Queen Charlotte’s

We had the first appointment with the consultant at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital yesterday.  They have a department dedicated to the more complicated pregnancy.  Perfect place for us.

With each scan the audience gets bigger, at the first it was just the sonographer, the second sonographer and student, at the third the consultant sonographer and a student midwife.  Yesterday for the forth scan we had two sonographers, the consultant and another doctor.  If I get to thirty seven weeks they’ll have to show the ultrasounds on a big screen in one of the hospital conference rooms in order to give all the interested parties a view.

The consultant confirmed what Queen Elizabeth Hospital had said, it is acardiac twin and a seemingly normal twin.  He said that there was no agreed way of treating this problem, and whatever we do will carry its own risks.  He was happy that at the moment the parasite twin was not an immediate threat to the healthy baby, who was healthy at the time of the scan. He said that if we got to roughly 20 weeks without intervention the likelihood of it being needed drops remarkably.

I think I babbled at this point. I wanted to say I want to take the route that gives the baby the best possible chance of survival but I have no idea what came out. Fortunately what he is suggesting seems to me to be a good way of managing risk.  He wants me to have an ultrasound every week so that they can check the rate of growth of the twins, how the heart of the viable twin is coping. That can happen at QEH. If there is any sign of trouble I could be back at Queen Charlotte’s within 24 hours if necessary.  He did warn that situation could take a turn for the worse very quickly and that I could lose the baby between scans without any warning.

He warned us that there was a far higher chance than normal, that the viable baby has a chromosomal problem ie Downs.  We need to discuss with our local consultant on Monday about whether the combined test needs to be redone, I think she said that it would probably be wrong as the sums would have been calculated on the basis of a singleton.  When we had the nuchal fold scan done, sonographer told me that the baby’s nuchal fold scan was well within normal limits but we do need to check.  I’m hoping that the results give us a very small risk of downs so that we can avoid having an amnio done.

He also wants the healthy baby to have a heart scan so that they can have a detailed look at how it’s bearing up.  This will be done either at Addenbrooks in Cambridge or at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in Norwich before we go back done to QCH for another appointment with the consultant.

After the appointment I felt much happier than I have done since Friday morning.  The consultant didn’t tell us anything that we hadn’t already been told by QEH but he did say that the healthy baby was presently healthy and that there was no immediate need for treatment. Our risks haven’t changed, but for Wednesday at least it seemed that they had reduced somewhat.

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