How?? What?? TWINS!?!?! That's pretty much the reaction we've been getting, and you can imagine a similar dialogue is going on inside our heads tenfold! With no history of twins in either of our families, and having never undergone any kind of fertility treatments, discovering two babies on that 7 week ultrasound was beyond shocking.
The first twin suspicions...
When Kenzo turned two this past Christmas we decided to go ahead and start trying for our next and final child. We didn't have an especially difficult time conceiving Kenzo - we tried for a a couple of months before stepping it up to the scientific method with daily temperature taking and peeing on ovulation predictor sticks, and then we had success on our second try. But this time? I started straight away with the temp taking and ovulation sticks, and we also mixed in the Shettles Method since we were hoping for a girl. Just 26 days into my first cycle, I started having random waves of nausea and we joked that I was pregnant. Just joking because, hello, WAY too early for any symptoms! But, it prompted me to go out and buy a pregnancy test and the next morning (a couple of days before my missed period) it lit up with record speed - much faster than it should have.
And then there's the nausea. It's not morning sickness, it's all day and all night sickness. I don't want to eat, but know that if I don't I will just feel worse and worse and eventually throw up. So, I have to eat, pretty much every hour on the hour. And I wake up 2-3 times a night to pee, and have to eat during at least one of those breaks or I can't fall back to sleep because I feel so sick! It's pretty miserable and much MUCH worse than my last pregnancy.
The agonizing wait for pregnancy confirmation...
I found out just before 4 weeks that I was preggo, and had to wait another 3 weeks before I could visit my midwife to confirm the pregnancy (I could have gone earlier but I didn't want to risk her not finding a heartbeat because it was too early). This wait was pure TORTURE!!! The main worry, for me anyway, was that it was not a viable pregnancy (for example, no heartbeat) and that I was enduring this miserable morning sickness for nothing!
The twin discovery...
I asked the midwife to do an abdominal sonogram, since last time at 7 weeks preggo it worked just fine, and I wanted to avoid the super scary transvaginal wand that she had all ready to go, condom and all. She agreed to give it a go on my belly and sure enough, there was the baby! She was doing measurements and said everything looked good, though it wasn't super clear and so I told her to just go ahead and do the transvaginal scan so that I could have a better picture to take home to show to daddy.
As soon as she inserted that bad boy, I hadn't even had a chance to look at the screen yet, she blurts out, "Well, I'm glad we went inside... IT'S TWINS!!!" My head whipped around to the screen faster than I could blurt out the litany of swear words that followed... "WHAT THE F&%$!!!! WHAT!??! WHAAAAAAAAAT!!! HOLY SH!T!!! WHAT!!!???" Cue the waterworks (bad BAD choice to wear mascara that day!) and laughter and more swearing. Then we both just fell into hysterical laughter and "Oh my god"s. I laid there taking it all in (randomly blurting out things like "How am I going to do this???") as she probed around taking measurements. She found both heartbeats and had them measuring to size, so she said everything was looking great! We had a quick consultation after I was dressed, discussing that I'm now "high risk", meaning many more check-ups and ultrasounds, that I have to rotate through the OB's in the office and not just the midwives, and also that I'm a good candidate for a vaginal twin birth as long as Baby A is head down (apparently Baby B will just ride Baby A's coattails out, and Baby B being breech doesn't matter too much).
One week later I went to a high risk sonogram facility for a better scan, and was truly relieved to get everything reconfirmed that the twins (TWINS!?!??!) were measuring exactly to date (8 weeks 2 days) and had strong heart beats. The relief was a relief in itself, showing me that I had come to terms with the whole twin thing and was actually over the moon about it!
The risks and fears with twins...
The main worry early on, which is the first thing that pops up when you Google "Twin Pregnancy", is a phenomenon called "Vanishing Twin Syndrome". It's this thing where one twin dies (probably because of chromosomal issues) and gets reabsorbed into your body (or the other twin absorbs him). Often with no signs or symptoms, you just show up for your next checkup and there are no longer twins in there. Supposedly, once both heartbeats are found and both twins are measuring to date, the risk is much smaller, but there is always a risk.
With twins, there is also increased risk of preterm labor ("term" is considered 37 weeks for twins, but making it at least to 36 weeks is pretty much the goal), low birth weight (less risk if mama gains 24 pounds by week 24 - yikes!!), and preeclampsia. Oh yeah, and stretch marks (which I was lucky to avoid last time... probably not so lucky this time!)
Also, if the twins share a placenta (which happens for some identical twins), there is a risk of "Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome" where one twin hogs the nutrition and puts the other twin in danger. So, when we found out today that our twins have their own gestational sacks which means they'll each grow their own placenta, that was a HUGE relief!!
Beyond those fears are the emotional and logistical fears... How the heck will we manage with a toddler and newborn twins?? Will our tiny home be big enough? How will we afford to travel with FIVE in our family? How will I get around the city with THREE KIDS!? What if the babies have something wrong with them or arrive super early - NICU doesn't allow siblings, what would we do with Kenzo?? Ugh. SO MANY FEARS!!! Suffice it to say, I haven't been sleeping well!!
Are they identical or fraternal??
Unfortunately we won't know for some time... If the babies were sharing a sack or placenta, we would know they're identical (i.e. from one egg that divided). If the babies are boy/girl, we will know they are fraternal (i.e. from two separate eggs that both got fertilized individually). But, if they're boy/boy or girl/girl, we won't know until they are born and we can swab their cheeks for the Zygosity genetic testing. And yes, we're definitely going to find out the sex this time (we didn't with Kenzo), and that'll probably be somewhere around 16-20 weeks.
So... that's our big announcement and all of the emotions behind what we've been going through the past couple of weeks! Do you have twins or any advice for us?? I'd love if you shared below!!!
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!