Friday, May 17, 2013

Rare monoamniotic twins delivered at Packard Hospital

A momo  mom contacted me to say she had been in the news! She wrote this introduction and the news story and pictures are below! (source:

You're about to embark on a crazy, stressful and oftentimes scary journey with a momo pregnancy. I was inpatient and delivered my twin girls at a very reputable hospital and I was lucky to have wonderful, experienced care. My best advice is to educate yourself and be your own advocate. And remember, you're now part of a very exclusive momo- mommy club! And we are all here to support you!

Palo Alto Online News, Uploaded: Friday, December 14, 2012, 10:34 AM     

Rare monoamniotic twins delivered at Packard Hospital
Kate and Annie Carlson shared same amniotic sac

"A dramatic delivery at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital has saved the lives of twin girls who might not have survived to their first Christmas, the hospital has announced.

Kate and Annie Carlson were born Nov. 7, but they shared the same amniotic sac in their mother's uterus, which is a rare and dangerous condition, hospital officials said.

The twins, who were born to first-time parents Kevin and Allison Carlson of Menlo Park, underwent an emergency cesarean delivery after their umbilical cords had created a knot. The infants were only 30 weeks old, 10 weeks before a full 40-week term.

In normal twin pregnancies, a thin membrane forms to separate the twins; less than 1 percent of U.S. twin pregnancies are monoamniotic. Cord entanglement and compression and resulting blood flow problems kill 20 percent of twins with this diagnosis, hospital officials said.

Allison checked in to Packard in October as an inpatient. With no membrane dividing the twins, Dr. Jane Chueh and her prenatal diagnosis and therapy team balanced the risk of Kate and Annie being born prematurely with the risk of a cord entanglement. Doctors delayed delivery as long as possible to prevent the twins from developing lung disease and other complications associated with prematurity.

The girls were tiny: Kate weighed just 3 pounds and Annie weighed three pounds, two ounces.

"It was a testimony to the skill of the obstetricians to allow the twins to grow in the womb as much as they did, so that their lungs were able to mature," said neonatologist Dr. William Rhine, whose team cared for the twins in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

The twins could soon be released from the hospital and their parents have their room ready at home.

"We're really grateful. Despite the chaos surrounding our delivery and pregnancy, Packard Children's really put us at ease with their experience and expertise, and it's one of the best holiday gifts a family could ever ask for," Kevin said. "

"Kevin and Allison Carlson with their twin daughters, Kate and Annie, at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. The twin girls were born Nov. 7, but they shared the same amniotic sac in their mother's uterus, which is a rare and dangerous condition, hospital officials said. Photo courtesy of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital."

Thursday, January 24, 2013

4tunate: Quadruplets with a Momo Pair

**The following entries are taken with permission from  Please visit that blog for updates on the family as well as frugal living, faith journey, family-friendly foods, and finding joy in the every day!***

On February 2, 2007, we became parents to quadruplet boys: Henry, Brooks, Clark, and Isaac. Originally, this blog started as a way to keep family and friends on board with updates and prayer requests during our extreme high-risk pregnancy. Since then, it has “multiplied” into a collection of our family adventures, frugal living on a “quad budget”, our faith journey, family-friendly foods, and finding joy in the every day.
We thank God for His immeasurable blessings and hope that our blog can be a source of encouragement to your faith as well!

I don’t know if I’ll get through this post without fighting back tears, but I’ll give it my best shot…
Two weeks after the shock of our lives, (finding out we were expecting triplets), I found myself back on that same cold table, staring blankly at the black and white screen.  I immediately saw the three oval-shaped sacs, and watched breathlessly as she examined each one closely for a heartbeat.  Tiny little blips flashed on the screen proving life still existed. We knew that during the first trimester, there were certainly no guaranties. As she scanned the final sack, something caught my eye.  Before a word was spoken, I saw it.  I knew with certainty that this sac was not like the other two. Time stood still in that defining moment. There were two flashing heartbeats in one sack. 
All 4 babiesc

