Olivia and Masie's story
I had just turned 21 when I found I was pregnant with identical twins. Although unplanned, I was overjoyed and couldn’t wait to meet my little family. It was not an easy pregnancy, I became very big very quickly and needed to go for lots of scans and checkups.
During one of these checks, it was found that the twins had an abnormality in their shared placenta causing twin on twin transfusion (TTTS). This meant that one baby was being underfed, with the other being overfed causing problems for them both. At this point I was also told they were girls, I named them Olivia and Maisie.
I was admitted to hospital at 24 weeks with the doctors draining excessive amniotic fluid, a side effect of TTTS, every couple of days. They also looked at the girls with an ultrasound each day to check on them and the excess fluid was starting to fill their lungs and hearts. I was told that if they survived the birth, they would most likely be very sick, which was heartbreaking. The process in 1997 to drain the fluid was a large needle that went through my abdomen directly into the amniotic sack. This was dangerous to the babies and actually caused me to go into premature labour twice.
At 27 weeks, I went into labour for the 3rd time which the doctors could not prevent. Olivia and Maisie were not strong enough to survive and sadly were stillborn. Afterwards. I held them for what seemed like forever and they were laid to rest a few days later. I didn’t have any more children, and moved to Australia in 2005.
In 2007 I heard about Sophie’s wish to put a team together for the SMH half marathon in memory of her 3 precious boys - I emailed Sophie and explained my experience, it turned out I was the very first person to join! For me, it was the perfect way to honour and remember my girls. My friend Jane joined me and we ran side by side for the whole run. The training was great and the sense of achievement was so overwhelming at the end, we both burst into tears!
This year I am running in relay with my amazing partner, Paul. We hope to raise $2000 for RHW an enable them to continue the amazing work they do.
With the advancement of pre & neo-natal research, TTTS can now be treated earlier during pregnancy with a much less invasive process, and has a slightly higher survival rate. The pain of losing Olivia and Maisie will never completely disappear, however knowing that another parent might not have to go through the same thing, is very rewarding.
two extra stars in the sky tonight
two little angels together in flight x