Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Mya and Lyla's Story

     We found out we were expecting early June. I scheduled a doctor's appointment for the next week hoping to find out how far along I was, that is not all we found out! While getting my first ultrasound the woman played the baby's heartbeat, she kept staring at the screen not saying any words so I asked if that is indeed the heartbeat. She told me yes it is...and here is the other one. I began laughing while my fiancĂ© asked if she was joking or not, she informed us that she does not joke about twins. She kept looking at the screen after we heard each heartbeat and then told us the doctor would want to speak with us.

     The doctor came in and proceeded to tell us that they did not see a membrane dividing the twins and there is a small chance they could be monoamniotic, but majority of the time they are able to find a membrane later on.  I went home to Google "monoamniotic twins" (big mistake) and really scared myself.  All I was able to find is that this occurs in about 1 of every 60,000 twin births and that my babies only have a 50 to 60% chance of survival.  I knew the girls were monoamniotic but Chris kept trying to make me feel better by insisting that they will find a membrane. Our next appointment we were able to find out the gender of our babies but also our last chance to search for that membrane.  I was ecstatic to find out we were having girls but that was quickly trampled when we were ensured that there was no membrane making my pregnancy extremely high risk.

     Our next step was to make a plan because that doctor could not handle such a high risk pregnancy.  After seeing a few doctors, all telling me to not get too attached because there is a 50% chance I will not get to have my girls, I settled on a doctor in Pennsylvania.  We made a plan to go inpatient at 26 weeks  and to be monitored 3x daily for an hour.  Getting to 26 weeks was extremely difficult.  I was skeptical about having a baby shower because I was afraid of my girls not making it. I was afraid to sleep fearing I would wake up and not feel any movement.

     Finally 26 weeks came and I was ready to be admitted. Being inpatient was hard to say the least.  Chris was finishing school so he could not be there as much as he would have liked which was hard for me. I cried every night I was in the hospital, I felt isolated from the world and everyone was going on about their life without me. I especially hated getting my IV switched every other day. One member of my family would visit every day and that was what I would look forward to every day.

     I had one major scare during my late night monitoring where Baby B's heart dropped into the 70s for a few seconds. I was so scared and pushed my call button 100 times. The ultra sound tech came running in and could not find my baby's heartbeat, finally my doctor pushed him out of the way and found it. Words cannot describe my relief.  I was given oxygen and they kept me strapped up all night. Between the straps being so tight, my tears and my fear I did not get one minute of sleep that night. A few weeks went by with no major issues and other than being in a hospital for five weeks I was doing well.

     My doctor gave me the option of delivering at 34 weeks or 32 and I did not want to take any risks so I chose 32. Thanksgiving rolled around and Chris was finally able to stay for a while. November 26, 2013 I was on my last monitoring session of the day when Baby B's heart dropped into the 70s. I was given oxygen and my doctor told me he was just going to keep me on the monitor for a while longer and told the nurse to give me another round of steroids.  Her heart rate went back up but I would not take my eyes off of that screen. Twenty minutes later her heart rate dropped again, this time to the 50's.

     My doctor ran into my room and asked "Can I deliver your babies today?" I was so scared I could not even speak. I looked at Chris and he responded "Let's Go!" Everything after that happened so quickly. I was rushed into a bright room and Chris was told to stay behind. They put me on the operating table and everyone was scrambling around me. My doctor was yelling that the anesthesiologist was taking too long and getting his instruments ready which did not help my nerves, finally it was time to put me under.

Mya and Lyla

     I woke up asking the nurses if my girls were ok and if they had hair, she responded yes to both questions. I was sent to recovery and was dying to meet my angels. When I saw my girls for the first time it was like a dream. My girls, my sweet babies who I had been told might not make it were finally here. Lyla weighed 2lbs 14 oz and Mya was 2lbs 15 oz. Their cords were not only tangled but Lyla's wrapped around Mya's neck. After four days we were finally able to hold Mya and the next day Lyla! I thought being inpatient was hard, but that was nothing compared to leaving without my girls every day which never got easier.

   I visited my girls every day sometimes up to 5 hours a day. The girls spent about 5 weeks in the NICU with only a few minor setbacks. Lyla came home January 11 and Mya the following day. My girls are 6 months old now and are absolutely perfect.  I love them more than I knew I could. I still stare at them in disbelief the same way I did when the night they were born.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Dad's Perspective

The story in the link below is a dad's perspective of a monoamniotic pregnancy that was published on We just had to share! It's a great read about a mo/mo pregnancy and life after babies come home.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Triplets with a Momo Pair

In November 2012 my husband and I decided to try for our second baby. Our daughter McKenna was almost 4 and really wanted a baby brother or sister. She prayed everyday to God to put a baby in my belly. In march 2013 her prayers were answered. We received our positive pregnancy test. I was 4 weeks pregnant and immediately started my prenatal care. McKenna was overjoyed and started praying daily for twin girls. She named the babies she prayed for Mallory and Celery. I had a normal singleton pregnancy besides terrible morning sickness. It was much worse than with McKenna. Maybe we were being blessed with a boy this go around, we thought. 

At 19 weeks we went for our routine ultrasound. I asked McKenna if she wanted a brother or a sister. She replied she was going to have both. Before we began the ultrasound the tech asked if this was our first ultrasound and If we wanted to know the gender. It was our first ultrasound and we were going to have the gender put in an envelope to be revealed later. We started the U/S and the tech immediately stopped and asked again if this were my first ultrasound. I said yes. She then asked if I were taking fertility treatments. My reply "NO. WHY? IS THERE 2?" She responded, no there's 3. McKenna was right she was having a brother and Identical monoamniotic sisters. We were shocked. It's the only way to put it. 

