Couple continue pregnancy of MoMo twins despite considerable risks

Couple continue pregnancy of MoMo twins despite considerable risks

"The umbilical cord while she’s sleeping is right in front of her face,” Jessica admitted. “They monitor her three times a day.”

When Jessica Garcia and Keith Hawkins became pregnant, they didn’t expect that they would be having twins, much less that theirs would be a very rare kind of pregnancy.

During the couple’s first pregnancy checkup they found out that they’re awaiting a rare set of ‘MoMo’ twins, a case in which the babies share the same placenta and amniotic sac.

“He almost fainted,” Jessica says in an ABC 8 report. “We were just staring at the screen and we were like, ‘there are two heads in there!’”

Despite the good news and the couple’s excitement, there’s a certain risk which comes with such kind of pregnancy.

According to Peter Genaris, an OB Hospitalist with St. Mary’s, there’s an increased risk of cord entanglement, which means that both babies have a high chance of getting tangled in each other’s cords.

“The umbilical cord while she’s sleeping is right in front of her face,” Jessica admitted. “They monitor her three times a day.”

Not only that, doctors said this creates a 20 percent risk of mortality for the babies throughout the pregnancy.

Photo credit: ABC

Photo credit: ABC

In fact, mono mono twins occur only once in every 10,000 pregnancies.

Jessica admitted that these figures scare her because they’re completely out of her control. But both her and Keith want to remain positive.

“I’m excited to have both of them walking around and just seeing them grow,” said Keith.

He also believes that their daughters—whom they had already namedTatiana and Trinity—are a blessing that will change his and Jessica’s lives.

“It’s two,” he said. “So yeah, it’s extra, extra special.”

The twins were originally due on the 4th of November, however the date was moved up to September 22nd, a decision that is meant to ensure the risk for the babies during birth is reduced.

Mothers with ‘mono mono’ twins are required to undergo a C-section to have the babies.

Learn more about MoMo twins on the next page!

What is MoMo?

Monoamniotic twins are identical twins that share the same amniotic sac within their mother’s uterus.

Monoamniotic twins are always identical, always monochorionic and are usually termed Monoamniotic-Monochorionic (“MoMo”) twins. They also share the placenta, but have two separate umbilical cords.

Other complications of a MoMo pregnancy include:

  • Cord compression: One twin may compress the other’s umbilical cord, potentially stopping the flow of nutrients and blood and resulting in fetal death.
  • Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS): One twin receives the majority of the nourishment, causing the other twin to become undernourished. TTTS is much more difficult to diagnose in monoamniotic twins than diamniotic ones, since the standard method otherwise is to compare the fluid in the sacs.

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Written by

Nasreen Majid

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