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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....

twinteresting Sun 11-Aug-13 17:06:35

I'm due another scan at 24 weeks
Have met with registrar and consultants each time (3 appts at hosp so far)
though Community midwife was very hmm when she saw Epidural = mandatory in my notes.
Again theyre not really looking to discuss method of delivery at this point.
Thinking of you all.

andadietcoke Sun 11-Aug-13 17:17:14

twinteresting funny - the epidural chat is the only one I've had, with about four different HCPs including the registrar and the anaesthetist. I haven't seen my midwife since 16w when she discharged me to hospital mw care.

legallyblond Sun 11-Aug-13 17:34:38

Twinteresting - welcome!

Answering you question.... The short cervix was picked up at my routine 24 week scan (actually at 23 weeks). My consultant, who (by chance I suspect) scanned me himself, is a twins specialist and asked if I would like a cervical length scan (basically a dildo camera!). I said yes and good thing too, as my cervix was 21mm and that's v short for twins. So he booked me in for a stitch on Monday (the scan was on a Fri) and it had shortened to 19/20mm by then. It was tough as the op to do the stitch, which would hopefully stop them coming, could itself trigger early labour.... But all fine!

Andadietcoke... I think in large part because of the cervical stitch, I was seen every 2 weeks by the consultant himself, so lots of opportunities to discuss delivery etc. Now I'm out of the danger zone though, I am back to every 4 weeks, and a diff doctor each time... Always a consultant though. There are only 5 obs consultants at my hospital and I have seen 4 of them now!

Really good luck for Tues.

And Cheery, keep us posted about how your two are doing and what the csection plan is.

Linguaphile Sun 11-Aug-13 18:01:30

Wow Cheery, sounds like you've been getting great care! What hospital are you at? I wish they took me that seriously. Adadietcoke, good luck with your scan on Tuesday! Fingers crossed twin 2 has flipped the right way 'round. After talking with the anaesthetist, I almost wonder if ELCS might be the easiest, safest way for me too, just because it sounds like risks to twin 2 are quite high...

Is there a way to absolutely ensure the NICE guidelines are followed with birth timings? My fear is that I'll get to 36 weeks, go to book an induction /ELCS appt, and then some grumpy receptionist will give me a withering glare when I make the request--how dare I ask for an appointment for just two weeks away when the doctors are obviously busy!--and say they don't have any time to induce me until I'm like 47 weeks.

On a side note, does everyone have names picked out? I'm starting to stress on this as well, sadly. We're still really struggling with a middle name for one of the girls (Philippa is the first, but deciding between family names Winter, Whitt, Eleanor, and Helaine), and with the other we're still going back and forth on spellings (Vivian vs. Vivienne). Opinions welcome. smile

Cheerymum Sun 11-Aug-13 18:12:18

It's ok anda, glad the info was helpful. No definite TTT at the mo, it may all just sort itself out (here's hoping)!

andadietcoke Sun 11-Aug-13 18:51:15

lingua no, not really - it's up to the hospital/department whether they want to follow them as they're 'just' guidelines. If they say no, I'm going to insist it's written in my notes that I've requested to have them by 38w in line with the NICE guidelines, and their reasons for refusing.

I know what you mean about there not being enough slots! 38w for me is the 27th August which is the day after the bank holiday. We have an added complication in that DH is a teacher and has been told he can't take paternity leave the w/c 2nd September. 39w for me is 3rd September but we can't imagine they won't let him take time off for the actual birth. As a result, August would be MUCH better for us, but I'm well aware that will mean bugger all!

andadietcoke Sun 11-Aug-13 18:53:22

Oh, and for names lingua I much prefer Vivienne, but she will have to spell it in full. I think we're going for Sophie and Charlotte but not 100% - even braved the baby names thread today!!

Cornwall73 Sun 11-Aug-13 21:06:52

Goodness, twin pg care differs so much between hospitals! As ours is an IVF pg I had had private scans at 7 and 9 wks so knew it was twins at the NHS booking appt. Our hospital has a level 3 NICU and therefore very geared up for multiples. Thy run a twin clinic every Wednesday with specialist sonographers, midwives and doctors. I was given a written 'pathway' for DCDA twins so could see that as from 20 wks I would be scanned every 4 wks and see a midwife afterwards to discuss results. If there was anything untoward then I would also be able to see a doctor on the same day. The midwives are good but a little 'flighty' and I have been lucky that I have had a very textbook pg to date. I booked all my appts in advance all the way to 34 wks and just had two standard appts with the consultant to discuss birth options. They were supportive of my choice for a c-sec because of anxiety issues. I am booked in for it on Thursday so getting a bit nervous now!

