25 weeks: To twin, or not to twin? {pregnancy update}

I am huge.  Maybe you disagree, and maybe you don’t – but for me, this is huge.  Go ahead, scroll down and peek at the pic.  I’m consistently measuring 3 cm bigger than my weeks, and I’m sure of my dates.  3 cm might not sound like much, but I typically measure right on for my date or just a little on the small side.  This may be within the realm of normal, but it’s not my normal.

Because of this and many other reasons, I’m finding it very difficult to let go of the idea that I might be having twins this time.  Want more reasons?  Here ya go:

  1. I’m an older grand multipara.  Because of my age and number of previous pregnancies, my chances of twins are significantly higher than average.
  2. Twins run in the family: my mom, her sister, and my cousin all had twins.
  3. I’ve been much more tired this time than ever before – even in the 2nd trimester, when I’m supposed to feel pretty good.
  4. Thanks to a doppler loaned by a friend, we can listen to the baby’s heartbeat to our hearts’ content.  I know it’s perfectly normal to hear a single heartbeat echoed in different parts of the uterus, but I can’t shake my suspicions when I hear it everywhere so often.  Today I could *almost* swear I heard two separate heartbeats, each too fast to be my own.  Probably not, but maybe…
  5. In spite of the fact that this baby has SO MUCH ROOM, it’s always in exactly the same place.  Why doesn’t it wander about?  If you had that much room, would you spend all your time right up front and just to the right of the belly button?  Only if somebody else was hogging up the cool, comfy space in back.

But on the other hand, there is this: since 15 weeks, my midwife has been able to feel the baby with ease – just one baby, with water all around.  Lots of empty space.  She has heard nothing suspicious in the way of heartbeats.  In her experience, measuring 3 cm bigger than average is well within the norm, especially for an experienced mom like me.  She recognizes the possibility that twins can hide and she could be wrong, but she just doesn’t think there is good reason to suspect it this time – unless something has changed at my next appointment on July 4th.

So here’s the big question:

Should I do it?  Should I schedule an ultrasound?

Too late.  I just talked to a friend who works at the local crisis pregnancy center, and she said they’re happy to do a scan for me just to gain experience for their new nurse.  They haven’t seen twins yet and are delighted at the possibility, slim though it may be.

Update: I called the center and learned that I might be too far along to be helpful in training.  I’m waiting for a call back to hear if they want to schedule me for a free scan.  

So let’s take a vote: who goes with mother’s intuition, and who sides with medical training and experience?  You won’t hurt my feelings if you choose my midwife.  I’m on her side.  I just want that little voice in the back of my head to believe her, too.  :)

Belly pics

Here I am in the belly dress, as my 4yo calls it.  Please ignore the wet stringy hair.  I just got out of the shower.

25 weeks with #11

And here’s my regular outfit for the day.  Ignore the chubby ankles.  There’s a reason I cropped the belly dress photo just below my knees.

And in this one I’m looking down at my belly in genuine shock.  “Wow. Not even third trimester yet?  That IS big!”

Baby at 25 weeks

  • Baby is around 13.5 inches in length and weighs 1 and half pounds.
  • Bones are becoming solid, hands are now fully developed.
  • The brain is growing rapidly, the brain cells are starting to mature.
  • more
Want to hear something funny?  From the site I use for development details:
The uterus is now about the size of a soccer ball and mom looks pregnant.
Can you hear me laughing?  Now I look pregnant?  Somebody obviously wasn’t looking the last 2 months.  A soccer ball?!  Maybe if you inflate the soccer ball with an air compressor and forget to pay attention until it looks like a beach ball.
Now do you want to know something else funny?  That same site has a photo every week.  And this week’s photo is – can you guess?  Twins!

Exercise

I’m walking again.  Last week I only did 2.5 miles, but it was a busy week, blistering hot, and my hip was bothering me.  The week before, I walked 12.5 miles.  Maybe that’s why my hip was bothering me.  I’d like to aim for at least 10 miles/week, and am trying to get my speed up to 3.5 mph.  I’m close, but not quite there.  When I reach that goal, I might add some weights to tone my arms while I walk.

