So you are having twins? the Maternal fetal specialist asked? "Are you excited?" By this time, the Wednesday afternoon Hunter was excited and I was just stressed to get these two doctors appointments done. You see, my obs/gynea had to evaluate the risk of the pregnancy after the reports from these two doctors. He proceeded to do a very high definition scan and various other tests himself and kept saying, "looking well" and "very interesting" which freaked me out a bit. Back in his office he explained that their Downs syndrome risk was very low indeed and that all else looks fine. They are also attached at the opposite two sides of the uterus and are completely separate in all senses. He said we should think about this pregnancy as two separate pregnancies taking place at the same time - well, almost the same time. Then he asked the interesting question: " Is it possible that you could have conceived one of the babies about 4 to 6 days after the other?" (He knew that the babies were timed with an ovulation test and we knew the exact conception date). We looked at each other and almost immediately answered together - yes - 5 days! It turns out that the one fetus measured 5 days younger than our conception date -he explained that at 12 weeks growth and genetics are not factors yet and your most accurate conception and delivery date can often be measured. Sop now we had one fetus with a 5 day younger age - good to know when delivery time came near. This also explained why at 6 weeks there was only one heartbeat - the other was still too young! (and small embryos can hide anywhere!)
He evaluated the pregnancy as to my build and size, the measurements and health of the placentas and babies and deemed me, apart from the kidney problem, to be an ideal twin carrier. According to him, if my kidneys can keep it and off course, if no unexpected problem occured, we could have a successful twin pregnancy. We were so relieved! It was as if I received another confirmation from God that all will be ok. He was so positive! We were scheduled to see him again at 20 weeks for a detailed anatomical scan but my hopes of a VBAC delivery was shattered.
My appointment at the Nephrologist the next day was one of the most stressful days of my life. I knew that this was the big hurdle. And would you know, that God surprised both me and the Neprologist with 100% normal functioning kidneys! (Which stayed 100% throughout the pregnancy and promptly after the birth of the boys, returned to their "normal" state of hyper filtration.) He could not explain it. When my obs/gynea called me the next day to say that we are going ahead as for a normal twin pregnancy, I said to her - "How did this happen?" And her answer was simply;" We as humans do not know everything. Sometimes doctors think they know, but there is only One that knows". I can not tell you how much comfort this all brought to me.
In summary, the rest of the pregnancy was uneventful. Apart from extreme tiredness I had no other major pregnancy niggles. Not even heartburn. What a change to the first one! I did have huge problems gaining enough weight (for the first time in my life) and only gained 15 kg (33 pounds). The babies gained well though, but my stomach was constantly under pressure from Little Man C pressing it as flat as a pancake at times.
At our 16 weeks appointment Dr Barbie gave me what she called our "game plan" - a list of target dates up to 38 weeks with comments at each week. For instance, when they will have a good chance to survive, when they will be 2kg etc - all indicating time in NICU next to it. She also arranged for a visit for us at the NICU at the hospital where we would be delivering. This list off course was quite daunting, but I looked at the 38 weeks(for the oldest fetus) and though that maybe, just maybe we will make it. When we heard it was twins, the whole issue about gender just flew right out of our minds. We only concentrated on surviving the pregnancy. Now off course, we starting wondering once again. Hunter was so sure that he will only have girls, that he refused to believe when at last at 20 weeks at the maternal fetal specialist we saw that the baby on my left, the older one, was very clearly a boy. I was so delighted! Believe me that two girls would have been so welcome and we already had two girl names (no boy names yet) Now my thoughts were that a pigeon pair would be great as The Lil Miss would enjoy a sister and the bond should not be that tight between the twins if they are different sexes.
Finally at 25 weeks (yes so late!) Little Man L showed us his tools and Hunter could not take the smile of his face. Yes, he was going to have two sons! We were having the perfect twin pregnancy and I worked full day until 30 weeks and half day until 34 weeks. I also continued with my yoga until 34 weeks. For the first week of my maternity leave I ran around to get everything in place, and then, all of a sudden,I found I could hardly walk anymore. So for the last 2 weeks I was on self imposed modified bed rest. At 36 weeks the boys both measured very near to 3 kg and as the placenta of Little Man L seemed to not functioning as well as she would like and the weight was getting excessive, the delivery was scheduled at 37 weeks 1 day (and 36 weeks 3 days for Little Man L).
My experience of the C section was quite different this time. Everything was so relaxed and organized and I had no discomfort at all. At 13:50 on 25 September Little Man L was born. He had a true knot in his placenta and as he was pulled out his placenta tore of my uterus - luckily this was spotted by my doctor. He weighed 2,92 kg (6,4 pounds) and was 48cm (18,9 inches) long. After repairing my uterus Little man C was born at 13:57 weighing in at 3,02 kg(6,7 pounds) and at 49 cm (19,3 inches) long. They both had healthy APGAR of 9.
We named the boys after their grandfathers- we decided that the first born would have Hunter's dad's names - Leon Jacobus and that the second born will have my dad's names Christian Hendrik.
After holding the boys for a couple of minutes Little man L became pale and was put in an incubator with oxygen. He cried uncontrollably and the nurse came to get Little man C from me and placed him next to his brother. And immediately they both were content. What a special twin moment!
I spent a bit of time in recovery due to my usual after reaction to the spinal and the blood loss from the tear and when I arrived back in my room about 30 minutes later, there was Hunter sitting with his boys. What a proud daddy.
Our first visitors just an hour later was Granny Annie and The Little Miss - my mom had bronchitis and sadly only saw her grandsons 5 days later.
Meeting her brothers- she brought them bunnies. Check out the name tags on the hats - I was scared I would not know them apart, but they looked so different that there was really no need for it.
She got her own twin babies from the brothers and quickly like her mom, became an expert tandem breast feeder.
A very tired me sharing a special moment with my firstborn.
The hospital comes to take a photograph of the biggest twins of the year. (They kept the record for 2007 and 2008 - not sure about this year)
Spending half of day2 and 3 under the lights for jaundice. Both had it much lighter than The Little Miss had.
Going home after 3 days.
And the lesson I learned with this miracle - trust God to deliver on His promises and be careful of what you pray for - you might just get it (times 2!)
Off course, the biggest reason I am always thankful for is my hubby and my sweet sweet children. My little miracles.
Playing along with Thanksgiving Thursdays now at Elyse
And Thankful Thursdays at Laurie