Last Friday, after a week of bedrest, my sister was released by her doctor to go back to work. Later that evening, she again began to have some spotting, but it wasn't as severe this time. She wisely put herself back on bedrest for the weekend and then cautiously went to work on Monday. She made a call to her doctor's office on Monday to make them aware that her spotting, though slight, was still occurring. They felt comfortable with the restrictions she had placed on herself and told her they would see her at her regularly scheduled appointment on Wednesday.
She went in today for that appointment. They did an ultrasound which showed another problem unrelated to the spotting. The identical twins who share a placenta showed signs of a serious disorder called twin to twin transference. Basically, one twin donates extra blood to the other which both deprives that twin of nutrition and overindulges the other twin. The twins begin to have different amounts of amniotic fluid and begin to differ in size. If serious, the disorder is likely to lead to fetal death.
My sister was told she needed to have a surgery that would sever the blood vessel(s) that the twins are using to share their nutrients. This procedure has some extreme risks involved, but may be the best way to save all the babies. Keep in mind that the third triplet which is not identical and who has its own placenta is showing no signs of distress at this time. However, this procedure could endanger that babie's life as well.
My sister was obviously shaken up and saddened. My heart is so burdened for her because getting pregnant was such a physical and emotional battle, and now keeping all three of these babies has become a physical and emotional battle. I know I wasn't prepared for the number of hurdles she would encounter. I mean, a woman just gave birth to eight healthy babies last year, three seems like it should be easy.
My prayer is that the twins will be restored to sharing correctly and the signs that seemed apparent today would not be there at the next ultrasound. Ultimately, of course, my hope is that all three of these babies will have the opportunity to live full lives. If you are stirred with compassion, please be in prayer with me for my sister.