23 July 2021

Harriet thought she had passed the point of having TTTS with her twins after reaching almost 25 weeks; but in a rapid turn of events, the condition was picked up and she had emergency laser surgery.

Newborn twin girls

“I knew about the risk of TTTS as I was told about them as soon as the scan revealed identical twins, but I really thought at this stage everything would be OK,” said Harriet.

“I started to feel reduced movements and unfortunately was given some misinformation from a midwife about twin movements.

“The following day I started to feel sick and had shortness of breath, so I took myself into hospital and was referred to King’s in London pretty much immediately and ended up having laser surgery for TTTS.

“As a result of this, we were warned that twin 1only had a 10% chance of survival. This was heart-breaking to hear. The twins were also affected by sFGR (selective fetal growth restriction); there was now a 30% difference in their size.

At this point I hit rock bottom. I did not enjoy the rest of my pregnancy; I was extremely anxious. The team at King’s were amazing and I was scanned every week which was incredibly reassuring.

“Things seemed to be improving, but at 33 weeks I started bleeding. The following day I went into labour. The girls were born via emergency c section at 33+1 weeks.”

F and E arrived safely into the world in March 2019 weighing 3lbs 10oz and 4lbs 7oz respectively.

“After all the worry and anxiety, we were thrilled to meet our two gorgeous girls, little sisters for H, who was 2 at the time.”

The girls spent just three weeks in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) and are now thriving two-year-olds who will be taking part in the Walk for TTTS 2022.

“I hope we can all go as a family” said Harriet who is married to Lewis, “we’ll have the family on hand to help with the children.

“Last year we raised funds for TTTS at the girls’ 1st Birthday party. I volunteer for Twins Trust as a moderator on the community forums supporting families with twins and more which I absolutely love.”

Harriet wants to highlight the importance of ensuring mother’s seek medical advice if they have any concerns during their pregnancy.

 “Sometimes we think they’ll (healthcare professionals) think we’re wasting their time or that their concern is ‘silly’ or insignificant which can prevent us from getting checked out. If I had waited to seek advice any longer, my girls probably wouldn’t be here today. Always listen to your gut and if in doubt, get checked out.

I know how important the charity is to so many families, including myself, and the research work that it funds.

Twins leaving hospital and going home