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Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome

Fetal transfusion syndrome (or twin to twin transfusion) is a rare condition that occurs only in identical twins. It involves the transference of blood from one fetus directly to the other in the womb.

My niece found out she was pregnant about 10 months ago. If that was not enough of a surprise, she also learned she had twins. Considering she already had two kids, the expectation of two more was a bit to handle. To make matters much worse, her twins were diagnosed with TTS which meant one fetus only had a 30% change of surviving. The mother had to lie on her left side for most of the pregnancy. One fetus gets all the blood, vitamins, etc. before the second twin which makes one twin grow faster and deprives the other of nutrients, etc. The first twin is in danger too though since the first twin's heart has to work harder.

The mother was given the option to abort one baby. She opted not to abort though. She delivered via an emergency C section at 6 months. One twin weighed 1lb 10oz and the other weighed 1lb 9oz. Both were born at the same time; their umbilical cords were tangled so much they had to lift both babies at once. Neither can say he is older than the other.

You can imagine that there were complications being born so early and so small. Both were in incubators for over a month but they finally started gaining weight. At four months of age (or 1 month depending on how you calculate it), both are home and doing well all things considered. One had to have eye surgery and will probably have tunnel vision. Both will likely have some breathing issues for several years. One of both may need a kidney transplant.

Anyone else have any experience with TTS?
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