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Pregnant w/ Twins - different size?

March 2004

Hi - My partner and I just found out that she is expecting twins! We're very excited. However, the doctor identified on our 8 week ultrasound that the fetuses are slightly different in size. He said this was something to watch but not be overly concerned about - but of course we're concerned! Has anyone delivered healthy twins having had a size difference at 8 weeks? Thanks for any advice you can offer. Lauren


My twins were not identified as being different sizes as early as 8 weeks (when I found out I was having twins) but ''baby B'' was always bigger throughout my pregnancy. They were born at 5 pounds 5oz and 6 pounds 6oz. They are 2 years old now, have totally different body types (and personality and hair color, etc.), and they are about 5 pounds apart. I understand that there are potential problems that need to be monitored but don't worry unless your doctor tells you to. Congratulations! Suzanne
I am a mother of 7-month old twins and while I did not have your situation a friend of mine did and I asked her if she'd mind sharing her experience with you. It won't answer a lot of questions but hopefully it will be reassuring to you. This is what she wrote: ''When I first learned during my ultrasound that I was having twins, I was told that the fetuses were slightly different sizes. It was something that the doctors watched closely throughout my pregnancy. My husband and I were worried most of the pregnancy especially with what we read on the Internet. Don't believe everything you read. The entire pregnancy they were different sizes. Their weight at birth was 1 1/2 pounds difference. Both the boys are very healthy and still have a slight weight difference. Their pediatrician thinks their weight will even out closer to 2 years old.''

There is a great support group for new and expectant parents of multiples called Twins By The Bay. They meet every other Wednesday from 10AM to 12:00 noon in Berkeley. The next meeting is March 24th I think. I went to these meetings after my twins were born until just recently and my only regret is that I did not go before they were born. It was extremely helpful for me. Best wishes! B. D


When I was pregnant with my twins, we had a slight difference in size and one twin had a lot more fluid in his sac than the other one did. This is called polyhydramnios and can be an indication of a serious condition called twin to twin transfusion syndrome. There is an abundance of information on the web re this. The danger is actually to the larger twin. Anyway, as I understand it, a mere difference in size is not the problem. Only if the twins are transferring blood between each other is there a problem. That is why they will watch it. You will have more ultrasounds than you would otherwise get so that they can observe what is happening. In my case, the polyhydramnios resolved itself before the pregnancy was over (at about 33 weeks) and one twin was simply larger than the other one (7 lb 13 oz v. 5 lb 6 oz at birth). There continues to be a fairly substantial difference between them in weight and height almost 6 years later. They are brothers who simply take after different sides of our family. If it is twin to twin transfusion syndrome and it is severe, there are now treatment options but I would try not to get too far ahead of yourself. You simply have a size difference right now. Normally, that is not a big deal. They just have to watch you more carefully to be sure. Good luck. Mom of healthy different sized twins
I had twins 9 weeks ago and one was larger than the other from the very beginning. The size difference continued throughout the pregnancy, and I delivered 2 healthy babies at 38 weeks with radically different sizes - 8 lb. 14 oz. and 6 lb. 1 oz. Both are fine - they are just different sized people! Because of the size difference I was closely monitored via ultrasound, but since even the smaller twin was ''normal sized'' for a twin pregnancy there was no problem. So I wouldn't worry, esp. this early in your pregnancy. Millicent

High risk pregnancy carrying twins

Feb 2004

On January 20th, I went for my first ultrasound and learned I am carrying twins (currently at seven weeks)! My excitment to see two hearts beat is immeasureable, yet tempered as I am 41 and this is my third (unassisted) pregnancy in one year. Having miscarried in Feb '03 (week 8) and July '03 (week 6), my OB has prescribed 25 mg of natural progesterone suppositories 2x/day.

Can anyone share their experience taking progestrone and/or carrying twins? What other measures are taken for high risk pregnancies? I had scant spotting on Friday (1/30) followed by normal pregnancy symptoms: sore breasts (caused by the progesterone?), frequent urination at night, elevated basal body temperature since ovulation (is it just the progesterone?)

