These are a few of the top questions I’ve been asked since the twins arrived (and when I was pregnant):
- Were you trying to conceive? Yes. We always thought we wanted three children and then after ZB was born, we both had a shift in our hearts and were both very keen to have a fourth. We were very blessed to conceive quickly with all three girls but unfortunately it took a lot longer with our fourth pregnancy. We tried for years before turning to fertility treatment for help. Secondary infertility was a very difficult, heartbreaking and long journey – and we are so grateful for our two precious miracles at the end of it.
- Do twins run in the family? No, neither of us have twins in our direct line of family. I believe there are twins in my extended paternal line but none that should impact twins for us.
- Are they natural twins? Yes and no. No – because we did an IVF transfer to get pregnant but we only transferred one embryo which then split into two. So yes, because this was a natural split of one embryo.
- Are they identical? Good question. The medical science says they have to be because they are from one embryo which split into two. But it’s not as obvious because they were in separate sacs and had separate placentas (which is still possible for identical twins) but they also look quite different (although it can take up to two years for twins to look identical). There could also be a possibility that one was an IVF embryo and one natural but in our case, that isn’t possible as we had abstained during our treatment. So time will tell…
- Did you plan for them to be boys? No. There is a process called Sex Selection where parents may choose the gender of their baby before embryo transfer but this is illegal and not possible in South Africa. The embryo is chosen by the fertility clinic laboratory based on its strength and being the best possible embryo.
- Did you enjoy your pregnancy? For those who know me, know I unfortunately don’t do pregnancy very well. I suffer from severe Hyperemesis Gravidarum (24 hour nausea and vomiting morning sickness) which left my bedridden or in hospital from weeks 5 to 22 with the twins. I then suffered with severe pregnancy insomnia for 8 weeks, sleeping for a maximum of 45 minutes to an hour each night. And then unfortunately I suffered with kidney stones before going into early labour at 33 weeks.
- Did you have the birth that you wanted? To be honest, I didn’t have a birth plan. After three emergency c-sections with our girls, I had no expectations – especially with carrying twins. I just wanted to carry to as far as my body would allow, keeping our babies safe and healthy and then trust both my gynaecologist and paediatrician. Going into labour at 33 weeks is not what I had planned but I had to trust my doctors and deliver when they agreed, knowing they would do the absolute best for me and our babies. My actual c-section birth was very traumatic in comparison to my previous births, but again having safe and healthy babies was all that mattered. I will share my birth story soon.
Next Q&A will be sharing life and the adjustment to twin babies and the addition of number four and five to the family.