Monday, July 28, 2008

Pins and Needles

From the "Looking Back" Series...

Since my husband and I had been through infertility issues and a miscarriage, we were definitely on pins and needles about this pregnancy. When we found out that I was carrying twins and I was now part of the elite group of patients called the "high risk" group needless to say this didn't make it any easier. Our intial appointment with the doctor after confirming the twins at the ultrasound pretty much went like this...

"What do you do for a living?" I'm in marketing, I sit at a desk.

"Okay, that is all right, you can continue doing that...well, we have many patients in the practice that are having twins right now. We have to tell you that sometimes one of the twins may not grow, known as Vanishing Twin Syndrome, and so we will be carefully monitoring their development." Okay, can I exercise?

"Yes for now. But no strenuous exercise and I want you on pelvic rest." Okay...what is pelvic rest?

"No tampons, douching or sex." Oh, okay...

All pregnancies make for a big change for the body so depending on the person they may or may not be as active as they were prior to conceiving. In a healthy normal pregnancy, most mothers can fare well by continuing at the same activity level as they did prior to becoming pregnant. With multiple pregnancies, the amount of activity also depends on the person and I have heard of many mothers of twins being quite active for a long stretch of their pregnancy. But others aren't so lucky. For questions relating to this, consult your physician or midwife. Do not take my word for it!

Once I found out that I was having twins, I stuck with the doctors in the practice instead of seeing my midwife again. I should have asked to continue with her and just have the doctors consult throughout the pregnancy. I think I was so caught up in the "high risk" part of it, I thought I should just see the doctors since they were going to be involved anyway. (In my practice, I could have continued seeing my midwife and the doctors. I would have had the best of both worlds, but I didn't go with this option. I should have done this.)

When my husband and I left that appointment, we decided to wait telling anyone else until we were "out of the woods". "Out of the woods" for us was waiting until we were done with the first trimester. The first trimester is between one to twelve weeks. After week twelve, the statistical chances of having a miscarriage drops significantly so many people feel that after this week, it is best to begin telling people about the pregnancy. (And some women begin "showing" at this time, so it may be hard to hide, too.) This is a matter of personal choice. Every person reacts differently to their pregnancy news. Some women call everyone as soon as they see two lines on the pregnancy stick. Others wait until their first appointment or after blood work is confirmed. Still others set a personal date in their head when they think it is best to tell. While others like us decided that the beginning of the second trimester was the time. I did struggle with this a little bit because although we wanted to be sure that everything was going to progress, being a Christian we sure could of used the prayers early on.

Despite the ultrasound confirming that the babies were doing fine, I continued to spot throughout the first trimester. It seemed like every other week I was having a new round of spotting. For those who aren't completely familiar with what spotting is, I will give you the basic criteria I use to describe it. (Sorry, but you can't come to a site like this and not hear about bodily fluid, it is inevitable!) It is brownish, pinkish or red tinged fluid that is spotty or extremely light in flow. If you experience more of a red flow that is heavier than what cervical fluid is, this is commonly considered a period, but I have heard of instances where this is still considered spotting. Spotting is nothing to be taken lightly, so always call the doctor when you experience it, but also know that spotting is a tricky symptom at preventing outcomes. I spotted with my first pregnancy and it ended in a miscarriage. I spotted with my second pregnancy and it ended with two healthy little girls. Throughout my research on spotting, I have found this common statistic - 50% of the time spotting ends in miscarriage while 50% of the time spotting ends in a normal pregnancy. Wow, does that make you feel better?? I know I was certainly relieved! (I am being sarcastic here.) Here is what I surmise about spotting. If it happens, call your doctor giving them helpful information like what it looked like, how often and for how long. If you are very early on in the pregnancy (like just finding out), they may ask you to wait it out and take another pregnancy test later on to make sure the pregnancy isn't terminating. If you are little further along, they may bring you in for an ultrasound and check up.

I spotted until week 11. During those weeks of spotting one week and then not the other was grueling for me! I spent several hours in the doctor's office being checked each time I had an episode. I remember crying to one doctor because I was so scared and frustrated. (He ended up being the doctor that delivered Peanut & Jelly Bean.) But throughout that first trimester though it was scary I got several ultrasound pictures for my little ones and the first time I heard both of their heartbeats the reality of their existence became so much clearer. My little blobs were alive and growing. They were on their way. Think postive. Think positive.


Helene said...

I found your blog on MBC! I love reading other twin mom blogs! I could totally relate to everything you wrote about the scary 1st trimester. I remember with my 1st twin pregnancy I had a really bad bleeding experience at week 8 and it scared the life out of me. Everything turned out to be fine, obviously, but wow, it scared me big time. It was then that I realized just what the RE meant by "high risk pregnancy".

I look forward to your future posts!

twinmama said...

Thanks, Helene! I have been reading your blog. I wish I would have known about your blog when I brought home my girls, we seemed to have had similar experiences!

God bless!