Our fate though was not to bow to defeat. It was not through great intellect or skill that we managed to avert disaster. It was through determination and a series of fateful circumstances that gave us our daughters. Early on we found out our pregnancy was to be twins and not just one. At the time there was no discernable membrane and our OB incorrectly diagnosed them MoMo. This would prove to be both a positive and a negative. We immediately began weekly U/S monitoring.

The MoMo diagnosis meant that we would be heading to a Perinatologist at week 16. We were well studied on Monoamniotic conditions and were armed with all the right questions. We knew what to look for on the U/S and we felt confident that we could manage the condition. The Perinatologist saw us and confirmed that he could not find a membrane and we felt sure that MoMo was the situation. He, however found something that was not quite right. He was not silent, but was unwilling to commit to a lot of real answers. We were taken to another room where the office had a new machine that could generate better resolution. With the better machine he found a membrane. Noel (baby B donor) was shrink-wrapped to the side of the womb. I knew immediately what it meant when he said she was a “Stuck” twin. Having spent time on the MoMo sites, I knew what TTTS was. The first time I went to the TTTS Foundation site I gasped out loud and said ‘My goodness I am glad we are not facing TTTS’. My heart sank immediately when I heard the news.

The doctor gave us a 5% chance of having one baby, let alone 2. He ran down our options: Termination, Terminate One, Do Nothing, Amnio Reductions or Experimental Surgery. He explained that there was a doctor or two that had been performing experimental surgery on TTTS patient, but that if we were his kids he would tell us to stay as far away from that as possible and to not even think about looking up information about it on the internet. That night we e-mailed Dr. Quintero’s office. The next morning we had an appointment for the following Monday and the OR was reserved for Tuesday. Surgery happened as scheduled. Wednesday we saw Noel’s bladder for the first time in the pregnancy. There was 2cm of fluid as well around her and we saw her move her limbs for the first time as well. We followed Dr. Quintero out the door of the hospital as he headed home for the 4 day Thanksgiving weekend. 4 trips to Tampa later, Dr. Quintero declared the surgery a success and released us to the Peri of our choice at home. We again followed him out the door for the Christmas weekend. It was Christmas eve.

The sac around Natalie (Baby A Recipient) ruptured at ~28 weeks. This was due to a tear and not from the surgery or TTTS in any way. Regardless it sent Laura to the hospital until the girls were born 4 weeks later and 50 days early. 13 days of NICU and they were home. They had no real complications other than gaining fat and learning to suck as all preemies must do.

God Bless and keep the Faith. There is always hope.

Laura and Eric Barr

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