I have been wanting to write about my twin pregnancy experience for a while now. I felt the one year anniversary of going inpatient was the perfect time.
When we were told we were having twins I was shocked. Like if I wasn’t laying on the table i would have passed out on the floor kind of shocked. I was 12 weeks pregnant and had already had numerous sonograms where it truly looked like only ONE baby. So I have to admit I was in denial for a good week that there was no way I had two growing babies inside of me.
We had to wait about 2 weeks to go to a place for a high definition sonogram so they could find out more about what type of twins we were having, which I didn’t think much of, I figured it would be a boy and girl. I didn’t know too much about twins except there were fraternal and identical twins.
What I expected to be a normal 10 minute sonogram ended up being over an hour long. Our tech first confirmed it was going to be identical twins (I was once again in total shock) then she kept mentioning that she could not find the membrane. Not having any clue as to what this meant I kept turning to my fiance and mouthing- what does this mean. He was shaking his head while holding my hand and I could feel he was just as much in a panic as I was (and he is the stable one!).
The technician finally brought in a doctor who did her own assessment and confirmed there was in fact no dividing membrane between the babies. With tears swelling up in my eyes I asked what this meant.
She went on to explain to us that we had Mono/Mono twins which meant that they not only shared the same placenta (as in a typical identical twin pregnancy) but they also were sharing the same amniotic sac. This meant they were literally on top of each other and their cords would inevitably tangle. Because of this I would be required to go inpatient no later than 28 weeks for monitoring- IF they even made it that far. She went on to tell us they only had a 50% to even make it to 24 weeks.
The feeling that I got in the pit of my stomach was something I can’t even put into words. I was already so physically sick that I had become depressed and anxious. This sent me into a whole other place mentally. My family kept telling me to stay off of google and I found a support group for mono/mono mothers. However, no matter how hard I tried to stay away from it I still went on to read everything. There were numerous successful and not so successful stories in the group. Everything triggered me. Happy stories, the saddest most heartbreaking ones. Watching others I knew become pregnant with singletons (and comparing myself to others who already had kids). I had this continous feeling of why did my experience have to be so fucking complicated.
Self preservation became the name of the game and I pulled myself off of the computer and social media and instead would sit there and just visualize my life with my babies. That was my go to everytime I freaked. I sat and visualized. I got lost in my head about all the positive, amazing experiences we were going to have together as a family.
At 25 weeks and 6 days, I went into the hospital. That was after having a scare at 19 weeks and needing emergency surgery for cervical insufficiency. I will maybe write about that another time.
Because I needed intense care I had to be sent to a top hospital which was an hour away from my family and most of my immediate family lived on the East Coast since I had just moved to California a couple of weeks before I had found out I was pregnant. I don’t think I ever felt so alone.
I need to be very clear about this. I am someone who is TERRIFIED of doctors, who never had a single surgery ever, who is the biggest hypochondriac on the fucken planet. And here I was living in a hospital away from all my loved ones, alone. This is where I had to pull it together and be the strongest person I ever was for my both my babies and to keep my own sanity.
Everyday as I sat alone, minus of course the nurses who kept coming to put me on and off of monitors of bring me food and water, I would talk to my boys. Tell them about everything we were going to do. To tell them how scared I was but that I was going to be the best mother I could be to them.
Every Day for six weeks we did the same thing. Everyday I sat and watched their little heart beats on the monitors drop and increase and pray every moment that it would be okay and they would make it to the 32 week delivery we planned.
I got to see them more times than most people ever get to see their babies before they were born. I watched them on monitors and sonograms. I knew what their normal heart rate was and when I had to be concerned. I knew where each of them liked to hide in my tummy to avoid the monitors because they hated them being on me as much as I did.
Had I not had this experience, I don’t think I ever would have found out how truly strong I was. Terrified of the c - section and what would be for them once they arrived knowing they had to live the first weeks to months of their life in the NICU. I had in doubt chronic anxiety. It only became worse after they arrived and having them being separated from us.
I feel like I missed out on a lot. The typical pregnancy (whatever that even is), never getting to to hold them right away, having to have nurses around us every time we wanted to hold them in our arms. I didn’t get to breastfeed them right away and once I did I didn’t work out the way I had always envisioned it (this was a huge devastation in itself to me at the time). There was a lot that I felt deprived of being a first time mother. There was a lot that caused me to be depressed even after I finally got to bring them home. But now, one year later I have learned how much I have been given.
I was blessed with two beautifully healthy boys.
I was given the gift to find my own inner strength.
I get to experience the love of what becoming a mother (x2) truly is.
These are things I never would have experienced otherwise and for that I am so very grateful and more than blessed.
I write this article for anyone who is going through a high risk pregnancy, for any other Mono/Mono mothers out there. I hope that you find this and read it through and can find that strength in yourself.
I can promise you, you are so much stronger than you may feel at this moment. Love to you all.