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Twin pregnancy; my experience with my identical twin girls (DCDA‪)‬

 

In 2018 was the year of my growing and birthing my twins - identical girls Hunter and River, and what a wild and tough pregnancy it was. I carried them to 36 weeks, 6 days - and they were huuuuuge healthy babies at 3.15kg and 3.69kgs. They both had their own placentas, and were still identical which is quite rare!

In this episode I go through the entire pregnancy from start to finish, what struggles I had, what I did for my health, what health concerns I had, how labour started, what supplements I took, and what things I couldn't live without.

The book that I reference in the episode is "When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads" by Dr Barbara Luke.

TRANSCRIPT

Tnn (00:02.070)

Welcome to another episode of the natal naturopath podcast. And today I'm really looking forward to this episode. I'm going to be going through my experience of my last pregnancy with Hunter and River. Actually, it's not my last pregnancy, I had a miscarriage in 2020. So my second last pregnancy, that was my twin pregnancy with the girls. So I'm gonna, I'm gonna preface this episode

 

Tnn (00:32.210)

and everyone will have their own experience. So my identical twin girls were not sharing a placenta. So I thought it's important for me to explain that they were not sharing a placenta because this twin pregnancy of mine may have looked vastly different if they were sharing a placenta because there's a lot more risk involved. So their placenta did become fused at the end of the pregnancy,

 

Tnn (01:02.090)

pointed fuse, but for most of the pregnancy, there was, it was just sort of sharing a membrane, like it wasn't the blood flow wasn't connected, they weren't sharing blood flow is what I meant to say. And so that's quite different to the traditional identical twins that we all know of. That's share a placenta, therefore share a blood flow, therefore have much higher risk, because often we've got that twin to twin sort of, is it transfusion or something where the blood

 

Tnn (01:32.510)

So there's that. And I also wanted to alert that, you know, please don't implement anything that I mentioned in this episode into a UChat to your own healthcare provider to see that it's actually okay for you, your twin babies and your individual health needs because we're all very different. And what works for me may potentially not be working for you. So I think that because this was my second pregnancy, that was such a benefit to me. If I had have

 

Tnn (02:02.370)

it would have been a very different story. I think that I had a lot of experience, obviously in parenting of what to expect, of what a pregnancy looks like, of giving birth, of breastfeeding. So when I found out I was twins, I don't think I was as nervous as I would have been if it was my first babies, because I was like, I've given birth before, I've got this. I've breastfed before, I've got it, you know.

 

Tnn (02:32.730)

wasn't great. And so with this second pregnancy of mine, it was a really... My postpartum was at the forefront of my mind and it was given a lot of attention and I really set it up the way that I knew I needed to because my first postpartum wasn't set up in that way for me and it bloody sucked. So with my first

 

Tnn (03:02.370)

hundreds of hours researching the best pram, the best car seat, the best cot. You know, what would look beautiful in the nursery? What little onesies was she gonna wear? None of that mattered. Literally none of it. I wish I hadn't spent so much time worrying about that. I wish I actually had have invested in my health as number one. And then, you know, secondary to that is like learning about co-sleeping because the reality was we co-slept shit ton, which I didn't expect.

 

Tnn (03:33.030)

And all those little things that I think when you're pregnant with your first baby, you don't spend the energy in considering. But I think if there's something that I would love someone to take away from this episode is that, for example, if you don't invest in your health and your health isn't great and your postpartum isn't how you want it to be, nothing else really matters. Because an investment in you is there for an investment in your child, your family.

 

Tnn (04:02.570)

And so in putting in that effort and that sort of planning about right, how am I going to support my health, this pregnancy? How am I going to support my health? Not just what am I doing for the baby's growth and development? It's like both. Both are so equally important. And then what am I going to do in postpartum to support myself? Because there's that beautiful quote and I found it in Life After Birth, one of my favorite

 

Tnn (04:32.670)

Jessica Prescott and Vaughn Geary and it was something like the mother... I'm gonna get this wrong but it was something like you know the mother... the family orbits the mother and so it's where the mother's not right that's when the family can suffer and anyway I could go on about postpartum forever but let's get on to my twin pregnancy. So you know I think as soon as I found out I

 

Tnn (05:02.330)

at our five week six day ultrasound and I wanted to get that dating scan because I really hated it in my first pregnancy with Willow. My first ultrasound wasn't until 12 weeks and I didn't know any differently. And then three months group, speaking to women, it's like, what? You can get an earlier scan to confirm there's a baby because I remember my 12 week ultrasound with Willow. I thought to myself, I have felt so unwell for months now.