Spotting has me scared as that was how my two previous miscarriages started. Did anyone have spotting during their pregnancies and go full term? Is seeing the hearts beat a milestone? Has anyone ever used a fetal heart monitor (doppler) at home?

My OB delivers at Alta Bates. She said an epidural is a given because of the twins. Is this true?

My husband and I will be parents for the first time. I am new to the Bay Area and grateful to tap into the Berkeley Parents Network for support. Great Expectations


Congratulations! I can't tell you about twins, but I can tell you about progesterone and bleeding-through. I had three bleed- through epiosodes in my pregnancy: 6 weeks, 7 weeks, and 13 weeks. After the first one, they put me on progesterone. I stayed on it 'til 14 weeks. I don't specifically remember any affects from it, but I wanted to do whatever it would take to keep my baby. After each bleeding episode, I went to my OBGYN and she checked for a heartbeat -- strong and steady. Then we'd follow up a week later; still strong and steady. She just told me to take it easy -- no strenuous physical exercise -- walking was fine though. She monitored me more carefully than the average pregnancy -- more non-stress tests and the possibility of in! ducing; but my daughter chose her own birth time and she's now a healthy almost-9-month-old (and the light of my life). Good luck!! bethb
congratulations on your twins! I can tell you that the symptoms that you mentioned (frequent urination, sore breasts and increased basal temp) all happened to me and I was not taking any progesterone. My doctors made me stop work at about 24 weeks and put me on limited bed rest (what I wouldn't do to sit around and read and watch movies now!) because my cervix was a little soft (it didn't get any softer until I gave birth at 38 1/2 weeks). I gave birth in Southern California (we are new to the area too) and they also told me that I would need an epidural for the birth. My doctor said that it was in case I had to have an emergency c-section th! ey would already have the epidural in place for the meds (I ended up delivering vaginally). Good luck with the pregnancy! Beth L
Congratulations to you! I am also pregnant with twins - now in my 19th week. We feel twice blessed. I also miscarried one year ago so we have been elated to be holding this pregnancy. I am 42 and took prometrium (mycronized progesterone) 2x a day from the start. I also was taking Chinese herbs from an acupuncturist who specializes in pregnancy for the first two months (Dr. Liang in San Francisco but there are excellent resources in tehe East Bay like Marti Lee Kennedy and Laurel Brody).

I also spent alot of time resting -- surrendering to the miracle of the pregnancy, letting my body adjust to growing two babies, and opening to the faith that my body could hold the pregnancy. Do be gentle with yourself with your fears and concerns -- as they are natural and reach out for people to help you stay in your heart, and the possibilities that are unfolding. We saw the 2 heartbeats at 8 weeks, and then our ultrasound at 12 weeks really helped us to move more fully into the blessing of the pregnancy.

Do you know about Twins By the Bay? They have resources and a network for pregnant women and moms of multiples. You can find them on the internet and they are a wonderful resource. twiced blessed pregnant with twins


Congratulations! Your story is so similar to mine that I had to respond.

I also had 2 miscarriages (9 weeks, and 14 weeks), and then (naturally) conceived twins. I had some spotting with the twins around 10 weeks that through me for a real panic, but turned out to be nothing. I'm 38 (was 37 when they were conceived). So don't panic! Most likely it;s fine.

