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31+4 with DCDA twins and just looking for a bit of companionship during the countdown...

(237 Posts)
legallyblond Wed 31-Jul-13 17:07:12

.... That's it really!

I have an almost 3 yo DD (she'll be 2.11 if they arrive when anticipated) and am still working full time (10 hour days as a lawyer) and, just this week, the exhaustion has hit. I'm planning to work until 34 weeks and have an elcs booked for 37+3.... It feels a long way away!

I am starting to get nervous about it all (I have been nervous throughout though!):

- nervous about bf - I ebf DD until we did baby led weaning and then carried on bf until she was 2, but a bit scared it won't work with 2, also becasue no sign of leaking colostrum and much smaller boobs than last time... and I never pumped or gave DD a bottle (of either my milk or formula - she was a total boittle refuser), so will be clueless (and disappointed that I'm not giving them the same as DD) if bf doesn't work or they're in NICU...

- nervous they'll be permature - I really, really want to make it to 36 weeks at least and would LOVE for them to just wait until the elcs date (for practical reasons like childcare too!). I had a "scare" at 23/24 weeks when my cervix was v short so I had a cervical stitch to prevent them coming. It did the job (my cervix doubled in length and has stayed long) so I am VERY grateful for getting this far, but stilll.... I dread the thought of NICU...

- nervous about the elcs and the recovery - I had a natural birth last time (albeit with an episiotomy, so recovery wasn't a bed of roses) so have no idea really... plus there's DD.. eek! I have chosen elcs becasue (a) they're transvers and breech now; and (b) in any event, I am uncomfortable about the potentially avoidable risks of an induction gone wrong... (that is despite being induced with DD at 40+12 and it being ok - G&A only and episiotomy the only real complication)..

- nervous about life with a toddler and twins. Need I say more? Still, I keep telling myself, I know what to do with one, so worst case, I just do everything twice, right??? In a sense, I feel pretty confident about my mothering ways (basically the opposite of Gina Ford I'm afraid!), but do keep hearing everyone saying how awful it will be with twins and how I MUST get a routine. I actually loved the newborn stage with DD and found it pretty easy (bf was great for me), so I am nervous that my bubble is about to be burst...

I guess all this is normal but just wanted to vent / share! Plus share the ride with those in a similar position....

andadietcoke Wed 31-Jul-13 21:46:45

I'll join you! I'm 34+1. Finishing work on Friday and don't have anything sorted - bags aren't packed, still haven't got a steriliser/bottles etc, or the sleepyhead nests they'll sleep in instead of Moses baskets in one cotbed.
I still have no idea what kind of birth I'll be having, whether I have any choice, or when it'll be - keep getting told it will all depend on the babies' positions at 36w scan, but even though Twin 1 was cephalic at 32w it sounded like they were trying to sell me an ELCS. I'd like to have them before 38w based on the NICE guidelines and my biggest worry at the moment is that they'll say no to that. I'm also worried I'll go into labour before the scan and there will be no plan in place and I'll have no idea when to go in etc. Can you tell I like a plan?!

Linguaphile Thu 01-Aug-13 07:58:38

I'm 33+1 with DCDA girls and am also worried about the end bit. Would like to try for a natural birth if possible, but also want to have them no later than 37/38 weeks as per NICE guidelines. Ideally it would be nice to just go into labour at 37 weeks as induction seems to often end up in an EMCS. I've been a little frustrated with my consultant--she won't even talk me through birth plan options until 36 weeks... which seems odd to me with all the talk about early labour with twins!

Hospital bag is packed and everything is more or less ready, but I can't really imagine what it's going to be like having actual babies around!

andadietcoke Thu 01-Aug-13 14:37:06

linguaphile I'm so glad it's not just me! I went for a hospital tour this week and realised very acutely how little I was prepared for what was going to happen as they keep telling me they'll discuss it at 36w.
I'm open to either mode of birth, but am worried about EMCS after delivering one vaginally. If given the choice, at the moment, I'd probably go for an ELCS but for me the main thing is the 38w, especially as DH is a teacher and has been told he can't take paternity leave the first week of term which is my 39th week!!

legallyblond Fri 02-Aug-13 08:13:46

I would find that so difficult, having no plan! I guess I have been lucky. I pushed my consultant to discuss with me at 23 weeks... Initially, I think he thought I was pushing because I would be v pro having a natural birth and he was reluctant to discuss, but as soon as I started asking about risks of each and it sort of emerged that, given the possibly avoidable risks (I'm a lawyer!) I'd probably opt for an elcs, he was v open to the discussion and I've been booked in since 30 weeks... I since discovered that my consultant much prefers elcs, so I suspect things would have been different had I started making noises about wanting a natural birth.... I am still torn tbh, especially as I had DD naturally, so my body "knows how to do it"... But, a bad natural birth with an emcs would be so much worse, I think, than a good elcs.... It's so hard!

