7 weeks and 5 days old

Today we went for their 6 week check with the health visitor (our 6 week check with the GP is on Thursday). Both babies have grown out of their newborn clothes and are now in their 0 to 3 months clothing. I was therefore interested to know what they both weighed.

My boy twin (baby D) has always been heavier however his sister (baby F) seems to have had a growth spurt in the last week and feels heavier when you pick her up. Her cheeks have filled out and she’s started to get little rolls on her arms and legs.

So it turned out she is heavier. She now weighs 9 lb 7 and has gone up two centiles from the 2nd centile to the 25th. Baby D is 8 lb 13 and has stayed on 2nd centile. Both their heads have grown and now are on 25th centile. How people give birth to babies this size is eye watering.

The health visitor was really happy with their progress, however wanted us back in 4 weeks just to check baby F is not taking all of the milk at the expense of baby D.

Both babies now smile. Baby D is a lot easier to get a smile out of. He smiles when you talk to him and likes you to sing to him. They both like listening to music. His sister gets really bad wind which can leave her grumpy and harder to get a smile out of. They are now both more interested in their surroundings and want to play. Baby F loves to feel different textures and fabrics and is more interested in her toys.

I am trying to do tummy time every day. They both are able to lift up their heads and do push ups. Baby D is not happy on his front and desperately tries to go on his side so I think he will roll over first. Baby F would stay on her tummy all day if I let her.

I try to get out every day even if it’s for a walk around the block. We are attending a twin group and a breastfeeding group so I get out and see other mums twice a week. I’ve managed a shopping centre all by myself, which I was proud of. As my wife works long shifts it means she’s at home for four days a week so we go out for walks with them in their slings.

I can’t imagine life without them now. It’s like they have been in our lives for ever.

Nearly 5 weeks old

The babies are now 4 weeks and 6 days old. The time has gone so quickly and they are growing and changing every day. They have gown out of both their tiny baby clothes and the first size clothes and are now wearing newborn clothes.

Today is the first day I’m all by myself. My wife went back to work today after having over 5 weeks off work. Its meant I have had to be very organised.

I have made sure I have a drink and snack station next to the sofa for when I’m breastfeeding and I’ve had to use the baby monitor for the first time so I could have a shower. When there was two of us in the house someone was always sat with them, so I never had to worry. I’ve also had to get out the cat nets for the cot for when I leave the room.

The babies do not like sleeping apart so we have a cot in our room and a travel cot downstairs. The moses baskets were hardly used and are now in the attic.

So far today I am showered washed and dressed and both babies are washed and dressed. I also have washing in the tumble dryer so I feel like I’m winning.

Thankfully the visitors have calmed down now and we have had visitor free days last week and this week. I have found the number of visitors hard to cope with at times. I have asked for no visitors today as I want to see how I get on at home by myself.

I’m now breastfeeding both babies for the majority of the time. They have one bottle each of formula before bed. It gives me a break and it means they normally sleep for at least 3 hours in a row. I find if I get those 3 plus hours of sleep I can manage whatever the rest of the night throws at me.

My tummy is going down now however I still do not fit in my before pregnancy clothes and my maternity clothes are now too big. I have found my new body strange to get used to, which took me by surprise. I loved my pregnancy body as it was growing my babies, but now I feel a little deflated and everything is not the same as before. I know I’ll get used to things again. I just wasn’t expecting to feel this way.

Otherwise I’m feeing pretty good about everything and handling twins has not been quite as stressful as I thought.

Breastfeeding. Not as easy as I thought

In my head I’d give birth and the babies would be laid on me for skin on skin and I’d get them on the boob and that would be that. I might get sore nipples or a bit of bleeding but I thought breastfeeding would just happen and it would be fairly straightforward.

Instead I was to ill to even hold my babies after losing half my blood volume. There was no skin on skin and their first feeds were formula from a bottle, while I was unconscious.