 

Tnn (05:32.010)

finding out that the baby didn't survive or that it was a mis-miscarriage. Like it really, it felt far too long personally for me and my personality. I really, I would want to know what's happening earlier. And thank God I did because I found that I was having twins at that point. And I think if I didn't know I was having twins until 12 weeks, I think that adjustment would be quite hard for me because I needed time to adjust to the idea of having twins.

 

Tnn (06:02.030)

process after elation and happiness. So it was like, found out I was having twins over the moon, excited, couldn't believe it, felt really blessed, felt really lucky. It's like, holy crap, I've won the lottery. How good's this? Then, due to how unwell I felt, my mental health took a real plummet. And I went through a grieving process of like, okay, this is actually not how I expected it to look. I didn't expect to feel this unwell. I didn't

 

Tnn (06:31.990)

miserable. And then I started to really, I guess sit down and think, okay, what will life look like with twins? Like what, what will it be? What will be different? And someone I spoke to who'd had twins just said, it's exactly the same as having one, but everything takes longer. And like, honestly, that is not further from the truth in my experience.

 

Tnn (07:02.310)

In fact, that's what I would say. Like breastfeeding, I had to grieve the idea that I was not going to be able to hold one baby and sweep their hair, kiss their little forehead and hold their little arm while they're breastfeeding and just focus on one human. That was just the most special thing I had with Willow.

 

Tnn (07:32.110)

because I had to face reality that breastfeeding twins is really difficult and I didn't know how it would look. I had confidence in myself and I knew I was going to give it my best shot, but things happen. Babies have tongue ties and mouth ties and this and that and some twins are born really premature and so with NICU stays, breastfeeding can not establish often. I had to grieve that potentially the three-year breastfeeding journey I had with Willow was

 

Tnn (08:03.991)

I had to grieve the family picture that I envisaged as well of like Willow not being shoved so far out onto the side, but I realized in having twins, she was going to really, my attention was going to be doubly involved with this new baby babies. And so grieving what that looked like and like, okay, nothing will be as easy as I thought.

 

Tnn (08:32.150)

baby, just pop in the carry and mean Willow can continue on doing everything we used to do. And there was a big grieving process in realizing it wasn't going to be like that. Also in the way of the parenting that I was used to. So I was a co-sleeper. Like I said,

 

Tnn (09:01.950)

was like an attachment gentle parent. I still would, but I'm not strict in like saying that anymore. I think I've like learned so much about, about, you know, parenting in general. But anyway, back then I was like, no, I'm an attachment parent. And so grieving that, I think because I've thought, I might not be able to be that parent with twins. And how can I closely with three babies?

 

Tnn (09:32.290)

You know, how can I, what am I gonna, like I genuinely thought I could still co-sleep with one baby and then Willow. But then the idea of twins in the bed safely with an older child, all of a sudden that was gone, that idea fell through. The next thing that I realized was that this whole attachment parent of like wearing the baby constantly, which is what I love to do with Willow and I carried her constantly,

 

Tnn (10:01.970)

and I had to really, yeah, I guess come to the realization that you're not gonna be able to carry both all the time. And the ergo carrier with one on the front and you're cooking dinner, that's not gonna happen anymore. So that was sad for me. And I felt angry at times in my twin pregnancy, like a lot of anger of like, this is not what I wanted.

 

Tnn (10:31.950)

babies, I think it was more, I don't want everything that comes with it. And all the things that I wanted can't happen, it felt like. And so grieving that was huge for me. So my mental health was really low in the first term, it's just so, so low. And like, obviously the hormones did not help that my mental health picked up significantly and I felt so much more positive, but I had to go through the grieving process. I literally

 

Tnn (11:01.970)

second child journey was ripped from me a little bit. And what's that saying? Sometimes you don't get what you want, you get what you need or something like that. And in the end it was. It was not what I thought it would be, but it was amazing in its own way. And that was really, in reflection, I'm like, if only I could tell Malani at 11 weeks pregnant when she was crying pretty much every night because of how unwell she felt and how flat

 

Tnn (11:31.970)

And also how guilty I felt that I was doing this to Willow. You know, I was like, oh my God, there's just her and I for four years nearly. I cannot believe I'm doing this to her. Like I'm destroying our relationship. I'm introducing two, not just one baby sisters that, you know, so I wish I could give myself a huge hug because it did turn out okay. In the end, it was, you know, there was a lot of drowning.