History was written in a conversation that went down something like this:
Me: "There’s two in there, aren’t there?"  
Nurse Lisa: "What?"
Brad: "Huh? What? Are there? Are we talking four babies?"
*Blurry screen*   
Our Doctor took over the ultrasound from there…
He examined it closely in what appeared to be disbelief.  He confirmed soberly there were indeed four and waited for me to get dressed to meet with him in the conference room.  
I remember looking at Brad who was standing behind me, making sure he wasn’t going to pass out.  He looked so dismayed and distraught. I was instantly flooded with emotions and ten thousand questions.  I felt overcome with guilt, fear, panic, grief, pain, disappointment, and disbelief; Yet I remained emotionally unresponsive in appearance.  I couldn’t cry… I couldn’t laugh a nervous laugh… I couldn’t scream… I just wanted to pull the white sheet over my head, and disappear from this new reality. 
Instead, the nightmare worsened. We learned that not only did we have an even higher risk pregnancy by the increased number, but we were facing, (I quote), "Pretty much the worse case scenario".  Our worst case scenario involved a rare form of twinning, called mono-amniotic twins. Monoamniotic twins are rare identical twins that occur in approximately 1 in 35,000 to 1 in 60,000 pregnancies, but had not been documented to exist within a quadruplet pregnancy.  
A complicated pregnancy lends itself to a complicated explanation. (For the record the incidence of mono-mono twins or even having identical twins for that matter were unrelated to the mild fertility treatments we underwent.) Without getting too ridiculously medical, let me try my best to explain monoamniotic twins through a compiling of these resources, for those of you who may not be familiar with this terminology. (Illustrations can be found here.)
Monoamniotic twins are identical twins that develop inside the same amniotic sac. They share a placenta within their mother’s uterus, but have two separate umbilical cords for nourishment. This means that both babies share the same living space. They don’t just share their house, they share a bedroom, bathroom, and playroom! Where as other identical twins share an outer sac, but not an inner sac.  They are separated by an important membrane. Unfortunately, monoamniotic twins are at great risk for health complications due to the close proximity of the two umbilical cords in the amniotic sac. This makes it particularly easy for the twins to become entangled in each other’s cords, or to compress one another’s cords, endangering their oxygen and food supply. The survival rate for monoamniotic twins is approximately 50%, but incalculably less within a quad pregnancy scenario. 
We walked out of our 8 week appointment in anguish, after what seemed to be a death sentence for our four little heartbeats…
But God had other plans.


QUAD DAY – Birth Day x4

Hello everyone,
Our boys are here and doing really well. The birth went very well and Jen is recovering in our room again now. They all came out crying and breathing room air on their own.
One of the boys is now on ventilation as he was not able to continue to breath without assistance. The other three have continued to breath without a vent, but they all have a long way to go before we can breath a sigh of relief. But, God has given us five hours of life with our little boys already, and we are thankful to finally get to meet them.
Okay, here are the names and weights that you all have been waiting for in the order in which they entered the world:
Henry Samuel Murray
Born at 12:33pm
2lbs. 12oz.
Brooks Layton Murray
Born at 12:34pm
3lbs. 0oz.
Clark Thomas Murray
Born at 12:34pm
3lbs. 7oz.
Isaac Edward Murray
Born at 12:35pm
4lbs. 0oz.
Here is a picture of the boys just minutes after they were born, right before being hurried off to the NICU.
Left to right: Henry, Brooks, Clark, Isaac 

(Post copied from


Our Family of 6 is Complete!

Friends and Family,
Wednesday evening we finally went up and got Clark and brought him home! We are so excited to finally have our family at home complete. After over two months in the hospital, we finally have no reason to go to St. Vincent Women’s Hospital anymore. We want to thank everyone at the hospital for the amazing care that Jen and the boys received.
We took our first trip out with all four boys yesterday since Clark got home. The boys went to the pediatrician for a check-up and weight check. Our boys are thriving and continuing to gain weight.
Updated Weights:
Isaac: 6lbs. 13oz.
Brooks: 5lbs. 11oz.
Clark: 5lbs. 1oz.
Henry: 5lbs. 3oz.
This will be the final post for this blog. We are so thankful for everyone who has followed our progress here for the past 7 months. God is so gracious and continues to provide in amazing ways for our family. If you would like to continue to follow our family, please check out our new blogspot, I will be posting pictures there in the near future.
(Post Copied from