Wow….. We’re pregnant with twins.
Wow. I’m feeling lucky but also overwhelmed. I had really wanted one more baby but we seem to have got two. So instead of five children I was going to have six. Then it really hit me how very lucky we were. We’d done IVF. We’d had success, we were pregnant. Not only that but this little embryo spilt into two. That’s an amazing thing.
I told friends and family quite early on. I’ve been so lucky with all my pregnancies. I’ve never had one thing go wrong. But I always felt that if something did happen I would probably like the support of my family & friends. So I can’t keep being pregnant a secret at all. I laughed & laughed as we shared our news. People’s reactions were varied, as you might expect. Shock. Horror. Utter delight. Happiness for us but gratitude it wasn’t them. The prevailing feeling we got from almost everyone we knew was that we were lucky but they were very glad it wasn’t them.
A year down the track and I’d say that’s still what most people think.
A twin pregnancy is rather different to a singleton one. But the type of twins you are pregnant with makes it different too. The type I was carrying were Mono-Zygotic, Di-Amniotic twins. One embryo, two sacs. One placenta but each baby has it’s own cord and is safely inside it’s own amniotic sac. There was a very thin membrane dividing the babies. So there was no chance their chords could entangle. Phew. First crisis averted. The next big ticket crisis with identical twins is the risk of Twin-to-Twin Transfusion. This is a dire medical emergency where the blood vessels of the babies are shared through the placenta. One baby can suddenly “transfuse” blood to the other, or it can happen more slowly, over a period of weeks. Resulting in a vast growth discrepancy. It was decided I needed to have a full ultrasound at a specialist centre in Brisbane every three weeks for the entire pregnancy. This involved a two hour drive each way, waiting time, scanning time and then waiting for the reports. Each time, it took almost all day. As my pregnancy progressed it was harder & harder to sit upright in the car that far, then very hard to lay flat to be scanned. The weight of my uterus on my spinal blood vessels caused me to feel faint and headachy. I would be thirsty, hungry, tired, nauseated, worried, emotional & over it each time. But it needed to be done. Luckily for us our babies showed no signs of this transfusion syndrome. If it happens it can be lethal to both babies, one baby does not get enough blood while the other gets overloaded and can effectively go into heart failure. I felt like I was carrying around a bomb waiting to go off inside me. I was told to pay close attention to the shape of my tummy and that if it suddenly ballooned out one way or another to get myself to an emergency department fast.
It was scary. The entire pregnancy was scary.
All the symptoms you might get while pregnant; indigestion, insomnia, frequency, leg pain, back pain…. you name it, it felt like it was more than doubled. I found solace in an online forum. I’d never done that sort of socialising before but as a group we knew no one in real life that was going through what we were. We spoke, online each & every day. Many of us were on bedrest. Most of us who weren’t officially on bed rest certainly rested a lot anyway. You have to when your body gives out on you. These women & I shared more than a life changing experience. We’ve become part of each others lives now. We still all talk daily on Facebook, plus one of the mummies decided to build us a website from scratch. A lot of them are in America but there are others in Canada & Ireland as well as me here. I never found another group close to home. So I have stuck with these ladies and it’s been a real blessing.
My pregnancy was a smooth one. It was easy at first as I was simply overjoyed to be adding to my family. As the babies got bigger it became a chore to carry them, then it finally became near impossible. It seemed like each hour was hard work. I kept thinking the whole time “enjoy the peace & quiet… it’s going to be hectic once they arrive”.
I wasn’t wrong.