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In July 2018, Josh and Lauren Kiser found out they were expecting for the very first time. They were overjoyed, anxious, scared — the way most soon-to-be parents are. At their 12-week ultrasound, Josh and Lauren found out they were pregnant with a rare type of twins: Monochorionic Monoamniotic (Mono-Mono or MoMo for short). This meant that they and their babies were in for a rough, and potentially fatal, road.
There are two types of twins: fraternal or “dizygotic” and identical or “monozygotic.” Identical twins can also be classified into several different types.
MoMo twins represent less than 1% of all twin pregnancies and less than 0.05% of all pregnancies. Because the babies share a placenta and a gestational sac, they are at increased risk of fatality due to cord entanglement or loss of blood flow.
On November 13, 2018, at a bi-weekly ultrasound and their anatomy scan, Josh and Lauren were informed that one of their babies no longer had a heartbeat, likely due to cord entanglement.
That day, Josh and Lauren found out they were expecting boys. They named their son who had passed Alexander James and their survivor Case Matthew.
Shortly thereafter, Lauren underwent a fetal MRI to ensure that their baby’s death did not cause any damage to their surviving twin. In Mono-Mono pregnancies, when one twin passes, it can send a rush of blood to the surviving twin resulting in a stroke. Josh, Lauren, and their families were relieved when they heard that their surviving twin showed no sign of issues.
Just sixteen days later, at another bi-weekly ultrasound, Josh and Lauren found out that Case no longer had a heartbeat.
Later that day, Lauren was induced at University Hospitals MacDonald Women's Hospital. She spent 27.5 hours in labor before the boys were born at 7:55pm on November 30, 2019.
Josh and Lauren spent the next two days with their boys at the hospital, and Alexander and Case were held by their grandparents before the families had to say their goodbyes.
If Alexander and Case had lived, they would have been born prematurely. Upon finding out that they were having Mono-Mono twins, Josh and Lauren changed physicians to be in the University Hospitals system, knowing that Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital was the best possible care they could hope for for their babies. While their boys did not end up requiring the care Rainbow would have provided them, Josh and Lauren are eager to raise money to support the families and babies who do make it to Rainbow and to help those babies make it home.
On Saturday, November 2, Josh and Lauren will participate in the 24-hour gaming marathon to raise money in support of Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital and to help heal kids.
Please consider donating in honor of Alexander and Case, who were so desperately wanted and loved, but were not made for this world.
Your donation is tax-deductible and will make miracles happen for families who desperately need them. Simply click on the "Donate" button at the top of the page to help.