Amelia and Allison Tucker's Journal
Carrying Conjoined Twins
Written Jan 3, 2012 6:48pm
Carrying conjoined twins when you are 5’1 comes with a price. I do not have much room from point A to point B so girls, you must share the room in there. I wish I could teach them about sharing since some days it feels like they are fighting to get away from each other.
I would like to explain to all of you what the doctors have explained to me. When a mother carries twins, or any multiples for that matter, the babies learn to bend and spoon or form together comfortably in the uterus. This means they can move around and even away from each other to get comfortable. The uterus is stretched to house these twins. Here is a picture of regular twins in two different sacs.
These two babies can shift up or down and can turn around until they have room.
However with conjoined twins, they don’t have that chance. I cannot find a photo that shows our situation however the girls face each other stomach to stomach and they cannot turn away from one another. They can’t shift up or down away from one another. They are stuck in this position. So every time they decide to move positions, for example go from heads up near my ribs to heads on my right side and feet on my left, I feel intense pressure and pain. Right now one is head down and other has her head near my right hip. They are going diagonal across my belly. It makes life uncomfortable and my hip really hurt.
My point explaining this is not just to prove the constant uncomfortable feeling I have, the point is that its extremely important they do not let me go past 34 weeks. The uterus has to stretch even more with conjoined twins then regular twins. Being so short, I don’t have much room for the girls to grow and this means the uterus will expand even more. It is so important to deliver at 34 weeks. The risks and danger for me and the girls go up after that.
I am in a very scary position. I feel like a ticking time bomb ready to explode and I am hoping to make it to the time limit and disassemble without exploding. However every kick, every belly jiggle, every hiccup, every tender move I feel from my girls is a reminder that they are there, growing, and as of that day, things are looking good.
Written Dec 30, 2011 6:46pm
Yesterday we had a follow up appointment in Philadelphia at the Children’s Hospital. We went to our ultrasound first and it was great. The girls are about 2lbs each and are doing well. Everything looked great. The high risk doctor was pleased.
We took a tour of the delivery unit and the NICU. It was nice to see everything. We were pleased and very happy with the hospital. It is so big. The room where the girls will be is private and set off away from the others. The girls will get a bigger bed to have more room. We will also have a chance to meet another couple who have a set of girls that were just separated.
We also were able to come up with a plan of where to stay and what to do with Owen during the next couple months. It will be a long year 2012 but we will do what we need to for our girls.
Written Dec 29, 2011 6:44pmMy name is Shellie Tucker. I am married to Greg Tucker. We got married in June 2009. We have a son who is a year and half. His name is Owen Wyatt.
We decided we were going to try for another baby when Owen was 9 months old. I have fertility issues and they were gradually getting worse. Our chances of having a second baby was very slim. We tried month after month with no success. May came around and we discovered we could keep trying but I needed fertility help to get pregnant. We tried with help in June and was unsuccessful. We tried again in July and on July 25th, 2011, my husband’s birthday, we found out I was pregnant. We were so excited and over the moon happy.
The pregnancy seemed to go as normal as possible. I had a ton of morning sickness but otherwise everything was going great. We were currently living in Georgia at the time since my husband was in the Army. I had three ultrasounds and every time our baby had a strong heartbeat. We were even told at our 16 week appointment it looked like a girl.
November 9, 2011 was my husband’s last day working active duty in the Army before taking leave and eventually separating from the service. We left that day and made our journey to New York. We got to New York November 10th. Since I was almost 20 weeks pregnant, I scheduled my anatomy scan for that Monday November 14th. We were so excited to be back with family and to find out what we were having. We were very anxious to see our baby and find out what we were having for sure.
November 14th came around and we went in for our appointment. The first part of our appointment was an ultrasound. I climbed on the bed as my husband sat next to me holding my hand. The tech waved the wand over my belly and quickly removed it. She looked at me and asked how many ultrasounds I had. I told her three prior to this one. The tech put the wand back and we saw two circles on the screen. She asked what we thought that was. We didn’t answer and she said those are two heads. She moved it and we were then showed two little girls with two beautiful beating heartbeats. However the next news we was the biggest shocker. The girls were conjoined.
My husband and I were in complete shock (we still are). We couldn’t believe it. I cried. I had no idea what was happening and it was happening all so fast. Our life was just completely turned upside down. We didn’t have a clue what this meant. We met with the doctor and were told the twins were conjoined but they didn’t appear to share any organs. He told us we would be seeing lots of doctors and might have to go to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. I was far from prepared for this. I had no idea how rare conjoined twins were, what conjoined twins meant or what the process of separation meant.
I went to my first high risk doctor three days later. He did an ultrasound and then met with my husband and my mother and I. He was everything but positive.
After leaving I said I wanted a second opinion at the Children’s Hospital. I wasn’t about to give up. My husband and I named our girls that night. We named them Amelia Lee and Allison June. We were able to get an appointment for the Children’s Hospital November 30th. Those two weeks were the longest. They were full of questions and concerns, tears and happiness. We went through a roller coaster.
Finally the 30th came. My parents and my husband went with me. We went the day before driving five hours. I had a full day of tests. They did an echo on the girls to see how their hearts functioned, a fetal MRI, and a three-hour ultrasound. By the time I met with the doctors I was exhausted.
The OB assigned to me was the nicest man I have ever met. He was so positive and said he has dealt with many conjoined twins from around the world but ours have the best case scenario. All the doctors gave us reality but also gave us a new light of hope. We had two girls who had completely separate hearts, heart sacs, organs and were growing just like normal babies. The only thing they have is a bridge connecting livers but they said they each have a great deal of their own liver.
I am now 25 weeks pregnant. The plan is to deliver the girls at 34 weeks in Philadelphia, PA. I will travel five hours to the hospital and live two to four weeks there before delivering the babies by csection. The girls get checked every two weeks and so far they are growing perfectly. The girls weighted in at 1 lb 8 oz each at their 24 week appointment, December 16th.
We have a long road ahead of us. However we are so happy and have a slight sigh of relief with the news we received. I made this site to keep friends and family up to date on our situation and the girls’ progress. Each day is a new stepping stone. We ask you to please keep us in your thoughts and prayers since the next year will be a long roller coaster year.
We could not possibly thank everyone who has prayed for us this far. You all have a special place in our hearts. We are so grateful for a supportive loving community.
Shellie and Greg Tucker