Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Remember, remember ...

For months, since my consultant appointment in July, I've had the 29th of October in my mind as my induction date.

This is because he said that he wouldn't let me go beyond 36 weeks pregnant. Every consultant has different ideas about when twins should be born and how. The 36 week deadline for me was based on a few things - mostly that my clones share a placenta and so there is a balance between wanting the babies to stay in long enough to be healthy when they come out and whipping them out before the placenta starts to deteriorate.

Turns out when he said I shouldn't go beyond 36 weeks that means anytime before 37 weeks.

When I went back last week for my final appointment we talked the nuts and bolts of delivery.

Firstly to decide how to give birth.

Much as I admire the women who want a natural childbirth with no pain relief I am not one of those women. And, throughout this pregnancy, conscious that twins can be early/ high risk/ unpredictable I have tried not to be wedded to one mode of delivery.  I want whatever is going to be safest.

The consultant and midwife asked the husband and I how we wanted the babies. We looked at each other. Surely they, the experts should tell us?


So we asked what was safest for the babies.

There is no such thing as a risk free birth but there are two main complications that they'd worry about.

With a c-section the babies lungs don't get the final squeeze as they are pushed through my vag. So some liquid can remain in the lungs. There's a slim risk, but it is a risk.

With a vaginal birth the main issue is the distribution of blood. The worry is when twin one comes out and the umbilical cord is cut there can then be an uneven distribution of blood going to twin two (waiting patiently in the queue). Again, it's a risk but the Consultant was talking about a 5% chance.

So that didn't help our decision.

Next we asked which would be safest for me.

With this the consultant was unequivocal. Vaginal birth.

So that decided us.

"As long as", I asked timidly, "I can have an epidural."

"Absolutely"  the consultant whole heartedly agreed and with that he scribbled a few things in my notes and was off to his next patient, leaving the husband and I with the midwife to finalise the actual date for induction.

That was one of the most bizarre conversations I've had.

"So what day that week."

"Umm... "

The husband whipped out his phone like he was going to slot the birth in between meetings. Not surprisingly his diary was pretty clear that week - given we thought he'd be on paternity leave by then anyway.

So the midwife asked if there was a date we wanted their birthday to be, baring in mind that the birth was likely to happen the day after induction.

In the end we have decided on Wednesday the 4th of November. There are several reasons for this:

1) It pushes the birth back to right at the end of my 36th week giving the babies as much womb time as possible.
2) My in-laws are coming down on Saturday so they'll have a few days to get reacquainted with Olive and learn her routine before the husband and I go off to hospital leaving them in sole charge.
3) If I'm induced on the 4th the chances are they'll arrive on the 5th of November. That is Guy Fawkes night in the UK, which has an accompanying rhyme "`Remember, remember the 5th of November ..." So we figured it'd be easy to remember their birthdays.

So as easy as booking in a haircut (with a not very in demand stylist), I've got my induction date.

A week today.

Assuming the babies don't decide to put in an early appearance...

Thursday, 15 October 2015

A Little Bump And Grind*

Being heavily pregnant invites comment. This doesn't bother me, after years of averting my eyes from pregnant women I find it a bit odd that people want to engage me in conversation about my impending motherhood, but I don't mind it. I mean it is an opportunity to talk about myself and who doesn't enjoy that?

This is how a typical conversation goes:
"You're pregnant" (To be fair I already know this so I don't feign shock but agree that yes I am).

Then I'll inevitably be asked either:
"Is it your first?"
"Do you know if it is a boy or a girl?"

To which I reply either "No it is my second ... and third"
"It is two girls - I'm having twins".

Once they've gone through the normal, "You are blessed, it is going to be hard work" bit I usually get:
"You don't look that big ... for twins"

I'm not exaggerating last week I was told every day that I wasn't do big for twins. This is by people who don't even know whether I'm 20 or 30 weeks pregnant (33 at that point) but I don't really know what folk expect a twin pregnancy to look like - arms and legs poking out of my belly?

I think I look pretty massive:

And the grind? No I'm not talking about sex - you lot are obsessed. I mean work. It has stopped.

I finished two weeks ago and have now had more pre-baby maternity leave that I ever did with Olive thanks to her being induced early due to my pre-ecclampsia. I am ridiculously lucky both living in the UK and working for the public sector that I can take a year off work without it being an issue (not all paid sadly but my job will be kept for me). So I haven't had to wait until the last moment before starting my maternity leave in order to get the most time with my babies.

I stopped work at 32 weeks. I didn't really know when would be best to finish and, in retrospect, maybe 30 weeks would have been more sensible as by the last week just walking the ten minutes from the station to the office was leaving me breathless and reaching my computer over my bump (it really doesn't feel that little) was a struggle.

Since finishing work I've managed to pack my hospital bag and most of the rest of my tasks have remained untouched. I'm mostly sleeping on days that Olive is in nursery and running waddling around after her on days she is not.

I'm also getting a bit forgetful. Call it baby-brain. So I forget to do things like reply to messages. This, it seems can induce panic in some of my friends I didn't reply to a Whatsapp group thing the other day. Panic, it seems, ensued and when I did reply they sent me a screen grab of their text conversation that made me laugh so much it did - almost - induce labour:

I can't promise guys, but should I go in to labour and can't type a response I'll try and send at least a red faced/ puffing emoticon to indicate just why I'm otherwise engaged.

But I am impressed they remembered that yes I should be induced on around the 29th (two weeks today) - I'm just waiting to be sent a letter with the exact date, apparently my hospital is quite booked up that week.

*This title is the first and will, hopefully, be the last time I ever quote R Kelly. But it seemed apt.