We are in the process of planning FAD (Fetal Appreciation Day) #29!!! Yup, we made it one more week! We have been told that everyday we are pregnant is about five less days in the NICU. Our goal is to keep those babies cooking as long as possible, which I think is quite possible at this point. Our doctors have actually said they are perplexed by our case. Jake and Ben have a mind of their own and continue to defy the odds. As my doctor said, babies do not read the textbooks.
At our ultrasound yesterday, no reverse flow of the umbilical artery was detected. Ben actually had more amniotic fluid then Jake, which was a first. When a baby starts to decline and they are not getting the blood/oxygen/nutrients they need, they are unable to produce amniotic fluid. Ben’s fluid continues to be stable if not better, which doctors are happily surprised about.
Jake is doing so well. He continues to inspire his little brother to grow. Ben is holding out as long as he can to give Jake the best chance possible. I am so happy they have each other. They have already impressed me with their strong will.
The last three weeks we have become very close with this couple going through a very similar situation with their twin girls. They have mo mo twins, which means they have one placenta and one sac. As you may remember, we have one placenta and two sacs (di mo twins.) The outcome for an identical twin pregnancy depends on how many days after conception the egg splits. Read below to see the five variations of identical twins.
- Dichorionic and diamniotic (DI DI): These types of identical twins develop 2 separate placentas and 2 separate amniotic sacs (similar to fraternal or non-identical twins). They generally occur if the fertilized egg splits before 3 days after conception.
- Monochorionic and diamniotic (DI MO): JAKE & BEN ARE DI MO’s These identical twins share 1 placenta (monochorionic) but develop 2 separate fluid sacs (diamniotic). This is the most common type, accounting for around 75% of identical twin pregnancies and happens if the split occurs between days 3 and 8 after conception.
- Monochorionic and monoamniotic (MO MO): OUR FRIEND’S BABIES These twins share 1 placenta (monochorionic) and 1 sac (monoamniotic). This is the rarest type of identical twins, occurring if the split does not occur until 8 to 13 days after conception. Monochorionic/monoamniotic twins are associated with more pregnancy complications for the babies.
- Conjoined or Siamese twins: In very rare circumstances, the twins do not split until the 13th to 15th days after conception. This leads to the babies themselves being physically joined together to some degree, as well as sharing 1 placenta and 1 amniotic sac (monochorionic and monoamniotic). The joining may just involve the baby’s skin on some part of their body (being easy to surgically separate soon after birth), or it may involve the babies sharing vital organs such as their brain or heart (making surgical separation more involved or not possible). These babies need to be born by Caesarean, with any proposed surgical separation being performed at some stage after they are born.
- Acardiac twins: This is a very rare type of twinning that is similar to conjoined twins, except the babies share one heart. Separation may be possible, but the second twin cannot survive. However, the condition itself is also life threatening for the first twin because of an overload on the heart trying to support both babies. This can lead to heart failure (in 50% of cases). Again, the babies need to be born by caesarean and any proposed surgical separation is performed at some stage after they are born.
The splitting of a developing baby to create twins is not possible once the pregnancy is more than 15 days after conception.
We have two different types of pregnancies, but have had very similar treatment and monitoring plans. They had to come in three times a day to be monitored so they would always stop by and chat. It has been quite a bonding experience.
Last night Kevin and I were coming back from a wheel chair stroll with some friends only to find out it was time for our friends with the mo mo twins to deliver. At 30 weeks they delivered two healthy three pound baby girls. We are so happy to report the girls are doing very well. This experience made things very real for Kevin and I. Seeing them head off to the OR for the big moment made us realize our day to be parents is right around the corner. A feeling of excitement came over us. With all of the hardship and constant worry, we have forgotten that the most amazing experience of our life is going to be here before we know it!!! We are so excited to meet Jake and Ben. However, we have told them we will wait as long as we need to!!
All in all Kevin and I are doing well. Our spirits are much better. We are very confident there will be a positive outcome. Other then sore backs and nasty hospital food, we are doing pretty well. We can’t thank you enough for your prayers and well wishes. I can say without a doubt the reason we are here today and doing well is because of the power of prayer.
Happy Labor Day!!