12 December 2021

“We’d previously suffered a missed miscarriage before our 2-year old daughter Edie was born which meant that I was incredibly anxious, so we booked an 8-week reassurance scan,” said Lauren from Worcestershire.

“I’ll never forget the moment that I saw the flicker on the screen, followed by the sonographer saying “there’s the heartbeat…and there’s the other one”.

“Once we were over the initial shock, we were absolutely elated.  Identical twins.  It was then a case of waiting for our 12-week appointment and hoping that everything remained well.

“At our 12-week scan, we were delighted to find out that both babies were still thriving and growing well. It was then that we had it confirmed that they were MCDA meaning they shared a placenta and were at risk of developing TTTS.”

TTTS is a rare condition (about 15% of MCDA pregnancies) where the vessel connections within the placenta are not evenly dispensed and there is an imbalance in the blood exchange between the twins.

One twin — the donor twin — gives away more blood than it receives in return and runs the risk of malnourishment and organ failure. The recipient twin receives too much blood and is susceptible to overwork of the heart and other complications.

Lauren said: “We had scans fortnightly from 16 weeks but following our 20-week scan and a subsequent scan in the fetal medicine department of Worcester Hospital our boys were diagnosed with severe TTTS. 

“We were referred to Birmingham Women's Hospital and the fantastic team there performed laser ablation surgery and an amnioreduction to try to save our boys.

“The surgery seemed to go well but at the follow-up scan, which was approaching 22 weeks, we were told that Noah, our recipient, hadn't survived.

“Our donor, Bodhi, continued to grow and thrive and our focus was on him and making sure he arrived safely.

“Throughout this whole pregnancy, I’d found reading stories about TTTS on the Twins Trust website really reassuring in preparation, so I was trying to think positively.

“Bodhi did so well for a long time, we genuinely began to allow ourselves to believe he was coming home, but at 32 weeks we received our second devastating blow, his heart had stopped.”

Noah and Bodhi were born silently at 32 weeks on the 5th June 2021.

TTTS is such a devastating condition that so little is still known about because it is so rare.  It is vital that more research can be done so that the outcomes can be more positive for more families.

“Getting back to exercising was really important to me and my recovery following all that we have been through these last several months. We’re still grieving but the support we’ve received has been amazing, from the consultant to the bereavement midwife and the Bereavement Support Group at Twins Trust.

“It has been, and continues to be a very difficult time, but there is so much incredible support out there.”

Getting back to exercise and having something positive to focus on has helped Lauren.

In 2021 Lauren and Tim took part in our annual 10k walk for TTTS  and raised an incredible £2,660.