Farnborough Sands

Twice the love

On May 14th 2011 I gave birth to my twins, Ethan & Oscar....

Ethan & Oscar were identical twin boys who were conceived naturally, I was the “1 in 250.”

At our 16 weeks scan, we were told they had TTTS (twin twin transfusion syndrome). We were admitted from Frimley Park to St George’s in London as an emergency. We were seen by Professor Basky Thilaganathan. After a detail scan, we were given three options. The first, do nothing & let nature have its way, the outcome being that I lose them. The second, have laser ablation surgery to try & save both of them. The third, medical termination. We opted for the surgery, I had to try anything.

The surgery was carried out at St George’s. As the procedure was rare, the theatre was full of professionals & trainee staff members (over 30 to count!) I was awake but numbed from the chest down & mildly sedated. The professor cut through my womb & inserted a camera followed by a laser. We watched the whole procedure on a big screen. He lasered blood vessels in my placenta to even the flow between the twins. After he finished, they drained so much fluid from my womb, I remember looking down & I couldn’t believe they were allowed to do that. I will be completely honest, it was not a pleasant experience. The only good part was seeing the twins in real time via the camera that was in my womb. It was like an animated video!

Time passed, the twins had survived the surgery. Everyone was positive, telling me things would be fine from here but I didn’t feel so sure. Soon after, I was in agony. I was pretty sure the pain in my back was not “normal” pregnancy pain. I was admitted into Frimley Park for monitoring. Within 4 hours of arriving, I began bleeding. We were taken to the Rowan suite. I was not told what this room was until after I had got there. I very quickly realised.

A midwife visited and asked if I knew what was happening. I remember looking at her thinking, why would she ask me that? I looked away and simply said “my babies are dead”. I didn’t need a professional to tell me, I didn’t need a scan, I just knew.

My labour began naturally, I coped with as many contractions as I could before they pumped me with morphine. My waters broke the next morning, Oscar was born at 1pm that day and Ethan took his time, finally arriving at 11:15pm. All formed, tiny but beautiful. My pregnancy & all the dreams that came with it, had stopped half way through. There was nothing anyone could do. It wasn’t meant to be this way.

We spent 4 days in total in the Rowan Suite. The twins with us in the cold nursery. I was given a Sands memory box and at the time I honestly didn’t think too much of it. Everything was a complete blur. That memory box is now the most precious possession that I have. I had no idea how much that box of mementos would mean to me. I don’t need to explain the pain of leaving the hospital and not taking your baby... the pain can’t be explained.

At the follow up appointment with my consultant, she explained I had contracted an infection. They believed it was from the laser surgery and my body had gone into rejection. If I hadn’t had the surgery, I would of lost them. I had the surgery & still lost them. Ethan & Oscar were not meant for this crazy world.

I have since had two more sons. My eldest was born at 30 weeks weighing 2lb 11oz. My youngest born at 32 weeks weighing 3lb 2oz. After my traumatic pregnancies & detailed placenta research, it turns out I have an underlying condition.

I know I will never be the same again. I carry the twins with me every day. I will always keep their memory alive.