29 weeks tomorrow with twins. Hospitalised today because I'm starting to dilate and contract. Steroids and anti-contraction meds started. Anyone been through similar?

(41 Posts)
thereistheball Tue 21-Aug-12 21:53:39

One other detail - I am in France. I live here an speak French but would appreciate hearing from people whi've been through similar in the UK.

Think this may have been triggered by 38 degree heat over the weekend and a bit too much walking. I'm taking insulin 4x a day for gestational diabetes (the steroids have sent the blood sugar levels sky high) and thyroxine for hypothyroidism.

My consultant said she hoped to have me home by the weekend, and then I expect it will be bed rest until delivery. What I really want to know is how long can I hold on til that happens, realistically? I'm also going to post this in multiple births. Thanks in advance for your replies!

HiHowAreYou Tue 21-Aug-12 22:46:13

It's probably completely different for everyone depending on why each of us went into labour. I lasted four days but don't scare yourself worrying about other people's stories too much.

If you have had time to have the steroids that's fantastic, really good for the babies' breathing.

Good luck, and take care. Hopefully your babies will stay in there a while longer.
x

PQ77 Wed 22-Aug-12 09:43:25

Hi thereistheball - my waters went on Sunday and I am 30 weeks (singleton). I had the steroids 2 weeks ago as a precaution as I'd had a positive fetal fibronectin test.

The protocol seems to be
- bed rest on antenatal ward for a week (at least)
- four hourly obs; temperature, bp, pulse, baby heart rate
- fortnightly growth scan
-daily ctg

I think at our stage the average is to last a week before labour starts but many people last much longer.

The biggest risk is of infection as you'll know. I am reluctant to go home as I am getting some comfort from the monitoring but I appreciate I may go crazy at some point.

It would be interesring to hear ant other experiences- I have no idea if this is standard uk practice (i am at a big central London hospital)

do let me know how you get on, I'll be thinking of you

I had my twins at 26+6 after a very quick and very silent labour (i was 9cm before anyone realised).

As a result I didn't get steroids which make a huge difference.

My Dtds spent 4 weeks in NICU followed about 6wks in SCBU. They came home about 2-3wks before my due date.

They had advised us to aim for discharge around their due date.

We had ups and downs but ended with a positive outcome. DTDs are now and getting nervous about going to secondary school next week! They have no lasting medical, developmental or educational needs.

Good luck! Every day they stay inside is a bonus. There was a real noticeable difference between mine and those born at 28wks+ and again at 32wks+. I even saw babies on the unit born at 34wks going home within a week and they were triplets!

I have also seen people successfully have anti-contraction meds 2-3 times between 26wks and 34ish wks before they decided to allow labour to progress the last time, so they can work!

Waves to PQ77, glad to see you're still hanging on.

thereistheball Wed 22-Aug-12 13:21:44

Hi. Thanks for the reassurance. I still have my waters so I'm hoping that once the contractions calm down (I'm now on a Loxan drip which is helping) I might get to go home - but I'm preparing myself for the long haul here if necessary. I've had two steroid injections fr the babies' lungs, which is all they get apparently, so now it's just about staying still and keeping my fingers crossed. My consultant is in tomorrow so I'll find out more then.

PQ77 - you are being more carefully monitored than me I think: my risk of infection must be lower because my waters are still intact. How are you feeling? I hope you're doing well. Good luck!

thereistheball Thu 23-Aug-12 06:03:37

Well the babies came last night at 29 weeks on the dot. I was in labour for 3 hours and went from 1-10 cms in 15 minutes - that was when the doctors started to believe they were coming and I had them 3 minutes apart about 10 minutes later. They are not quite 1kg and 1.1kg - about 2.15 and 2.45lb - and seemed to be fine - I got to kiss one and tickle his toes and wave at the other before they were transferred to a different hospital. Hoping to see them today and start expressing. They were breathing unaided when I saw them. Everyone in shock, not least the midwife who gave me a bit f a talking to when I was in labour and they didn't believe me smile Lots of mixed emotions but I'm hoping that some sleep and time with the boys will help.

