Jessica and the MoMo Twins
Swarms of thoughts enter parents’ minds when they become pregnant. Some moments are spent dreaming of what their children will look like and what hobbies they will have, while others are spent worrying about what the future holds. Parents research everything from dietary advice to baby shower etiquette. As imaginable, that research often doubles when parents are expecting twins.
Although many people categorize twins into two categories, identical and fraternal, they can also be described using terms such as DiDi, MoDi, and Momo. Often known as “DiDi Twins” dichorionic/diamniotic twins (also known as DCDA Twins) are the most common type of twins and have the lowest risk of being carried to term, according to HelloBee.com. Although the name sounds complicated, dichorionic/diamniotic simply means that each baby has their own placenta and amniotic sac with their own amniotic fluid. In fact, all fraternal twins are considered dichorionic/diamniotic twins and some can be identical if the egg splits very early after fertilization. Monochorionic Diamniotic (MoDi) twins share a placenta but have their own amniotic sacs and fluids. They are considered to be a slightly higher risk pregnancy than DiDi twins. The rarest type of twins is Monochorionic Monoamniotic (MoMo), meaning that they share a placenta, amniotic sacs, and fluids. There is absolutely no barrier between the twins while they are developing in the womb, which also makes this the riskiest pregnancy of the three.
When Jessica Thompson, a young woman from LaGrange, Georgia became aware that she was pregnant with MoMo twins, she immediately began to research and study possible complications and risk-reducing strategies. There were several emotional and physical challenges as she began to prepare for the birth of her daughters. In a scholarly fashion, she moved away from blogs and began to read detailed scientific journal articles. Jessica said “the key reason I knew the twins would be born early and staying in the NICU is because of the entangling of the umbilical cords earlier on in the pregnancy due to no barrier between the babies. That was the biggest risk factor and fear throughout my pregnancy once we found out they were MoMo twins. The cords thickened as the babies grew, making the twists and knots tighter. We had no idea at the time how tangled the cords were, but the amazing Dr. Fortson from Maternal Fetal Medicine, while only there for a short time, had the rare experience and knowledge on the subject to prepare me for my inpatient stay in the hospital. This allowed the hospital to monitor the twins heart rates until cord restriction was indicated, not going past 32 weeks. At 32 weeks, risk outweighed benefit. So while I do credit my mother for preparing me for an extremely positive experience at the Ronald McDonald house, she’s not why I knew I could be staying there. I credit that to Dr. Fortson.” Jessica’s mother had high praise for the Ronald McDonald House of West Georgia, as she stayed here in the same house after giving birth to her youngest child, Jessica’s younger brother. With reassurance from her mother’s positive experience with Ronald McDonald House Charities of West Georgia, Jessica easily adjusted to the house after delivering her daughters, Ayah and Inara, where she stayed for six weeks, 5 of those weeks visiting both babies in the NICU and the last week of her stay was spent both caring for Inara at the House and visiting Ayah who wasn’t quite ready to leave the NICU just yet.
“I felt at home,” was Jessica’s first response when asked to describe her experience with the house. As she cared for her prematurely born daughters, she could leave the hospital at night knowing that she was going to a warm and inviting house. Caring for an ill loved one can inspire fear, doubt, and worry and it is a pleasure for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of West Georgia to care for parents, while they care for their children. Jessica summarizes her experience by saying, “They help you help yourself and that’s what the world should be about.”
Jessica is now pursuing her education to become a licensed practical nurse, with aspirations of becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She credits Ronald McDonald House Charities of West Georgia with helping her discover her purpose in life, by allowing her to interact with new mothers who needed support, resources, and information to the other nursing mothers in the House. Now, Jessica plans to use her passion and education to help mothers gain confidence in their maternal abilities. Ayah and Inara are growing and developing wonderfully! Although they were born 11 weeks early, they are gaining fine motor skills at an accelerated rate. Jessica expresses her love and appreciation for the role that the Ronald McDonald House Charities of West Georgia have played in the lives of herself and her beautiful daughters.
Blue. “Types of Twins and Implications .” Hellobee, 8 Jan. 2012, 6:00am, www.hellobee.com/2013/01/08/types-of-twins-and-the-implications/.