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Arrgh - fed up of being considered "high risk".

(12 Posts)
Frangipani74 Wed 13-Aug-08 15:39:49

I'm really excited that I'm expecting twins, but thoroughly fed up with consultants who always make a point of telling me that my twin pregnancy is high risk. They're always full of doom and gloom and worst case scenarios, which just makes you anxious about the whole pregnancy and the birth.

Of course I don't want to bury my head in the sand about the risks, but I don't want to be constantly reminded. I know births don't always follow the nice little plans that we make, but there must be loads of multiple mummies out there who have been fortunate enough to have had relatively uneventful pregnancies followed by natural births.

I'd love to hear some encouraging stories to cheer me up after yesterdays antenatal appointment.

Drovette Wed 13-Aug-08 16:07:12

Well hello! And congratulations on your news! You must so excited, and rightly so. I think it's a very special thing to experience (my twin girls are now 4 months). So, in answer to your question, I was lucky to have had a completely normal pregnancy, with nothing more than some morning sickness up to about 14 weeks, and sheer exhaustion (partly due an iron deficiency, and partly just due to carrying two babies!!) for last few months. I am a worrier by nature, and, like you, worried about having a 'high risk' pregnancy, but honestly, just try and keep things in perspective, and focus on the much much greater possibility of everything being ok. I know, it's easier said than done, but I have done it myself, and if you try hard enough to control your thinking, you can do it!! Although there are far fewer multiple mums than singleton ones, there are LOADS of us!!! As you can see on this website! The birth for me was a planned c/s, but only because I'd already had one emerg c/s before, and one of my babes was breech, but I've heard of soo many mums having natural births with twins; I just hope you get the support you want. I had a superb ob/gyn who was so calm and relaxed. And it can be done. Your body is capable of amazing things! My advice to you, even as someone who is really good at worrying unnecessarily, is not to worry about things unless you really have a reason to. Just be aware of stuff without worrying yourself about it all! Good, good luck! p.s. how many weeks are you? xx

jennyroper Thu 14-Aug-08 19:51:22

congratulations frangipani74 that's amazing. i am 23 wks pregnant with id twins and have a homebirth planned. Just ignore the doom and gloom and do lots of research for yourself so you can find out what the risks really are and the myriad ways you can help. Eat LOTS of veggies, protein and a balanced diet and drink masses of water. Nutrition is the absolute key I reckon. Iam reading an amazing book called Having Twins by elizabeth noble. she talks about why twins are higher risk and it really puts your mind at ease. I'm not a worrier and get fed up with the negative comments. Most people look horrified when i say i'm having a homebirth but i feel happy and confident and relaxed about it.
Get armed with info and your anxiety will go.

Frangipani74 Fri 15-Aug-08 14:16:00

Thanks for the encouragement.

jennyroper, congratulations to you too. Sounds like a useful book, I'll have to get hold of it. I had planned a homebirth, before I knew I was having twins. When I asked if this would still be ok with having twins my midwife nearly had kittens and convinced me I should be at the hospital. We live just over 30mins from hospital otherwise I might have stuck with the idea of homebirth.

Are you having as many scans as hospital are suggesting. I requested not to but the consultant started going on about how one might be significantly smaller, or what if one died etc, he didn't quantify how great such risks were, but he made me feel like I was being irresponsible for not going along with what I was told was best. I've been trying to find out what the statistics are for sucessful vaginal deliveries for twins but haven't managed to find anything yet.

I also wanted to talk with an experienced midwife at the hospital about my birth preferences before babies arrive, but my local midwife suggested that they would be much too busy to have time to sit and chat with me. It seems going through birth plans is not routine in this area.

For them I'm sure delivering twins is something that they do relatively often, but it seems that they don't appreciate that this is momentous for me, it will be one of the most important days in my life. I don't want it to end up going the same way as my first birth where the 'experts' take over and end up wrenching my babies from my body.

I'm quite a persistant person so I won't give up just yet. Does the book you have give statistical info on the risk involved when having twins? Is if English, American of something else? Where abouts in the world are you?

