Article of the month September
Article Of The Month- September: Pregnant With Twins? Some ways To Guess…Some Ways To Know!
Baby Twin Girls, Plotting From The Very Beginning:)
When a woman discovers she is pregnant, a million questions run through her mind. ‘Will my baby be healthy, will my baby look like me, or his/her daddy? Will my baby be a boy or a girl? And then yes, it often happens, to cross by the minds of many newly pregnant women, ‘I wonder if I’m having twins?’
Maybe you got an early positive on your pregnancy test, and wondering if that might mean something more, or perhaps you are extra tired, and nauseous feeling. Maybe you have multiples on your side of the family, and can’t help but wonder.
Here are some things women ponder about, and frequently ask women, who have twins, or are pregnant with twins, very frequently, about the subject, plus some real medical information, mixed in with personal experience.
#1) Are higher HCG levels present, in twin pregnancy vs. a singleton conception, and do the HCG #’s rise faster then usual?
The answer? Yes and no. Meaning sometimes yes, and sometimes no, meaning it is unfortunately NOT a reliable way to predict the amount of conceptions you have, but it certainly may raise your eyebrows a bit.
Not all women are tested for HCG levels during pregnancy, so many won’t even know their ‘Beta’ numbers, but for those, mostly, whom have dealt with infertility issues, you know clearly, what I am referring to here.
In my own experience, I did not have any blood tests for pregnancy, using the ‘Qualitative’ version, which means, how much HCG is in your system, instead of are you pregnant, YES or NO, which is a more simple result, often referred to as as a ‘Quantitative’ test’, in any pregnancies aside from my daughter and the twins, so I only have 2 pregnancies to be able to refer to here, however, the amount of HCG does relate to positive pregnancy tests, a woman uses at home, so I do have some interesting information there, for those who only home test, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
While more twin moms see higher numbers, then singleton mothers, then don’t, they still all, most often, fall into the range of normal for a singleton, which there is quite a variation, if you check out the data, so ‘Normal’ is very broad, hence loosening the ability to call this a direct tell tale sign, but a possibility.
Now my daughter, happen to start as a twin, but the twin did not make it, I never even saw any heartbeat or fetal pole at all, so it’s very hard to know, for me, what a singleton # would be for me, though likely each and every pregnancy is different, BUT my successful twin conception numbers did happen to start out even higher, and continually rise at a quicker rate, then even the vanished twin pregnancy, making me wonder a little, if it can be some indicator. I guess the world may never know, but again, it is fun to play the guessing game, until the ultrasound confirmation.
Take heart, if your numbers are high and nearly doubling, or doubling and more, like I had, in any pregnancy. It is a nice sign of a good sticky bean at least, so regardless of the number, you shouldn’t be worried about things moving along too well, just as long as the numbers are going up, up, and away!!
#2) Do pregnancy tests show up quicker & darker, when you are pregnant with more the one baby?
Again, some twin moms would sware, absolutely YES, but you will also find those on the other side of the coin. For me, luckily I have a lot of pregnancy testing under my belt, and can say in absolute certainty for ME, and I clarify again, for me, the answer is YES!
With my 1st two conceptions, I did not get a positive pregnancy until after my period was due, and they were singletons. I had one chemical pregnancy, which yields a positive, then seemingly quick negative result, resulting in your period coming slightly late.
Then I had a loss of a singleton pregnancy via miscarriage, that started with good beta numbers, not high, but not indicative of any problems, and got a positive pregnancy test at 13 days past ovulation, and it was faint, that is also the day my period happened to be due, so I had never gotten an ‘Early’ positive before.
With Mikayla, I got a faint positive on 11 days past ovulation, one one of those Internet cheapies, so who knows what a decent test would have shown, before I hit the Doctor’s office. Maybe an earlier positive then that, but case in point, it still was early.
