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Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
I like to think I have a lot in common with Kate Middleton (ahem). Her first son, Prince George, shares a July 22 birthday with my own twins. Beyond that, she also may have twins on the way!
No, it’s not something the palace has confirmed, of course. And yes, all sorts of false rumors have been swirling about Kate’s pregnancy—even long before she was actually pregnant (both times). But one bit of recent news from across the pond actually has us really wondering.
It turns out that bookmaker William Hill has refused to take any further bets on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge having twins after a throng of first-time betters opened new accounts and heaped cash on 20-to-1 odds for twins. The odds fell steeply to 9-to-1 before Hill called off bets.
“We have had a load of unexpected bets including a large number of new accounts,” Hill spokesman Rupert Adams told the U.K.’s Express. “With any other market, I would say that people know.”
Did you catch that? People might actually already know about a twin pregnancy. I am a gambling gal, and it’s getting to the point where I’d stake some chips on this one!
The Express also cites that the Duchess’s apparent hyperemesis gravidarum (acute morning sickness) is a condition experienced more frequently by women expecting twins. But of course let’s remember that she also had it in her first pregnancy—while carrying a singleton.
It was the 15th century the last time the mother of a future monarch delivered twins in Britain. So if Kate is actually expecting two babies, she may find it hard to relate to people in her sphere. But fear not, Duchess: As the new mother of twins myself, I have two months of experience and can provide you with tons of advice! Text me, sister.
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Photo courtesy of Shaun Jeffers/Shutterstock.com
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Monday, September 15th, 2014
The day I delivered my babies is both completely blurry and seared indelibly into memory.
After a long, surreal lead-up to my scheduled c-section, there was nothing left to do but deliver some twins. On July 22, at 38 weeks, we were actually sleeping when the alarm sounded at 4 a.m. For the last time, I peeled my enormously pregnant body from the bed and got in the shower, following with my full hair and makeup routine. My husband, David, couldn’t understand why I would bother, but of course I knew 1) there would be pictures! And 2) it might be a very long time before I managed such a feat again.
For the last time as a family of two, we left the house with our bags packed. It was a warm, beautiful early morning, and we snapped a picture of the moon over our house. Minutes later, we arrived at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where we had our pick of prime parking spaces at 5 a.m. — a dream for a Los Angeleno, and an auspicious beginning to a big day! I noticed a sign that advertised discounted parking at a weekly rate, and as I shuffled into the hospital, I asked the parking attendant how to get the weekly pass, which would save us $10 over the course of our four-day stay. David couldn’t believe I found the energy to focus on such a pursuit, but I reminded him that every dollar counts with two babies on the way! And I’m nothing if not a hustler for a great bargain.
We made our way inside to check in for labor and delivery, at the same desk we had seen on our maternity ward tour when the reality of this day seemed infinitely far off — as if it were actually on another planet instead of just weeks away. This time, it was we who were checking into the hospital to deliver babies, and it was still too enormous to process.
We met our wonderful nurse, Griselda, who would be with us for 14 hours that day. She got us all prepared, running my IV line and strapping on two fetal monitors, one in blue and one in pink. She’d be my guardian angel — among many — during our stay.
Eventually, it was off to the operating room, where TLC’s “No Scrubs” was playing; the anesthesiologist had apparently honored my preference for ’90s hip-hop when he selected the Pandora station. I remember registering the neat play on hospital scrubs as the terror set in. I was most worried about this part of the day: David would have to stay outside in the hall as the team administered my spinal. It was the only time we’d have to be separated. As I sat sideways on the operating table with my legs dangling and my back exposed, Griselda squeezed my hands as she leaned into me, forehead to forehead. I’ll always remember her caring support.
Soon, the anesthesia began to take effect, and I didn’t like the feeling one bit — the feeling that my body had vanished from the boobs down, and there was no guarantee I’d be able to feel it again. I panicked.
The team let David come in early, and they also ran Propofol into my IV for the anxiety. David used the tools in his tool box to calm me: He rattled off a list of words that corresponded to my favorite images and memories. “Our first dance… Bora Bora honeymoon… scuba diving Belize… the beach in Rio…” He named as many of my favorite things he could think of in the moment, before, owing to his own nerves, he just repeated the list.
