In planning for the delivery, it is very helpful to take a birthing class or go to your local library and take out tapes that educate on vaginal births and c-sections. It is helpful to be educated on this before the delivery day. In the midst of a diagnosis, you may in shock or too hopeless to do this. However, it is one 'normal' thing that you can do when your pregnancy seems so 'medical'.
It is very important, as part of your extended plan of action, to discuss with your doctor the possibility of a vaginal birth vs. a c-section and the medications involved with both. The more you know ahead of time, the easier it will be to be part of the decision making process and to "accept" the way your babies are born. Sometimes we have a vision in mind of what our delivery will be like, and just like the pregnancy, the delivery may not be what you dreamed. But, it can be close to it. Think in your heart how you would like your delivery to be and find a compromise between that, and what is best medically..
Visit the NICU unit so you can see what babies look like at different gestational ages. This will help prepare you for a possible early delivery. This will help you make provisions for you and your babies if they indeed need the special care this unit provides.
Read the enclosed information, as well as research on your own, regarding the benefits to mother and babies from breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is truly the best nutrients to give your babies and is a beautiful way to bond. Contact the lactation consultant in your hospital and she will gladly meet with you to help prepare you before the delivery. Breastfeeding is so much easier then bottle-feeding and helps protect babies from many illnesses including SIDS. It is very helpful also in helping mothers quickly return their uterus to pre-pregnancy size along with losing added weight effortlessly. It may take 3-4 weeks to really become comfortable with breastfeeding, but after that, it becomes really natural. It always gets better and easier.
Many parents take the time on bed rest to think of special gifts they would like to give their babies when they are born. Think about a few special things you would like to give to them such as baby blankets, needlepointed ornaments, teddy bears, special matching outfits, family pictures, letters of love from you to them, and/or other special gifts. Sometimes parents are afraid to gather these gifts because of the syndrome, but don't be. You are already parents to your babies and this gives you a chance to give your babies something special on the day they come into our world. Parents that have done this feel very glad that they did. It is also a tremendous help when a mother is on bed rest.
If you have other children, think of who can watch them for you at the hospital when the babies are being delivered. Maybe you would like them in the room with you during the delivery. Anything is possible. These are your decisions.
Bring a bag including a 35mm camera, video camera (borrow one if you do not own one), change of clothing for the hospital stay, clothes to come home in, and toiletries. Include your gifts for your babies in this bag, so you know you will not forget them at home.
Talk with your doctor about your placenta. Request that it to be sent to pathology for analysis (including being photographed) to confirm TTTS. It is important to request the placenta to be analyzed verbally and in writing on all hospital forms. Other areas of interest to confirm twin to twin transfusion syndrome will be the hematocrit levels of each baby when they are born, and the differences in the sizes of their hearts.
“I have a hard time with generic inspirational messages because everyone's situation is so different. For me, what got me through was my boys. When I saw how little they were and that they weren't giving up, I knew I couldn't give up either. Their will to live was what kept me going. They were so brave and strong, even back than. If you ask my husband, he would tell you that my boys survived because of my love for them and the time I spent by their bedside letting them know that I wanted them. I think it was reverse, the boys kept me alive by their strength and share will to live. I guess we were symbiotic.
As for both situations, I think knowledge is power and it is important to learn as much about your (or your babies situation) so that you can make informed choices. Talking to other parents in the same situation can be the most healing thing to do.”
The Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome Foundation