Early this morning around 2 am, I woke up breathing uneven, uncomfortable and with bad cramps in my very low abdomen. I’ve been increasingly uncomfortable this past week or two and my abdomen felt so full. It just didn’t seem right for this point in pregnancy and I was starting to get a nagging feeling of worry that maybe something was amiss.
I woke my husband Matt and asked him if he could take me to Urgent Care in the morning. He asked me if I wanted to go now, but I didn’t feel like it was an emergency and I didn’t want to wake up our one year old son at that hour. I told him it could wait until our son woke up and we would go after breakfast. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get an appointment in the next day or two and honestly, the way I felt last night scared me enough that I didn’t want to ride out the next week until my scheduled appointment. Not to mention my appointment was only with a primary care doctor and not an OB who could really tell me if something was wrong.
I felt so silly walking into the Emergency Department and asking to be seen when I wasn’t dying or severely injured but I was a worried pregnant woman with a lot of abdominal pain and that’s definingly worthy of concern. I went through several nurses, one who told me that everything I was feeling was normal and she didn’t think I needed to be there (so I was off to a *sarcastic* good start). I lucked out an had a great doctor; he was young, friendly and seemed to sincerely listen to my concerns. He did some feeling around in my abdomen, found a few particularly tender spots and decided the first step would be to confirm my pregnancy with a urine test. Once the positive result came back, he wanted to do a quick bedside ultrasound to look for bleeding and to get a sense for what was going on with my pregnancy thus far.
I was so relieved he was going to do an ultrasound, I was nervous that maybe the pain I was experiencing was due to an ectopic pregnancy that hadn’t ruptured yet but was potentially starting to build pressure in one of the fallopian tubes. The doctor first checked the my sides where any free blood would collect if I were bleeding internally, then he made his way to my belly to take a peak at my uterus. I couldn’t see the moniter from the bed where I was laying, but I saw him start to chuckle and girn as he said, “I think I may have found the cause of your symptoms.” I early asked him what it was, hopeful to know why I felt so awful and relieved to know I wasn’t just crazy. As he pivoted the screen towards me, he told me there were two babies in there.
The doctor continued to grin as he moved the wand around on my belly a little more so that I could see the two babies who were growing inside me. I was shocked, suddenly giddy with excitement and a little overwhelmed by the double blessing. He ordered a formal ultrasound in the Radiology Department to do official size measurements, find heartbeats and to pin down a due date.
Within the hour, I had a second ultrasound a chance to see my two babies again. The tech looked at my ovaries and said that it appears that I ovulated twice from the right side the month I conceived. I had no idea they could tell that from an ultrasound! The babies are fraternal twins; they each have their own amniotic sac and placenta. They are stacked with one on top and the other on the bottom, close to the cervix. As of right now they are laying head to toe in opposite directions. The little guy on top was very active, wiggling his little arms and legs. Baby on the bottom was quiet but they both had strong heartbeats and measured exactly the same size.
I’m glad to be starting this twin pregnancy out with two comparable babies and I’m hoping they both continue to grow together and one doesn’t surpass the other. The due date I had calculated according to my last cycle was December 28th but these two measured just slightly ahead of that at December 27th being their new and official due date. I’m no twin expert, but I am pretty certain most doctors won’t let twin pregnancies continue past 39 weeks and I recently read a statistic that said the average twin pregnancy is delivered between 36-37 weeks. I figure I will most likely carry them all the way to 39 weeks but only time will tell!
I had at least 3 doctors or nurses ask me if I've ever received IVF or have taken fertility drugs. Nope, these babies were conceived 100% naturally and on accident. There are a few sets of twins in my family on the maternal side, I conceived while still breastfeeding, I've had a prior pregnancy, I'm tall and I eat my veggies which means I consume a lot of folate. These are all factors that increase a woman's chances of conceiving twins.
We weren't able to get a great photo of the babies together in the womb, but you can see the two sacks and a fair amount of the lower baby here.