Possible TTTS, TAPS, preeclampsia, HELLP Syndrome and twins

preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome twins

Author:  Sherrie Phelps

My pregnancy and birth story is almost like something out of a movie! We had possible TTTS, TAPS, preeclampsia, HELLP Syndrome and twins!

Possible TTTS at 26 weeks pregnant with twins

Easy smooth pregnancy until my ultrasound at 26+5 weeks at Dubbo Base Hospital. The doctor and MFM at Nepean were concerned about possible TTTS so they told me to go to the birthing unit and do at least 15 minutes of CTG monitoring to see how the babies were coping.

Because they don’t usually do CTGs until 28 weeks due to small babies being able to wriggle away from the monitors we were in there for a while. I started getting anxious and started having a panic attack. The midwives put electrodes on my ankles, wrists and chest for an ECG test and a cannula in my arm. My husband ran into the bathroom nearly throwing up cause he hates needles. Several hours later we went home.

27 weeks pregnant with twins

5 days later we had an appointment with the MFM in Nepean. Everything looked perfect so they sent me home and told me to do CTG monitoring 3 days a week – Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Saturdays I had to do it in a birthing suite because the day stay was closed. I had another appointment in Nepean in a months time on 14th December.

A week later they tell me to have daily CTG monitoring and 2 ultrasounds a week as well.

possible TTTS twins

Diagnosed with TAPS at 28 weeks pregnant with twins

My next scheduled ultrasound was at 28+6 weeks. We went straight home after this one. But 2 hours later I get a call from my doctor saying there’s concerns about the blood flow to baby B’s brain and I have to go to Nepean for an appointment with the MFM at 8:30am. So we packed our bags and drove down that night.

The MFM told us that the babies were developing TAPS and they needed to monitor its progress closely so I had to stay near Nepean Hospital so there was no delay in transferring me if the babies needed to be born before 34 weeks (Dubbo SCN can only look after babies born after 34 weeks). They allowed me to go back home to Dubbo to get things ready and would call me in a few days when they had accommodation for me at Hope Cottage.

29 weeks pregnant with twins

A few days later at 29+5 weeks I get a call saying I can come down the next day. So when my parents finished work I drove around to their house to say goodbye. On the drive home I started having painful contractions. I tell my husband and he wants me to go to the hospital. I don’t want to bother them so I agree to call the birthing unit number but no one answers. So I agree to him driving me to the hospital.

Two ambulance rides and one Royal Flying Doctor Service flight later…….

Around 7pm we get to the birthing unit and they admit me into one of the birthing suites and give me medication in a cannula to stop my contractions and morphine for pain relief. At 3:30am I’m taken to Dubbo Airport in an ambulance and flown to Sydney by the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Taken to Nepean Hospital in another ambulance. My husband drives to Nepean that morning.

30 weeks pregnant with twins

They monitor me in a birthing suite at Nepean until they’re happy that my contractions have stopped. They move me into one of the maternity rooms and for 2 days monitor me for any new contractions. At 30+1 weeks they discharge me and I start staying at Hope Cottage where I’m to do daily CTG monitoring and 2 ultrasounds a week to monitor the TAPS progress. They book me in for a c section at 32+4 weeks due to the TAPS.

TTTS or TAPS in twins

Diagnosed with preeclampsia at 30 weeks pregnant with twins

At my CTG appointment 30+2 weeks my blood pressure is borderline so they tell me to do a urine test the next day. At 30+3 weeks my blood pressure is really high and I have lots of protein in my urine. They do some blood tests and tell me they’re just trying to find another doctor because mine is the middle of a c section. A doctor tells me I may have preeclampsia and depending on the blood test results the babies may need to be born either that night or the next morning. My MFM comes in and confirms I have severe preeclampsia and the babies will need to be born. But there weren’t enough available beds in the NICU so I need to be transferred to another hospital.

Turns out that the reason there weren’t enough beds in the NICU was because the c section he was doing was for triplets that actually turned out to be 4 babies!! So I’m transferred in an ambulance across Sydney to the Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick.

HELLP Syndrome and twins

They put me in a birthing suite (3rd one I’ve been admitted to within one week). I’m strapped to a CTG monitor while they do lots of blood tests. Several hours later they tell me I have HELLP syndrome as well as severe preeclampsia and the babies will need to born very soon as my platelets were falling and my red blood cells were deteriorating. My baby A is breech so they’ll need to a c section.

Twins born at 30 weeks

On 8th December 2020 at 30+4 my babies are born at 1:44am and 1:46am. I didn’t make it to my appointment on 14th December at Nepean. I spend 6 days in hospital recovering and they spend 3 weeks in the NICU. Then are transferred to the SCN at Dubbo Base Hospital and come home at 36+6.

My last day of work was going to be 11th December at 31 weeks but once my monitoring increased after 26 weeks I moved it up to finish on 27th November at 29 weeks. Of course on that day I had to go to Nepean so at 4pm the day before I had to call my boss to say I wouldn’t be in tomorrow!

preeclampsia HELLP Syndrome and twins


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