Well done on sticking to what you want, I'm sure being at home will be the most relaxing place to have your babies.

jennyroper Sun 17-Aug-08 10:38:04

hey frangipani
like you I got a bit fed up with being told everything was risky and not actually knowing exactly what levewl of risk was involved. I have done quite a bit of research into waht the risks are and what level of risk there is. The Elizabeth Noble 'having twihs' book is definitely something you should read. It is measured and fair when discussing the risks and giving information. It is written by an american lady but she tries to make it as worldwide as possible.
I'm British but live in New Zealand. I'm at home in Lytham in the north of England with my parents and 22 mth old son for 4 months while my husband does up our house in nz.
This website is very useful
It is the association of radical midwives who are big advocates of natural births and women being empowered to make their own decisions. If you look through the references at the bottom of the article and read some of the medical journals they have quite a lot of statistical data which, even though is pretty hard to wade through is really really useful and informative.
It has taken me over 4 months to find a midwife in nz who is happy to do a homebirth. She has been round the block a few times and has delivered lots of twins as well as delivering some of them at home so I feel confident I have the right woman for the job.
I'm quite sure there are lots of midwives who would be more than happy to discuss your birth preferences. I would def ring the maternity ward and ask to speak to a head midwife and arrange to go and see them. You could do some research and find out experienced they are at delivering twins and what their ceasarian rate is for twins.
A lady has just had twins at my local hospital in Tauranga and I know she had a pretty tight birthplan written up. She specified that no peadiatricians or obstetricians were allowed into the room during the labour without the permission of either her, her husband or midwife, she went home immediately after the birth (all being well) and some other things to ensure as natural a birth as possible. My midwife told me that the best thing to do is talk to the obstetricians before the birth about your wishes and get some kind of agreement and relationship with them beforehand or it will be harder to enforce in labour.
As far as lots of scans go - I have had difficulty wityh this one too. Am being scanned every 2 weeks as they identical. Some people have told me not to have so manyt as scans have been linked to lower birth weight and others have said how important it is to keep an eye on potential twin to twin transfusion problems. I think you could ask what each scan is for, there should be a specific reason for each scan. What are they looking for and if they fid it, what are they going to do about it? if it's nothing or 'monitoring' then whay do you need to have it?

The best thing you can do is get in contact with as many midwives and women who have had twins as possible, ask their advice and tips and build up as comprehensive pic as possible. There is absolutely no reason why you can't carry your babies full term (my friend was 41 wks then had natural birth with her twins in Somerset) and have a lovely, natural birth. Nutrition is abolutely key to the healthy babies and natural birth. Eat STACKS of food, all good carbs, preotein, iron and veggies and fruit.
feel free to email me if you'd like to chat more. jennyroper 'at' uk
don't be put off by dour medical staff. you can take control of your own body and life!

frumpygrumpy Mon 18-Aug-08 19:32:37

Oooh, don't know how we missed this!!!!

We have a daily thread of multiple always begins "D'y ever wonder......." we take it in turns to fill in the last bit. We meet there in good, bad and ugly times (hourly) and try to support each other with wine and laugh as much as we can grin Please join us!!!!! We have mums of twins, mums of twins plus more, mums of triplets, mums of triplets and twins.......we're awaiting the quads hmm..........<<whispers>> and I'm not putting myself forward for THAT one!!!!!

Its NOT all doom and gloom. Maybe high attention pregnancy....but not always high risk IMHO. I have a fantastic twin pregnancy (after the horrific sickness grin) when I felt really, really healthy and was overdue! Lovely birth too.

here we are, welcome in....

Frangipani74 Tue 19-Aug-08 12:40:56

Hey frumpygrumpy, tell me about your lovely birth, I need to here some encouraging stories. Thanks for invite to other thread.

Thanks again jennyroper for your support. I've made a bit of progress regarding speaking to a midwife, my local mw is trying to arrange for me to speak to a mw and a cosultant/manager up at the Norwich hospital. I'm hoping to be able to get a copy of their twins protocol and discuss my birth preferences to see if there are any points of conflict between the two that we can iron out before hand. My local mw told me that this wasn't the normal thing to do, everyone was too busy to provide this sort of individual care, and that any one, or rather two of sixty mws could be delivering my baby. What a lovely personal service!

The radmid website has some good stuff on it, thanks for that, I haven't had a chance to check out the stats yet, but I'll have another look when my little one is asleep.

