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Multiples in Maine Part 1 

Catherine Pegram

Lots of families in Maine have more than one child, but more parents than ever are learning what it’s like to raise two, even three babies – at once. That’s because multiple births are on the rise in Maine.Catherine Pegram – a new multiples mom herself – takes a closer look.My husband and I met our twin daughters a week and a half ago. When we found out we were going to become parents – twice over – i started wondering how many other people are doubly blessed. I quickly learned i’m not alone.”All right, so our ‘A’ baby is still head first”Dr. Joseph Benoit has been bringing babies into this world for more than 20 years.He’s seen more than one-hundred sets of twins – and seven sets of triplets.So he wasn’t too surprised to find out I was pregnant with twins, or as they’re affectionately known now – Baby “A” and Baby “B”. Ob-Gyn Dr. Paul Smith says there’s a reason more women like me are having more than one child at a time – actually a couple of reasons.”There’s a theory that as women mature, as they get closer to menopause, the ovaries slow down a little bit. So the brain hormone driving the ovary, drives a little harder and it tends to drive a couple of eggs instead of just one.””There are also more parents who are undergoing assisted fertility procedures and those tend to cause the release of more than one egg and that tends to increase the number of twins also.”Nationally, twin births are up 70-percent since 1980.In Maine, one in every 46 babies born in 1989 was a twin or a triplet.By 2007, that number rose to one in every 30 infants.Smith says though multiple births are becoming more common, the challenges are much the same.”Increased risk of pre-eclampsia or toxemia, increased risk of gestational diabetes, increased risk of pre-term delivery. But we’ve learned how to maintain the surveillance and manage those a little more effectively.”That surveillance includes 4D ultrasounds, like the ones performed at maternal fetal medicine in Bangor, under the guidance of Dr. Luanna Beauchamp.Technology now allows Sonographer Gina Schuck to get an even closer peak at Baby “A” and Baby “B” – from their hearts to their brains to even their hair.Smith says no matter how you look at it, a multiple birth is an incredible experience for everyone involved.”Every baby is special, but when you know you’re going to have two, its even more special. One in 80 – only one in 80 women have twins.””A twin pregnancy is a little more consuming than a singleton and commensurately more exciting.” good job!” A majority of twins are fraternal. 30-percent are identical, which means one egg split and age or fertility medication has nothing to do with that. Doctors believe our twins are fraternal but we’ll have a dna test done to confirm that.Another challenge with multiples- they usually come earlier than a single baby. So how do you prepare? We’ll find out in part two of the series. In part two Catherine will introduce you to a mom who just gave birth to her second set of twins in a year-and-a-half, and a mom of triplets.More more in part two