BENEFITING: Fetal Health Foundation
Our son, David Carter Moore, went to play with Jesus on June 15, 2016. We are heartbroken, but I'd like to tell you our whole story, so you can understand why it is a miracle that he made it as far as he did and especially that his brother is still alive. Our Story: Two days after our babymoon in Houston, just 6 weeks after learning we were having what we believed were fraternal twins, I woke up spotting blood. I rushed to the doctor and was told it was nothing, but also found out we were having two boys. We were overjoyed, for about 6 hours. That night, as I was on my way to my night class at the community college, I stopped at Starbucks, and while standing in line, blood began dripping down my legs. I thought I was losing them for sure and went to the ER. It was there that we got some troubling and confusing news- one baby had no amniotic fluid around him. We were sent home and told to call our doctor in the morning. After a night of troubled sleep, we woke up to her calling us, asking to see us right away. She confirmed the lack of fluid around Daniel, and noticed that David had very high fluid levels. She made us an appointment with a specialist and we rushed to her office in Plano to be seen. It was there that we first heard the phrase Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. She informed us that we were not having fraternal twins as we thought, but identical twins who shared a placenta (basically a mass of blood vessels that takes what it needs from me and distributes it to the separate umbilical cords.) Our twins were rare just for being identical, but also because they were sharing some blood vessels and transferring their blood back and forth (this is TTTS). Most of the TTTS cases seen are a watch and wait type of thing, not needing intervention of any sort, but ours was different, and had gone downhill fast. Daniel was our donor twin, and he was sharing too much of his blood with his brother, causing his body to shut down. We could not see a bladder or amniotic fluid on the ultrasounds any more. David had too much fluid and his heart was looking enlarged. The doctor told us we needed surgery to disconnect these vessels, but that because only 5 hospitals in the United States perform it, we would need to drive to Houston. We went home to wait for a call to see if they would take our case. We received that call at 4pm and started driving at 6. The next day, we had our consultation with the surgeons, who did a 4 hour long sonogram and found a heart defect in baby David. They were also concerned with my bleeding, and asked to do an amniocentesis to check for blood within the womb- we would not qualify for surgery if there was blood within the amniotic sacs. The chances of survival without surgery at the stage we were at was less than 10%. They were also concerned with David's heart and an abnormal umbilical cord, so they insisted we have genetic testing done as well. They suspected a chromosomal abnormality of some kind. We couldn't have those results for a week, but they saw immediately that there was no blood in the fluid and scheduled our surgery for 7am the next day, provided we could come up with $10,000 to pay for the hospital stay- the surgeons were not concerned with payment, but the hospital would not allow us to check in without payment, as they did not accept our health insurance. We are lucky that we had family to call, and were able to get payment in and schedule our surgery 30 minutes before the deadline. Our kids would not have made it another day. The boys made it out of surgery successfully and had a 60-80% chance of making it through 24 hours. They made that milestone, but I also began leaking amniotic fluid. A sonogram determined that my membranes had separated from the uterine wall, and now it was just a matter of time until I went into preterm labor. Over the next 10 weeks, I stayed on bed rest and the membranes miraculously reattached- a miracle. David's heart was looking good- miracle. The genetic testing was negative for abnormalities- miracle. We thought we were in the clear, until the leaking started again, about 3 weeks ago. Doctors assured me I was simply peeing myself, but when I started having intense cramping the other day, June 13, I knew it was something serious. I went to labor and delivery, and at first they thought I was dehydrated. At around 3am, a nurse finally determined it was labor and called the children's hospital I was to deliver at. They were administering drugs to stop labor, but still transferred me to Dallas via ambulance. When we got here, not only were the drugs not slowing down my contractions, but blood testing revealed an infection within me, and the doctors determined that the boys had a better chance of survival on the outside than they did in my womb. They prepped me for an emergency C-section and took the boys. Daniel was born at 11:41am on June 14, 2016, David was born at 11:42. They both weighed 2 pounds. David was 14inches long, Daniel 13. My miracle babies were here, and they were as stable as 25 week preemies could be. The stability lasted through 12 hours, when David's oxygen saturation levels began to plummet. His lungs were just not mature enough to work, and although the doctors and machines did everything in their power, David passed away in my arms at 8:10 on June 15, 2016. Please, do not cry for us. David lived a beautiful life for the 6 months we knew him within my body, and the day we knew him outside. Our little fighter, Daniel, is still a miracle baby, and he will always have his little brother watching over him. They were and always will be identical twins. Part of David will always be here inside of Daniel, down to the DNA. TTTS is a nasty disorder to have. It took the life of one of my babies, and nearly took both. They still do not know much about it, and the surgery is still being perfected. I would like to ask anyone who feels compelled to donate to research so that this might not happen to other babies in the future, and so that people who are in the situation we were but do not have family to call might not have to turn down or wait for the surgery that saved our Daniel's life. Remember, Daniel is a fighter, but is still 3 months premature, and really needs your prayers. I will do my best to update everyone about his condition.