Hydronephrosis and twin pregnancy. Pregnant with twins and kidney problems.

Twins born at 37 weeks kidney problems

Author: Jackie Jones

Today I learnt that it takes 14 mins to fly direct from Port Macquarie to John Hunter Hospital in a care flight emergency, this is my journal entry dated 17/06/2017. 

The day started like any other, at 26+2 weeks pregnant with twins, I had reached a point of pain every day, pain to breathe, to walk, to rest, to sit, stand, or lay so with my 572 cushions and pillows of every shape and size, I was trying to make the most of it with a 6 year old to look after as well. Baths and swims helped, but this day I had significantly increased pain come 4pm. I went for a bath, the perfect place to be weight free with the significantly increased weight on my 53kg frame BPWT (before pregnancy with twins).

I’d put on a lot of weight compared to my singleton pregnancy. The bath didn’t seem to help, and my back was hurting tremendously, so I had a glass of water and thought if I had a shower I would surely feel better, so off to the shower I waddled. (Yep I was absolutely waddling by this point). The shower didn’t seem to relieve any pain and then I began to question the pain I was feeling, like, I did have a child already so surely I would know what labour felt like, right? 

And this was very painful, I thought my back was going to snap and break in pieces and my vagina would fall off if I sneezed, or suddenly moved the wrong way, but I was 26 weeks and 2 days, so way too early to be in labour, surely? 

kidney stent twins
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Having twins in your 20s

young mum to twins

Author: Crystal Hunt

Your 20s – a time for discovering who you are, no doubt making some bad decisions, finding your passions and learning new skills. It can be an eye-opening and exciting time in your life, overwhelming on occasion and confusing as well – but I got all that and much more when I spontaneously conceived twins just 3 days after my 20th birthday.

One and done – that was the plan. Have one young, give them the world, and be not even 40 when they’re 18. Seemed simple enough, especially when those two little lines lit up just a month into trying and everything became much more real – it wasn’t just ‘trying’ anymore; we had company, but what’s that old saying – “Two’s company”.

Twin-tuition kicked in

I’d like to say it never crossed my mind – but it did. I was about six weeks along, I had just gotten my positive test about a fortnight ago, and yet I was already feeling the wrath of pregnancy. Am I drama queen or is this how every pregnancy goes? Should I be this tired? Why am I so emotional? Did I weigh that much last week? And why is the left side of my stomach so firm? 

I remember making a joke to my partner; “You know, twins run in my family.” I taunted, as I mentioned how quickly my symptoms had set in. “Ha, right.” It became an inside joke for the next three weeks, but eventually for me it became a bit more – I called it my twin-tuition. 

Pregnant with twins at 20 years of age

Finding out it was twins in your 20s

And fair dinkum, first scan at 9 weeks confirmed exactly what I had been suspecting – twins. The tech said “It looks like two, wow. I’ve never had two before.” Yeah, me neither. She had me go and empty my bladder a tad bit (I took the ultrasound instructions very seriously) and when I returned, she said “Let’s make sure there isn’t a third hiding in there” Excuse me? Save that news for another day.

My partner was waiting in the car – COVID ensures no partners in the room, unfortunately – so I had the job of relaying this information to him. I handed him the scan, with the two babies side by side, labeled Twin A and Twin B. “You have just doubled our costs” was his initial response, followed by saying I had brought a fake scan with me to trick him. 

It didn’t feel very real at the beginning – but soon enough I was going to appointments every week, high risk this and blood test that, talk of c-sections and NICUs, massage your perineum (my what?!), eat dates and sleep on your left side, are they identical? Were they planned? How can I get twins? You’re so lucky – you’re so unlucky. 

having twins at age 20

Being pregnant with twins in your 20s

It was a lot, and I often found myself overwhelmed. Publically I appeared very confident, maternal and ready, happy-go-lucky and take it as it comes, but every so often when alone I would have a tiny little panic. What if I couldn’t do it? What if I didn’t want to do it? And most importantly, what if I couldn’t love them both the same? Am I too young? 

And all the symptoms certainly didn’t help my mood. Constipation, hemorrhoids, lighting crotch and stretch marks, braxton hicks multiple times a day every single day from 15 weeks, leaking through my uniform at work, an overly full bladder and more gas in just 7 months than the past 19 years of my life combined. Dry retching at every smell and texture, dizziness and fatigue, weight gain, itchy ankles, swelling from head to toe, dry skin, a broken tooth and acid reflux so severe I would wake up choking in the night – not how I pictured my 20th year.