I’m wimping out and skipping the brutal hill that leads up to my house.  It leaves me exhausted at the end of every walk, so I always end on a bad note.  Instead, I drive down the hill and park in a nice flat area (as flat as it gets in the hill country, which isn’t as flat as you expect in Texas).  Then when I’m done walking, I reward myself with a nice blast of air conditioning as I drive back up the hill to my house.  Can you tell I like the way this current plan is working?

Your turn

What’s new in your belly or on your mind?  How far along are you now?  How does this pregnancy compare/contrast with previous pregnancies?  How are you feeling?    Do you have a belly pic to share?

Previous pregnancy updates:

Comments

  1. Sarah Avila says:

    I’d say go with mother’s intuition. When I was pregnant with my twins, I just knew it, and sure enough….

    On the other hand from my experience and from seeing many pics of pregnant twin moms online in a twin group I’m a part of….. you are teeny for twins!!! I know you said you are bigger than your normal, but you just look so small.

    I can’t wait to find out if you’re right!!

  2. I’d do an ultrasound. I’m pregnant with my 7th, and about a week ahead of you. I’ve always measured small-for-dates, until this pregnancy. I’m measuring several weeks ahead of schedule and was diagnosed with a complete placenta previa, which can cause you to measure large. I scanned the other replies to see if anyone mentioned placenta previa–i didn’t want to be the “wet blanket” or nervous one, but if you are measuring large due to placenta previa, then the long walks and other activities you’re accustomed to might not be the best thing. Also a midwife wouldn’t be able to diagnose this from her exams and an “unofficial” ultrasound might not look for placement of the placenta. Praying for the best for you and your little one…

    • Mrs. H, actually a midwife usually can find the location of the placenta just by listening with a doppler or stethoscope. It’s not difficult, since it makes a very distinctive sound. Mine is high in the front, so no worries there!
      But I did have an ultrasound just for fun! I’ll be finishing the post about it very soon, hopefully today. :)

      • SO glad to hear! I know a posterior placenta or low/posterior can be tricky to assess without ultrasound. I started reading the Raising Olives a few months ago and of course the other moms as well. It’s been very encouraging and I have gleaned so much from you guys. I’m praying that as my little one grows, my placenta will get out of the low place it’s in, so that this will be an uncomplicated birth.

  3. I’d do the ultrasound. But then again, my midwife pretty much requires them. I actually just got a second one on Tuesday, at 24 weeks. Baby girl is kicking a lot now and they estimated her weight at 1lb 13oz, which was really reassuring to me since I’m still down 7 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. Granted, I’m also over 100lbs overweight, so I’m good with not gaining any weight, but don’t want baby to suffer. And, no, I’m not on any crazy diet or anything, just trying to eat sensibly and working out 3x a week at Curves. Totally recommend that place, by the way!

  4. Ruth Leone says:

    Can’t wait to find out for sure if you’re having twins! Blessings on your family ;-)

    Ruth

  5. Sarah :) says:

    I’m so glad other people do things just to shut the voice up in their head. I always go through 3 or 4 pregnancy tests before I finish breastfeeding my baby and my period starts back up, because I’ll feel something weird one day and then blow everything out of proportion until I can’t think about anything else! lol! Have fun with your ultrasound!

  6. yes, you are huge! NOT!! You look beautiful!

    As for finding out… what are you waiting for?? I think you should. You will be more prepared and stop worrying and instead concentrate on other things.

  7. Hi, you look very cute with your baby bump. I am 31 weeks and have never been that cute ;-).
    We are expecting our 5th now, and I have never had twins even though it runs in my family..I am not sure, but in my birth group there is so many different sizes of belly bumps, even your size with one, so I guess u never know. Good luck if u get your scan!