So, any advice for a shocked new mum of premature twins? smile

OnlyWantsOne Thu 23-Aug-12 06:16:45

No advice except WOW CONGRATULATIONS smile

Take lots of photos - have you got names for them? Xx

PQ77 Thu 23-Aug-12 06:21:54

Many congratulations!! Best wishes x

thereistheball Thu 23-Aug-12 07:37:58

Thank you! No names yet but we need to register them by Saturday so that's one of our first jobs. Thank goodness I made DH start drafting his long list at the weekend.

Mama1980 Thu 23-Aug-12 07:41:53

Congratulations grin more reassurance here I and my ds at 26 weeks and he is fine. X

silverangel Thu 23-Aug-12 07:46:00

Wow, congratulations! Great weights too. Mine were delivered at 31 weeks after placental abruption and were 1.1 and 1.4kg. They spent 5 weeks in SCBU and are now 1 with no problems from their prematurity.

Having twins in SCBU is a hard slog. If you want to express my advice would be to start ASAP, and it has to be every 2-3 hours including overnight in the beginning to build up supply.

Congratulations again and do ask if you've any questions. I hope you've been reunited with them by nowsmile xx

Melindaaa Thu 23-Aug-12 07:54:02

I had twins at 28+5. they weighed 2.11 and 3lbs 5oz.

They had ups and downs, a few hours ventilated, on and off cpap for a while, the usual infections and blood transfusions etc, but are now four, about to start school and are the most beautiful, funny children I have ever met.

HiHowAreYou Thu 23-Aug-12 08:04:59

Congratulations, have a look at the Bliss website!

HiHowAreYou Thu 23-Aug-12 08:07:08

Oh and you can rent one of those those big hospital pumps for expressing at home. That's one thing I found really useful.

Congratulations thisistheball, sounds like they are little fighters!

I agree with pp about expressing - if you want to do this, every three hours minimum and at least once in the early hours (2 - 4am ish) as that is when milk production is highest. The more often you can express, the better for your supply. Hiring a hospital pump is a great idea, or something like the Ameda lactaline pump is a reasonably good alternative.

Don't forget to take care of yourself - the twins need their mummy to be healthy after all! Not sure how far you will have to travel to see them, but is there anyone (family or friends) who could support you by making healthy meals for you, sorting out your laundry, that sort of thing?

Best wishes to you all, please keep us updated smile

Double congratulations to you thereis.

Take care of yourself and your little boys smile

Tiago Thu 23-Aug-12 11:21:49

Congratulations on your babies! smile

I have no personal experience, but just remember that there will be ups and downs before they come home, but having had their steriods and been born healthy and breathing unaided, it sounds like they will do very well indeed.

Nancy54 Thu 23-Aug-12 13:03:08

congrats thereis!!! amazing news, so glad they're ok!!

TheLaineyWayIsEssex Thu 23-Aug-12 13:06:09

Congratulations. Hope they grow bigger and stronger everyday and that you are all home together soon x

charlottehere Thu 23-Aug-12 13:07:49

Congrats!! Keep us updated.

CelticOlympian Thu 23-Aug-12 13:16:04

Congratulations! Sounds like they are doing well.

I second the advice about expressing, you can't do it to much! Try by hand at first and move on to pump when your milk comes in. There is a booklet available on the Bliss website all about expressing and breastfeeding, it's well worth a look. There's also a message board which is a source of great advice.

Get as much skin to skin as you can, it's great for the babies and will help your milk supply.

You might find you need to be assertive sometimes. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself and your babies.

NICU is an exhausting rollercoaster ride, but it's so worth it! My tiny 27 weeker has just turned three, and I'm thankful every day that he's here with us. smile

KD0706 Thu 23-Aug-12 18:11:56

Congratulations OP
I think you sound similar to me. As soon as I came off the anti contraction drip thingy my labour just went from 0-100 in no time at all.