It was twelve hours later I got them to the breast. Twin one (I’ll call her baby F), got on reasonably well although at times would struggle to latch. Twin two (I’ll call him baby D), was routing really well and would go to the breast but just couldn’t get any milk from me. When he was checked over he has a really bad tongue tie so was not able to feed from me. I was advised to still offer him the breast but to feed him from a bottle after.

The two neighbouring NHS trusts sort the tongue tie out on delivery suite for free. Mine however does not and there is a waiting list for months just to be referred. I was therefore advised to get it done privately if I wanted to breastfeed. I rang lots of clinics and the cheapest clinics cost £150. Some places wanted over £350.

We got it done and it took about a week for baby D to get the hang of breastfeeding.

I’m now mainly breastfeeding both of them. I do top up with formula occasionally but I feel OK about that. I’ve been to a breastfeeding support group which was great and really helped me feel OK about struggling. Most people there have had struggles at some point. There was a lady there who is exclusively breastfeeding twins so it was good to see its possible.

I am able to breastfeed both of them at the same time at home surrounded by cushions but out and about its not as easy. When they are both screaming for food and I’m sat on a uncomfortable chair then I breastfeed one and formula feed the other. I make sure I then swap over. Also getting both boobs out seems very exposed, however I don’t like covering over with the breastfeeding covers as I like to see what they are doing. I’m sure I’ll get better at this eventually.

They have arrived

It’s taken a while to write this post as the last few days have been crazy.

Our twins made it into the world at 12.44 am and 12.50 am on Friday morning.

After going to the hospital Tuesday morning at 11am for the induction to start and find out I was already 2cm dilated so couldn’t have the medication I thought I was going to have, we had to wait until Thursday until that had a bed on delivery suite so I could get my waters broken.

Waiting on the ward was tough and I would have preferred to be at home. The hospital was noisy and the warmest place ever. My wife also could not stay after 10pm so I was on my own.

Thursday morning they came to find me at 7.30am to let me know there was a bed and to get my things together ASAP. I called my wife to come in and off to delivery suite I went. Once there they let me have some breakfast and drinks. My midwife introduced herself and I also had a student midwife. My wife arrived just after 8am

I was strapped on a monitor for an hour so they could get a base line for both twins heartbeats and make sure they were not distressed.

Once they were happy with that, I met the doctor and anesthesist. I was told my waters would be broken and I’d be put on a hormone drip straight away. Once on the drip I would be bed bound and would be unable to eat. I was therefore advised to eat something and go to the toilet. I could only use a bed pan after being on the drip. I was given a sandwich, hot drink and cake and then we were ready to go.

As I was having twins they advised an epidural in case I needed an emergency c section or had complications. The anesthesist explained how this worked.

Then off we went. My waters were broken at just before 11am and I was put on the drip. I was between 2 and 3 cm when things started. The hormone injection had to be increased gradually over a few hours to increase my contractions. By 1.30pm I was having the required amount of contractions of between 3 and 4 every ten minutes, however I couldn’t feel much so couldn’t have the epidural until I felt the pain. I felt pain if I laid flat put not if I sat up. I had to sit up for the epidural so could not feel the contractions. Therefore they did it and I had to lay back to see if it had worked. The anesthetist said normally they were only called in when a woman was in agony so found this funny.

Then it was just waiting. At 5.30 pm. I was 5 cm so I was told I would be checked again in 4 hours and they would expect me to to be 7-8 cm as it was my first pregnancy. However when they checked me at 9.30 I was fully dilated. The doctor came to review everything I said I needed an hours rest then she would give me an hour to push the first twin out. My deadline for having twins one was 12am.

Unfortunately after an hour twin one was almost out but I could not quite get the head out. It was therefore decided that I was go to theatre for a forseps delivery. The doctor said normally they would let me continue pushing if it was a single pregnancy however they were concerned about the second twin becoming distressed.

So I was cut and forseps used however due to the epidural I couldn’t feel anything. It took four big pushes and out twin one came. Our baby girl was born. Then twin 2s waters were broken and twin 2 was pulled out feet first by the doctor in three pushes. Our baby boy was born.

