The ultrasounds, doctor appointments, signs, and symptoms; nothing showed up until it was time to deliver your precious baby. When, suddenly, your doctor tells you there is one more baby that has been hiding, giving you undetected twins until birth. How can this happen? Do other expectant moms and dads encounter similar surprises? Shockingly enough, this is a rare instance that does happen to parents who are shocked to discover they are expecting twins when they have only been preparing for the arrival of one baby. TwinStuff is here to describe how and why a hidden twin can be undetected all the way until the day of delivery.
The First Few Weeks of Pregnancy
After missing a period, you may be inclined to take an at home pregnancy test. Another option is to contact your ob gyn and ask for the soonest appointment to see if you are pregnant. A blood test can be performed to detect the amount of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels. With much excitement and anticipation, you may receive a confirmation of your pregnancy. Depending on how far along you are, your medical provider may offer an ultrasound to properly detect the progress of the pregnancy. At a 5 week ultrasound, twins may be detected due to the heartbeats. Though faint, it is possible to hear the heart of your babies happily thumping. Typically, that early in the stage of pregnancy, it is difficult to detect if you are carrying more than one baby.
Your doctor will recommend prenatal care, including proper vitamins and supplements to help in the growth and development of your baby. Your health is top priority, too. In some instances, depending on previous pregnancy challenges or if you are pregnant with twins, your doctor may tell you to stay at home or in bed throughout moments in your pregnancy.
Twin Pregnancy Ultrasound
Should the ultrasound only show one baby, it is typical to have additional ultrasounds throughout your pregnancy. At a 6 week ultrasound, twins may be just as challenging to identify. However, beginning at an 8 week ultrasound, twins are a bit easier for doctors to detect. An ultrasound scan is helpful for doctors to identify the number of heartbeats within a twin pregnancy ultrasound.
Early within a twin pregnancy, vanishing twin syndrome can occur. This happens roughly around the 6 week or 7-week mark in the pregnancy. During the ultrasound, when expecting to see the two sacs and hearing two heartbeats, you may only see one sac or hear one heartbeat. If experiencing vanishing twin syndrome, this can mean that the one fetus absorbed the other twin. Or, a miscarriage happened and resulted in only one single pregnancy.
When doctors perform a twin ultrasound, you will be asked if you would like to receive copies of the twin sonogram. These are the images that can be printed up for you to have. These black and white pictures allow you to show off your exciting pregnancy to your friends and family. If your medical provider has only identified one baby during your pregnancy, do not worry. There will be plenty of opportunities to still see if you are carrying multiples.
The First Few Months
If you still have a nagging feeling that you are carrying twins, be sure to express your thoughts and concerns with your doctors. As your baby grows, a twin may appear through additional movements or having a heartbeat that no longer syncs with its sibling’s heartbeat. Should this be the case for you, as your doctors realized there are two babies within the twin ultrasound, you will be bumped up to a high-risk pregnancy.
This label may sound scary but is perfectly normal when it comes to carrying multiples within a pregnancy. To break the label down, it means that you will have more doctor appointments compared to when you were only aware of a singleton baby. You will want to have a reliable calendar system in place, when keeping up with your medical appointments. You may think some of the repeat appointments are annoying or uncalled for. Remember that each appointment has its own reasoning. All are for the safety and well-being of your health and your babies.
During your medical appointments, measurements will be taken of your babies to see how they are growing. The amniotic sac and placenta will be closely monitored to ensure each twin is having the necessary nutrients they each need to continue proper development and growth.
Few Months Until the Delivery Date
Having to miscarry one twin, heavy bleeding indicates the traumatic loss. Immediately contact your doctors to inform them of the loss of blood you are experiencing. Typically, they will ask you to go straight to the hospital to be looked at. You will be hooked up to ultrasounds and have tests run on you and your babies. During a twin ultrasound, the hospital should be able to see the status of your health, along with the health and well being of each baby.
Delivery Day. Undetected Twins Until Birth, it Can Be Possible?
The time has come for you to welcome your newborn baby! At this moment, there are still instances where expectant parents are only planning on delivering one baby. In one instance, while an expectant mom in Wisconsin gave birth, she suddenly found out that she had a surprise twin! Though a bit overwhelmed to begin with, she ended up having two beautiful twin girls.
More Useful Resources
Life is full of surprises and delivering twins can be one of life’s greatest gifts. If you are worried about having undetected twins until birth, please speak with your medical provider to express your concerns. Continue to follow along with our TwinStuff blog, should you be on the lookout for adorable twin onesies and bibs with clever twin-themed sayings. Our online TwinStuff Facebook Group is packed with positive and supportive parents of multiples that are happy to share their experiences of birthing twins. Birthing twins is a lot, but TwinStuff is here to help you with every exciting twin milestone.