It's so hard to know what to do regarding the scans, There are risk involved in having scans, although so far not enough research has been done to suggest how great the risk is. And then there are risks if you don't get scanned and again no one is able to tell me how great these risk are either. I'm finding it hard to make a properly informed decision. My mw told me if I don't go ahead and have the number of scans specified by the hospital then she has to 'involve' her seniors. It's all so fear based, if I don't do as I'm told their worried that they'll cop the blame if something did go wrong, so they worry you with risks that they are not able to quantify.

I read the other thread you'd started about home births, it's brilliant that you've managed to find an experience midwife so close to home that can deliver your babies.

Well enough of my ranting, I'll get hold of a copy of the Having Twins book and hopefully that will fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge.
thanks again

Porty Fri 19-Sep-08 22:28:17

So excited to hear about the twin home births - I desperately wanted one but couldn't time-table in the midwives, there just aren't enough out there!

All I would say is that as long as you are well informed and assertive with the consultants they back off with all the risk talk (unless of course there really is an issue in your particular case).

I carried mine until 40 weeks with no problems whatsoever though I ended up in hospital as I had no choice. Inevitably really, I had a very long stop start labour and in the end a c-section despite the fact that I and they were fine. But on the plus side, they were 7.5 and 8lbs and I breast-fed them both for ages.


jennyroper Sat 20-Sep-08 09:15:00

thank you porty
wow that's really impressive you carried them for 40 weeks and got them so big. I have high hopes of doing the same. I have a really good friend who carried hers to 41 weeks and they were both between 7lb and 8lb.
When I went for my last scan both babies were above average size even for a single baby at the same stage so I feel relieved that the mere mountain of yoghurt/peanut butter/cereals and other stuff I'm powering through is helping their weight so much.
I wonder if other pregnant mums with multiples are the same - my capacity to put away vast amounts of food is staggering. I'm not starving all the time, I can just keep going and going with ease.
Am in London for the weekend without my 2 year old son so have been to H and M to stock up on maternity clothes. It is practically impossible to buy them in New Zealand.
have you spoken much to Norwich hospital and found out what their views are on twin births?

snorris Sat 20-Sep-08 09:39:35

Hi,my twin pregnancy was fairly uneventful. I did have some bleeding early on but that also happened in my first pregnancy (singleton). I was prepared for an early birth but only because that's what everyone expects! The babies grew well,I felt well and a lot of people were surprised I was carrying twins grin. I did have an e/cs at just over 37 weeks but that was because the presenting twin was breech (and they mixed up the dates so it was done a little bit earlier than normal). They weighed 6lb 8oz & 7lb 3oz so I am relieved they didn't get much more growing time wink- I'm convinced that they would have still been in there at 40 weeks! I was ill afterwards but I'm sure that I picked up something in hospital. I managed to b/f them for a few months too. My biggest regret is not having Mumsnet at the time! grin

lulururu Sat 20-Sep-08 10:58:36

hi jennyroper

slight hijack here - electronic with new name here. good to see you are still ticking along well with your twin pregnancy. since you are finding it hard to get some good maternity clothes in nz heres some links to stores that have good stuff that i used while i was pregnant - although if you're still in the UK, maybe a good time to stock up on the AMAZING isabella oliver maternity clothes - sigh, they were so nice. shame they're so stretched out of shape now!!


Frangipani74 Sat 20-Sep-08 21:33:29

Hi jennyroper

How are you? How many weeks are you now?
I'm 30wks today and have my next hosp appt on tuesday, so I will make sure I have all my questions ready for the consultant.

I did manage to speak to a midwife on the phone and she read through a bit of the hospital's protocol regarding twins.
I can't find the notes I scribbled on what she said, but the it seems that they prepare you for worst case scenario, ie they expect you to be constantly attached to a monitor, they insert the thingy in your hand ready to link you up to drip, there were more things that I wasn't entirely happy about but I can't remember at the moment.

My aim is to be able to get on with it with minimal interferrence. We'll see how it goes Tuesday.

Oh, I managed to get Elizabeth Noble's book cheap off ebay, it's very informative, thanks for the recommendation. I'm following the advice and trying to eat heaps, particularly, fruit, veg and protien. Last couple of weeks I've been feeling a bit run down and eating has just become a chore, I struggle to find anything that actually appeals. I swear my bump is getting bigger but I haven't put on any weight for a few weeks now. Well I'm off to rummage in the fridge, hope all's well with you.

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