Do you have any inking as to what your consultants would favour / recommend? What positions are the babies in now? I do agree that it's a bit mad to leave it so late... I can't remember the stats but it's something like 50% of twins are born before 36 weeks!! Does the hospital do any kind of twin anti natal session? I had one that simply covered the two modes of delivery and what happens in both types if twin birth...

Another day at work today.... Two more weeks to go. Sigh. I would just so love to keep these babies in until their planned day to arrive.....

Also, I'm guessing neither of you have children already? Don't underestimate what your body is doing right now. I can tell you from experience that this is now MUCH harder than a single pregnancy!

legallyblond Fri 02-Aug-13 08:16:10

Oh, andadietcoke, I would be very surprised if they wanted you to go beyond 38 weeks. I've always been told categorically that the guidelines state that I should have them between 37 and 38 weeks. If there is any resistance to that, I would just quote the guidelines to them and demand what you want. I just cannot imagine them saying no!

andadietcoke Fri 02-Aug-13 09:14:05

Thanks legallyblond yes, first babies - whenever anyone asks me how I am I just say I have nothing to compare it to! Last day of work today - will be interested to see whether time speeds up or slows down now!

At the 32w scan Twin 1 was cephalic and Twin 2 transverse. The registrar said that in those positions 'I would have the option for a natural birth' but then went on for a bit about the risks of intervention for Twin 2. I asked whether that meant if I didn't want to pursue 'that option' she would recommend an ELCS and she just said we'll wait and see at 36w. I also asked about being induced and she said they wouldn't let me go past 39w and that the gels took a couple of days to work. I also got the impression that she thought I was desperate for all natural, non-induced and was trying to placate me!

Saying that though, am prepared for the chat about 38w, and if they say no I'm going to ask for it to be written in my notes that I've requested it and they've said no.

No twin ante natal sessions. We went on a TAMBA practical parenting seminar which was good but I'd love to meet other local people who've had twins at my local hospital to talk about their experiences - might try and get to the local multiples group in the next few weeks.

Hope your last two weeks go well, and quickly. I'm definitely ready to finish now, and DH is a teacher so he's off too which is quite nice (for me, not him - he's got an epic 'to do' list!)

Cornwall73 Fri 02-Aug-13 22:16:09

Hello, can I join you too? I'm 35+4 with DCDA twins and booked for an ELCS on the 15th Aug at 37+3 if thy don't come before. The count down is truly on for us. Feeling very heavy now (scan this week estimated each baby at 6lb!) and the heat has taken its toll.

We have done the hospital antenatal one day multiples course which was very much about my health, birth options and stay in hospital, the TAMBA breast feeding course and also the two hr seminar on pg and parenting multiples which usefully covers the first few weeks.

My real concerns are coping in the first few weeks and months. I have never met newborn twins and it has been a very long time since I have been around a newborn baby. I am terrified of reflux and colic and worried I'll panic and have a melt down.

i am really worried about our relationship too. After 15+ yrs of marriage we go from being just two of us and the dog to having two very dependant little things rocking our world!

Cheerymum Sat 03-Aug-13 10:41:24

Can I join? 30+5 with MCDA twins, and a 2 year old already.
Hoping to hang on until 1st Sept, and NICE deadline for MCDA is 37 weeks rather than 38, so they'll be out by mid September.
Hoping for a vaginal delivery as I have already had one. If they were my first, I think I'd go for ElCS, but having discussed at length with my consultant, there's no clear consensus safety wise provided the first is head down, and we are all well. With a history of normal vaginal delivery, she thinks vaginal delivery may be slightly safer for me, though obviously more unpredictable. There are risks with MCDA that don't apply in DCDA twins, and she would be very reluctant to induce me, so if I don't labour spontaneously, I'll probably go with an elective section.
I'll be very monitored if attempting a vaginal birth, and get the epidural in at the first opportunity so we can change plan at the drop of a hat if need be.

Cheerymum Sat 03-Aug-13 10:42:32

I'm also worried about coping with the first few months, and also the impact on our daughter ...

legallyblond Fri 09-Aug-13 18:39:01

Hi Cornwall and Cheery!