11 DPO (Days past ovulation), was a couple days before my period was to come, hence it was an earlier result. Remember I never had an earlier BFP (Big Fat Positive), and there was an unviable twin pregnancy, included here, which would make one wonder.
With my twin girls, my Beta level started at 83 points higher then Mikayla, and though my progesterone was slightly lower, my hcg levels started higher, and increased at an even quicker rate, then they had with Mikayla & the vanished twin, whom also was higher then a usual singleton conception, if there is such a thing, as ‘higher’, though some would say above, the middle, to upper range, of normal, can raise flags.
People did joke with me, that it sounded like I had more then 1 bun in the oven, based on these numbers, and I laughed it off, about 2,000 times, literally, but they were certainly CORRECT, as you can see by the name of my site here . I got my earliest positive EVER, at only 9 dpo, which was faint, but clearly viewable, and also earlier then my unsuccessful twin conception.
It grew darker each day, and were markedly darker then my singleton friends, as they also continued to test in the days even a week or more, past the original positive pregnancy test date. Hey, when you want it for a long time, you keep wanting to watch that line like the Grucci fireworks display. It gets addictive and exciting.
So with this information, in my personal experience, I would say YES, that an earlier positive result and darker results for whatever day it is post ovulation, may yield a clue, and also indicate higher beta levels as well, just in case you aren’t being monitored, you can tell your numbers are rising decently, for a short while, but then you may concern or make yourself nuts, so a few days in, it’s a good thing to STOP TESTING!
If the test gets slightly fainter which can happen for any several number of reasons, it may cause panic, and you may think the pregnancy is in peril. I had a lighter test one day and got worried, but all was well, so it’s not worth it, it is just a fun experiment as long as you don’t get too caught up in it, and solely for fun purposes ONLY.
Again you will find ladies with singleton pregnancies getting super early tests at 8, 9 days post ovulation as well, so it’s just something to ponder, as you wait for answers, and also, if you know you own former ‘history’ with your testing, as I explained of mine, it could be a fun way of guessing how many beans you are carrying along with you, but is certainly not anything definite, and again, may never be proven, an indicator of twins or more.
** 4 of my own, 1 million pregnancy tests, are added at the bottom of this page**
#3) Increased Pregnancy Symptoms mean more then 1 Bambino in Your pouch?
For many YES, for me, NO, not really, except for being tired, but I did have other kids to tend to, so it’s hard to say. With my 1st pregnancy the symptoms were by far the worst, and the second would follow that. They actually got better with each and every pregnancy, so for me, not an indicator, but officially speaking YES, women who are pregnant with multiples, do frequently, have exaggerated pregnancy symptoms, due to the extra hormone levels in their blood stream.
These can be nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, mood swings, constipation, swollen breasts, tender breasts, and blue veins underneath the skin, in the chest and other areas. That was always my BFP tell tale sign, once I knew what I was looking for, anyhow. (Does not mean you must notice these, some women may not, and other may not until well after the positive pregnancy test, but it’s fun to look and to guess right?).
Like I said for me, the symptoms were not as bad with my twins as they were with the first baby I ever conceived, and the second not much better, but better, which makes me wonder, if it has to do with boys vs. girls, though some would sware me the opposite. I could argue for me, boys cause more pregnancy discomfort, and girls fewer, but some moms would definitely disagree with me, which would make that another unwinable statement to make.
Some mothers would also agree that their twin pregnancy was not as bad (Symptom wise) as a previous single pregnancy, though I would say that more would say the opposite, that it was more intense, you will still continue to find two sides of the coin on this one as well, though in parts it IS proven to be more fact then fiction.
#4) Fast, Early, Weight Gain In The 1ST Trimester.
