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Michelle's Story

Tamba member, Michelle Watson, tells us why she thinks research rocks:

During my pregnancy, I read about the research Tamba had funded around twin growth charts, led by Asma Khalil, Consultant Obstetrician at St Georges Hospital.  At 23 weeks’ gestation I mentioned the twin growth charts to my hospital but unfortunately they were still using growth charts based on growth patterns for singleton babies.  As a paediatric Occupational Therapist with professional experience of seeing many children with sensory processing problems as a result of being born early, I was keen to avoid unnecessary prematurity and the potential problems this could cause so I found out more about the twin charts.

At my 28 weeks + 4 gestation scan it was clear from the sonographer’s demeanour that she was concerned and when we asked what was wrong she said, “The Consultant will speak to you”.  To date, all the growth scans had been uneventful; as far as we were aware the boys were growing well. But this latest scan raised concerns that the abdominal circumferences of both twins, although having increased, had not increased according to the growth curve. The Consultant felt the twins had stopped growing and so planned to deliver them much earlier and prescribed corticosteroids to bring on their lungs.  He said, “We would be lucky if they got to 32 weeks’ gestation” and that “there was no chance they would make 36 weeks” (NICE guidelines for MCDA twins). 

However, my gut instinct spurred me to seek a second opinion.  We went from a weekend of hell, worrying whether our twins would even make it, to elation!  That second opinion was given by the amazing Asma Khalil at St Georges Hospital, who reassured us, having been measured against the twin growth charts, our twins were growing fine.  When we asked her; “Will our twins make it to 36 weeks?” she looked at us in amazement replying, “Why ever not”?!  From then on we transferred our care to the specialist twin team at St. George’s Hospital.

On 31st October our beautiful identical twin boy ‘pumpkins’ were safely delivered at 36 weeks +1 gestation. They had made it!  Asma had been right on our first time of meeting, confidence no doubt given to her in using twin growth charts.  Without research and the twin growth charts my boys would have been born prematurely, their lives and health at risk.  Because of the research and twin growth charts they are healthy and happy!”

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