AGM Proxy, Financials and Annual Report

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Members of Multiple Births Canada/Naissances multiples Canada are hereby notified that the Annual General Meeting of the Corporation will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, Ajax, ON on Saturday October 1st , 2016 at 10:00 am EDT. If you are unable to attend, you can assign someone else to vote on the business of the AGM on your behalf. Please complete this online form, or print the form here and send to the office or give the signed form to a member of your chapter who is attending the Conference and AGM. If no one from your chapter is attending, or you are a direct member you can assign a member of the Board of Directors or any other MBC member who is attending to vote on your behalf. Please note your membership with MBC must be up to date to vote at the AGM, either in person or by proxy.

Note: forms sent to the MBC Office by mail must be received prior to seventy-two (72) hours before the AGM. Any votes received by mail ballot after this time shall not be counted for the purposes of the meeting. (Please send an email to the office indicating that the proxies have been forwarded).

Please note: The annual financial statements are available at the registered office of the Corporation and any member may, on request, obtain a copy free of charge at the registered office or by prepaid mail. The financial statements will also be posted in the Member Section of the MBC website 21 days prior to the AGM.

The Annual Report is also available.

The Draft minutes from the 2015 AGM are available here 

The Chairperson of the Board (Heather McAuley) must receive all motions for advance posting for member consideration no later than Friday September 23rd, 2016

Posted by Lori Oldfield on August 19, 2016

AGM & Retreat

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The 2016 AGM & Conference is being held this year in Durham, Ontario from September 30 to October 2. MBC and DPOM are working hard together to finalize details. There are lots of fun events planned including a creative paint night, and an excursion to a hysterical night at Yuk Yuk's. Please make sure to get your chapters members registered and your hotel rooms booked. For the most up to date information on the AGM and Retreat, please join our group on Facebook!

REGISTER TODAY!

Posted by Lori Oldfield on August 19, 2016

Making A Difference Awards

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Multiple Births Canada has always known that it is our volunteers who are at the core of the support MBC offers. Do you know someone who volunteers in the Multiple Births Community and Makes a Difference? Now is your time to acknowledge their passion, their dedication, and their excellence in all that they do and nominate them for a Making A Difference Award handed out annually at the Conference and AGM. MBC could not fulfill its mission of improving the quality of life of Canadian multiple birth individuals and their families without our volunteers. Whether it is someone who is a stellar local volunteer, an organization that has gone over and above to support MBC's mission, or a media person who helps your chapter to highlight your supports and services, we want to hear from you! Nominations for the 2016 MADAs are now open, simply go here to fill out our online nomination form. See below for a new exciting award category.
 
A few words from one of MBC's past winners on what being acknowledged meant to her - "The only experience better than raising my own twins and their older sister has been the extraordinary joy in helping so many others for so many years. I am grateful for the recognition of this devotion." Lynda P. Haddon, 2012 National MADA Winner.
 
MBC is always looking for new award committee members. If you would be interested in reading over the nominations and helping to choose the winners, please contact mada@multiplebirthscanada.org

MADA Chapter Award!

MBC is pleased to announce the creation of the newest category in the Making a Difference Awards - Chapter Award. MBC invites affiliate chapters to nominate themselves and share with other chapters across the Country something you've done that is innovative and you're proud of. This is where you can toot your own horn and brag about your chapters accomplishments.
 
The award will go to chapters that have displayed outstanding dedication or have been responsible for outstanding accomplishments of significance to their local multiple births community. Multiple awards may be given based on the size of the chapter membership. Chapters are encouraged to self-nominate by submitting a short write up about a project or event that positively impacted their community, from the link on the MADA page

Posted by Lori Oldfield on May 12, 2016

Volunteers Needed

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Are you looking for a new opportunity to use your skills? Do you have a certain expertise you
feel would be helpful to Multiple Births Canada? Do you have some time to commit?