Cheery, did I read on another thread that your having a c section soon as a result of poor growth for one or both? Thinking if you lots... Having the babies in nicu or scbu is one of my huge worries what with having DD already and the possible impact on her if I'm in hospital lots.. No words of wisdom but thinking of you. How many weeks are you now?

Hi Cornwall! Try not to worry about your relationship.. I think the change is the same however long you've been together and however many children you have. Its great though!! Not long now!!

chutneypig Fri 09-Aug-13 18:49:54

I hope you don't mind my popping in, as its a few years since I was at that stage. I just wanted to say I had an ELCS with my twins at 37w6 and was very pleasantly surprised how my recovery went. A lot of people had been very negative about how I'd cope after - I think simply not having the enormous bump felt so much easier. The stitches were fine and I needed very little in the way of pain relief.

legallyblond Fri 09-Aug-13 18:58:11

Chutney - that's hugely helpful, thank you!

I am struggling a bit today... Feeling very full of twins (although they're squirming lots, which is nice) and my tummy muscles feel so stretched and achey... Also, I've had sore "bits" (and vulval varicose vein's) from 16 weeks, and they're agony today.

I also have a total stinker of a cold, which I think is the main reason for feeling rotten! Its the kind of cold people call flu because they feel so ill with it!

Sorry to moan! 4 weeks 3 days until c section!

Cheerymum Fri 09-Aug-13 20:06:34

Hi Legally, yes, could be having a section soon. Still watching closely and waiting at the moment ... Just depends how everything goes from here scan-wise and fetal movement-wise. The babies are discrepant sizes, probably either placental insufficiency for one or the beginning of TTT.
Put it this way, I'm keeping my hospital bag in the car just in case, and have had the steroid jabs for lung maturity for the babies in case they have to go for it. Bit stressful, to understate, but I had lots of helpful replies on the other thread from people whose babies were fine at the same gestation as mine (31+4 today, would love to hang on until September, you never know ...)

Cheerymum Fri 09-Aug-13 20:13:56

Hope you feel better soon Legally, ironically I am feeling the best I have all pregnancy!! (Not that that is saying much tbh - this has been a world apart from my previous singleton pregnancy). Glad everyone is generally doing well though. Chutney, glad to know recovery from a c section after a twin pregnancy is ok.

legallyblond Fri 09-Aug-13 21:22:42

Cheery - I imagine "stressed" is an understatement! We thought ours might come at 24 weeks because my cervix was drastically shortening, but I had a cervical stitch under GA and it worked.. Phew. I'm 32+6 now and would also LOVE to make it to Sept. This is also vv different to my singleton preg!

MrsStarwars Fri 09-Aug-13 21:33:37

Hi ladies, my MCDA twins are now 5 years old but reading this thread brings back a lot of memories, all good ones really! My ds1 was 3 when twins were born, he has always been great with them and the only person who could easily tell them apart in the early days! I had an elcs at almost 38 weeks as one was head down but one transverse. It was a lovely experience, probably nicer than the natural birth I'd had with ds1 which ended in massive episiotomy which caused months of trouble. The recovery was fine, I was up an mobile pretty quick afterwards. I was keen to breast feed as I'd fed ds1 for 12 months, luckily the twins were good feeders from the start and we kept going til about 2.5 years.

legallyblond Fri 09-Aug-13 21:41:55

Great story MrsStarwars - thank you!

I also had a significant episiotomy with DD (almost 3) so I try to rake the "recovery from a c section is so terrible" doom mongers with a pinch if salt as, although DD's birth was a v positive experience, I was in pain for weeks afterwards.

I also bf DD (until she was 2) and def plan to bf the twins... Slightly panicking though as not getting any colostrum yet, and I def had it by now with DD..

MrsStarwars Fri 09-Aug-13 21:54:21

Honestly the elcs was so much easier, it helped me to get over all the traumas of ds1's birth. Don't worry about lack of colostrum I didn't get any before the twins were born, but it was definitely there once they started feeding. On the post natal ward the midwife wanted me to express some colostrum to top them up after each feed ( I'd refused to top up with formula and they didn't think babies were getting enough) anyway, I dutifully pumped away and ended up with a massive amount in the bottle, the midwifes were happy and left me alone after that!

twinteresting Sat 10-Aug-13 15:41:08

Hello hello
Can I join? I am a long way behind you - 19+4 with DCDA twins but feel all your concerns about feeding and delivery etc.
At the moment I'm involved in "project nesting part 1" where I try and get everything in the house organised so that when we have official proper help coming in (which I will need with 4 under 5) there is a proper place for everything in the house and everything operating in a military fashion. Have got everything for DC1 ready for school already, name tapes done etc. And just labelled everything that didn't move in the playroom grin]

legallyblond I have 2 DC already and can tell you that toddler and newborn IS much easier than Toddler and being preg.
(I didn't believe when I read it before I had DC2 either)

If she is almost 3 she is old enough to fetch and carry for you and you can get her involved.
Get some DVDS/Start the sky plus box now for some special DVDS that she can watch when you're feeding and also a special box of toys that she can play with just when you're feeding.