Nonetheless, I wasn’t ready for my pregnancy to end when it did – I had begun maternity leave just 4 days prior, and was hospitalized one afternoon following a blood pressure reading of 159/97. I was a healthy, 20 year old with no prior concerns, especially pertaining to blood pressure, so all these sudden symptoms were unknown to me. But looking back now, there were many indicators that I was unwell and I wish I had reached out sooner.

about to give birth to twins

Giving birth to twins

Upon admission, half an hour after my first reading, I was up to 180/110. Everything happened so quickly – I’d never had an IV in my life, now I had three cannulas in just an hour. Urine tests, CGTs, a blood pressure band squeezing my swollen arm, steroids and blood pressure medications, an awful migraine, and not a single moment alone. Then 2 days later, 24 hours of mag, suffering eclamptic seizures on my own, blood pressure surpassing 230/130, spinal taps, an emergency c-section, nurses milking me like a farmer’s market cow, and my own strange postpartum craving for milk, just glass after glass after glass.

You know – I thought the first time somebody would help me go to the bathroom would be in my 80s, or optimistically, my 90s. Nope, turns out it happened at 20. But hey, these things happen – as did the catheter that remained in place for 36 hours, the wound covering that ripped out all my pubic hair upon removal, the severe ab-separation and permanent numb spot surrounding my c-section scar, and my boobs that most definitely wobble to and fro; remember when they didn’t reach my bottom rib? I sure do.

twins in the NICU

How I spent my 21st year

The first half of 21 was spent in a 3 hour cycle of burping, pumping, nappy changing, sterilizing and cleaning. Oh, not to mention several bouts of mastitis and hours in the shower massaging out clogs; who knew a vibrator had more than one purpose? The second half saw my return to work thrown into the mix, because I wasn’t already busy enough – put more on my plate, please oh please I’ll eat it all.

But – things fell into place and I made it happen, and while teaching them, they’ve taught me too.

I take my health seriously – I want to be here, and healthy, for my children. I want to be here for as long as I possibly can with them; so whilst I may have previously dismissed my healthy for lack of caring, nowadays I follow up on concerns, I visit my doctor regularly, I get my checkups and I even took the big step of reaching out for help surrounding postpartum depression, and now ensure I take my medication and make time for myself. All of this, to ensure I can provide the best care for my kids; because they can’t be their best, if I can’t be mine.

Raising twins in your 20s

I juggled work and two newborns – Fortunately I live nearby to my workplace and was able to return home every day for my breaks to pump for them. And despite working full-time, my babies were breastfed for 15 months. It was awfully difficult, I won’t lie, but it did teach me some incredible lessons and showed me just how persistent and hard-working I am.

I enjoy cooking so much more now, especially since watching my little ones’ faces light up as they enjoy their home-cooked meal. Cooking is fun, and I love trying new recipes and learning new skills – whereas I didn’t have many hobbies before. 

I keep on top of the cleaning and laundry, something that very much went neglected prior to having kids – they’ve taught me to manage my time better, and to value a tidy home. Now that there are two little ones roaming the house, even on my worst days, they motivate me to make it happen because that’s what they deserve.

twin-young-mum

My body after having twins

I had more problems with my body before having kids than I do now – I was constantly critical of my weight, pedantic if the number jumped just a tad, and I was upset over small stretch marks, acne and body hair. And we all know, our bodies are never the same once we have kids – but thats not a bad thing.

I love my body now; this body created life, two of them.. at once! It was creases and crinkles, acne and scars, weird little bumps and loose skin, and a linea that is still so faint after nearly 2 years – feels like I should name it, but I might get overly attached; and my belly button, it’s not so much a button anymore, but we won’t get into that.

But you see, all these marks, they’re very special to me. If I woke up tomorrow and they were all gone, I would be heartbroken. And there has definitely been a lesson in self-appreciation learnt through these new additions to my body. A lesson I don’t think I would have learnt without them.  I spend more time outside, I feel more alive and energetic – we go to the playground, and on walks through the park – we have picnics, pluck flowers and pick up bugs – we feel the sun on our skin and the rain on our toes.

