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Carmel Valley couple celebrates Mother's Day after difficult pregnancy

Mother's Day will take on special meaning for a Carmel Valley couple as they celebrate as first-time parents with twins following a complicated pregnancy.

SAN DIEGO — This Mother's Day will take on special meaning for a local Carmel Valley couple as they celebrate the occasion as first-time parents with newborn twins following a complicated pregnancy. 

Their long road to delivery brought two healthy, happy bundles of joy. New mom Maddie Walter was 27 weeks into her pregnancy when routine tests uncovered an unsettling issue. That's when the team of doctors at Rady Children's Hospital and Scripps Hospital came together to give this family two amazing gifts.

Maddie and Scott Walter hadn't been married for a year when they discovered their twin baby girls were at risk. Maddie recalled, "It's too early to deliver babies. And it's too late to try and do something about the umbilical cord issue - so it's kind of a sit and wait game." Twins normally get extra supervision in the womb, but Maddie's little ones, Savanah and Cameron, were extra special.

Dr. Sean Daneshmand is a perinatologist at Scripps Hospital and Maddie's doctor. D.D., as he's affectionately called, said this only happens to 15 percent of babies, and the condition requires intense monitoring.

"These are called monochorionic and diamniotic twins, where they share one placenta and have different sacs. When babies share one placenta, they exchange blood, but one can give more blood to the other."

 Maddie had 35 doctor visits. The average pregnancy only has 15. The extra attention worked because, in one of those routine visits, Dr. Daneshmand explained, "The blood flow from the baby to the placenta was abnormal." Because Maddie was already 27 weeks along, she says all they could do was sit, wait, and hope. "There's like nothing I could have done, and I think I'm very much an active person, so not being able to do anything to help them and just relax? I'm also not good at relaxing. Dr. D's advised me to make it to the next week. Keep making it to the next week because so much happens in the womb for babies each week." It worked. 

At 33 weeks, Maddie delivered two happy, healthy, beautiful twin girls. 

One hurdle was cleared in delivery, but this young family wasn't out of the woods - or free from the hospital setting. Savannah and Cameron weighing 4 pounds, had to stay in the NICU until they were ready to go home. "It kind of sucks going every day and leaving every day without your babies, but it was just my job," Maddie explained.

"I took over, and this is how I can be there for them, even if it's as small as changing their diaper or checking their temperature." Savannah and Cameron spent 25 days in the Neonatal ICU at Scripps Memorial in La Jolla before finally going home. 

Maddie's family said the partnership between Rady Children's and Scripps ensured their growing family continued to grow. Maddie says she quickly realized the village she and Scott lean on to raise their baby girls was growing and felt like family. "I walked in one day, and one of the nurses sang to one of the babies while feeding her. My babies have like 20 other moms and dads taking care of them and people we got to learn from and that's why we felt so confident in bringing them home." 

Dr. D said their team supports young families on the journey to parenthood as much as possible. "We don't just talk about 'This is your lab. We're going to do the ultrasound next.' We talk about after - once you have your children - what to do. How do you raise your children?" Maddie said now that her bouncing bundles of joy are here, their family is overjoyed and excited for what’s next. "I always wanted a bunch of kids, and so did my husband, so we like to think we skipped one pregnancy!"

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