Thursday, July 18, 2013

Not Everything’s the Same About Twins

Kimberly Williams holds fraternal twin
daughters Kellie and Charlie on the day
they were discharged from GBMC.
Nearly eleven years ago, Kimberly Williams’ twin daughters entered the world in a most unusual way—they were born nearly eight weeks apart from each other.

At 23 weeks pregnant, Ms. Williams, now 47, was admitted to GBMC’s Mangione High-Risk Obstetrics Unit. She was in labor, but only one of her babies was threatening to deliver. “This uncommon situation is possible when the babies do not share the same amniotic sac, which was the case with Ms. Williams’ fraternal, or non-identical, twins,” explains Hsiao-Hui Lin, MD, her obstetrician. “The baby’s odds of survival were not favorable, so we did everything possible to keep Ms. Williams from delivering.” For one week and one day, Ms. Williams was inverted in bed, with her head toward the floor and her feet toward the ceiling. Two short hours after returning to an upright position, Ms. Williams delivered baby Kellie at 24 weeks and one day old. Her premature lungs were so underdeveloped that she needed round-the-clock care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for 100 days.

Ms. Williams remained in the High-Risk OB Unit, which consolidates all prenatal services, inpatient care and antepartum testing into one location, through the rest of her pregnancy. In and out of labor for several weeks, she couldn’t risk leaving the hospital in case something went wrong with the second twin. “The nurses and staff of both the High-Risk unit and the NICU treated me like family. They did everything within their power to make me comfortable and reassure me that my girls were going to be okay.”

Ten years later: Charlie (far left),
Kellie (right) and their mom, Kimberly,
visit with Dr. Hsiao-Hui Lin.
Fifty-four days after Kellie’s birth, Charlie arrived. After a brief stay in the NICU with her sister, she was discharged, and two weeks later, Kellie was home too. Despite the obstacles they faced as infants, both girls have enjoyed happy and healthy childhoods so far. 

Ms. Williams and the twins visited with Dr. Lin near their tenth birthday, and stay in touch with many other members of the team that cared for them. “Thanks to all of the exceptional staff who cared for me and my fragile babies, I can testify that even the most unexpected and scary situations don’t always become sad stories,” she says.

Visit, or call 443-849-GBMC (4262) to get additional information about the services provided by GBMC’s High-Risk OB Unit and NICU.

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