I heard my obstetrician say, “We’re down to the uterus now,” but I was less concerned about the progress of the surgery and more eager to feel my body again. Soon, I heard the cry: My son was out in the world. David’s face was hovering just over mine, and though his mouth was covered with a green hospital mask, I could see that his eyes exploded with emotion. Our son.
Someone announced the weight: six pounds, six ounces. Then another cry and another weight: five pounds, 12 ounces. My daughter was on the outside too. Both were whisked to the other side of what felt like a very big room for their initial medical attention. I heard someone tell David, “…other than that, she’s great.” I called out to try to understand what that meant. It turned out my daughter’s body temperature was low, but she was quickly warmed up. And beyond that, they were perfect. I felt rhythmic tugging as the doc stitched me all up. And then someone (was it David?) brought the babies over to my chest so I could hold them for the first time, one nestled under each arm. We’re a family of four now — imagine that.
From the operating room, we moved to the post-op recovery room, where my parents came with pink and blue balloons and held the babes. We shared their names for the first time: Maya Zoe and Jordan Oscar. Jordan was platinum blonde like me at birth, and Maya had dark hair — something she got from her dad that I never expected. They were devastating in their sweetness, too precious for words. How improbable and magical that we actually made them and I carried them inside!
From there, we moved to what was supposed to be our room for the next four days. It turned out, we’d move again.
As the team of nurses was transferring me from the gurney to the hospital bed, I noticed a lot of blood. I said, “That’s normal, right…?” There was some focused silence and then a second nurse said to Griselda, “It’s just that I’ve never seen a clot that big.” Quickly, the babies vanished out of the room on their way to the nursery, and our tiny room filled with people. David said he counted nine in addition to us. One of the doctors was really young and I called him Doogie Howser. I was high on Propofol. And I was hemmorhaging: My uterus had been so distended from carrying 12 pounds and two ounces of baby to full term that, like an overstretched rubber band, it could not contract.
In another far-off era, or in another part of the world, that might have been the end of me. But with access to such quality health care and thanks to modern medicine, I didn’t worry about my mortality. I did however, feel anxious for the team to resolve the situation, and I thought the thermometer bouncing up and down in my mouth was a physical manifestation of my anxiety. In reality, I’d later learn, the shaking was just a standard side effect of narcotic drugs.
Griselda pressed repeatedly on my post-op stomach; it’s not the relaxing spa-like treatment I’d pictured when she’d said she was going to periodically “massage the uterus.” Doogie Howser administered a bunch of drugs including Pitocin. And within a few tense hours, my bleeding issue was resolved.
For the first night, we moved to an acute care wing of the hospital, instead of the standard labor and delivery ward, and the babies rejoined us, sleeping serenely most of that first day — hazy, as it was, for all of us. Apparently, my situation warranted some attention, with the head nurse coming to check on me as the first stop on her shift later that evening. I told her she was stunning and looked like Nia Long because I was still high on Morphine and Propofol, and was, apparently, without filters. (And because she was and did.)
Outside the window, I could see that night was finally falling on what was, without any question, the most intense and wondrous and magical day of my life: the day my twin miracles came into the world.
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Photo: Courtesy of Alesandra Dubin
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Thursday, July 24th, 2014
Dear Everything Pregnancy readers,
Here at Parents.com, we write a lot about birth announcements (how to make them, how to word them, how to save money on them)—and now we actually get to share one!
We’re thrilled to announce that on Tuesday, July 22, our Everything Pregnancy blogger, Alesandra Dubin, who has been sharing the journey of her pregnancy with us all, gave birth to her boy-girl twins. Welcome to the world, Jordan Oscar and Maya Zoe!
Of course, now that Alice is a new mom, navigating the awesome world of parenting not just one newborn baby but two, she’ll be taking a break from writing the blog for a little while. (We’re big fans of maternity leave around here, even if it means we’ll miss out on her humor and insights.) In the meantime, our In Name Only blogger, Lisa Milbrand, will be guest-posting each day.
