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34 week twins

(55 Posts)
sammylou1 Sun 22-Jan-17 16:49:56

Hi all

My twin girls are due to be delivered at 34 weeks, and at last scan (30 weeks) were at estimated weights of 2lb13 and 2lb14. They're not going to be big babies, I'm hoping for almost 4lb each but perhaps I'm being overly optimistic?

I'm really just looking for people with similar experiences to share their stories. I just don't know what to expect and quite frankly am terrified for them. X

sammylou1 Mon 23-Jan-17 08:08:34

Anyone?

MrsGB2015 Mon 23-Jan-17 08:15:15

Are there any groups for parents with multiples near you?
Sorry I can't help much, but wanted to bump the thread.
Hope ever goes well for you and your babies!

Twinkletowedelephant Mon 23-Jan-17 08:20:27

The estimates are just that estimated.... My 'small' twins were delivered at 5lb...And 7lb

Rest eat and sleep the last few weeks is when they start piling on the pounds xxx

Good luck with you new arrivals

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 23-Jan-17 08:21:15

Not twins but I had my baby at 32 weeks, spent 3 weeks in SCBU and came out when he hit 4lbs, his birth weight was 3lb 9.

He was 7lbs on the day he was supposed to be born so caught up really quickly and is 15 now and 6ft 2 and strong as an ox.

xxx

neonrainbow Mon 23-Jan-17 08:22:53

Hey congratulations on your twins! My twins were born at 31 weeks after a spontaneous labour and emcs. They're still in SCBU, the doctors always say to all the patents that they should be released by their due date. Mine were just over 3lb when born and they look so tiny but the weight doesnt really seem to be the important bit. The most important bit is maturing their lungs. Have you been offered steroid injections to help mature their lungs? May not be needed at 34 weeks im not sure. It's not great with them being stuck in hospital and me being here but if your babies only issue is that they're small then once they learn to feed and put some weight on them hopefully your journey will be a short one. Think about how you want to feed and if you want to bf i would start researching now as bf preemies is different to bfing full term. Pm me if you like.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 23-Jan-17 08:26:22

Before they are delivered go and see the SCBU so it's not such a shock on the day.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 23-Jan-17 08:27:57

Lungs mature at 32 weeks iirc so before then you have that stuff injection, so hopefully the OP won't need it.

TheScottishPlay Mon 23-Jan-17 08:30:03

Not twins but DS was deivered at 33/6. He weighed 4lbs 2oz. It was an unplanned emergency CS as I developed pre-eclampsia. He scored 9/10 on Apgar. Had 2 days on oxygen. The tubes, alarms etc in SCBU will confuse and petrify you to begin with but staff will allay your fears.
DS was 2 weeks old when we took him home. He hit his milestones eg sitting up, crawling 6 weeks later than peers which is important to you at the time. Don't let thoughts about it not being the way it was meant to be overtake you. That will become irrelevant very quickly.
DS has just turned 13. He's 5' 7''. Does well at school, friends, sporty etc.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 23-Jan-17 08:31:46

** steroid not stuff- stupid phone!

MiniMaxi Mon 23-Jan-17 08:43:58

Not twins but our son was born at 33+6.

Our experiences, obviously every case is different but hopefully this will help set the scene, prepare and reassure you.

(NB: I had a placental abruption which was the reason for early delivery - his size was pretty good at 5lbs.)

First things first: he is now 22 weeks, is doing amazingly well, and is a great size for his corrected age (just below 50th centile). There's every reason why your twins should thrive too.

Some bits and bobs:

- I was given a steroid injection the week before to help boost his lung development. Ask about this if they've not done it already.

- He needed 2 days in the NICU with help breathing, feeding and an antibiotic drip. The staff were amazing and we could visit him whenever we wanted to.

- We stayed in hospital on the postnatal ward for 2 weeks after he was born as he could only leave when he could feed enough by himself (up to then he was supplemented by a feeding tube which the midwives had to help with). It was quite stressful not knowing how long we would be there because nobody told us most babies don't have a good suck reflex until 35-36 weeks. Prepare to be in hospital for a couple of weeks: bring books, magazines, plus whatever you need to be comfy.

- Nobody told me I should start hand expressing ASAP after delivery (as he went straight to NICU after a C section) - that + stress + prematurity may have been a factor in almost zero milk supply so he's been formula fed since birth which wouldn't have been my choice. If it happens to you please don't worry, he was on prescribed Nutriprem 2 formula which is great.

- Once you're home, if bottle feeding try the Dr Brown's preemie bottles. They're fab.

Hope all goes really well for you. Let us know how it goes and feel free to ask any questions you have. flowers

MiniMaxi Mon 23-Jan-17 08:51:00

Suppose I should say SCBU rather than NICU!

Another thing: he was discharged onto the ward with me as he no longer needed so much support and they needed the bed in SCBU. I got a post op infection so needed to be there anyway.

If your babies are in SCBU for longer and you are fine, you may be discharged first. Some hospitals have rooms for parents to stay - ask about that.

Otherwise there is a transitional ward for mums and/or babies who need ongoing care. Dads can sometimes stay too.

Which area are you in OP?

neonrainbow Mon 23-Jan-17 08:57:36

Yes mini to hand expressing. I didn't start until hours later, may have been the next day. You have to start within a couple of hours after the birth, read up online so you know how to do it before the event and you won't have to wait for a midwife to explain it to you. Through sheer bloody mindedness i managed to express for 3 weeks which was given to them in their tubes but my milk never came in so they're on nutriprem and they're doing amazingly.

