When a couple finds out that they are expecting, they are usually over the moon with you. That feeling is multiplied when they find out they are having more than one baby! Just as the joy increases, so does the concern for both mom and her babies. There is a lot of planning when a family is preparing for multiple births and for the most part, aside from additional medical care before, during, and after delivery, everything goes well. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.
For a small number of these births, the twins are born conjoined.This adds a new element of care and preparation for not only how to safely birth the babies, but what steps should be taken once they brought into the world.
One hundred years ago, conjoined twins were called “Siamese twins” are were considered a carnival attraction. The life expectancy was very low and the twins just had to live their lives attached to one another. With the advancement of medicine and science, this is no longer the case and conjoined twins are separated all the time.
Jill and Michael Richards experienced the roller coaster ride of emotions that are involved with having conjoined twins. Their daughters, Hope and Anna, shared a chest and abdomen and the staff at Texas Children’s Hospital had to prepare themselves, and the Richards family, for a long road ahead.
Head to the next page for Hope and Anna’s story…