I know it will seem scary, but to the medical professionals, 29 weeks is actually a reasonably good gestation.

Your babies are in the best place. I hope you manage to take care of yourself. A few ladies have had some wonderful support and hand holding on here when they've had babies in nicu/scbu so if you need to offload etc do come back here.

Mandy21 Thu 23-Aug-12 23:14:05

HI there. Am sorry I missed your original post, but congratulations on your twins! It is probably a bit overwhelming at the mo, but think positively, they're good weights and they got the steroid injections.

I was in a similar position - went into labour (although I didn't know it was labour - I was just having back ache) at 27+4. I had the drugs to stop the contractions, and the steroids, but I was also starting to dilate. I think that is usually the crucial factor - if you're just contracting they can usually stop them for quite a while, I was told because I'd started to dilate (even though my waters were intact), I'd go a maximum of a week. As it turned out, I went back into labour 48 hours later and went to 10cm in minutes.

But thats all by the by now, they're here! My twins were 1.078kg and 1.096kg so about 2lb 6oz each. Twin 2 needed to be ventilated for about 12 hours, Twin 1 was OK. As everyone has said, it'll be a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I think with twins its hard because one generally does better than the other to start with so although you're pleased with one's progress, you automatically compare it to the other and then worry! I know it doesn't seem like it now, but I was told at 27 weeks that they were really in hospital to feed and grow - they weren't classed as really early.

I'd encourage you to be at the hospital as much as you can, especially ward rounds so you get to know the staff and they get to know you. I just felt like I was therefore upto speed and somehow could keep some control.

Expressing - stimulate all your senses whilst you're trying to express - my twins wore little fabric goggles to start with to protect their eyes from the UV lights, sounds bizarre but I used to sniff the goggles whilst I was expressing (to get the babies' smell). They'd taken photos of them for me that I had up on my bedside cabinet, so I could see them. Warm showers and some gentle massge of your boobs before you start can help. I was also told that its the amount of food that you eat that affects your supply, not just your liquid intake, so make sure you're eating. I used to have a sandwich when I got up in the middle of the night to express. Its tricky being in a different hospital as I was able to go and see them when I took the expressed milk up to the unit. Just try to express every 3 hours day and night to get your supply going.

We were told we could expect to go home by their due date. In fact, they were in SCBU for just over 8 weeks, so they came home at the equivalent of 36+5. They had to be regulating their own body temperatures, gaining weight, and be taking their feeds, whether that was by breast or bottle. They were 4lb 9oz each when they came home.

They're 7 now, have absolutely no lasting effects of their prematurity. They were a little lighter than their peers until they were about 18 months old, but hit all their milestones other than their speech which was about 3 months behind (although I still think this was a twin thing rather than a prematurity thing). We saw a consultant (as out patients) until they were 2 and he signed us off after that.

Good luck, just take each day as it comes, try to get as much rest as you can whilst you (and they) are in hospital.

Let us know how you get on. BEst wishes, Mandy

Mandy21 Thu 23-Aug-12 23:21:36

Sorry, one other thing i forgot to say. Someone recommended to me at that time that I write a little diary, just how much milk they'd had, whether I'd changed them, fed them, held their NG tubes, anything positive the doctors have said. I found it really useful to look back on when I was having a bad day - when another mum you've got to know in hospital takes her baby home, or one of the twins has a little set back. On a day when you're feeling low, its great to keep perspective and realise how far they've come.

Actually I would second a diary of ups and downs. 11 years later the details of those 3 months are such a blur I wish I had something to go back and refer to as a longer term thing.

I also second the fact that it is a harder roller coaster with twins. The drs obviously treat their individual needs which leads you comparing them and worrying about one or the other (why is one on 24% O2 and the other 23% etc.) It also means that you end up spending more time on the downhill roller coaster because when you don't have concerns about 1 chances are you have concerns about the other IYSWIM.

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