By: Jennifer Murray

Keepin’ It Real Rewinds 10

I don’t know if I’ll get through this post without fighting back tears, but I’ll give it my best shot…

Two weeks after the shock of our lives, (finding out we were expecting triplets), I found myself back on that same cold table, staring blankly at the black and white screen.  I immediately saw the three oval-shaped sacs, and watched breathlessly as she examined each one closely for a heartbeat.  Tiny little blips flashed on the screen proving life still existed. We knew that during the first trimester, there were certainly no guaranties. As she scanned the final sack, something caught my eye.  Before a word was spoken, I saw it.  I knew with certainty that this sac was not like the other two. Time stood still in that defining moment. There were two flashing heartbeats in one sack. 

All 4 babiesc

History was written in a conversation that went down something like this:

Me: "There’s two in there, aren’t there?"  

Nurse Lisa: "What?"

Brad: "Huh? What? Are there? Are we talking four babies?"

*Blurry screen*   

Our Doctor took over the ultrasound from there…

He examined it closely in what appeared to be disbelief.  He confirmed soberly there were indeed four and waited for me to get dressed to meet with him in the conference room.  

I remember looking at Brad who was standing behind me, making sure he wasn’t going to pass out.  He looked so dismayed and distraught. I was instantly flooded with emotions and ten thousand questions.  I felt overcome with guilt, fear, panic, grief, pain, disappointment, and disbelief; Yet I remained emotionally unresponsive in appearance.  I couldn’t cry… I couldn’t laugh a nervous laugh… I couldn’t scream… I just wanted to pull the white sheet over my head, and disappear from this new reality. 

Instead, the nightmare worsened. We learned that not only did we have an even higher risk pregnancy by the increased number, but we were facing, (I quote), "Pretty much the worse case scenario".  Our worst case scenario involved a rare form of twinning, called mono-amniotic twins. Monoamniotic twins are rare identical twins that occur in approximately 1 in 35,000 to 1 in 60,000 pregnancies, but had not been documented to exist within a quadruplet pregnancy.  

A complicated pregnancy lends itself to a complicated explanation. (For the record the incidence of mono-mono twins or even having identical twins for that matter were unrelated to the mild fertility treatments we underwent.) Without getting too ridiculously medical, let me try my best to explain monoamniotic twins through a compiling of these resources, for those of you who may not be familiar with this terminology. (Illustrations can be found here.)

Monoamniotic twins are identical twins that develop inside the same amniotic sac. They share a placenta within their mother’s uterus, but have two separate umbilical cords for nourishment. This means that both babies share the same living space. They don’t just share their house, they share a bedroom, bathroom, and playroom! Where as other identical twins share an outer sac, but not an inner sac.  They are separated by an important membrane. Unfortunately, monoamniotic twins are at great risk for health complications due to the close proximity of the two umbilical cords in the amniotic sac. This makes it particularly easy for the twins to become entangled in each other’s cords, or to compress one another’s cords, endangering their oxygen and food supply. The survival rate for monoamniotic twins is approximately 50%, but incalculably less within a quad pregnancy scenario. 

We walked out of our 8 week appointment in anguish, after what seemed to be a death sentence for our four little heartbeats…

But God had other plans.

(Rewinds Numbers 1 – 9 can be found here.)

26 Responses to “Keepin’ It Real Rewinds 10”

  1. BreezieGirl
    March 2, 2009 at 1:45 am #

    I think that if I didn’t read every time you posted, I’d be in tears right now as well! But knowing the outcome of your beautiful mono-mono twins and all four precious, tiny heartbeats certainly made it easier.

    God bless you all… sleep well and thanks for the rewinds. I know it’s taxing, but they are wonderfully written insights.

  2. Rachel E.
    March 2, 2009 at 2:51 am #

    God’s plans are so amazing! Thank you for doing this KIRR series. I can’t wait to read the next one!

  3. Fulton Quads
    March 2, 2009 at 5:48 am #

    Looks like you & I are part of the same club! Our quads are a few weeks older however we have 3 girls & 1 boy. My fertility doctor told me our pregnancy was a first for him in his then 14 year career. No one tells you that you can have MORE babies than what is implanted. Luckily we had an AWESOME Peri so I was never stressed. It is amazing to read up on that type of twins because things could have gone SO differently! I do believe God had plans for us!
    Thanks for posting your story! It is nice to "know" someone else in the same boat as me!

    Love, Cathy & the quads
    itsaquadlife.blogspot.com

  4. PletcherFamily
    March 2, 2009 at 8:33 am #

    Wow – what an amazing story! I knew two of your little ones were twins, but I had no idea about how complicated that made it. Thanks for sharing your amazing story!

  5. Terri
    March 2, 2009 at 8:49 am #

    Even knowing the outcome, my heart was still racing reading that!

  6. Chelley N
    March 2, 2009 at 8:58 am #

    Jen — You are so real and authentic in your writing. Thank you so much for sharing this extremely intimate part of your life with us. You will probably never know how many people you are touching with your story.

