"I knew In My Heart I Would Do Whatever It Took To Save This Baby" Cindy Mata Gross talks IUGR and twins.

By Cindy Mata Gross

We had four IUI’s that didn’t work. Finally we said, “OK, let’s try IVF.” We tried it the first time, which resulted in a chemical pregnancy. Then we had our second attempt, which worked. I found out early on that my HCG levels were super high. My gut instinct was that I was pregnant with twins. When we went for our first ultrasound, they saw only one embryo. A few weeks later they saw two heartbeats but one placenta. That’s when they confirmed that the one egg they implanted had split and I was having identical twin girls.

Doppler Ultrasound
/dopp·​ler· ul· truh· sownd/
This ultrasound uses sound waves to detect the movement of…

At around 17 weeks, I had a doppler ultrasound, which helps the doctors see the flow of the placenta to the embryos. I remember sitting with the physician’s assistant and she said, “I’ll be right back. I’m going to bring back the doctor.” The doctor looked at the screen then took me into his office. He said that one twin was taking most of the placenta from the other twin, and so one twin was growing and the other one wasn’t. It’s called intrauterine growth restriction, or IUGR. He gave me a few situations. One was that we wait and see if one twin “expires” because she’s not growing. Or I had another seven weeks to decide to terminate one to save the other. At this time I hadn’t gone through the motions of being pregnant. I wasn’t showing and I wasn’t feeling anything inside, but for the first time a mother’s instinct kicked in. I said, “I’m absolutely not f*cking terminating one and I want a second opinion.”

Later that night we were on our way to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to get our second opinion. I knew in my heart that I would do whatever it took to save this baby. That day I became a mom. I canceled my baby shower, I didn’t want anything coming into my house that was baby-related. I didn’t post any pictures. I couldn’t imagine having to explain to anyone why I wasn’t pregnant anymore.

For the first time a mother’s instinct kicked in. I said, “I’m absolutely not f*cking terminating one and I want a second opinion.

Going to CHOP was probably the scariest but best experience. They took us in right away. They basically live-streamed my doppler to a dozen doctors. At the end of the day, they told us that yes, I did have IUGR, but they’d seen cases like mine where both babies were thriving. They told me to finish out my pregnancy in New York but they’d continue to monitor me. It was week 17 and every week was a huge milestone for us. The magic number was 32 weeks, but the real magic number was 34 weeks.

I was always going to have c-section. My pregnancy was very high risk, and the more I could plan for it, the better. I’ll never forget on July 8, at the end of 32 weeks, I came home from work and started going into labor. I got to the hospital and they shot me up with steroids to help the babies’ lungs and heartbeats. I was in the hospital for eight days. I got to the 34th week, and the girls were born healthy at 3.9 and 4.1 pounds.  I joke and say that nothing in life is easy. Getting pregnancy wasn’t easy. My pregnancy wasn’t easy, but that made the end result all the sweeter. The road wasn’t easy but the destination was worth all of the hurdles.