Please join us in congratulating Alice (and offering helpful advice!), and check out the completely adorable first family photo here:
Pregnant? See what to expect week by week. And don’t forget to like Everything Pregnancy on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in pregnancy news and trends!
Images: Courtesy of Alesandra Dubin
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Friday, June 13th, 2014
We’ve heard of twins technically being born a year apart, thanks to a holiday delivery. And one of the twin moms in my multiples Facebook group posted that her twins were technically born in separate months, when the calendar page flipped during her delivery. I thought those stories were amazing enough until I saw this week’s news of the twins born 24 days apart. And “wow” is all I can say.
Massachusetts parents Lindalva DaSilva and Ronaldo Anlunes were excitedly expecting twins, slated to arrive this June—but daSilva’s water broke in February, just 24 weeks into her pregnancy. Naturally, she was terrified of losing the babies when the family rushed to Tufts Medical Center in Boston, and doctors scrambled to manage the contractions with drugs, and provide antibiotics and brain- and lung-maturity medication to protect the babies, according to Today.com.
The first twin came on March 2, weighing just one and a half pounds—but he survived, with intensive care to keep him alive. Recognizing the extreme danger to the other twin if he were to be born at the same time, doctors made the exceedingly rare decision to keep him and the placenta inside. It was a move that Tufts chief of maternal-fetal medicine Dr. Sabrina Craigo told Today.com she’d seen maybe only 10 times in her 20 years of practice.
All the family and medical staff could do was wait and monitor the situation while DaSilva remained in the hospital. Her labor didn’t begin again for nearly a month, with the second twin finally arriving on March 26, weighing a full pound more than his brother. By then, he’d cooked for 28 weeks, when babies’ survival chances soar to 90 percent.
Both twins have been in the NICU since their births, but both are now close to seven pounds and are breathing on their own.
It’s an amazing story, and one that surely provides some measure of comfort for multiples moms fearing early delivery—a fear which has plagued me for the duration of my twin pregnancy. Pregnancy and birth may be frustratingly—even terrifyingly—unpredictable, but it’s very reassuring to have modern medicine on our side!
Pregnant? Find out when your baby is likely to make an entrance with our due date calculator. And don’t forget to like Everything Pregnancy on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in pregnancy news and trends!
Image of twins courtesy of Shutterstock
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Monday, March 24th, 2014
The latest celebrity baby trend seems to be announcing your engagement, then your pregnancy, and Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher have done just that! Following in the footsteps of Christina Aguilera and Scarlett Johansson, Mila and Ashton are expecting their first child, nearly a month after confirming their engagement. Mila has even been spotted taking a prenatal yoga class recently in Hollywood, according to E!.
“Ashton and Mila feel like they won the baby lottery,” a friend of the couple told OK magazine, which reports that Mila is four months along in her pregnancy. “It was a total shock for both of them, but they feel up for the challenge,” the friend said. “It didn’t seem like it was possible for them to fall any deeper in love, but the prospect of raising an insta-family together has solidified their commitment to each other.”
The longtime friends—who are only expecting one baby, not twins which has previously been rumored—first met on the set of That ‘70s Show in 1998 and went public with their relationship in 2012 after Ashton split from first wife Demi Moore. This will be the first child for both, though Ashton became very close to his ex-wife’s three daughters, so he has some dad experience—just not with babies!
Ashton described (step) fatherhood to USA Today in 2011: “It’s a completely learn-on-the-job thing,” he said. “Your best teachers are your parents anyway. You take the ‘best of’ from your parents and you try to eliminate the ‘worst of’ from your parents.”
Congrats to Mila and Ashton! You’ll get the hang of parenthood by feeling your way through, just like the rest of us!
And in more baby news, Alyssa Milano announced on her website that she is expecting her second child—a little brother or sister for son Milo, 2 ½ . She told People in September: “I want to have another child, just because I want Milo to have a sibling and have someone to grow with. My brother and I are so close, and I can’t imagine not giving my son that kind of relationship.”
We’ll have to wait to see if two is enough for Alyssa, or if little Milo will be getting more siblings soon.
TELL US: How many kids do you want to have? Then take our quiz to see if you’re ready for another baby.
Image of Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher via Twitter.
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