Mono Mono Twin Girls Born At 32 Weeks With Tangled Umbilical Cords
Entangled ambilical cords from our Mono/Mono Twins born alive & well at 32 wks
Our son was six months old and we discovered we were unexpectedly pregnant. We had wanted to try to get pregnant two months from then yet it was still quite the shock.
I went for my 9 week check up (by myself)and my doctor could not hear the heartbeat. She sent me for an ultrasound immediately. The technician was able to find not, one but TWO heartbeats!!
Its forever etched in my mind sitting on the ultrasound table being able to only speak the word "twins!?" I had wished I hadn't gone to my appointment alone!
I returned to my doctors office with the great news and she read the results. She said I was having mono / mono twins and that is considered a high risk pregnancy. The dangers involved were explained to me briefly (cord entanglement in their own cords or each others, knots in the cords obstructing flow to the babies).
Of course I went directly to the internet to read up about mono / mono twins. I read that they were more likely to have Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (when one baby takes most the nutrients). We found out from our appointment with our new high risk pregnancy ob that this is NOT true.
We were told Mono / mono twins are actually LESS likely to have Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome "because they share so much".
I was monitored closely and we continually updated their progress and discussed their chances of surviving outside the womb compared to their risk of cord entanglement, etc. inside the womb.
We had weekly non stress tests and bi-weekly ultrasounds. The non stress tests became more frequent around my 29-30th week mark. I'd also go in unexpectedly because I couldn't feel the babies move. I would sometimes pass and sometimes "fail" the tests.
After a few days in and out with mixed test results I was admitted to the antinatal unit of Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston at 29 or 30 weeks. They did non stress tests on me every hour or every other hour and ultrasounds daily.
We were able to get a steroid shot for the lungs in before the delivery which helps their lungs develop before birth.
Our beautiful mono mono (therefore identical) twins were delivered the day before 32 weeks of gestational age. Baby A was 17" long, 4lbs 1oz and Baby B 16" long at 4lbs 0oz.
We are TRULY blessed! Our girls were in the NICU from Feb 25th until March 29th & 31st..they came home two days apart.
To be honest, this was a very difficult time for us ..especially for me. Recovering from a C-section, I was unable to be home alone with my almost 1 year old son because I could not lift him. I was unable to drive for the first few weeks, therefore unable to visit the girls on my own. I needed someone to be with my son & me, someone to drive me to the hospital, some one to watch my son when I was at the hospital. Thankfully I did not realize how depressed I was at the time..too busy I suppose.
I had also torn or separated my abdominal muscles probably due to the size of my stomach and lifting another child while pregnant. This went undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for about two months. The pain was excrutiating and put me in the emergency room and eventually physical therapy.
But most importantly the girls were born in great health. Breathing on their own, holding their own body tempurature almost immediately, but on feeding tubes for feeding. That was difficult to see especially as the tape wore on the skin of their little faces. But we had faith in the nurses and doctors that they knew what was best and took good care of them. We asked questions about the machines they were hooked up to and the processes along the way.
When the girls were delivered (C-section like all mono/mono twins) the doctor showed us the umbilical cords and how entangled they were. She told us "this is why we're here today". I've attached a photo of the knot in the two umbilical cords to show the stress they can put on the flow of the blood to the babies. I'll also attach a picture or two of MY BEAUTIFUL HEALTHY ALMOST 4 YEAR OLD MONO/MONO TWIN GIRLS.
There were a lot of prayers said for these girls especially to St. Gerard the Saint of expectant mothers.