Third Trimester Twin Pregnancy Complications

In the final chapter of our series we will cover third trimester twin pregnancy complications, as well as life after birth...

As mentioned at length already, and not to belabor the point, I got ridiculously large. I couldn't sit, without spreading my legs to gynecological proportions apart in order to make room for the ever-expanding Fetus Module. I needed assistance lifting my abdomen to roll over in bed. I certainly wasn't shaving my legs. I couldn't see them. Walking was an act that had me huffing and puffing like the big, bad wolf with a particularly resistant house to demolish. Understandably, I stopped brushing my hair.

Additionally, the contractions were an all-day every-day phenomenon and I was sick of them. I was sick of counting down to the next dose of medication, which was working less and less well as time wore on.

Then my blood pressure, high for weeks, got higher. My swollen cankles got cankles of their own and my wedding rings no longer fit. I developed, as is more common in multiple pregnancy, pre-eclampsia.

It was probably a good thing in retrospect that my waters broke all over the bathroom floor at a very antisocial 3am at 36 weeks, 0 days and I went into labor For Real after practicing it for sixteen weeks, although by this point a c-section had already been scheduled for the next day.

Life After...

The inconvenient timing of my labor set off an amusingly keystone-cops series of events that fortunately culminated in the healthy birth of my twins an hour later by c-section.

Stoned on morphine, thrilled that neither baby had any trouble breathing and had beautifully normal apgars, and (pathetically) hungry again, it took me several hours to wonder just why I hadn't seen either child since their birth.

Here I was, thinking I looked fabulous swanning around ward, jabbering away at high speed on mobile phone, only two hours post major surgery. It couldn't last and it didn't. I was in for a rude shock when I did track down my newborns. They were in the NICU...What? Why?

One twin, had a seizure-threshold low blood sugar. The other wasn't warm enough. Neither could eat and so had nasogastric tubes. They were in humidi-cribs.

All of this is such small potatoes in the world of prematurity but it is a big shock when it's YOUR babies and you think you're so near term that you'll swan out of hospital, impossibly thin and with two babies in your arms. Sometimes people do, I just wasn't so lucky. I ended up going home with neither.

Even now, recounting that makes me teary. The emotions were heightened at the time by massive sleep deprivation. Nobody tells you the birth high is at jumbo jet cruising altitude. I couldn't sleep at all for three days, despite sleeping tablets.

The crash that followed was as inevitable as it was impressive. Morphine -aided failed breastfeeding attempts of babies who were too tired to suck in all sorts of not-quite-private locations followed. My milk didn't come in, I couldn't let down at all for the pump. Sobbing, I left the nurses to feed babies as I was clearly useless.

Begging the staff to talk to me like I was actually a rational human being, I bawled my eyes out about the fact that my diastasis recti (splitting of the abdominal muscles, another common event when pregnant with multiples) was so big you could fit both hands in it.

But it did get better.

Despite some bumps in the road involving a readmission of one twin followed by a god-awful full septic workup (including lumbar puncture, bladder aspirate and a dozen IV sticks followed by a heavily provoked breath-holding attack and fitting), I'm now out the other side with two healthy, crawling infants.

In summary, despite all the scary talk, you are likely to take home two healthy babies. Good luck!

Visit the Mission: Impossible (or adventures in infertility, pregnancy...parenting?) blog.

› Third Trimester Complications

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