We got the first and only available appointment today at the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist that my reproductive endocrinologist referred me to; given his referral, they were able to squeeze me in this last minute, which I was grateful for. Chris and I went together; I wasn’t sure I could stomach any more bad news this week, and I absolutely did not want to be by myself if I had to hear more crappy news.
Typically, if you are having any complications during pregnancy, whether it’s preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, or abnormal growth with your fetus, that’s when you’d see a maternal fetal medicine specialist for more careful monitoring and direction. Otherwise, you’d just go to your OB-GYN for routine visits and scans. Sitting in the waiting room here was a bit unnerving; it was very clear I was the only patient in the waiting room who was so early on in her pregnancy; everyone else looked at least six months or more along.
We were invited in, and after undressing waist down, a sonographer came in and performed the longest transvaginal ultrasound I’d ever had, ever. She took so many pictures at so many angles, zoomed in and zoomed out; it was certainly an extremely thorough ultrasound. She confirmed that Twin A no longer had a heart beat, and well, even worse: it had already started shrinking in size even just from yesterday. She also confirmed that Twin B was progressing well, with 171 beats per minute. She took a very close up shot of Twin B and printed it for us. She identified where the brain, head, and tush was. Twin B is currently the size of a kidney bean, and it certainly looked like a little shrimp at this point. She then completed the scan and said the doctor would review the results and come in to discuss with us.
When the doctor came in, she seemed confused as to why we were even here. “Did your fertiilty doctor want to confirm that it was twins….?” she asked, confused. “Yes, it was definitely twins.”
No, I told her. We knew it was twins all along, but the doctor wanted to confirm they were in their own sacs. She said they were, in fact, in their own sacs, so Twin A not progressing would not affect Twin B; Twin B would basically progress as though it was a singleton pregnancy all along. She did say that the two twins did originally share the same placenta, so I had a moni-di pregnancy: this means I had a monochorionic, diamniotic twin pregnancy: one embryo that split into two, which would have been genetically identical offspring. These twins share a single placenta (blood supply) but have separate amniotic sacs.
So thankfully, since they are in separate sacs, Twin B would be unaffected. And I hope for the best for Twin B’s progression. And while I have calmed down since yesterday and feel relief that Twin B will be unaffected by Twin A’s death, I still feel heavy in my heart for A. I was also annoyed that the doctor today seemed pretty un-empathetic and so matter-of-fact. She also just stood in the doorway and made it clear that this would be a quick, couple-of-minutes long conversation. It felt very rushed. While I get that vanishing twin syndrome is very common, she really doesn’t have to be so robotic at sharing this and completely disregard my feelings as the person who was carrying these two embryos. Some doctors are truly just assholes. Given there appeared to be no other complications, she said, I didn’t need to follow up with her and could just go back to my clinic doctor. Thank god, I thought. I did NOT want to continue working with this doctor again. She kind of epitomized everything I hate about the worst New York doctors.
Now, I just have to hope for the best and pray for Twin B; my little embryo that could. You can do this. We got this.