Many couples get married in hopes of having a baby and starting a family one day. To them, this is the culmination of many years of love and commitment. For some couples, though, their pregnancy journey doesn’t go quite as expected. Modern medical technology certainly helps to keep babies and expecting mothers safe, but sometimes it takes a little bit of luck as well.
Take the Hansen family for instance. Just when they thought everything was going well, things took a crazy, unexpected turn after a routine visit at the doctor’s office. Just a warning as you click through — you’ll want to have the tissues ready!
Years of Waiting
Lisa and Darren Hansen were a young, recently married couple living in British Columbia, Canada. By most accounts, they were living the dream! Unfortunately, they struggled to get pregnant. After three hard years of trying, they were finally successful! Plus, much to their surprise, they were having two twin girls!
Most couples get excited about having a baby, but they’ll also all readily admit that the prospect of having twins is daunting. Lisa and Darren were no exception. They couldn’t wait to bring their babies home, but they were understandably nervous! They were careful to attend all of their doctor’s appointments. One day, at a normal ultrasound appointment, the physician noticed something unusual…
The Hansen’s doctor referred them to Women’s Hospital in Vancouver so that Lisa could be evaluated by a specialist. The couple waited with bated breath to find out what the “abnormality” their normal doctor found on the original ultrasound! Unfortunately, they had to go to several follow-up appointments before the medical team could figure out what was really going on!
Finally, the doctors revealed that Lisa was having monochorionic-monoamniotic twins! This is an incredibly rare condition that results in two fetuses sharing one amniotic sac. This happens when a fertilized egg implants in a woman’s uterus BEFORE it splits into twins. This is super rare, so Lisa and Darren decided to share their journey with the world.
The couple were immediately told that their pregnancy was considered “high risk” because of the immense pressure Lisa’s body was going to be under. They were given the option to abort, but decided against it. This made their situation even rarer! Most couples in this situation elect to end the pregnancy for the safety of everyone involved.
By choosing not to have an abortion, Lisa and Darren were faced with a number of scary potential complications. Because their babies were in the same umbilical sac, the girls had no protective material in between them. In addition, they were at risk of nutritional shortages and movement difficulties, resulting in delayed physical and mental development.
A Good Pregnancy
Fortunately, Lisa had an otherwise normal pregnancy. Once she passed the high-risk period of 24 weeks gestation, she and Darren rejoiced! After getting through this critical threshold, monochorionic-monoamniotic twins have over a 90% survival rate! Still, the couple had to remain incredibly vigilant in order to protect their little girls from danger.
In order to better protect her babies, Lisa was moved to full-time bed rest when she was only five months pregnant. In addition, she had to go through stress tests four times a day and ultrasounds three times a week. That would be exhausting for anyone — whether or not you’re on bed rest!
Sadly, the family went through some unexpectedly hard times when Lisa was getting close to her due date. She told her blog readers that, “At 30 weeks we were heartbroken to say goodbye to our very senior and sick fur baby.” The poor couple’s elderly dog had passed away!
Here They Come!
At 32 weeks, Lisa delivered two beautiful baby girls through a planned cesarean section surgery. The babies, River and Piper, both weighed less than four pounds, but were otherwise healthy considering their premature birth! Needless to say, Lisa and Darren were thrilled about the two newest additions to their family!
Under Careful Watch
Despite their miraculous birth, the girls still faced a few medical issues. After a short cuddle with their parents, they were placed in incubation units. Piper also received some short-term treatment for jaundice. After a while, though, the girls were given to their parents and sent home! It was a glorious day for the Hansen family and their entire medical team!
Fortunately, Piper and River are now happy, thriving little girls! Even better, they are about to become sisters to a very special little boy! Darren and Lisa report that every day isn’t easy, but it’s always worth it. We’re so happy that this family has been able to have a happy ending to their scary story!
Thankfully, Darren and Lisa had access to the very best medical care in Canada. They were able to deliver two beautiful baby girls, despite receiving some very scary news at the beginning of Lisa’s pregnancy! Not every family gets to have this kind of happy ending, so it’s always wonderful to celebrate them when we can! It’s even more heartening to hear that the girls continue to do well, even years after being born!
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