Ok, I can speak for myself quite easily here and say ‘HECK YEAH’, It was definitely (looking back), a symptom. I put on weight without doing a darned thing, in the 1st trimester, with my pregnancy with Mikayla and her lost twin, and my girls now. In the 1st trimester, for both pregnancies I put on more then the average weight, and 1/2 to most of the overall weight in the 1st trimester, and worried I’d go way over the norm, and that was not the case, the numbers leveled out as I went on, but initially, the body does seem to prepare itself for the extra nourishment, and fat stores it needs, for a multiple conception, by packing on the pounds sooner then later.
I’m sure you will find some twin moms that disagree, or lost weight, or didn’t notice, or would totally agree, but there is some proven fact that especially, in women that don’t have a nice amount of fat stores already on them, that the body will try and get things preped for the taxing journey ahead with carrying twins, or more. This may be why, more twin conceptions naturally happen to women who are heavier, then those who are smaller in size.
#5) Your Uterus Is Measuring Large For Your Due Date.
This can often happen because of miscalculation of the due date, or a larger then normal baby, the babies position in the uterus, as you continue on in the pregnancy, amount of amniotic fluid around the baby, and so on, BUT women with twins, ‘MOST always’ measure larger for dates, then a singleton pregnancy.
I say MOST of the time, because you will find a rare bird or two, who just happens to measure spot on and not know a thing. You might find this rare bird or two, hiding out on the Discovery Health Channel somewhere, but for the vast majority, if you get measured, your fundal height (Uterine height), it will most always be noticeably large for dates, especially as you get into the second trimester and so on.
With the girls, at my first OB appointment, which was at 8 weeks, the Dr. said he could clearly feel my womb, which meant, at/above the pubic region, when the uterus starts moving out of the pelvis, normally at around 12 weeks or so. I measured 4-6 weeks ahead for the 1st 27 weeks of the pregnancy, until things took an unexpected turn, and I measured at 38 weeks…meaning TERM!
The Dr. joked, that it’s all ‘All outward growth from here…HA HA HA…soon we’ll have to get out the wheelbarrow’. I wasn’t laughing. 11 weeks ahead???
One of the babies had turned frank breech and the babies were head to toe, fully extended, without bent knees and so that explained all the stretching pains i had been having. The positioning of the babies can absolutely cause your measurement to increase fairly drastically. Don’t panic as I did. I never did need to get out that wheelbarrow after all
#6) Hearing Two Separate Heartbeats On A Doppler
Well, unless you are a trained professional, have been pregnant with twins before, and have used an at home doppler, trained to use a doppler at work, or just plain super savvy, it can be hard to clearly discern two separate heartbeats from one babies’ heart beat, and also your own heartbeat can cause confusion to some, as well, so playing around at home with a doppler, unless you are as savvy, or experienced, as mentioned above, is not a certainty, until later when it becomes easier to figure out.
What is a certainty of two separate twin heartbeats? Either a doctor performing the doppler ultrasound on you, and hearing it for himself, after all he’s a trained professional, or you hearing two heartbeats and discerning the differences by A) There is a bit of distance between them. though early on this is hard, because they start out really close, and are quite small, so it’s not a good predictor until later when you likely already know, but no harm in having a little fun, as long as you don’t go out buying two of everything just yet.
B) Hearing distinct two heartbeats that are clearly NOT your own (Over 110 BPM..I have a fast pulse rate, so 100 resting is not abnormal for me, but a fetus’ heartbeat is much faster, especially in the 1st trimester, where it rises peaks, falls a bit, then steadies out.
You need to hear two heartbeats, again proven to not be your own, check for your own rate FIRST, just in case you have been running a marathon beforehand, and the heartbeats should be much higher then that of your own.
Between 120-180 (Even 190 sometimes), BPM depending on where you are in the pregnancy, but remember, most of you will have a lower pulse rate, resting then my own, so there should be an even bigger, and easier difference, to your own ears, in that department.
Home doppler use can be tricky, and require some time to get used to, so in any pregnancy, don’t panic, many factors such as your weight, the babies location in the uterus, and how you perform the doppler, if you have a tilted uterus it can make things harder, and also just your hand at the wheel of the doppler makes a ton of difference.