Multiple Births Canada is looking for people to volunteer their skills to support its annual
goals. MBC is seeking people with any of the following skills or interests:

Writing
Editing
Graphic design
Co-chairs for our support networks
Event planning
Media relations
Fundraising
Grant writing/applications
MADA Committee
Networking
Social services
Healthcare
Education

To express your interest, please email your name, contact information and skills you’d like to

offer. Email: office@multiplebirthscanada.org
MBC looks forward to hearing from you!

Posted by Lori Oldfield on May 05, 2016

Multiple Births Canada Support Networks

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You are not Alone. Multiple Births Canada strives to offer support to parents and caregivers with unique and sometimes troubling situations. To that end, MBC has created several networks that are intended to provide networking opportunities, resources and supports for families in these unique circumstances. In past years, MBC has introduced new networks to meet the diverse needs of Canada's multiple-birth families. Recently MBC has launched two new Facebook groups to support even more people seeking help, advice and some days just a friendly message on the computer screen. Below you will find descriptions of MBC's two new Facebook Groups, along with the links to all of MBC's existing groups and the link to the Support Page on MBC's website so you can learn more about our networks. If you are not on Facebook, please email support@multiplebirthscanada.org with questions regarding finding support in other ways.
 
Multiple Births Canada Support Networks

 

Posted by Lori Oldfield on February 22, 2016

Loss Support Network Facebook Group

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The MBC- Loss Support Network group is for families who have experienced the loss of one, more or all multiple-birth children at any stage of pregnancy, birth or any time after. The group is also open to Grandparents and Surviving Co-Multiples

https://www.facebook.com/groups/577818362373373/

Posted by Lori Oldfield on February 22, 2016

Postpartum Depression/Anxiety Support Network Facebook Group

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The Postpartum Depression/Anxiety Support Network is for families of multiples who are experiencing symptoms of PPD, PPA and “Baby Blues” to seek support and understanding from others who know what you are going through. Symptoms include • crying for no apparent reason • chronic fatigue or hypersomnia • loss of appetite • feeling overwhelmed and hopeless • doubt or guilt • compulsive over the babies’ care • ignoring the babies’ care • feeling worthless, unable to cope • anxiety attacks • inability to concentrate, indecisiveness • in the extreme, thoughts of suicide. If a mother or father of multiples is experiencing such symptoms, don’t dismiss them as being part of the extra workload due to having multiples. The more of these symptoms the parent is feeling, the more likely it is that they are suffering PPD. Consult a doctor immediately. Remember you are not alone.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1717722421772981/

Posted by Lori Oldfield on February 22, 2016

Volunteering

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Why do you Volunteer?

This year please consider giving a gift to Multiple Births Canada on Giving Tuesday: http://bit.ly/1I7ahUf. Help support new and experienced parents of multiples with helpful resources and information!

I volunteer with my local chapter because it makes me happy! When I was pregnant, there were very few people locally who had triplets, and it was difficult to find support with a local perspective. When I was on maternity leave, I was alone a lot, with three babies, all day long. We started the chapter in here to give the support we lacked during our pregnancies and were craving during our respective maternity leaves. What started as a few play dates and executive meetings has developed into a not for profit organization, mom nights out, chapter events and fantastic friendships! Our children will grow up knowing other multiples and most of my best friends are MoMs! What's happening here is more than just surface relationships, it's lifelong friendships! - Stefanie

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I enjoy being an "older volunteer/ member" as I like to share my experience with the younger mom's of the chapter., not just about volunteering but about raising children, enjoying every minute of their lives. Never wish for them to talk, walk, go to school, drive, etc because these milestones come too quickly. In a blink of an eye they go from crawling to university. I really enjoy the friendship of the ladies in our chapter & all the fun events we do together; P.J. party & Annual Women's Retreat, highly recommend them for all chapters - Mary

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I want to make it bigger and better so that more people know about it. I love the sisterhood of having multiples - and now that my children are 13 they feel the same way - Susan

