Mother of three Rima Aldebbeh was already shocked to discover she was expecting twins. But when she found out it was an extremely rare form of identical twins pregnancy called monoamniotic twins, the situation became even more stressful.
According to Columbia University Irving Medical Centre, this occurs when twins share the same amniotic sac and placenta. This is an incredibly rare occurrence, representing less than 0.1% of all pregnancies and just 1% of identical twins.
While it doesn’t happen very often, it can still cause many risks during the pregnancy. One significant issue is that the babies’ umbilical cords can become tangled, possibly cutting off the blood supply. However, with careful monitoring, monoaminotic twins have a 90% survival rate.
When Rima and her husband, Rami Ramadan found out that their next baby was in fact going to be twins, the news was somewhat unexpected. “I just got shocked because we don’t have this in the family,” Rima told Fox news.
However this was the least of the couple’s worries. The very same ultrasound revealed that their twins shared the same amniotic sac, which caused far greater concern. It soon became evident that the twins were monoamniotic, sharing not only the same amniotic sac but placenta as well.
Naturally this added an extra degree of stress to the pregnancy. “Too many things went in my head – especially the bad scenarios like, ‘What’s going to happen’ and ‘What if something bad happens?’” Rima said.
Still, all they could do was hope for the best. “Sometimes I (would be) crying and my husband is like, ‘It’s OK. You have to just like pray and everything will be fine,'” Aldebbeh told Fox. “It was hard, really, really hard.”
Rima was required to have weekly checks to monitor the twin’s safety. Eventually they needed to be examined three times a day, so the busy mum was admitted to hospital where she stayed her for three months until the babies were born. While this was a comfort for the worried parents, it also exacerbated the overall challenge. Rami had to manage the home and other three kids during his wide’s absence, while dealing with the reality of the worldwide pandemic. “COVID restrictions and the hospital’s visitation rules during COVID made it hard for the kids, for the mom, for me,” he said.
Luckily for Rima and Rami, their story has a very happy ending. NBC reported that the twin girls, Raya and Naya arrived safely at 33 weeks, weighing approximately 1.4kg each. And after nearly three weeks in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, they were allowed to go home and be with the whole family.
“We can’t be happier,” Rima told Fox News. “We made it through the hard time. Now the girls are finally here, they’re healthy, they’re out of the NICU, the family’s united. It’s a blessing.” And Rami added, “I’m happy to see my girls next to me every single day.”
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