Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Twin Pregnancy...

When I was pregnant I was constantly looking on blogs of twin mamas trying to find an answer to one random question or another. Most of the time it was just curiosity about other twin pregnancies, so just in case anyone is searching my blog for information about my twin pregnancy-- here it is! Commonly wondered questions....

How did you get pregnant with twins?
  • It was our second round of IVF with ICSI. We transferred two day five blasts. Each baby was his own egg and sperm, making our boys fraternal twins.
How long did you carry your twins?
  • I carried those little buggers all the way to 38 weeks 2 days. Yes, I agree, I deserve some sort of medal for that :)
Did you have any bed rest, if so, when?
  • I was asked to be on modified bed rest for about 4 hours one day after a mild spotting indecent around 25 weeks-ish. It turned out to be nothing and I never had another issue.
Did you have your babies via c-section or vaginal childbirth? When was that decision made- was it your choice?
  • I gave birth to our boys via c-section. The decision was made at 34 weeks. We had been talking about it at my appointments for weeks because of how the boys were positioned (baby A head down and baby B transverse breech). For several weeks my doctor was more than willing to try for a vaginal birth, but cautioned me that it may end up in a 'full birthing experience' with both a c-section and a vaginal delivery. At my 34 week appointment the doctor I saw did a quick ultrasound that revealed baby B's hands and feet were pointing up toward my head- meaning in the event I needed a breech extraction, there wouldn't be much grab onto. I decided to schedule a c-section and my OB was pleased with this choice. 
If you had a c-section, would you choose to do it again if it was your choice? Will you attempt an VBAC if you have another child?
  • I would absolutely choose to do the exact same thing if I had to do it over. Getting pregnant was very dramatic, then I had a very normal healthy pregnancy and I didn't want to end a beautiful time in my life with a traumatic/dramatic birth. Our birth, while surgical, was amazing and perfect for us. I seriously doubt I will attempt VBAC. The c-section with the boys was flawless and I really had no complaints in healing. 
Healing from a c-section, how'd it go? Any tips?
  • Honestly? It was not difficult at all. I consistently took the pain meds for about a week or 10 days and then was weaned off of them completely at the 2 week mark. I was released to drive at two weeks and had already taken walks in our neighborhood previous to that point. I was sore, but never ever in excruciating pain. As for tips... MOVE! As soon as you possibly can have the cath removed and start making your way to the bathroom on your own. Take a shower and get up and walk the halls with you babies- I am sure this is part of the reason my recovery was so easy.
What was the hardest part of your twin pregnancy?
  • Waiting for them and worrying about them. I worry about them from day one, but never enough to take away from that amazing 9 months of my life. Just a mama's worry- I'm sure it will be something I do for the rest of my life. They are my babies... my very, very, very wanted babies.
Best twin advice you got before having your boys?
  • Get out of the house! It is SO easy to get out when they are tiny. They'll sleep the whole time and rarely fuss if you are quick to leave after a feeding and make sure to get home before the next. 
  • Get them on the same schedule from the get go. We literally started the boys on the three hour schedule the day they were born, and to this day we pretty much stick to it throughout the day (thank goodness, not at night!). 
  • Nursing twins is HARD try, try, try to be flexible! It isn't the end of the world if you can't tandem feed- lactation consultants, doctors and nursed will tell you it is, but know that you CAN nurse your babies separately if you want/need to. Not nursing the most efficient way does not mean you will stop in the first few weeks, if you are committed to working with your babies and being patient with yourself you can do it! I've nursed my boys at least partially since birth and they are 5.5 months old. I'm ready to be done, but I'll keep nursing throughout the day for a couple more weeks and then we'll try just nursing morning and night and see what happens. If I can't I'm ok with it, if I can, great! My biggest advice to you is don't keep nursing because you 'should'... that is ridiculous and will just build resentment of your babies. Nursing is not what is best for everyone and that is OK!
Weight gain during pregnancy and weight loss after birth?
  • I gained 40lbs exactly while I was pregnant with the boys, the majority was gained toward the end of my pregnancy. I then lost all of it in the first 4ish weeks not making any attempt to do so. My doctor suggested starting birth control sometime between 2 and 6 weeks postpartum and THEN I started gaining it back. This was also a time when the boys started going slightly longer stretches at night between feeding which could have also added to the weight gain/ change in metabolism. My sister-in-law totally warned me this would happen when I started nursing less. So here is my warning to you-- be prepared and change your diet accordingly!
Birth control after an IVF twin pregnancy? Really?
  • Here is what my OB said.... What if?? He said however unlikely you think it is, remember that it certainly IS possible if you are having sex to get pregnant. While neither of us thinks the probability is super high, it is there and bottom line- I'm not ready, my body isn't ready, my husband isn't ready and my sweet baby boys aren't ready for another son/daughter/sibling just yet. 
  • I chose the mini pill because I was breastfeeding, but will change to a more effective pill once the boys are weaned in the coming weeks/months.
  • I gained weight and my supply changed when I started the mini pill, be prepared. 
Favorite baby gear?
  • Double Snap'n'go stroller
  • Kangaroo Korner fleece pouch sling. Its not being made anymore so you'll have to find one at a consignment shop/sale-- seriously the BEST though. Great for both babies early on while they are tiny and perfect still for one baby at 5.5months.
  • Boppy pillow... or six. We have two and I'd always like at least one more! The twin nursing pillow is kind of a pain- to me, not worth the $$.
  • Swaddling blankets with velcro closures.
  • More burp cloths than you think you could ever possibly need.
  • Bottle drying rack... please just buy one- I promise you'll need it. 
  • Baby saline nose drops-- they melt the goobers away and make breathing so much easier for those tiny noses that are full of goop from gestation/birth. I also love grape scented boogie wipes.
  • Bedside co-sleeper, less useful in the long run, but better than a pack and play in the beginning. We borrowed one and LOVED it until the boys finally grew out of it. 
  • Paper plates, frozen meals, and someone to bring you fresh ready to eat fruits and vegetables!
The first few weeks... any tips?
  • Be prepared with a clipboard/spreadsheet to jot down things like who has had wet/poopy diapers which side they fed on, how much formula they drank.
  • Be flexible. Every day will likely be a bit different- try to not book lots of visitors too far in advance. Some days you'll want to just be with your babies and not have others around fussing over you or your perfect little bundles!
  • Have baskets in various places with supplies in them. We had a diapering basket in our bedroom, the nursery and the living room. 
I'm sure there are several more things that mamas pregnant with twins would like to know-- feel free to either leave a comment or shoot me an email, I'm more than happy to share what I've learned in the last year!


