It was the day before Rachael and Govind where scheduled to fly to Disney World for a family vacation when an unexpected diagnosis abruptly changed their plans. A routine ultrasound showed that their unborn twin boys had twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), a condition in which the blood passes unequally between twins that share a placenta. Without intervention, it can be fatal for both twins. Their doctor suggested they go to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Two days later, Rachael underwent fetoscopic selective laser ablation, a procedure in which the Center’s skilled surgeons used a special laser to disconnect the shared blood vessels between the twins with the hope of halting the progression of TTTS. Read more about Aiden and Dillon's journey.
Rachael walked through the doors of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia when she was 17 weeks pregnant with her twins. Look at them now.
Aiden and Dillon's Twin-Twin Transfusion Story: Look at Them Now
Rachel: Just last night we were sitting in the living room playing with the boys and Govind said 'Could you imagine what it would be like if they weren't here?' And I said 'I wouldn't want to imagine that.'
During the middle of the ultrasound the ultrasound tech — I could tell that she was actually a little upset. She brought the doctor in, he looked at me and looked at the ultrasound. And he said “It doesn't look good.” He said “It looks like you have twin to twin transfusion syndrome and I need you to go to the CHOP immediately.”
Twin to twin transfusion syndrome is when there is an imbalance between the babies. There is — when you have the one placenta and the two sacs the one baby can actually steal the fluids and the nutrients from the other baby. It's actually harmful to both babies.
They made the appointment, had us come here to CHOP, for a whole day testing.
When we met with the doctors afterwards and they said “You know your option, your best option, is going to be surgery.” It kind of then sunk in. And I was terrified. They made a small incision. And they go in with a camera and a laser. They sever the connections between the two babies. Between the two sacs.
Within 24 hours we could tell that the surgery was successful. We were just —(sigh). The feeling that your children's lives are in danger and then to find out that they're going to be okay. They're going to grow up to be healthy boys, it is the best feeling that you can imagine.
Gorvind: I was so happy. I couldn't put it in words.
Rachel: I ended up going to labor at 37 weeks.
Gorvind: And I cut the umbilical cord. And, uh. It was the greatest thing I'd ever seen. Little things.
Rachel: As soon as I heard the crying my heart just stopped. I was so excited. I was like 'Oh, they're healthy. They're born and they're here.' They are just the world to us.
Gorvind: Sometimes I just marvel just staring at my babies. It's like 'Has this really happened?' we could have lost both of them. Just incredible. All the dedication and hard work, and also intelligence behind this field.
The words can't express how thankful we are.
Rachel: I walked through the doors of CHOP when I was 17 weeks pregnant with the twins.
Gorvind: And look at them now.
Topics Covered: Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS)
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