War in the Womb


In the end, Ian was too weak to survive. The Smiths were called to the hospital in the middle of the night. Brittany was able to hold Ian one last time as he took his final breaths. He's buried next to his twin brother, Isaac.

Not Always a Bad Ending

Just months ago, Johnson and his team performed that same laser surgery on Jennifer Terry. It was Jennifer's first pregnancy, but she felt as if something was wrong from the start.

"I felt bad, and I had horrible pains in the upper-right quadrant of my stomach but kept being told that it was because I was pregnant with twins and that's what happens -- you grow quickly," Jennifer said.

But Jennifer said her doctor told her she probably just had heartburn. She said she was the one who insisted on having the ultrasound.

As with Brittany Smith, that ultrasound led Jennifer Terry to Johnson, and she soon discovered that, like Brittany Smith, she had TTTS. The bigger twin was struggling. Its heart was trying to push blood for both fetuses. The smaller twin was starving.

Terry was given three choices: Do nothing, get the laser surgery to try to save both twins, or consider terminating one of the fetuses to keep the other one alive. The third option, terminating one fetus, was out of the question for the Terrys.

"They were both my children. How could I pick which one I wanted to have, and what if you picked the wrong one? And two, we're Jehovah's Witnesses, so that's just not an option, period," Jennifer said.

So they decided to get the laser surgery the next day. The doctor used a scope to find all the veins and arteries that the babies shared and then cauterized them with a laser so the twins no longer shared the blood vessels between them.

The surgery didn't go well.

"Unfortunately, in my case, there were so many that they shared that they couldn't get them all, and I started to bleed and they couldn't see anymore. So, I think after an hour-and-a-half, two hours of surgery, they had to stop," Jennifer said.

After the surgery, Johnson did an ultrasound on Jennifer and told her that the twin who was receiving most of the blood had died.

"He just sat and let me cry and he cried with me and then that was it," Jennifer said.

As with Brittany, Jennifer went through her pregnancy with the dead twin still inside her. She delivered a baby boy named Brody, who is now a healthy 6-month-old.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 2342667. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 2342667.
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...