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We Are Having Twins!

We Are Having Twins!

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Surprise!! We are having TWINS! I announced last week that I was pregnant, I’m bringing you some more shock this week by letting you know that there’s two babies in there! We had our most recent doctor’s appointment this afternoon and I’m happy to say everything is going well and they are measuring well. Next up we have the anatomy scan in less than 2 weeks!

I wanted to (of course) share a first trimester blog post (since I am well into the second trimester), but figured I should announce the {extra} elephant in the room first. Today’s post will mostly be about twins and all that jazz, but I will go into more specifics in each trimester’s post. It would be kind of weird to mention some of my symptoms and how I’ve been feeling without giving you the full picture / knowing that there’s twins involved. Multiples actually changes a lot about the pregnancy and there’s not a ton of information out there, so I’m excited to absorb, share, and hopefully help others. Even if you’re not a twin mom or don’t know any twins, I hope you find this interesting and learn something. The science behind it all is fascinating!!

Keep reading for some of my most asked questions (so far) regarding our twin pregnancy!

Photos by Jillian Adrianne Photography

R. Vivimos Summer Half Sleeve Dress (non-maternity, wearing a S, sells out quickly, but they do restock) | Printed Button Up Short Sleeve Shirt | Mott and Bow Jeans (c/o)

 

When did you find out you were having twins?

I found out I was pregnant February 13th and told Nick on February 14th. The week of February 21st I was nauseous on and off, but never really threw up. I also never experienced morning sickness in my first pregnancy. Mid-morning February 25th that all changed when I quite literally vomited everywhere. I didn’t make it to the bathroom on time. It went all over my Ugg slippers (threw those away), on the ground, on the wall, and then finally in the toilet. All that to say I had full blown morning sickness and then some. I couldn’t even drink more than 3 sips of water or it would trigger throwing up. Anyway, this went on daily. On March 7th, I not only had a lot of vomiting, but also a lot of pain, coupled with bleeding. I had had some spotting here and there which is fairly normal (you know, until it isn’t normal…) in the first few weeks of pregnancy; however, on this day I experienced actual bleeding. I was in so much pain by late afternoon that I told Nick I needed to go to the ER. I honest to goodness thought I was experiencing another miscarriage. I finally got into the ultrasound room and expected them to tell me there was no heart beat, but instead they asked if twins ran in my family and said there were in fact TWO heartbeats. At this time I was in-between 6 and 7 weeks pregnant, so still very early on. I always hear that people are in shock when they find out they are having twins. For me I was shocked, but more so because I went from thinking I was losing another baby, to finding out I got two! I was also alone when I found out, as California hospitals still weren’t allowing any guests / visitors in the emergency room. So, Nick found out we were having twins over text. I felt bad keeping him waiting and didn’t want him to think something was truly wrong or wrong with me. I do think we have had our “oh sh!t” moments just figuring out what to do with space and all of that, but it truly has been an exciting time and we are so thankful for these gifts.

As far as what the pain was, they didn’t know. They gave me fluids because I was dehydrated, Tylenol for the pain, potassium (I was low on it), and an initial dose of Augmentin for a UTI, in addition to a scrip for Augmentin. They said the pain could have come from the really bad UTI I had, but they weren’t sure. I saw my OBGYN March 9th (2 days later) and she said I had a subchoreonic hemmorage, which is what caused the bleeding and spotting. This could have also been the reason for the pain. I was put on pelvic rest, so no exercise or anything, in an attempt to keep that under control. By my 9 week appointment, the hemorrhage had absorbed and bleeding / spotting subsided.

Above is the actual text thread I sent Nick! I said “I was right”, because I actually had three different instances where I had a hunch we were going to have twins. The first was mid-early February before I could even take a pregnancy test. I thought I felt cramps on two different occasions and wondered if it was two different eggs attaching to my uterine lining. The feelings were about 2-3 days apart. Then, late February I dreamed we had twins… TWICE! I don’t really remember my dreams, so when I do, I take note. I’ve also had several dreams in the past that came true, so I don’t take them lightly. Last but not least, a week before I went to the ER / the last day in February, I was experiencing spotting. I cried about it all day. That evening on our way to beach sunset (we watch the sunset every Sunday evening), I saw TWO dolphins swim by and immediately felt this overwhelming sense of peace. It was a big deal because 1) I love seeing dolphins in the wild and 2) The dolphins really haven’t been out much this year - at least not compared to last year. To see them in the very moment I needed it the most felt like a sign.

When is your due date?

There are varying answers here… My OBGYN will tell you my due date is October 26th, as that is what she first measured me at; however, two days prior, the ER measured me at October 23rd. At my 9 week appointment, my doctor measured me at October 22nd and then October 21st at my 13 week appointment. Today (around 17 weeks) they measured around October 20th. All that to say, I assume it is somewhere in the middle. Regardless, it doesn’t really matter because twins come often come early and considered full term at 37 weeks! They won’t let you go longer than 38 weeks - the placenta actually “stops working”, for lack of a better way to say it. So, I think they will be here end of September / beginning of October. Praying they stay in for as long as they can for better development and less NICU time. My doctor would be over the moon if it was the first week of October. Either way, when I’m asked, I say October 26th!

