Author: Alisha Winslade
Finding out we were having identical twins was exciting yet overwhelming.
Not knowing much about twins google was my go to for all things twins until I read about a rare condition called Twin To Twin Transfusion Syndrome ( TTTS ). TTTS only occurs in identical twin pregnancies. It scared me but I never thought it would happen to me.
12 weeks pregnant with twins
Our 12 week scan was fine, both babies looked good so we booked in to find out the gender of our twins. At 14 weeks where we found out we were having boys. It wasn’t long after this that I then had a bleed called a Subchorionic Haemorrhage. This meant a hospital visit but we were cleared because there was 2 strong heartbeats.
A few days later I was sent for a follow up ultrasound & I was sent on my way. A day or two later I was called by my local GP to go see him immediately, he had received my ultrasound report which has said “suspected TTTS “. I called the hospital I was booked in at and they didn’t seem overly concerned at the report. They were happy for me to wait a week until my next visit but after reading how quickly TTTS stages can change I took things into my own hands.
I became an advocate for my babies.
I got a referral for a women’s ultrasound clinic & was there the same day. During this ultrasound the fluid level difference was extremely clear and Stage 2 TTTS at 15w6days was confirmed. I was then sat down with the Obstetrician on that day who said she was referring me to the Royal Hospital for Women at Randwick. And it was important I went the next day.
Stage 2 TTTS
The next morning came and we headed to the hospital. I met with an MFM who did another scan. We were sat down in room and given all our options: we could terminate, we do a selective reduction, we do nothing or we can do laser ablation surgery.
Terminating or doing nothing was not an option for us, so we knew we had to give surgery a go. We were told the success rate of the surgery and the chances of both or one or none of our boys surviving. We were also told about the risks of my waters breaking early, infections & possible learning difficulties or disabilities. This still didn’t change our mind that we had made the right choice to go ahead with surgery.
Our MFM decided to monitor me every few days because I was only in the early stages of TTTS we did scans to check the progression.
Laser ablation surgery at 17 weeks and 3 days
At 17w3days my MFM decided now was the right time to do the surgery. I was so scared and nervous. I was awake for the whole thing. A local anaesthetic was given in my stomach and the laser was inserted. I can still hear the sound of the laser.
All up surgery took just over an hour & I had to spend the night in hospital. The next morning was vital in knowing if the surgery was somewhat successful. I was sent for a scan the next morning and there were still 2 heartbeats (another risk of the surgery was that we could lose one twin) but we still weren’t out of the woods yet.
I was sent home and my MFM care was sent to a hospital closer to home. Weekly hospital visits for MFM appointments and scans. Within a week the fluid levels of my boys were starting to even out & both boys were looking good.
Weekly visits turned to fortnightly visits & I knew I was getting closer to meeting my boys.
Giving birth to twins at 34+3
Then at 34w3days I was induced & I finally got to meet my boys. My boys were born at 2.6kg & 2.3kg. I didn’t get to see them for long or hold them as they were rushed off to NICU for low sugar levels & needed a little help breathing.
All up we spent 12days in NICU & SCU but overall my boys were fine.
We had made it!
We survived TTTS.
A laser ablation surgery success story!
My boys are now almost 10 months old and happy and healthy!