Avera Medical Minute AMcK: A mother’s pregnancy journey with Mono Mono twins

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Twins account for every three of 100 births in the United States. One of the rarest forms of twins are Mono Mono twins. They occur every 1 in 10,000 births. Mono Mono twins must be monitored very closely during pregnancy.

“I’m just happy they’re here. It was a long, stressful road but I did everything I could to get them here and they’re here,” said Kirsti Garrett.

Henson and Rowe were born at just 32 weeks to mom Garrett.

“Rowe weighed 3 pounds, 12 ounces and Henson weighed 4 pounds, 1 ounce,” said Garrett.

Garrett’s pregnancy was anything but normal. At 12 weeks, she learned Henson and Rowe were Mono Mono twins. At 24 weeks, Garrett was admitted to the hospital.

“I was admitted at 24 weeks because that’s the age of viability. If the babies need to be delivered, any time after that, then there’s a chance of them surviving at 24 weeks,” said Garrett.

“Monochorionic-Monoamniotic twins are where they actually have one sac around both of them and they share one placenta,” said Dr. Jason Picconi, perinatologist.

Dr. Picconi was Garrett’s perinatologist during her pregnancy. He says mothers of Mono Mono twins are admitted at 24 weeks because complications can arise very quickly.

“Really the big problem is the fact that they share that one sac of fluid and they’re connected by their umbilical cords to the placenta. And so as they move around, they actually twist their cords on each other and they can get knots that form in them,” said Dr. Picconi.

Dr. Picconi says there’s no preventing the coiling of the cords in Mono Mono twins, which is why daily monitoring of mom and babies is critical.

“All you can do is watch and see if you start to notice decelerations in the babies’ heart rates. That would be seen on monitoring and that would give you a sign that maybe you need to move towards delivery sooner,” said Dr. Picconi.
“They are three-weeks-old but they are technically still 35-weekers. I should be pregnant for five more weeks. It’s amazing that they are doing as well as they are,” said Garrett.

Garrett says it’s important not to let the fear of complications take over your thoughts.

“Because if you do, it’s just going to stress you out more and you have to stay positive for your babies because they need that. I don’t think there are words for it about how happy they make me. I just love them so much. I’m so glad that I can be their mom,” said Garrett.