Thursday, March 3, 2011

Identical, or not identical? That is the question!

Okay, so at the ultrasound we were told it was 'highly likely' that the babies are identical as they are sharing one placenta, and just a thin membrane seperates the babies in the amiotic sac. Below I will share what I have learned about that since:

A) I was addicted to google BEFORE this happened.


B) I am double addicted to google now.

So first, a photo. They believe We are the second photo down in the following series and considered 'Monochorionic diamniotic twins'

Monochorionic means they developed from a single egg and a single sperm
Diamniotic means they are in two amiotic sacs. Sort of. As you can see in the photo.

I found this explanation online that explains it clearly. I think. HA! I have made the font red for the sentance that describes us :)

Here goes...twins can be identical (30%) or non identical (70%). Dichorionic means two placentas, and diamniotic means two amniotic fluid filled sacs. A non identical twin pregnancy is always dichorionic diamniotic, which means that your babies, despite both being in your womb at the same time, have their own placenta and amniotic sac. It becomes more complicated with identical twins. They are originally from one embryo that split into two. If the embryo splits very early on, then the twins are identical but have separate placentas and amniotic sacs (dichorionin, diamniotic). If the embryo splits a little later, the result is identical twins that share a placenta (monochorionic) but are in separate sacs (diamniotic). Very late splitting of the embryo is rare but can result in conjoined (siamese) twins, or two babies that have the same placenta and are in the same sac (monochorionic, monoamniotic). This type of twins is at highest risk of various complications of pregnancy.

Now, any of you who know me know I'm slightly OCD, and slightly a paranoid freak when it comes to being pregnant. I read the following and now am totally freaked out, yet determined to deliver two healthy babies that do not require nicu stays. That is my goal!!

'Twins in general are at increased risk for certain complications including premature birth, death, and anomalies. When monozygotic twins split later than 3-4 days after fertilization, they are called 'monochorionic' twins(which is what we are) and they have complications which are many-fold higher that those of dichorionic twins. Monochorionic twins are at especially high risk of complications and death because they often share the placenta and have one outer membrane (chorion) as compared with dichorionic twins which have a separate membrane (dichorionic). Monochotionic twins have a significantly higher risk of complications such as twin-to-twin-transfusion-syndrome (TTTS) and require more intensive surveillance during pregnancy. Many doctors deliver monochorionic twins around 36 weeks to decrease the risk of complications.

So yes, I am now officially a REALLY paranoid freak. Thank you google...for freaking me the heck out.

1 comment:

TwinMomMichelle said...

Just stumbled upon your blog while researching for a presentation for my genetics class on the DNA variations in monozygotic twins. I am just so glad that I am not the only person that read everything they could get their hands on when pregnant with twins. The truly great thing about your post is that you published it on my twins 3rd birthday! Good luck with your pregnancy. I'm sure all will be as it should be.