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When to start maternity leave - pregnant with twins

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

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

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

Any advice would be greatly appreciated smile

neversleepagain Mon 17-Jun-13 15:34:34

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

Hope the pregnancy is going well.

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

AprilFoolishness Mon 17-Jun-13 15:46:54

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

AprilFoolishness Mon 17-Jun-13 15:49:08


Spontaneous early delivery at 30 weeks.

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

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

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

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

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

Ah I posted before you got to finish AprilFoolishness

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

neversleepagain Mon 17-Jun-13 16:50:15

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

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

AprilFoolishness Mon 17-Jun-13 16:50:36

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

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

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

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

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

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

stinkingbishop Tue 18-Jun-13 08:48:27

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They sound great, it was worth a try

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always worth a try BlueberryHill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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