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Joining the chapter has been a very important part of my life. The families I've met are wonderful & I've made lifelong friends. I've had a lot of grief & hardship lately, and their support is indescribable. I volunteer because I feel supported and cared for by my local chapter members & I hope to give the same feelings back to them & others. - Sarah

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I give because I believe that is my purpose. I have talents and gifts that allow me to help. I am busy, but really try not to complain about it, because it is all my choice. I choose to volunteer, to plan, to lead and to help. I try and make everything I give my time and money, a bit better because I was there. - Heather

Posted by Lori Oldfield on December 01, 2015

2015 MBC Annual General Meeting

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The 2015 Annual General Meeting of Multiple Births Canada will be held in Edmonton, AB on October, 2nd as part of this year’s Conference. Every member of MBC is entitled to a vote at this meeting. If you are unable to attend in person, but would still like you vote to count you can fill out the Proxy Electronic Form  or PDF Form and return it to our head office.  Everyone is also encouraged to read over the Year-end Financials and send any comments or question to mbcchair@multiplebirthscanada.org.

Posted by Lori Oldfield on September 11, 2015

Conference 2015

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2015 MBC Conference Live, Laugh, Learn.  It is only 3 weeks until the start of this year’s exciting Conference hosted by the Edmonton Twin and Triplet Club, in Edmonton, AB. If you have not registered, and are still planning to attend, please register as soon as possible. http://www.ettc.ca/2015-mbc-conference/registration/

Posted by Lori Oldfield on September 11, 2015

International Biosciences

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NEW Discount for Multiple Births Canada Members – $40 OFF Twin Zygosity DNA Testing.

Visit the Member Section of the MBC website and click on Discounts for more information and the Discount Code required to complete this purchase and receive the $40.00 discount.  

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Twin Zygosity DNA testing from International Biosciences is the best method to find out if twins are identical or non-identical. IBDNA uses a simple mouth swab from each twin which is then sent to our laboratory for processing. Monozygotic twins, or Identical twins, have precisely the same genetic profile and non-identical twins (dizygotic) have different genetic profiles. IBDNA provides fast accurate twin zygosity DNA testing to find out if your twin is identical, fraternal or just a sibling. These issues are very important and can be a deciding factor in major medical decisions such as organ transplants. The success of an organ transplant may rest on whether twins are identical or fraternal. Another reason for taking the test is pure curiosity, for example new parents who want to satisfy their curiosity as to whether their twin babies are identical or fraternal. Whatever the reason, IBDNA can help you find the answers.

The Science Behind Twin Zygosity DNA Testing

One in six births are twins and it has been documented that 30% of twins are identical and the remaining 70% are fraternal. To explain a little about the difference in twins and how they are conceived: fraternal twins are two different eggs fertilised by two sperm while identical twins are created by two sperm which fertilize the same egg. Thus identical twins are carbon copies of each other as they are from the same egg.

Twins and Organ Transplants

Organ transplants between identical twins are hardly ever rejected. Since identical twins have the exact same DNA, they also share the same HLA antigen. It is difficult to have a successful organ transplant where the donor and receiver do not have the same HLA antigens and immunosuppressants must be used to decrease the chances of organ rejection. With identical twins organ rejection is less of an issue as their identical DNA means they have the same HLA antigen and thus, make suitable donors to each other. The receiver's body does not detect the implanted organ as foreign and thus, does not trigger the autoimmune response.

Collecting the Sample

This couldn’t be easier and the test can be carried out at any age. The kit you receive contains 2 mouth swabs per participant along with the instructions, consent and submission forms and a pre-addressed return envelope. It is a very non-intrusive method as it involves simply using the mouth swab to collect cells inside the cheek. Once we receive the swabs at our UK office the turnaround time is 5-7 working days and, voila, you have your twin zygosity DNA test complete and the answers you were looking for.

