Author: Nicole Thomas
My twin pregnancy and birth story is unlike others.
Roughly 4 years ago my periods became erratic, sometimes not having one for 4 or 5 months. My doctor sent me off for blood tests, hormone levels, and an ultrasound and at the end of all that he diagnosed me with early onset menopause at the age of 37. This didn’t bother me greatly as I was single and had 2 children already, so the concept of not having any more children was not of concern to me.
My twin conception story
Over time though, we realised there wasn’t a lot of chemistry, so we decided to go our separate ways around August of that year. Remembering my periods have been very sporadic for 3 years now it didn’t concern me I hadn’t had one right in to October. It was only when I started feeling very nauseous all day every day I decided to see a doctor. Not for one second thinking I might be pregnant. As chance would have it, it was the same doctor that diagnosed me with early onset menopause. He asked me if I could be pregnant, and I reminded him of his diagnosis 3 years previously. He decided to do a pregnancy test just to be on the safe side, and lo and behold it was positive!
My twin pregnancy story
I was in shock to say the least. Unable to determine dating via my last period he sent me for an ultrasound the very next day. And that’s when we discovered even more shocking news! There were 2 heartbeats and I was already 12 weeks gestation!! At no point throughout this entire pregnancy did I panic. My motto literally became “1 day at a time”. I informed the father who asked me to consider termination as he did not want any more children. He said he would not be a part of the pregnancy or the Twins lives if I decided to move forward. But I had already made up my mind that I wanted these little humans more than anything.
Informing my family and friends I was going to be a mummy again, single and to twins was scary. I just asked that while they were entitled to their opinions, I needed moral support. And if they couldn’t be onboard with that then they needed to keep their negativity to themselves or walk away. Thankfully most people respected my wishes and my pregnancy progressed rapidly.
My journey with Gestational Diabetes
At 16 weeks my doctor decided it would be a good idea to do the glucose diabetes test earlier than my Singleton pregnancies. This was due to the fact it was DCDA twins, and also that my father was a Type 1 diabetic. Unfortunately the test came back positive.
At 18 weeks I was sent to a dietician and a diabetes educator. My sugars stayed fairly steady for the next 6 weeks. From 24 weeks on slowly started to rise no matter what I ate, so I was started on insulin. Other than the diabetes the pregnancy was progressing well and everything was going great. At 33 weeks I finished up at work and was looking forward to some rest time before the twins arrived, but at this point my body started giving up. My blood pressure started to rise, and I was having blurred vision, and shocking headaches. I was admitted to hospital for observation and started on a blood pressure medication which thankfully worked well. Thankfully I was allowed to return home 5 days later, but with the new plan of an elective c section at 37 weeks due to the pre-eclampsia and both twins being breech.
I live 3 hours from the hospital, so was glad to be able to go home to my older boys for another couple of weeks. Unfortunately I was in and out of hospital in that time due to my blood pressure. Eventually the decision was made to keep me admitted for observation until the 37 week mark. In all that time the diabetes remained under control with a once daily low dose of insulin.
My twin birth story
Finally the magic 37 week mark arrived and I was taken to theatre for my c-section. Despite it being my first surgery, I was calm, and trusted my doctors completely. I was given a spinal block, but it didn’t take. They didn’t want to put me to sleep if they could avoid it, so they decided to try an epidural, and thankfully that worked. They started the operation, and just a few short minutes later twin 1 was born, a beautiful boy weighing 6 pound 2 ounces. Then twin 2 arrived, a darling little girl weighing 5 pound 4 ounces. Both were healthy and taken off to special care while they completed my requested tubal ligation and sent me off to recovery
It was in recovery I felt something wasn’t right. Having had massive bleeds following my previous 2 deliveries, I knew the feeling, and just before drifting off I said to the nurse “I’m bleeding” then I passed out. I came too fairly quickly to about 10 doctors and nurses working over me. A anaesthetist was putting in an arterial line in case they needed it, a blood transfusion already in progress, a midwife manually massaging my fundus, my OB monitoring my blood loss, and a nurse explaining if they couldn’t control the bleeding they would be taking me back in to surgery for a hysterectomy!
My special care story
I was in recovery for 4 hours while they worked on controlling the bleeding which ended up being a massive loss of 3.5 litres then transferred to ICU where I stayed for 24 hours for strong pain relief with fentanyl which made me feel very unwell. The special care nurses brought the twins in 3 or 4 times in that 24 hours so I was able to get some cuddles but I honestly don’t remember a lot of that time.
Eventually I was transferred back to the maternity ward. However, by that stage my girl twin had started to vomit, and was hooked up to a thousand monitors and in a humidicrib in special care. My boy twin was doing great and as soon as I was on my feet he was able to be in my room with me. My little girl twin ended up spending 3 weeks in special care having to build her feeds up very slowly so she could tolerate them and not vomit. Being so far from home my boy twin and I were discharged, but became what’s known as boarder patients, so we could stay in the hospital with my little girl.
My post twin birth story
With regard to my gestational diabetes, upon delivery of the twins I did not have a single high glucose reading again. I no longer required insulin. Same with my blood pressure. It immediately returned to normal and I was able to cease the blood pressure medication. My wound healed well, but unfortunately I had retained placenta and continued to bleed right up until 10 weeks post-partum. My OB decided a D&C was too risky following my massive bleed and decided to wait and only do it if absolutely necessary, and thankfully the retained placenta passed itself.
I also ended up being re admitted for IV antibiotics due to a severe internal infection and ended up on antibiotics for 12 weeks following the birth.
The summary of my twin pregnancy and birth story
All up I would categorise my twin pregnancy as fairly smooth sailing right up until the last 4 weeks. But as for my twin delivery, literally every single thing that could go wrong did go wrong. It was an extremely traumatic and emotional time. The twins are now beautiful, happy, healthy, much loved little people. I am recovering slowly and am absolutely blessed to be a single mummy to the 4 most beautiful little humans ever 🙂
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