16 May 2021

Twin dad, Adam Wilkinson, is running not one, but TWO marathons (85k) in one day, over the South Downs Way, to raise money for Twins Trust.

Adam says, “The help and support received from the charity has been brilliant and I want to do my bit to help ensure others can benefit. My wife and I especially want to support the campaign to ensure the NICE Multiple Pregnancy Guidelines are followed consistently in all hospitals.”

 Adam Wilkinson with identical twin girls

“We were pretty shocked when the sonographer told us we were having MCDA (identical) twins. She went on to say that the pregnancy was high-risk, we’d need fortnightly scans and the pregnancy would be consultant-led. That was the sum total of the information and help we got at that point. We then had a miserable two weeks trying to research ourselves to find out what it all meant.”

“When we finally got to see a consultant, things didn’t improve much. We were told ‘these sorts of pregnancies can be a bit of a train wreck’ and ‘you’ve got a long way to go to the age of viability,’ which was obviously not what we needed to hear.  We had done lots of research through the Twins Trust. We had the multiple pregnancy checklist and had become aware of the NICE guidelines, which we knew have been proven to lead to better outcomes. However, we had to constantly raise aspects and check decisions ourselves against the guidelines as they were not otherwise followed. It just feels wrong that we had to shoulder this responsibility because we were having twins.

You should get the best chance at the best outcomes regardless of whether you’re having multiples or a singleton.

Adam adds, “we dreaded our scans as the sonographers didn’t seem to have the confidence needed with multiple pregnancies. Every two weeks we had to endure the sinking feeling of being told that they couldn’t detect any amniotic fluid around one of the babies. We waited, stricken with anxiety, until someone more experienced could come and assist.”

“It wasn’t easy to do, but we pushed to move hospitals. We were fortunate to end up under the care of the Foetal Medicine Team at University Hospital Southampton. This was a real turning point for us and the care we received was amazing. We came to look forward to the scans, as we knew regardless of what they showed, we were going to get the best possible care and the best outcome for our situation. For the first time we didn’t feel the pressure of having to research options ourselves.”

“Our beautiful girls were born a little earlier than expected and we had a few days in NICU, with the Covid-19 pandemic snowballing in the world outside. Fortunately, we missed any of the restrictions and we were able to maintain our visits with them. After 4 days the girls were well enough to be moved to Special Care in Winchester Hospital, but after separating them to transport in close succession, a lack of space meant that they were unable to be reunited for another two days.  My wife was expressing milk for both and having to travel between hospitals. This was one of the most difficult and stressful times and should never have been allowed to happen. I’m not sure the hospital had really fully considered the impact.”

“We found first-hand that not all medical professionals had the experience and training needed to deliver the best outcomes for multiple pregnancies, even when the information is readily available. I find this terrifying and things need to change. This is why I’m looking to complete the 85k Race To The King event in June to raise money for Twins Trust. The charity is the voice of expectant parents and they do so much for multiples- not only through membership, support and information- but trying to change things medically. The Twins Trust Maternity Engagement Team work hard to champion the use of the NICE Guidelines and I’m sure this approach helped our girls have the outcome they did. Everyone deserves their best outcome.”