Recently, I attended an ultrasound conference in Denver.  An entire afternoon was spent on managing twins, especially monochorionic twins (twins in the same large sack who share a placenta).  Twins in general are high risk; monochorionic twins are at especially high risk because they can develop additional complications due to sharing a placenta. (mainly twin twin transfusion syndrome)

We learned that when you see this picture (2 babies in one big sack, yes this is my 7 week ultrasound)


Alarm bells should be going off in your head, because you know it’s an extremely high risk situation with statistics like this:

–The incidence of monochorionic twins is 0.2%

–two fold increase in the risk of preeclampsia, post partum hemmorhage, and maternal death

–50% of monochorionic twins will be growth restricted

–15% develop twin-twin transfusion syndrome

–60% will be preterm

–30-40% perinatal mortality

–four times the loss rate of dichorionic twins in the first 20 weeks

–2% increased risk for minor abnormalities, 4% increased risk of major, including heart abnormalities

–75% of mothers will develop gestational diabetes or gestational hypertension

So when I saw that picture in MY uterus, I was FREAKED OUT.  I know all the things that can go wrong with twins, period.  I really know all the additional things that go wrong with monochorionic twins.  I tried to stay positive, but I knew the odds were against us.  And how many of those horrible things happened to us?

Zero.  Zip.  Nil.  I had a completely uncomplicated pregnancy and went on to have a successful, uncomplicated vaginal delivery at term.  Reid was only barely low birth weight.  Other than a few weeks on oxygen (not uncommon at high altitude), they were extremely healthy, and continue to be our healthiest babies.

When I first got pregnant, I wondered how we got so unlucky as to become spontaneously pregnant with such rare and risky twinning.  But now, I wonder how we got so lucky as to have two healthy, happy babies.  The world is such an unfair place.  At work, I see most people have a healthy baby.  But other times, I see how one, or even part of a chromosome can have devastating effects and change a family forever.  I see low risk pregnancies turn into an emergencies out of the blue.  I see babies whose hearts stopped beating for no discernible reason.  The good and bad happen to everyone; the nice people, the rude people, the old people, the young people.

I don’t know why we got to be the lucky ones in a risky world, but I am grateful and I thank God every day for my healthy twins and my healthy singletons.  Whatever else happens down the road, I will remember that at least we won the lottery 4 amazing times.





About jennyvogan

Author of "Stephen's Mom," a blog documenting the funny, crazy life of raising four boys while keeping my day job as an ultrasound tech.
This entry was posted in Jenny's thoughts, Parenting. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Lucky

  1. raineality says:

    Yay for healthy babies! I’m so glad you guys were the lucky ones. Love you all and your boys (even though I’ve never met half of them).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s