4/16/12

Back Track: Pregnant With Twins

Oscar is baby A. Owen is baby B. Can you kind of see it?

Last week, I got a two letters from readers who just found out their pregnant with identical twins. What are the chances? One reader already has three kids, the other reader has an 18th month old daughter.

Congratulations!

Now stop reading scary internet stories about identical twins!

While there are a ton of risks, there's also the chance you can have a boring smooth pregnancy.  I was lucky to have one! Here's my story.

I was 25 years old, and Ella was 18th months old. I decided to stop breast feeding her at that time. A month later I got pregnant. Whoops.

The biggest challenge I had early on (before I knew I had twins) was that I was really tired. I slept around 12 hrs a day. I was working from home full-time, and had the luxury to quit when I became absolutely useless.  Not only was I tired, but my brain stopped functioning. Writing a simple email took all my concentration. My husband thought I might have depression, but I assured him it wasn't. I was happy, tired and dumb!

I should have known something might be up. I was able to work full-time when I was pregnant with Ella, so I was confused why this one felt so different. That, and I was HUGE. I remember going to a baby shower when I was 18 weeks pregnant and sitting in between two women that were due in a few weeks. My belly was as big as theirs. I didn't think much of that either. I thought I was having one of those warped body image issues people tend to have.

When I got home, I asked Rob, "No, really, don't I look big?" I turned from the front, then the side pushing my belly out really far. Talk about a tough spot for a husband. He surprisingly handled himself really well. Instead of being his overly honest self, he convinced me I looked great and not to worry about it. Ha!

Confession: I didn't go to the doctor until I was 14 weeks pregnant, and I didn't find out I had twins until I was 20 weeks pregnant. Rob was transitioning to a new job and I didn't want to get trapped filling out paperwork twice. Looking back, I shouldn't have been so lazy, but it felt right at the time. Other than being tired and stupid, the pregnancy felt normal to me.

I like to think that for the most part, things usually end up on the majority. Most pregnancies aren't twins. Most pregnancies for healthy 25 year-old-woman are smooth. Most of the time, the things I worry about, never end up happening.  So I coasted right through the first 14 weeks.

As soon as my doctor heard a heartbeat at my 14 week check-up, she moved on to other patients. I guess it's not in their job requirement to look for more. Noted. My next appointment was for my 20-week ultra sound at another office. We couldn't wait to see if we were having a boy or a girl! I had a feeling I was having a boy. I would have been shocked if my prediction was wrong.

It was a Friday afternoon. Ella and Rob came with me to the appointment. The technician put the jelly on my belly, then placed the transducer (the camera thing) right in middle of my stomach. As soon as he put it on, he looked at the monitor and pulled the transducer off my belly. It was as if he had seen Bigfoot. He waited a second, looked over the notes, then asked:

"Have you guys had an ultrasound yet?"

"Nooo."

"So you guys don't know anything about this pregnancy?"

"Nooo, why?" Scared.

"Oh, you're having twins!"

That's when I had a moment of hysterics. Laughing, crying, calm, the whole bit. Part of me felt peace of mind for quiting my job. Even up until this point, I had felt like such a loser! I couldn't wait to email my old boss! Also, I was grateful I found out so late because I had less time to worry about all the potential risks.

The technician observed that Oscar had slightly more fluid than Owen. This happens a lot with identical twins--one of the babes starts taking up all of the fluid. It's not good. I worried all weekend about it. On Monday morning I called and made an appointment with a twin specialist to give it another look. I needed to know. He took another look that day and assured me everything looked fine and not to worry.

From then on I had an ultrasound every week. I think. During the last few weeks, the twin specialist called me a Baby Making Machine. I was so flattered.
Look! Accidental Chevron Stripes! I was sooo ahead of the times. 
Eventually, I walked right into my C-section appointment at the hospital at 36 weeks. My doctors wanted to make sure the babes got out with the least amount of drama because I only had one placenta (typical of identical twins).

They were huge--Oscar was 6 pounds 6 ounces, and Owen was 6 pounds 3 ounces. Even being 4 weeks early, they didn't spend anytime in NICU. We went home with them easily from the hospital. Here's a cheesy and overly sentimental movie Rob and I made of their birth. Enjoy!




Thanks to my two readers for inspiring me to remember this crazy time of my life. Good luck!

FYI: We're done growing our family. It feels good to move to the next phase of our life.

Here's a picture I took of my belly the night before I had the boys.  My face says it all. After the jump.



