Do you remember how you felt when you found out it was twins? Elated? Afraid? Excited? Nervous? Angry? Overjoyed? Chances are, you aren’t alone. Here are some real quotes from twin moms about their initial reactions to finding out they were carrying twins:
This was the e-mail I sent to my friends the day I found out (around 14 wks). I had had an early u/s (around 8.5 wks) that showed only one baby…
“I’m still in shock….I went to the walk-in OB clinic today since I’d been having some pretty painful cramps and a little bit of spotting. After some brief discussion with the on-call OB, she decided to do a quick ultrasound to check for a heartbeat and all. Honestly, I was prepared for the worst (no heartbeat, etc.), when she said, “No problems, they’re both doing fine and the placenta is nice and high.” I said, “What did you mean by BOTH?” She said, “Oh, didn’t you know you’ve got twins?” UM, NO!!!! The last ultrasound showed just one!!! EGADS!!! This changes everything!!! Am still in a state of shock and mild panic…I mean, twins run in my extended family, so it was certainly a possibility–but, after seeing the first ultrasound that showed just one, I’m blown away!”
I distinctly remember wracking my brain right after she said, “both”, to try and remember if the placenta had a heartbeat or not! The next words out of my mouth after the OB told me were, “Holy $hit!” But, I was immediately overcome with this sense of great, overwhelming pleasure. I felt like I got to be one of the ‘lucky ones!’ For years, my grandmother had been predicting that I’d have twins, so it was always in the back of my mind. I’d also mentioned often that I’d like to have twins. When I told her, she was very happy and said, “I always knew it. They’re perfect for you. Now you just go tell your husband he’ll get his boys!” And, indeed, he/we did!
That night we went out to dinner with my MIL, FIL, SILs and BILs and I passed the u/s photo to my SIL who’s a P.A. and I said, “hey, look what I got today…see anything interesting?” She jumped out from the table and yelled “TWINS!!!” So, it was pretty fun to surprise everyone.
~from a mom who found out she was (most likely) carrying mz (mono-di) twins
Years before my husband and I ever tried to conceive our first child I had this deep seeded feeling that I was going to have twins. I think of myself as one of the lucky ones, because this belief I had led me to desire twins greatly. For many women finding out they’re bringing more than one child into the world at a time the news isn’t initially so cheery. But in my own strange way, I had become very accustomed to the idea of twins and therefore coming to learn about them wasn’t the shock it probably is for most.
By 14 weeks I was “showing”, could feel the babies kick (as could other people), was measuring a full month ahead and was seeing the beginnings of shocked expressions on people’s faces who were finding out that I still had many, many more months of pregnancy ahead of me. My midwife and I both wondered if there could be more than one baby in there, but as I wasn’t willing to submit to an ultrasound without medical indication, I wasn’t able to verify what was happening inside of my body. I did however experience the feeling of “just knowing” that many mom’s of multiples describe. From the first positive pregnancy test, I thought of the baby inside of me as “the babies”. I’d say “the babies” to my husband without realizing it. I just knew. My husband thought it was just wishful thinking on my part so the news of twins was a bit more of a shock to him than to me. At my 22 week prenatal appointment my midwife told me she genuinely did not think I had more than one baby in there. I was measuring ahead but I had also measured ahead (although not by as much) with my previous pregnancy and the extra size could be chalked up to several other factors. I began the process of accepting the idea that I wasn’t really having twins after all. However, at my 26 week prenatal appointment my midwife was able to palpate three fetal poles (meaning a head, a butt, and another head or butt). It was either more than one baby or perhaps she was feeling something very wrong – possibly a developmental problem with just one baby. I was scared so I decided to have an ultrasound to determine just what was going on inside of me. In retrospect, I now realize the importance of determining whether or not the babies share a sac and/or placenta and see that having an ultrasound to determine this as an important part of prenatal care with multiples, so I’m glad I had this done.
The next day I went in with my husband and he held my hand while the technician did a quick sweep across my belly. It couldn’t have been more than a few seconds, then he said, “Well, there are at least two babies in there.” That’s the moment I’ll never forget. I KNEW it, yet knowing it and “KNOWING” it are entirely separate things! My husband and I just squeezed each others hands tighter and did our best to wrap our minds around this new information. It was surreal. I mean, I didn’t feel any different than I had just moments before but now I WAS different! I was having twins!
It took a long time for the reality of it to sink in. I think my twins were a year old before I really realized that I’d soon be having two little boys – as in school aged children of identical age – running around! It was intimidating at the time but now I look forward to it. We chose not to find out their genders during that ultrasound. In fact, we chose not to even look at the images on the ultrasound (I wanted so much to see my babies face to face for the first time). But we did find out that they possessed two separate placentas, amnions, and chorions which left us in the lowest possible risk group for twin pregnancies, and my ultimate plans for a homebirth continued.
~ from a twin mom
Before we found out it was twins, I was already struggling with birth planning. With a prior cesarean, I was risked out of care by licensed midwives in my state already and was planning to travel out of state for an HBAC since no local providers were truly supportive of VBAC. I was not planning to have a medical ultrasound, but at 17 weeks I was DYING to know if we were having a boy or girl (to help with room planning since we had a small home and the new “baby” would be sharing a room with a sibling). So, I researched local nonmedical ultrasound studios to find one that was run by someone with proper training and experience. We drove an hour and a half to the studio for our ultrasound.
The owner of the studio put the device on my belly and immediately said, “Do you see what you’re having?” I pointed and said, “That’s a baby. I’m not sure what THAT is.” She said, “It’s the other one.” Me: “The other what?” Her: “The other baby!” For sure it was a shock, and as she took pictures for me to take home, she talked about how I’d definitely have to have a hospital birth now, and how she’d be surprised if they “let” me go past 37 weeks, and how I’d probably need a cesarean now. It was SHOCKING to say the least, and my head was spinning.