Your 24 week story is scary - do you mind me asking how they knew your cervix was shortening???

Thinking of you all ladies.

Linguaphile Sat 10-Aug-13 21:31:16

Andadietcoke, I'm also glad I'm not the only one! Thinking I'm going to need to be a bit firmer and more assertive about questions and concerns with the consultant at this appointment coming up... I feel like every time I come in, they're trying to shuffle me out ASAP because they're too busy for an actual appointment. :/ Keep having dreams that I'm in labour and they just tell me, 'Oh, you'll be fine, it's probably nothing, don't come in'.

Last time I went in, the girls had slowed down growing a bit and were only 3.5 and 3.7 pounds, so I'm partly just wondering if they're doing okay! The receptionist scheduled my 32 week scan a week early and my 34 and 36 week appts a week late, so it's been a month since I've actually been seen. That, combined with the fact that they won't even check growth for another two weeks (so basically, no scan for 6 weeks) makes me rather anxious. Trying not to fret!

andadietcoke Sun 11-Aug-13 08:09:33

lingua I have my 'magical' 36w spot on Tuesday and I'm terrified. Throughout this pregnancy, whenever I've asked questions about the mode of delivery or timing I've been told 'we won't discuss that until 36w when we can see what position they're in'! So it feels like Tuesday will be like the light at the end of the tunnel (I like a plan) but I have the overwhelming feeling that it's not going to be! After all my hospital appts I've never seen the same doctor twice - they've varied from foundation doctors who told me they'd let me go to 40w confused through locums who didn't seem to know the hospital's twin policies, to the ST7 I saw last time who was very vague but implied she thought an ELCS was the way to go (but obviously 'we'll wait and see at 36w' wink). I have a named consultant but I honestly couldn't tell you if they were male or female let alone what they look like!

Most worried about the 38w guideline, and if Twin 2 is still transverse I think I'd prefer an ELCS. Thing is though, I go in all assertive and come out wondering where it all went wrong!!

Cheerymum Sun 11-Aug-13 09:00:54

Andadietcoke that's terrible care. Mine are MCDA so higher risk but for DCDA (that's what yours are I think?) they should scan and see you 4 weekly. My hospital has a dedicated twins clinic which is always consultant-run. We discussed mode of delivery from early on, with the proviso that various criteria needed meeting if I was going to be safe to attempt a vaginal delivery. Given that 1/3 of twins end up bring born before 34 weeks, I think 36 weeks is too late for your first discussion with someone who can counsel you fully about it.
The bottom line for evidence is that if the first twin is head down and everything else is fine, the risks between vaginal delivery and ELCS are equivocal, so you do have a real choice here. Can send you more detail if you like. Small chance if them having to turn the second twin (which requires pain relief) and 5% chance of second twin needing emergency section after vaginal delivery of the first. My plan was vaginal delivery with an early epidural to avoid delays or emergency GA if things went down the wrong path.
However, at the mo, my twins don't look to be doing 100% well so it will be a section for me unless they start to thrive again and I get closer to term. HTH,

andadietcoke Sun 11-Aug-13 12:23:45

Thanks cheery that's really helpful. Yes, they're DCDA. I've had scans at 12, 20, 28 and 32 so far. At the last scan twin 1 was head down but twin 2 transverse so she said that 'I had the option' for a natural birth but there was a high risk of intervention for the second. Will see what they say on Tuesday I guess!

Fingers crossed for your babies. I know how long the gap between scans feels. Mine have always grown at different times/rates though - are they sure there's definitely a problem with the placenta or potential TTTS? My mum keeps telling me that if they were worried about me I'd never be out of the hospital - hopefully the same applies here! When's your next scan?

andadietcoke Sun 11-Aug-13 12:25:28

Sorry cheery, got you mixed up with lingua - flipping hate posting from my phone when I can't scroll down to read PPs!

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