TTTS: From South Carolina to Texas



On Feb. 23, 2016 my husband and I were happy to learn we were expecting twins. This was the very first set of twins for both sides of our families.

After learning about the risks of carrying multiples, especially with my age, the ultrasound technician and my OB/GYN thought for sure we were going to have monoamniotic-monochorionic (identical twins who share the placenta and amniotic sac) twins because the membrane was not visible.

We were soon referred to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist (MFM) at Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, S.C. April 4 was our first visit; everything looked great and we were told they saw a membrane and the twins were now monochorionic-diamniotic (identical twins who share a placenta but not an amniotic sac). We were thrilled with the news, but also still scared.

May 11 was our next appointment at 17-18 weeks. We did an ultrasound and received some unexpected news. Our baby B had very little fluid in its sac and they barely saw a bladder. We were then referred to another MFM who was much more experienced with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) and its surgeries – in Texas. We flew out the following morning to Houston. Once we arrived at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, we were greeted by Annie in the Fetal Center and she took us to see Dr. Alireza Shamshirsaz and his team, along with Dr. Ahmed Nassr. We had our first ultrasound, and shortly afterward, they spoke to me and my husband about the surgery and the risks of the procedure … that we may lose one or both of the babies. It was a scary thought, but everyone there reassured us we were in VERY good hands and we were with the BEST doctors. After waiting a few days, and many ultrasounds later, I had the laparoscopic laser ablation surgery. The day after surgery we were blown away to see that baby B’s bladder was now visible AND the fluid in the sac was starting to build up.

We had our next appointment at MUSC on Aug. 23 for a non-stress test. After arriving there, I began showing signs that I was going in labor. On Aug. 25 at 5:17 p.m. our 3 lb. 10 oz. and 4 lb. 5 oz. miracle baby boys came into this world. Luckily, they were only on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for 24 hours. Then, after four days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) they were transferred to the Level II nursery.

After a long month in the Level II nursery, we were finally going HOME!

If it weren't for Dr. Nassr and Dr. Shami our two beautiful miracles would not be here with us today. With their first birthday coming up in a few months, my husband and I could not be more BLESSED and GRATEFUL to have been in the hands of amazing doctors such as Dr. Nassr.