In 2014, I found out I was pregnant with monochorionic-diamniotic (“mo-di”) twins. Monochorionic twins share a placenta and are definitely identical. The twin news was a shock, to say the very least. Twins do not run in my family (and I have since learned that identical twins have nothing to do with heredity — it’s just like you won the baby lottery and got a bonus baby!), and we were kind of shaky about having one more kid, let alone two!
We quickly found out that mo-di pregnancies can come with a host of issues, as the babies share a placenta (they have separate amniotic sacs), and accordingly, their blood flows back and forth between each other through the placenta. We were told that around 15% of mo-di pregnancies can develop Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome, or TTTS, and that we would be monitored with ultrasounds to keep a close eye on the babies.
In September, we received our TTTS diagnosis, went to Miami for intrauterine surgery to correct the condition, and waited patiently for our girls to arrive. Until they were born, we thought that the only possible issues we would face were kidney issues in our donor twin. When our baby B was born, we were told that she has microcephaly and brain damage as a result of the TTTS. Her kidneys are monitored monthly, and we do not yet know if she will require dialysis or a kidney transplant. Baby A does not have any issues of which we are aware.
Life is unfair, as we all know; but seeing what our baby B could and should look like and be is our constant, heartbreaking reminder of everything we went through. She’s still beautiful, and she’s still amazing, but she will face so many challenges that her twin will never know.
This blog is my way of sharing our story about our journey and our new normal. I will go back to some of those toughest days and share the present days’ stories as well. I am not a medical professional, and this blog is not meant to share any medical advice. Although I am an attorney, this blog is also not meant to impart any legal advice or create any attorney-client relationships.