More Information about Twin DNA Testing

For more information about DNA testing twins, please visit the website www.ibdna.ca
or contact International Biosciences on 1-800-969-5186  or info@ibdna.com

Posted by Lori Oldfield on August 25, 2015

Job Posting

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MULIPLE BIRTHS CANADA OFFICE MANAGER

Multiple Births Canada is seeking an experienced candidate for the part-time position of Office Manager, to start on October 1st, 2015. See the Job Posting below for details. For more information please contact MBC's HR Committee at hr@multiplebirthscanada.org   Help fulfill MBC's mission to improve the quality of life for multiple-birth individuals and their families in Canada!

Printable Job Posting - click here
Printable Job Description - click here

Background

Multiple Births Canada (MBC) is a Registered Charity whose mission is to improve the quality of life for multiple-birth individuals and their families in Canada. We fulfill our mission by providing support, education, research, and advocacy, locally, nationally and internationally to individuals, families, Affiliate Chapters, and organizations that have a personal or professional interest in multiple-birth issues. MBC is seeking an experienced candidate for the part-time position of Office Manager.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, and working closely with volunteers across Canada, the Office Manager will manage the day to day operations of MBC. He/she will adhere to MBC's long-term strategic plan; abide by the bylaws, policies and procedures that MBC has in place; work with volunteers to develop new resources; while helping the organization to grow and providing support for Canadian multiple-birth families. 

This is a diverse and demanding position that requires the ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously, and involves a wide range of skills including administration, writing, communications, public relations, social media, and community engagement. The Office Manager will have the ability to build and maintain positive, collaborative and productive working relationships with a wide range of members, volunteers, supporters and community partners.
  
Qualifications

  • a Business Administration/Business Management Degree/Certificate in a field that transfers to the management of an organization in the not-for-profit or charitable sector or equivalent;
  • excellent organizational and time management skills;
  • good IT skills, including knowledge of a range of software packages;
  • the capacity to prioritize tasks;
  • ability to liaise well with others and delegate tasks;
  • excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • ability to work on your own initiative;
  • attention to detail;
  • flexibility and adaptability to changing workloads;
  • knowledge of the issues facing multiple-birth families, and has a direct relationship to multiples or an interest in promoting multiple-birth issues; and
  • English written, spoken and reading are essential. Bilingualism is an asset.

Responsibilities  

  • work from a home-based office as an Independent Contractor;
  • using a range of office software, including email, spreadsheets and databases;
  • recording office expenditure and managing the budget;
  • coordinating work with volunteers;
  • responding to membership enquiries;
  • attending conferences and training; and
  • management of various social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Blog).

Remuneration

Remuneration is on a part-time contract basis for an annual amount of $12,000 -$15,000 based on 20 hours a week. Some evening and weekend work is required.

Closing Date:  July 15, 2015

Qualified applicants should submit their resumes, cover letter and three references electronically to the MBC Hiring Committee at hr@multiplebirthscanada.org.

We thank all applicants for their interest in the Office Manager position for Multiple Births Canada. However, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No telephone calls please.

Posted by Lori Oldfield on June 28, 2015

Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) – The Lowe family’s story

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We are Analia, Chris, Lucas and Sebastian Lowe, living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. On March 18, 2011 our twin boys, Sebastian and Lucas, were born at 28 weeks due to TTTS. The unexpected start to this journey is best summarized by this blog post written by Chris to friends and family as things were unfolding.

 
March 17, 2011
 
Hello loved ones. I believe you all know somewhat about the situation Analia, the boys and I are in, but I wanted to send along this message which explains our first 24 hrs in the IWK hospital and offer some clarity. I will be following up this email to cover today, as things have changed. It’s safe to say we weren’t expecting anything like this, but we have you all in our hearts and we appreciate the support from away.
 
The twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) was at a point that had the doctors very concerned. When I got here I was caught up on the developments. Baby B has been donating to Baby A since the last ultrasound 1.5 weeks ago. This all developed rather quickly, and in reviewing the last ultrasound pictures we were reassured that everything was normal then. Baby A has an excess of amniotic fluid while Baby B has substantially less than he should. As a result A is about 2.6 lbs and B is 1.7 lbs.
 
In typical fashion we were explained what they intended to do, the risks associated with that and the worst case scenarios. Fairly quickly they had Analia back in the fetal assessment area on the 7th floor to perform an amniocentesis. This was remarkable, they extracted 2,300 ml of fluid from around Baby A with the hopes that opening up some space in the uterus Baby B can get more amniotic fluid and start developing again.
 
Since B has been restricted in fluid, he has not been swallowing fluid like normal and his bladder couldn’t be found during ultrasound. That is a red flag which escalated Analia’s status to Stage 2 TTTS. Nothing is certain right now so they are simply monitoring Analia very closely. When they removed the monitor for the night, the nurse is pleased with the results in terms of fetal heart rate and contractions/tightening of uterus. They really won’t say how long Analia will need to be here, and obviously they will err on the side of caution, but we suspect 48 hrs for now, but it’s a monitor and adjust scenario.
 
We both feel calm and confident that my three loved ones are getting the best care possible. Basically it’s up to the wonderful staff at this hospital to do what they can and see how Analia’s body and the little rascals will respond.
 
I want to say also that Analia has been a rock throughout this whole ordeal. She is the strongest woman I know and she has been the one to help keep me calm and grounded. Since I have no control over this situation and really can’t impact it in any way, the most I can do is to be by her side and offer support. Yet again, Analia has risen to a challenge that life has thrown at us, and I get my strength from her.

-    Chris
 

The boys were born on the next day, at 28 weeks gestation, because of the TTTS.

 

 

   

 

 

 

 


Update: February 18, 2015
 
In total we spent 11 weeks in the NICU and we went through it all—blood transfusions, CPAPs, progress & regression, breastfeeding support, etc. One boy had Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) which was followed for a year after we left the NICU. We've seen gastroenterologists, allergy/asthma clinical immunologists, speech pathologists and more. They graduated from the Perinatal Follow-up Program a year ago, and the educational specialists were absolutely floored at the level of concentration and love of learning they were demonstrating. The boys no longer need their age corrected! They attend a Montessori school and their teacher tells me they have amazing visual-spatial skills and how well their gross motor skills are coming along. 
 
The boys are a month away from turning 4. Wow, time flies! They are developing into little boys. Typical little boys. You know, the kind that know every dinosaur name, still wet their pants, demand they eat cereal for every meal, hum and sing for the better half of their day, and argue when it’s time for bed. They are each other’s best friend and worst enemy, and we get to watch one of the most special relationships in this world flourish for years to come.
 We are thankful every day for everything the IWK Health Centre did for our family; but most importantly for the fighting spirit Sebastian and Lucas were born with. I remember people telling us things like "they are so lucky" or "wow, they are little miracles." Chris and I would correct people and reminded them that they aren’t miracles; they and the IWK staff worked incredibly hard for them to get where they are now—happy, healthy little brothers that faced difficulty early on in life and are stronger as a result.
 
Chris and Analia Lowe 
www.alltimelowe.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information, please read MBC’s Fact Sheet about Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). 

Multiple Births Canada celebrates National Multiple Births Awareness Day (NMBAD) on May 28th. This year's theme is: "Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) - Early diagnosis can save lives." See how you can get involved: click here

If you are expecting twins or higher order multiples and are at risk for TTTS, you might like to join MBC’s Preterm Birth Support Network to connect with other families who have had similar experiences. 