 

Tnn (12:02.750)

I then asked my doctor, could I please have another dating scan at eight or nine weeks, just because I started to research and the research did say like a lot of twin pregnancies don't make it and one twin can actually pass away quite early on. And I just, I think my anxiety was like quite high. I just wanted to know, I didn't want to have a gap between six weeks and 12 weeks of not knowing. I just wanted to know a bit earlier on. Anyway, they

 

Tnn (12:32.070)

or nine week mark. But the first time Esther for me was a complete write off. Like I was so, so unwell with the nausea. So I never vomited, not once vomited, which I really can't believe because I would be on the edge of my bed gagging so significantly with tears streaming down my face and just like nothing. So I don't know, I've never vomited from pregnancy. I just don't think

 

Tnn (13:02.170)

that would have been horrible. But in a way it meant there was nothing relieving the nausea. It was constant. From the moment I opened my eyes until the moment I went to bed. In fact, the night nausea was the worst. So I think it increased with my level of fatigue. So any, yeah, I think it was from like 4pm until bedtime. It was horrific. So unwell. I felt like I was on a rocking boat

 

Tnn (13:34.371)

really, really terrible. I then... Oh, like nothing worked either. I didn't want to personally, myself didn't want to take any of the morning sickness medications like rest of it or on Danzatron. I just didn't want to do it. I felt like, no, no, no, I'll save those if

 

Tnn (14:02.050)

where I went to the doctor and I was sobbing and I said, I can't actually go on like this. And then he did write me a referral out for end on Dan Zatron. I took, I took it for two days in a row and I developed severe migraines each day. And so I stopped. And then I researched about that because I don't, I didn't feel comfortable taking a medication. But I was so vulnerable and so low

 

Tnn (14:32.030)

search that it can be linked to heart concerns in babies. So that was it for me. I'm like, no way, even if there's a 1% chance I'm not doing it. So that was the on dense trunk on. The one thing that worked and I'm not saying this is healthy was having fruit tingles. So I'd have a packet of fruit tingles in my bed. As soon as well, I'd go to sleep at six o'clock. I'd go straight to bed every single night and I would just have fruit tingles where I needed them.

 

Tnn (15:02.050)

a lot of people swear by them, but I'm not saying they are healthy. It was just I really had no other option. Sometimes I'd sip on like the sugar, you know, like next bar soft drink that would sometimes help. But I found having my stomach really full constantly would help the most. So the minute I'd start to get hungry, the nausea would flare up. But I would know it needed to be relieved with food, but I couldn't eat because I was so unwell. And

 

Tnn (15:32.130)

again and feeling like I was going to throw up and crying. Anyway, in the first term of style also was asleep every night by like 8, 8.30. I would say that the fatigue was insane. I, you know, I couldn't, I couldn't stand up for too long. I couldn't walk for too long. The fatigue began so early on. I knew it had to be twins. Like I really did. I had an intuitive

 

Tnn (16:02.170)

I felt so different so quickly. It was like with Willow, the pregnancy, the strong pregnancy symptoms of like super hormonal fatigue, the nausea, that sort of stuff, and the crying, like I'm such a cryer. That didn't start until about that six, seven week mark, whereas I felt

 

Tnn (16:32.370)

and Willow's HCG, so that was at four weeks, on the nose, four weeks. My HCG was in the, yeah, in the 3000s, the high 3000s, whereas at five weeks pregnant with Willow, my HCG was only like 800. So to me, I was like, oh my gosh, why is it so high, I call this between, and the doctor was like, no, no, there's no correlation to that at all. And there's probably not, but anyway, I was convinced from then.

 

Tnn (17:02.810)

Yeah, first trimester, horrific, really horrific. I mentally don't know how I actually got through it and in considering having another child with Scott, I've reflected so much on how hard my twin pregnancy was and it's actually really put me off. It's actually quite traumatizing when I think back to how I felt. The second trimester, so around about 15 weeks pregnant,

 

Tnn (17:31.950)

exercise and I hadn't, I was doing normal exercises that I would have done if I wasn't pregnant and I wish someone had told me or I wish I had read somewhere. When you're pregnant with twins, you've got more relaxin', your ligaments are stretching more, there's all of that, you're at higher risk of getting an injury because what happened was I was doing something like a one-legged exercise.

 

Tnn (18:02.050)

the ground and one leg off. I don't even know what I was doing. I was doing something to do with the legs. Anyway, I felt a twinge of pain that shot up through the left hand side of my sort of, like I'm going to say near my perineum up into my bum up into my pelvis sort of it was like

 

Tnn (18:32.050)

time I would walk, as soon as I would move my left leg, I would get a stabbing pain. If I went to stand on one foot by putting pants on, the pain would be excruciating. If I would like, you know, do my shoes and one leg would be more on off the ground than another, for example, like it was just going upstairs, the pain. I've never experienced it.

 

Tnn (19:03.731)

And it was extreme. And that was very debilitating for me because I went from feeling like, okay, I've got this. I can sort of keep going with my life and continue work and continue parenting the way I want to and all good. And that just completely ended all idea of the fact that I thought I was going to be exercising the whole way through the pregnancy. I thought I was going to be really active.

 

Tnn (19:32.030)

lying down or, you know, sitting, for example, but even sitting with the twins as it got further on, I couldn't breathe. My rib pain that I had, so I would just have to be on my side. So what really helped this pelvic girdle pain was seeing a pelvic physio. So I saw Kim, her name

 

Tnn (20:02.090)

important to my pregnancy care because honestly without her, I think the pain would have gotten a lot worse and every visit really did relieve the pain and she just had so much knowledge. She really guided me on how to treat my powers really. So not doing any one-legged things. You know, also she gave me, I had to massage my inner thigh close to my vagina, perineum,

 

Tnn (20:31.990)

the muscles so she would do internal release. So through my vagina, she would do internal release because there was a particular muscle there. I don't know the name of it. I don't know that anatomy very well, but it was connecting to my leg and my, like something to do with my leg and pelvis and when my leg would move, this muscle would be in agony, but it was so sore and tight. And so she would do internal release and she explained that I needed to

 

Tnn (21:02.130)

ice on it, make sure I was resting plenty. She also told me to actually, I researched someone else that had severe, I think it was Zoe Foster Blake, she had severe pelvic girdle pain and she couldn't walk. But she did say that she bought a pair of shorts, compression

 

Tnn (21:32.030)

EA. I got those, Kim endorsed them as well. She said, yeah, go ahead, they're fantastic. And as soon as I put the shorts on, I could actually walk. So without the shorts, I actually couldn't really walk further than two meters. Like it just wasn't possible. But as soon as I had these shorts on, I was pain free just about. So the pain would go from a nine out of 10 to a one out of 10. So they completely and utterly changed the course of my pregnancy because otherwise I would have been on bed rest, I think, if it weren't for these shorts.

 

Tnn (22:01.990)

went to the pelvic physio monthly. I also went to my chiropractor monthly as well. I'm a huge believer in chiropractic work and I really wanted to get a vaginal birth or have a vaginal birth. So this is why I went to the chiro regularly because I knew the strain of the twins and also wanting to optimize my pelvis, my whole abdomen area so that they could go head down because that was a really big determinant if I could have a vaginal birth was whether they were head down

 

Tnn (22:32.230)

that I was going to try everything to get one baby head down at least, which was twin A, which was River. And so it went to my car as well. And obviously I had so much muscle tension along my neck and shoulders, like my whole body. It just, it hurt. Everything hurt. Then in the third trimester, I was really focusing on just slowness. I was trying to

 

Tnn (23:02.250)

Nutrition in pregnancy is obviously really, really important, but in twin pregnancy, there is a correlation between preterm labour and not enough calories and also, you know, intake of enough protein and fat and then that correlates to baby's birth weight and things like that.

 

Tnn (23:32.550)

You know, you need to be eating a minimum of 3000 calories or something like that a day and you need to put on weight. If you don't put on weight, there's going to be concerns with preterm labor and the health of the babies. And my goal was to get as full term as possible and have a vagina delivery and have no NICU stay. Like I'm sure every twin mum wants, you know, you don't want to have that NICU stay. So I just thought, look, I can't control a lot of this, but what I can control is my diet.

 

Tnn (24:01.970)

to eat as much as humanly possible. And I completely, I was four putting on weight because I knew the research said, and it was outlined in this book, and I'll link to the book in the show notes. It said, directly there's links between enough weight gain and babies going to full term if they're twins or triplets. So I was like, yep, I'm putting on the weight done. I thought I can sort out the weight when they're born,

 

Tnn (24:32.070)

it is what it is. So I put on 25, 30 kilos in their pregnancy and I focused on eating as much as I could. But when I felt like I couldn't eat anymore, because as the pregnancy progressed, I had so much little room in my abdomen that I would just try to get as much as I could within what I was eating. So really, really high fat as much as I could. So I'd

 

Tnn (25:01.990)

acral, canned anchovies, avocado, boiled eggs, coconut oil, keto snacks, protein smoothies. I'd have a protein smoothie every day. Lots of protein. So protein, protein, protein was something I was really big on as well. And also supplements, obviously. Okay, we're huge supporter of good supplementation. So, you know, I started off the pregnancy with my

 

Tnn (25:32.170)

university degree. Oh no, I was at the end of my uni degree, so I really knew what's a good quality supplement, what are the clinical doses, and I obviously was on top of blood tests every trimester as well, like I preached to everybody. So that was something very different that I didn't do with Willow. I did not get enough blood tests with Willow. Hence why my iron deficiency was left far too late. I felt so fatigued from that. I then had barely no iron stores and the

 

of global and wasn't doing great. And then I had a postpartum hemorrhage with below and then I was anemic for like a year. So, you know, I thought to myself, I want to avoid the feeling of anemia I had after Willow was born. It really affected my ability to enjoy being a mum because of how I felt. I felt like I had literally been through a car accident. Like, I've not ever had a car accident. So I don't quite know, but that was I felt like I had completely been stripped of like

 

Tnn (26:32.330)

So I wanted to avoid that. So I knew, okay, you need to be starting iron as soon as you're pregnant. Unfortunately though, my iron knowledge is not what it is now. So I did take ferragrad-C and I took it every day and as to be expected, my iron plummeted. Now in twin pregnancies, obviously your iron is going to plummet in your hemoglobin. Like that's really natural. We've got hemodilution. We're giving a lot of iron to baby. I was aware that I would be iron deficient.

 

Tnn (27:02.350)

as it was. So I just tried my best to keep it hanging in there. And like the ferrograde Z like it, at one point my ferretin got to 18 and then I was a bit more astute with my taking like because I was a bit, you know, sometimes we have those suck days, hey, but then it went up to 23 in my ferretin and you know, so like it wasn't too, it wasn't too bad. I mean, my ferretin was eight last year and I wasn't pregnant or breastfeeding because

 

Tnn (27:32.170)

every trimester, I was checking everything. I was checking my vitamin D because I knew my vitamin D had to be above 100. I wanted to make sure my thyroid was okay. And yeah. So another thing I did is I didn't just take the standard level of the prenatal and this was guided with a naturopath that I was seeing myself, but I was taking a little bit more. So I was taking a high dose of the prenatal just because I wanted to make sure I had enough of that that methylfolate coming in.

 

Tnn (28:02.070)

bit more zinc. So it had an extra zinc supplement and I would take that as well because the zinc requirements are really high when you're having twins. So I did supplement on top as well having zinc. In saying that with my iron, I would do it so differently next time, if there's a next time. You know, my prenatal had iron in it, which to me personally is a huge no-no because we've got zinc and iron clashing there. So is it anyone to my iron dropped? And then like I said, I took a really

 

Tnn (28:32.930)

I had severe constipation, severe, like constipated, like I poo once a week, horrible. And I was explained that this is also to do with twins and the hormones and everything like that. But then I developed a vaginal varicose vein, like a varicose vein on my vulva. And that was extraordinarily painful as well. So I would have to ice my vulva every night because of the pain. It was horrible.

 

Tnn (29:02.130)

my vulva because of the swelling and the pain. And so I was so embarrassed to speak about this with my physio chem. I was like, I literally can't poo because the pain in my vulva is so extreme. I actually feel like I'm going to tear something. And she was like, so lovely about it. She's just the most amazing human. Anyway, she was like, grab toilet paper, lie on your hand with it, and hold your vulva when you're pooing. And I had to do that for like seven months.

 

Tnn (29:32.130)

difficult, but it was the only thing I think that was saving my poor vulva because that Varicose vein felt like it was actually going to pop and the swelling and the pain, it was just like I couldn't go to the toilet. So anyway, that was really helpful. Just got the things, the things you look back on that, yeah, where's the dignity? Just gone, just gone out the window there. Yeah, sorry, supplementing, I was really astute, like I was really on top of, I also took Hydro's

 

Tnn (30:02.250)

THN pregnancy and I doubled that dose. And that was something that I, that was my decision. I'm not saying that you should do that because for sure, obviously comes with the risk of you know, thinning your blood. And then you've got the, the idea that you should stop at a certain point in the third trimester to avoid excessive bleeding at birth. It's like that, you know, you're not supposed to take for sure before you have surgery. So it's sort of like, you know, you stop it at that full term mark just in case you end up having caesarean. So I

 

Tnn (30:32.190)

And I took that the whole breastfeeding as well as I best could. Sometimes I had days where I was forgetting, but I was super... This is actually another thing now that I think about it. What I was really big on is continuing my supplement regime the exact same even after they were born. And that's not to say I did it the whole postpartum with them, not until I stopped breastfeeding when they were 15 months old. I didn't take a bazillion things every day, but I definitely

 

especially in that early postpartum, I was like, pretend you're still pregnant, pretend you're still pregnant, what would you be doing? You'd be caring for yourself massively. Like putting out those supplements, having them every day, making sure I was having the DHA, because I knew that my DHA level would directly correlate to what was in my breast milk. And I knew I'm growing two brains here through my breast milk. This breast milk is going to two baby's brains. I need to have more DHA than I might be able to have if I was just eating high fat foods.

