shock is putting it mildly, but we are thrilled to bits at the same time. i like the "take one week at a time" approach, esp since we've been told that since we're expecting ID twins, we have more scans than average. got one about 16 wks, 20 wks 23wks so far, but i have been told that it depends on wether your twins are ID or non-ID as to how many scans and what care pathway you follow, plus one of our is bigger than the other so they want to monitor that carefully. i'm telling everyone now and think it does help get your head around it. OH works with an ID twin so probably grilling him today on all matters twin-related smile
certainly not going anywhere near looking at childcare costs right now, my blood pressure is normal and i wanna keep it that way for as long as possible :O
congrats to all you other ladies, i'm just gonna buckle up and enjoy the ride!!!

Deesus Thu 09-Jun-11 19:08:31

Hi everyone and congrats on the double trouble joy!

Just wanted to ask a silly question...in hindsight did any of you have any inkling that you were expecting twins before the scan confirmed it? Am just curious smile

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