Two IS company, and it’s the best company. No better fun is had than when I am with them. And they make me feel young, like a kid almost, and I love that I can get my hands dirty with them and join in as opposed to watching from the sidelines. I won’t eat a leaf though, that’s just for them.

What having twins in your 20s has taught me

Another lesson that having twins in your 20s has taught me is to care less about what others think. We go out and eat ice-cream in public, they get it everywhere, from chin to toe and all inbetween. They’re loud and proud, they walk up to other parents at the playground and start blabbering, they run around mad and chase the ducks, they jump in water and get oh so messy, and I don’t care. They’re having fun, we’re having fun, and no passerby’s judgment or side glare will stop us from having the time of our lives.

Plus, it’s awfully healing to my inner child to be able to give them the kind of childhood that I wish I had – filled with exploration, and the freedom to make messes, fall over, play and make friends, touch this and chew that. I learnt to not hover over them, but rather watch with a keen eye and allow them to learn through their own experiences.

But most importantly

And most importantly, they proved me wrong. The reason I was settled on one and done was because I was certain I could never love two children the same, that I’d always somehow favourite one; and if you have ever felt the same, just know it’s very valid and normal. Still though, I now know that I am more than capable of equal love. They both mean the entire world to me, not only as individuals but also together. 

I never imagined my early 20s looking like this, but I also don’t know what better way I could be spending these years. Even through doubt and panic, I absolutely wouldn’t change a thing; what a blessing to create a family, and to have the privilege to grow and learn alongside these two little people, and to share my life with them. And nowadays, I couldn’t imagine being nearly as happy and enriched as I am now, if I hadn’t had my twins.

Twin mum aged 20



Twinfo

Twinfo is Australia’s largest, most supportive, online community for parents of twins and triplets. Twinfo offers advice, products and services that make raising your babies easier, freeing you up to enjoy all the precious moments.

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Thank you gifts for NICU and SCN nurses

gifts for SCN nurses

Throughout the year, many twins and triplets will spend some time in the NICU. Some may only be in there for a few days, while others may need to stay weeks or months before they are ready to head home.

During their stay in the NICU they will be loved and supported by the beautiful nurses. These nurses dedicate their time and every ounce of their effort into helping your little babies become healthy. They help you as parents to prepare for the journey, they support you and they become like family.

When it is time to head home with your babies, you may want to show your appreciation to the nurses and thank them for everything they have done. If you are looking at giving them a gift, have a look at some of these thank you gifts for NICU and SCN nurses.

twins NICU
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Outnumbered – Twin Poem

poem about twins

Author: Monica Harber

A poem I wrote about what it is like to have twins.

It’s called ‘Outnumbered’ and it’s about just that, being outnumbered.


Outnumbered

There’s more of them than there is of me.
How can I explain so that you can see?
You never experience the transition from one to two.
Instead, it goes straight from me to a few.
It’s reciting their birth order to remember their name.
Having to choose who first to tend to, torments you, fills you with shame.
So many products, places, outings so inaccessible.
The barriers, preparation, and multi-tasking; unimaginable.
You must sacrifice one to put the other in the car.
Checking that vehicles aren’t near but far.
Your needs don’t come second, but third or fourth.
Still, your heart when you cuddle them fills with such warmth.
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Triplets, twins and reducing the mental load with Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh and twins

Disclaimer: This is an affiliate blog, but I seriously LOVE Hello Fresh, so that’s why I am sharing it. My only regret is not doing it earlier when we were struggling with multiple newborn babies.


Those of you who are regular Twinfo readers know how much I talk about my twins and reducing the mental load where possible. The mental load of being a multi mum is huge (or Dad, but in my case most of their care falls to me so I am writing this blog from my point of view as a mum of multiples).

Plus….did you know that looking after newborn twins take approximately 19 hours a day?

I was at the point where my mental load was causing me to stress about my mental load! Crazy hey! So I decided to do a few things about it.

Triplets, twins and reducing the mental load

Firstly, I paid upfront for a 50 pack of Pilates classes.   Everyone talks about how exercise helps reduce stress levels, so I decided I would just do it.  And by paying up front I knew that this would mean I would go.  As I had already paid for it as I hate wasting money.