  8. By 25 weeks with my twin pregnancy I looked full term (with my others I was only going into maternity clothes at 25 weeks). I think you should go for the ultrasound even just for peace of mind.
    You look beautiful~ enjoy your pregnancy!
    Blessings
    Renata:)

  9. Congratulations, Kim! It’s fun following along with your pregnancy :D

    I wouldn’t dare to venture a guess on whether or not you actually ARE carrying twins, but I’ll put in a strong vote for having an ultrasound. What you’ll get is INFORMATION, and that can only help you. If you’re having another singleton, then everything can proceed as is normal for you :D

    If you are having twins, it buys you time to make whatever decisions and arrangements are necessary. I know, many people (especially really experienced moms such as yourself) have successful vaginal deliveries of twins, but the additional risks warrant extra monitoring. You have time to find explore your options and make good and responsible decisions, before you’re in delivery.

    I have no idea what the “atmosphere” is, where you live, between doctors and midwives. I used to work for an OB/GYN who cooperated with a handful of midwives he respected, when they had high-risk cases – advising them and/or taking over their cases if the risks warranted it.

    He also, unfortunately, found himself in the position of handling several emergent cases at the hospital owing to less-respectable midwives who kept high-risk cases they should have handed off, and botched things terribly (in at least two cases leading to cerebral palsy, due to lack of oxygen during delivery).

    All that to say, HAVE THE ULTRASOUND. Then you know what you’re dealing with :D

    Pregnancy and delivery is all part of the wonderful process God created! It’s good, and it’s natural, and you have a lot of experience. The tricky part is that while most of the time things go right, when they do go wrong they often go wrong really quickly, with potentially very serious consequences.

    Arm yourselves with information.

    That’s my two cents ;D

    Julie G

  10. I’m 36 weeks at the moment. Feeling very tired, and my calves are cramping something serious.

    I don’t think you look huge at all, but you know your body best. :-)

  11. I am now 37 weeks and I honestly thought the same thing this time too. I couldn’t shake it. I was bigger like you and I also measure smaller normally. I also had more fatigue and morning sickness this time than any other.

    I ended up getting an ultrasound so that I would know. It gave me peace of mind. If I were having twins I would want to know. They found just one baby!!

    I also really wanted to make sure everything looked good. I felt so nervous about it. So it made me feel better all around.

  12. jessica says:

    Hi, I think…does it matter? But I couldn’t resist commenting …that you want twins because you like the number 12 better than 11. I don’t know you, do I? Have you had the twins experiance? This might be your last preg. you keep mentioning, I always wanted to have some “new ” thing to focus on thru each labor, maybe twins sound exciting! It would to me!

  13. With my 3rd pregnancy after an 18 year span of no pregnancies, I got huge… Most people wanted to know if I was having twins… I would tell them it was either 2-5 pounders or 1- 10 pounder… they would ask about gender, I would tell them if GOD wanted me to know HE would of given me a see-thru belly button, I guess I am old school, or I just like to wait. I never had any of the medical testing like there are nowadays. I have had 5 children thus far 70′s, 80′s, 90′s, 2000 and 2002 models… I am enjoying reading about your adventure with this pregnancy, either way you choose is between you and yours. For myself I would not have any tests…

  14. With my first five, I was on the small side–like 2-3 cm small every time. With #6 and again with #7 (three months old now) I was 4-6 cm big the whole way through. No twins, though, even though nearly everyone thought surely it would be twins, both times. (Fine with me; I like them one at a time!)

  15. rebekah says:

    You don’t look that big to me, but that is coming from amom who just delivered a nice fat boy, a full two pounds bigger than all his siblings. That pregnancy had me extra tired too, but no wonder, the kid eats like a horse…

  16. Get the ultrasound. It will be worth it to know.

  17. Now I have an ultrasound scheduled, and you all have talked me out of even suspecting twins. :) I’m going to feel silly if I walk into the clinic and they all look at me funny for saying I thought this was twins.
    Not that I’ll let it stop me. It won’t be the first time I felt silly, and I’m sure it won’t be the last!

  18. I always look small even when measuring right on, so I think you look nice and big for 25 weeks, twins or not!
    I’m almost 24 weeks and just started to ‘blossom’ in the last 2 or 3 weeks. Love reading your updates!

  19. I just had twins 5 months ago (#2 & #3) and while I was big at 25 weeks, I definitely wasn’t *enormous* yet and I carried small with my first too. When I was 36 weeks I looked like your average enormously pregnant person, not OMG-its-definitely-twins huge. And the exhaustion never left the whole pregnancy either. I say go for the ultrasound!

