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Twin Birth Story

My husband and I were your everyday common couple. We met, we married, we wanted a family. After seven months of trying to become pregnant we discovered one Sunday morning at 4:00 am when the test came back blue that we were pregnant. After visiting the doctor they set our due date to be October 10, 2005.

All was going fine, no morning sickness, no odd or unusual cravings, until on March 9thI started bleeding at work. A co-worker rushed me to the doctors for an ultrasound. The first thing that goes through a woman’s mind when she is pregnant and bleeding is she is loosing the baby. I called my husband and told him to meet me there [at the ultrasound clinic]. I hopped up on the ultrasound table and at 9 weeks you have to have the internal ultrasound. They inserted the “magic wand” and the next statement I hear from the ultrasound technician is “Mrs. W. did you know you are having TWINS…” I looked over to the monitor and there they were. My two little peanuts on the display screen. I burst into tears thinking not only am I loosing one baby but both.

It turns out all was well, no complications or problems. Now I had to tell my husband we were having twins. He arrived just as I walked out to the car in the parking garage. I ran up to him, hugged him and told him “we’re fine; me and both babies; we’re having twins!”  My husband and I never took fertility drugs, and it wasn’t until we announced to the family that we discovered that twins ran in the family.

All went well during my pregnancy. I was able to carry my twins to 34 weeks gestational term. I began having contractions and after a week of bed rest, we went to the local hospital for a c-section delivery. My twins were born at 10:27 AM and 10:28 AM on August 28, 2005. Baby A weighed 5 pounds 6 & ½ ounces. Baby B weighed 5 pounds and ¼ ounce. I was blessed with a blonde and a brunet. Both babies stayed in the hospital a total of 7 days before being released to go home just in time for Labor Day.

Today they are 7 months old and doing well. I feel very fortunate to have healthy, happy babies. I see changes in their personalities on a daily basis.

For any mother about to give birth to multiples, I can only offer one piece of advice: Ask for help, take it when offered, and remember that you are truly doubly blessed.

Heather, Mommy to Breanna and Kayla

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My father is a fraternal twin as well

My father is a fraternal twin as well, and as the frustration of always being one of the twins really began to hit us, he told us to get used to it. At the age of 50 people still remembered him and his twin brother the same way. But they had three older brothers, and at least in that respect there wasn’t constant comparison between the two of them. The constant comparison from our friends, our teachers, and even our family was probably the biggest hurdle we faced while going through our teen years.

Teenage years are truly a time for children to find what will be their idenitities as adults. With us it was no different. We started acquiring new hobbies and interests, and specifically, different strengths and weaknesses. But despite that, in school, we often had somewhat of a rough time. We were both very good students who took all honors classes in high school, and for that we were always compared. Even our parents subconsciously compared us. They recognized our different talents and abilities, but academically they considered us to be equals.

When we reached our junior year in high school, class rank and SAT scores became a big issue. Though we look different and behave differently, it was expected that we should think and calculate and write the same. Our father as a twin understood our frustration firsthand but still he used the “twin card” when one of us did very poorly on a test that the other had done well on. It was almost as though if one of us did well, the test had to be easy, but if both of us did not do well the test must have been difficult. We felt like shouting back at them sometimes, “Hey, we’re different people, and our brains are different too!”

Consequently, we didn’t want to go to the same college because we wanted our own separate identities, and our own separate experiences. Our 19th birthday, which is approaching, will be the first birthday in our lives that we will be celebrating apart. She chose to go to school in Texas while I decided to go to Tulane University in New Orleans. Because of Hurricane Katrina, my whole college experience so far has been a unique one, and very different from hers.

We are much better friends now than we ever were, because instead of growing up together, the societal misconceptions about twins made us almost into competitors in every respect. As a teen twin, I strongly advise parents to consider our story when their twins or multiples begin their teen years, and all the joys and sorrows associated with them.

Sincerely, AJ Jambhekar

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Our Christmas Miracles!

I went for my routine scan and it was to be an internal one. The doctor could see something other than a baby’s heartbeat. It turns out it was another baby’s heartbeat. We were having TWINS!

I was only 6 weeks along and already they could see that they were identical twins, both sharing the same placenta, but separate amniotic sacs. I was shocked. My partner wasn’t because he has them in every generation of his family.

I was transferred from the anti-natal unit to the neonatal medicine unit where I was scanned every fortnight [2 weeks]. Then at 13 weeks, I went for my routine scan and it was noticed that the babies had Twin-to-Twin-Transfusion syndrome (T.T.T.S.). It was quickly becoming an issue for the babies. My counsellor told me what to expect. My case showed that there was a 10% chance of survival of one baby and barely any of two surviving. There was also an 85% chance of brain damage or celebral palsy to one or both babies. All we did was cry. She told us we should think about ending the pregnancy as it takes a very strong person to look after one disabled child never mind two, our working days would be over and they would need 24/7 care, by both me and my partner. I very nearly gave up but my partner gave me hope, so on we went with our pregnancy.

We discussed other options such as laser surgery and amnio-reduction. My placenta was lying across the front of my stomach so laser surgery was out of the question. The placenta in such a position worsened our case as laser surgery has a better chance of survival. Amnio-reduction was the next best thing so we chose that option.

Amniotic fluid was drained from around the bigger baby’s sac to even out the fluid, but after a few weeks the fluid crept up again. We had a foetal doppler scan and discovered hydrops had developed on one of their hearts, which can cause heart failure. We were then sent to a consult in women’s hospital in Birmingham. I went on to have another amnio-reduction in Birmingham. This time they took off quite a lot of fluid, so I had to stay overnight and the hope was that I would get to about 32 weeks to give the babies a better chance.

Back in my local hospital, I was 27 weeks and there was a reverse endystolic flow in one of the babies’ cords. I was advised to burn one the babies’ cords to give the other baby a stronger chance although there was still not a definite chance for the survival of either of them. Further, due to possible strokes because of the two different blood pressures in the cords, there was a chance we could lose them both at birth. On yet another routine scan at 30 weeks, it was discovered that the reverse flow was back and much worse. I was kept in over night and received steroid injections to help develop the babies’ lungs. I was scanned on the 15th December 2004, 10 weeks before my due date and we were told the worst and the best thing: our babies were coming into the world the next day.

Thursday, 16th December 2004, I went down to theatre [delivery room] and at 13.07pm Twin 1 (BRANDON) was born weighing 3lb 2oz. Then three minutes later Twin 2 (BAILEY) was born weighing 3lb 15oz. They were whisked off to S.C.B.U. [equivalent to North American NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit)].

I didn’t get to see them until the next day. It was the best day of our lives; we had two healthy boys. We are so very lucky and give special thanks to all the staff who looked after us and our two little miracles right through the pregnancy. They were in S.C.BU. For 6 weeks. We were constantly there feeding and changing. They finally came home beginning of February 2005.

We were so very lucky and they are our Christmas miracles. We thank everybody involved in bringing these two bundles of joy into our lives. They are now 9 months old and an absolute joy to have. We just can’t believe how lucky we are. Thank you. We hope this story helps other people in the same situation as us.

Clare and John, United Kingdom, Proud parents of Bailey and Brandon.

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One, two, three…and then one more..by Andrea Berg

After trying for only a few short months to get pregnant I went in to see my doctor. I had been pregnant once before but it had ended in a miscarriage at 13 weeks and we had to wait until I was able to try again, it seemed like forever…. It actually didn’t take that long, compared to some people. I used the Basal Body Temperature charts and took my temperature every day, but my charts didn’t look right to me, at least not the way that the sample ones from the internet looked.

So after five months of chart taking I brought them in with me when I went to see my doctor. She looked at them and said that I was clearly not ovulating and since she knew I could get pregnant, she would prescribe a fertility drug for me to try.

I went to the drug store to fill my prescription for Clomid and immediately went home to take the first pill, as they have to be taken in the first days of your cycle. From there it was a waiting game. Even before my next cycle was due I knew that I was pregnant. I started to feel the same way I had the first time I was pregnant, so I went out and bought a pregnancy test kit. It was positive! Then I went to see my doctor to confirm that I was definitely pregnant and I was! I was so excited to be pregnant. There was no way that I could wait for 3 months to tell people. My friends at work started to dote on me, telling me not to pick up heavy boxes, or to play baseball with my students (I am a teacher). Little did they know…but taking their advice my have saved my pregnancy.

One night, at 10 weeks, I began throwing up and couldn’t stop. I was feeling very exhausted and so my husband took me to the hospital. There they gave me 2 bags of fluids to rehydrate me. While there a resident checked for the baby’s heart beat; we heard a faint heart beat and I was very relieved as I had never heard a heart beat with my first pregnancy. At 12 weeks I began spotting and was immediately worried that I was having another miscarriage. I went to see the doctor as soon as possible. She told me that it was probably old blood and not to worry too much. She gave me a requisition to get an ultrasound done anyway and so when I was 13 weeks my husband and I went for the ultrasound. Lying on the table and looking at the monitor I immediately saw what I thought was two babies. I was so thrilled! Twins run in both sides of my family and my husband and I were ready for the possibility of twins. The doctor doing the ultrasound continued to move the image around and then said, “You know you’re having triplets, don’t you?” WOW! I thought having twins would be great, but triplets…even better! My husband and I were thrilled!

As soon as I saw my doctor after the ultrasound she said to me that she was hoping that I wouldn’t be working at all anymore. I mentioned to her that I was only going to be substituting and therefore wouldn’t be working every day anyway. She said that was fine but that I would probably have to quit around 20 weeks. (At 15 weeks I ended up in the hospital again for dehydration, but that time I had to stay over night. I know I was dehydrated and completely out of it because when a nurse asked me if I was pregnant though IVF I said I didn’t know!) When I began subbing at the beginning of the new school year, I soon decided that working full days were getting too hard so I resigned myself to only working afternoons. A few days after that I was told to quit altogether, which was fine by me as I was too exhausted to work anymore. I was never told to have strict bedrest, but rather it was recommended I stay at home and rest as much as possible. When my husband and I wanted to go out Christmas shopping that November he pushed me in a wheelchair! I did what I knew I needed to do.

My pregnancy was going fairly well. Nothing too out of the ordinary for a triplet pregnancy, or so I thought. At 29 weeks I began to have some symptoms of early labour (back pain and diarrhea) and after seeing my doctor was admitted to the hospital. I was already 2cm dilated. Once I arrived I was immediately hooked up to a monitor for contractions and fetal heart monitors. Indeed, I was having contractions. I was given something to stop the contractions, which soon worked and they stopped. My doctor told me I would have to stay in the hospital for a few days, possibly until the babies were born, which she was hoping would be 6 more weeks. That wouldn’t be the case.

One early morning, at 2:00am, I began to have contractions again. This time the contractions were not as easy to stop and I had become 3cm dilated. Around 2:00pm the doctors were satisfied that the contractions had stopped and I was finally allowed to eat! (They wouldn’t let me eat all that day in case I needed surgery). An hour after I had lunch I went to the washroom and began to bleed – LOTS. My contractions couldn’t be stopped this time and I had dilated to 6cm. The babies had to be born. At only 30 weeks I immediately went in for an emergency c-section. On December 11, 2002 at 4:29pm Max Austin Berg was born weighing 2lbs 11oz, 14 3/4″ long; at 4:30pm Dexter Calvin Berg was born weighing 3lbs 1/2oz, 15 1/2″ long; at 4:31pm Joshua Ivan Berg was born weighing 2lbs 13oz, 16 1/2″ long. Each of them were born breathing on their own. The steroid injections I received at 28 weeks for their lung development really helped. Their small sizes didn’t surprise us though; we were expecting that, but we were surprised by the fact that they were all boys!

After spending a few hours in recovery I still wasn’t feeling well enough to get into a wheelchair to go to the NICU to visit the boys. The next morning I couldn’t go due to the nurses’ shift change and then doctor’s rounds. By the time I was able to go, I decided to wait for the nurse to take out my IV and I was finally able to see them again around 2:00pm the next afternoon. I was told that Dexter had to be put on a ventilator for a few hours overnight but it was already out by the time I saw them. Joshua and Max were on oxygen as well as other tubes and monitors. Max was on some antibiotics as he had swallowed some blood during delivery and he wasn’t able to eat until his stomach cleared out.

Being in the NICU isn’t something any parent would want to do. It is very hard to be in there and have other people tell you when you can or can’t hold your children. It was a long 49 days until we were able to bring home our third baby, but we trudged in there day after day. I wouldn’t allow myself to take “a break” and not go visit for a day. There were the good, the bad and the horrible days. The first good day was when the boys were four days old and one nurse asked if I had held any of them yet. I had told her, “No, the doctor said maybe next week.” She said she would have to take them out of their isolettes later to weigh them, so why not hold them each for a little bit? I was so excited! That was one of the best feelings in the world. The bad days were any day when there was a set-back with any of the boys. Those seemed to happen often, but the boys nevertheless continued to improve.