 

Tnn (31:31.950)

So I set up my breastfeeding journey differently. I looked into an IB CLC in the area that I wanted to use if needed. I didn't book any appointments because breastfeeding with willow was really easy. And that might be triggering for some because it, you know, but I found I have still found breastfeeding on reflection a very, very easy journey. So there was no major issues. The only thing was recurrent mastitis.

 

Tnn (32:01.950)

I really wanted to avoid that with the twins because I had it about seven or eight times with her and I did end up having mastitis twice with the twins, but I would take twice over seven times any day of the week. But so what I did was I really started to learn like how does mastitis occur on reflection when Willow Breastved she clicked every time. There would be a really loud clicking sound and my mum had said early on, Mel, that's not supposed to sound.

 

Tnn (32:32.870)

But I was 21, I was breastfeeding, I'm like, she's growing, she's fine, I'm fine. Like not really understanding that maybe there was a bit of an issue. So potentially she did have a tongue, a tire, a lip tire or something like that, restricting her mouth moving and her suction. And so I did get rechromostitis and I do wonder if it's because maybe my breasts weren't draining properly. But also I'm an overproducer of milk. So I produce so much milk, it is obscene.

 

Tnn (33:01.950)

was just, there was too much milk constantly. And this was a real issue for me and contributed to the mastitis. So I had too much all the time, no matter what she was feeding like. But with twins, I had two babies to feed. So I had the perfect amount of breast milk for them. I never didn't have enough. I was always, even after them breastfeeding, I even had a freezer stash full of breast milk. And then I was able to sustain times when I wasn't

 

Tnn (33:31.970)

example, when they're a little bit older, I had always enough breast milk pumped for them. So I was really blessed and that worked really well. And I think that's why a reason why I didn't get mastitis as much was because I had two babies draining them constantly. So they were really, really empty properly. But also I was quite on the ball with my supplementation because we know that mastitis is linked to poor immune function. And so I was low in iron, severely low in iron when we were low as a baby. I was anemic.

 

Tnn (34:02.110)

it a few times. It was really bad and it was really missed. So we know low iron is linked to low immune function. We know that that means that you're at more risk of mastitis. So there's that too. And I knew if I can keep my zinc levels up, my iron levels, this is going to help my immune tolerance so that potentially I can get a blocked duct and it not turn into that infection. And also Kim from Woman-Kind Physiotherapy, she's fantastic

 

So I got a lot of knowledge from her about actually treating mastitis, sorry, treating a blocked duct and treating it in a way that it can prevent developing into mastitis. So I did like literally all the wrong things when I was breastfeeding Willow. If I got a blocked arc in a sore spot, I would be treating the breast so harshly, I'd be squeezing the shit out of it. I would be going for it, like squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, let's get this lump out, not realizing that new guidelines state do not do that.

 

your breast because you can add to inflammation. So I was completely adding to inflammation. I remember I was like scolding my skin with heat pack sometimes because I thought that that was what was needed. In fact, we need to reduce the inflammation. So what I would do if I had a blocked up with a twins is that I would take Neurofen and maintain the inflammation because Kim had guided me around that. Also therapeutic massage. So not sorry, therapeutic

 

Tnn (35:32.370)

and learning how to use that for mastitis. So anytime I had a sore spot, I was straight on the ultrasound machine and that would get rid of it literally within hours. So that was just amazing. So yeah, I think that, you know, when like the twins were healthy the whole time, there's never a concern about them. So that really obviously dictated what my pregnancy looked like as well. They were always growing. Hunter was always in the 90th percentile and River was always still a little bit lower

 

Tnn (36:01.950)

70th, I think. So they were really, they were big babies. And when they were born, I therefore realized why I was in such extraordinary pain every day, because Hunter was born at 3.7 kilos and River was 3.15. So they were both perfectly sized full term babies. And we combine

 

Tnn (36:31.990)

placenta was huge, huge. Like it would have weighed a couple, like I like looking at it, it would have weighed three or four kilos. So it was insane. The like what my body was actually enduring every day. I do believe good supplementation and eating really well can go a long way in your baby's birth weight for sure. But then again, I'm very tall. I

 

Tnn (37:02.030)

tribute. Willow was 4.5 kilos. So I just do grow big babies as well. So what a few questions came through this week on my Instagram when I was recording this podcast about my twin pregnancy, so I can go through those now. I went into natural labor by my, so what happened was my water's broke. So my water's broke at 36 plus five days. And yeah, it was just a gush of clear fluid.