Everything seemed fine. The first placenta came out then the second did not. I started hemorrhaging. Thankfully I can remember very little of what happened but I did think at one point I would die. I obviously didn’t but lost half my blood volume and needed a transfusion.

It did mean an extended stay in hospital but we finally made it home yesterday evening.

37 plus 1 – induction

I rang yesterday to check for beds to see if my induction would still happen. After several phone calls it was confirmed that I would come in in the afternoon.

Both babies where monitored and I was also monitored for silent contractions. Twin 1 was not pleased with being monitored and kept kicking the heart monitor. The midwife had to keep moving the monitor around to get a reading so I ended up being on the monitor for an hour instead of 30 minutes. Both babies were fine so they were happy to proceed with a pessary which would open my cervix over the next 24 hours.

The midwife examined me and got everything ready for the pessary, however it turned out I was already 2 cm dilated so there was no need for the pessary as they could already start things off by breaking my waters. However they weren’t ready for me to be this ready and had no beds on delivery suite for me. They therefore decided I would go to the ward and wait.

At 10pm they said we were next to home upstairs and my waters would be broken in the night. Unfortunately they had some emergency admissions so at 11.30 pm my wife was asked to go home (partners aren’t allowed to sleep on the wards) and I was told I would not be getting my waters broken until tomorrow (now today).

I really hoped I’d go into labour overnight but it didn’t happen. I did have one of the worst nights sleep ever. In hindsight ear plugs and a eye mask would have been a good idea. Even with the lights off the ward is go bright. The woman in the bay opposite desided that 11.45pm was the best time to call all her family members on her phone and talk loudly to them for almost an hour.

I am really hoping they have beds in the delivery suite today or I go into labour naturally. I’m ready to meet my babies.

36 weeks 4 days

This last few days I’ve been lacking in energy. I’ve gone from having loads of energy and going around cleaning everything to finding getting up off a chair takes every ounce of energy. I have also been more grumpy and snappy.

I’ve not been sleeping very well, which I think is the problem. I’m going for a wee at least four times a night and just can’t get comfy. I also feel so heavy.

I had my midwife appointment on Thursday and she confirmed the first baby is low in the pelvis. Twin two is still stuck right up in my ribs. My hips have been sore and walking and driving is now more uncomfortable. My blood pressure was in normal range but on the high side of normal so she’s told me to ring if I feel unwell. Otherwise she was happy with everything.

So Tuesday is still the planned induction day if the hospital has beds. I have to call at around 6.30am to confirm. I keep hoping I’ll start in labour before then but I’m running out of days.

I have also had to be a bit secretive about the induction day as my wife’s mother has said she will turn up at the hospital as soon as I go into labour. We’ve made it clear she won’t be let in and that only the two of us will be at the birth but she doesn’t listen. I’ve found this hard as it’s meant I’ve not been able to tell many people in case it gets back to her and she turns up and causes problems. It also adds to stress that I don’t need. She’s very excited and her hearts in the right place, but she wants to know everything. In my tired state I have no patience.

Families can be very hard and everyone has their own opinions on everything pregnancy related. Thankfully my family are far more laid back.

36 weeks 1 day

I have made it to 36 weeks. My last growth scan was yesterday and both babies are growing well. They have estimated twin one as weighing 6 lb 4 and twin 2 as 5 lb 10. Twin 2 however was hard to measure as it was all bunched up.

Twin 1 is still head down and low down ready to engage however not down in my pelvis yet. Twin two is now sideways in my rips, with its feet by its face.

My induction is still booked in for next Tuesday however I have to ring before coming in to make sure they have room for me. If not then it will be put off to the following day.

I’m feeling ready to give birth now. I’m so heavy and uncomfortable and my back hurts a lot. I’m still able to drive and I’m going for little walks every day. My house has been cleaned top to bottom and I have made lots of healthy meals for the freezer. I’ve also made sure the cupboards are full so we don’t have to worry about shopping in the first few weeks.