  20. I was so sure I was having twins, but I’m not :(

    I think you should do the ultrasound. I know some people are concerned with the safety of ultrasounds but I don’t believe one or two scans will cause issues, it’s the monthly scanning some people get that worries me. It would be worth it to put your mind at ease, let you prepare if it is twins, and let you accept if it is not (Also, I strongly believe what is normal for YOU is more important than the normal range, if you don’t have twins in there I would be somewhat concerned about the amount of water, can you get them to check the fluid levels?)

  21. My mom had twins, and she knew it was twins before her doctor because she felt 8 kicks all at once. She told the doctor it was either twins or an octopus! At 5 months she was so big she looked like she was ready to drop at any moment. Her belly was enormous. You don’t look like you’re having twins to me, but I would say get the ultrasound for your own peace of mind.

  22. I’m 32 weeks and just had my OB appt. today. Everything is looking good. My blood pressure is good and I only gained a pound in the last month. My c-section is scheduled for August 20th. I’m feeling good, but the heat here in Minnesota has been pretty hot these last couple of weeks. I need to get back into exercising again. I don’t think you look that big, but the more we have the sooner we start showing. You look great.

  23. I would have an ultrasound to check things out! I have no twins in my family (that I know of), but I really felt that I was having twins in my 3rd pregnancy. I measured about 3cm big at 20 weeks and we thought we heard two heartbeats. No one else was convinced, but I was pretty sure that I was feeling two sets of “feet” kicking me as well! I had an ultrasound at 21 weeks at a local crisis pregnancy center and there *were* two sets of feet in there kicking me! Best.ultrasound.ever. :-)

    My twins, Meredith and Maggie, will be 3 on July 18th.

  24. Aileen Johnston says:

    I dont think you are carrying twins but then I think you look tiny! If you get the chance to have a free ultrasound I would take it even if it is just to put your mind at ease one way or another. As someone previous mentioned it might be better to be prepared for twins if you are having a homebirth? As a matter of interest how much is an ultrasound? You don’t have to tell me I am just being nosy since ours are free.

    I am 39 weeks tomorrow and utterly massive haha. Would very much like baby to arrive sooner rather than later so have been driving over cobbled streets, going for walks and eating spicy chilli. Any other tips from mums would be appreciated!

    As always you look fabulous and apart from the tiredness and the sore hip, I hope you are keeping well. :)

    • Aileen, it’s been a long time since I checked prices but I think they’re $200-300 if you pay full price.

    • Alice Williams says:

      Aileen, in my small experience (and my mom’s, though she tried all the things you are doing), there isn’t much you can do to hurry things up if the baby isn’t ready. I tried Blue Cohosh (I know that’s not the best idea, but I was desperate!), laxatives, LONG walks, evening primrose oil, but nothing helped. Grant, my almost-year-old son, came when he was ready and not a minute before–15 days after my due date. He was NOT postmature.

      I hope you have better success than I did, but I think healthy babies come when they’re ready and there’s not much we can do naturally to speed the process. There are some herbs that are safe to try, that will not start labor unless the baby is ready, but you should check with your midwife first. I understand Blue Cohosh is one, but there are differing opinions on that, and I only have my own experience to go by. It didn’t help me. All the sources I have read say that the best thing is to strengthen and tone the uterus by using a blend of herbs to prepare you for labor and reduce hemorrhage after. These are widely available online, but if you can’t find one, red raspberry, stinging nettle, and red clover are excellent tonic herbs and are safe during pregnancy.
      I hope your pregnancy ends well! God bless you as you bring that precious new baby into the world.
      Alice

      • Sorry Alice I just saw this comment! I have to agree with you and say that it doesnt matter what you do, your baby will not come until he or she is ready. I was due on the 10th July and on the 15th July myself and my husband welcomed our gorgeous baby girl into the world weighing a healthy 8 pounds 6 ounces. I did all the usuals of spicy curries, car rides down cobbled streets etc but none of them seemed to work so I decided to just conserve my energy and try and sleep as much as I could which seemed far more useful.

