After the thrill of the positive tests wore off, worry set in. When you have tried so hard, for so long to have a baby it is hard not to let every twinge scare the bejeezus out of you.
About 7 weeks into my pregnancy I had some spotting and of course I thought miscarriage and/or ectopic pregnancy. I frantically called the fertility clinic as I hadn’t been transferred to an OB yet. The on call doc told me to go to the ER to get checked out. I was all alone at the time because I was driving to my Mom’s and John was at home. I waited for the doctor and then the ultrasound tech (had to be called in on a Sunday), desperately trying to stay positive and not have a public meltdown. My HCG levels were good. The ultrasound tech showed me the screen and pointed out my two little babes, two little heartbeats already. I was shocked! I knew my chances of multiples were higher than normal but I never really thought about twins or more. I think it took a week for the shock to wear off.
Then, I went into research mode. I am a researcher. I read everything I could get my hands on about twin pregnancies. I had a hard time getting an OB and ended up having to travel to Sudbury, two hours from my home. Luckily my OB went to medical school with Dr. Jon Barrett, a multiples specialist a Sunnybrook. It’s very important to find out what type of twins you are carrying. Mine are monozygotic which can be very high risk pregnancies. There is a small window of time to find out. I had to wait until I was about 17 weeks pregnant. I went down to Toronto to the multiples clinic to have an ultrasound. They were looking to see if each twin had her own amniotic sac, if not it’s very dangerous because the umbilical cords could become entangled. I knew all the risks and waiting for that ultrasound was the longest, scariest wait ever.
My girls were monochorionic/diamniotic, which is better but still has the risk of twin to twin transfusion. Of course, I read way too much and had information overload, I even sent away for the twin to twin transfusion info package from an advocacy group in the US. I did impress Dr. Barrett with my knowledge though.
The type of twinning is very important for determining the level of prenatal care. I had a long ultrasound (measure head circumference, femur length, cord blood flow) every two weeks until 28 weeks and then every week until delivery. I also saw my OB, all this in Sudbury, a two hour drive each way. I debated about when they should be born, should I wait until I went into labour? Should I induce? C-Section? I was determined to have a vaginal delivery and made that very clear to my doctor.
Everything went very well for my entire pregnancy. No problems, no nausea. Fiona did have intrauterine growth restriction but both girls were born small, but healthy. Here is a mini photo essay of the pregnancy.
Stay tuned for my birth story (I love birth stories, don’t you?)
can’t sing the praises of Dr. Barrett enough, if you’re pregnant with
twins, go see him! Three years after I saw him (only once), he was the
keynote speaker at a Multiple Births Canada conference. He recognized
me in the audience and made reference to me during his speech.
Amazing. Also. Best bedside manner. Ever.