I haven’t posted this month so far as it’s been quite the unexpected whirlwind. At 18 weeks, I began to show signs of TTTS (which I wrote about here), but was not formally diagnosed until my 20 week ultrasound. I’m now 22 weeks and still a Stage 1 TTTS case.
I am being seen twice a week at BC Women’s Hospital for my TTTS twin pregnancy and they are amazing there. At my checkup this past Thursday, it became apparent we needed to get the laser surgery to fix TTTS as it is progressing.
I go into the hospital on Sunday, surgery on Monday, and home a day or so after that. I will write an update once I’m home and recovering.
I was very emotional on Thursday after finding out we’d be sent for surgery, as you can imagine. That’s part of why I want to share my experience on the blog, because I couldn’t find a lot of other people to relate to outside of Facebook groups.
My dog (@perrythedoberman on Insta… lol yes I’m that kind of person) has been glued to me since then. They must know things we don’t.
What is TTTS Laser Surgery?
This page does a great job of explaining the procedure if you’re curious about it. I plan to write all about my experience going through it afterwards as well. I was searching online for experiences of the actual surgery and only found a few, and really felt alone, so I want to give this more awareness and a voice.
Anyway, as you can imagine, we are very scared with figures like only a 50-60% chance of double survival out there. It’s so stressful.
I was taken off work suddenly and have limited my physical activity. More so because I can’t even go up the stairs now without getting out of breath and needing to lay down.
Did I mention I’m only 22 weeks?! (But measuring full-term for a singleton now.) GEEZ.
I am so glad for the care I am receiving from all my doctors, it truly is top-notch. Still, of course, I worry. I am told this type of pregnancy is worry until the end…
But, all the worry, pain, uncomfortableness, puking, heartburn, fainting, lack of sleep and more I have to go through is all worth it if I get two healthy babies at the end of this. ❤
My Bump Photo from Last Week
I forgot to take one this week (ok I did but I look like an extra from Willy Wonka so I’m not posting it ok), so here is a bump update pic from last week at 21 weeks!
But… I Am Thankful for My Country
Honestly, the best part of my condition is knowing I am Canadian and that we have free healthcare. I have joined many Facebook support groups for twins and TTTS which are so helpful, and I see many of the Americans posting about the financial strains of treatment… even the ones who have health insurance!
Here in Canada, our system has many flaws, but prenatal care is not one of them. I have been seen by every specialist I need to, quickly, at no charge to me (other than the parking meter LOL) and have access to the same amazing care that celebrities in our country do.
And, since I worked a regular full-time job before having to go on leave, I even get about 40% of my income (in my case, for some it is as high as 55%) from EI Sickness Benefits. Not to mention a year of paid maternity leave (at the same rate) after that.
Vancouver has a high cost of living and honestly, making only 40% of my income scares me right now.
BUT! I AM SO LUCKY TO BE CANADIAN.
(And for my husband, who searched Tim Hortons multiple times for this sold-out-everywhere Mini Egg doughnut for me.)
These social programs, from free healthcare to sickness and maternity leave, are the difference between bankruptcy and getting by for us. And many other people I know. Even for those well-off, having a year of maternity leave means time spent raising a baby into a toddler, without having to stress about losing a job (because it’s legally protected).
I do not know how our American peers handle the stress of high-risk pregnancy (or even normal pregnancies?!) and the financial strain their country forces on them, only to have to go back to work 8-12 weeks after birth. I CANNOT imagine going through that.
So, for all the worry and trouble in this pregnancy so far, I remind myself how grateful I am every day to live where I do, and how proud I am to be Canadian. 🇨🇦
If you know me in “real life,” you know I am not a religious person. However someone in a Facebook group shared this image with me and I am holding onto it this weekend and during surgery. It rings true for me, and if you’re going through the same thing, I hope it helps you too.