I go to the doctor next week and look forward to seeing that little heartbeat on the ultrasound monitor. Nothing would be worse than not seeing it so upon that I shall not dwell. What is on my mind however is the possibility of seeing more than one heartbeat. Two heartbeats. Two babies. Here’s why:
- At 41, the hormone that orders my ovaries to “SEND OUT THE TROOPS!” is in overdrive. It’s working much harder to push out an egg every cycle than it did in my 20s and 30s. Because of this added exertion there can be more than one egg coaxed forth.
- Arlo is still breastfeeding and according to Dr. Gary Steinman, I have a 12.4% versus 1.1% chance of conceiving fraternal twins. In his research, Dr. Steinmann concluded that increased twinning is due to the significantly lower serum calcium levels in lactating women. Dr. Steinman himself has seven children and lives in New York. Outside of work, he enjoys dogsledding in the Arctic. (Thanks Amazon.)
- I’m exhausted. I’m always exhausted as every parent surely is but this level of fatigue I only last felt, to a lesser degree, in the late first trimester with Arlo. But back then I didn’t have a 2 1/2-year-old with me. I had a 17-year-old cat who thought her mistress had become one with couch and a container of Haagen Dazs and life was gooooood. With a heavy hand against my furrowed brow for dramatic emphasis, I say surely this level of exhaustion can only mean twins.
- As someone who was racked with anguish over the multiples issue through six cycles of IVF, it would just figure that I would spontaneously conceive twins.
It must seem like I’m dogging twins. I’m not. Twins are great. Your twins are amazing! My twins would be an absolute wonder. What I’m deeply concerned about is the foundation; birth and breastfeeding. Twins are often born earlier and can have more health concerns than their singleton counterparts. There is a 75% c-section rate for delivering twins. “Even in healthy women with the lowest risk of a delivery complication, and babies that were aligned head-first, the C-section rate increased from one-third of births at the beginning of the study period to more than half at the end.” – Reuters Health Breastfeeding twins is a time commitment of such magnitude I can’t even fathom.
I’m getting ahead of myself surely. It’s just something on my mind and gratefully, truly, I’m too tired to obsess over it. I’ll know soon enough and when I do that’s when I’ll start to