Heartbreaking twin loss
Awareness of condition is lacking
AFTER everything went fine with her first pregnancy, Chay Slattery had no reason to expect anything different with the next.
On the eve of their October wedding, Chay and her fiance Mark found out they were pregnant again.
To their surprise, routine scans revealed there were two – identical twin girls.
“We were shocked because we were thinking about those things that come with two babies, like a new car,” Chay said.
Little did she know her next routine scan on Christmas Eve would turn grim.
The doctors said “you need to call your husband, you’re not going back to work today”, she said.
“We drove to Brisbane and the doctors said we had what they believed was TTTS.”
Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome is a condition that can occur in identical twin pregnancies where the donor twin transfuses too much blood, becoming dehydrated and causing the other to have high blood pressure.
On New Year’s Eve, the already panicked newly-wed couple were told they had to make a tough decision – to have a chance at two babies, or a better chance with one.
“I thought how are we supposed to make this decision with no option of having a 100 per cent success rate,” Chay said.
“But by choosing what we did, we went from below 20 per cent to a 70 per cent chance of having at least one baby survive.”
Chay said one of the hardest moments of the past eight months was watching the baby kick one minute and not the next.
“She’s still got hands, toes, feet, a face and body, but she’s a lot smaller and she hasn’t grown as much as her sister,” she said.
But fast forward to today and their little boy Noah is just a few weeks away from being a big brother, and the couple have finally built the confidence to speak up about the condition.
They have created a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the Sunshine Coast University Hospital’s new maternal and fetal ward and provide more education opportunities to other expectant mums and medical professionals.
“There’s not many doctors that are well versed in the condition or able to do the procedures,” Chay said.
“We wish we could have been more prepared,” Mark said. “Education about this is lacking, so that’s our aim.”
To donate to Chay and Mark’s cause and help raise awareness of TTTS, visit gofundme.com/help-raiseawareness-of-ttts-and-ourfamily.
GROWING FAMILY: Mark, Noah and Chay Slattery are excited to welcome their fourth family member, despite the long and tough journey dealing with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome.