Friday, June 21, 2013

Winning a Gold Metal

Throughout our entire three year journey with infertility, there were a lot of setbacks and triumphs along the way; good news as well as bad news.

When we found out we were having twins, we knew as much as that was double the blessings and double the joy, it was also double the risks and possible complications.  I threw myself into research mode to find out what exactly I could do to create the best environment and pregnancy I could for our little ones.

One of the biggest risks of twins is preterm labor and premature birth.  In fact, over 50% of twins are born before 37 weeks and the average birth weeks of twins is 35 weeks.  In addition, the average birth weight for twins is 5lbs and 5oz.  I was determined to beat ALL of those odds plus all of the naysayers that kept telling us I would go early or to be prepared for small premature babies with possible stays in the RNICU.

As the pregnancy got farther along, we watched one of our best friends have a little one born at 31 weeks, 2 days after a 7 week stint on bed rest.  As she was cooking precious Emma in the hospital, there were goals set for her using terms of the gold, silver, and bronze medals.  Josh and I decided to steal those terms.  Here were our medal breakdowns..

Bronze:  April 21st (my brother's birthday and 35 weeks, 5 days)
Silver: May 1st (37 weeks, 1 day)
Gold: Our due date (May 21st) OR whenever the doctors told us we could cook no farther

As the weeks went by in this pregnancy, we began to feel more and more confident that these medals would be in within our reach. 

Around 32 weeks, we had a doctor's appointment to discuss the possible birth plan for the twins and we were told at that point to begin thinking that a C-Section might be our reality since both babies were breech (by the way, only 8% of twins are born both breech).  Also, we were informed that it was standard protocol in our practice (Lansing OBGYN) to schedule a C-Section or induce labor for twins at 38 weeks.  They did not want us to go any farther.  Twins at 38 weeks are supposed to be considered to be the same as a singleton pregnancy at 40 weeks.  For reasons that science cannot even quite explain, twins do tend to grow a little faster in their development than a singleton pregnancy.  One theory is that both twins compete to keep up with one another in utereo, which may speed up development.  Another theory is that both the mom and babies know there is more than one body in there and chances are they may come out sooner so everyone involved needs to be prepared.  Yes, there are legit theories!

Also, there are many risks for twin pregnancies past 38 weeks: stunted growth because babies run out of room, collapse uterus because it is stretched and has been pushed to the max, and a large decrease in amniotic fluid again because of lack of space.  38 weeks, May 7th, became our new gold metal since I would be allowed to go no farther. 

At we had been in the hospital for two days, Josh ran out to check on Prim at home.  He came back with three gold medals for me and the boys for making it as far as we could!  WOOHOO!

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