Conjoined Twins D&E

by Anonymous

October 26, 2020

On February 2, 2018 I went in for my 20 week ultrasound. My husband and I were so excited to find out the gender of our baby. We talked about what it would be like to have 2 girls and how different it would be to have a boy. The ultrasound tech started with the anatomy scan, pointing out different body parts. We found out the gender, another girl! We were so excited! The baby was moving around a lot and she said she was having trouble capturing certain images. She said she was going to ask the doctor if she should schedule us to come back again. She left the room, and when she returned with the doctor the whole mood changed. The doctor informed us that the ultrasound tech had come to get her because she was concerned with what she was seeing. She pulled up the ultrasound so that we could take a look. Our baby, which had appeared completely normal at our 8 week scan, was actually a very rare form of conjoined twins. They shared one upper body, but there were 4 legs and 2 spines. We were in complete shock. I don’t think either of us knew how to feel in that moment. All I could do was cry. They still needed a urine sample from me and as I went into the bathroom, I could hear the ultrasound tech out in the hallway talking to someone. She said “that brain was not normal”. I was so upset that I walked out and completely forgot to leave them a sample.

We were scheduled to see a high risk doctor 4 days later. Those 4 days were torture. We hardly knew any information and we hadn’t gotten any ultrasound pictures from that visit. We both tried googling but our specific type of conjoined twins was so rare that even google could barely find any information. I found an article about one successful case of separating conjoined twins that looked similar to ours and that gave me hope. At this point I was trying to be optimistic and thinking ahead to future surgeries that would have to happen to separate the twins, but in the back of my head, all I could think about was that nurse. “That brain was not normal”. We met with the high risk doctor and had another ultrasound done. Things were much worse than we had thought. While the babies appeared to have one upper body, they had multiples of many organs, including two hearts. Their two spines both connected to their brain, which was like nothing any of the doctors had ever seen. We were informed that even if they survived the pregnancy, which was unlikely, separation would never be possible. We were given the choice to terminate the pregnancy or to carry to term. He needed an answer as soon as possible because I was already past 20 weeks and in Kentucky you couldn’t end a pregnancy past 22 weeks. We went home and talked about it. This was not an easy decision and probably the hardest thing either of us ever had to, or ever will have to decide in our lives. We made the decision to terminate the pregnancy.

I know a lot of my friends would not agree with that decision. That’s made very clear to me every day by what I see them post on social media. But let me tell you, there has never been a day that I regretted my decision. Those weeks were the worst of my life, and I can’t imagine the pain of carrying a baby for another 5 months, knowing that at any moment they could (and very likely would) die. We made an appointment to have a D&E. I remember that day like it was yesterday. They wheeled me into the operating room and had to wait to start my anesthesia because I was sobbing. Those babies were wanted, and they were so loved in the short time that I was able to carry them. I’m so thankful for our families, who completely supported our decision and never made us feel judged. I couldn’t have gotten through that time without them. When people post about abortion being murder, and anyone getting an abortion being a baby killer, please consider the women who got pregnant on purpose, wanted these babies and had their lives shattered when the pregnancies didn’t work out. Please consider that you don’t know all the facts relating to someone’s individual story. And please consider that many women’s lives are put at risk because of complicated pregnancies and they need to be able to make a choice for their own well-being. If you’ve never been through it, you can never begin to imagine the pain.

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!