My most horrible experience in NICU happened on Christmas Day when the triplets were two weeks old. It wasn’t just because that it was Christmas Day and my children were in the hospital, but I think it was because some of the nurses were short on compassion as they had to work on Christmas Day. I had previously held Dexter and Joshua almost every day. Max, however, was still having some problems with his stomach and they didn’t want me to hold him until they saw some significant improvement. I didn’t have a problem with that. My problem began the moment I walked up to their isolettes and saw that on top of each isolette was a picture of all three boys being held by someone – and this person wasn’t me!! I think that someone had very good intentions of trying to give us a nice Christmas present, but they have no idea of how much that hurt and still hurts me to this day [that these pictures of them being held were not of them with their parents]. The one thing I had been trying to patiently wait for since I knew I was expecting triplets [i.e. holding them all] was taken away from me by some nurse, a stranger. What’s worse is that even though all of them had obviously been out of their isolettes to be held that day already, I, as their mother, wasn’t allowed to hold them individually, except for Dexter. They still told me that Max was too frail to hold and Joshua’s nurse had to help out another nurse with an emergency. Some Merry Christmas, eh?

The boys continually improved with Dexter always being the first to accomplish each little milestone. He was the first to be in a bassinette, the first to be bottlefed, have his leads off, etc. Joshua was always next and Max always crept along behind. When the boys were one month old, my wish for holding all three together came true. We had a wonderfully understanding nurse that day and I asked to hold all three and she agreed! I don’t know what the doctor would have said, but I didn’t care! That was the first moment where it finally felt like we were a family.

At 6 weeks and 2 days Joshua (4lbs 14 1/2oz) and Dexter (5lbs 11 1/2oz) were allowed to come home. It was great to have them at home, but at the same time a little tricky with having to have someone to babysit them the day after their arrival home so I could go back to the hospital to visit Max. I was determined to visit Max every day too. I thought he’d be in there for about 1-2 more weeks, but five days after the first two came home so did Max, at just 4lbs 5 1/2oz. I think they let him go a little early just so it would be a little easier for me. I didn’t care about the reasons why…having all three at home was fantastic!

Andrea Berg

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Making It – A Story of Joy

My doctor sent me for my first ultrasound to see how far along I was as I was already showing at barely 3 months. The person doing the ultrasound turned and asked me if I took fertility pills or have twins in my family, I told her there are twins and triplets in the family. She then said well you are having twins. There are two heartbeats. I did not believe her so she showed me the two babies separately and together. I was overjoyed, my mom had suspected I was having twins because of my size.

I quit work 2 months before my due date which was Dec. 16/00. My first day off work which was Monday Oct. 23 I went shopping. At 12:00a.m. Oct. 24 my water broke. I called my doctor and he said to go to the hospital. When we arrived they said I wasn’t having contractions but my water did break and they were going to keep me in and try to stop contractions from starting. However at 3a.m. I started to dilate and was 1-2 cm by 5a.m.

At full dilation, twin A (Devin) was comimg out on his own and the nurse quickly took me over to the delivery room where the doctor was in attendance but the team from the N.I.C.U had not arrived. The doctor tried to hold Devin in until everyone was there and all set up, but he could not hold him in any longer so Devin was delivered at 5:11a.m. He was breathing on his own and weighed 4lbs. At 5:24a.m. Ryan was born however he had a harder time as he had turned and was [therefore] delivered bum first. He also weighing 4lbs.

During the night both boys went into distress and their lungs collapsed so they had to be ventilated and given drugs to inflate their lungs. Devin and Ryan were then transferred to a level 3 Hospital for three days then returned to the Hospital they were delivered at for the remainder of their Hospital stay.

[In total] they spent 23 days in the hospital with ups and downs from jaundice, oxygen levels, tube feedings and a bad diaper rash. I spent these days going to the hospital for feedings as many times I could in between picking up my other two children from school.

