By Dave Andrusko
When I read the Daily Mail story about two twins being born 18 days apart–meaning they will have separate birthdays in different months– I couldn’t help but think of two types of stories we carried in NRL News over the years.
One is what the New York Times euphemistically called “The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy,” otherwise known as “selective reduction.”
As the latter coinage suggests, a mother decides she wants fewer babies than she is carrying and “selectively” aborts one or two or more. That is, alas, perfectly legal.
The other kind of story raises the question not addressed in the Daily Mail story. What if one twin comes prematurely and is born at, say 23 weeks? Doctors, of course, will want the mother to carry the other twin to as close to full term as possible to minimize the chances of problems.
But what if the mother decides, for whatever reason, to abort the second twin? That would be legal, too, essentially up to the full term the physicians wanted her to carry her baby to!
The Daily Mail account does bring up a third type of story we’ve delved into before.
The identical twin boys, Link and Logan Gorveatt, suffered from a rare condition where they share the same placenta. As we’ve discussed in prior stories about ‘twin-twin transfusion syndrome,’ in this situation blood flows unevenly and the twins will suffer from opposite medical difficulties.
As Khaleda Rahman explained
One baby was becoming weak and anemic due to not having enough blood – while the other was becoming ‘over-stuffed’ with blood and likely to suffer heart failure.
He [Dr. Martin Walker] separated the blood vessels, solving the blood flow issues.
But Holli Gorveatt went into labor just 23 weeks into her pregnancy and Link was born September 29 weighing 1 pound 2 ounces. “Link was so tiny when he was born that his arm could fit inside his mother’s wedding ring,” Rahman wrote.
According to Rahman, doctors thought Logan would be safely ensconced in his mother’s womb until Mrs. Gorveatt’s due date–next January. Not so.
Doctors grew concerned that Mrs. Gorveatt may have developed an infection and recommended a C-Section. “It was the right call,” she told Rahman. “Then she added, ‘When [Logan] was born, he had the cutest tiny cry.’”
Link and Logan are being cared for in the NICU at Evergreen Health Medical Center in Kirkland, Washington.