The Surgeon Who Works On Babies Before They’re Born

D Magazine | 8/24/2017 | Staff
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Click For Photo: https://www.dmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/timothy-crombleholme-infant-doctor.jpg

Something about the way Shayla Jones’ pregnancy came about made her and her husband, Jonathan, more shocked than most by what they learned at her eight-week ultrasound.

Shayla started on fertility medication in 2016, after the couple had tried for more than a year on their own. Four months later, still no baby on the way, they decided to take her off the pills and go forward with an intrauterine insemination (IUI), which is like giving the sperm a penalty kick rather than making it run the length of the field through the defense. All Shayla’s fertility specialist was waiting on was for Shayla to call and say her cycle had started—that the goal, so to speak, was in place. He received a call, just not the one he expected: Shayla had gotten pregnant the old-fashioned way.

Nobody - Twins - Conception - Weeks - Fertility

Nobody expects twins, but when you’ve just snuck in a conception during the few weeks between fertility boosters—which have been credited with rising twin rates—that outcome floats somewhere near Pluto in your galaxy of expectations. Jaws hit the floor.

Shayla and Jonathan would’ve been just fine had the surprises stopped there. Instead, the doctor delivered more news. Although at the time the fetuses were the size of raspberries, he already suspected they were in a category referred to as monochorionic-diamniotic, or MoDi. That meant they were identical. It also meant they shared a placenta and were in separate amniotic sacs, a circumstance that comes about when the embryo splits about four to eight days after conception. Ideally, it would have split within the first four days, giving each side its own placental home. MoDi twins are at the greatest risk for what is known as twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, or twin-twin.

Madelyn - Maebry - Fetal - Surgery - Dr

Seeing double: Madelyn (left) and Maebry were born after a successful fetal surgery performed by Dr. Timothy...
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