We made it through and the boys are now 3 yrs old and very active. The only outcome of being premature is that they have asthma and are on a compressor. They have been hospitalized at the same time for a severe asthma attack and they are small for their age. Devin and Ryan are happy boys, we just recently had DNA testing done to determine if they are fraternal [dizygotic] or identical [monozygotic] as I had two sacs and two placentas. I was told at my ultrasound they were fraternal, however the doctor who delivered them and the nurses in the N.I.C.U said they were identical. The results confirmed that they are 99.994% identical.

Our family is very busy with four children and both of us working and we just go from day to day. The birth of Devin and Ryan 2 months early was a difficult time for us and especially their siblings. Nevertheless, they all have a great bond with each other. We are lucky that everything turned out okay and it was an experience I will never forget.

Heather Kenning

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A Tale of Twins

The story of my boys begins long before they were born. As a toddler, I experienced peritoneal infection following a ruptured appendix. The scarring of my fallopian tubes and my resulting infertility was not discovered until I had an ectopic pregnancy in 1997. My obstetrician immediately referred me to an IVF clinic. Being told we might never have children was an absolutely frightening experience.

Thanks to God and technology our daughter Abby Grace was born February 12, 1999. Ironically, her birth date is the anniversary of my appendectomy in 1972.

We experienced three failed IVF attempts over the next 2yrs. Those who have been there will be able to relate to the grief and fear that goes with such a loss. The emotional roller coaster you’re on when you go through an IVF cycle is hard to describe, regardless of whether or not a pregnancy results.

In July 2001, we discovered that science and God had come through for us again. Cramps and bleeding began at 7 weeks. I was alone at work, and panic set in immediately. I remember lying in the ER begging God, “Please don’t take my baby!”. Waiting for an exam from my OB I was thinking “maybe it’s a twin pregnancy and I’m only going to lose one.” It’s scary the thoughts that come to mind in those situations. I was somewhat relieved to hear that my cervix was still closed. An ultrasound showed two babies with normal growth parameters and great heartbeats! My tears of fear were for the moment replaced with those of relief and thanks.

My uneasiness and fear lasted throughout the pregnancy, as the bleeding came and went. I was hospitalized once just before Christmas, and again mid-January. On the morning of January 18, 2002, one of the baby’s placentas abrupted. I felt a fear and panic that I had never known before and could not describe easily with words. Thankfully I was already in hospital. I had an emergency c-section. I can remember waiting to go into the OR and thinking, “It’s so early. (31weeks and 5days)”, but at the same time I was relieved that it was coming to an end. I couldn’t stand the anxiety anymore. Alec and Ian were born at 0730 and 0733, weighing 4lb4oz and 3lb9oz respectively. Despite their small size, they did amazingly well. Neither needed any resuscitation. They were so beautiful! It tore at my heart that I couldn’t cuddle them right away.

The boys spent 5 weeks in ICN, during which time they grew well and experienced only minor setbacks. It was rewarding to know that my breastmilk was doing such a great job for them, but man did I get tired of sitting with that pump!!! My husband, Shaun, created a little nursery humour by labeling all the jars of milk with names like “Carter’s Creamers”, and “From the twin peaks to the twins’ beaks”!

Breastfeeding got off to a slow start as it often does with preemies, but they were troopers by the time they came home.

Now, approaching their second birthday, they are happy, healthy, delightful children. Our days with Ian, Alec and their big sister Abby are hectic yet filled with smiles and laughter. I thank God for them every day, and reflect often on the technology that helped Him out. I’ve enjoyed connecting with other moms of multiples in our area, and am looking forward to continued involvement with MBC [Multiple Births Canada].

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Speech by Joel Haslam at Multiple Births Canada’s Conference 2003

Recently, I was thinking about my very first “multiples moment”. Do you remember yours? Well, I don’t know about you but mine wasn’t exactly “Hallmark” greeting card material.

My wife, Pam was expecting (what we believed to be) our second child. Thanks to the miracle of fertility drugs, we had already been blessed with a beautiful baby girl–her name is Sydney by the way–who was about 2 1/2 when Pam got pregnant a second time. We were overjoyed. You see, we were one of those couples who were, supposedly, unable to successfully conceive. Suddenly, the wonders of science and, of course, the Grace of God had given us a child. Now, another gift was on the way. But right from the get go, our second prenatal experience was different. At just 7 weeks or so, I noticed that my wife was really hungry…really really hungry…all the time. I couldn’t make sandwiches fast enough. I was slinging food like a short-order cook. Of course, I never said anything because being pregnant, she was also really emotional…really, really emotional…all the time. So believe me I was really careful – really really careful…all the time.

