23rd September 2021

Being told about the possibility of conjoined twins at one of your early scans is not what Kent mum Lacey Bull was expecting.

“I went for an early scan at seven weeks because I was bleeding. I thought I was going to miscarry; I never expected to hear it was twins.”

But something wasn’t right.

At nine weeks the scans were difficult to interpret and Lacey was even told the twins could be conjoined because they were so close together and there was hardly any fluid around them.

“I went through so many emotions at this time. I was supposed to wait another two weeks for a scan on the NHS, but I couldn’t wait and had a private one. I wanted to know as much as I could.

“At the private scan we were told the twins were in fact MCMA (Monochorionic Monoamniotic) – something we’d never heard of, and I was referred straight away to the fetal medicine team at the William Harvey Hospital Ashford, Kent.”

MCMA twins are incredibly rare and a consultant told them in 25 years she had only ever seen two such pregnancies.

MCMA twins not only share a placenta, but also share the same amniotic sac, sadly carry a higher risk of complications and also have a risk of cord entanglement.

“Of course I asked about the outcome of these pregnancies,” said Lacey, who admits she was already googling what MCMA twins meant, “and I was told one lady lost both twins and the other lost one of her twins.

“I was feeling so anxious and scared at this time; everything I was reading was negative. It was really worrying.

When I got to 3 months I started to take each day as it came and at every scan, which took place every two weeks, I held my breath waiting to hear the news.

“This was made even harder because the scans were taking place during lockdown and my husband Harry was not allowed to come with me. So at every scan I was sat there, on my own waiting and worrying about what the scan would show.”

Fortunately, every scan was good, and when Lacey got to 26 weeks she started to relax a little.

“I felt a lot happier day after day and the scans were showing no issues at all. At 20 weeks there was a tiny weight difference but no-one was concerned.”

Another scan there were concerns about the cord getting tangled because sometimes it was difficult to get a good image.

At 32 + 2 weeks Lacey had a planned c-section and gave birth to small, but very healthy girls Evie (3lb 2) and Elsie (4lb 2). After their birth at the William Harvey Hospital, two cots became available in NICU and the girls stayed there for monitoring and weight gain and Elsie needed a bit of help with breathing.

“I was always worried about Evie as the smaller twin but it was Elsie who needed a bit of help and also has a hematoma on her back which needs monitoring.

Both girls are doing so well now. They turned one in June 2021 and their big brother Harry just loves them to bits.

“It was a tough time for him as he wasn’t allowed into the hospital to meet his sisters because of the Covid restrictions.

“I wanted to share my story because good outcomes do happen; an MCMA diagnosis can be scary, but there is hope and we are proof of that!”