Tuesday, 27 August 2013

What's there to worry about?

It's so funny the way our minds work. During my last pregnancy I was obsessed with researching birth defects. I looked at different trisomies, triploidy, polycycstic kidneys, Potters syndrome, Turners syndrome, dwarfism etc. Do you know that there are over 200 types of dwarfism, some of them fatal? All of these I had running through my head as I unknowingly carry my baby with Down syndrome.

This time, there are a whole different set of worries. Still birth. Pre-term labour. Early placental failure. Twin-to-twin-transfusion-syndrome (TTTS). Sigh. I never seem to let it go. The odds are very, very small that it will happen to me. Bust as you know, I hate playing the odds game. Because I always go back to the fact that I had 0.25% chance of having a baby with DS at 34.

With mo/di twins like I have, the risk of TTTS is very real. Basically what happens is that one twin starts receiving all the nutrients and fluid from the placenta, and the other starts to be denied nutrients. This causes one twin to become markedly smaller than the other, and can lead to death for both. It doesn't happen all that often (15-20%), but frequently enough that twins like mine are monitored frequently. I get an u/s every 2 weeks to see how the girls are growing and to look for TTTS. The good news is that if it is caught early and needs to be treated I get a free trip to Toronto to have the surgery performed. Apparently one of the hospitals in Toronto are experts in this surgery so everyone in Canada gets sent there. That would be ok, I could even squeeze in a visit with my Mom and a few friends if I was lucky.

Apparently, because my NT scan was so good (with both babies having identical NT measurements), my risk of TTTS is actually only 10%. Good news, but not a guarantee by any means.

Another risk with Mo/di twins is early placental failure. Basically, because both babies are drawing all their life sustaining nutrients from one placenta, it is more likely to give out early. This is why mo/di twins get delivered no later than 37 weeks. Because after that week the risk of still birth is higher than the risk of having babies born early.

The irony of all of this worrying is that so far everything about the babies is perfect. PERFECT. They measure exactly to dates. Both of them. There is no difference in size at all. They are active, and all body parts are accounted for. And then I go back to 0.25%. Over and over and over. 0.25%. There are just no guarantees.

Why can't I just let this go?

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