Today (at 18 weeks 5 days pregnant with twins) I went for what has become a routine ultrasound (every other week) at the Perinatal Center. Since finding out that our twin babies are DiMono-aka Identical, I have been seeing my regular OB as well as going to the Perinatal Center for ultrasounds and consultation with High Risk doctors. By identifying that our twins are DiMono our risks became greater for both preterm labor and Twin to Twin Transfusion. To put DiMono or Diamniotic Monochorionic into laymen terms, our babies are each separated by a very thin membrane (apparently dangerously thin) and each are in their own amniotic sac (Di) yet share a placenta (Mono). The best way to explain the risk of Twin to Twin Transfusion is to say, each baby has their own house, yet they share a kitchen, because of this the babies are being watched very carefully to make sure one is not “raiding the fridge” more than the other. If this happens one baby will grow larger at the expense of the other baby not receiving enough blood/nutrients. There is supposedly nothing I can do to prevent this from happening. We were told if signs were to appear that Twin to Twin Transfusion was happening the only option for their survival would be laparoscopic surgery. The surgery would sever the blood connection between the two babies so that one cannot "steal" blood/nutrients from the other.
At our 16 week appointment the doctor actually used the word “perfect!” Both boys (yes we found out that day they are boys) were growing equally and right on track. This morning, Thursday- November 29, we learned that things have drastically changed! Baby B is measuring 1 week bigger than Baby A. At this point I have been put on the RX Procardia -a calcium channel blocker that has been proven to restore the proper fluid balance between two babies. I have also been put on bed rest for at least the next week. We were told to have low goals right now, week to week, day by day. In one week I will go in for another check of my cervix and ultrasound of the babies sizes and fluids. The goal: for things to remain consistent with what they are now. IF the babies are progressing with one baby growing larger than the other I will be sent for a referral with a fetal health center (in a children’s hospital) and we may at that time move quickly toward surgery. The good news is that we caught this early, making me eligible for the surgery. As the babies get bigger surgery is no longer an option. There has been success from the surgery but it is a major surgery & considered a LAST RESORT effort to save the lives of babies.
For now we are trying to stay calm & trust that God is in control though our faith is weak. Please pray for the very basic goal we have been given: that the babies remain as they are for the next week. I have been told there is nothing I could have done differently to prevent this but that now I must rest. So rest I will. Please pray for our boys. We believe in the power of prayer but need you more than ever to partner with us in our moment of weakness.
Explaining all of this in writing is so much easier than individual phone calls. We'll keep you updated through this blog. Please don't be hurt if you do not receive a phone call. We are overwhelmed & this is the best way we know to handle things at this time.
Katrina & Jonny
Ps. On a much lighter note if you still haven't seen our pregnancy announcement from 1st trimester here it is...