Once the tears had stopped I stared in disbelief at the screen and sure enough there were two little blobs that definately looked like two babies. I don't really remember the rest of that appointment except that I kept saying "I love both of them and are they both ok?". My husbands main question was "Are you sure there are just two?".
There were just the two but our Sonographer couldn't quite tell if they were non identical with a placenta each or if they shared one so we had to go back two days later to meet Professor Nicolaides himself so he could double check.
We left the clinic in a daze and handed over our credit card. Luckily they didn't charge double just an extra £50. This was the start of the increased expense of having twins! We somehow got through the longest 48 hours of our lives and went back to our appointment to meet the Professor. Knowing that he gets accused of playing God we were pleased to be seeing the top doctor but a little nervous. The appointment was 4 hours later than scheduled but great to be able to see the two images again on the screen. He confirmed they were girls and they did share a placenta. He then told us in no uncertain terms that this was a very risky preganancy. The chances of them developing TTTS (Twin to twin transfusion syndrome) were quite high where one baby takes all the nutrients from the other and they will both die. The only real good news that came from that second scan was that they didn't have downs syndrome.
We kept the news of our pregnancy very quiet and only told a few close friends at this stage. We were under the care of Watford hospital but they referred us to the specialist unit at Queen Charlottes until after 20 weeks when the care would return to Watford. We somehow managed to get to our 16 week scan and all was progressing fine. At 18 weeks on holiday we told our other two children the news that they were going to get twin sisters. They were both very excited although our son R decided that they would be boys. At 20 weeks we had a very detailed scan at Queen Charlottes hospital where the babies were monitored including their hearts and lungs and all the measurements were taken. With no sign of TTTS and both growing as they should our care returned to Watford and we went public with the news of our third pregnancy.
The babies were scanned every two weeks throughout the pregnancy. This was a great deal of comfort as I spent the week following each scan knowing that everything was fine and then only a week to wait until I could see them on the screen again. The Consultant we were under explained that it was likely I would have a casaerean at 36 weeks, only I explained that I had total fear of a casaerean and I had given birth twice naturally and thankyou for his input but these two would be born naturally as well. Not wishing to upset a hormonal doubly pregnant woman he went along with me and agreed that he would refer me on to another consultant if both babies were lying in the correct positions closer to my due date.
I was due at the end of January. By early December I felt enourmous. My first daughter was 6lb1oz when she was born at full term and I had a very small bump. My son slightly larger at 6lb11oz, born in the water pool, meant my bump was slightly bigger. This time round I looked and felt enourmous. I dragged myself through those last few weeks of school runs, making supper for everyone and crashing out in bed most nights by about 9pm.
I bought pink blankets and sheets and we got the single pram down from the loft - well they would be small enough to fit in it together at the beginning. Although we knew that the longer the babies remained inside me the more developed and fitter for life they would be but the constant heartburn and backache made me really want to give birth and meet the girls.
At my appointment in mid December our consultant finally agreed that as twin one had been lying in the correct position head down for a number of weeks now, we could meet his colleague Marcelina Coker who advocates natural delivery for twins and our appointment was set just before New Years Eve.