Expecting a child can be daunting, but finding out that you are expecting twins or triplets is something else. I am delighted to let you know NW8-mums have twinned (pun most definitely intended!) with the NW London Twins’ Club.
The NW London Twins’ Club provides a forum for expectant and existing twin mums and mums of multiples to share information, tips and advice as well as an opportunity to meet other twin mums through a variety of activities and events (coffee mornings, playgroups, parent dinners, speeches and coaching).
To become a member please email email@example.com.
Below is a link to TAMBA (Twins and Multiple Births Association) for information and support.
The NCT also offers information about expecting twins or more. They also offer NCT multiple birth birthing classes.
There is also the Twin Love Concierge Class which I have heard great things about. They offer classes at Huggle in Swiss Cottage.
Below is the moving story from one of the NW8-mums to Twinhood.
It was incredible to find out I was pregnant, but never in my wildest dreams had I ever thought about how I would feel if there were two. That is exactly what happened.
After falling pregnant very quickly and finding out very early on (1-2 weeks), I was very apprehensive from day 1. ‘That was quick! Gosh, are we ready? How did that happen?’ A whole mixed bag of emotions, but of course, we were super excited too.
At around 6 weeks, I started to feel very unwell. Vomiting several times a day, not being able to keep anything down and not being able to go to work. Life changed in an unimaginable way. I was lucky I had lots of family around me. My incredible husband in particular, and my mum, who looked after me day and night.
Surely, this isn’t the normal morning sickness so many experience? After seeking advise from a family friend/gynaecologist, 2 weeks later, at 8 weeks pregnant, I had an internal scan where it was confirmed we were expecting twins. 2 babies growing inside me!! 2?!?!?!?! ‘How is that possible? We don’t even have twins in the family! (We later found out you don’t need to for identical twins!)
We were completely overwhelmed, feeling blessed of course, but to be honest, the sickness was consuming me. It was hard to feel happy. As the days progressed the sickness became worse. I was vomiting up to 20 times a day, mostly bile. I had lost 14 pounds in weight in my first trimester, and after rushing to A&E after vomiting blood, it was confirmed I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), a condition at the extreme end of the pregnancy sickness spectrum, affecting only 1% of women with pregnancy sickness. I spent many hours, days and night in hospital, on drips over the next few weeks. I was prescribed anti-sickness drugs which, whilst I was so against taking them, I had no choice not to take them as the sickness could be harmful for the babies. Extreme guilt and extreme sickness led to some very dark days.
The team at UCLH were great throughout. We were expecting identical twins. They were in separate amniotic sacs, but were sharing a placenta (monochorionic). During each scan, we were reminded that this was a higher risk pregnancy than most. The risks of TTTS (Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome) were always there. At any point, one baby could take more than the other from the shared placenta which would be dangerous. I would be kidding myself if I said I enjoyed any of the pregnancy. I was apprehensive and suffered from anxiety a few days before each scan. But each week, the sonographers seemed pleased at the rate with which both babies were growing. The sickness continued, but was controlled by the medication.
At 28 weeks plus 1 day (and 3 days before my 28 week scan), I didn’t feel right. I couldn’t feel kicking on the left hand side of my tummy. My husband and I went into the hospital where it was confirmed by a scan that the fluid levels around the babies had changed since the last scan 10 days earlier. TTTS! We knew it straight away. It was happening. We were in stage 2. Our worst nightmare. Something we read up on so much throughout the pregnancy, and yet there was nothing we could do. They promptly gave me a steroid shot and asked me to come back in the morning, so they could see if the fluid levels had changed overnight. The next morning, we met with a senior consultant at UCLH who explained that at this stage of TTTS (stage2/3) and at 28 weeks plus 2 days, the babies were safer out than in. They would need to prepare us for delivery. ‘What now?’ we asked. ‘Yes, today or tomorrow at the latest.’
They gave me a second dose of a steroid injection which would help the babies’ lungs. My due date was October 26th. I had no hospital bag, nothing with me, no time to think or gather my thoughts and we were in complete shock, but I knew at that point, I wanted the babies out if that was the safest option.
The next morning, on the 5th of August 2015, our identical twin girls were born by c-section, weighing 910grams and 1187 grams. The hours, days and weeks that followed were a blur. The girls stayed in NICU at UCLH for a week, and we were then transferred to our local hospital St Mary’s Hospital. Our girls were there for the next 8 weeks until they were strong enough to be brought home on the 6th of October. The best feeling in the world.
The care at both hospitals was second to none. We are forever grateful for everyone in the Neo Natal Units that looked after us and our girls at the most terrifying time of our lives. Our girls are strong and healthy now and totally beautiful. You would not know they were preemies. They are our everything, and we are blessed beyond words.