What I Wish I had Known About Being Pregnant with Twins

There is no way to end that swirling cloud of what-ifs after a pregnancy is lost. Well, I’m sure time eases some of the constant thinking about it, but it has only been a few weeks. So, the cloud is still there, I just dwell on it less frequently. I do know that some of my medical care was questionable and I should have been more aggressive in my pursuit of specialists and second opinions. I had even written a post about some of the issues I’d had with my care just a week before I lost the babies.

Here are some things I wish I had known sooner. Maybe it will help someone.

  • Ask what type of twins you have, (mono-mono, mono-di or di-di) and then ask, ask again. When I had my formal ultrasound, the tech verbally stated that there were two placentas. At my next appointment, my doctor asked me what the tech said  and I repeated two placentas. Weeks later, I found out that my original ultrasound report stated one placenta. I still don’t know how/where/why that error (of informing me there were two placentas) occurred or why it was never corrected. It turned out the be a critical piece of information and a possible deadly error. ASK QUESTIONS. This is one of my biggest regrets of the pregnancy. I never asked my physician to clarify the type of twins.
  • Take extra iron. This is especially important with identical twins that share a placenta. I was borderline anemic at my first appointment (11.7, 12 is normal) and when I asked if I had any extra dietary needs or supplements, she said no.
  • Ask about a high protein diet. This is again important for identical twins that share a placenta. Some studies have shown that it can help prevent twin to twin transfusion syndrome. (Ask your doctor. I am not a doctor)
  • Make sure you trust your doctor and see someone experienced with twins. I’m not going to say do not see a family practice doctor with twins ever, but I really wish I had ran, not walked, to an OB the minute I found out it was twins. And then after the high risk doctor said they were indeed identical and looked probably for ttts, I had to wait a week to see a different doctor and I was feeling worse every day. I don’t know why I just didn’t call the high risk guy back even if he was a bit of an ass.
  • Related to the above: take your pregnancy seriously. This sounds like insane advice, but I had the easiest pregnancy ever with Spencer and assumed my second would be just as easy, even with twins. People kept recommending the Dr Luke’s When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads. I read it and thought it was a little ridiculous. It was so dramatic and over-cautious. I think I was wrong.
  • Ask your doctor about weight restrictions for lifting and bed rest. I didn’t and no one mentioned anything and I figured everything was fine to proceed as normal. I hadn’t been feeling that well for a day or so, but I started to feel awful right after I lifted something I probably shouldn’t have. Two hours later, the badness started.
  • DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS. (see above)
  • Don’t listen to the internet. Although, I will say in this case the hyper-paranoia of The Bump was more on target than the drink some water and rest of the Twitter.

And here is a depressing bonus of something I wish I’d known and simultaneously wish I’d never have to know. Did you know that after a stillbirth you still get all the shitty post-partum symptoms? Of course you do, but I didn’t know that. Even with the D &C, I’m still bleeding. My milk milk came in. I had a horrible hormone dump and insane uterine cramping. Boo girlie parts! I am displeased with you.

I may add to this later. Things keep popping in my head.

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13 Responses to “What I Wish I had Known About Being Pregnant with Twins”

  1. Audrey says:

    I am sorry to hear your body is doing things that don’t make this easier for you. Do you know my friend Christa over at I Know How Is Babby Formed? She had a similar loss of triplets a year ago. She might be a good person to talk to for support, I know she’d be open to it. Mostly I wish you well.

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  2. Leah says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I am sorry your body is making it so hard for you. Perhaps you should feed it gin until it submits.

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  3. Megan says:

    I did not have a happy birth experience and wish i had stopped things and asked questions too and fought for the answers.
    We’re taught to trust doctors, and its horrible when we feel they have failed us. But we shouldn’t have to be vigilant watchdogs either.
    I hope today is better than yesterday for you.

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    Amy Reply:

    I think my point is that maybe we have placed too much trust in doctors. Or we do need to make sure our doctors are trustworthy and experienced before placing our care and trust in their hands.

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    Megan Reply:

    I understand.

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    Suzanne Reply:

    Stupid lady business needs to get with the program and stop making things harder for you.

    I think this is really good information – I had no idea there were three kinds of twins (I had only heard of fraternal or identical) or that different kinds could mean different things for pregnancy. I am very angry at the poor care you received and the cavalier way the doctors treated a pregnancy that probably should have been watched much more closely. Hugs to you, always.

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  4. molly says:

    :( I’m sorry. The what-ifs and coulda shoulda woulda’s must be so hard.

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  5. the grumbles says:

    I was one of those my-pregnancy-was-easy-so-everything’s-fine people. I was also TERRIBLE at cutting myself slack and taking it easy, I worked like crazy, did heavy lifting, crazy stuff. I didn’t want to admit that I couldn’t do it all. This is an important reminder that it’s GOOD during pregnancy to care for yourself first, if you get what I’m saying? I don’t mean that in a weird your-fault way and I hope YOU can see that it’s not either. Between your doctor and what you didn’t know at the time things probably seem grim. Don’t let them. You did your best.

    Thinking of you.

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  6. Suz says:

    You’re constantly in my thoughts & prayers. I think your advice is great & really could help someone else out. Much love!

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  7. i’ve been keeping up with your story and just wanted to comment and let you know that you’re in my thoughts and have been in my thoughts. i don’t know what to say except how sorry i am for your loss. the aftermath of loss can raise so many questions and my hope for you is that you find healing in time, and trust that you did the best you could.

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  8. TMae says:

    “Did you know that after a stillbirth you still get all the shitty post-partum symptoms? Of course you do, but I didn’t know that. Even with the D &C, I’m still bleeding. My milk milk came in. I had a horrible hormone dump and insane uterine cramping.” <— Something I wouldn't have thought of. What a second piece of horribleness on top of the first. Love you.

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  9. Rebecca says:

    Amy, I’m so sorry I was one of those Twitter optimists. I was speaking with myself in mind and how much I needlessly worry. I know NOTHING about twins and looking back I’m not certain I always said the best things.

    I am so sorry you are going through all this. The after stuff is just cruel. I am at a loss for words. I am just so sorry that you and your family are dealing with all of this. No one should ever have to go through something like this.

    I second many of the other comments – I hope that you can heal and that you don’t blame yourself or what if yourself.

    Sending you all lots of hugs and love.

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  10. Brigid Keely says:

    I miscarried a singleton juuuuuust after the first trimester and was VERY depressed for a month afterward (I mean, I was bummed about the baby, but I was also DEEEPRESSSSSSSSSSED oh hey let’s never leave this bed again kay?) and did the whole milk coming in, follow up periods are RED DEATH, etc. It sucked! Thank you so much for writing about this. A lot of folks who have never experienced miscarriage expect people who’ve miscarried to just bounce back and don’t consider the physical AND EMOTIONAL toll it can take. I hope you’re recovering and able to take care of yourself now.

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