On the drive home, we were still baffled, and it took over 2 hours to get home because we were so spaced out we kept missing our exits and turns. I was stressed about the birth planning for sure, but also about finances, whether or not we’d have room for two in our tiny house, whether or not I’d carry to term, and whether or not I’d end up with PPD again after a prior EXTREMELY traumatic cesarean. It was stressful in a huge way, and that made it a lot harder to really celebrate having two little babies growing inside of me.
Any way you slice it, my husband and I were in SHOCK! That, even, is an understatement. We were barely able to put a sentence together for days. We were excited about the two babies, and knew we would love them, but extenuating circumstances surrounding our birth planning to that date left me feeling TERRIFIED of how having twins would affect my birth plans. It felt like my months of planning were for nothing, and all my fears were crashing in on me. I went home, called my midwife to cancel her services, and felt an overwhelming sense of disappointment and resignation, as I assumed my twins would have to be born via a scheduled cesarean at 37 weeks. It was only after research that I realized that my original birth plans COULD still work, but even then, the remainder of the pregnancy was EXTREMELY stressful. It seems like as expectant mothers of twins, we are bombarded many times a day with negative messages about twin pregnancy, birth, and motherhood, and some days I just felt like I wanted to run away from it all.
Eventually, I got my birth planning sorted out, and after the initial shock, we began to adjust to the idea of having two. Still, though, there are times when we look at them (years later), and I’m just like, WOW — There are TWO of them!
– From a mom whose dizygotic twins (#s 4 and 5 in her family) were identified at 17 weeks.
This was my husband’s and my first childeren and our very first time trying. We we had two doctor appointments without hearing a heart beat and were worried. I was about 13 weeks along. My doctor has us go and have an ultrasound done just to check up and see if everything was ok. Before going in we said a prayer and told each other we will get through this if we lost our baby. I laid on the table expecting the worst when the tech all calm said “oh.. you’re having twins hun.”
My reaction was instant tears. Total shock. I was crying so much the tech couldn’t do anything because my stomach was moving so much. I kept asking if they were ok. I was so worried.
My husband is a twin and my mother had twins so we thought it could be possible. On my announcement to friends when we found out we were having a baby I said we will be adding two maybe four more feet to our family. Didnt think it would happen! My doctor even had a feeling there would be twins.
Even today we are still shocked. I look at them everyday and know I am very lucky to have them. It’s awesome and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
It took us well over a year to get pregnant. We had tried pretty seriously at first, with charting and ovulation kits and the like, but were at the point of thinking it wasn’t going to happen naturally. My husband announced one evening that his work position was being eliminated in a few months, which meant that our major source of income and our health insurance would vanish. Of course, that week the pregnancy test was positive.
I experienced severe, constant nausea & vomiting from the get-go, which our obstetrician classified as “mild” hyperemesis. With vitamin B injections and various anti-nausea medications, I was able to stay hydrated and out of the hospital, but I spent my first trimester constantly struggling to keep any food down and wondering exactly why I had wanted to be pregnant. By 10 weeks, I could no longer fit into my pre-pregnancy clothing, despite having lost 10% of my body weight. I knew that hyperemesis is more common with multiple pregnancies, and was not surprised when my midwife spent a long time with the doppler at my prenatal visit. We left reassured (and, honestly, a little surprised) that we’d only heard one heartbeat. By the day of my next prenatal, I was 14 weeks pregnant but looked much bigger. I’d had several friends and acquantainces ask if we were sure we weren’t expecting twins. Although I’d continued to have milder hyperemesis symptoms into my second trimester and, with twins on my side of the family, knew there was an increased chance, that single heartbeat really had convinced me we were expecting one baby. My husband and I were discussing our thoughts that perhaps we’d miscalculated our dates as we arrived for our appointment.
After waiting over 20 minutes, our midwife rushed into the waiting room apologizing, but letting us know we’d have to wait longer, as they’d just unexpectedly found the woman ahead of us was expecting triplets! When we finally made it back to the exam room, my husband jokingly asked if she’d washed her hands, as if multiples were contagious. At first, she was unconcerned about our questions about my size and the possibility of dates being wrong, because I’d barely gained any weight (remember the weight LOSS?). But upon measuring my uterine height, she suggested an ultrasound to be sure, “although it’s probably just how you’re carrying the baby.” We could immediately see two little babies, with a membrane separating them (we eventually found out that this put us in the lowest risk category for a multiple pregnancy, as the babies had separate amnions and chorions) . The midwife herself wasn’t allowed to read the ultrasound, so we waited, crying and laughing, for one of the obstetricians to confirm that we were in fact expecting two babies. Even though we’d suspected twins were a possiblity, it was a shock to get that verification. At home later that morning, we telephoned my parents and my father (who knew we’d had a visit that morning) jokingly asked, “are you having triplets?” I told him, no, that was the woman ahead of us, but we were having twins. My poor dad didn’t know if I was joking or serious!
The idea that we might be having two babies had certainly been a consideration from the beginning of my pregnancy, so the initial shock wore off quickly. But it was still hard to imagine two babies, to suddenly be treated as “high risk”, to constantly hear from doctors and friends that our babies would surely arrive early. I do think that double the normal levels of pregnancy hormones helped, as by all rights I should have been incredibly worried, especially since my husband spent the second half of my pregnancy unemployed. But I always felt confident that my body could grow two babies and that everything would work out fine. Although in the end, I did have a disappointingly high intervention Cesarean birth, my babies were born at term and my husband was working again before the end of the pregnancy.
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