Sunday, May 11, 2008

why I should have known I was having twins

and why I shouldn't.

I'm really writing this post for my own amusement, but as I was fascinated by twins before I had them, I figure at least a few other people might be interested.

I didn't find out I was pregnant with twins until 20 weeks gestation - or halfway through a normal pregnancy. Turned out to be more than halfway with my earlybirds! Most of the pregnancy seemed much like my first two pregnancies, but there were a few oddities . . .

Signs That Should Have Clued Me In:
1) The pregnancy test. You know how you're supposed to pee on the stick, and then wait five minutes or so to read it? The extra line sloooooooowly turns blue, and then you know. Well, with my twin pregnancy, that line was there instantly. Thick and dark and blue. I remember telling my husband that according to the test, I was VERY pregnant. I had no idea how true that was.
2) How very, very tired I was. Not just normal pregnancy tired. Not just, "excuse me, while I find the nearest flat surface and become prone" tired, but "excuse me while I sleep standing up" tired. I thought it was different than my prior pregnancies because I was chasing two toddlers, and that was what was making me tired. Nope.
3) Fundal height. The top of my uterus was several inches higher than it should have been for how far along I was.
4) Hearbeats. I'm not so sure this should have clued me in, but I kind of think it should have clued my doctor in. When he looked for the baby's heartbeat at the last appointment before my ultrasound, he said something about "there's the heartbeat, and you can hear a bit of an echo." Um, yeah.

Signs That Made Everything Seem Normal:
1) My blood tests. Often multiple pregnancies are discovered because your AFP results are high. Mine were normal. I sort of wonder if this was because the girls were sharing the placenta and everything else, and so there weren't as many extra hormones going through my body as other twin moms would have.
2) I wasn't hideously sick. I remember watching my friend, Elena, a mom of fraternal boy twins, suffering from awful morning sickness. I figured that was par for the course with twin pregnancies. But no throwing up. So it seemed like it was just one.
3) I gained LESS weight during the first half of my twin pregnancy than I had during my two singleton pregnancies. Now I think it was because it was all going to the girls and their monstrous placenta rather than to my hips, but I'm still not sure what that was about. I sure made up for it by the end, though!
4) Movement. I actually felt the girls move later than with my other two pregnancies (turned out this was due to an anterior placenta; if your placenta attaches in front, you can't fell kicks well till the babies grow up above it, because the placenta absorbs their kicks). So there weren't any extra kicks to clue me in to the extra baby.

So, there was enough there that I wondered a few times, but I always told myself, "Nah, everyone wonders if she's having twins. Don't be silly."

That all ended while I was laying on my back in the clinic, after the ultrasound tech had warned me that she'd discovered that the placenta was anterior, and then said, "And, um, there's something else I need to tell you . . ."


peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell


mom v many said...

Oh how I can relate to this one! I have 10kids (the twins are now 26) but when I was carrying them I had not clue one until the first was born! They were not my first so I really should have known.LOL!
Oh well, live and learn...

Amie said...

This post brought back a flood of memories...
I had an early ultrasound and they still didn't catch my twins till 8 weeks later.
I was pleasantly surprised by my second pregnancy by the lack of exhaustion (comparatively)
I lost weight my almost my entire pregnancy and delivered only weighing 10 lbs more then when I started (and I wasn't overweight when i started...crazy!)
but the thing that stands out the most to me is that my bloodwork came back normal as well...possibly this is a sharing the same placenta issue like you alluded too since my girlies also shared their home for 7 months.
Here's a question for you though, crazy dreams??? I had dreams I was having multiples from the first time I was pregnant...and no such dreams with my second pregnancy...crazy no?

mrs.izzy said...


I am a mom of a 3 year old boy and 14 month old identical twin girls. I had not clue I was having twins either, until my first ultrasound (on my first appointment). It was the biggest shock of mine and my husband's life.

Let me tell you, that my pregnancy with my twins was easier than my pregnancy with my son (bar getting so big). I did not feel fatigued and did not feel exhausted with the twins. But yes, I did get very big. At 16 weeks my fundal height was at the belly button (20 weeks).

Good luck to you and I hope that your pregnancy is easy.