Read our article to learn about premature twins. We have included the story of a couple who experienced this situation.
We learned a lot from our twins’ pregnancy and birth experience. Here are some tips for anyone going through this:
- Delivering at 32 to 33 weeks is OK these days – the technology is incredible and those babies should be fine.
- You really do take “one day at a time.” Just deal with today. Tomorrow, deal with that day.
- There will be A LOT of people at a premature twins delivery – about eight or nine, plus another eight to 10 in the room next door accessing the babies.
- The NICU is noisy: Alarms and monitors are very sensitive and frequently go off.
- The timing of labor and delivery is totally unknown. I was looking at the days in JUNE I wanted my wife to deliver and her water broke April 30!
- Ultrasound weights are estimates and can be plus or minus 25 percent – that’s a lot.
- Yes, you can do it.
- The childbirth movies are gross. But when it’s your wife and your children, it is totally different. You will get into it.
- Have a small sheet of paper in your wallet with important people’s phone numbers, and don’t forget your calling card. Most likely, you will be calling a lot of people with news.
- Hospitals are not male or family friendly. They are boring. It will take some creativity and work to make a long hospital stay interesting.
- Labor is the roughest thing you’ll ever see your wife go through. The help you can give her is very important, but limited. You’ve heard it before, but it is SO worth it. Once things settle down and that little miracle (or two!) looks up at you when you hold it, you won’t BELIEVE the feeling.
- If your wife has bed rest, especially at a hospital, it is worse for her, but it is tough on you, too. No longer is your role simply holding her hand and saying “breathe” and “push.” With your job, possibly other children, the house, errands and running to the hospital, you’ll wish YOU had a twin!
- Be prepared! Once you get to about 27 weeks, you WILL have a baby, so get everything you need to get done soon after that. We’ve met people who have spent up to four months at the hospital. Pretend she’s in labor and make a practice run. At 1:30 in the morning I (nervous wreck) had to put together a suitcase of stuff of which I had no idea where any of it was!
- Lastly, take lots of pictures and use your hand or a prop (stuffed bear, ball, etc. for a size reference). You’ll forget just how small they were.
To sum it up, I guess the moral of this story is that when things don’t go as planned, hang in there, have faith in God and confidence in the doctors, and the outcome may be surprisingly pleasant.
Check this article for more information about becoming a parent of twins : Two At Once – Becoming a Parent of Twins.
What to Expect with Premature Twins
Story of Elise
We’re members of the twins list and have appreciated all the tips we learned there. Now it’s our turn to share what we’ve learned. But first, here’s our story.
My wife, Elise, was supposed to be due on June 28, 2018. Instead, she delivered two beautiful boys at 313 weeks and 2 days gestation on May 11. Charles was 4 pounds and 18 inches long, and Noah was 4 pounds, 13 ounces, and 19 inches long. Noah came home after only five days in the NICU.
We had a great pregnancy. Elise started at 115 pounds and gained about 32 pounds by 30 to 31 weeks. Ultrasounds showed that the boys were in different positions every time. Twin A had been head down at 30 weeks.
After having a regular day with only a few Braxton Hicks a couple days before, Elise began leaking fluid the evening of her week 31, day 6. A quick check at the local hospital confirmed it was amniotic fluid. At 1:30 a.m., she was taken by ambulance to a different hospital 40 minutes away, with nothing but a purse. She was given a Celestone injection (to mature the babies’ lungs), magnesium sulfate and Terbutaline to stop the contractions (she couldn’t feel them but was contracting every two minutes). What a night! Our goal was no longer to reach 37 weeks, it was to make it to BREAKFAST! Our next goal was to hang on until lunch.
Raising twins can be difficult sometimes. Check out our article for some tips on this topic : Getting the Support You Need to Raise Twins.
Everything worked, but it wasn’t easy. Twenty-four hours after the second Celestone shot, the doctors took her off of everything except an antibiotic and planned to let her deliver naturally, whenever nature kicked in. Seventy-five percent of women will deliver within three days of their water breaking. Fortunately, Elise held on for 11 days altogether. Total bed rest, but three meals per day plus snacks helped put some weight on those boys.
Her delivery went GREAT. At 5 p.m. on her 11th night in the hospital, Elise felt some contractions. By 8 p.m., they were strong. At 9 p.m., they were very strong. At 9 p.m., they were very strong. (I ate, because I was expecting 12 to 18 hours of this.) They checked her at 10:30 p.m. and she was FULLY dilated, and both babies were head down. She pushed for 20 minutes and Charles came out. Three minutes later, Noah came out.
She did it all naturally – no epidural, no pain medications of any kind. Our only complaint is that the doctor on call is the one guy we had never met, and he didn’t tell her anything he was doing. Elise didn’t want an episiotomy if she didn’t have to have one, but all of a sudden – snip – it was done.
Noah, the bigger twin B, needed a little extra oxygen for about three hours. They both breathed on their own and needed only an antibiotic for two days (routine because the water broke). We are doubly blessed.