I had no idea what having monoamniotic babies meant. I went home and googled. I was scared to death. My ob told me statistically there probably was a membrane and they would surely find it at my MFM appointment. At 23 weeks I headed to my anatomy scan. Knowing in my heart my girls were momo. It was confirmed that afternoon. That scan also put my son in a high risk category for Down's syndrome and told me one of the girls had a issue where her cerebellum was not formed correctly. I was urged then and there to terminate my girls. To sacrifice them for my son. No way, I loved them, all of them. 2 weeks later I went for another scan. No markers for Down syndrome and my daughters brain looked perfect. By this point I had disconnected from the pregnancy. I didn't believe I would bring any of my babies home. 

I went inpatient at 27 week 2 days. I would have went sooner but my baby B was suffering from IUGR (Intrauterine growth restriction) and wasn't at a viable weight. I checked in to the hospital expecting to deliver at 32 weeks. But at 29 weeks 2 days I had developed preeclampsia. We did our last ultrasound that morning to find out my sweet baby B Marissa was having reverse blood flow. We delivered that afternoon. Mallory and Marissa (no we didn't go with Celery) were born at 3:33 pm and Maddox arrived at 3:35. Sept 9, 2013. The day of their great grandpas birth and their other great grandpas death. Mallory was 2.5 lbs Maddox was 3.5lbs and my tiny Marissa was born with the smallest cord the Drs had ever seen at 1.15lbs. The doctors couldn't believe she was alive. They even cried with me.

 My triplets spent 7, 9, and 11 weeks in the hospital with little hiccups. They were for the most part healthy feeders and growers. Marissa, the last to come home came home, on her due date November 22nd. Today they are healthy, happy 6 month old's reaching all milestones for their adjusted age. They are my miracle babies.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Monoamniotic Twin Boys Success Story

      My name is Abby and I delivered mono mono twin boys on November 26 and wanted to share our story.  I found out I was pregnant on Mother's Day 2013 after going through a miscarriage. I went in to see my OB a week later and had an ultrasound to date the pregnancy. At that ultrasound the tech saw one sac, one placenta, and one heart beat, so we assumed there was one baby-little did we know there were actually two, one just hiding behind the other! I continued going to my regular appointments throughout the summer and each time we listened to one heart beat! I thought I was having a normal singleton pregnancy except for the fact that I had such horrendous morning sickness and I was showing much faster than I did with my first son, Jack.

     At 20 weeks I went in for the big ultrasound-my husband and I were so excited to find out if the baby was a boy or a girl! That's when we got the surprise of our lives! And by the look on the ultrasound tech's face so did she! We were actually expecting twin boys! I didn't have a doctors appointment scheduled until the next week so we went home and were shocked, but so happy to learn we'd be adding two more bundles of joy to our family!

     We had a wonderful weekend celebrating and then on Monday, my doctor called and explained that she could not see a membrane in my ultrasound photos and what that means. I was devastated. I made an appointment with a perinatologist and after several more ultrasounds it was confirmed that our boys were definitely monoamniotic. I was so scared, especially having had a miscarriage right before this pregnancy!

     My husband and I met with my new high risk doctor and we decided that I would check in to the hospital at 24 weeks for my inpatient stay. It was unbelievably hard to leave my son who was then 18 months old, but my mom took a family medical leave from the university where she works and took care of him! I was lucky enough that I was able to work from the hospital, which gave me something to do while I was there. I also finished writing my dissertation while inpatient. I have to say that I really learned what amazing people I have in my life during that hospital stay! I didn't go one day without a visitor in 10 weeks and people brought me books, DVDs, and crafts to keep me from going crazy! My sister came up every Friday night and we'd have a slumber party-eat pizza and watch movies! Between my husband and my mom, they got my son up to see me almost every day!

     I was on intermittent monitoring (1 hour out of every 4) with ultrasounds every two weeks right up until the very end. Two days before the boys were born, we finally had some bad tracings on the monitor and I was kept on 24 hour monitoring. It was very scary-twice during the middle of the night doctors and nurses rushed in and rolled me over onto my side. Both times the boys heart rates recovered, thank god! The second time they actually put in an IV and got me into a hospital gown!

     The next night I started having regular contractions. They started getting more painful and were coming every 2 minutes. I called my husband who got my parents over to our house to stay with Jack and he made it to the hospital just in time. Since we were trying to get to 34 weeks and we were 33 weeks and 5 days, the OB didn't see any point to stop my labor and they went ahead and prepped me for my c-section. They wheeled us down to the operating room and they were all so calm-it was very reassuring! Plus, I knew all the doctors and nurses so well by then that they were more like friends than doctors!

     The boys were born within one minute of each other-Henry at 4:57 and Oliver at 4:58 AM and they were 5 pounds 1 ounce and 5 pounds 6 ounces respectively, which I'm told are great weights for that gestational age. Their cords were a mess-they were all braided around each other with one true knot! They did absolutely wonderful! They were off oxygen by the end of the first day and needed no other interventions-they just had to learn to eat and grow. They came home exactly two weeks later. The NICU stay was the hardest part of the entire ordeal-it was very hard to leave the hospital without my babies. Luckily they did so well and we had them home for Christmas! They are such blessings and this has truly been the best holiday season ever!