[Yet Another Disclaimer: Due to some medical vocabulary used in this post, I'm giving it a PG-13 rating. I want to give you a heads up this because I know many of you read this with your families.]
I was recently involved in a serious phone conversation with a sweet mommy-to-be, who I met briefly through my perinatologist, Dr. Sumners. She was 13 weeks pregnant with triplets and considering a TAC (Transabdominal Cerclage) Surgery to prevent cervical incompetence and preterm labor. Her decision had to be made by the following day, due to the risks involved and the rapid growth of the uterus entering the 2nd trimester.
Having this discussion brought back many memories of sleepless nights, praying over this decision in our pregnancy. Unlike a transvaginal cerclauge, the TAC involves a incision similar, if not wider to a c-section, and believe it or not the uterus is removed during a portion of the surgery, so that a band can be tied around the base of the cervix! Isn’t medical technology fascinating? To think that little Brooks, Clark, Isaac, and Henry were outside of my body at 13 weeks and then placed back inside of me for another almost 20 weeks is nothing less than incredible! It was one of the toughest decisions of our lives, but for us it came down to if we didn’t would we look back with regret of “I could have done more” if we lost the boys before viability. God truly gave us a “peace that passes understanding” as we went from that week onward.
Is it because of the TAC that I was able to carry quadruplets to 32 weeks (the average gestation of quadruplets is 29 weeks)? We’ll never know. God gets the glory for their lives and I know that He has placed doctors, technology, medicine, etc. in our path as part of His amazing plan, for which I am increasingly grateful. Every prayer was answered according to His sovereignty.
I’d like to close this post with a recording of Dr. Gentry explaining to our church congregation the seriousness of our mono-mono quadruplet pregnancy just days after my surgery. He explains it with such grace and accuracy. I encourage you to listen as it explains in great clarity questions that I often face concerning infertility, mono-monos, the TAC, and the risks of a quadruplet pregnancy. If you only listen to one portion fast forward to his prayer at the end – I think you’ll be amazed at how God answered our prayers specifically.
(The following illustrations should visually complement the audio.)
Two Outer Sacs, Two Inner Sacs
(Typical Fraternal Twins; Isaac and Henry)
One Outer Sac, Two Inner Sacs
(Typical Identical Twins)
One Outer Sac, One Inner Sac
(Our Rare Mono-Mono Twins; Brooks and Clark)
(We’re the only known set of quadruplets with a surviving set of mono-mono twins!)