All I can say is that you do your research and state your views and preferences. If you are unhappy in any way express your concerns to the head of the Maternity unit and have everything recorded in your notes. Involve PALS if you have to!

beachesandbuckets Sun 11-Aug-13 21:15:20

Hello Legally,
Here is my tuppence worth having had exactly the same concerns as you and having 'come out the other end' - my twins are now 10 days old. Limited time before they wake up for their sleep feed so apologises if this is short and sweet.
Firstly, so many doom and gloom stories I was told before my babies came along, and my story was that everything ended up being totally straightforward and lovely. So it is possible. I was anxious every day of my pregnancy due to mmc last year and all the twin horror stories but none of my worries became reality.
I was worried about being premature, and was induced at 37+3 days.
I wanted to have a c section, and begged consultant for one. My view was that it was lower risk, more controlled environment etc. I am a lawyer too am slightly anally retentive! My consultant refused, and so glad he did. My inducement worked straight away, twin one was head down, twin two transverse, and had epidural, labour lasted 2hrs, no pain, no stitches, discharged from hospital the following day, managed to walk to the park with all dcs the following day. Transverse baby just moved around and came out head first as soon as twin 1 out and 8 mins later.
If I had had a c section I wld have been in hospital a lot longer and cld not have done things with elder dcs now, problems would have been dealing with dd (2years 11mths) when on potty, picking up babies for feeds etc. If there are no medical reasons against, I would definitely recommended induction (though wouldn't have listened to this advice myself 2 wks ago!).
my consultant wanted me to go to 38wks but put my foot down as worried about stillbirth and demanded 37 weeks (as both babies on 99 centile) and he agreed.
Breastfeeding. I was planning to feed them separately at the start to get latch established (as per advice I had read) but during first night when I hospital I tried them both at same time on twin feeding cushion, and both latched on straight away! Sometimes it works, sometimes one of them falls off the nipple, and have to do one after the other, but so far so good, and not had to top up with formula. I b/fed elder two dcs for a year each. I feed at 10pm, 1pm and 3pm, and still manage to get 6hrs sleep a night. Again can't complain!
Must go now, but will try to post again if I have missed anything

beachesandbuckets Sun 11-Aug-13 21:25:36

Other things I missed.
My boobs were still quite small and no leakage right up to induction, unlike with first two pregnancies, no problem now, milk spraying out!
Names - we didn't have any til 2 days after babies born! Quite embarrassing!
My consultant, at my 36wk appointment, simply rang the labour ward and booked me in for induction the following week. I was getting twitchy that it hadn't been in their diary for months!
I had 2 weekly scans and appointments with same consultant from 30wks, and uncomplicated pregnancy.

Cornwall73 Sun 11-Aug-13 22:13:20

Beachandbuckets, many congratulations, good to hear everything is going so well.

Lingua I prefer Vivienne too. We have had our first names for months (years actually following several losses), we have had a bit of a wobble over one of them but after debating the alternatives we decided we liked the original choice. Second and third names are family names and the real discussion has been around the order.

Cheerymum Sun 11-Aug-13 22:55:41

The reason for the close monitoring for me is that I have MCDA twins rather than DCDA, so there is another whole tranche of risks that relate to the shared placenta rather than it being twins per se.
We are also struggling with names - we only have 1 so far!!

Toddlertwinsmum1 Sun 11-Aug-13 22:57:01

Hi ladies, another twin mum here. Mine are almost 1 now and I have a 3 year old too. Just wanted to say ignore all the people who say 'how will you cope?' Because you'll be fine. I was induced at 38 weeks and had a natural delivery. Twin 1 was head down and twin 2 breech, both good sizes for twins and we were also allowed home the following day. My recovery was also easier than with my first. I am not a routine person at all, so fed on demand and am still feeding now, in the early days I fed them both and the same time if possible - although not in public as its not a great look! ( they both cluster fed in the evenings, so would recommend getting a good twin feeding pillow). Once they stopped feeding so frequently I just fed totally on demand, so usually one at a time.

legallyblond life with twins and a toddler is chaos, but lovely. My 3 year old really loves his brother and sister and they are at the stage now when they like to play with each other, which makes life a lot easier. I had to accept that cbeebies was on more than it was before the twins arrive but I the early days you need to be easy on yourself and do whatever works for you. It still makes me laugh that when you tell people you are pregnant they offer nothing but congratulations, but when you tell them you are pregnant with twins, everyone seems to have a negative comment about how you'll cope.

