the mueller twins and their sister Cara

The Mueller twins and their sister, Clara.

Twelve weeks into her pregnancy, Amanda Mueller and her husband Len went to an imaging center for a nuchal translucency ultrasound. During the appointment, they received a huge surprise — they were expecting twins. Amanda and Len scheduled an emergency appointment with their doctor the next day.

When their doctor confirmed they were having twins, tests also showed that the babies were sharing the same amniotic sac. Their doctor referred them to Ozhan Turan, MD, director of fetal therapy at the Center for Advanced Fetal Care at UMMC, for further treatment.

At the appointment with Dr. Turan, the twins were diagnosed as a monochorionic-monoamniotic pregnancy. Monochorionic-monoamniotic fetuses are identical twins who share the same placenta as well as the same amniotic sac. This type of pregnancy comes with risks for complications, such as umbilical cord entanglement.

The Muellers started to see Dr. Turan every week to monitor the pregnancy. At their weekly appointments, familiar faces welcomed Amanda and Len. Dr. Turan and his team took measurements of fluid and blood flow to make sure the boys were safe and growing.

"I felt reassured seeing Dr. Turan every Monday. Week to week we would worry," Amanda explained.

At 26 weeks, Amanda was admitted to the hospital to be monitored full time. Each day, Amanda had several tests done to monitor the condition of the twins. The family had to readjust to this new life change. Len would come up from Federalsburg, on the Eastern Shore, as often as he could and bring Clara, their then two-year-old daughter. Clara was too young to understand what was going on, so Amanda made sure to Facetime her often. They even had Clara's second birthday party in Amanda's hospital room.

"The nurses really helped me feel ok being away from my family. They made sure all of the testing was done, and would answer any questions I had," Amanda recalled. Leo and Nunzio were born ten weeks premature, each weighing in at three pounds and five ounces. They stayed in the NICU for 32 days after their birth. Now they are happy and healthy and love to run around and play outdoors at parks and playgrounds. The boys are hitting all of the typical milestones.

The boys are about to celebrate their third birthday and plan to have a Transformer birthday party because of their love for robots.