Work slow along the lower abdomen, near the pubic region, when early on. Use lots of ultrasound gel, move your hand with the probe very slowly, have patience, and if at first you don’t succeed try, try again. It was one of the best investments I have EVER made! Guess I can sell mine now, since I’m DONE DONE..*WAH*. Interested? Email me. You definitely want the digital heart rate display.
C) Also the heartbeats usually will not be the exact same beats per minute, or you might be mistaking one for two, and be off the mark. They usually will be at least 5 beats different from one another, but some would say a good 10, possibly even more, is a definite indicator of finding two separate heartbeats.
You can always go & have your fun, but remember, not to panic or take things too seriously. Schedule an Ultrasound appointment, and find out for absolute sure, before buying a second crib!
#7) Increased fetal movement.
Well if you have not had an ultrasound by this point, and still wondering if you have one or two in tow, you might just be going bonkers about now, and looking for any signs or indicators.
What is increased fetal movement? Well, early on, even with twins, things may seem just the same ‘activity wise’, with two babies, as it does with one. As they grow and become stronger, most women will notice a sudden & definite increase, in the amount of overall movement, taking place in various locations of their abdomens.
I have had calm babies, and feisty ones, and NOTHING compared to the activity that went on, inside of my twin belly, and I do mean NOTHING. However, if i were a first time mom would i have known based on movement alone with nothing prior to compare it to? NO! Though, later on, the 2 sets of hiccups, in different regions of my tummy, certainly would have made me think quite a bit, about something not so normal, going on in there.
I’m certain without ultrasounds or proper prenatal care, (Or the realization of any hiccups), women could miss this sign, or just have some laid back babies, and not know, but again this is the minority of women, most get prenatal care and would exhibit other signs, alarming their Dr’s to perform an immediate scan.
Most twin moms would say they see more body parts in more places, and feel like they have aliens living inside of them, once the true strong movement begins, and I have to agree with that majority on this one. Hard to miss, if you are a true, been there done that, mom.
#8) Motherly Intuition Is NOT A Myth, It Often Proves Correct!
Some women, just sense…or just feel like they KNOW they are pregnant with twins or more. It may be intuition, mixed with dreams, and ongoing thoughts that just won’t leave their minds. There is something to be said about such intuition, as it is often correct.
Now in my case, it wasn’t correct, but then again I was in denial that I could possibly be pregnant with anything more then one baby, based on the way my cycle had gone down. When people joked with me about the numbers and such, I pushed it to the back of my mind, I had no inklings, feelings, thoughts, or dreams….but again, I wasn’t desiring a twin pregnancy at the time, I was afraid of it, so that may have temporarily shut off my motherly intuitions for this pregnancy, who knows? But a lot of women sware they are pregnant with a duo, and are found to be correct.
Some women really desiring twins, may have the same thoughts, but turn out only pregnant with 1 baby. This depends on how truly keep your ‘Mom-Dar’ really is, but many are right, though some can be wrong. Just like thoughts on gender. I was off on the twin part, but for some reason believed deep down, I had two girls, and POOF two girls it was, so you just never know.
#9) Natural Twinning Skips a Generation? NOT!
This means, if your mom had twins, meaning you are a twin, or you have twin siblings that were naturally conceived, you are safe from having multiples yourself, because it skips a generation? That is absolute hogwash!
Twinning is passed down from generation TO generation, so you have an increased risk of having twins, based on your side of the family. Any twins that run down your own blood line, will increase your chances for a duo.
On your husband’s side, there is no clear evidence, AT ALL, that his family history increases any type of twinning whatsoever, so if your husband is a twin, you are deemed safe. (For now, pending any future research that would say otherwise, but that is how it stands as of now, so no worries there).
#10) Check Out That Girth? Are You Feeling Large & In Charge? Size Does Matter!