Congratulations all of you on your extra special pregnancies, just be prepared to be told how you have your hands full about 100 times a day!

Cheerymum Sun 11-Aug-13 22:57:23

Also congrats Beaches, and best of luck for Thursday, Cornwall.

beachesandbuckets Mon 12-Aug-13 01:18:52

Night feed time! Another great thing about having newborn twins, we are treated like celebrities when we have been out. People flock around us, always delighted to see baby twins. Plus elder kids get loads of attention plus many many treats from visitors.
Will have more cbeebies on I am sure, but dcs so far seem delighted with their new babies and have helped bathe them, collected items for me when I am feeding etc.
Forgot to say, in my hospital the policy is for twins to be routinely born in a theatre room adjacent to labour suite (you are transferred their during labour) just in case any intervention is required, plus there are 10 staff required to be in room for twin delivery (2 midwives, 1 doc, one consultant, 1 anethesis per baby). Luckily mine came so quickly that had them in normal labour room with dh and two (very lovely) midwives.
Th lack of information up to my labour was very frustrating. I had to ask ask ask, and am sure my consultant thought I was a pain in the ass. For me, it was huge and life changing experience, for him, I guess just the day job. Most information I got was through my own research, talking to friends with twins, and then i actually rang the labour ward a couple of days before I was induced and asked them to talk me throughout what wld happen, which they did. I thought my consultant wld 'see me through the experience', but he simply popped up to give me some indigestion tablets which I had asked for during my early labour, and again popped in for less than 1 min when I was in room after labour to 'wish me the best of luck' and didn't even so much look at the babies or ask me anything about the labour (he wasn't there).

Cornwall73 Mon 12-Aug-13 05:21:17

Awake since 3am as per usual. Even when I don't have an afternoon nap it always happens! Annoyingly I have caught a cold despite having a ridiculously healthy pg to date and us

Cornwall73 Mon 12-Aug-13 05:33:00

Using public transport etc. dosing myself with paracetamol and fluids but worried that I'll give life to the babies followed by a cold! I just hope I can shift it.

Hmmm I don't know how well I could handle attention when the twins arrive. I am not a chatty person with strangers and just do my own thing and plough forward. I have barely had any comments on my pg, just if twins run in the family which they do but I don't go into any further details. Mind you I have walked the empty buggy round the park so the dog could get used to it and no-one batted an eyelid!

Our hospital has a one day twin antenatal class that was just about birth options and what to expect in the first few days so we got all our info from there.

Cheerymum Mon 12-Aug-13 06:51:16

Poor you, Cornwall, I had a horrible cold during this pregnancy and I know how miserable it is. Even if it hasn't gone completely by the time the babies arrive, your antibodies will protect them so try not to worry too much.
You sound v organised trying out the buggy with your dog!!

HappyAsASandboy Mon 12-Aug-13 07:07:11


I just wanted to post some reassurance smile

My Teins are now nearly 3 years old. I made it to my planned section at 38+1, working long days with a two hour each way commute by car/train/tube/bus until 36 weeks! Some of those twins are just happy to stay in there, so don't believe everything you read or are told.

I breastfed both of mine, despite not feeding them until about 13 hours after the birth (because I didn't realise I should, and nobody told me to, not because of any medical problem hmm ). I fed them until they self weaned recently, at 2 yrs 6 mo and 2 yrs 9 mo. I never got the hang of feeding them together, so fed one then the other in a relentless cycle for the first two months, after which each feed got much quicker and it stopped being my life.

My only advice really is to accept all help, and line some up if you can. If you can make your children your only responsibility by delegating cooking/cleaning/washing/shopping to your partner/relative/paid help then life will be much easier. Also, relax your standards - ready meals can be very useful once the freezer stock has run out, and an hour of peppa pig on loop for your 3 year old wont hurt when you really need some time.

Someone has already mentioned the celebrity factor of twins. If you need to hear some praise and encouragement, head to Tesco! You'll be asked kind questions and told you're doing a marvellous job smile Then head to your local twins club (your local children's centre probably run one) to feel normal again!