 

Tnn (37:32.050)

Labor itself didn't start for probably another seven hours. So that was in the morning. Labor didn't start until that afternoon. So it was sort of like, we went and visited the hospital. They wanted to test the fluid to make sure that it was all clear. And they did say, look, why don't you stay in the hospital? Twins can come on really fast. It's your second baby. You've given birth originally before. We would hate for you to give birth at home accidentally or anything like that. I decided to go home. I didn't want to stay in hospital.

 

Tnn (38:01.990)

block, things like that. It started to ramp up and get crampy. And yeah, I'm not going to go into my birth at all in this episode. I can do so in another episode, but I have recorded an episode with Sky from Positive Birth Australia. There's an episode there that is fully dedicated to my twin birth. But I, in the pregnancy itself, I did so much mindset work on like, I will have a vaginal

 

Tnn (38:32.050)

I went into it thinking, I gave birth naturally to Willow without drugs and it was fantastic. I loved my birth with Willow. I knew I could do it. I didn't have fears around birthing, which I had when I was pregnant with Willow that I had to undo. When you haven't given birth before, it's so hard to imagine what it's going to be like. Like, am I going to be okay? What might happen? Can I handle the pain?

 

Tnn (39:01.950)

But I didn't have that when I was pregnant with the twins because I knew I'd gotten through the pain. It was fine. My body did what it needed. She was good and it went really well. So straight off the bat, I said, I'm having a vaginal birth, like lump-it hospital, but they were fine. The hospital was fantastic. I gave birth at the Mercy in Harderburg and they were very, very supportive. I had one obstetrician that was horrific and I walked out of there crying and he was very

 

fear Mongra and he really tried to undermine my confidence and he disempowered me entirely in my dreams of having a vaginal birth. So I left that crying. I called my midwife. I said, I'm not seeing him ever again and he's not to be there when I give birth because I refuse to let someone with that attitude come in. He sounded like a complete misogynist. So anyway, he was out. But what that meant was when I said, I'm not seeing him ever again, I then got transferred

 

Tnn (40:02.650)

head of obstetrics at the Mercy and he was amazing. He was the best, so empowering, so relaxed. I needed that relaxed nature. I needed a calm presence. I didn't need someone fear mongering me. I didn't need someone telling me all the things that could go wrong because I was well aware of that. I needed someone to pump me up and empower me and go, no, you can absolutely do this. So pretty much their guideline was that they needed baby eight to

 

down, which was River, and she was, thank God. So she never turned out of being head down. She was always head down and engaged in that third trimester. Hunter didn't, it didn't matter so much what she was doing being twin bee. They were sort of saying like, anything can happen. She could go head down. She could go feet down. She could go transverse and it is as a Rian. So like that was really scary in adjusting to the idea that the birth would look entirely different to what it did with below. And that potentially none of what I

 

would occur. So I learned to entirely surrender to what my birth would look like, which is not what I did with Willow. When I was pregnant with Willow, I was super adamant it would go exactly how I wanted, even to the point of being maybe a little bit arrogant in hindsight about it. I was like, I will not use an epidural, I will not touch drugs, I will not, I will not, I will not, you

 

Tnn (41:31.970)

best intentions. But if there's an emergency, it might not look the way you want it to look. But I went into the twin pregnancy, I think with a really good mindset of like, this is what I want and I'm going to do everything and I'm going to be able to get that. And my midwife's on board too, she was amazing. She was also my midwife for Willow's birth too. And the doctors are empowering me and I trust in them. I trust in the team to help me achieve the birth that I want. But I trust that they'll let me know when I can't or when

 

So that was a relationship I had with the other obstetrician I had. And he pretty much said, look, it's totally your call. This is your birth. This is your babies. But I would recommend having a epidural. And here's why. And so I am at the start. No, I'm not having an epidural. There is no bloody way. I didn't have one with Willow. The thought of a needle in my spine makes me absolutely want to hurl. I have a severe needle phobia.

