Delivering Healthy Twins After a Difficult Pregnancy Loss, Complications
Corey Clark had trouble getting pregnant.
Corey and her husband, Garrett, were eventually successful with their first daughter Gemma. The Clarks wanted more children. However, the journey to have more kids was emotional and painful.
"It wasn't an easy road to get here, but we are so thankful for every moment of it," Corey said.
Pregnancy Loss in the Second Trimester
In 2020, after three years of trying, Corey was pregnant again with her second child, a baby boy.
Corey had not felt her 20-week-old baby move for a while, so they went for a checkup. Sadly, the couple suffered a pregnancy loss at 20 weeks.
His heart had stopped.
Corey speculated that she contracted COVID-19 early in her pregnancy, and the virus could have had something to do with the loss.
However, medical experts don't always know why a woman experiences pregnancy loss in the second trimester.
Regardless of the reason, pregnancy losses are emotional and can be devastating for moms and their loved ones. Pregnancy loss in the second trimester can be even more devastating for women and their families.
Women have gone through physical changes and expectations and may have already begun forming a bond with their baby.
This loss is often accompanied by intense grief, sadness, and guilt that may lead to depression or other mental health concerns.
The loss was extremely difficult for both Corey and Garret.
But the couple knew they wanted to have more children and kept trying.
Seeing a Fetal Care Specialist
The Clarks were referred to Dr. Emma Rodriguez, MD, at the Fetal Care Center at CHRISTUS Children's for specialized care.
The CHRISTUS Children's Fetal Care Center in San Antonio connects pediatric specialists to pregnant women and their families when an unexpected fetal anomaly occurs.
The center offers a team of medical professionals who strive to provide a comprehensive approach to managing the mother and baby during pregnancy.
They strive to ensure that families are well informed and prepared for their delivery by offering consultations and inpatient care, depending on the patient's needs.
Families receiving a multidisciplinary approach benefit from being well-informed and prepared for delivery. This can reduce stress and anxiety associated with the delivery process, leading to increased confidence and peace of mind.
Additionally, families may be supported through the entire duration of their pregnancy journey with resources like pre- and postnatal classes and consultations.
"We want families to be as informed and prepared as possible ahead of their delivery," Dr. Rodriguez said.
The Clarks said that having a maternal-fetal specialist helped guide them through getting pregnant. They had an autopsy and genetic testing.
Pregnant With a Rare Condition
Not long after, Corey was pregnant again.
"We were overjoyed but also nervous after what had happened during my last pregnancy," Corey said.
However, Dr. Rodriguez discovered that Corey had a condition called circumvallate placenta, which is an abnormality that causes the membranes of the placenta to fold back around its edges.
If left untreated, circumvallate placenta can be a serious condition.
The condition can increase the risk of complications for both mother and baby, including preterm birth.
If the placenta does not separate properly from the uterus, it can lead to a life-threatening condition called placental abruption or even distress for the baby.
Under Dr. Rodriguez's and her team's care, Corey delivered a baby girl at 39 weeks and four days.
Just One More
The couple decided to try for one more child.
Corey worked closely with her OB-GYN, who put her on a low dose of letrozole—a hormone-based therapy—to help her conceive.
Within two months, she was pregnant.
At their first ultrasound, they heard two heartbeats.
"We were shocked but also thrilled," Corey said. "It took a little while for it to fully sink in that we were having twins."
Corey once again saw Dr. Rodriguez, who monitored her pregnancy closely.
"She did our growth scans and genetic testing and it came back that the boys were fraternal," Corey said. "Throughout the entire time she provided such great care, and we are just so thankful for all of it."
Corey was nervous when it was finally time to deliver the twins in November 2022.
"With twins, there's always a lot of pressure in terms of the delivery," Corey said. "A lot of twins end up being delivered via C-section, and I have two toddlers that I delivered vaginally, so I really didn't want a C-section."
Corey had spoken extensively with her OB-GYN about her preferences, and they had planned to induce her at 8 p.m. on November 30, 2022. But at 2 a.m. that morning, Corey went into natural labor.
"My doctor was on a plane, so another OB-GYN from that practice, Dr. Edward Blackmon, came to do my delivery," Corey said. "He was fantastic."
At 9:09 p.m. that evening, Cameron Dean was born weighing exactly 7 lbs.
A Rare Breech Birth
"They went to check my other baby after Cameron was born, and the OB hospitalist, who had the ultrasound on my belly, told us that the baby was now breech," Corey said. "They started prepping for a C-section, and I just burst into tears. I had just delivered a baby vaginally, and now I was still going to end up with a C-section, which I really didn't want."
But Dr. Blackmon, a veteran obstetrician with decades of experience delivering babies, offered to pull him out by his feet. With everyone in agreement, Preston James was born shortly after at 6 lbs., 3 oz.
"We were the talk of the labor and delivery unit for a while," Corey said. "That kind of breech delivery is rare, but I am just so thankful that they delivered both boys safely and helped me avoid a C-section."
Corey took the twins to visit Dr. Rodriguez and her team within a week of their birth.
"I wanted to show them off and just thank them for everything they had done for me during my pregnancy," Corey said. "We had such a wonderful experience overall, and any chance I get I recommend Dr. Rodriguez to other moms who need a maternal-fetal medicine doctor."
Now at two months old, the twins are both healthy and thriving—and the Clark family of six is happy and complete.