Make a Donation - Help MBC to create resources and support families expecting and caring for twins, triplets and more.

www.multiplebirthscanada.org

 

Posted by Lori Oldfield on May 28, 2015

What you should know when you are expecting multiples

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Blog for National Multiple Births Awareness Day, by Jodie Tummers

In July of 2008, after being very certain we were done having children, God intervened and I became pregnant.  On September 19th I went for a scan for Integrate Prenatal Screening (IPS), something I’d never done with my other pregnancies.  I still remember the ultrasound tech saying “I have some news for you… there’s two babies in there.”  I teared up as she showed me the two babies for the first time, but it wasn’t tears of sadness or even of joy… just of disbelief at the amazing thing that was happening.

If you’ve just found out you are pregnant with multiples you can likely relate to this disbelief.  What you might have done, and what I wish I had done, is start googling twins, twin pregnancy and the type of twins you are carrying.  Some people will tell you not to do this, that you’ll just scare yourself unnecessarily.  This blog, this message of mine, is written to show you why they are wrong, why it’s important to be ‘scared’ into educating yourself, especially if you are carrying twins who share a placenta.

 

 

 

 

 

After I found out, I did some reading and research on twins, joined an online support group and generally got informed.  But I always avoided any reading on what could go wrong, because the chances were so low and it would never happen to me.  I always asked if all was okay with my babies after each ultrasound, and the scans did prove to be stressful as each technician had a different feeling about the membrane dividing my babies… it was there/it wasn’t there…. no one seemed 100% sure, but the feeling was that they were “mono-di” not “mono-mono”. 

So that’s the first thing you need to know. Do your babies share a placenta (mono-di) or do they each have their own (di-di)?  If they share a placenta, can a membrane be found dividing the amniotic sac into two sacs or are they both in one sac?  Each type of twins comes with their own risks.  Twins that share a placenta are always much higher risk than those who have their own, because within that placenta there will always be shared blood vessels.  This in and of itself is most often not a problem, but occasionally (in 15-20% of all mono-di pregnancies) this sharing becomes a problem. This is known as Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome or TTTS

The sharing of the placenta is also a complication if the share isn’t equal.  This is known as Selective Intrauterine Growth restriction or SIUGR. If the babies are in one sac they are known as monozygotic monoamniotic twins or mono-mono twins, and they are the highest risk level and rarest type of shared placenta twins after conjoined twins, which I won’t focus on in this blog.  Diamniotic dichorionic twins, di-di are the lowest risk level, and I will not focus on them either, as that is not what I have any experience with. 

The complications I mentioned are serious and understanding them is hard sometimes - even for doctors.  Most OB/GYN’s will see one or two cases in their lifetime.  In TTTS, for some reason, no one is really sure why, there is somehow a shift and a transfusion of sorts happens between the babies, instead of between the baby and its share of the placenta.  In SIUGR it’s really something that affects growth of only one baby.  Usually it is because the share of the placenta isn’t equal, but sometimes it is because of the placement of the cords or the number of vessels in it.  These are also important things to ask your doctor about (and request the ultrasound tech put in their report.) What is the cord placement in relation to the placenta and how many vessels does the cord have?
 
Because of these risks, twins who share a placenta MUST be monitored carefully and often.  From 16 weeks on, ultrasounds should be performed every 2 weeks, and doctors’ appointments should also happen that often.  Request to be seen by a maternal fetal medicine specialist if your OB doesn’t have a lot of experience with monochorionic twins. 

Why am I so insistent in these things?  Because I didn’t know, I didn’t have this kind of care, and I was shocked when I was diagnosed with TTTS.  My babies’ best chance was laser surgery at Mt. Sinai hospital in Toronto.  Within hours of diagnosis I was there, and it was there I learned about our poor cord insertion and about how often I should have been seen.  It was there that I had life-saving surgery on my placenta, and it was there that, sadly, we lost one of our boys.  

And it is here and everywhere I can that I will tell my story, so that maybe with the best care, lives will be saved. 

But that’s a story for another post…                         Read Jodie Tummers’ TTTS Story here.