MiniMaxi Mon 23-Jan-17 09:07:46

3 weeks! Nice one neon smile

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 23-Jan-17 11:09:12

I didn't start expressing until a few days after birth as I'd been in intensive care myself, so it's different for each person.

dontstopmovin Mon 23-Jan-17 12:14:53

DS was born at 34 exactly after my waters broke at 33 weeks. I was given 2 steroid injections as soon as my waters broke to help his lungs mature, definitely worth asking about. He was born by emergency c section and weighed in at 4lbs 8oz. He needed help breathing for a couple of days (CPAP) and was in an incubator for about a week while he learned to maintain his body temperature. He was fed through a tube for a couple of weeks while I expressed at 3 hourly intervals (hand at first then with a pump), then eventually he developed his suck reflex and started to BF but with formula tops as he wasn't gaining weight quite as quickly as the Drs hoped for. In total we were in SCBU for 17 days until he could feed properly and reached 5lbs in weight. It was hard work but you'll get through it with the support of the SCBU staff who are absolutely amazing, I cannot speak highly enough of them, they taught us how to confidently care for DS and looked after us emotionally too, don't be afraid to ask them anything at all. One thing I wish I had done was keep a diary as it would have been amazing to show DS when he's older. Despite the rough start DS is now the most lively, active 14 month old, he's hit all his milestones (some by his corrected age and some by his actual age!) and has now caught up weight wise and is on the 25th centile for his actual age. Good luck OP, just take it one day at a time, will be thinking of you flowers

dontstopmovin Mon 23-Jan-17 12:21:10

Forgot to say, if you have any questions please feel free to ask or pm me.

MyWhatICallNameChange Mon 23-Jan-17 12:22:58

My twins were born at 35 weeks. They weighed 4lb 12oz & 4lb 13oz. They needed help breathing for a couple of days, and were tube fed till they got the hang of breastfeeding. We were in hospital for 10 days, I'd had a c-section so was recovering from that. I expressed milk as soon as I could for them to have in the tube, but they had formula too.

The staff in SCBU were lovely and supportive.

They're 12 now so it was a while ago!

Wishing you all the best.

AndNowItsSeven Mon 23-Jan-17 12:26:34

Steroid injections for lungs are still given at 34 weeks.
Op my twins were born spontaneously at 34 weeks. Spent three weeks in SCBU although they had previously undiagnosed TAPS. They weighed 3lb12 and 4lb2.

2014newme Mon 23-Jan-17 12:33:04

My twins were born at 33 weeks. I can't remember what they weighed! It was under 4lb I think. Were in hospital for a month. You would never know now that they were early and they aren't the smallest at school.
Congratulations and good luck 🍀

neonrainbow Mon 23-Jan-17 14:07:56

Thanks mini! smile i had to stop for my own mental wellbeing but I'm proud i got a few weeks.

DustingOffTheDynastySuit Mon 23-Jan-17 14:16:53

My two were born at almost exactly where you are now. 30 weeks, and 2.13 and 3.03. They were in for seven weeks and DS gave us a couple of scares, but it was all fine and they had exemplary care.

More importantly, and this is what I could not find when i was in your position, they are now five, and healthy as horses.
DD has an inhaler because she had a lot of chest infections when she was little and could get wheezy, but now it is managed, she has got through this winter without a day of school so far (whereas I've had bugs for weeks!). She is still a skinny minny but is super strong and fit and sharp as a pin.
DS had some hearing issues which have been resolved with grommets, and otherwise has no heath issues at all. He is robust, sporty (over last weekend he did 2 football sessions, a tennis club, trampolining club, and went for a bike ride and a swim for fun!), and his reception teacher adores him.

So basically what I'm saying is you might have a stressful few weeks, but the outcomes can be so good. Stay strong. And echo all the advice above - go and see the NICU/SCBU, push for steriod injections, plan for early arrivals, and get set up for expressing/premmie breast feeding if you can as it makes a big difference. Good luck x

Alicekeach Mon 23-Jan-17 16:32:55

My twins were born at 29 weeks and weighed less than 3lb each.

I don't have much to add to the very good advice already given. I had the same experience as MiniMaxi and Neonrainbow with regard to expressing. I managed to keep going for five weeks but only every produced tiny amounts so they were topped up with donor breast milk and formula. They are now on nutriprem and absolutely thriving. Basically with premature twins you do whatever gets you through!

Bliss have a good website and produce useful booklets that explain what happens on the neonatal unit. I found our booklet when we got home from hospital - DH had packed it away so I'd not seen it in the early days when it would have been most helpful!

MiniMaxi Mon 23-Jan-17 20:16:43

Oh a couple more things for later on... In no particular order:

As a pp has said you might feel like your twins are a bit "behind" developmentally (compared with other babies born at the same time). Just try to stay focused on their due date and consider development based on that. For example, our son smiled at 12 weeks - 6 weeks later than normal, but he was 6 weeks early!

Also, once you get the twins home, expect them to mostly eat and sleep right up til around their due date. Then they'll change and start behaving more like a "normal" new born. You might even literally notice them "wake up" around that time as if they've just been born grin

Cuddle them as much as possible, as soon as you are able to! Slings could be good but you need to make sure the one you get is suitable for premature babies.

Finally (until I remember something else...!), please try not to stress too much - it will feel overwhelming but you will get through it. Before you know it you'll forget they were even premature! smile

sammylou1 Mon 23-Jan-17 20:39:45

Wow, thank you everyone!

They have said I'll be having the steroids. I'll know a more definite plan after our 32 week appointment.

I've seen the breast feeding specialists and am due to start hand expressing at 32 weeks to get a bit of a supply going.

Thank you for all the positive stories of you children now they're older, very reassuring.

We will ask for a tour of the nicu/scbu so we're more prepared.

I've been burying my head in the sand for weeks to be honest as we were diagnosed and treated for ttts at 22 weeks and I didn't believe I'd ever get this far. It's suddenly dawned on me that I really should get myself prepared for their arrival!

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