I never thought I’d have difficulties conceiving – there is no history of infertility in our family or my husband’s so we both felt it would just be a matter of months before we fell pregnant after getting married.
Five years later we found ourselves no longer able to ignore the fact that we were going to need assistance to get pregnant. After extensive tests on the NHS, we decided to see my consultant privately and finally discovered we had male factor infertility. It turned out that ICSI was our only option.
To increase our chances, I had a double blastocyst transfer. I had a pregnancy test on day 10 – a strong positive. I had a 6 week scan at my local Early Pregnancy Unit that confirmed 2 tiny sacs. It was twins!
I had no morning sickness and only 2 weeks (5 to 7) of extreme tiredness. I did yoga twice a week, swam 3–4 days a week until 2 weeks before the end of my pregnancy and power walked either outside or on a jogger until I was 6 months.
I felt very well until 32 weeks. I had some mild carpal tunnel (pins and needles or numbness in the wrists and hands) from quite early on but nothing too bad. Around 30 weeks I developed symphysis pubis dysfunction (pain and inflammation of the joint where the two halves of the pelvic bones meet at the front) which made sleeping quite uncomfortable and unless I slept supported it was painful to walk the next day, but I kept swimming and the yoga and acupuncture helped with this.
At 34 weeks a scan showed my presenting twin had engaged into the pelvis and both twins were a good size. Because the presenting twin had turned breech, the decision was made for an elective caesarean at 36+3 weeks.
The last 2 weeks of my pregnancy were pretty painful: due to the baby engaging I had awful sciatica (pressure on the sciatic nerve, which can cause back and/or leg pain), I was too big for my bath so had to go to my parents’ to have a wash! I had fluid retention in my hands, legs and face and was really, really uncomfortable.
My twins were delivered by caesarean, 2 beautiful girls. They were fantastic weights for twins a month early. I found the operation a very positive experience even though I’d wanted a natural birth. I recovered well, I think because I was quite fit after my pregnancy.
I am breastfeeding both the girls. It took about 4 weeks to get the hang of, but now it seems like second nature to all of us and is much easier than preparing hundreds of bottles!
I’ve had an enormous amount of support and I’m not sure how you would cope without this. It is very, very hard work. I’m not sure I’d really thought about this much as I’d been so focused on getting pregnant and then being pregnant! Establishing a routine was crucial and we have stuck with this. It’s taken me a long time to get the confidence to get out and about with the two of them.
It’s certainly a bit of a strain on the finances but then we have been in ‘beg, steal and borrow’ mode from finding out about the pregnancy. It’s lucky there are lots of great charity shops around here!
After 5 years of waiting, I still count my blessings every morning when I go into the nursery and see those 2 little babies side by side in their cot. I can’t wait to watch them grow up and see them blossom.
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