What kind of twins are they?

I’m not going to reveal this entirely yet. What I can tell you is that they are di/di meaning they have their own amniotic sac and their own placenta. These kinds of twins are typically the least high risk of the twin types and can either be fraternal or identical. Girl/girl and boy/boy di/di twins can either be fraternal or identical, you just won’t know unless you test their DNA after they are born. Girl/boy twins are always di/di and always fraternal. Think about DNA… identical twins have the same DNA. It is impossible for girl/boy twins to have the same DNA as one is XX and one is XY. Mo/mo twins (1 amniotic sac and 1 placenta) and mo/di twins (2 amniotic sacs and 1 placenta) are always identical.

 

Do you know the sex of the babies?

Yes! I plan on sharing this in June after we have our anatomy scan. We did the Natera Panorama blood test. This is the only blood test out there that can test the sex of more than one baby. My doctor wanted to do this for genetic reasons, so we happily obliged and were able to find out the sexes earlier than the anatomy scan.

With all the bloodwork and doctor appointments, it can be tough, especially if you don’t have good insurance. Natera was actually really great to use, as they give you a discount for paying for it within 3 days of receiving your bill. They also give you the option to pay them directly, which is cheaper than billing your insurance. It ended up being $250, which I know can still seem like a lot; however, I was expecting it to be more like $800 or something insane. If they would have billed our insurance, it would have been around $750.

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Do twins run in your family?

The short answer is yes! Before I go into details, I just want to say that I’ve heard differing things. There’s a general consensus that it is irrelevant if there are twins on the sperm side of things. Regarding the egg side, I’ve heard that it only matters in your maternal bloodline; however, I’ve also heard that your father can pass the gene on to you. Additionally, fraternal twins (two eggs) are genetic. Identical (one egg that separates) are not.

The long answer is that Nick and I both have fraternal twins in our families. My maternal grandfather had twin (boy/girl) siblings, named Sue and Jarvis. My paternal great-grandmother was a twin (girl/girl), named Emma Maxine and Mima Maurine. Nick’s grandmother was a twin (girl/girl), named Marianne and Marguerite. Nick’s grandmother’s (Marianne) father also had twin siblings (boy/boy). I am unaware of their names. All of these twins referenced were fraternal.

The truth is, Nick and I joked about having twins before since they run in our families, but we didn’t think it would actually happen!

Were you on fertility medication?

No. We were not on fertility medication. I wanted to include this on here, because I figured I would be asked this… as I’ve already been asked several times. This is a deeply personal question. If you do not have a close relationship with someone, I recommend that you don’t ask this question. Even if you do have a personal relationship, please don’t let it be the first thing that comes out of your mouth when you find out they are having twins. Why does it matter if someone was on fertility meds? I feel like this question invalidates the pregnancy when on meds. Nick and I weren’t on these; so, maybe someone else can speak to that? To be honest, it makes me feel bad answering no when I am asked. I never want to make others feel sad, especially when they are on meds and still have issues conceiving, whereas I just popped two eggs out or split an egg by chance. Just my two cents here!

How did you tell your family?

I think I will share more of the HOW we did it in my first trimester blog post or perhaps I’ll create a blog post just about this topic. The first people we told were my parents and sister, simply because they came in town early March. I was constantly vomiting, so it was kind of a must-do, so they would know what was going on. I would have preferred to wait longer than the 6-7 weeks I was, but that’s just how it worked out. They were actually in-town when I went to the ER, so they found out about twins that trip as well. My mom was in the car with Nick, so she found out that over text along with him. My dad and sister were at our apartment, so I told them when we got back. Again, we were all expecting bad news, so it was like a complete 180 and then some to find out! We told some close friends in LA and Nick’s sister next, simply because we kept bailing on hanging out. I was constantly feeling horrible, so we had to spill the beans to let them know what was up. We told Nick’s other sister and his parents when I was 11 weeks. We called and told Nick’s extended family, in addition to my mom’s brother / my uncle when I hit 14 weeks and then my extended family at 16 weeks. I had the opportunity to tell them in person, so I took it versus telling them over the phone. It’s so much more fun to be with the people when they find out!

Are you still going to live in Los Angeles?

Again, another question we have been asked, so I wanted to include it. The answer is yes. We really like living in LA and see ourselves here for the time being. This may change and we are open to that! We are excited to take our babies to the beach and have them experience the amazing SoCal weather! We are however, trying to figure out if we should move. We have a 2 bedroom apartment right now, but are debating getting a 3rd bedroom. We really do need an office and we like having an actual bed / guest room, but we also need a nursery? We may try to get a different couch set up, but TBD on this. Adding a 3rd room adds a significant amount to our rent, and that’s not something we really want to do right now. We shall see! Neither of our parents are in California, so we’d at least like to have some sort of sleeping quarters for them when they visit their grandchildren.

What books have you read / what resources are you using?

