Does a Multiple Pregnancy Have to Mean Multiple Mayhem?
There is no telling how you found out you were having twins, but once you did, there is a good chance that your prenatal care took a dive to the wild side! In the beginning of pregnancy (especially until the 12 week mark), it is difficult to get a doctor to take anything you say as serious unless, of course, you are having twins! In which case, you become an instant OBGYN celebrity whose calls are miraculously transferred to a live nurse every time you call. You are also given the gift of more ultrasounds than ever thought possible! The bottom line is that although your pregnancy and birth may be a tad more cumbersome, there is definitely no need to panic or take your cues from your doctor who will seem worried about every little thing!
Research suggests that most, 7 out of 10 to be exact, multiple pregnancies go off without a hitch. This means that all that stuff you are reading in magazines and pregnancy books is doing nothing but scaring you to death and making you paranoid. If you are a healthy woman, are taking care of yourself, and are making sure you are not over-exerting yourself, there is nothing to say that your pregnancy won't go full term. There is also nothing to denote that your babies will be born with any problems. Further research into twin deliveries reveals that 8 out of every 10 twin births in the United States do not involve a serious life threatening condition to either of the newborns. In other words, your babies will be just fine!
Consider that it is perfectly natural and normal to have twins. If your female anatomy is healthy, then your risks of premature delivery are not much higher than they are for single births. In the last trimester, it is normal for things to get heavy, and with the average weight of twins being around 5.1 to 5.8 pounds per baby, you are carrying little more than what the average woman carries with one! So what is all this hubbub about? Physicians are definitely more careful with their mothers of twins, and they order tons of extra tests and periodic checks. Chalk this up to the fact that as the medical world knows more, they become more equipped to do more.
You will no doubt begin getting ultrasounds that compare the babies around the 28-week mark or even sooner. These ultrasounds will monitor growth to ensure that one twin is not already imposing their will and hogging up all the nutrients. Doctors will keep track of percentages, and from week to week, these will change drastically. If you have a week where one baby hasn't grown much and the other has grown tremendously, be prepared for some intense sibling rivalry. Also, realize that in two weeks time, this can average back out. If the discrepancy continues and becomes frightening, doctors can, and will, deliver you early.
For most twin moms, the biggest fear is having the babies too soon! Keep in mind that there are millions of babies born between the 34 and 40 week mark that are perfectly fine. If this becomes a risk at any point, your doctors can give you shots that will help ensure that your babies' lungs in utero develop more quickly. However, being dilated or effaced at 30-32 weeks doesn't always mean birth is imminent. Plenty of women go all the way to the full term mark having been dilated for well over a month. Until your water breaks or you can't stop contractions, predicting your birth is still a crapshoot.
If you are pregnant with twins, imagine that there is twice the liability on doctors when it comes to your treatment! Perhaps this is why they over react and start over performing procedures with twin moms. The problem is that this extra attentiveness can cause any pregnant woman to feel like something is wrong or that something is going to go wrong! From someone who has been there and done that, you have to put your foot down and consider that often what is best for your babies…is what's best for you! You should feel peace of mind, remain flexible and be able to enjoy the pregnancy without feeling as if you are a science experiment! You are not the first to be pregnant with twins and definitely are not the last! The chances of you having a problem-free birth are definitely in your favor! Enjoy the ride, and realize as early in as possible, that everything is going to be all right!