Jules said...

Great list! I'd also like to add the NoseFrida is the BOMB for getting out the snot when they have colds. So much gentler than the regular bulb syringe because it's wider so you can make a nice seal just inside the opening of their nostril without having to jam it up there. I also recommend getting a thick spiral notebook to use as a "poop journal" to track all the feedings. This has been invaluable to us now that the boys are going to my Mom's during the day so when they are home at night I can see how they did during the day and it helps explain if they are extra crabby or hungry, or not interested in the bottle at all if they were eating a lot during the day. We are almost at the end of ours and will need to start Volume II soon! It also makes a great keepsake -- there are a ton of notes I jotted in it about their health, milestones, doctor notes at their appointments, and it's really fun to flip through and see how far we've come. :)

Mary-Catherine said...

My husband and I accidentally got pregnant with our twins two months after getting married...we're quite terrified and were NOT prepared for this! I plan on breastfeeding, but am prepared to formula feed at some point because my supply was low when I had my daughter. I just found your blog and am bookmarking it, definitely going to be referring to this list :) Something tells me I am going to be checking this one along with my usual morning round-up.

Any advice for turning away constant visitors? I have family that literally wants to camp out at our house after they are born. But I learned with my daughter that coming home can be overwhelming, so I cannot even imagine coming home with TWO! Oh jeez.