Then I looked at some of big things that put pressure on my mental load and Dave and I talked about what we could do to minimise those things.

My top one is Hello Fresh.  I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE Hello Fresh as it has reduced my mental load considerably, and has actually made me a happier person.  (Seriously!). 

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Private hospital for twins or triplets

giving birth to twins private hospital

One of the first “care” decisions you will need to make when you find out you are pregnant with twins or triplets is if you will birth in a public or private hospital.

We asked some of our Twinfo members why they decided to birth in a private hospital for twins or triplets.

Private hospital for twins or triplets

Sharnee

We chose private as I was high risk with my own medical conditions, and after ivf we wanted our own private doctor, I needed my own room as I have anxiety and stress around others.  And wanted my husband to be able to stay.  I was told with being public having him stay wasn’t able option.  Our health fund paid majority of it which is fantastic. We chose our hospital for the facilities though, as they have a pregnancy assessment unit.  Plus our OB’s office is a street behind the hospital.  Great facilities (wards, food wise, rooms, NICU etc) and we live 30 minutes away. We were out of catchment zone for their public hospital though.

choosing a private hospital for twins
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Triplets born at 27 weeks

Identical triplets born at 27 weeks

Author: Belinda Smith

Falling pregnant naturally with identical triplets was of course never part of our plan! We ‘discovered’ our little bundles at the first scan (13 weeks) leaving us very little time to adjust to the news and accept how different our life was about to become.  Of course we knew that being triplets they would be born early. However it was still a bit of a shock when they came at 27 weeks.

Pregnant with identical triplets

My pregnancy was actually pretty enjoyable and incident free.  I had a bit of nausea in the first trimester and tiredness like I had never experienced before.  Once we got to the second trimester I was feeling great.  Given the risk factors we were facing the babies were scanned every two weeks from that first scan and they received great reports every time – great length and weights and no signs of Twin to Twin Syndrome

So when Baby A’s waters broke at 27 weeks and 0 days we weren’t really expecting it.  In fact that next week I had plans to pack my hospital bag and get my hair coloured one last time before the babies were born.

born at 27 weeks prognosis
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Public hospital for twins or triplets

public system for twins

One of the first “care” decisions you will need to make when you find out you are pregnant with twins or triplets is if you will birth in a public or private hospital.

We asked some of our Twinfo members why they decided to birth in a public hospital for twins or triplets.

Public hospital for twins or triplets

Paige

Private hospitals are expensive and I don’t have private health cover. I have no complaints about the public system, particularly in my twin pregnancy. Saw the same OB for the vast majority of my appointments. I had a six night stay in a private room after my delivery (my husband also stayed in the room for those nights). Plus received great care both during the pregnancy and after delivery. All I paid for out of pocket was my gestational diabetes supplies and $13 for the vitamins my Twin B was discharged with.

Also, with what I know now I wouldn’t have chosen private even if I did have private health cover. I’ve seen too many people get turfed from private OBs when they became too high risk. And those with complications who were hoping to deliver in a private hospital end up needing to deliver in the public system because private wasn’t equipped to care for them/their babies.

birthing twins public hospital
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My twin vaginal and c-section birth story

twin vaginal and c-section birth story

Author: Natasha Lowrey

As I sit here in the hospital bed with one baby on my chest and the other snuffling in the double cot next to me I thought I’d take a few moments to reflect on the whirlwind of events of the past few days. More to get my head around it than anything else and to preserve a few key images before they disappear into the black hole of sleep deprivation and double newborns. Let’s see how I go.

My twin vaginal and c-section birth story

We’ll start the day before in the obstetrician’s office.

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Twins born different days. Part three of my birth story

twins born either side of midnight

Author: Kirsten Smith

Twins born different days. This is part three of my birth story.  You can read part one and part two below.

Pre-eclampsia and twins.  Part one of my twin birth story.

Being induced with twins.  Part two of my twin birth story

Twins born different days was not something I ever thought would ever actually happen to me. But to be fair, I also wasn’t expecting to have twins … but here we are.

Giving birth to twins – Twin A

But suddenly it was go time, I was told to let the epidural wear off so I could feel the urge to push. Everything happened very quickly after that. Twin A was very easy to push out … sorry I mean cough out!

In fact it happened so quickly that the obstetrician almost missed it.

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