About 6 weeks into my pregnancy I started losing some blood. After experiencing a miscarriage at 11 weeks a few months earlier I obviously went into a complete panic. We were so happy to be pregnant again but my anxiety over the miscarriage was really taking the shine off the good news and I was convinced it would happen again. We went straight to the early pregnancy unit and was scanned after a few hours. I remember my husband and I watching the technician look at the blurry images on the screen, both holding our breath.
There’s a heartbeat – the technician said confidently. I burst into tears. I hadn’t had a scan until the bad news in my last pregnancy so had never seen a heartbeat and I couldn’t believe you could see it so early on.
There’s also another sac, our technician said nonchalantly – no heartbeat but it’s very early days. You also look like you also have two wombs or possibly a bicornuate womb (heart shaped).
I don’t really remember the next bit – vague questions about my womb or wombs. And whether the other baby might appear. As soon as we left the hospital I was on google, reading about extremely rare incidences of two babies in two wombs and totally freaking myself out.
After trying to guess how much we’d make from selling our story about my weird womb and twins to This Morning we decided to tell our parents. I’m sure they were just as confused as we were.
Over the next few weeks the bleeding continued and the anxiety increased. It turned out we were expecting twins (there are no twins in our families so your guess is a good as mine) and I had a bicornuate womb with one fraternal twin in each side. Fairly rare but usually okay.
I didn’t like being pregnant – I felt awful and quickly felt like I was carrying around a real weight even though I wasn’t ever that big. My commute to work was horrible and I knew I needed to rest more. After an intensely hot summer and crazy few weeks at work I reached about 31 weeks. I started to feel a bit off and decided to get my bag ready. I called the maternity assessment unit and explained my symptoms. No you don’t need to come in yet, if you’re worried go to your local GP practice they said…
Cut to waters breaking at the surgery, and then an ambulance journey to the hospital. I’m so thankful for the calm paramedic who told me he had delivered lots of premature babies and I shouldn’t worry as 31 weeks wasn’t the earliest he’s encountered.
It was only one of the baby’s waters that had broken but they were both looking a bit on the small side. After two days in hospital I had the beginnings of labour. I’d wanted to have a c-section (and was advised to) so after a painful 6 hours of contractions and monitoring they decided to get the babies out.
I’d wanted to make my c-section a positive experience and had made all these plans like playlists, skin to skin, low lights etc – obviously this was becoming a different type of experience. The day before my c-section they advised we visit the SCBU and we were so glad we did this. The nurses made us feel like everything would be okay and we felt incredibly looked after and that the ward was not as scary as we had thought it would be. I’d met so many doctors and nurses over those two days in hospital that by I the time I got finally got into theatre I felt I knew them all. Looking back – I really think this was the most important aspect of a positive c section experience. I didn’t feel like I was just another procedure and there was a lot of chatting and weirdly a lot of laughing (nervously from me!). My husband declined to see my heart shaped womb when asked gleefully by one of the doctors. I kinda wish I had a picture of it now!
Cormack and Wesley (Mack and Wes) were born at 4.45 and 4.46pm on the 4 Oct at 31+5 days gestation. They were 3lbs 4oz and 3lbs 1oz. Small but not as small as they thought. They were whisked off to the SCBU – thankfully I managed to say hello to Mack before I was put into recovery.
It was amazing to finally meet my boys even though they were incubated. I got skin to skin the next day which was unbelievable. I felt as high as a kite for days afterwards. They were fairly healthy considering and only needed oxygen for the first night. Mack and Wes quickly graduated to a twin cot with only tube feedings needed. After five weeks I established breast feeding (that’s a whole other story) and we were allowed to go home. We cried when we left the nurses on the way out, they had become part of our daily lives and were absolutely incredible. I’ll never forget them. I’d quite like to forget the 5 weeks of expressing milk though – urgh.
Our boys are now almost 16 weeks – 8 weeks adjusted. I won’t lie, it’s been pretty tough and relentless and I wouldn’t recommend the extra two months on the newborn stage to anyone. Thankfully they have piled on the pounds and have finally smiled. I’ve just started attending baby classes and almost feel like a ‘normal’ new mother. Worth it? Definitely. Would I do it all again? No chance!!!!
Famous last words?