 

Tnn (42:32.690)

That sounds like a true nightmare. But yeah, I think more to the point was I knew an epidural, once you start that cascaded intervention, an epidural means you're at more risk of this and you're more risk of this and then you're going to end up in a cesarean section. That was my fear. So I thought if I don't have the epidural, then potentially I'm going to get this vaginal birth. But he explained it to me in such a way that it was like, no, no, no, you've had a vaginal

 

Tnn (43:01.950)

know, like you'll be fine to have a vaginal birth even if you have an epidural. And we do the epidural because it's really safe to have that in place because if something goes wrong with Hunter, baby B, we can act very quickly if you've already got the epidural there. We can, you know, because twin B can sometimes go into distress or like the cord can come down or they're like, you know, their arm or something. Like so it was sort of saying

 

Tnn (43:32.050)

baby be something goes wrong and if it's an emergency we'll have to just knock you out. So you'll miss baby's birth, sorry, and you'll be in a general which has its own risk. So I didn't want that and I also am so glad I got the epidural in the end because just the physical nature of the birth, River was born easy peasy head down like no problem. Again, I'm not going to

 

birth too much detail. But anyway, Hunter was born head down as well, but with a lot of work. So they had to fully put their arm up there. They had to grab her and guide her down because she was just completely transverse up the top under my ribs. So I just think if I didn't have that, the pain that I would have been experiencing would have been so extreme. I think that I would have been really stressed, clenching up, tightening my cortisol would have been through the roof. That might have affected my postpartum if I was feeling really traumatized by the whole experience,

 

Tnn (44:32.210)

it was a beautiful experience in the end. Yeah. And so, you know, I think that one, yeah, I just think that one message I would have is if you're pregnant with twins, it's just surrendering. And that lesson is still my biggest lesson in motherhood, surrendering to the experience with them. Like they have taught me, Hunter and River have taught me so, so

 

Tnn (45:02.330)

and I'm such a better person and I'm so proud of my self-development. And it was just because they, for lack of a better word, completely broke me and spat me out the other end. But in that completely crumbling of my whole identity and world and through my hardships with them, I've come out a much, much better person with more resilience

 

Tnn (45:31.970)

more empathy, more compassion. And, you know, it's been a whole journey having them and I would love to dedicate another episode to my experience mothering twins and my postpartum with them. But, yeah, that is my twin pregnancy. And I hope I covered everything that I needed to. Oh, another thing I forgot to mention actually is that I, in the first and second trimester, I got ocular migraines a lot.

 

Tnn (46:01.950)

know is a my, it's sort of like a visual migraine. So you start by getting a spot. It looks like you've looked at the sun, you know, when you look at the sun too long and then you close your eyes and you can see a spot like a funny, dark, bright kind of spot that would start. And then within a few minutes, the spot would have grown and I would be unable to see like a half of someone's face wouldn't be able to read because words would be missing. Half of everything would be gone. And then within a few minutes of that, I would have a huge

 

zagging worm line that would flash like I was looking into like strobe lights Um, so you can't see anything and it would last for about 20 minutes and then after that I would feel so washed out for about a day or two So that was something that I experienced in their pregnancy, which I had not experienced with with with willow So that was actually really quite scary for me. First time I had it. I thought I was having a stroke but

 

Tnn (47:02.470)

And it's funny since that I've, I now get ocular migraines. Like it's, it's something that I, I get probably two to three times a year now is an ocular migraine since my twin pregnancy. So I'm, I'm not quite sure about why or how. And another supplement that I didn't mention was calcium. I took calcium powder all through the pregnancy because I knew that I'm growing two whole

 

Tnn (47:32.090)

I don't like dairy overly. So I was a bit concerned about maybe not eating enough sort of vegan sources of dairy, of calcium, sorry, and not having to sort of worry about what I was eating too much. So anyway, I took a calcium powder, the whole pregnancy as well. There's some good, good links between calcium and your blood pressure as well. So, you know, my blood pressure maintained amazing the whole time as well, which was really, I was really

 

that would have been another whole stress in itself. Yeah, so thank you so much for listening. That was a really, really long episode. But if you're pregnant with twins, please connect with me. Like if you wanna come and say hi, I'm over at the natal naturopath on Instagram. I love hearing from twin mums. That was something I think that I've really lacked was actually didn't know any twin mums. I was not friends with any twin mums.

 

Tnn (48:31.970)

twin mums and so I felt it was hard for me because I didn't have that shared experience of reality with other people. My life having twin babies was so different to friends that had one baby. Like it's just not even comparable. It's like night and day and so just trying to connect with them. I found really hard and I found quite lonely actually because I was like, oh I just

in this hardship with me. So yes, please connect with me if you're a twin mum because I think that's really valuable. All right, we'll have a beautiful week and now I'm going to go back to mothering my twins right now. Okay, see you next week.