18+3 weeks scan was holding a confirmed IUGR diagnosis for us.
I don’t know how you feel about acronyms during pregnancy, but they’re starting to freak me out. First I hear one, I don’t even know what they mean, and there are so many of them! Then I try to figure them out with searching, and wish I didn’t do it. Wish I never had to.
This is exactly the case with IUGR – Intrauterine Growth Restriction. I wish I never had to learn this word and everything behind it.
Wikipedia says “Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) refers to poor growth of a fetus while in the mother’s womb during pregnancy. The causes can be many, but most often involve poor maternal nutrition or lack of adequate oxygen supply to the fetus.”
Now if anyone is just meeting with this word and trying to figure out what the heck is going on – you are not responsible! Poor maternal nutrition doesn’t mean you did something wrong! This is coming from my very empathic, friendly and humane doctor.
In our case, we are having MCDA twins (another acronym, right?!) which is Monochronic Diamniotic – identical twins in separate sacs sharing one placenta is what it means. And because my little miracles are sharing the placenta, the situation here is that one gets a bigger share than the other. The umbilical cord’s blood-flow is normal for one twin, and is poor for the other.
The smaller twin, therefore, is significantly smaller. There can be a heap load of complications along our way, tough decisions we might or might not need to make. Even though I’m struggling hard to accept there is nothing I can physically do to help my smaller baby catch up and grow big and strong inside, for now, I chose to be positive and optimistic, and take each scan as it comes, week by week. We will think about worse cases when we get there.
TTTS means Twin To Twin Transfusion Syndrome – “is a disease of the placenta (or afterbirth) that affects identical twin pregnancies” says ttsfoundation.org. In this case, the placenta that connects the twins or triplets etc. has abnormal blood vessels, that connects the blood circulation of the babies.
One twin can become a donor twin – that baby will pump some of their blood to the other twin, the recipient. This is a dangerous situation for all babies connected because one can have too few, the other can have too much blood.
Our technology nowadays already lets doctors treat this condition, very often successfully! There’s more to be done to care for this disease than for IUGR, in which case they can’t do anything to make the baby grow more inside.
There are support groups on Facebook with mums going through the same, or success stories, don’t be afraid to hit them up and ask for advice and support!
We are at risk for TTTS too, and we are at risk for so many other outcomes, scarier and happier, tragedic and miracle-like. I believe in magic and miracles.
Pray for our babies! ❤