As a twin mommy, I've learned SO much about having twins. One of the biggest surprises was how rare they are. Another thing that I just can't quite explain to people thoroughly enough is how hard it is to carry twins. I spend most days wanting to pass out pamphlets to help explain to folks what I'm going through, so they can support me better...
Especially old women. Well intentioned as they are, they make it a point to tell me OFTEN that they don't remember pregnancy being THAT hard or don't remember hurting as much as all the pain I'm having. It feels like they're calling me a punk, but like many things throughout pregnancy I really have to learn to just let it go.
It's also really interesting how the actual facts don't add up to what I originally perceived to be true. Here are some of the most interesting twin facts I've learned/found:
10. TWIN MOMS DO NOT NEED TO EXERCISE! We're pumping blood for three humans. That's enough. Every time I'm reading a pregnancy resource and they tell me stuff like "stay healthy, watch your weight or be sure to exercise" I just want to punch everyone in the throat. No.
9. Twin pregnancies have increased risks and more prenatal visits. (I go to
the doctor every two weeks now. It's highly likely that I will be put on bedrest at some point. After 30 weeks, I think I have to go
once a week. They are watching me like a hawk, honey, and I appreciate the care.)
8. Black women are most likely to have twins, while Asian women are the least likely.
7. Women over 30 are more likely to have twins - a woman is more likely to have two eggs available for fertilization during a single cycle in her 30s than she is during her 20s.
6. About 2 in 3 sets of twins are fraternal (fraternal = two eggs fertilized vs. one fertilized egg that split in two). I'm having fraternal twins and this was a shocker to me because I always think about identical twins when anyone mentions "twins."
5. Twins represent about 90% of all multiple births. I was reading somewhere that I need to befriend a mom of triplets to help me understand that while twins will be tough to carry (and feed and raise and provide for) if she can handle 3, I can handle 2. That's a pretty selfish reason to befriend someone, but I understand the sentiment.
4. Twin pregnancies are considered full term at about 37 weeks. Still, 60% of twin pregnancies are still born "premature," which is before 37 weeks. Lots of twins spend time in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). Unlike what I thought before (OMG! No, not my baby!), it's actually something I won't be surprised about if it happens. I also fully expect to have these babies in April, though my due date is May 5.
3. The twin birth rate in the United States rose 76% from 1980 through 2009, and it's definitely even higher in 2015.
2. In the year 2011, 19.1% of all twin births and 32% of all triplets births were a result of assisted reproductive technologies (ART). The one I'm most familiar with is In Vitro. It's also hilarious that even though 80% of twin births are NOT via ART every doctor, nurse or other twin mom asks me if I had in vitro.
1. Despite the rise in twin births, only 3% of all births in the United States are twin pregnancies (It was closer to 1.5% before 1978 when the first "test tube baby" was created.)
- This is one of my favorite articles to get friends and family to understand my pregnancy better (and one of my resources for this post).
- Twiniversity has another good article and is a good twin resource.
- Another resource
- And the CDC, can't go wrong with info from them