Multiples

Being pregnant with multiples (two or more babies) is exciting. But while it is amazing that your body has the ability to support more than one baby, you might experience some challenges.

Tips for a multiples pregnancy:

  • Eat the extra nutrients you need, which is typically about 500 more calories/day than women usually eat (for a total of 2,700 calories/day for twins)
  • Use proper body mechanics
  • Get plenty of rest (your doctor may recommend restricting your activity level later in pregnancy)
  • Ask about the possibility of having a vaginal birth if you are expecting twins, and learn about cesarean birth
  • Line up plenty of help after birth and connect with support groups in your area for parents of multiples
Each twin above is supported by her own placenta

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Information for a Multiples Pregnancy: Learn how to stay healthy, get support, and plan for delivery if you are carrying more than one baby.

Video

Heather's Births: See a couple deliver twins vaginally with the help of an epidural.

Heather's Births
view text See a couple deliver twins vaginally with the help of an epidural.

Heather: My name is Heather and I am 27 weeks. Yeah!

Bill: I’m William, proud father, can’t wait to see the twin boys and we are really excited.

Heather: I feel them all through the night and all day long. They kinda take after him I have this feeling because he can’t sleep all the time so, I’m like ok well they are definitely yours!

(laughs)

Bill: Once we found out they were gunna be twins, that they weren’t identical and that they didn’t have any other markers of issues, uh we were really excited about the whole situation

Bill: I love you sweetheart.

Heather: I love you too, we all love you!

Bill: Her labor started over Thanksgiving. And you know, we figured that if we fed her well, you know, that we might…

Heather: <laughs> Thanksgiving dinner.

Bill: …we might be getting closer to having babies. So we had a really nice Thanksgiving dinner. And through the weekend it just got progressively more intense.

Bill: We went to the doctors she had suggested that well just to be on the safe side why don’t you go on over to labor and delivery and we’ll get you set up and we’ll just run a few tests.

Nurse: let's see where you are

Heather: A 10?!

Nurse: you wish! Well let's see you are a 3 ½- and... oh HI! I touched his head and he went wait what's that! ...Are you ruptured?

Heather: I don’t know

Nurse: I'm feeling his head pretty easily, well you are about a 3 ½ and 80% and -1 so it sure looks like things are happening to me. We got a nice big room for you

Nurse: if you want to you can sit on a birthing ball would that help your back? Or in the bed?

Heather: the bed

Bill: You had a lot more in terms of machinery than I’ve seen in the past being hooked up. You know, they had to have a monitor hooked up to each baby. So she had a lot of a lot of attachments.

Bill: Maybe my theory worked, get you stuffed full of turkey that it would force the babies out!

Heather: The things that helped the pain take somebody in the room with you that makes you laugh because, you know, what he was the best. <laughs> He was the best. I laughed the whole time. <laughs> The whole time. Still do!

Heather: I knew it was going to happen this weekend because I just, they are very very...

Bill: I mean does it feel like they are moving down?

Heather: Oh ya because it hurts all down here so ya, they are ready

Heather: It was very painful I just can't describe it. Of course they said do you want an epidural and I said yes I do!

Heather: They had me sit on the edge of the bed. The doctor is in there, your support system is in there. And then they’re like okay, it’s going to happen now and they go and stick a needle in Anesthesiologist: This should feel like pressure but not sharp, if it feels sharp tell me ok?

Bill: They would come in and check every once in a while to see how far long she was dilated

Nurse: I will just examine and see where we are at...Pretty far back I'd say -3 station they are not engaged in the pelvis yet. You are a good 4, maybe 4 1/2 so you are progressing.

Bill: They would use you know the dad’s cheat sheet of where they would show you what the centimeters looked like on the plastic holder. It looked like a license plate.

Nurse: So you thin out as you progress and the baby's head is pushing against the cervix here.

Bill: It’s good because it gives you a visualization and it-- you know, it helps you as a, you know, a father understanding what your wife and the person that you love is going through.

Nurse: So what she suggested is she's going to come in, in about a half an hour to assess if she can break the water. That might help get some dilation and some baby movement.

Doctor: What do you think about breaking your water?

Heather: I'm good with it.

Doctor: Your fluid is clear. So keep truckin along here. So close your eyes and take a little nap if you can.

Doctor: you are complete

Nurse: Complete? Sweet! So do you know what that means let me show you what that means, just know its complete that's all,

Bill: Really?

Doctor: yup all I can feel is head!

Bill: No way! Yeah!

Doctor: So we are going to move back to the operating room

Bill: WOW

Doctor: and hopefully by the time we get back there you will feel a little pressure.

Bill: Because we’re having twins and at the hospital that we were at you have to get moved to the operating room. Once we got down to the operating room they got two sets of nurses, two sets of staff there to help out.

Doctor: Bill,

Bill: yes ma'am

Doctor: If you want to hold her leg right here

And Heather if you want to grab underneath your knees.

Bill: My role during the pushing stage was to hold their leg up out of the stirrup. And hold her hand with my other hand and then offer support and encouragement.

Doctor: Keep going keep going, ok take a breath and do it again.

Heather: I did not feel the crowning because the epidural was still going on, which was fine. I was okay with that. <laughs> So I knew when they told me but I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

Doctor: go go go go! Take a breath, Heather take a breath

Bill: OH MY GOD! There’s tongue movement!

Doctor: Here he is! do you want to cut the cord?

Bill: Ya, I've never done that before

Bill: They let me cut the cord. And then they took the baby and cleaned the baby up a little bit,

Bill: There was only eleven minutes in between the two births so it was pretty quick and pretty hectic. And a lot of activity with that many people in the operating room.

Bill: This is the most room he’s had in there for a long time!

Doctor: Look down here Heather!

Bill: Oh my GOD! And Keegan is out baby!

Bill: You feel like you’re kind of floating on air a little bit because it’s such an elating experience to see them when they first come into the world and they take that first breath

Heather: <laughs> At that moment how I was feeling was I’m glad that they were out because it had been painful for me the whole time. But I’m glad that they came out and they were healthy even though they were preemies they were still healthy.

Heather: They brought both the babies to me to have them latch on.

Bill: I know from the father’s perspective seeing them both latch on you know, it’s a beautiful thing. I mean it’s natural. That’s what you want to see. You know, obviously, when you have two of them the demand is much greater.

Heather: I love you very much, are you happy?

Bill: Couldn’t be happier!

Bill: I think thank one of the biggest challenges of having multiples is how do you feed-- how do you give them the attention that they need and deserve

Heather: I’ve never gone through so much in such a little amount of time

Bill: And make you a little crazy from the screaming especially when it’s simultaneous and it sounds like it’s a stereo.

Heather: <laughs> I’d still- I’d still do it all over again.

Bill: Yeah.

Heather: I wouldn’t do anything differently. Nothing at all. Everything went right like it should have been and it still is.

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