When Laura and her partner decided to try for a baby in May 2014, they were thrilled to discover she was pregnant by November, but unfortunately the pregnancy was ectopic and Laura had to have emergency surgery to remove her left fallopian tube. This was devastating and with one tube removed, Laura was sure it would take forever to get pregnant again if at all.
They decided to wait 3 months to try again……then 6 weeks later Laura unknowingly fell pregnant again. Laura was sent for an early scan to make sure that the pregnancy wasn’t ectopic. The sonographer explained that happily the pregnancy wasn’t ectopic…not only that, there were two sacks! Laura was in complete shock and was told she’d have to return for another scan at 10 weeks when they could hear the heartbeats to confirm that both babies were viable. The next 6 weeks were the longest 6 weeks of her life and she prepared herself for every eventuality so at 10 weeks she went for the scan and both babies had good strong heartbeats Laura and her partner were elated!
How far into the pregnancy did you find out you were expecting twins?
What was your reaction?
I was completely shocked and over the moon but because it was so early they couldn’t confirm that either baby was viable and we had to wait until 10 weeks to find out if both babies had heartbeats.
How do you feel your pregnancy differed to those of friends/family with single babies?
My pregnancy was completely different to my first baby. I got very big very quickly for a start, and by 28 weeks my back and hips were really suffering. I felt very vulnerable probably due to hormones and the worry that they would come too early.
Did you suffer from any symptoms typically associated with a multiple pregnancy? Ie Pre eclampsia, extreme nausea, gestational diabetes?
I didn’t suffer with any of the above but I did have obstetric colastasis which I also had in my first pregnancy but with my twin pregnancy it was far worse and I had a lot of sleepless nights.
What tests did you have to confirm your multiple pregnancy?
I only had scans to confirm it was twins
At what stage of pregnancy were your twins born?
31 weeks + 5 days
About the birth
Where did you have your babies?
How long was your labour?
I started having little contractions from 5.30am but didn’t get to the hospital until 8.45 and my first twin was born at 10.23am I was almost fully dilated by the time I arrived at the hospital.
What was the time difference between baby 1 and baby 2?
How did you feel having had one baby, knowing that you had to do it all again with the second?
Because it was so quick I really didn’t have anytime to think about it, plus with them being so early all I could think about was whether they were ok.
Were your babies premature?
8 weeks and 2 days
How long were you/they in hospital (if not a home birth)?
They stayed in hospital for 5 weeks and 1 day
Coping with two
What support were you given by midwives and health visitors?
To be honest the health visitors didn’t have a lot of involvement they were there if I needed them but I gained so much information and help from the neonatal unit that I haven’t needed much input.
What support were you given by friends and family?
My mum has been a superstar. My partner works away a month and back a month and for the first couple of months he was away she practically moved in. Now I like to manage for myself but she is always there if and when I need her.
Did you breastfeed or bottle feed or a combination?
I expressed when they were born for 2 weeks as the suckling ability does not exist until 34 weeks, but I struggled to produce much milk so they had to be given formula as well, after 2 weeks I decided to stop as it was too difficult to travel to the hospital constantly as well as express as well as look after my 4 year old.
What was the hardest part of coping with two babies?
There are many difficulties to being a mother of 3 but the hardest part of all was when I had to leave them in the hospital everyday for the first 5 weeks, it was heartbreaking not being able to protect them and be there for them. The day to day difficulties I seem to find hard are when they have had a bad night and then they tag team me all day so the theory of sleep when your baby sleeps goes straight out the window with twins that like to sleep at different times!
What has been the best part of having twins?
Waking up everyday to their beautiful happy faces, they are so different and its interesting to watch how they react to different things like food, playtime and even affection.
What advice would you give to parents expecting twins?
Stay 2 steps ahead and you’ll only fall one step behind! They are individuals and it’s hard to cater for that so there are things I set that they had to both do such as feed and go to bed at the same time. then in the day if ones is feeling playful and the other wanted to sleep I would just go with it, it also gave me a chance to have some one on one time.