        Thank you for your advice and I have just passed it on to one of my friends who is desperate to get her labour going as she does not want to be induced as that will mean she can not go to the birthing centre she wants to go to she will have to go to hospital.

        Thanks again

        Aileen

  25. Hey Kim… I go with mama’s intuition. Why? Because I want you to have twins! And with all the possible reasons “FOR” twins… I’m just a prayin for twins!! :-)

  26. My Mom did not know she was having twins till they did the emergency C-section. She had to pick my name right on the table while they were pulling me out. You could be right! Mother’s intuition is pretty strong!

  27. Meghan V. says:

    I like reading through all the comments to see what other’s opinions are on you having twins (especially the one that asked what your Mom thinks- would love to know the answer!). I think your midwife is probably right, no twins. Like others have said you would REALLY be feeling huge.
    I’ll be 36wks tomorrow. My history so far is 2wks late and 1wk late. So I’m not expecting an early baby (maybe right on time?) However, this time around it is mentally difficult to prepare myself for another 4wks!

  28. I’d go get an ultrasound. Most likely there’s just one, but you need to be sure so that you can move forward within yourself. My last pregnancy we went to an ultrasound school and paid only $50 for it. I honestly think peace of mind is worth that much.

  29. God has a sense of humor.You really want more than one and he might just send you triplets next time ;)

  30. I’m only on my fifth pregnancy, but at 30 weeks I also am measuring 3cm ahead. I have been all along. This is new for me, as I have always been “right on” with all my other pregnancies. I have had two ultrasounds, and it’s definitely just one baby.

    I feel *huge*, but I love that. I only cringe when people ask when the baby is due. I feel like I look about ready to pop, and get self-conscious when I have to tell them “ten more weeks.”

    This pregnancy has been so different from the others. I had morning sickness for the first time ever, and it was bad for the first 13 weeks and then some. What I *didn’t* have this time was the fatigue. Typically I can hardly move for the first four months, and spend those weeks dozing on the couch, hoping the children won’t kill each other before I wake up someday from the pregnancy coma.

    It’s so funny how each pregnancy is different, even for we grand multiparas of advanced maternal age… ;)

  31. You mentioned Gestational Diabetes in a post awhile back-did you ever pursue that like of thought? But i hope you get your wish anyhow ;)

    • Robin, my midwife likes to wait a little longer for the test because sometimes it can show up later. I don’t really have any symptoms besides more fluid than usual, which really isn’t a strong indicator.

  32. First time adding a comment to your site!
    First of all, congratulations and blessings!!! You look absolutely wonderful for 25 wks.
    I’m at 20 weeks with our sixth, and I have to say that I’m super ashamed of not being anywhere close to being as good as you at a fitness routine. (In my “defense” we had two m/c last year, so we’re being super careful).
    So, now that I’ve found someone who can empathize with being pregnant during a hot, hot summer with a bunch of little ones playing around “on the outside”, I hope to come back and hear more about your adventures (and get some ideas from one who’s quiver is even more full than mine! :-).
    BTW. We homeschool too. (ages 2 through 17).

  33. Until just this week (24 weeks) my baby was only moving in one spot as well. Then suddenly it just started moving all over the place. From what I have heard your more likely to feel it all over the place and at once with multiples than in your scenario. I reallly hope your having twins though! ;)

  34. I don’t think you look big enough this far along to be having twins..but hey, I’m not an expert :P
    Every pregnancy, I always wonder if I’m having twins..I’m a twin myself so my chances are significantly higher. I’m 13 weeks in my 4th pregnancy now and there is only one this time! Your posts always remind me that I really should take a belly shot at some point..but well, that would mean I have to be in front of the camera instead of behind it..not my thing, lol. Hope you’re starting to have more energy soon!

  35. Mama Mirage says:

    You’re such a cute preggo! You barely look 25 weeks to me though… definatly not like you’re carrying twins. I’ve seen/met/known twin moms and if it were twins I am pretty sure by 25-30 weeks you’d look about 40 weeks along. ;)

    • Mama Mirage says:

      (Granted, not known any twin moms in real life, just met one or two in the grocery store, but I’ve known and met a handfull online and their 25 week belly pics are definately obvious it’s twins.)