With a raised eyebrow, I patiently awaited our first ultrasound at the doctor’s office which was just days away. Do you remember your first ultrasounds? We went in feeling quite confident about the experience because this was, afterall, baby number 2!! Old hat. We didn’t want to know the sex – we were just praying that the baby to be was healthy and presumably happy…. But almost instantly the doctor doing the ultrasound goes, “Hmmm”… And I go, “What?” And she says, “I don’t know if you saw those as quickly as I did? Hmmmm” “What?”, I say… “Two heart beats”, she says. Suddenly the room was silent. You could hear a pin drop. With tears in her eyes, my wife gives me “the look”. I’ll never forget it. I return her gaze…welling up equally…take her hand and say the only thing there was to say,”OH MY GOD!! OUR BABY HAS TWO HEARTS!!!”

It was my first multiples moment and I missed it.

Now, my wife and the doctor lock eyes and roll them simultaneously. “Joel,” Pam says to me, “twins, we’re having twins.” Now it’s my turn to lock eyes with the doctor. With a congratulatory smile, she nods. I immediately feel really blessed–really stupid–but really blessed-even chosen. Whatever did we do to deserve this? It was a question we would ponder on the long car ride home. Later, it was a question I would utter out loud–in a much less celebratory tone–just weeks after the twins were born.

Wow, those early days were exhausting…the bottles, the diapers, the numbing fatique. We burned out two coffee pots, which seemed to be dripping Tim Horton’s best at our place 24 hours a day. And then, there’s all the STUFF–the double playpens (and in some of your cases triple and quadruple), strollers, cribs, and highchairs. At times, it felt like we weren’t going to make it. Really. Those folks on those realityTV shows got nothin’ on us. We’re the original survivors. So what if you can eat bugs or swim with sharks. Just try a weekend on twin or triplet island when little Johnny and Susie are teething. We’ll see what you’re made of. And, of course, there are the memories. I won’t bore you with my mine. But this weekend you’ll keep company with yours as you meet others who understand and can relate to your multiple moments. You’ll remind each other that the extra work loads that come with multiples result later in lives filled with two, three, and four times the joy. And if you’re like me, you’ll wonder just where the time’s gone. My son Tait is 7 and a half, his sister Madison is just 5 minutes younger…Their older sister, Sydney is 10.

I may have missed my first multiple moment in the doctor’s office all those years ago but I’ve savoured everyone since. And you know what? Back then, I wasn’t far off saying my baby had two hearts. They bring so much love to my life that most days I just can’t believe their hearts are regular size. I’m just glad there will always be a special place in them for me. I’m lucky. So are you. Have a wonderful Conference.

By Joel Haslam

Joel Haslam, Host/Producer Regional Contact, CJOH TV (CTV Ottawa), speech given at Multiple Births Canada’s Conference, May 2003.

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Premature Delivery of Twins

I found out I was having twins when I was about 23 weeks along. I thought I was having twins right from the get go though. At 25 weeks, I went into early labour. I was stopped and ordered on to strict bed rest. Premature delivery is not so convenient when you have a 3 year old and 18 month old at home.

All was well until Jan 29 2002. My due date was April 9. I awoke at about 6:00 am with a little pain and a rock hard belly. I sat in the tub for most of the morning. The pain got a little better as the day went by. My best friend was a little concerned and dragged me to the hospital. The Dr. on call came to look me over and said I was 1 cm dialated. I did not see anything wrong with this [as] I had been 1 cm for three weeks.

The contractions were consistant, about every 2 minutes or so but did not hurt too bad. He let me be for a bit [and] to get rehydrated to see if that would help. I felt better but was now 2-3 cm dialated. I was now starting to worry. It was now after midnight and I was tired and hungery. They would not feed me though. He had given me some steroids to help their little lungs develop and called an ambulance to bring me to the hospital. He came into my room with the ultrasound machine to take a look at the positions of my girls and of course they were lying sideways.

By this time it was about 4:00 am and the peramedics were finally there to take me away. That is when I became scared. I did not want to go in the ambulance by myself. I did ok though. I was transported to a high risk hospital and another Dr to come in and ask if I knew what a c-section was. Of course I know what a c-section is I told him and he handed me a piece of paper and told me to sign it. I did as he asked and away he went. They hooked me up to the fetal monitor for a few seconds and then they wisked me away. I had to have an epidural. My other children were natural delivery’s no i.v’s or other kind of meds.

