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Twins Times Two!

Being told you are expecting twins can be quite shocking, but hearing it again four years later is an even bigger shock. That’s exactly what happened with our patient Bethany and her husband Zach. With no family history of twins and no infertility treatments, this thought never really crossed their minds.

The night before her first doctor’s appointment at eight weeks pregnant, Bethany had a very vivid dream that her brother and his wife announced they were pregnant and expecting twins. She awoke and thought it was a strange dream but didn’t really think more about it. Later that day, she and Zach were at her ultrasound appointment and were told they were expecting twins. They were completely shocked!

The Odds of Having Twins Twice

OB/GYN Dr Crigler with pregnant patient

According to Dr. Britton Crigler of Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists, the incident of twins is 1 in 250, which is not that high of odds. Some factors that do increase the odds of having twins include the following: family history of twins, BMI greater than 30, being taller than 5’5”, and getting pregnant while you are still breastfeeding. However, most of these factors didn’t apply to Bethany.

Dr. Crigler explained to Bethany that, “The ideal time to deliver twins, which is considered full-term, is right around 37 weeks. Often twin pregnancies have more complications as they have increased rates of preterm delivery, gestational hypertension, gestational diabetes, or twin-to twin-transfusion, all of which require delivery before the desired gestational age of 37 weeks.” 

Throughout her pregnancy, Bethany saw Dr. Crigler, as well as three other doctors at the practice.

“Everyone was awesome. They were always very willing to answer the many questions I had.”

Bethany, referring to her doctor appointments

At her 20-week appointment, Bethany and Zach found out they were expecting a boy and a girl, which is the most common of fraternal twins.

Fraternal Twins

Bethany had no complications, and her entire pregnancy went great. As a full-time high-end cake decorator, Bethany stayed very busy and worked until three days before her scheduled C-section.

At a little over 36 weeks, Dr. Crigler delivered two beautiful healthy babies, named Jaxson and Ava. Both Jaxson and Ava were over six pounds which is a very nice weight for twins. Although Ava had to spend four days in the NICU, and Jackson had to spend 13 days to monitor their lung function, both babies left the hospital in great shape.

Time for Another Baby

Bethany and Zach had always wanted three children so a few years later, they decided it was time for another baby. Even though Dr. Crigler had told Bethany that after having one set of twins, her chances of having another set of twins were doubled, they really didn’t expect it to happen.

The day before Jaxson and Ava turned four, Bethany found out they were expecting again. The pregnancy test turned positive immediately, just like last time. She had a strong feeling it could be twins again.

This time, because of COVID precautions, Bethany attended her 8-week ultrasound alone. As she watched the ultrasound screen, the minute the wand touched her belly, she saw two sacs and knew they were having twins again! She was surprised, but not quite as much as the first time. 

“Even though I was sad that Zach couldn’t be there, I appreciated all that was being done to make me and all the other patients feel safe in the office.”

Bethany, at her 8-week ultrasound appointment

Pregnant with Twins During COVID

This twin pregnancy turned out to be more difficult. For one thing, Bethany felt more anxious because of the risks of COVID and because of the hard decisions that would have to be made because of it. Her family lived close by and would want to see the babies when they were born, and Zach’s family would want to visit from Florida. All of this contributed to her anxiousness. In addition, she had been doing lots of reading about twin pregnancies and the risks associated with it. The first time around, she really didn’t think about that. She began to wonder, “How can we be lucky enough to have two twin pregnancies with no problems?”

Cherokee Women's Pregnant Patient photo

This time was much harder on Bethany’s body too, as she began having heart palpitations, which really scared her. She had to visit a cardiologist for monitoring. She was very tired all the time. After all, she now had Jaxson and Ava to take care of, and since COVID had closed the bakery she was working for, she had also started her own baking business out of her home. 

Like last time, she had appointments with most of the doctors at Cherokee Women’s and felt they all went above and beyond to help her. She did feel a special connection to Dr. Crigler though since he had delivered Jaxon and Ava, so she wanted him to deliver her new twins as well. Bethany said, “What I love most about Dr. Crigler is how relaxed he is. He was always very calming and made me feel so much better.”

“Every time I saw Bethany she was smiling and never had any major complaints. She did a great job following through with the extra prenatal care we recommended to make sure her pregnancy went smoothly. This included more frequent ultrasounds, and more prenatal visits to watch out for blood pressure changes and diabetes and to also make sure the babies were growing appropriately and thriving.”

Dr. Crigler

Though Bethany had worked until three days before delivery the first time, this time she stopped working two months before. And like last time, she had a C-section right about 37 weeks. She was happy to be at the new Northside Cherokee Hospital this time and marveled at how much more spacious and luxurious the rooms were compared to the old hospital. She was also very pleased with how safe and at ease the COVID procedures made her feel. 

Twin Boys!

Bethany and Zach had chosen not to find out the sex of the babies this time. And Dr. Crigler had the pleasure of announcing the delivery of their two sons- the least common of fraternal twins. Dr Crigler shared, “It is always an honor and a privilege to help a mother deliver her baby, (or babies in this case), safely into this world.”

Like their older siblings, Eli and Grayson were over six pounds and healthy. Both only needed to stay in the hospital for two days and got to go home with their mom.

“Jaxson and Ava are loving being a big brother and sister. They are constantly rubbing their little heads or kissing their cheeks”, Bethany explained. “These babies are so loved by all and we are so blessed.”

One Big Happy Family

Because Zach works late many nights, Bethany’s mom has been a big support, coming each day to help. Bethany is very appreciative since she now has four little ones at home and will soon be getting back to her baking business.

“Put your pride aside and ask for help. It’s okay to admit you can’t do it all.”

Bethany’s advice for new moms
cherokee women's twins photo

Oh, and remember the weird dream Bethany had right before her first doctor’s appointment? Well, about 3-1/2 years later, that dream came true. Her brother and his wife had their own set of twins! Now when someone asks Bethany if twins run in her family, her new answer is, “Yes, I guess they do now.”