Preeclampsia and twins. Part one of my twin birth story.

preeclampsia in twin pregnancy

Author: Kirsten Smith

36 weeks pregnant with twins

Everything was going pretty well in the pregnancy (except for being unbelievably uncomfortable) until our last ultrasound at 36 weeks. In the lead up to this ultrasound I was so big and so uncomfortable and really just quite miserable – and honestly I was just waiting for the doctors to announce an induction date. I was pretty convinced I’d be pregnant forever, but also on constant alert for pre-term labour. It was a very confusing time.

Anyway, the 36 week ultrasound was FINALLY here and I was so excited to finally know when this was all going to end. (I’m such a miserable pregnant person)

So the ultrasound goes ahead, Twin A was doing really well she was head down and her estimated weight was about 2.7 kgs (awesome!)

But we discover that Twin B is still really small, and we suddenly realise why she had been small through out the pregnancy.

Twin B had a minor chord insertion, which basically meant that her umbilical chord was attached at the very end of the placenta instead of in the centre -so she was working extra hard to get nutrients.

So we spoke with the obstetrician and the midwife, and we agreed to set an induction date for the next week. Which would make the girls 37 weeks.

Getting the induction date for our twins was a huge relief

I was very relieved, to finally have an end point was a HUGE weight off my shoulders. We were very excited – except for the fact that this was the middle of winter in Canberra … which means one thing.

We all had the damn FLU …. I had a very blocked nose and one hell of a cough – just remember that as we continue.

Being diagnosed with preeclampsia and twins

THEN the Saturday before my induction date I was putting my son Bradley down for a nap (like I always do) and when I got up my vision went all blurry. Kind of like when you’ve come into a dark house after being out in the sun, but it didn’t clear. I couldn’t focus on anything. It was pretty scary.

Preeclampsia and twins can be more common, so we were already on alert for any of the symptoms.

Blurred vision or seeing stars, swelling of feet and hands, high blood pressure, protein in urine, pain just under the ribs and a headache.

So Dave (my husband) encouraged me to call my midwife, and she agreed that I should get checked out.

(Such great timing …with Bradley just going down for a sleep)

Once we got to the hospital, I was strapped into a CTG machine – which straps around your tummy to monitor the babies heart beats and the uterus.

The girls were doing really well …. I was not.

I had very high blood pressure, there was protein in my urine and I was already so swollen – definitely preeclampsia.

preeclampsia and twin pregnancy

Preeclampsia and twins

I was scared, I’ve never had any serious medical issues so this was pretty scary for me.

But everyone was very calm, and that kept me calm.

Anyway, the next step was to draw some blood to see how extensive the situation was. In the mean time I was given a tablet to lower my blood pressure, which cleared my vision.

We were in the hospital until 6pm (having arrived at 1pm) and finally we were given a plan.

Basically the plan was to keep my blood pressure down until my induction date 4 days away. (this was because the babies were doing well, I think it would of been a different situation if all three of us were wobbly)

So I had to come in every day until the induction date to do all the tests again. Preeclampsia and twins is taken very seriously.

Monday was when all hell broke loose.

Not only was my blood pressure higher than it was on Saturday, but Twin B’s heart rate had started to become erratic.

Once again all of my people (Dave, Midwives, Obstetrician) were very calm – which kept me from freaking out. But if I said I wasn’t scared I would be lying. I was so uncomfortable.

Turns out I was already 3 centimetres dilated. It appeared my body had decided it was done.

So it was game plan time, and my doctor basically said I wasn’t leaving the hospital until the babies were born. But I had a decision to make.

God I hate making decisions … especially when I’m not an expert on the topic.

I could choose to be admitted now, and they would monitor me overnight until I was induced the next day.


Be induced now.

Whenever I’m presented with these kind of choices, my first instinct is to look to Dave for help. He’s my person, my voice of reason and my rock.

So I look at him, hoping he can give me some sort of assistance in this choice and bless him he found the words I was looking for.

“What would you do” he says to the doctor.

She says that right now we know Twin B was stable, but that might not be the case tomorrow morning.

Dave and I go quiet – but I’m pretty sure we had both made the decision already. I’d never live with myself if we lost a baby, or she had problems later in life just because we wanted an extra night’s sleep.

So, we decided to be induced right then and there.

Immediately the adrenaline kicked in, this was it – Cue nervous vomit.

37 weeks pregnant with twins

This is part one of my birth story.  You can read parts two and three below.

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

Twins born different days. Part three of my twin birth story.


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