My twins were born vaginally, full-term, without an epidural, at Summit Hospital. I had been planning to have them at Alta Bates, but specifically switched because Summit is a bit more more relaxed (I heard) about all the high tech interventions and precautions (which I was really trying to avoid). Both places apparently make twin moms birth in the operating room, which I *really* hated, but at least at Summit, I was allowed 2 support people (husband and doula). At Alta BAtes, I was told, only one would be allowed in the operating room when my twins were born, even if they were both born vaginally (as they were). Also, all the rooms are private at SUmmit. Never birthed at AB, so can't really compare, but I was satisfied with the nursing care at Summit, and I am a pretty tough customer (though if you've never BF before, I found some of the&! nbsp; nurses knowlege lacking there---don't know if it might be better at AB). I loved my OB----Dr. Bill Isenberg. Good luck! Karen


Forgot to say: my OB also prescribed progesterone. I researched it as much as I could (internet and asking second opinions from other docs), and decided not to take it. There didn;t seem to be serious evidence it could help, and I was skeptical as to whether it was really known to be safe. (Nor did I find any evidence it is harmful, but I just tend towards ''natural'' things). Karen
I had twins 3 years ago after IVF at the age of 44. I know your pregnancy was unassisted, but I thought it might help you to know that progesterone is pretty standard practice after IVF. It just may be the answer to your previous miscarriage problems.

I also had a frightening incident of spotting (actually it was more like bleeding). After a few days of bedrest, I was assured by my doctor that things were ''still OK.'' My son and daughter were delivered after 36 1/2 weeks. I also delivered at Alta Bates, but can't tell you whether the epidural is ''standard.'' It seems to me that those decisions depend on you and your doctor. I ended up with a scheduled c- section and was very happy with that. As far as other ''high risk'' measures, you can expect LOTS more ultrasounds throughout your pregnancy. I found these very re- assuring and asked for them as often as possible. The first heartbeat IS a milestone, but there are many other important ones to come. Best of luck to you. Feel free to email me if I can be of help. Debbie


Sorry to hear about your miscarries. Well I have no experience in birthing twins but I do know that spotting is not a ''bad sign'' in all cases. I had a friend who spotted a lot during her first and half of her second trimester. She had a wonderful birth and baby was healthy. I'm sure you've already heard to get plenty of rest and to be in good spirit (as much as possible).

As for receiving an epidural in the hospital....it is completely your choice. There might be a protocol to give every mother who is carrying twins an epidural but by no means do you have to do anything. You can always ask, is there any reason why I can't birth my twins drug free if I wish? Mothers have and are birthing twins w/o medication. Being a high risk, keep an open mind and do what you feel is best for you and baby. But as long as the you and babies are in good shape (ie. good heart beats) you can birth w/o an epidural. I wish you much luck through the rest of your pregnancy and CONGRATULATIONS! tmnm


I wasn't carrying twins, but I experienced 2 or 3 days of spotting when I was 7 weeks pregnant. It was scary for me and my husband, but it eventually stopped and everything turned out fine. One thing my OB asked me about was the color and amount of spotting. Mine was dark brown and only amounted to maybe a teaspoon total. Good luck and best wishes! anon
Hi, I am a mother of twins who gave birth at 42, with IVF. I can give you more specifics if you email me. But I will say the following:
-I did have spotting for several weeks and sore breasts
-I did have frequent urination (although not as bad as later on!)
-I took progesterone in suppository and injection form
- I don't know what my BBT was, as I didn't take it. I recommend, when you feel comfortable with acknowledging your pregnancy that you join the Twins by the Bay group, it has been invaluable to me. Please feel free to email me for more specifics on my birthing experiences etc. Older mom of twins arterrier
Congratulations on your pregnancy! I am 26 weeks pregnant with twins and also had a miscarriage in the past so can understand your concerns. I experienced spotting in this pregnancy from 4 until 10 weeks and was assured by my doctor that, whilst nervewracking for me, this is very common with twin pregnancies. The symptoms you reported are reassuring but you're right, they would be exacerbated by the progesterone which also renders your BBT inaccurate. Incidentally, I conceived through my second attempt at IVF and had supplementary progesterone both times but did not 'feel' pregnant on my first (failed) attempt. Seeing the hearts beating normally is definitely a milestone. I have been renting a fetal doppler since 10 weeks which I used fairly frequently at first but now only about once a w! eek because the babies are wriggling around so much that I don't feel the need. I'm under the care of East Bay Perinatal Associates in Oakland who I'm very happy with, and the doctors deliver at both Summit and Alta Bates. I was told that epidurals aren't routinely administered for twins but the chances of a c-section are obviously higher, so there is a possibility of having to have a general anesthetic if there isn't an epidural already in place. As far as other measures for 'high risk' pregnancies - I currently see a perinatologist every fortnight (was monthly at first) and will soon be weekly. Sonograms every 4 weeks which is a bonus! There's an organisation called Twins by the Bay which you might be interested in; www.homestead.com/twinsbythebay/ Hope this helps and good luck!! Becky

