What are the chances of caring for 2 sets of mono mono twins in the same week?
There’s only a 1 in 10,000 chance that a woman will become pregnant with monoamniotic twins, a condition where twins share the same amniotic sack. So it’s almost a statistical impossibility to have 2 sets of monoamniotic twins cared for by Akron Children’s Hospital.
Yet that’s what happened yesterday when JaNiya and Amaya McCail were delivered at Akron General Medical Center and then taken to Akron Children’s NICU at Akron General.
Amanda Arnold and her boyfriend, James McCail, learned they were having this rare form of twins in November. The daughter and sister of twins, the question of whether she was going to have twins was top of mind going into her first ultrasound.
“Everyone in my family kept joking with me that I was going to have twins,” said Amanda. “After the tech located the first baby, I said, ‘So, is there another one in there?’ and she’s like, ‘Let me take a look around.’ And sure enough, she found the other one.”
But with the happy news came serious issues to consider because the twins shared an amniotic sack.
How long could she continue to work before the twins would require constant monitoring? Would the twins make it through her second trimester, when they have a 50 percent chance of mortality due to cord compression or entanglement?
What is the safest date to deliver the twins to give them the most time to grow in the womb, but before they get too big and increase the odds of harming each other?
For the couple’s first born, Little James, it was the most exciting news ever. For most of his 5 years, he had wished, even begged, for brothers and sisters. He had even endured teasing from his cousins and friends for being an only child.
“It was a really great moment for Little James when he got to point out to his cousin that now that he’s going to have twin sisters, that’s actually one more sister than his cousin has,” laughed Amanda. “Seriously, though, I know he’s going to be a great help to me when we get these girls home.”
But when Amanda was admitted to Akron General Medical Center 4 weeks ago for fetal monitoring, both Big James and Little James missed her deeply. Even though the family lives just a few minutes away from the hospital in West Akron, Little James told his mom he needs her at home to help wash his clothes and help him keep track of his favorite action figure toys.
And it’s been tough for Amanda to be cooped up in one room for a month.
Before the pregnancy, she led an active lifestyle and especially enjoyed long walks. One of the weeks was especially hard when doctors decided she needed continuous monitoring after one of the twin’s heartbeat slowed.
“Every time I moved, the twins would switch positions and the nurses would have to come in and find the heartbeats again,” Amanda said. “It has been pretty much impossible to sleep.”
May 15 couldn’t come fast enough. There were 2 reasons the couple decided that would be the girls’ birthday.
The twins would reach 32 weeks gestation, and the date was a tribute to Big James’ mother, Valerie McCail, who passed away on that day 3 years ago. JaNiya’s middle name is Valerie in her grandmother’s honor and Amaya’s middle name is Lorraine, named after Amanda’s mother.
It was a smooth delivery and the girls are resting comfortably, learning to eat and gaining weight.
Amanda is expected to be released in a couple of days, and her family couldn’t be happier to have her back home with them. She can’t wait to show off her beautiful girls to her family, friends and coworkers at the Circle K.