  36. What kind of input are you getting from your Mom, who has been there and done that? Does she think you have twins in there?

  37. Oh, and by “last pregnancy” I meant “most recent” not “final” :D just to clarify!

  38. Your belly looks like mine with my last (only 3rd though!) baby, a boy. He had just tons of fluid and was 22″ at birth – by the end of pregnancy my tummy was 6″ bigger around than with the girls and the pictures from 2 weeks before due date look not real – like someone did strange photoshop camera tricks. I’d go with an ultrasound.

  39. Lauri Kozier says:

    I also had twins and was HUGE! When I was at the clinic for my child’s ear infection at 20 weeks, the doc on that evening thought I was due! And my dh could put his hand way down low on one side of my belly, and I could have my hand at the top on the opposite side – and we’d both get kicked. That was a pretty clear indication!
    So I’m gonna go with………..not twins!

  40. I’m going with not twins. I only say that because you look absolutely tiny despite your protestations. Beach ball? Maybe a very small one! It totally looks like a soccer ball! You are one of those cute little pregnant people. (GAG!!!! But only b/c I’m jealous.)

    Having said that, I have two sets of twins (#3 and 4; #7 and 8). I was huge huge huge with each set of twins. I mean grotesquely big. I mean that at 5 months, people were getting out of my way “in case you have that baby today.” At 9 mos., they were talking about me as if I couldn’t hear them, “Do you see that lady’s belly? She must be another octo-mom!!”

    So that’s my hint for how you know you’re having twins. I wouldn’t go by the “mother’s intuition” thing…now every time I get pregnant, I’m sure it’s twins!

    • OTOH, I also had twins, #’s 2 and 3, and even the nurse prepping me for the c-section was surprised when I told her. I felt huge, but I wasn’t in appearance. They were normal sized boys.

      I would get the ultrasound if there’s any doubt. There are unique risks in birthing twins that would make attempting a home birth very, very inadvisable.

  41. I don’t normally get ultrasounds either…but if it’s free, I might let them take a *quick* look! lol. I love your belly! I am 28.5 weeks and just put my picture up on my blog with my update. (I’m the one in the left in the picture) :) You’re almost to the 3rd trimester!! Already!

  42. I’d go the scan. While im sure your midwife knows what she’s doing. It would put your mind at ease and you can move on. By the way,you look lovely. All the best for the rest of the pregnancy. ;-)

  43. HeatherHH says:

    This past pregnancy, one of my midwives all of a sudden wondered at 38 weeks if I were having twins. There were what seemed like extra bumps and such that didn’t make sense. We got two heartbeats in two different locations, which lined up with where the bumps suggested another baby. I also was measuring 40 cm at 38 weeks after the baby had already dropped, and I’d never hit 40 cm before. Baby’s head felt small for the amount of volume there. Then all of this was repeated at another appointment 5 days later. I had an ultrasound, and there was only one baby. When he was born, we found out that he was a good 22″ long (99th percentile) with a normal-sized head. So, he was an extra long baby stretching out in strange positions to take up all the room he could.

    Twins are occasionally missed, but it’s unlikely with what you’re describing, especially with feeling fluid all around. Many women wonder if they’re expecting twins because of measuring ahead, etc, and usually it’s just one baby. And if you really are expecting twins, it’s likely to become evident in as the pregnancy progresses. I wouldn’t schedule an ultrasound unless your midwife begins to suspect twins. My 2 cents.

  44. I think you are carrying a boy hence the differance, I would get an ultrasound though if your that concerned. I would want to be prepared and having twins at home could have much higher risks than a singleton pregnancy.

  45. Meg Dyson says:

    I’d say mothers intuition :-) Even though I’d believe my midwife over myself too! There’s just something to be said about the connection between mother and child :-) If you feel so strongly about it, I wouldn’t doubt it. But I’d also hold myself to the facts, as not to get all worked up….in other words…embrace both possibilities in order to prepare your heart for either outcome. This is probably no help whatsoever…
    That’s just my thoughts on it. God’s many blessings on you!

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