Expecting Twins - happy but scared

April 2000

We just found out last week that we are expecting twins. We are excited, but a little bit overwhelmed: twice the hugs, twice the kisses, twice the diapers!! I'd like any advice anyone can offer regarding resources for parents of twins: books, parent groups, etc. Also, any other advice any experienced folks want to offer would be gladly received. My biggest concern is that the arrival of two siblings will be overwhelming for our two-year-old daughter. Thanks! Susan and Richard


Hi, First I would like to start off by saying congratulations. I am a single parent of 2.5yr old twins (boy/girl). Although sometimes things get alittle rough its not as bad as you may think. The one key thing is to try and get the twins on a schedule it may be difficult at first but soon everyone involved will adapt. As time goes on things get alittle easier. Remember your life is never going to be the same but it also will never be as fun or rewarding when you see your children grow and learn new things. I'm not an expert at raising children, but I may be able to talk you through some of the rough times. J. Gray
Congrats! My twin daughters just turned one and I feel I am so lucky to have two wonderful kids. (see Twins Support Groups)


Nov 1999

I have just learned I am having twins -- and I have a 17 month old right now! Frankly I am scared. Do people have wisdom regarding having twins in general, or expecially when you already have one in diapers? How about resources?


Congratulations on your upcoming twins! As a father of 7 month old twins, I can tell you there are a joy. It does take work, but not twice as much, and you get more than double back. One good group is the Mothers of Twins Club, with the local club called "Twins by the Bay". Their web site is at: http://www.homestead.com/twinsbythebay/
Oh twins! There are parents of twins organizations and support groups and the phenomenon is more and more common as time goes on, with older mommies and fertility drugs and better pre-natal care. There are books and others with experience........ in fact, what the hey! I have experience. Calm down. It's hard raising twins, but the rewards are incredible. Write to me. I'm friendly, and I've survived under circumstances that have to be more arduous than having another kid in diapers. Not to worry.
I too found out that I was having twins when my son was about 15 months old, and was in shock for a few months. I went to several meetings of the monthly Berkeley Twins Club, which helped me to feel less like a freak of nature. I did stop going in the last trimester of my pregnancy because I heard too many stories about premature births and started to worry unnecessarily. I like the Joy of Twins book--there's another by Elizabeth Noble (I think) that is too scary. The best advice I got was to get help (we don't have family in the area). We started with someone 3 hours a day when our twins were 5 weeks old, and she is still with us over 1 1/2 years later. Her help has been incredible--help with the house as well as the kids, and we have rearranged her hours as I have gone back to very part time work. Also, be sure to give good mommy time to your older child alone every day, even if it is reading in bed when you are tired.

Having three wasn't what I had envisioned, but now that I have them I like the feeling of a small tribe, and I am beginning to see how they will soon be having a lot of fun together. It is hard on the oldest kid, and continues to be, but he has learned how to be empathetic and older brotherly in ways we are realy proud of. We try to be understanding when he hits his bother and sister--this continues to be a challenge. I have also always made an effort to get out of the house every day, often twice a day and do all the fun kid things to do, just with three. My advice would be to do this, and not make having three a psychological hindrance. Feel free to e-mail me if you want more advice! Good luck, and don't worry about the pregnancy.


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