Pregnancies can unfortunately encounter all kinds of issues, and the risk of complications increases when it’s a multiple birth.
When twins Cleo and Harper were in utero, doctors discovered that they were Mnoamniotic/Monochorionic (MoMo) twins, meaning they split from the same egg shortly after fertilisation and grew in the womb so closely together that their cords had twisted around each other.
Their mum, Kate Lucas, has written about the experience in a touching article.
After getting over the shock that she was pregnant with not one but two babies, she then had to deal with the news that the girls were classed as MoMo.
“As I lay there gob-smacked and freaking out, the doctor went on to tell me that the babies were Monoamniotic/Monochorionic identical twins, due to the egg splitting eight-to-13 days after fertilisation,”
“Splitting just one day later could have meant conjoined/siamese twins. He continued explaining they have no dividing membrane – they share the same amniotic fluid – and are given a 50-70 percent chance of surviving the cord entanglement they create by twisting and turning around one another.”
“Only one percent of all identical twins are MoMo. As they grow, it gets more and more dangerous, as the larger the baby the less room there is, and thus they can actually compress each other’s cords and cut off the vital supply of blood and nutrients from the umbilical cord. They also have a much higher rate of defects and anomalies.”
“We were given the option of termination due to the stressful nature of the pregnancy, and the uncertain outcome and risks,” says Kate.
“But we had already fallen in love with our little blobs!”
“Some of the ultrasound pics are amazing. Two little bodies wrapped around one another in a tight cuddle, two faces looking eye-to-eye at one another.”
“They have been seen holding hands and sleeping forehead to forehead in the womb,” says Kate.
“We couldn’t wait to see our girls share this bond. Through our 31 ultrasounds we were indeed witness to much cuddling and spooning – and some kicking and poking!”
When Kate was 28 weeks pregnant she was admitted to hospital.
“We were told not to set up a nursery as it would make it too hard if we lost one or both the twins, so I spent time pouring over catalogues wondering what, if anything, I might need,” says Kate.
Then the big day arrived at 32 weeks.
“I was terrified,” says Kate. “But in no time at all their two tiny girls were born within minutes of each other. They screamed as they entered the world, and continued to breathe on their own!”
“Harper weighed 1.9kg and Cleo was 1.5kg – tiny but perfect”
“They got an eight and a nine on their Apgar scores. They never needed oxygen, or any meds at all. They were even brought straight to us (after a quick once-over) for a cuddle … I cried and cried as I never expected to see their little faces before they were covered in tubes, and put in humidicribs. I really had never let myself believe they would make it … It was an incredible moment!”
Now Cleo and Harper, knicknamed ‘our Twirlies’ – are eight years old.
“They are like chalk and cheese and yet they are alike in so many ways,” notes Kate.
“They giggle and play all day long and we struggle to get them to stop chattering in bed each night. The early years were so hard – with three under three, and a teen as well, all the feeding and sleepless nights were exhausting!”
“But now having two is even easier than one as they do everything together and are the best of friends!”
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