At 30 weeks gestation, Jenna Mae or baby A, as they called her, was born at 5:47 am weighing 3lbs 3oz’s and 16 1/2 in long, followed by her little sister, Emma Leigh, at 5:49 am weighing 2lbs 15ozs 16 in long. Jenna cried for a few moments but Emma did not move or make a sound. So off to recovery I went and it was the NICU for the girls. Nobody would tell me if my sweet baby girls were ok. They kept telling me they were being stablized.

At about 1:30 in the afternoon and still no sleep for me, a nurse came in with the NICU Dr to let me know that they were fine. Jenna had been able to breath on her own for about 10 minutes before being vented. Emma was vented right away but resonded well and pinked up as soon after. They told me it was ok to go and see them. So off we went. I was wheeled into the NICU by my best friend and we washed up. A nurse came out to get us so we could see them. I do not think I had ever seen such little babies in my life. I reached out to touch my beautiful girl and the nurse grabbed my hand. You can only lightly place your hand on them she said. I must have gave her quite the look because she quickly explained that if you rub them even lightly you can rub their skin right off. So of course I was now afraid to touch them.

Emma got well right away. She was off the ventilator after 5 days. Jenna took a turn for the worst at 1 week [old]. She got an infection called NEC [Necrotizing Enterocolitis: A gangrene-like condition of the intestinal tract which can afflict premature babies] and had a blood infection. Emma came home weighing 4lbs 9ozs at 5 weeks old. Jenna came home weighing 6lbs 5ozs at 4 months old.

They are now 20 months old and Emma weighs 24lbs and Jenna 21lbs. They are trying hard to walk and talk. They are very determined little girls and I feel that once they catch up, they will not be stopped.

Erika

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Delayed Speech or Autism?

Hi my name is Laurie. My husband is a twin and I am a twin. He has a twin sister and I had a twin sister who died 5 days after birth. Neither my husband nor I are monozygotic twins. We have dizygotic twin boys who are very different. One is more talkative and the other is very laid back.

A pediatrician recently said that there was a possibility that the laid back twin may be autistic. We are in a speech play group to help him with his words. It has been a wonderful experience and we feel that he doesn’t have autism but rather speech delay, as his brother has always been the one to ask for things and lead the way. Austin (the talker & and first born) will ask for a cookie and Colton (the laid back one) will automatically get one as well. Because he doesn’t have to ask for it, he doesn’t get to practice his verbal skills.

Colton is doing much better now we realize how to assist him with his verbal skills and he will continue to improve. My husband (David) and I have decided not to send Colton to be assessed. We feel that if there are problems, that a few months more of waiting and encouraging him will not hurt him. The Speech Pathologist feels that we are doing everything we need to be doing and in her professional opinion, if he is Autistic, it is a very mild case.

I would love to chat with other mothers in the same position. The boys turned two years old in April of 2002. I can’t stress enough how important a schedule is with newborn twins. Please e-mail me at ajpcdw@msn.com.

Laurie, Fort Frances, Ontario

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Early Delivery

I am very interested in sharing my story of my early delivery, premature, low birth weight babies. I am happy to say I am the mother of wonderfully healthy and beautiful four-year old twins who have been amazing to watch develop. I had a fantastic, problem free pregnancy and was loving every minute of it.

At a routine ultrasound at 30 weeks, I was told my twins were not developing equally and would have to be delivered immediately – I was not given any feedback as to what the problem might be. I was induced within three days (of my ultrasound) and delivered a 4lb. 3oz. boy and a 3lb. 8oz. girl. Very big for 10 weeks early.

As it turned out, they were both developing very well, were close in weight and did not need to be delivered so early. It was a very truly, frustrating and scary time for us.

Of course we ran the gamut of incubation, tube feeding, long hospital stays, no sucking reflex, breast pumping every two hours, one baby home while one remained in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, living in a new city with no family or friends close by, guilt for letting them be taken from me needlessly, and lots more.

But we were so lucky there were no major health problems and I did learn a life-long lesson about being an advocate for my children. This is just a small part of our story and I would love to be able to help others by sharing it.

Thanks,

Michelle, St. Thomas, Ontario