I can’t wait to meet them both. By the end of next week they should be here.

34 weeks and 2 days

My last clinic appointment with the consultant has a week ago last Monday. I’ve seen a different doctor most times I’ve been. The lady I saw was happy with my growth scan and happy I could try to have the babies normally, as twin 1 is head down. Twin 2 is breach but they will try and turn twin 2 when number one is born or failing that I may be able to give birth to number 2 breach. Last resort will be a c section.

My blood pressure was normal but I did have a little sugar in my wee. She wasn’t to bothered about this. I was then told if the babies aren’t here by 17th April I will be induced. I am to turn up at 8am on 17th. I have my last scan on 10th April and they will confirm any details then.

I finished work last Friday, which I was more than ready for. I’m technically on leave this week and maternity leave starts next week.

I had to put extra hours in to get everything done and my diary was full of meeting after meeting. Thankfully my manager let me take some time owing, so it means I have a bit more leave to carry forward for when my maternity leave ends. No more work now until November. Yay.

I have found I’ve been busy every day this week, as everyone wants to see me before the babies arrive. Also as it’s half term a lot of my friends with children are off work so want to meet up. So I’m still worn out but it’s a different kind of worn out to work worn out.

I’ve put time aside for relaxing next week. My friend is doing a raki session with me and I’ve booked in a pregnancy massage. I can’t wait.

My midwife saw me this morning and everything is looking good. No sugar in my wee this time. Both babies heartbeats are sounding good. All my bloods are good. My iron levels are all good. I have just one more midwife appointment left in two weeks time (unless babies don’t wait that long).

Health wise I’m doing well. I’m tired and breathless but otherwise still able to get around OK. I do find when I go shopping everything I want seems to be on the bottom shelf, which I can get down to but getting back up is only achieved by holding on to something and grunting.

Less than three weeks left until these babies get here. I can’t wait to meet them.

32 weeks 4 days

My tummy is feeling very heavy now. Breathing is also becoming harder and I walk more like a penguin these days. Thankfully I have only a week left at work. I’m exhausted by the end of the day and I am really ready to finish now.

We had a growth scan last Monday and both twins are growing well. Their estimated weights are now 4lb 2 and 3lb 14 so I’m carrying over 8lb of babies around, which explains the tiredness and difficultly breathing.

Both babies are wiggling around a lot and respond when me and my wife talk to them. It still feels odd they will be born in less than five weeks and we will finally be parents.

We attended an antenatal breastfeeding class this week. It was all free and run by volunteers. They run support groups for new mums where you can get advice and socialise so we are going to go along when the twins arrive. They were able to give information on breast feeding twins which helped me get my head round how it would work.

I’ve had increased back pain and more braxton hicks this week so it feels like the are getting themselves ready. I’m hoping they don’t come to soon and at least wait until I finish work next week.

One year on from miscarriage

It was a year ago today that I was called by my ivf clinic to say my hgc levels had fallen and I would start miscarrying the pregnancy I had so longed for.

It had taken two fresh ivf cycles and four frozen transfers to finally get that positive pregnancy test. I went from the happiest I’d ever been to the saddest. It was devastating and I never thought I’d recover. People told me I should be grateful it was early (6 weeks), but I already saw my pregnancy as a baby. I already felt a bond and completely fell in love with my baby from the moment I knew it was there.

We laid flowers at the reservoir near our house, as we’d walked there the day before I found out I was pregnant. It seemed like the right place and we needed somewhere to go and remember. We still go there and take flowers and spend time just thinking of the baby.

A year on I am sat here with two wiggly babies growing in my belly. Our last two frozen embryos are now growing nicely in my tummy and I’ve made it to 32 weeks. It’s hard to believe I’m here and this is real. I never thought I’d get here and I’d pretty much given up hope.

I will always remember my first pregnancy. It will always be my baby and have a special place in my heart. I’ll make sure I tell our children about their brother or sister who never got to be with us.