For parents anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new baby, the fear of some sort of health complication can be the scariest thing imaginable. Naturally, when Lisa and Darren Hansen found out their unborn twins were in serious danger, they felt their hearts drop.
The expecting parents were faced with some difficult decisions, but they refused to give up—even though it was in their best interests. Against the wishes of their doctors, the couple fought for their babies, even though they had to face some pretty rough consequences…
All expecting parents know that waiting for their child to arrive can be excruciatingly nerve-wracking. Their minds constantly sort through every possible health complication and outcome. Lisa and Darren Hansen were no different.
The young couple, who recently learned that they were expecting twins, could not have been more excited. Finally, they were going to be able to raise the family they’d always dreamed of having together!
Their excitement was short-lived, however, as an ultrasound revealed that their unborn twins were actually suffering from a serious condition. The likelihood of Lisa giving birth to “normal” babies was suddenly extremely low…
Doctors informed the couple that their unborn babies were monochorionic monoamniotic twins. This rare condition would certainly complicate Lisa’s pregnancy and result in some unusual conditions. Their doctors recommended that the couple abort.
Lisa and Darren had already picked out names for their babies—River and Piper—and they were upset by the thought that they might have to terminate the pregnancy. As they learned, monochorionic monoamniotic twins, or “MoMo” twins, suffer from a high risk condition…
This meant that the identical twins would wind up in the same gestational sac. Doctors explained that there was a chance that the babies’ umbilical cords would become entangled, which could have severe effects on their development.
Lisa and Darren were in complete shock; they were more than ready to become new parents. “We were blessed with twins! Then we found out they were rare monochorionic monoamniotic twins,” Lisa wrote in a blog post. “What an emotional roller coaster.”
Despite their doctors’ recommendations, Lisa and Darren weren’t ready to abort—and they made the choice to move forward with the pregnancy. As was anticipated by their doctors, however, those potential complications quickly became a reality.
As the fetuses continued to grow, one of the umbilical cords became wrapped tightly—in a braided pattern—around the other baby’s cord. This significantly restricted the babies’ ability to develop healthily, as it limited the flow of nutrients.
At just five months and halfway through her pregnancy, Lisa was forced to become an inpatient at her hospital. The risk of something happening to the twins was incredibly high, and the expecting mother had to be monitored around the clock.
“We’re told we need to see a specialist and she tells us she has never in her whole career seen our kind of twin, it’s that rare,” Lisa explained. “She tells us she is concerned and explains why. It’s hard not to be scared. All we can do is start to make a plan to give our kids the best chance possible.”
While in the hospital, Lisa’s family and friends were a constant presence. They visited her every day to offer the couple as much support as they needed. It was important to keep Lisa happy and feeling strong—both for her sake and the babies.
Complicating matters further, Darren was forced to relocate for a job he’d accepted prior to the pregnancy. Even though the couple planned to move together, there was no chance Lisa could risk it now in her condition. She and Darren would just have to deal with the distance.
The couple received even more bad news when their dog passed away. He was an older dog, but the loss was yet another tough pill to swallow. “At 30 weeks we were heartbroken to say goodbye to our very senior and sick fur baby,” Lisa wrote. Still, she and Darren held their heads high.
Shortly after, Lisa learned she would have to deliver her twins earlier than she’d originally expected. With Darren away at work, she grew anxious about the future. Would their children be okay?
“Nine days till I get to see our babies and six till I get to see Darren! I am so excited,” Lisa wrote in a blog post. “I try to remain calm and not get worked up but it is hard, I feel calm but my body is wound up.”
Finally, after making it to 32 weeks, Lisa safely delivered her twins through an emergency cesarean section. They were premature, and the first baby weighed just three pounds and 12 ounces; the second was three pounds and 14 ounces. Just like that, River and Piper were welcomed into the world.
The babies were quickly transported to incubators. Piper also needed light therapy because she was born with jaundice. Luckily, it wasn’t long before they were in the arms of their loving parents!
Lisa and Darren knew that their newborn girls weren’t quite out of the woods just yet. In fact, they would still have to go through weeks of testing and various X-rays at the hospital. Additionally, they would need to learn to bottle feed.
As River and Piper continued to grow stronger each day, Darren tried to document their progress every step of the way. The resulting images were absolutely beautiful and moving…
Lisa and Darren are two very thankful parents. There’s no doubt River and Piper will treasure this footage for their whole lives!
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