I know few women who are not first time mothers, because of course first time mom’s have nothing to compare it to, but I know few that would disagree with the fact that you grow larger, and faster, with multiples, then a singleton birth.
Now granted some babies are larger the others, but this is a more drastic difference then an ounce or even a pound or two, we are talking about a WHOLE other human being growing in there. I won’t say you will be double the size you were with your singleton, but you’ll get bigger for sure. I have yet to meet a twin mom who’d argue that point.
I grew slowly in the beginning, no one would ever have known I had two in tow, I carried very nicely, but when a certain point hit, my every week picture showed a drastic, nearly daily, much less weekly change, that I never remember in any singleton pregnancy of mine. Sometimes I would go two weeks before I’d see any growth, and even be worried with only one in tow. The growth rate was just, noticeably slower.
Not with the girls, there was consistent growth, sometimes, scary fast growth, especially once the third trimester hit. I didn’t topple over as I had expected to, towards the end, but I was definitely larger with twins, there is no denying that one, and way more uncomfortable as the end approached.
Also, let’s just say, areas that I remember being able to shave still, at the end of pregnancy before, were untouchable, and unreachable, with the twin pregnancy. It’s amazing how the human body can grow to fit so much baby inside of us, and the eventually get back to it’s prior state. (With time, patience, and a little work of course). It’s a truly miraculous thing!
#11- The Tell-All: Ultrasound Confirmation By A Trained Professional.
There really is no greater way to know you are carrying twins, unless you are on the delivery table, and they say ‘It’s a girl’…’Oh, but wait..here comes a boy to!’ Imagine back in those days?? YIKES!
Ultrasound rarely does not detect a twin pregnancy. There are super rare cases of a twin being missed, hiding behind the other, or what have you, but if you receive several ultrasounds, that see only 1 baby, you can most definitely rest assured, you are carrying one baby. If you see two babies, chances are 100%, you are carrying twins, but the fact still remains, that starting out with twins, does not necessarily mean carrying twin babies to term.
There is a phenomenon called ‘Vanishing Twin Syndrome’ which happens in as many as 20-30% of all multiple pregnancies, which is quite a high number. Women who don’t get fertility assistance, may very well never know of the vanished twin, since they aren’t monitored visually, at such an early stage.
In fact 1 in 8 of us statistically started as a twin, but only 1 in 70 is actually born a twin, so the first trimester carrying twins, is always a risky one, because anything really can happen, as it did once to me. Just always remember, none of these things are preventable, or ever your fault. It’s all just a part of nature, and survival of the fittest.
And that article, is laying some myths to rest, finding truth in some things, we aren’t quite sure of, inaccuracies in others, finding facts from fiction, and some questions, will just have to go unanswered as of now.
This article is aimed at pregnant, wanting to become pregnant, or just interested persons, who are wondering if they to, could be one of the chosen, multiple mommies of our time, and is aimed at helping women who clearly want answers, a way to have a little fun, in finding them, via the facts, and my own personal experience, which people do enjoy hearing experiences, I know I sure do.
Thanks for reading, and visiting my website. If you find yourself pregnant with twins, and even if it’s just a singleton baby, I have a wealth of information, videos, posts, stores to buy baby gear, fun facts, baby photo contests, and much more, that may encourage you to Google friend connect my blog, if you blog yourself, or just follow my site, by bookmarking it, and stopping by every now and again. You don’t NEED to have twins, to be a friend, here at Twinpossible! Still much to learn & to do!
However many babies end up in your tummy, I wish you a safe, happy, and healthy pregnancy!
*For fun, some of my own tests below, from this past pregnancy!*
- With love..Shelly @ Twinpossible, where NOTHING is Impossible!
The Lingo: (For Those Unfamiliar):
BFP- Big, Fat Positive pregnancy test
DPO- Days Past Ovulation
POAS- Pee On A Stick (Peeing on a pregnanacy test!)