  7. Jessica
    March 2, 2009 at 10:11 am #

    Oh, wow, this brings back memories. I don’t have quads, but I do have monoamniotic twins. I remember the thrill (and disbelief) of finding out at 20 weeks that there were two babies when I thought there were none, and then the growing sense of dread as I learned what “monoamniotic” meant, and then crying so hard that I gave myself contractions when I realized that both my babies might die . . . all those emotions all in one day, and that was just the start.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing your journey. I don’t know what it’s like to be a quad mom, but from another momo mom: you are incredible. And your love for your family shines through every post.

  8. 4 Little Men and Girly Twins
    March 2, 2009 at 10:38 am #

    God is so great! I can not imagine the ‘stress’ you felt while preggo with them. For the couple months we thought our twins were momo it was really hard.

    I didn’t find your blog until about a year ago so I’m lovin’ these! 🙂

    britt

  9. Ethel
    March 2, 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    You should be a suspense writer, you know exactly where to break the chapter to keep us hanging. I read your blog reguarly so I feel like someone who looked at the last page.

  10. Busy Momma
    March 2, 2009 at 2:44 pm #

    Wow, I can’t imagine the extra stress of that. I had twins and the first thing I was so thankful for was they had they’re own sac and placenta. Even tho knowing you have 4 healthy boys reading this still gave me chills

  11. Hoping for our own Peanut
    March 2, 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    wow..i cant imagine what the must have felt like. its so amazing to read this flashbacks..knowing how the story “ends”..

  12. Katie
    March 2, 2009 at 3:46 pm #

    I love reading this and thank you for sharing your story. The boys are precious!

  13. Kate
    March 2, 2009 at 4:36 pm #

    Amazing Jen.

  14. susan
    March 2, 2009 at 6:55 pm #

    I knew all this from reading your blog but I have to say I was still enthralled. It is truly an amazing story. You must have both had some “moments”.

    It’s great to know it all turned out so well

    Susan 🙂

  15. Veronica @ Luv My Quiver Full Of Arrows
    March 2, 2009 at 6:59 pm #

    OOH, all it took was reading the title…I am going to go grab my popcorn, a drink and sit back. I have been waiting for AKRR for awhile. I am not trying to make light of your story by saying I want a snack, but I am pregnant, so any reason to snack, I take…OK, on to the show…

    xoxo, Veronica in CA

  16. Veronica @ Luv My Quiver Full Of Arrows
    March 2, 2009 at 7:03 pm #

    OK, Jen…I was on the edge of my seat that I didn’t even get to put a kernel of popcorn in my mouth. It just was blowing my mind to read this as the pics of the boys on the side smiled back at me. God is so good…can’t wait for the next segment.

    xoxo, Veronica in CA

  17. Following HIM
    March 2, 2009 at 11:38 pm #

    Tears are just streaming down my face for you and Brad. Knowing the outcome does not matter as I am deep in with these KIRR episodes. Thank you for sharing with me!
    ~Elyse~

  18. Anonymous
    March 3, 2009 at 8:00 am #

    Oh, Jen…
    …little did you know God would bless you with 4 healthy little boys who wiggle their way into everyone’s hearts. I can only imagine the fear that settled around you as you soaked in the dr.s words. So very thankful it turns out to be such a success story! Praise God!!
    Now dont leave us hanging too long for the next rewind. This girl here, doesnt have too much patience. ha.
    Have a blessed day, my friend!
    heidi C., IN

  19. Drew and Emily
    March 3, 2009 at 1:03 pm #

    My older sister just found out this morning that she is 6w3d pregnant with identical twins and no membrane was seen between them. She is a little scared right now so I plan to send her to your site so she can see your successful pregnancy and wonderful boys.

  20. Suzanne
    March 3, 2009 at 4:02 pm #

    i LOVE that we all already know the outcome to these scary KIRR’s!! God is SO good!!! Keep, Keepin’ it Real, sista! 😉 love you

  21. Kim Runyon
    March 3, 2009 at 9:17 pm #

    Jen, I think what amazes me more than anything else it that I remember you still working for a while after you knew you were having quads, and how you could pull yourself together and not show outwardly the overwhelming sense of fear you must have been feeling every second of the day. That is what the power of faith it, my friend! You still amaze me to this day 🙂

  22. Lauren
    March 3, 2009 at 10:11 pm #

    My sister posted on here already about my pregnancy – monoamniotic twins with no apparent membrane separating them. Reading your explanation helped answer so many of my questions – I seemed to be getting more confused as the day went on about my twins. I have another ultrasound on 3/19 – on a high definition ultrasound with a high risk specialist…..so I am hopeful that there is actually a membrane and it will be apparent then. Though, you have helped me to feel more hopeful even if there isn’t a membrane. Thank you!

    Lauren

  23. debi9kids
    March 4, 2009 at 12:08 am #

    Miraculous! Those boys are just amazing little miracles!

  24. Sandy
    March 6, 2009 at 3:25 pm #

    I had goose bumps when I read that.

  25. Quad Squad!
    March 18, 2009 at 4:08 pm #

    Every time I read one of your rewinds, I get chills. What an amazing pregnancy you had! We are so blessed to have God in our lives, taking care of us and our families!

  26. Erin
    May 18, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    It brings tears to my eyes thinking of my own momo twins….i can’t even imagine the worry of having two extra babies to think of during that pregnancy too…God sure is great!

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