You might have noticed that I have not posted anything for a while letting Verena do all the hard work. In almost four month that I didn’t write anything for this blog a lot had happened. First of all, you might have guessed that I gave birth to two beautiful girls.
The girls are identical twins, healthy and happy babies. Their birth a dramatic experience – I even got to ride in a helicopter on my way to the hospital! I wrote in my pregnancy announcement post last year, that all the doctors warned me that carrying identical twins beyond 32 weeks gestation should be considered a bonus (full term pregnancy is 40 weeks). This is because women pregnant with identical twins are more likely to experience complications in pregnancy. My twins were sharing the same placenta and were at a risk of experiencing so called twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). This abnormality of the placenta means that one twin receives too much blood while the other receives too little. This condition affects about 15% of all identical twin pregnancies.
Well, I ended up giving birth just a few days before my 32-weeks date because I developed a mild version of TTTS when one of the babies stopped growing and its blood flow was not so optimal. In the three weeks leading to the birth, I had to have a checkup every other day and even spent five days in the hospital for monitoring. In addition, the doctors gave me steroid shots to ripen the babies’ lungs. I had a checkup 2 days before I ended up giving birth, where I was reassured that things were going better now and a C-section will be scheduled in about 2-3 weeks. But I was still asked to come for another checkup in two days.
So I went to the hospital for a checkup on Saturday, January 9, assured that I still have a few weeks. There they told me that the blood flow of the twins turned out from not-so-good to bad. They would have to take them out that day or the next. I was not allowed to leave the hospital. In addition, it turned out that there was no room for the kids at the intensive care unit (NICU) in Innsbruck, where I live. So I will have to be transported to Rosenheim, Germany with a helicopter. When asked why it has to be a helicopter, even though the babies can wait till tomorrow, the doctors said it was their standard procedure. I wish I could enjoy that helicopter ride over the mountains! Unfortunately, I had to lay strapped down and couldn’t see anything.
Upon arrival to the hospital, the ultrasound showed that the blood flow was not so bad anymore but not good enough for them to bake inside much longer. The babies will have to be taken out within the next few days. I had a decision to make – wait or introduce the little ones to the world. Next day was a Sunday, and there was a risk that only an assistant doctor will be available to perform the surgery. So I decided not to wait anymore. The girls were born at 6:51 and 6:52 pm on January 9, 2016!
I was not able to see the girls until the next day and cried when I saw the little creatures with tubes all over them. But now looking back I must say that modern medicine is a miracle! My girls have come a long way and are healthy, adorable little ladies!