Bainbridge mother thanks God, modern medicine for miracle birth of twins
Published 6:23 pm Friday, May 6, 2016
Having twins has become almost ordinary in this day and age. Memorial Hospital recently had four sets of twins born in the period of one week.
However, the identical twin sons born to Matt and Keri Reynolds on December10, 2015 are far from ordinary. They are considered “miracle babies.” This gives the Reynolds family multiple reasons for a Happy Mother’s Day.
The boys are monochorionic, diamniotic identical twins, a long, medical term meaning they shared a placenta but had separate amniotic sacs. Furthermore, on Oct. 6, at a routine specialist appointment in Albany, the Reynolds family found out that the babies had Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome. Keri was 22 weeks and five days into her pregnancy when she discovered Baby A had too much amniotic fluid that causes a strain on the heart, while Baby B didn’t have enough fluid, and that caused him to be growth restricted. Keri described it as being wrapped in shrinkwrap. She said this can be a common problem for identicals and many do not survive.
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She was immediately referred to a specialist, Dr. Courtney Stephenson, in Charlotte, N.C, to determine if the babies were good candidates for selective laser ablation surgery. Baby A (the recipient) was found to have mild cardiac strain and a small amount of extra fluid. Baby B (the donor) had a mild blood flow issue and was growth restricted.
Keri was scheduled for surgery that same Friday, just three days after they determined the situation, at Carolinas Medical Center. During the surgery Keri had to remain awake, which she describes as one of the scariest experiences of her life. To lie there and hear everything going on while people were performing a life-saving surgery on your unborn babies is almost incomprehensible.
The procedure called for the doctor to laser any blood vessels connecting the two babies through the placenta, remove extra fluid from around baby A and make a small hole in the membrane dividing the two babies so that fluid could equalize itself between the two. The surgery went well, as the doctor lasered 11 vessels. The major concern was for the smaller Baby B, as he only had 5 percent share of the placenta.
A follow-up appointment was held one week later and Keri began having contractions the night before the appointment. It was found that amniotic fluid had leaked from the incision and both babies were low on amniotic fluid. Keri was 24 weeks into the pregnancy at that point. She stayed in the N.C. hospital for one week while they monitored the babies and gave her fluids to try to improve the amniotic level.
When she was released to come home she was closely monitored by her local physicians, Doctors, Robinson, Moye and Crow, as well as by the specialist in Albany. The babies were growing, but not as quickly as they should have been, especially Baby B. His cord blood flow was restricted and his growth was getting further and further behind.
This takes us to the birth date of December 10, when at 32 weeks the babies were delivered at Phoebe Putney in Albany. Baby A – now known as Cason William, weighed 2 lbs., 11 oz. and was 15-1/2 inches long. Baby B became Collin Spence, weighed 1 lb. 14 oz. and was 12-1/2 inches long,
Cason spent five weeks in the NICU while Collin spent nine weeks before they were doing well enough to come home.
During all this time their six-year old son Maddox fared through it all. “He never skipped a beat,” said Keri. “The hardest part for him was that he wasn’t permitted to see the babies in the hospital,” said Keri. “Now that the babies are home, he is the perfect big brother.”
Keri and Matt both have close family nearby, as well as their church family from First United Methodist Church. Special help and encouragement came from her close neighbor and special friend, Dr. Lisa Martin, also a mother of twins.
Through it all Keri, who is employed at Southwest Georgia Farm Credit as a credit analyst, was off work a total of six months.
Cason and Collin are doing well, going to occupational therapy once a week, to help with their physical development. Currently five months old, Keri estimates it will take two years for the boys to catch up with their age group.
When Matt, a deputy sheriff with Decatur County, was asked how he handled it all, he replies simply, “Just kept pushing forward and put it in God’s hands.”