Thursday, January 10, 2013

Monoamniotic twins - maybe it's time to write about this

This poor blog has missed out on so much. I have not been writing because we hadn't been sharing the biggest thing going on in our lives, but I decided that it is time to write about it. I can't wait until everything turns out ok, because if it doesn't, I may never be able to write about it. And whether or not things end up ok (and I really hope they do), we can use support from friends and family.

 I am nearly 22 weeks pregnant with monoamniotic mono chorionic twin girls. The exciting part: I am pregnant! We are really excited about the prospect of siblings for Riley. The terrifying part: mono mono or MoMo twins are an incredibly high risk pregnancy. The babies share a placenta and amniotic sack. This happens in only 1% of identical twin pregnancies. Because the babies are in the same sack, there is a risk of entangling in each others umbilical cords, or compressing each others cords and stopping blood flow. Because they share a placenta, there is a risk of twin to twin transfusion syndrome in which one twin takes more of the food and blood supply and the other stops growing, this can be bad for both babies.

We learned about the twins and their risky status when I was 13 or 14 weeks pregnant and the last eight weeks have been beyond challenging. I think the best word to describe this pregnancy is "excruciating". We never know if one or both the babies will be alive when we go in for weekly ultrasounds and there is nothing anyone can do to help. The last few weeks have been a bit better because I feel the babies move a lot now and it is reassuring, but my pulse still races when I lie down on the ultrasound table and wait for the doctor to confirm two heart beats and then wait more to see two tiny bodies that are hopefully not wrapped in umbilical cords. At the same time, we learned the babies are girls and we see them growing each week and can't help but to feel excited and optimistic about the possibilities.

I look like I am at least 8 months pregnant and I am only 5.5 months pregnant. It is hard to imagine getting this far and losing the babies, but we know it happens. When I reach 26 weeks in early February, I will check into the hospital for aggressive fetal monitoring where I will remain for hopefully 6 weeks when the babies will be born at 32 weeks. (And oh, how I will miss being home with Neil and Riley). If anything goes wrong before then, the babies will be born earlier. No matter what, we are going to have premature babies who will need a hospital stay before coming home.

I haven't even been able to give much thought to the twins part of this. TWINS!!! This is not what we planned or expected. None of this was in our plans, which shows you just how much stock one can put in plans. Each bit of news about this pregnancy was hard to digest, high risk, hospital stay away from my family, premature babies, a c-section for me...I think I am mostly at peace with it now, but it has not been easy to get here.

When Riley was born, I remember looking at him and thinking to myself what a miracle it was that everything went how it was supposed to and we ended up with this perfect little human. Each pregnancy is so remarkable. So many little things could go differently and we'd end up with different results, but so often people are lucky and healthy babies are born. This sounds so sappy, but it is true. We as humans are essentially powerless in this process. We just have to wait and hope for a miracle.

So I am beginning 2013 by praying for miracles. Two little miracles in particular. I hope you will join me. We can use all the positive vibes we can get.