Here’s a little update on the Twincesses (Thanks Megan for the inspiration) or Twinces.
We went in for our 6.5 week ultrasound and that’s when we found out there were 2 in there! We’ve (aka I’ve) learned so so much in these 2.5 weeks.
- Our twins are Monochorionic (one placenta)/ diamniotic (but in 2 separate amniotic sacs). This makes them/me higher risk than abnormal twin pregnancy (about 3/4 of twin pregnancies DON’T share a placenta). They are at risk for unequal nutrient/blood supply sharing (Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome), increased risk of pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, preterm labor, prematurity… the whole lot. Because of this I will get to see a *team* of Doctors. Which leads me to point #2.
- I switched OB physicians. I really loved the midwife at office A. She was cool, down to earth, but when she saw the twins she not only acted like twins were totally normal but that Mono/Di twins were completely safe and normal pregnancies AND that I wouldn’t need to see a Maternal-Fetal Specialist (MFM, or high risk pregnancy specialist/perinatologist). I went home after the twin diagnosis and researched like crazy. Here’s a bit of what I learned. **Note** every… single twin pregnancy must be referred to a MFM specialist at least for 1 appointment during the pregnancy. They are highly trained in irregularities and spotting things a regular OB might miss. If you ever find out you are pregnant with twins, and your OB treats it like it’s just a single pregnancy x2… run. Run far away and find a doctor that knows this is not the case. ESPECIALLY with any monochorionic twins that share a placenta!!! I could have just switched my care from the midwife to the OB at the office (actually that likely would have happened anyways) but I heard AWFUL things about him. There is actually an OB who switched from the military practice to private practice (OB B) that I went to with E, and he happens to be married to my kid’s pediatrician. So we’re going to try him out. My first appointment with him is next week. I wasn’t thrilled with the care I received during labor & delivery of baby #2 which is why I attempted to try a new office when we found out about this 3rd pregnancy. God had other plans.
- First trimester with twins is AWFUL! I never had many symptoms other than being tired with LJ and with E I was so active with Crossfit that I didn’t even get tired with her. Not a single symptom until I started showing around 18 weeks. This time… not the case! I’ve had nausea, puke sessions, extreme (and I mean EXTREME) exhaustion, food aversions, no appetite, insomnia, horribly vivid scary dreams, and debilitating migraines. My exhaustion with LJ let up around week 14, I can only hope that’s the case but I’ve read that 1st trimester symptoms with twins linger longer than singletons. My only splice is that me feeling like absolute crap is because they are literally sucking the life out of me and are hopefully growing healthy, strong… and to be good sleepers that don’t scream all the time.
- Mono/Di twins cannot be safely carried past 36 weeks and 6 days because the chance of the placenta failing or something else awful happening is too high. So although the due date is 3/31 the Twins will likely be delivered by 3/9 if not earlier.
- I will be splitting my maternal care between the regular OB and he MFM about an hour and 15 min away in the next biggest city to us. It’s a hike, especially during the brutal lake effect winters. We will have appointments every 2 weeks alternating between the MFM and the OB until week 26 then every week alternating between weeks 26-32 and from 32+ we will have once weekly appointments PLUS 2x a week NST (fetal HR/contraction monitoring tests).
- The NICU at our hospital by our house can only take premies born at 32 weeks or later. So that is our huge goal so that we don’t have to be an hour and some change away from our 2 oldest during the worst month of winter in NY. 32 weeks is 2/3/2018.
- The NICU at the hospital an hour and some change away can accomodate premies born as early as 28 weeks. Worst case scenario is that we deliver at the hospital by my house and the babies are flown by helicopter to that Level III NICU hospital. We would all be so spread out and it would be awful. We would love some prayers that we get to a healthy 32 weeks until anything crazy happens.
- There are LOTS of things I can do (researched via peer reviewed journal articles published by the American College of Gynecology – ACOG, not just any Joe Schmo on a blog…). These things include eating tons of calories a day (300-500 kcals extra per day PER baby – which has proven really hard to do), gaining at least 1 lb per week in the first 2 trimesters (not so hard to do 😂😂), eating protein about 40% of my diet (which equates to about 150-180g of protein a day, it’s near impossible, try it some day…), drinking about 140oz of water a day (darn near impossible). Taking prenatals that have extra iron, magnesium (helps my migraines!!), calcium, D3, and Omega 3’s than a normal prenatal vitamin. With these crazy dietary requirements studies have shown that these babies could stay inside an average of 2.5 weeks later and weigh on average 20% more than twin babies who don’t meet these nutritional requirements. With those statistics, I’ll keep tracking my food and force feeding myself tuna, mozzarella cheese, chicken breasts, protein shakes and all other things super high in protein and water!
- Twins are EXPENSIVE. Thank God these aren’t our first kids! We won’t need any clothes, bottles, cribs, or anything like that but just the 2 car seats, needing a minivan, baby monitors, and DIAPERS … going to run us a pretty penny. So if anyone wants to buy Branden’s extra kidney or a lobe of his liver… please let us know! I am learning a LOT about price comparing and stacking deals and coupons at baby stores though!!
- LJ is stoked, E is clueless. LJ is most concerned about where all the “kiddos” are going to sit in the car.
- Finally the super personal side of this. I’m in a bit of a spiritual drought with this. I don’t know if it’s the shock still setting in or being mentally traumatized by E’s first year of life (I’m not being dramatic, I seriously considered checking myself into an inpatient therapy situation mid deployment, post partum depression/anxiety and the trauma of a rough infant are no joke) but I just can’t wrap my brain around why God thinks I/we can handle this. It’s mostly just about my anxiety and how a human can’t physically survive off of no sleep for 13 months like I struggled through with E. By the grace of God, B will be around for the first year of life of the Twins and we will get them on a great schedule (which I failed at for both of my other kids) and sleep train them before I want to die from sleep deprivation. So with that note, if anyone has any books on baby scheduling, sleep training, doing more than just barely surviving with infants… PLEASE send me the titles!!
So that’s our little (long.. nothing I ever say is short.. ever, get used to it) update. We’ll have another after our appointment Tuesday. Pray for 2 strong heartbeats and healthy babies!