Here is the ninth in my birth story series. Real birth stories, from real Mums. If you enjoy this I will be posting a different story every Thursday so make sure to pop back each week for a new one. If you would like to share your story please contact me using any of my social media.
This week we have a planned early c section where the twins had TTTS birth story. Thank you to the Mum who wrote this weeks story and congratulations on your gorgeous twins.
Age of Mum: 42
1st/2nd/3rd or more baby: 1st and 2nd baby
Gestation born at: 32 weeks
Any pregnancy complications: TTTS, Gestational diabetes and anaemia
Type of delivery: Caesarian due to TTTS
Length of labour: N/A
Pain relief: Epidural and Morphine
Any other methods used ie water/hypno birthing: none
Weight of baby: Twin 1 4lb 13oz Twin 2 3lb 2 oz
Sex of baby: 2 males
Who was present at delivery: husband, also surgeon, anaesthetist and nurse for mother, neonatal doctors and nurses for each twin (very crowded!)
Complications during labour: none.
Did you feel informed about your choices during labour: Yes. Due to TTTS the only option for safe arrival of twins was Caesarean at 32 weeks.
Complications after labour: mother’s reaction to morphine (vomiting for hours) and uterus infection at 5 days PP, twin 1 spent 7 weeks in neonatal and twin 2 spent 9 weeks in neonatal (discharged on oxygen)
TTTS is twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome and only affects about 20% of mono-chorionic di-amniotic twins (one placenta – two sacs).
Mo-di twins were discovered at 16 weeks so fortnightly scans were needed to check for TTTS.
TTTS is when one twin becomes the donor who rejects placental blood and the other is the recipient who takes all the placental blood.
There are 5 stages of TTTS. Stage 5 being fatal to both twins. Signs of stage 1 TTTS include disparities in fetal size, amniotic fluid and blood flow in the cords.
At 30 weeks stage 1 was diagnosed. The consultant had to weigh up dangers of early birth with dangers of TTTS worsening. The decision was made for caesarean birth at exactly 32 weeks. I had an epidural and was conscious throughout.
Twin 1 (Daniel) was the recipient and born first. He needed blood thinning and was quite red in colour.
Twin 2 (Matthew) was the donor and needed 4 blood transfusions in his first 4 weeks of life. He was very pale. Incidentally he was removed with his sac intact, which is so rare medical staff came to see him. He was born asleep and they had to wake him.
I got to touch both before they were whisked off to NICU. Daniel stated for 7 weeks. Matthew for 9 weeks. Matty came home on oxygen, which he was on for a couple of months.
They will be under consultant care till at least 2 to monitor for after effects of TTTS in their development. So far, they are hitting their adjusted milestones, but Matty does take a long time to get over respiratory viruses.
I am part of a Facebook group for UK parents of TTTS sufferers and have come to see we are really lucky it was spotted early and didn’t progress beyond stage 1. Many parents whose twins progress beyond this stage lose one or both babies. Also our ante-natal consultant was an expert with TTTS and was able to educate and advise us brilliantly.