BEDFORD From Texas Health HEB, where Ashley Delgado is bedridden, showing off pictures of a baby shower and ultrasound images of her unborn children brings joy even though part of her pregnancy has been torturous.
"It's been a very difficult pregnancy," Delgado said. "Nothing I ever imagined."
She had been expecting triplets, but only two of her babies are alive.
At three months, Delgado learned the identical twins she was carrying had a rare and serious complication called TRAP syndrome, which stands for twin reversed arterial perfusion.
In TRAP, one baby develops normally, but has to pump blood and nutrients into an undeveloped, parasitic, identical twin.
"There was no heart; there was no brain," Delgado said. "It did have blood vessels, though that's how it kept growing."
TRAP syndrome is a rare and dangerous complication. It happens in just one in 35,000 pregnancies.
The stress on the healthy baby can cause heart problems and often, death.
In order to save the strong baby, Delgado traveled to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston for a risky in-utero surgery that severed the connection between the twins.
She has only a tiny scar where a radio frequency needle pierced her belly. But she still carries and will have to deliver the trapped twin.
"I try not to think about it, but it's pretty hard," Delgado said. "It's hard to continually be reminded that you lost a baby and that you miscarried."
Delgado was recently chosen by MyRegistry.com, a national gift registry service, as a finalist in its Baby Registry Giveback, an initiative to help benefit families who are managing unforeseen difficulties which can impact their ability to purchase baby necessities.
Delgado admits the financial stress of surgeries and a long hospital stay is significant.
But she wanted to bring attention to TRAP so other mothers wouldn't be shocked by a condition most have never heard about, and can't control.
For now, she's focusing on delivering two healthy baby girls that she calls her miracles, but will name Kira and Milania.