Good luck to all of you - I am so envious that you're about to meet your babies for the first time smile

HappyAsASandboy Mon 12-Aug-13 08:17:49

I have come back to add a bit about routine, or rather, lack of routine.

When I was pregnant, I thought if be quite routine focused. I bought the Gina book for twins and I thought about how my days would be. I work in an organised, pressured place, and I thought that following a routine would be easiest.

Once my babies were here, routine never featured! I was astounded by the physical 'need' I had to respond to my babies and how easily I could see their every cue. I think we're basically mammals, and not that different to any other mammal species. So I listened to them and responded, and they set the pattern of the day.

For the first two months, it really was a relentless round of feeding, changing, settling, pick up the other baby, feeding changing, settling, pick up the other baby ..... but after about 10 weeks, patterns were apparent and I could anticipate things a bit more. By 4 months I could form a fairly reliable plan for the day and know when they would nee feeding (and feeding was 10 mins each rather than an hour each by then!).

People often say that I must be very organised. I don't think I am - I am just very anticipatory! Before we leave the house, I've thought through lots of things that might happen and slung anything I'll need to cope in my bag/buggy. Thn whatever happens I have everything I need. I then look like I knew it would happen, hence the orgainsed image, when actually I am just prepared for any of the 20 things that might happen! This is a great skill to master with two babies, because it isn't as easy to improvise with two babies - if you're in a cafe, you can't put the baby on your hip and go to ask for hot water. You just can't carry two babies and go for the water, so you'd have to load them in the buggy, or wait for someone to pass the table, or leave your babies and go by yourself. So it's easier to just have everything you need with you smile It's a skill that comes quickly!

I hope everything goes well for you, that you make it to your scheduled CS date and are able to go either flow and enjoy the early days with your babies smile

Linguaphile Mon 12-Aug-13 09:36:40

Sorry about the cold, Cornwall! sad I'm often awake in the wee SMAs too--usually because my back hurts. It's so annoying when people say, 'Rest up, you're going to need it!' because I can't. I feel like my body is almost training me for the sleepless nights ahead... On a happier note, your c-section is coming up sooooo soon!! Yay for having the babies out and in your arms! So jealous--can't wait to meet ours.

Wow Happy, I'm impressed that you breastfed up until 2.5 years! V encouraging tale of large nappy bag and less routine as well. All good to hear.

andadietcoke Mon 12-Aug-13 13:38:28

Loving the advice from experienced twin mums - thank you for taking the time to share.

I'm now in full-blown pre-scan doom. Have just re-read the NICE guidelines on timing of birth which has just got me even more worked up about what I'll do if they say no to between 37 and 38 weeks because the evidence is so compelling. Argh.

Linguaphile Mon 12-Aug-13 16:05:44

Hey Anda, just went in for my 34 week appt (even though I'm nearly 35 weeks) and they booked me in for my induction, so maybe they'll do yours as well! Our date is 3 weeks from today on Spetember 2nd, when I'll be 37+5, and I'm so pleased we were able to scrape in with September birthdays! Twin 1 is head down and twin 2 is transverse at the moment, but if my final scan next Friday shows anything worrying, they'll just change it to a c-section instead of induction.

Don't worry too much--when I expressed my concerns today, the consultant said they're pretty serious about wanting to get them out before 38 weeks and said that they definitely prefer planned births as it means they're prepared to offer the best possible care. All very comforting!

andadietcoke Mon 12-Aug-13 16:10:12

Linguaphile that's great - good to have a date to look forward to (or work towards!). Wonder what happens when one twin is born in August and one twin is born in September!

I'm anxious because last time I asked I was just told they wouldn't let me go past 39w. Earlier than that has never been mentioned! Hopefully I'm just getting worked up about nothing and I'll have no problems requesting a birth between 37 and 38 weeks. Hate confrontation though...

Linguaphile Mon 12-Aug-13 16:11:46

Oh, forgot to say that when they booked me in, I went into the midwife's office (not to the receptionist) and she not only booked me in but also talked through how it would work, what to expect, etc. Was comforting to have her doing it as she listened to what I wanted regarding timings and such and booked me straight in. She also booked me on for a membrane sweep a few days beforehand to help get my cervix ripen up, which should hopefully lower the chances of needing loads of drugs to get things started.

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