The specialist told us, “Go straight to the hospital right now. Do not go home. We are going to get these girls.”
It was August 19, 2005, and Julie and I had been sent to see this doctor out of some concerns our regular doctor had seen in the last sonogram of our twin girls. It was week 33 and Sidney appeared to be much larger than Chloe. Sid was growing and Chlo wasn’t. Not good. Not good at all.
Having no clue what TTTS (twin to twin transfusion syndrome) was, we quickly left his office, went home against his instructions to get some stuff and then drove 30 minutes to our hospital. Immediately the nurses hooked heart monitors up to Julie’s belly and for the next 48 hours it was nervous-city as we waited for the girls to hit the 34 week mark so Dr. Neill could go in and pull them out.
TTTS is a condition in which one twin dominates the other in terms of getting most of the mother’s blood and nutrients. What happens in MOST cases is it is discovered too late and the twins die a silent death. One starves while the other drowns in too much.
Had our doctor not seen this and sent us to this specialist, Chloe and Sidney would likely not be here today. Those two doctors saved our girls’ lives. TTTS was not going to win this one.
Sunday, the 21st, it was time to go get them. Hearts were still beating but it had been long enough. He went in and got them out. Sidney was big and red, and Chloe was frail and pale; lifeless and without breath at first. But our little fighter hung in there, came to life and thanks to the NICU staff made it home a few weeks later.
Our story was a miracle, but for many parents of twins, the endings are terrible when TTTS is present. Research is helping and giving hope but it cannot be done without our help.
In honor of Chloe and Sidney please consider giving a few dollars on their birth weekend to the Fetal Hope Foundation, a supported of TTTS research.