I feel behind on this. Basically for all of March I just laid in bed and tried not to throw up. I did this for the first half of April and then finally got on meds mid-April. I am still very fatigued and sometimes I don’t feel well, but I feel loads better than I did. My point in saying all that is before I was on medication, phones, computers, and even books made my nausea worse, so I really didn’t research or do much of anything. Additionally, I feel like I didn’t let myself think the pregnancy was real until about 14 weeks. I’ll speak on pregnancy after loss another time, but just wanted to mention that.

I have read What to Do when You’re Having Two and When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads. The first mention is more personal experience from a real twin mom and other moms; the second is more sciencey. I enjoyed both of them, because they bring different things to the table. If you don’t care about science, I’d skip the latter; however, I find it intriguing! The first book I mentioned is by Natalie Diaz - she founded Twiniversity, which has been a huge resource for me as well. So much good information! We are signed up for their next twin class as well. Excited to learn more!

The biggest takeaway from what I’ve learned is that what works for a singleton pregnancy, doesn’t always work for a multiple pregnancy and some things you can just throw out the window. If you don’t have time to read, try finding an audiobook! I haven’t found When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads on a recording, but I have found What to Do when You’re Having Two! Also remember you can check these out from your local library or on the free Libby app / have them right on your phone!

What’s different between singleton and twin pregnancies?

Since I only made it to 7 weeks on my first pregnancy, I can’t speak to a lot of this; however, I will say that the morning sickness is worse and longer. Also my boobs have hurt so much / my nipples have already developed a crust…Probably TMI, but hey, you asked! From what I’ve read, it happens a lot sooner on pregnancies with multiples. Another thing is the sheer amount of discharge. Wow! This has somewhat tapered off in the second trimester, but that first trimester was no joke! Overall it is also a lot more tiring sooner and you obviously get bigger faster. For example a twin pregnancy at 24 weeks often looks like that of a singleton pregnancy at 32 weeks.

One major difference is that twin pregnancies are more high risk than a singleton pregnancy. For that reason, my doctor is cutting off my flying capabilities at 24 weeks. Every pregnancy is different, but typically airlines will let you fly up to 36 weeks domestically and 28 weeks (the end of the second trimester) internationally. As mentioned above, twins are considered full term at 37/38 weeks, but on average the will come around 34 weeks. Some a little earlier, some a little later. I’m trying to make sure I gain enough weight and take it easy, so I can help prevent pre-term labor as much as possible!! This also helps with baby weight - trying to make sure we get 5 - 6+ pound babies!!

Do you need two of everything?!

Yes and no. You do for some things and you don’t for others. It’s also good to diversify toys and such. I’ll get back to you on this though. Needless to say, the registry process has been very overwhelming. I’m trying to also be more on the non-toxic spectrum of things and that coupled with twin needs doesn’t leave a lot of options. The twin niche is so small and there’s not as many resources / opinions out there. I I love reading a lot of opinions and they just don’t exist for twins. It’s not surprising I guess. The apps I use to track pregnancy don’t even have a twin option!! I did find one that lets you check a twin box (Ovia), but it hasn’t been that helpful / different from the others.

Things not to say…

No one asked this, but I just have to say it! Please consider what your responses are to people when they tell you they are pregnant. Saying “I knew it!”, “was it on purpose?”, “are you scared?”, etc need to be carefully considered as they may unintentionally hurt those you’re speaking to. People say these things in general, but they seem to come out in droves when having twins. It’s okay - we experienced this when we told people we were moving to LA. We were met with a lot of “gross” or “I could never”, even though we were obviously excited. If someone is clearly happy about something and stoked to tell you, as long as it isn’t harming them, LIE if it doesn’t sound appealing to you. Be excited with them even if you would never want or hope to have those things.

Along with not asking about fertility meds, be mindful of your questions… “Is this your first?” usually makes people sad when I answer. I don’t mean to make them sad, but I do answer honestly.

Another thing you should consider is whether you should speculate names and try to give people ideas. We really haven’t discussed names yet, but I’m pretty private and names are so personal. My suggestion is to not provide input on this unless it is asked for. Perhaps rethink phrases like this as well, “oh my dog is named that” or “the girl who was mean to me in high school was named that”. If you’re going to reference a name, at least stay positive!

Oh and one more just for good measure! Don’t ask people if they are sure if they are pregnant. It might seem like a joke, but to be very honest, I suffer from anxiety from my miscarriage. Feeling nervous that something is wrong is pretty much my life right now. I’m on the taller side and I have a long torso, so I’m not showing as much as other twin moms I know. Bodies are very different, so please keep this in mind.

Same goes for being pregnant after a miscarriage. It’s not something everyone has experienced, but people often say things because they aren’t really sure what to say. I was pregnant this mother’s day and yes with two babies!! For that I am thankful, but guess what? I still cried / mourned the baby I lost. These babies aren’t replacing the first one. Grief and joy are so often intermingled.

Granted I take all of this and try to respond with grace. I know most people have good intentions and aren’t trying to be malicious. Just trying to educate. The more you know!!

Let me know if you have any other twinnie questions and I try to answer them in my first trimester blog post next week. Happy to share and let you know what I’m doing, just make sure to always ask your doctor and do your own research. Thanks so much for the well-wishes and excitement in this new chapter of our lives!

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