After laughing and crying and laughing and crying… we finally got to hear Baby A’s heartbeat and Baby B’s heartbeat. She got their measurements and from a gestational age of 7w 4d- Baby A measured 7w 0d and Baby B measured 7w 1d. Two perfect little miracles.
We asked the nurse how often this happens… in her words. “I don’t want to say it never happens because well, clearly it has, but it isn’t common, your twins are rare.” … a few other things were said…. “Share a placenta…. 100 percent identical….”
We gathered ourselves and walked out of the office with the biggest smiles on our face. Each of us with our own thoughts of concerns, joys, overwhelming love, and happiness. Then the logical thoughts started to settle in… 2 car seats, 2 cribs, double the diapers, double the wipes… and also double the giggles, double the love, 2 times the first steps, 2 times the first smiles. WOW. It was all so overwhelming.
John went back to work and I hurried home. WOW!! TWINS!!! I realized I skipped the multiples chapter in one of my many parenting books I bought at Barnes and Nobles.... So I went back to read up. They gave the general information- how much weight to gain, you’ll have more hormones in your body, etc. But then my mind went back to the appointment….. “Rare…. One placenta….” What does that all mean? First-time-mom-FBI-investigator was in full force.
I have learned a ton about twins since the discovery of our two miracles. Here is a short list of some twin facts found on Wikipedia.com:
Women who have a family history of fraternal twins have a higher chance of producing fraternal twins themselves, as there is a genetically linked tendency to hyper-ovulate. There is no known genetic link for identical twinning. (Our little miracles are identical… so no genetic link)
Identical twins do not have the same fingerprints, because even within the confines of the womb, the fetuses touch different parts of their environment, giving rise to small variations in their corresponding prints and thus making them unique
There are four different types of identical twins- DiDi, MoDi, MoMo, Conjoined
The image gives a good visual of the difference in identical twins. From the slim amount of information we were given at our first two ultrasound appointments we were classified as MoMo twins- one placenta and one amniotic sac. The differences between the identical twin variations were explained to me like this- DiDi twins (Dichorionic/Diamniotic) live in the same house (uterus) but have their own bedrooms (placenta) and have their own bed (amniotic sac). MoDi twins (Monochorionic/Diamniotic) live in the same house, share a bedroom but have their own bed. MoMo twins (Monochorionic/ Monoamniotic) live in the same house, share the same bedroom and share the same bed. Conjoined twins share everything including a body part.
We found out on May 31st that the twins indeed shared the same bedroom and they were so close in the ultrasound that it would appear they had no dividing membrane. The highest risk associated with MoMo twins is cord entanglement. This can be life threatening and in the U.S. moms go in-patient between 24-27 weeks for the remainder of the pregnancy for close monitoring of both babies and delivery if they see “decels” or decelerations in either babies heart beat or if one or both shows signs of distress.
The days following the May 31st and June 14th appointments were FULL OF EMOTION! The obvious, SUPER excited emotion, followed by the paralyzing fear that comes from the unknown and the inability to really help my children, my babies, my twins. The rollercoaster of emotion is exhausting and mentally taxing.
In the end, I turned it over to God and pray for my little miracles everyday.