For more information:
Read MBC’s Fact Sheet about Monochorionic Multiple Pregnancy and Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). Another Fact Sheet on The Biology of Multiples discusses the different types of twins and multiples, the need for ultrasound diagnosis and monitoring, and the probability of having a  multiple pregnancy.

Multiple Births Canada celebrates National Multiple Births Awareness Day (NMBAD) on May 28th. This year's theme is: "Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) - Early diagnosis can save lives." See how you can get involved: click here

If you are expecting twins or more and are at risk for TTTS, you might like to join MBC’s Preterm Birth Support Network to connect with other families who have had similar experiences. Have you experienced a pregnancy or infant loss due to TTTS or other causes? Join the Loss Support Network.

Make a Donation - Help MBC to create resources and support families caring for twins, triplets and more.

Posted by Lori Oldfield on May 23, 2015

Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome Emma & Taylor’s Story

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On the afternoon of June 12, 2007, during what we thought was going to be a routine 18 week ultrasound, my husband Jeremy and I received the devastating news that our twin babies had Stage III Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). We left the clinic in shock and fear, and within two hours were on a flight from Calgary to Toronto to meet with Dr. Greg Ryan at Mt. Sinai hospital.

I had been experiencing back pain of moderate severity and my uterus had gotten quite big, quite fast, however being my first pregnancy and the fact I was having twins, I did not give it much thought. In retrospect, these were warning signs of TTTS.

We arrived in Toronto near midnight and spent a restless night in a hotel near Mt. Sinai. Dr. Ryan met with us early the next morning and spent many hours with us. He extensively examined our babies via ultrasound and even arranged for EKG's on their tiny hearts. He presented information about the disease, the options and the outcomes to us in a direct, honest and caring manner.  The statistics were terrifying. Placental laser surgery was the only chance of survival for our babies so without hesitation, less than 24 hours after our arrival in Toronto, I was in the operating room.

I remember feeling anxious before the surgery, but also feeling such a sense of urgency to have it completed so our babies had a chance to become healthy. The surgery took approximately an hour and a half, and while sedated, I do vividly recall most of it and the miracle of the work being performed. Immediately after surgery, Dr. Ryan met with us and told us he had ablated four main arteries and many vessels in my placenta that were causing the TTTS.  Dr. Ryan was encouraged by the fact that our babies had very strong heartbeats during and after the surgery but he also cautioned us to be realistic... we still had a long way to go. The biggest risk after surgery is pre-term labour so another anxious night loomed ahead. Miraculously, our ultrasound the next morning revealed that the symptoms of TTTS appeared to be slowly resolving themselves. Again, cautious optimism was advised but I was free to travel back home to Calgary where our babies would continue to be monitored via weekly ultrasounds. 

I don't ever remember feeling at ease or comfortable during my pregnancy. The next 19 weeks were excruciating and went by at a snail's pace. Each week, we felt intense anxiety before our ultrasound. Relief would follow when we could hear their heartbeats and see them growing. We always worried the TTTS would come back and it wasn't until October 21, 2007, when we finally got to hold our girls in our arms did we finally breathe. 

We will be eternally grateful to the radiologist in Calgary who diagnosed our girls, Dr. Ryan and his highly competent team for treating them, Mary Forsyth of the TTTS Foundation (tttsfoundation.org) for her knowledge and guidance, our family and friends for their love and support and most importantly our girls for being such incredible fighters. Our miracle babies.

   

 

 

 

         

 

 

For more information, please read MBC’s Fact Sheet about Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS)

Multiple Births Canada celebrates National Multiple Births Awareness Day (NMBAD) on May 28th. This year's theme is: "Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) - Early diagnosis can save lives." See how you can get involved: click here

If you are expecting twins or higher order multiples and are at risk for TTTS, you might like to join MBC’s Preterm Birth Support Network to connect with other families who have had similar experiences. 

Make a Donation - Help MBC to create resources and support families expecting and caring for twins, triplets and more.

Posted by Lori Oldfield on May 17, 2015

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Email: office@multiplebirthscanada.org

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