30 comments:

  1. I responded to Suzette's comment, but I am so glad you did directly, too! My mom is an identical twin and was born in 1950. She and my aunt were well over 7 lbs each--and my teeny grandmother went home from the hospital a few days later weighing all of 99 lbs. And my cousin just had twins a year ago--she, too, is tiny. It's overwhelming to realize that you have two babies on board, and although there are obviously risks, that is true of EVERY pregnancy. I hope things go smoothly for both the readers--it is so worth it to have TWO beautiful babies to make it all worthwhile! And they have such a special bond, it's a beautiful thing.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment Meredith. You really helped me and it was very sweet of you to take the time.

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  2. That's amazing! I always thought it would be so fun to be a twin when I was a kid. ;) I love seeing belly pics of everyone, it's crazy to remember you were once that big, right?! I just updated my about me page and hated a belly photo, and WHOA did it bring back memories!

    PS- You should write about these things more, I love hearing how other moms have struggled with things and overcome them to find themselves again. And another young mom no less!

    Shannon

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  3. Ah the video squeezed tears out of my eyes!

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  4. You are amazing! I have a 13 month old and would probably like to get pregnant soon and the possibility of having twins(however small) seems a little scary to me. Trekking around NYC is hard enough with one baby! Thanks so much for sharing. I love hearing things like this.

    http://LaurenLouAnn.blogspot.com

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    1. haha I know! I didn't mention this in the post, but we were living in San Francisco at the time. the day we found out we had twins, we started looking for homes in the suburbs. I eventually even got a minivan!

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    2. Too funny! If I found out I was having twins, I'm pretty sure New Jersey or Long Island would be getting 5 extra residents.

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  5. Oh my gosh, I can't even handle how cute they are in the video with their little faces smushed together, sleeping. Ack!

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  6. that video just made me soo teary! cutest thing on the planet..i am amazed by twins, stare at them all the time..it just such a miracle!

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  7. Thanks for your story! I have 6 month old identical twin boys. So cute - but a LOT of work! It is hard to believe how big you can get when you are pregnant with twins. My family was shocked at how big I got - they also felt really sorry for me. I remember the range of emotions my husband and I both had when we found out we were having twins . It has definitely been a roller coaster ride so far!

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  8. do you have identical twins in your family? why do you think you got pregnant of twins¿? :)

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    1. Nope--just a total random event. It could happen to anyone :)

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  9. My first pregnancy was twins, but one didn't make it. I've always thought my son must unconsciously know. His favourite boy name is Fredrick, which was on my list of potential boy names when I was pregnant with the boys! I've never told him there was another baby.

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  10. We did IVF to conceive and I hoped for twins. We put two babies back but only one stuck. I was just grateful to be a mom to an only child at that point. Three years and three weeks after our oldest was born, our middle was 17 months and they both had a baby sister. :)

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  11. I am SO glad you wrote this! I've been curious to hear your twin story, now that I'm in the same boat :) AND, I'd love to hear how things went for you guys the first year or so...? Is it true that things get any easier around 3ish months??

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    1. HA! 3 months? That's a totally myth. I heard that too and was totally disappointed when things actually got harder. At three months, they wake up!

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  12. I can't believe you didn't know until 20 weeks- so funny! I have always wanted twins, even though I know it must be crazy hard with two newborns, two babies and two toddlers. Thanks for sharing!

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  13. Great story Sharon! I also want to tell you that it seems that you are blogging a bit more here these days; it's nice to see your work on a more regular basis (REALLY wanted to tell you that on Sunday but couldn't work it in!) - I enjoy your blog so much! :)

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  14. "I was happy, tired and dumb!" You kill me, Sharon. Miss you!

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  15. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I have 4 month old fraternal twins which cames as a bit of a shock as I didn't have an ultrasound until 20 weeks either.You made me laugh as you have expressed pretty much exactly what I was feeling while I was pregnant. Thanks again, I really enjoy reading.

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  16. You look so cute. What a great story.
    Gyda

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  17. I don't know what to say other than thank you SO much. You really will never know how much you have affected me for the good. I was having a hard night sleeping with so much on my mind about twins and I woke up in the middle of the night and thought how I just need to look at your blog again and I will be good to go and you had written this. I cried and cried and cried. You are so wonderful and kind to do this blog post. I felt totally special and have re-read it a few times and of course watched the video a few times. You look so great pregnant and the babies were so freaking cute I could die. I can't get over how sweet it will be that they can cuddle up to each other, what a blessing twins are! Thank you so much!

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  19. We are a small group of people who want to help as many women (and men) as we can in their pregnancy quest and experience. Of course, the most important is the community and the support that people in the same position can give to each other.


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  20. I just watched this again and got all choked up. What sweet little friends.

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